Reflections on the Transportation Challenge


Transportation is critical to each and every one of our lives. We have built our society in such a way that we expect people to get to places on time. With oncoming meetings in different places and other obligatory places to be, sometimes we don’t have the power to choose where to go. What we often forget, however, is that we do have the power to choose how we get there.

And that was the case in my life. The car used to be the only mode of transportation that I used or cared about. The thought of walking, biking, or busing never made it into me. I would reach for the car door handle before even realizing the consequences of my trip.

This is how SYCAN has transformed my life. I now bus, carpool, or walk everywhere I go. This transition was rough at first, so here are the steps that it took me to get there:
Start considering the idea that there are other modes of transportation besides the car. This step is the hardest, because it is so easy to always just take the car.
Gather a network of people who live near you. This will help especially when you need to find carpools.

Identify where the bus stops near you are. Often times they are closer than you think. If not, there are many videos on the internet about how to use bike racks!
Find convenient stores that are within walking and biking range.

These steps take less time than you would think and after completing them, it feels a lot better to know that taking personal action to have a positive impact on the environment is possible.

The Microsoft Interns have made a team that has dedicated itself to the transportation challenge that just wrapped up. For some, the bus has already been a part of their daily schedule, and the transportation challenge has been a seamless experience. However, for many others, it has been extremely hard step.

These steps above have helped me and members of the team through this challenge, and it has helped us win week five and six with the most total miles not driven alone!

Remember this: you no longer need a cape or a superhero mask to change the world. You just need a bus pass.

By Masayuki Nagase