Joe hates his daily commute. He finds it simply excruciating, harrowing to go through this monotonous loop of “inaction” (because technically speaking, the train does most of the moving business for Joe), over and over again like a lunatic.
Joe hates the fact that he has to get up at 6:30 in the morning to reach his workplace in time, which opens only at 9. The actual distance from his apartment to his office should be about 12 kilometers. But some genius working for the city-planning division, decided to lay down a rail-route, so twisted, that he is inclined to believe that it is part of some deliberate and grand conspiracy to sabotage his unwavering focus on his work. It’s just pure evil. It takes him, over an hour, 4 line transfers and 12 stops to reach his destination. Well, that’s the cheapest transit he can afford. So everyday, Joe wastes around three hours of his day in this transit.
Then there are the passengers themselves. Passengers are weird people. Joe has been keeping an eye on them and he had noticed that they tend to do either of three things;sleep, get into a trance-like state with their iPhones or read newspaper or book. But rarely do they talk to each other or look out the window. On rare occasions, he had seen a few women putting on makeup or a drunk man uttering gibberish, but that’s it. It’s almost like they are all dead,disconnected.
It is thus a big relief for Joe, when a bunch of chattering,young schoolkids walk into his compartment.
“They are still uncorrupted. They remain pure, for now…….”,thinks Joe.
The trains are air conditioned.The window panes, never opened. This perturbs Joe a lot, for every time he gets off a train he is hit, either by the unpleasant, hot breeze of the summer or by the biting cold wind of the winter. And speaking of winter, people wear thick overcoats at that time and this makes life even more horrible for Joe, being stuffed in the tiny aluminium box with hundred other passengers.
- Why do I have to travel so far to work?
- Why are there not more trains?
- Why do I have to stop at 11 stations when I get off only at the 12th?
- Why is the planning of these “modern” cities so inefficient?
Joe is too busy with his work to think of a solution to these problems, so he just goes back to his laptop, grumbling like a disgruntled old man. .
How to Build a Better City
For a more scholarly study on Mixed-Use Urban Planning: Click here