Thursday, 18 December 2014

Master of Transport

This week I attended a friend's graduation. A few of us came to see it, and her partner arrived just in the nick of time. He'd driven in, and had a nerve-wracking time doing so.

Having got to campus, there was 20 minutes of driving around, to find a place to park. Then the ticket machine (yes it was paid parking) wasn't working. Once he'd sorted that out, it was another 20 minutes navigating an unfamiliar campus to find the graduation ceremony. All in all, it was a frustrating and exhausting experience in the heat of a Brisbane summer.

I have to admit I felt a bit smug that I'd zoomed in on my electric bike (total travel time about 10-15 mins), and parked in the bicycle rack about 1 minute's walk from all the graduation action. But I didn't gloat - that would have only made it feel worse.

Of course, he didn't have the option to ride (apart from CityCycle) but there's also a bus that goes from the street of his workplace to the university in 12 minutes.

I'm not sure why we seem to think that car is a fast and convenient option. Perhaps the graduates at the Psychology graduation would have a better idea.

I have two guesses. For many people it's the default, and our brains like to avoid decision-making so the default wins. Also, at the decision point (the journey start) the car seems convenient because in one minute you can be on your way. But the trouble comes later. Just like "buy now pay later", which seems like a good idea .. until "pay later" comes along.

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