To Wait or to Walk, That Is the Question

bus stop people waiting on snowy day photo

Photograph by D'Arcy Norman via Flickr.

Sure, it's important for researchers to invent algae-based jet fuel and make solar concentrators more effective, but why isn't anyone addressing the real pressing issues of a treehugger's day-to-day life? Like whether it's worth waiting for the bus, or if you're better off hoofing it? Finally, someone has.
One of the bright notions featured in the 2008 installment of The New York Times Magazine's "Year in Ideas" issue is something called the "bus-wait formula," devised by three students from Harvard and Cal Tech. Their number-crunching revealed that patience is generally a virtue.

Buses, after all, are usually punctual and move much faster than you. If you start walking and catch the bus halfway through your journey, you might consider yourself fortunate — but even then you won't have gotten to your destination any faster. What's more ... waiting allows you to "optimize" your time, because you could get some work done while hanging out at the bus stop. There's also a practical problem with walking, because people who decide to walk usually pause at each stop to see if a bus is coming, which drags their journey out.

Of course, we all know every city has a bus line or two that's notoriously bad, so there may be some exceptions to this rule. And there's certainly nothing wrong with walking if you want to get some exercise. But after a long day's work, it's awfully nice to be able to have a little laziness be the logical choice. Via: "Year In Ideas 2008," The New York Times Magazine
More from the Year In Ideas:
Kinder, Gentler Demolition: A Bright Idea from Japan
Ecuador Extends Rights To Ecosystems
The Best of the New York Times' Year in Ideas
New York Times Covers TreeHugger
More about riding the bus:
How to Ride the Bus!
Top Public Transportation Tips
Transportation: Ride a Bus in the Winter and Survive
7 Safety Tips For Taking the Bus Across Country
Stop Waiting for Public Transit by Using NextBus
How Many People Need to Ride the Bus?
Innovative Ways to Make Taking the Bus More Attractive in Boulder
Riding a Better Bus
HopStop: City Transit Guide for Bus and Subway Directions

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