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Sounding Off:

Bus service beats driving

May 14, 2010|By Charles Alban

In case we’ve forgotten, Laguna and Orange County do have a perfectly good public bus service (“Sally’s Fund to continue Susi Q service for seniors,” May 7). While there is a need for the services Sally’s Fund provides, it would behoove all of us to pay a lot more attention to the existing services we already have in our community and make better use of them.

The more people ride the bus, the better the service will become. I find I can meet all my needs by the public bus, bicycle, walking and occasional ride-sharing. I don’t go to places that require a car. Riding the bus enables me to meet people I would not otherwise meet, to read books and to get in plenty of active meditation by chanting on beads.

It’s very therapeutic, and there is no road rage, parking problems or other nonsense. Driving is a waste of time because you cannot read or do other productive things. It provokes stress and anxiety, and it is environmentally damaging.

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It’s time for all of us to reduce or eliminate car driving, particularly solo car driving. We can expect higher fuel prices in the future, reaching $7 a gallon or more. The oil spill in incredibly deep water shows how vulnerable we are if we are this desperate to get oil. If this is what we are reduced to, then we’re in the end game.

I’m 60 years old. The best thing I ever did for my health was get rid of my car (and television). Seniors are not helpless: They can ride the public bus service. Nearly everywhere in Laguna is within a few minutes’ walk of the little blue Laguna buses. The fare is 30 cents for those older than 65 (this should be lowered to 60, as in San Diego County), and 60 cents for the Orange County Transportation Authority mainline buses. Try it. It could be the best thing you ever did.

And if you want to get involved in improving public transportation and reducing car dependence in Laguna, I would urge you to join Transition Laguna. As Billy Fried wrote, this is the most dynamic and effective community-based organization (“Lots of good things happening,” May 7). It’s part of a movement designed to wean us off oil dependence and create resilient and self-sufficient communities with a much better future. For more information, visit transitionlaguna.org


CHARLES ALBAN lives in Laguna Beach.

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