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Out of the Mouths of Babes

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On: Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 12:14PM | By: Karen Cook


Out of the Mouths of Babes

When my oldest son was young he had a bad attitude toward the status quo. He watched his parents go to work every day to earn money and then send most of that money away to pay for things like electricity and water bills, cable and credit cards, and, of course, gas and insurance. In an effort to minimize his need to succumb to such a slavish existence, he vowed never to have a credit card and to never go anywhere that he couldn’t get to on his bike. He managed to secure his first three jobs within riding distance of our house. I pointed out that it would be inconvenient and unprofessional to clock-in dripping water on the floor if it happened to be raining, but this was of little concern to him in his “big picture” concept. He did eventually give in and buy a car (which he lived in for six months), but that’s a story for another day. He never used public transportation which I always thought would have been the perfect compromise.

The people of Milan are using public transportation for different reasons. They are not making a moral stand. There just isn’t enough room on their narrow, winding streets for everyone to drive. In an effort to cut down on the traffic, the government is paying its residents NOT to drive.

The public transport department has teamed up with Unipol, a major insurance agency in Europe and Octo Telematics. That’s the company that makes the “black boxes” used in airliners. If you have your insurance with Unipol you can opt to have a box made by Octo Telematics installed on your vehicle. It will track where your car is during the day. If you leave it at home or in a parking lot between the hours of 7:30am and 7:30pm, this information will be reported to the public transport department. Every day you leave your car parked the government sends you 1.50 euros.

It’s not a huge gain. It’s about $1.84, but it is enough to purchase a bus or train pass. You can still use your vehicle to go out at night or grocery shopping after work, but by taking public transportation to work every day you can drastically reduce the amount of traffic in urban areas which leads to a reduction in air pollution and road rage, and also frees the streets for ambulances and other emergency vehicles.

My son doesn’t have cable but he does have a car and eventually a credit card. He was wise when he was young though. Maybe he should move to Milan.

1217 arm




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