Monday, August 27, 2007

The Experiment Begins...

My experiment began on Sunday, August 26th and to be honest, I’m a little scared. I guess I never really sat and thought about how much my car means to me, and how much it gives me in terms of independence.

Saturday night I had these last minute panicky thoughts, “Well, maybe I shouldn’t start it this Sunday. I mean, that hardly gives me any time to plan ahead or work through my schedule.”

One of my duties at work is to collect the mail from the local PO. I told my boss about my experiment on Friday. She said she was ok with it but then looked at me rather quizzically and asked “Now, why are you doing this?” She also is not keen on my idea of combining my morning break time and my usual drive to the PO into one longer walk to collect the mail as “it might take you out of the office too long”, so I will either need to bring my bike to work or borrow someone’s car to collect the mail three days a week. Honestly, if it were my company and someone were doing this experiment I would be overjoyed that they were being proactive and that they cared about the planet. I would be trying to make things easier for them, not more difficult. But, this is not my company.

So the plan is this: I will carpool with Serge at 6:25 a.m. part of the way to work, then get on the bus at 6:42 a.m. and continue my commute, arriving at work around 7:00 a.m. Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to start work early, so I’ll either walk or bring something to read until 7:30 when I begin work. Serge gets done work at 3:30 and he will then continue on to pick me up around 4:00 when I am done. Initially I felt like I was the only one making a sacrifice here, (I’ll be losing my only alone time of the day and leaving about 35 minutes earlier) but I wouldn’t really feel like going 15 minutes out of my way after work to sit in a parking lot for another 15 minutes waiting for him to come out. I guess the bus ride and my early arrival cancels out his afternoon inconvenience afterall.

PS I should also note that I’ve decided to use my scooter during this experiment which I think will make it more bearable. I’m a little afraid this will not give me an accurate picture of living with one vehicle because using a scooter, and my bicycle for that matter, is not an option about 8 months out of the year. However, with bus fare at $4 per one-way trip, I think the scooter is a more affordable option. And a 150cc scooter is still much more environmentally friendly than a big truck with a V8 engine!