Last year, we moved a little over a mile west of our previous apartment. This year, we're moving back to our old neighborhood. There are lots of reasons for the move, but one key issue is access to public transit. When we changed neighborhoods, we thought we'd be OK taking the bus to the train to get to work, but it had a bigger impact on our lives than we expected. Our commute to downtown basically increased from 20 minutes to an hour. From now on, close proximity to a train station will always make the top of our list when we're apartment hunting...
That's why, when we stumbled across a link on Bruce Mau's site to this article, it really hit home. Joel Makower writes in Reinventing Mobility: It's Not Just the Cars, Stupid:
"What gives us freedom isn't cars, but mobility, the ability to go where and when you want in the way that's most appropriate and affordable for your needs and style. That's true at every point on the economic spectrum...When people can move freely from hither to yon, they're better able to have a job, trade goods, seek an education, obtain health care, perhaps even explore other places to broaden their horizons."
"Less free" is exactly how we felt when our commute got longer just because we moved a mile west. For us, easy access to public transit is the key to our mobility and we won't take it for granted again. How about you? Do you depend on public transit, or do you live in an area where you need a car to get by? What type of mobility equals freedom for you?