Monday, June 16, 2008

Dreaming of Light Rail

The long bus commute is taking its toll on me.

The 40 minutes to an hour each way is time that could be spent much more productively, especially when it would take only 15 minutes each way driving! If I drove to work, I'd have more time to try to pick up that freelance work I really need so the bills get paid, or catch up on one of the ten volunteer projects I've fallen behind on, or clean my house, mow the lawn and do laundry.

Then I spend about 10 seconds contemplating the jump back into the daily car culture --the upfront purchase cost of a vehicle, the cost of insurance, upkeep, and the rising price of gasoline. Meanwhile, I'm in no position to purchase a hybrid, so I pile on the guilt associated with my carbon footprint. This is no time for me to return to car ownership, upkeep and daily gas guzzling.

Today's TU Getting There column and All Over Albany's reference to this article in the Saratogian got me thinking about car pooling. There are folks I could car pool to work with, but my schedule is so erratic, I don't see it as a viable option for me right now.

In reality, I long for the well-functioning good service of my truly beloved MTA subway lines.

There's been chit chat here, there and everywhere about how this region is ripe for some light rail. Supposedly, CDTA's Bus Rapid Transit (go to p. 3 for story) (BRT) would run "similarly" to light rail, though I don't buy it for a minute since the buses will still be subject to traffic and stop lights.

I may have been dreaming one recent Saturday morning at 6:30, when my daughter woke up early and flicked on the T.V. Someone whom I believe to be Joe Condon was interviewing Mayor Jennings. I don't know what channel it was, and I wondered whether we finally now have public access TV here in Albany, but I don't think that's what I was seeing. During my absolute favorite part of the interview our Mayor mentioned how there's been discussion of putting a light rail in on Western Avenue!


Was I dreaming or might this actually happen? Could Albany enter the 21st Century before the first decade is up?

1 comment:

Ciao said...

Note that 2 other upstate cities have rail transit: Buffalo and Syracuse. Buffalo has a subway, and Syracuse has a small rail that connect major attractions (Carousel Center, Carrier Dome, downtown).