“I have been commuting by car for five years and I have seen the traffic in Sandton getting worse and worse every day. I used to live farther away, but then I moved closer to Sandton because I hated commuting. I have never been a fan of driving a car, I think it contributes to a bad culture.
The EcoMobility Festival suits me perfectly. First I thought the festival was stupid. I was worried, I thought that it would be a chaos as soon as the festival starts, but I found it to be very well organized. Then I saw that the park and ride spot is quite close to my home! So now during the Festival, I am using the Putco bus from the park and ride in Cresta to Sandton. I have never been on a bus before! I walk three kilometers to the Shopping Mall where the park and ride is. The walk towards the bus stop is easy, the bus stop is good to find and people are very helpful. I will maintain it for the whole month. I am really happy, it is the right thing to do.
There are so many reasons for me to change the way I commute. I see walking as an exercise. When you work the whole week, you don’t have much time for exercise. Now I just combine my commute with exercising, so I have more free time on the weekend. You meet new people on the bus, and everyone who is doing it is excited. There is a lady working in my office, I never talked to her before. This morning we were sitting in the same bus and we were chatting. Furthermore, I recently started an online training, so I use the time on the bus to watch videos.
For me it is relatively easy to change my mode of commute because I don’t have kids. I think about the parents who need to bring their children to school before they go to work. For them it is very difficult to change their commute.
Choosing Sandton as location for this festival is quite a big statement. It is really a bold step, you get a lot of angry people. But I love the festival, it makes the problems visible, and it makes the changes visible that are necessary. I think it is good that it forces people to make a change.”
Sarah, lives in Creston, works at a bank in Sandton
Featured Photo: Simphiwe Nkwali, courtesy City of Johannesburg
Photo Sarah: Tobias Kuttler, courtesy The Urban Idea