Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Multitude of Transportation Modes and My Favorite

If you conduct research on networks with a focus on transportation and logistics and teach a variety of related courses on such topics you cannot just sit and stare at a computer terminal (as I am doing now).

You need to be out in the real world to view not only what is happening as a spectator and bystander but also to experience what you research and instruct.

While spending (I just got back the US late on Saturday) another full month in Sweden I never was in a car except for the taxi to and from the airport in Gothenburg (and the rides to and from Amherst to Boston Logan to get to and from Europe).

Imagine -- how many of us in the US can say that we were never in a car for one month!

But the modes of transport that were available to me in Sweden were wonderful:

I could walk and in Gothenburg there are pedestrian walkways, lined with trees and many with bicycle lanes:

I could rent a bike (even the University of Gothenburg makes bikes available, I was told):

I could ride trams and I certainly did and loved the experience and, of course, I flew on planes to get to and from Europe.

I took trains.
My colleague even drove me in her golfcart on the island on which he lives in the Gothenburg archipelago where cars are forbidden (imagine transporting furniture on a golf cart).

All in all, my favorite mode of transport besides my two feet which transported me for miles was the ferries and specifically for the beauty of the views and the people that I got to talk to en route. The rides were too short!

I'll have a lot to share in my courses with new students when I return from my sabbatical.