Living Near Good Public Transit Makes Me Happier

Ji Yon's favorite subway station in Seoul

Ji Yon’s favorite subway station in Seoul

Recently I read an interesting article about how good transit makes people happier. Jason Cao, a transport policy scholar at the University of Minnesota completed a study that concluded that well-planned public transportation may mean more than a simple ride – it may be a positive emotional force.

After reading this article, I thought about my past emotional experiences from both living near and far from public transit. When I used to live near transit, it was hard for me to appreciate how comfortable and convenient access to transportation can be. However, after experiencing two years in California, a place where buses were only found after a 30 minute drive, I learned to appreciate the importance of accessible transportation systems as a means to enrich living standards.

Train activities: naps, socializing, studying

Train activities: naps, socializing, studying

Some people think of public transportation as only a way to provide freedom and access to people without cars. I believe that public transportation definitely does way more than its main purpose. For some people, it becomes a library where they can catch up on their everyday reading or daily news. With earphones, it becomes a private concert hall with one’s taste of music. For students, it becomes a study room where they can do the last cram for the big exams. For many tired ones, it serves as a napping chair. Whatever you wish or need to do, taking public transit gives you the pleasure of a few extra moments.

Transit takes one everywhere and is used for many purposes. People in Seoul could not imagine themselves going to work or anywhere else without riding on buses or subways. I believe that transit in cities, especially in a big city, with a big population is crucial – as it could be the last bastion of busy city people’s source of relaxation and serenity.

Screenshot_2013-09-17-11-47-28 (1)by Ji Yon Kim
CITYNET Intern
Student at University of California, Irvine

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