It was with pleasure that I ditched my car last weekend and hopped on the biodiesel shuttle to the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival. Imagine my surprise when the driver, Marv, informed me that I was the sole passenger from Durham, Chapel Hill or Carrboro, a day and a half into the festival. He had been on the verge of giving up and going home when I showed up and "restored his faith in humanity."
I just couldn't get my head around the fact that the 16-person van had made multiple pointless trips while the parking lots of Shakori filled up with the cars of festival-goers. Marv and I talked about this on the way out there and decided that many people just don't want to give up the freedom and security of having their own transportation. I understand that not everyone travels as lightly or has as much flexibility in their schedules as I do, but at the same time I think that a few more people could have worked it out with a little planning. I don't say this to preach or judge and I'm not an activist. I just think we need to have a serious think about this.
The federal government won't front the money for a desperately needed mass railway system in the Triangle. They say that no one will ride it. I always thought that was hogwash until I got disillusioned last weekend. If a bunch of Weaver Street devotees can't be convinced to hitch a biodiesel ride to a grassroots festival on Earth Day weekend, then the government is unfortunately correct.