|a favorite children's book about transit|
One person of our day that is said to be a visionary is is Elon Musk. The man behind such ambitious and impressive endeavors as Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, and a promoter of the ideas like the Hyperloop. He is the kind of visionary who often gets a pretty big stage to talk about his ideas for the future. This week he ran a foul of the urbanist/active transportation field when we was quoted by Wired speaking disdainfully about mass transit. His comments about how "painful" transit is and how you will probably be sitting next to a serial killer have lit Twitter ablaze with the response #GreatThingsThatHappenedOnTransit.
A review of the tweets with this hashtag will bring a smile to your face and probably tears to your eyes.
Taking @SoundTransit home from getting married: One of my favorite #GreatThingsThatHappenedOnTransit @elonmusk @WIRED pic.twitter.com/vNZiezD8j5— Will Davidson🏳️🌈 (@kilodelta) December 19, 2017
As a #OneCarFamily we experience too many #GreatThingsThatHappenedOnTransit to count. My kids have learned courtesy, appreciation, respect for others, #community friendliness, #CivicTrust, and a life skill they can use all over the world. #publictransit @elonmusk @BrentToderian— Isabel Kolic (@ikolic) December 20, 2017
My own experiences of transit with two small children have brought plenty of opportunities to see great things. Rather than the struggle of getting strapped into car seats, the bus is a grand adventure full of awe and wonder. Our fellow travelers are also often delighted by their awe and wonder. We are also frequently graced with encounters with "bus-grandparents." Pace buses are frequented by a variety of people, but one group is the older population that are no longer able to use personal automobiles, for whatever reason. The older women that my boys charm on the bus enjoy learning about their adventures and sharing stories of their now middle-aged children. On one trip we were even given a jigsaw puzzle by one of these generous strangers.on the streetcar today, two old men who hadn't seen each other in apparently decades delightedly recognized each other— Anthony Oliveira (@meakoopa) December 20, 2017
one of them then said "oh, George, it's been so long. And what a beautiful life I've had!" 😭😭😭
Mass transit has real challenges and shortcomings. You can get stuck sitting next to someone who smells like they had smoked that last pack in a very small box. Or you can tragically leave your child's mythic "hippy hat" that they have worn like a lovey for the past 3 years on the bus when you lifted and carried your snoring child to the next connection. Some of the most terrible and intimidating are well documented in hashtags such as #stopstreetharassment. Despite these shortcomings, transit is quite frequently a beautiful churn of humanity. The #GreatThingsThatHappenedOnTransit thread is only the most recent collective sharing of these moments, but one only needs to step onto the bus or train to give it a chance.