22 November 2011

A very big trip

There was a bit of a milestone in our household today. Madeleine wanted a ride, not only to the city, but across the city, to volunteer at her old school for the day. I wanted to drive in rush hour, twice, to drop her off and pick her up like I wanted to stick needles in my eye. So I agreed to drop her off and pick her up at the park and ride. She managed all four busses and hour plus each way trip and arrived back at the station in one piece at the end of the day. She had not gotten lost, molested or recruited into a cult. She had realized that a lot of things in the city were now accessible to her that otherwise might not be if they required full chauffeuring services from an unenthusiastic parent. Now if I could just talk her into hitchhiking the rest of the way home, she'd have all the independence a teenager could want and cut our carbon emissions, too.

Speaking of emissions, the picture above is of an electric city bus from the early twentieth century. I know, I know - there are still emissions, except they're belching out of a smokestack at the local coal-fired generating plant rather than the tailpipe, but it's interesting to ponder how things might have gone if electric vehicles had prevailed over internal combustion engines. Perhaps we'd all be driving slower, lighter vehicles and listening to birds and people rather than the traffic noise we've gotten so used to.

1 comment:

  1. There is a ridiculous push here in the Australian National Capital to get electric cars set up as a viable transportation option, along with elitists begging for a "light rail" system to be set up instead of giving the much maligned bus system some much-needed loving.

    The usual problem of too little too late.

    Congrats to Madeleine for her "free-range" epiphany. :)




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