I made a decision back in late May to stop driving my car. I did it to experience what life is like for many people in our small rural communities who don't have a personal vehicle and have to figure out how to move around Humboldt by bus, by bike or on foot. It is not easy, folks. But it does have some liberating advantages.
First and foremost, my not driving my own individual car means I am not contributing additional fossil fueled gas emissions to the atmosphere.
Secondly, I am saving money on car insurance, car repairs and high gas prices.
Thirdly, I am walking and biking a whole lot more and have lost 10 pounds.
Finally, taking the bus lets you sit up high and look out the windows at the amazing scenery and lets you meet other people riding the bus who are quite interesting to converse with.
The current reality of my car-free life, however, means that my movement is restricted due to buses not running on Sundays nor later at night. I can't get out to Blue Lake for its Sunday events from Arcata. Trinidad and Eureka nighttime activities don't have buses running back to Arcata late enough for me to fully participate in them. And Ferndale and the Humboldt County Fair don't have any bus service at all, so the newly fixed bleacher seats won't get filled by many of us to place our bets on the horse races and the amusement park rides and cotton candy counters will not get our business.
Humboldt needs more bus drivers and more people taking the bus and more routes and extended hours. Planet Earth needs more of us people here in Redwood Country to lead the way in the future by taking climate action now to reduce our fossil fuel emissions and create a place where we all can live and thrive and travel to and fro together.
As Paul Simon sang, "Hop on the bus, Gus."
Joanne McGarry, Arcata