This morning against my personal preference I was forced on to public transport again. My car knowing full well it was a program grant meeting and that it was a Monday morning decided to outright not start.
Really this morning car. This morning. I understand my car’s mind games on a Friday evening refusing to drive me home but normally it will try and fool me into going into work before refusing to start.
Actually it was yesterday morning and today yet again I am back on public transport.
Actually now it is Wednesday so it was both Monday and Tuesday mornings. Either way it would not start. And in the meantime I caught a train back to Yorkshire to get another car - faster than going from Liverpool to home!
Public transport what a great idea that was. When I started my new job in Liverpool I was all about the environment I would catch the tram to the train station the train to Liverpool then walk to work. If I was really good and ran at various stages I could do door to door in 1.5 hours. Or so I would fool myself into thinking by not including various times in my head.
Now the problem with public transport is that it is expensive. I estimate my weekly travel was 5(£3+£14) or £85. Stop me I am feeling sick. I could reduce this cost by buying a frequent masochistic card and that dropped it down to about £70 per week. But I justified this to myself saying the fact that I could travel to London in the actual 2 hours trip and the fact it was costing me a lot of money per week was fine I was reading for an hour on the train that was productive time. I was doing Work.
Then I realised by driving - in fact via experiment as all good scientist do - that it took 40 minutes door to door by car and no longer than an hour in bad traffic. I was not tied to the timetable of two modes of public transport who are completely out of sync with each other and unlike the tram-train approach I did not pass my own apartment twice on my way to work. There was also a bonus that the car was significantly cheaper than you - erm the train/tram. Yes the car is faster than the train alone - I do not get that - even the “express” train is slower.
But here I was again on the train on my way to work when I noticed that on a fence facing the train tracks was a sign for a new McDonald’s - fuck me my phone can spell that - drive through. Why does my phone have McDonald’s as a stored word in the auto-correct dictionary? Now this is erm pointless because 1) you are on a train and can not stop and 2) you do not know where you are as you are on a train so you can not go and find it later. Plus 3) you are on a train so the idea of driving to the drive-through seems a bit wrong somehow. Also for me the added factor that I felt sick from the two days of public transport which had cost me £34 and just general motion sickness. I have now associated McDonald’s with feeling sick and being ripped off. Not going to eat it ever again!
So clearly there is some fundamental moral dilemma disturbing me now. I thought it would be hard to justify to myself the environmental damage driving my car is doing but actually it was very simple:
Public transport runs regularly but is only full during busy times approximately 2 hours per day. It is therefore by average predominantly empty or less than a quarter full. Whilst my car has only four seats and can fit only four people maximum. If I am in the car it is a quarter full all the time I am driving it and never 100% empty whilst being driven. Score one to the car.
Antibiotics are expensive and use a lot of energy to develop, make and distribute. In my car there is me and therefore the risk of infection from all the sick people on the train during the two busy hours which I and everyone else uses the train per day. By not getting sick I save the antibiotics and thus the environment.
Money is made of metal and paper. By me spending less on my transport costs I am able to save more. This means less is needed to be made as my bit is kept in the bank this alone must save many, many trees and carbon dioxides.
My stress level is significantly lower by not being tied to the public transport timetable - this reduction in stress is just good for the environment full stop!
I have more reasons but as I wrap this up I can not help drawing your attention to the tram which I would have needed to catch if it had not decided to send the front and rear carriages up two different lines by doing so crash into a lamp post and power line holder! Buggering it all up and trapping four trams on the Eccles line.
So actually I have figured it all out - my car would not start, the tram tried to kill itself ok I get it the UK government does not want me to do science any more and my car and the tram has aligned itself with them.