Buses aren’t exactly the most romantic form of transport. They can be slow, cramped and noisy – and who hasn’t waited half an hour in the rain for one that’s running late?
Despite this, I’ve come to enjoy getting the bus. Most of us live fast-paced lives, and it can be refreshing to slow down sometimes. I’ve stopped seeing slowness as a problem – instead, I simply allow extra time for my journey. I prefer taking my time to get somewhere rather than rushing around.
Some people like the autonomy of driving, the feeling that they’re in control of where they go and when they do it. I understand this, but I also like letting go of that responsibility. When getting public transport, you have to acknowledge that things are largely out of your control. I find this quite liberating.
Many of us feel like we’re wasting time if we aren’t constantly doing something – this is likely the reason why few people meditate regularly. Long bus or train journeys are a prime opportunity to clear your mind and just be. It’s also nice to look out of the window and daydream, or read a book. Admittedly, this may be difficult if you’re on a particularly noisy bus!
Sustainability is really important to me, and getting the bus when my destination isn’t within walking distance is a part of that. Driving is virtually always less sustainable than using public transport, no matter how eco-friendly the car. Of course, it’s not ideal that most buses currently rely on fossil fuels, but we live in an imperfect world and have to do the best we can. Besides, greener alternatives are being developed!
Not everyone lives in areas with frequent and reliable bus services. But for those in large towns and cities, there’s usually little need to drive. Think how much we could reduce the congestion and pollution levels in cities if everyone walked, biked or used public transport whenever possible. It would make a huge difference.
Buses also have the advantage of being cheap, which is helpful when you have very little income. In my area, a day ticket gives you unlimited travel on most of the buses in the region. I could hypothetically go on a day trip to the beach (which is 30 miles away) and back for £5.50. In fact, I’m planning to do just that.
In short, I think buses are underrated! They’re not just for people who have no other way of getting around. They’re for anyone who wants to reduce their impact on the planet and save money. The beauty is that the more people who use public transport, the better it will get. If there’s enough demand, it will motivate companies to improve their services and even create new ones.
Do you love buses or hate them? Let me know in the comments!