Bussing and the myth of losing freedom

B Bussing into work is for a lot of kiwi’s a foreign concept. Something that might happen in other countries or to other people who live in different circumstances. Those people that don’t have kids, pets, a normal working day, don’t exercise, don’t want to get home on time … Really? Traffic in Auckland peak hours is pretty horrendous since Auckland is one of the most congested cities in the world in peak hour. People are spending up to 101 hours a year in peak hour traffic (TomTom Traffic Index Q2 2013). And still people cannot see why leaving the car at home might help improve this situation. Growing up in the Netherlands of course I am used to taking public transport, and was very spoiled by the great train, tram and bus systems that are in place there. But it is also a mind-set no matter how extensive the bus network is. You accept that you plan in advance when you are going somewhere and yes maybe you will share your personal space with somebody you don’t know for an hour a day. Is that crazy? It’s a change, a big change for those who are so attached to their cars and believe taking this away is like giving up freedom. But look at yourself, sitting in traffic going 2 km/h, one car after the other with only a driver in it, every day, twice a day. You get to work stressed as it’s taken you 20 minutes longer then yesterday and you missed the start of a meeting. I’m up to date with my emails, refreshed from my walk to and from the bus stop, motivated by conversation I had with my co-bussers. I can have a drink on Friday afternoon and not worry about drink driving. Does that feel like less freedom to you?