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A Tale of Two Commutes

How shorter, greener commutes make for happier employees

Photo of Alicia Baker
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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.

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Photo of MaCie' Moore

Hey Alicia Baker , one of the facilitators here! I think you have touched a very important topic, equity! A lot of times we leave this out of very important conversations. I like how you were able to detail your experience utilizing public transit and the obstacle you faced, as well as highlighting an alternative that you realized not all Hoosiers have. How do you think we address equity in terms of your topic of greener commutes?

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