Friday, February 26, 2010

All Aboard

I'm not going to lie, I was pretty excited when New York City came calling today.

It's not every day the nation's largest public radio station picks up the phone and calls Kate the Great. Okay, confession: that's never happened before. And I was pretty excited about the prospect of snagging an interview that would broadcast my random synaptic thoughts brilliance to all of my old Connecticut high school classmates now living in the Five Burroughs.

WNYC shot me an email after reading this blog post I penned last month about my thoughts on public transportation following a trip to San Francisco.

Long story short: I don't get a chance to use public transportation the way I'd like in Cincinnati. We have a poorly designed bus system that could greatly benefit from a complete overhaul, as well as the addition of a comprehensive streetcar and light rail plan. My latest trip to San Francisco gave me a chance to indulge in the idea of public transportation I love so dearly.

Getting to a place efficiently and cost effectively, with a crowd of people representative of the entirety of humanity.

After exchanging a couple emails, Margaret Teich called me to inquire about my passion for public transportation.

We shared pleasantries, information about where I live and what I do to earn my keep. Then Margaret wanted to know about my experience with public transportation.

"So, do you take public transportation now?"

I replied by explaining that, although I actually live in the City of Cincinnati, it would take me about an hour to make the six mile trip from my residence in Oakley to my office in Mt. Auburn/Corryville. A hop in my car makes for an eight minute trip on I-71 southbound.

"Have you ever used public transportation before?"

I should have said more about the time I had to ride Metro for two and half months while my Turbo was getting fixed. Instead, I focused on how my real frame of reference involves riding trains into The City from Connecticut, or to Boston from just over the Mass line.

Then Margaret asked me if, other than being just a blogger, I have any personal interests related to the support of public transportation.

I mentioned that I'm a board member for CincyPAC, a non-partisan political action committee that promotes initiatives in the best interest of local Young Professionals. Transportation is one of our top priorities, and we are deeply committed to any effort that is going to support bringing a streetcar, the 3C light rail, high speed rail and other transportation improvements to our region.

That's when Margaret shared with me that WNYC is looking for someone who has, "Already made the switch to public transportation."

My heart sank.

Not because I was going to likely miss out on the media opportunity (though I'll confess, I was kind of jazzed at the prospect), but because Cincinnati's circumstances inhibit my ability to make the switch to public transportation.

There is no reason why someone who lives in Oakley and works near Reading/McMillan roads should spend an hour+ on a city bus.

There is no reason why thousands of local citizens should have to waste hours and hours of precious life in traffic jams - time away from family, friends and worthy causes that improve our community.

There is no reason why we cannot have a transportation that is equally efficient as it is cost effective.

There is no reason why I should have to tell a major media outlet that I can't make the switch to public transportation, because ours is an incomplete system.

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

No comments: