Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Try transit.

Amazingly enough, given Atlanta's long commute times, I actually enjoy my commute. Why, you might ask? Because I ride MARTA! MARTA is the public transportation system in the Atlanta area. I grew up riding Central Arkansas Transit with my grandmother (she always let me ring the bell!), and SEPTA was handy when I was at Swarthmore, so I know that transit can be a convenient, affordable, and less polluting way to get around. Are you ready to ride?

* Find your local transit agency and get information on fares, routes, and more. Check with your employer since many will offer discounts on transit to their employees. Emory, for example, gives free MARTA transit passes to employees who are committed to a "clean commute."

I was so excited that I made a list of things I could do on the bus and train (read, write, talk, etc.). Talk about multitasking! But if for some reason, transit won't work for you, consider these options:

* Join a carpool. You'll save money, endure less stress, and may even make some new friends!

* Walk to work. I often walk to the MARTA bus and get to say good morning to the schoolchildren waiting for the bus. Last week I saw a goose family on my walk. It's such a peaceful way to start and end the day. You can even get a pedometer to keep track of your exercise and progress.

* Ride your bike to work. You'll get some exercise while you're at it!

* Telework. This is the easiest commute of all! I teleworked for five years and I know that it can be a very productive way to do business.

Try some of these ideas. You might like them more than you think, and you'll be doing good for yourself and your community. Enjoy your commute!


quin said...

In London we've got a really interesting scheme called MyStreetCar.
It's something inbetween a carpool and a car hire company. You go to one of about eight or nine tube (subway) stations, find a car, and unlock it with a code from your mobile phone. Then to lock it again, you type in a different code. It's like pay-as-you-go car rental.

Karama said...

What a great idea! Thanks for telling us about it, Quin. I imagine it will be a while before this concept comes to the State. A few years ago, a similar idea with bicycles and no fee (perhaps that was the problem) failed in a nearby city. But it's nice to see that the concept can work.

Thanks for stopping by, and please come again, Quin.

river2sea72 said...

I'm really bummed that we're probably going to be driving to work every day (we currently walk). Our new home in Morningside is just not walking distance to any MARTA bus stop :( Fortunately, it will be a short drive (5-10 minutes), but still....

Karama said...

I'm sorry you won't be near MARTA, river2sea72. But I'm sure you'll be able to make use of it to attend festivals, sporting, cultural and other events, and to get to the airport.

Thanks for visiting "So what can I do" and please come again soon. Welcome to Atlanta!

Karama said...

Here's a short letter I wrote to Governor Perdue to ask for state funding for MARTA.

Anonymous said...


I ride MARTA daily from Roswell to Midtown. I use MARTA to read - mostly Bible and ebooks. I've read more in the last 8 years because of my MARTA ride than in the previous couple decades.

Karama said...

Hi anon,

I agree, the transit commute can be a really productive time. I read for work and pleasure while I ride. Also, it can provide a way to get exercise if you bike, walk or get off of the bus/train at an earlier stop.

Thanks for sharing! Please come back again soon, and spread the word.