Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bye Bye Busses- Hello Community?

Something really neat has happened in the city of London, Ontario--
The entire public transit system has decided to go on strike.
----- London, Ontario is a city with thirty thousand university students.

Problem? You would think so, but something-- actually kind of beautiful-- has come out of this predicament-- A new sense of community.

Mustangs Moving Mustangs is a contingency plan set up by the university to harness the power of people to get from here to there.

Here are the plans that they have put into action.

1. "Flag A Ride"- is a city wide game of tag. People with cars put the tags on their cars which mean "I can give you a ride." And people with no cars can get a tag to hold out at cars which mean "I need a ride." It sounds simple enough, but think about how in only a couple of days a pretty foreign concept of picking up a complete stranger, introducing yourself, and giving them a ride can become a generally adapted concept in a time of need.

2. Bike, Walk, Cab- I have noticed a lot of people out and about walking around campus and off campus. Much more than usual and something quite amazing happens when people have been doing some walking in the fresh air for a couple of days. They smile! People that you would normally drive right past, or ignore completely on the bus are now smiling at you, and maybe even going as far as a "Hi" or a "Sup?" I smile goes a long way and being forced to walk to school and looking around at the world you are living in-- dare I say-- is smile provoking.

Not only that, but the extra 10-50 minutes spent walking to school is 10-50 minutes that is spent...not on facebook. And time away from that site is a blessing- not a curse.

Even taking a cab is good for the community--why? I was riding in a cab not to long ago that the driver was telling me how much they are struggling to find business. I found it easy to sympathize with a man who has to feed his family and pay his bills and his rent on 100 dollars, not to mention the need to cover gas.

What could be better for business than thousands of students who all need to find a way home?

3. Carpooling/ Vans- what could be more fun than carpooling? Communal music/ conversation-- dare I say-- singing along? And the university is also doing a decent job sending out vans to populated locations to pick up and drop off student folk.

Now-- I am by no means pro-strike. This strike negatively affects many people in many ways, including myself. BUT when something like this happens-- I feel like it is a good idea to look at the smuff that the situation brings.

1 comment:

  1. oh man, i've met so many awesome people by just using the vans. it's really nice to see how people come together and how willing they are to help each other out.