I am at the Abe Martin Lodge in beautiful Brown County State Park with my parents. They picked me up from work at Riley Hospital yesterday, unfortunately having waited in the parking lot for several hours as we finished doing lung diffusion and pulmonary function testing on a patient in our preeclampsia study.
We are traveling to Gulf Shores for a week. My sister Lisa and her son Eric will be joining us there. I’ll be seeing my godson, Brandon, too.
Trying to plan for this trip was another reminder of the sad state of public transportation in this country. When I was on the General Committee of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), I would take the train from Indianapolis to Washington, D.C. The train was scheduled to leave Indianapolis at midnight, but was invariably late. Sleeping on a train never seemed to work very well for me.
Often we had to wait while freight trains went past us, since the freight companies own the rail lines. Scheduled to get in to Washington around 6 pm, it was usually at least 8 pm, which meant I usually missed the evening meeting of the National Consultative Committee meeting at William Penn House, that was scheduled to take advantage of Friends being in town for the FCNL annual meeting.
Last year I took Greyhound buses from Indianapolis to Fort Walton Beach, Florida, to visit my godson Brandon. It was such a horrible experience, I was desperately trying to find an alternative to get to the Gulf for this trip. Flying is not an option for me for environmental reasons. The trains have trouble keeping tracks operational because of the frequent hurricanes, tornados, and strong storms. The MegaBus would get me to Atlanta…
Since my parents were leaving from Madison, Wisconsin, they were able to pick me up on their way down, for which I am really grateful.
I really hope politicians will begin to listen to the public, which supports improving our public transportation system. It is just wrong to hear politicians say they won’t support public transportation because the people they represent are well of and always use their personal vehicles.