Grandiose Idea for the Morning Commute (or not)

Memorial Day came and went. Sidenote: I still cannot believe that it is June! Here in the Northeast, and more specifically in the beachside communities of South County, we are readying ourselves for the onslaught of tourists and beach-goers. Most of our local businesses and restaurants are looking forward to it because even with the speculation that the ever rising price of gas will stagnate vacationers this summer, little Rhody always seems to escape that drought by remaining a quick, affordable, yet beautiful destination on the Northeast Corridor.

What this means to me, in addition to having to bring my A-Game and perm-a-grin to my part-time bartending position, is TRAFFIC and even MORE GAS to escape south to the more remote beaches to avoid these “welcomed” guests. (See Nick’s May blog: New England Hospitality) I HEART my Jeep, but as a proud Prius owner boasted about getting more than 40 miles per gallon to me last night, I was left less than pleased at my 20-something miles per gallon (I admit this could be my driving) and I began thinking of ways to curb the expenditure and aggravation.

  • Working from home – Caster is extremely flexible, this however, is not an option.
  • Co-working – The fabulous new trend that has begun in San Francisco and Boston where like professionals meet at shared offices to facilitate the flow of ideas while equally sustaining motivation. Apparently we here in Rhody are a little behind the curve because in a desperate search to find such a solution, I investigated, but to no avail.
  • Public Transportation – Not in Rhode Island. No subway, no T. There is the bus. From experience however, I can assure you that travelling across the state from Providence to South County twice a day on the bus will not help my cause in terms of time nor aggravation. For blog-worthy stories, this may help.
  • Carpool – Great in theory, however Caster’s ‘flex-hours’ of operation make it virtually impossible to organize with the one other slacker co-worker who lives “North of the “Towers” and works the later shift.

And finally I arrive at BIKE. After much consideration and taking a cue from the cyclist I currently date, I thought, I can commute via bicycle. Get my daily cardio workout in, unwind from work, all while enjoying the sights and smells of the beautiful summer months…GENIUS! Unfortunately my initially seamless plan has since fallen apart due to a cycling mishap over Memorial Day weekend. On a gorgeous day with blue skies and 70 degree weather my date rides from Boston to Providence (over 50 miles) in 40 mph headwinds to arrive more than two hours late for a family picnic. Definitely NOT a stellar excuse for being late to work.

This my friends, is why we drive cars when we need to be on time. Back to square one.

Posted by: Katie

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2 Responses to Grandiose Idea for the Morning Commute (or not)

  1. Joe says:

    I think ultimately something like New Urbanism (but way less creepy and artificial than Celebration, Florida, or South County Commons) is the answer. We need to renew our small towns and turn them into job centers. I feel so lucky… my S.O. and I love living and walking to work in little ol’ Wakefield, just like we loved living and walking to work in big ol’ Philadelphia. It’s just a great way to live.

    I believe there will be a gradual movement toward living where you work. Now, if you have a spouse who works, and a family, it can get sticky. If your employment situation isn’t stable, it might be a risky idea to put down your roots anywhere. If you have a personal stake in where you live but your job requires a long commute, you face some decisions. If mass transit is lousy (RI could do a lot better, but it could be a lot worse), you have a new personal cause as a mass transit advocate.

    My overall view is that you’re going to save more money and time and aggravation in the long run by living within walking distance to work. You feel more connected to your community too. You feel like you’re a part of something. You can even overpay a little in terms of rent because you’ll be saving big money on gas and car maintenance.

    Of course, telecommuting/videoconferencing should be the norm by now, but for whatever reason, it isn’t. I have some thoughts on why, but they’re rather ugly, so that’s for another day.

    Oh yeah, the 66 bus is definitely wacky, but you can’t beat the price.

  2. sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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