Reading Material

Just to spend a moment to cross-promote:  If you want a little reading material on the bus in the morning (particularly if you’re riding one of the beautiful new Smart Way buses), or if your carpool partner doesn’t mind you catching up on a chapter on the commute home, why not join The Big Read Roanoke Valley in reading A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines?  And in case reading this blog isn’t enough, you can catch my occasional forays into literary criticism on the Big Read’s very own blog.

Book suggestions aside, I think the “saving time” part of transportation choice is often overlooked, or too narrowly defined as “getting there faster.”  Sure, getting cars off the road does increase the efficiency of the transportation network by reducing congestion and travel times, though the impact of that benefit in the Roanoke region is minimal, since we really don’t have that much congestion.  However, saving time in the sense of spending your time doing something more productive with it shouldn’t be discounted.  Reading time, for example: a 20 minute commute on the bus is 40 minutes a day you could be reading a book, or business magazine, or studying from a textbook, or listening to an audiobook.  Whatever you’re doing, you’re not driving, which frees up your attention for other things.

One of my favorite things to do is take the bus on shopping trips with my daughter; not because it’s quicker, because it’s not, but because the time spent waiting for the bus and actually riding with her is time we get to spend together without me worrying about paying attention to the road, and without her strapped into her car seat.  I may spend a little bit more time getting where I’m going, but I’m doing something much more valuable with that time.