By: Stefany Olivas, Managing Editor | Graphic By: Jonathan Gamboa, Production Manager
The Good, the Bad and the Sustainable
Look for the Chronicles next special series “The Deal with Drugs” beginning in issue eight.
When a population uses alternative transportation, it adds diversity to the area and can give individuals a sense of community with those around them, said full-time Sociology instructor Adam Bailey.
People go to bike or skate shops to hang out, and those who commute on the train or bus often end up seeing the same individuals every day, said Bailey.
“That gives people a sense of belonging to a subculture. That kind of a belonging can be a really important source of meaning in a person’s life. You don’t get that kind of interaction driving by yourself in a car all the time,” said Bailey.
He said he used to live in New York City and rode the subway for a total of two hours every day for five years.
That kind of commuting gives people a chance to sleep, read, eat or do things they may not have been able to while driving, he said.
“It’s nice if you’re riding a train or riding a bus because you don’t have to pay attention to where you’re going,” said Bailey. “People do all kinds of stuff on trains, and I’m sure people do that here too. It gives you time to be in your own little zone.”
He said he lives about 14 miles away from Main campus and does not use alternative transportation to commute to work, but he does cycle around Albuquerque as a hobby.
“Riding to work is not a difficult ride, it’s just doing that, then working all day and then doing it again to get home, is maybe a bit much,” said Bailey.
Alternative transportation can be good or bad for the economy depending what part is being considered, he said.
The economic benefits of alternative transportation are probably most visible on a local level, he said.
It is also good for the train and many small businesses that sell supplies for bicycles, skateboards or scooters — these businesses are also creating jobs, he said.
“It helps people save money, which if people aren’t spending money on gas, they can spend it elsewhere,” said Bailey.
On the other hand, alternative transportation reduces the public’s reliance on car manufacturers and oil companies which is bad for their economy, he said.
“It’s also hard to say if enough people are using alternative methods of transportation to worry the auto manufacturers and oil companies,” said Bailey. “My guess would be no, but again, it’s hard to say for sure.” Alternative forms of transportation have a positive impact on the environment because, when people rely more on electricity that less on fuel burning automobiles, it reduces their carbon footprints , said Bailey.
“I can’t think of any alternative method of transportation that would be bad for the environment,” said Bailey.