We’ve all experienced the cringe-worthy morning commute. Be it a two-hour traffic jam, the delicate squeeze into an overstuffed subway car, or the fifteen-minute late dash to the company meeting. People often say that it’s the journey not the destination, but if the journey is a pain, then we need a call to action. There is simply too much daily travel in life not to enjoy the ride.
So how do we fix the love-hate relationship with daily transportation? Try flipping your commute—not the bird.
GOOD is always championing the good that people do, but we also get together to do good as well. This May, GOOD LA got together at HUBLA to hack transportation. What were the conclusions? A damn good morning commute is possible! So lets take charge of our commute. Either on your own, or with neighbors, here are four ways to start owning your morning commute (lattes not included).
1) Commute Nicer
Remember the last time you witnessed something on the bus that made you smile? The last person who waved after you changed lanes. The GOOD LA community told us “the stare” is the preferred option to show someone displeasure on the roads of Los Angeles. Instead of spreading the displeasure, how about tossing in a quick head nod or courtesy wave on your drive tomorrow?
2) Commute Safer
Nearly 39% of all LA roadway fatalities affect people on bike or foot. GOOD LA recommends joining or leading a bike commute in your community (safety in numbers!) or supporting walkability initiatives such as Los Angeles Walks to make walking safer, more accessible, and fun for pedestrian traffic. Groups like L.A. Bike trains help new and old cyclists feel empowered to take up cycling as a more regular commuting option. Check out a local group, like Safe Routes to School National Partnership to provide not only a social experience, but also safer riding, exercise, and often a faster commute time than other modes of transportation.
3) Commute Together
Ditch the morning drive to work and hop a train, bus or tram. Maybe even trade in the public transportation for a ride-share. A number of startups now offer ride share apps like Sidecar. Giving you the bonus of saving on gas and meeting a potential new friend.
4) Commute for Discovery
Take hold of your commute! By slowing it down, speeding it up, or just changing the scenery, the journey can turn into a celebration of your community, not a trudge to the next location. The LA River revitalization project is working to better public spaces and mutually benefit the morning routes of hundreds of Angelenos by incorporating new parks, trails, and bike paths. So the next time you’re planning where you have to be, plan to make the journey there awesome.
Photo courtesy of Bruce Chan. Follow him here.
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