I ride the bus in Detroit.
It’s a funny thing. I never thought a commute choice could spark so many conversations, but mine has! I just finished week 2 in my new job. In addition to starting new projects, setting up my desk, figuring out where the bathroom is, and meeting new colleagues, my commute has changed significantly. Instead of a short, 15-minute walk into downtown Detroit, I now travel each day out to Dearborn. At just about 9 miles each way, it’s not as far as it seems. In fact, in many areas, a commute of that distance would still be within city limits.
Here’s the thing about my commute that stops everyone in their tracks: I’m doing this without owning a car.
Between bus, bicycle, and scooter, I’m taking on a multimodal commute. Yes, it takes longer than hopping in a car. Yes, it’s not as convenient. Yes, this might fail. But I also now have time to read, get downtown more frequently, and still don’t have a car payment.
I’m very fortunate that this is a choice. I have options while many around me do not. If the bus doesn’t show up, I can just grab my iPhone and dial up a rideshare to get to work on time while others will find themselves late again.
Responses have ranged from interest and curiosity to concern and confusion. Nearly everyone around me believes I’ll eventually buy a car. They all might be right. In the meantime, though, I’m keeping a daily journal of my ground travel when I’m home in Detroit and inviting everyone along on the journey with me.
Here’s how the first week went: