Sustainability | Transit
Taxis and Payphones
A Monday Dispatch ~ October 16, 2023
For this edge series I call my dispatch, I write about sustainability, resilience, and opportunity. Sometimes more specifically on urban development, mass transit, connectivity, regional planning. I realize now I have yet to write about trees. Rather unusual, since I am a devote advocate for urban forests. I live in one, in fact.
Today, however, I write about travel and connectivity.
From this patch of urban forest, I can take the bus to the train station and take another train or bus to somewhere else in the USA. I don’t often do so, but it is an option. I do prefer ground travel, after all.
I could even consider traveling by train to another city for work. Although taking a daily commuter train in this region incurs a silly cost, there are trains available.
What is striking to me is that there is not a taxi stand at the local train station. Nor a payphone. Unless you are taking a bus from the train station, or walking, or someone is picking you up, you must have a cell phone to order car service.
Doesn’t this seem odd?
What if I just want to take a taxi to wherever I am going next?
You can call the taxi service, if you have the direct number, but again… you need a cell phone to do so.
I suppose this is a plea for public payphones and Wi-Fi at transit centers.
Here are some scenarios that unfold: someone does not have a cell phone, and so must rely on local businesses to offer their phone to make a call. OR someone has a cell phone but is traveling internationally, and they just need Wi-Fi to order a car or make a call to a friend.
Have you ever tried to order a taxi for someone you don’t know? It’s not particularly easy to do. I know, because I have tried several times, as I work in one of the aforementioned local businesses near the station.
The folks who cannot readily order a taxi are left to the kindness of strangers to direct them to the next possible place that has the…