This post continues the rough draft of Chapter 7, section III, part B, for my non-fiction WiP (get the free published versions here) intended to explain and begin Project Do Better, fka Baby Floors (fka Baby Acres, or Acre Baby…). I’m posting it for later comparison with the current 3rd Draft of this WiP. Phase I, with our mass transit piece of Public Domain Social Infrastructure, starts now.
Comment on Part I: Dreaming, in Draft 3 of the book. To comment on chapter 7, in Part II: Engineering, look here…
Putting a floor on poverty so that each and every baby born can have a safe childhood.
Outlines for chapter 7 are already at the bottom of section II’s posts.
Once again, by way of disclaimer, the overall goal is now to explain why we need both equ. + justice, & why in 4 phases. This chapter is part of showing what Phases I-IV could look like as potential roadmap for a fully inclusive society for all of us. This vision is laid out in the hope that All HumanKind will eventually have each person’s basic needs met, without taking anything from anyone, and without violence, intimidation, nor coercion of any kind.
(Chapter 7, section III. A. was last week) :
1. (365/250 wds)
The later years of Phase I, for mass transit, may be fraught with many time related challenges, as we work to complete the task of educating the entire public on the need for the middle classes to ride and advocate for funding of public transportation. Lobbying must be strongly taken up by the more well to do members of society, as the also use their cars less, and ride mass transit far, far, more. This will show both them and our lawmakers that all of the public is serious about improving mass transit, for our freedom, and for our planet. Many job advertisements include a requirement for “own reliable transportation” as a condition of applying for, or actually obtaining, employment. This should be prohibited, as it discriminates against both the many people unable to drive, and also against the improvement of the very mass transit systems that would solve this problem. Education and policy advocacy, moving into the lobbying phase at this point in the project, should also focus on the lower cost of mass transit in a variety of ways, especially of rail, for society. Another way in which we could expand the benefits of rail transportation is to make the price of nation wide rail transport, now in the hands of Amtrak, roughly the same as the cost of public subway transportation in most cities. Expanded ridership could well pay back this cost much sooner than we think, if high speed trains become the norm soon enough. This point in the project should also see the expansion of lobbying for light metro systems, like the VAL, or automated light rail line, in Rennes, with a stop within one mile of every place of employment, and of the average person’s home. One more innovation for mass transit may come as a surprise proposal, but it may add nuance and utility to the public transportation experience. Creating several choice tiers for riders of public transit, including free fare for those who wish to stand during their trip, the standard fare for seated passengers, and a slightly higher fare, waived for students, for those wishing to use ‘study compartments’ with desks or tables, during their commute.
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The later stages of Phase I, for public transportation, should be fairly straight forward in terms of measurements and determining whether we have hit our milestones, thus far. There should, by this point or shortly thereafter, be free door to door transportation provided for the elderly and for those persons in a state, permanently or temporarily disabled, essentially, unable to navigate the mass transit system in their town or city. This should be an automatic service, provided without the need for tokens, or long waits on the telephone to access these services. There should be in the works, by this time, firm plans for a light rail in every city connecting to airports, schools, hospitals, and obviously shopping, etc, easily within reach of every housing development so that there is no need for a car, if one does not wish to drive. It seems reasonable, therefore, that there should be a light rail stop, preferably, or a bus stop, within one mile of the average person’s home, in both the cities and in the suburbs, and within 2 miles does not seem unreasonable out in rural areas. By this time, or at the latest, by the end of Phase I, there should certainly be connected rail systems, allowing one to use public transportation, to all cities across the country. Safe sidewalks, level and with cuts in appropriate places for those who need to use canes, walkers, or are simply unable to step up and over a curb, and fully protected bike paths, with hard barriers between the bike lane and vehicular traffic, should, by the end of Phase I, be provided all the way from every residential area into every mass transit center.
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The tools in use, as with the activities, like our 1-minute acts for togetherness, should be joined, at this point, with pursuit of greater lobbying and legal action, in service to public transportation that is truly accessible to all residents and visitors to our country. After all, why should others boast of excellent trains when we were the ones who invented them? Walking and social media activities should continue apace, gathering steam, as we see, acknowledge, and act upon the increased need to develop new tools better suited to the growing awareness and use of mass transit. Lobbying for some level of free mass transit, perhaps beginning with the standing passengers, and of course completely free travel for the elderly and disabled, should begin at this point, if it has not already started, and must remember to help raise awareness, educate around the benefits of this new policy, and advocate for it among both our lawmakers and the upper classes, at the same time. Getting middle and upper SES residents to use mass transit could go a long way toward solving many of our society’s problems, in addition to the transit system itself. Building empathy begins with being in the same boat, or on the same train, in this case. While ‘study compartments’ may be new for American public transportation, it is not a difficult thing to add, and could encourage not only students, but professionals like lawyers, professors, teachers, business people, and others who need to use their commuting time productively to read papers, mark up plans, or simply to think and brainstorm new ideas onto paper, with a desk or table to facilitate that task en route to work. Adding to the set of new tools could be something like a ‘walk 1 mile, bike 2, together for commuting with community’ days, possibly even making fares free on those days, in order to encourage them. Finally, increasing the campaign for ‘Transit Tourism’ could result in large gains in both visitor ridership, and even in resident ridership, particularly if residents volunteer to show out of town visitors the hidden gems of the local community.
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Finally, in the last stages of Phase I, it should go without saying that fully accessible and dependable public transportation is a crucial common good, and that it needs robust support and upgrading. The multiple nuances of transit, such as standing, seated, or study, needed to fit the needs of travelers and commuters of various NeedSpecificationsFindABetterWordHere, fills both a practical role and a symbolic role. The practical is that of actually meeting the needs of different types of commuters, while the symbolic is that of getting to where we need to go, with what we need done, done. For those commuters, in particular, who need to use that commute time to do HW in peace, the ‘study compartment’ can be both practical, for getting that HW done during otherwise ‘dead time,’ and also symbolic of hope. For a young student pinning her hopes for surviving and thriving in this world on getting an education while working full time, this hope is crucial, not only to her, but to all of our society. Transportation, in general, has always been both a practical way to get around, and also, as travel, a representation of freedom. It should be such for all of us, without exception. The graduated levels of seating serves the practical use of meeting the needs of various travelers more efficiently, while symbolizing the fact that there is a wide variety of tools and solutions available to us, if we only seek to create them, together. Finally, by the end of this phase, 15 years since the start of our project, we hope to see another phenomenon beginning to take off, possibly even around the world: Transit Tourism. This kind of tourism, apart from being more environmentally friendly, and even local economy friendly, not to mention meeting the transport needs of the tourist in a new city, also offers a symbol of hope, for all of the world.
— (Next Wednesday: Chapter 7, section III. C. … )
I’m considering this Rough Draft as the block of clay from which my book will eventually emerge, obviously, and some ideas for phases III and IV are still becoming more fixed in my mind as I write, so the final version will likely look pretty different from this Rough Draft, and will need updating once I get to the very end.
And once again, yeayyy( !!)with regard to audience, I may have at least a couple of comps: Walden Two meets The War on Poverty: A Civilian Perspective (by Dr.s Jean and Edgar Cahn, 1964). I know that lots of people consider Skinner’s writing to be stilted, but I like the tilt of most reviewers, in that the idea is that a community should keep trying policies that members agree upon until they find what works for all of them.
As for genre, I’m still wondering: clearly part of Non-fiction.
Many thanks to Dr. Garland for suggesting Philosophy!
Maybe also: System Change, Causes, maybe even Inspirational, perhaps.
1.) Consider sharing some ideas you may have on how our society can solve homelessness and child abuse, starting right now,
2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those sources and your thoughts.
Thoughtful Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness, #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?
Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure & #StopSmoking at LEAST for CCOVID-19:
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,
by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to
We can Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future
Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS
the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE
Stayed on Freedom’s Call
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.
Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.
Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page, and please do let us know here that you’ve reviewed it there! 🙂
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.