I live on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis, close to downtown. My old job, however, was on the Far Westside. Although I was commuting opposite of traffic in the morning, it still was cumbersome getting to and from work. Wanting to be more environmentally friendly, I decided to give riding the bus to work a try.
And it worked! Well, some of the time. The route I needed to take only ran every 40 minutes or so, meaning that if I missed my bus, I might as well drive to work. Since that time, IndyGo has really worked hard at creating more frequent routes and improving the grid structure.
I got a new job in my neighborhood and now I can walk to work! It gives me the opportunity to not only cut my carbon emissions, but also to get fresh air, exercise, meet my neighbors, and enjoy a bit of urban nature on my commute. My stress levels in the morning and evening have decreased significantly and I love the fact that I can walk home for a quick lunch if I want to.
However, the fact that I have this opportunity is rare, and a privilege. Very few people outside of downtown are able to walk to work. Still many scorn public transit. For others, it is a necessity. Thus, we have an opportunity to pursue equity as we think about this challenge. We must grow our density as a city, invest in transit oriented design, and break down barriers of access and opportunity. We have the opportunity to create something unique for all neighbors - so ALL can have healthy, thriving lives.