Friday, May 16, 2014

Taking the train -- Friday's IOTUT

Train's eye view of PA countryside

Welcome to another edition of Friday's Instead Of This, Use This. Today we're talking transportation.

I traveled across the state of Pennsylvania yesterday to attend the Pennwriters Conference in Lancaster. I can't tell you how many times I vacillated between driving and taking Amtrak. Once I was planted in the dining car of the train, laptop open, steaming coffee and a pastry beside me, I wondered why I ever tortured myself with the debate. For me, traveling by train is heaven. Seriously.

Dining car of the Pennsylvanian Train 42

So why the debate? There were several reasons, but one of the main ones involved my independence. I don't like having to depend on others to pick me up and take me where I need to go. It's as simple as that. I don't like not having a car to take me where I want to go when I want to go there. I guess it's the same for people who don't like to carpool to work every day. Let's face it, having a car available is convenient. 

Sitting in the dining care with my laptop and coffee
But since I am trying to live a greener lifestyle, I believe I made the right choice. After all, I just kept my car off the road for a 500 mile round trip. Cool. Cost wise, there wasn't much of a difference. The train was $51 each way. Between turnpike tolls and gas I would have spend close to that, not to mention wear and tear on the car. Add in the fact that I could actually work while on the train, and I came out way ahead than had I driven. Naturally, the cost factor would change if I was traveling with a family.

Horseshoe Curve Altoona, PA

While it's not always possible, if you have the option, my advice for this Friday's edition of IOTUT is -- instead of driving, use the train.

Keeping it green with better choices,

How do you green your travel routine?

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