Yesterday's post about transit policy racism reminded me that I learned a lot about shared transportation in the context of working on the Prop. 34 campaign. This was not something I expected.
- This was the first time in years that I've been able to use public transport to a job. Riding BART daily gave me a heightened appreciation of my fellow commuters; I enjoyed having the train deliver me to the job. I also experienced one of the contentions in the POWER report I wrote about yesterday: when fares go down, I become much more willing to ride. In my the cost of riding dropped precipitously on my birthday.
- Twenty years ago it was rare to hire a twenty-something organizer who didn't own a car. I remember one, but she was an odd ball. Today, many -- even most -- don't assume that owning a car is a necessary part of life. We even had two staff in Los Angeles who had no vehicle. (No, that didn't work very well.) Access to some by-the-day car sharing option has become a necessary campaign expense. This is almost certainly a planet-healthy cultural shift, but not one I'd anticipated.
- I proved it is possible to get to and from LAX (the main Los Angeles airport) to downtown on public transportation, but I can't say I'd recommend the effort. If you shop around for off-brand car rentals, you can get a rental for roughly the same cost. Something is wrong there, but that's the fact. I put energy into figuring out the most emission and energy efficient way to carry off one-day trips into and out of Los Angeles and kept coming back to car rentals.