Civilized Travel

I’m so jealous.

I’m writing this in the absolutely magnificent St. Pancris station in London, using the free, fast wifi while waiting for the Eurostar to depart for Paris.

I may be jinxing us by saying this, but so far we’ve found travel far more efficient than our experiences at home led us to expect.

We’ve flown Baltic Air twice and Ryan Air once–each time leaving promptly on time, with a minimum of fuss. No removing our shoes, no “getting intimate” with security personnel. No boarding by row numbers. (In the case of Ryan Air, no assigned seats.)

We flew from Dublin to Birmingham, and took the train directly from the airport to London’s Euston Station. The train was high speed; we were served breakfast, and there was free wifi. Businesspeople plugged in their laptops and worked, and there was no clickety-clack to disturb them–it was smooth continous rail. When we arrived in London, we walked three blocks to St. Pancreas, which, in addition to being beautifully renovated, is immaculate and inviting. The rest of our trip to Berlin will also be by rail.

Trains here are modern and clean. Electronic signs on the platforms tell how many minutes until the next arrivals; similar signs are at bus stops. (We have access to the technology, but to my knowledge it isn’t being used by IndyGo. It would be helpful in Indianapolis, since unlike the five-minute headways here, our buses run every forty minutes or so, and are frequently late.)

It’s so civilized to travel on a dependable, integrated transportation system. We could have such a system, if we had the political will.

Instead, we aren’t even repairing our bridges.


  1. Ditto on Denmark.
    Not only is the home of Lille Frue a magnet for bicycle enthusiasts, but the Metro and S trains in Copenhagen are magnificent. The U.S. could learn alot by borrowing some backbone and investment in efficient effective and affordable public transit.

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