A statement I have made too many times is that I would go to work on the train (instead of driving), but my workplace is too far away from the nearest station, so it’s impractical and inconvenient.
A few weeks ago on Twitter, a friend briefly described his Public Health Utopia, and one of the points was that it involved more people walking more. And then it clicked. To walk to work from the station takes me fifteen minutes. Maybe twenty if I take it easy. But either way, it’s not a long walk.
My public health utopia? It has low income inequality, people with control of their own lives, no fat stigma and lots of walking—
Trans fruitcake (@cheshireb) March 26, 2016
So I’ve resolved to go to work on public transport more often.
The downside is that it takes longer overall for me to get to work, so I have to get up earlier in the morning, and if the weather is no good it’s not that nice, but otherwise it’s positive. I’ve found the walk from the station to work is a pleasant one: it’s relaxing and gives me some space to think. It’s suburban too, so the fresh (ish) air wakes me up, and I guess the walk itself loosens me up a little. I won’t pretend it’s a workout, but there must be some health benefits, even if minor.
Perhaps importantly, I like traveling by train. And I don’t like driving. Even though in the morning I drive away from the city, I still get stuck sitting in traffic, or otherwise have to deal with whatever dickhead drivers decide to assault the roads with their aggressive driving styles, and I arrive at work stressed. When I go on the train, this just doesn’t happen.
Although not a major motivation, it’s in my mind that tolls will be back on the M4 next year, and I would honestly much rather pay a train fare than a road toll.
I’m sure I’ll still drive to work sometimes; probably a lot at first, but hopefully less and less. Even then there’ll be days when I wake up and think “bugger it; I’ll drive”, or days when I just can’t work my personal schedule around the train timetable. But I hope that more and more this will become rarer and rarer.
In short, I’m working on becoming a proper train commuter, and I hope my life will be better because of it.
It might be interesting to say that I wrote this post on my phone on the train on my way home from work.