Sunday, October 25, 2015

Eco-mobility month

October is eco-mobility month in Sandton. Technically I'm in favour of the concent; the only thing is the people who can use the train and carpool options are already doing so. I drive 30 minutes to my nearest train station and then zip to Sandton in 4 minutes, but the cost of those 4 minutes is R68 (R25 X 2 + R18 parking for the day). And I've tried driving and Gautraining it, and there is no saving of real time, except in the case of bridges collapsing, extreme accidents on the highway, and so on.

Only one loop around the edge was going to be open to private vehicles, and the rest of it was going to be closed so people could cycle/ walk/ use the train, etc.

Glenhove Road

I will freely admit that I dreaded this month happening. I'm not a fan of my very fragile transport routines being interrupted at the best of times and this seemed like people messing about for no good reason.

However, there has been NO difference. I lie - the traffic is actually better. Now, the eco-mobility people sent out a glowing newsletter two weeks in saying the venture is a resounding success.

I'm not convinced. Many people are doing something different to avoid going into Sandton. D's entire team is working from home this month, except for one office day a week.

We were going to do the same but I actually prefer working at the office and not at my hot house (hello, lovely aircon in the Jhb heatwave) with D's loud mouse clicks (!). He says I'm too loud too (I talk to my emails, don't you?). No surprise to either of us because I've always said I would never be able to work with him.

How can they say it's a success when people have changed their habits for this month only? If things continue in this vein and the traffic remains awesome, then yes. But until then, I think it's very premature.

view from the M1 in a completely stationary car

So when there was no disruption to me getting in to work, I just kept going in every day. There was the day the bridge collapsed and the following morning I took the train in, but that has been the only "disruption" and to be brutally honest, how can I complain about sitting in 2 hours 15 minutes of traffic when 3 people died?!

I arranged PLENTY of friend dates (lunches and a supper), appointments at the dentist and optometrist so I've been maximising the eco-mobility-ness :) Because I've been driving myself mostly, I've gone through nearly 2 audible books (I will finish number 2 this week) and TONS of podcasts.

You know what? I still got things done at work. So now I'm thinking I need to do more of this in and out of the office (I actually like being at my desk, working, with the occasional chit-chat and meetings) because it's the best of both worlds, right?

spying on a colleague :)

On Tuesday there's a scheduled political march in the area so I'll be leaving at lunch, and then on Friday I have my last friend date for the month, so that will be the end of this anti-climactic month. But I'm hoping to take some of the mindset that "I can still leave the office whenever the heck I want" into November and December.

How has eco-mobility month worked for you? (if you're affected)

Otherwise, do you prefer to work at home or the office? Is it even an option?

(in that last horrible job, the only time I'd be working at home is after hours when done in addition to office hours)

PS I bought some vanilla-flavoured sweetener today and am having a normal cup of tea with this sweetener. It's very weird because suddenly - vanilla tea! Really lovely.


  1. I've always been Eco- mobile, since that option became available. No way I'm
    Sitting in grayston/sandton traffic ever I can avoid it. My office gave us the option of working from home but interestingly most people haven't taken the option. Some
    Colleagues are coming earlier so they get to leave earlier too.
    The grayston accident :( :( :(

    1. Ps: I prefer to work in the office but I like the flexibility of knowing I can work at home if I want or need to - and thankfully we've been given some data to that

  2. I will never get anything done at home if the kids are there - way too noisy. That accident was terrible - we had one of A's friends with us after swimming (it was pre arranged - the mom was in Joburg for a conference) on the day of the accident. Luckily we could help. The dad picked her up at 7 after his day (he traveled to another city for a meeting) but the mom got home after 9. But they were all safe - other than the 3 people that were not as you so clearly point out.

  3. I also have the option of work from home...but October was my last month at I had to train the new lady. But I have noticed no difference in the traffic....
    PS...I also talk to my email...

  4. I generally prefer to be in the office, but I am very thankful for the opportunity to work from home if I have a sick kiddo (KNOCK ON WOOD, that's not often!) or if it snows (also not often, thankfully!). It's amazing to me...and this makes me sound old!!! easy it is to work from home now, though. If I have my work computer, I can dial in to all the systems. And even on my home computer I can access email. That was not the case before the girls were least not with that ease.

    Enjoy that flexibility for the next couple of months! Sounds lovely!

  5. No such thing as work from home for me. The work we do is so team orientated, that it is a problem if someone is missing. Also, I prefer not to mix home and work, however, with big school starting, it would have been great to have time at home for holidays.

  6. I would love to ride the subway to and from. It actually starts near my house and goes right out towards school. While passes are ridiculously cheap, parking is astronomical. I would also need a car to continue from the end of subway to my destination. But if I could use the subway my commute would go from 45-60 minutes to 20 which is heavenly. Public transport here needs revamping!

  7. I avoid Sandton all the time. I actually have a new rule - if I can't get there by the train, I don't go. I may actually have a problem, I am avoiding these sorts of situations more and more.

    I work from home. I am not sure I would actually ever be able to work in an office again. I am too used to having my own space.

  8. I so want to be able to get out of the house and work in adult company at least for part of the day! Flexible and work-from-home options would be the best. Then I could still attend to family things as needed, but have a grown-up, quiet, interruption-free place to go to and get things done!

  9. It is practically impossible for me to work from home for two reasons. Number 1 being that working from home is frowned upon at my job. Number 2 being Gemma. It may be different when she starts school next year and isn't in the house constantly asking to be picked up, to play, to bang on the pc etc...

    Ecomobility month has been a disaster for me traffic wise. The first two days it was lovely and then it went to hell in a handbasket. What usually takes me just on an hour was taking me up to two hours one way daily. Not very successful in my case as there were no real alternatives for me to use that were cost effective and realible in terms of public transport from my area.

    The Grayston bridge is right by my office - aweful day! We heard the bridge go down and all the rescue operations etc as well. Terrible tradegy yet amazing how we've all gone on with life - using the very hiway that was the subject of all news for 24 hours.


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