Suppose you had no car. Sit with that a moment. Where I live, 27,913 residents or 14.0% get to work in another way than driving themselves so they depend on someone else to get them to work. (public transportation, rides from friends, walking, etc.) So…suppose you have no car. Look at your day. You wake up, shower, eat some breakfast, head out the door for work, school, or meetings. But wait! You have no car. What time are you supposed to be at your destination? 9:00? Oops, it is already 8:40. Does the bus come within several blocks of your home? How frequently does it come by? So back up. Assuming you need to be at work by 9:00 and that you have no car and that the bus stops down two blocks and over one block from your house, you walk to the bus stop to catch the 7:20 bus. You want to allow enough time to transfer downtown to the next bus which will take you to your destination. What if the bus is late? What if you miss the transfer? What if it is raining? What if your destination is a mile or so from the bus stop? What if? What if?
These are decisions which must be made just for one destination. But what about getting prescriptions filled? Going to buy groceries? Dropping children off at childcare?
Many communities do not have any public transportation or very limited access. The buses may run once an hour… one way. This means that you may have to ride the entire route to get to a stop just eight blocks away from your pick up spot if the bus had already passed it. Busses may not run 24-7. They may not go to outlying areas. There may be a disconnect between where people live and where they work. What if you are disabled or challenged in some way? All busses may not be equipped to accommodate you. And what happens when you’re traveling with a child?
Just think about that. You will need a bus pass for you and your child so you can drop the child off at childcare. Then you need another pass to get to work. Let’s hope that the bus is on time when you get off work so you can get to the childcare center in time to pick up your child. Uh-oh, the bus is late. Now you are hit with late penalty fees at the childcare center and you have to wait for the bus to come around again and have two more passes.
Before we judge people, we might want to consider what we would do if we did not have a car to depend on.