Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Transit and Multimodal Solutions -A rider story about the benefits of access to diverse mode of transportation

The following story is not only about riding transit and its shortfalls and benefits as experienced by the storyteller. Instead of choosing on transportation mode or another, this storyteller decided to combine the options that were available to him to maximize the benefits.
When one has different transportation options available, one can become more productive and efficient than when that same person had just one option. If he (or she) had to drive to get to the truck’s pick up point , he (or she) would’ve had to deal with more traffic issues and also pay for parking while loading the bricks and driving the truck. The way Derrick did it –combining riding transit, driving truck and riding his bike home – saved him time and money. And his free brick-load deal, got even better:

"One of the great local resources available to the person wishing to save money is the Freecycle list. When a couple pallets of bricks were offered, I took the opportunity to collect them. This entailed a trip to North Washington Township, Westmoreland County, and would require a truck. As a Zipcar member I have trucks at my disposal, so I reserved onefor as long as it was available the next day. This meant going to Oakland to collect the truck, then heading on to get the bricks, returning home and unloading, and returning the truck. The 75 Ellsworth bus begins a few short blocks from my house, and dropped me across from my Zipcar. About 15 minutes before my reservation was to start, the previous driver returned it, so I took the free extra few minutes as Zipcar allows, and departed.

The trip out of the city was simple. Loading the bricks by hand was tedious,and I loaded about a ton. Then I drove back into the city on the Parkway East, an experience which is often as it was that afternoon quite unpleasant. Upon reaching the end of my street, I moved my car,which had been left to reserve the space I'd need to unload, and reversed the process I'd done over an hour earlier, again using my hands to transport the bricks.

In order to get home more quickly, my bike was deposited in the truck, and a short drive later, the Zipcar truck was awaiting its next driver, and I was bicycling home. I am multimodal. I use the tools at mydisposal to optimize my trips, saving both time and money. You can, too. Be aware of your options, and use them as best you can. "

Derrick B. works as a software developer for a local company. He lives with his wife in their South Side home.

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