What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

12 February 2011

A Bus-Riding Life; or, This Could Be Really Cool

I've just finished reading Rachel Botsman and Roo Roger's What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption. Much more on that later, because it was a great book. For now, I'll just say that it explores such things as car- and bike-sharing schemes, Freecycle, craigslist, and other 21st-century, grown-up ways that we share things instead of each person consuming, then tossing, everything.

Not Austin buses. I know; I'm
disappointed, too.
I'm getting two projects out of this one book (woohoo!), but they are going in different directions; the first project focuses on the internet-related side of it, and the second is more about this trend being a solution to a variety of problems. I'm excited about both sides of the story. Actually, since it's the kind of environmentalism and community-building that I believe in, I'm having trouble reining myself in a bit to keep both projects manageably-sized.

The first thing I'm doing is an interview with a VP of the local bus company. I want to talk to him about sustainability, getting more people to use the bus system, his vision for transportation in Austin, and all the feel-good stuff that one usually discusses with people who are invested in public transport. I'm building a list of questions for him now, and so I need your help:

What would you ask? Please, don't consider any question to be too far off the wall or irreverent. There is no guarantee that I'll ask the question exactly the way that you would, of course, but I'll use any questions that fit into the broader theme of collaboration. Let's see what we can come up with!


Unknown said...

What facilities do they provide for the disabled to use this service?

Su said...

That's an excellent question! I do know the buses are equipped with special seating for the wheelchair-bound, but that's definitely something for me to research before I go in-- especially since the Baby Boom generation is getting older. I bet there is a trove of questions to be asked about accessibility. Thanks!

Michelle in a shell said...

IDK how the bus system is there, but here it's a huge pain and takes a long time. For example, bc many of the elderly prefer the bus to the train (I'm assuming due to accessibility!) it takes a significantly longer time for them to count the exact change, get on or have the driver help him on, get situated...etc. So because of this the bus is rarely on the correct schedule..

Maybe part of having more people use public transport revolves around the time consumption?...Something along those lines?

Su said...

Time is definitely an issue. Not so much for the reasons that you describe, but just because of the nature of a network--sometimes connections take a while, the buses take a roundabout route, and so on. But the convenience factor is huge, and definitely something to talk about... now I just have to phrase it in the form of a question. :)