Friday night I hung out with my friend in the MBA program. [Aside: C and I were on the same freshman hall in undergrad, then we both moved to North Carolina for graduate school at the same time, so now we’re in school together again. Small world.]

Planning seemed to be a familiar concept to most of his classmates, especially among the real estate folks (there’s a whole concentration in my program for economic development and real estate, so it makes sense that there would be parallels). I enjoyed hearing from them about what brought them to North Carolina…and, of course, since the business school is on the opposite side of campus from where I attend class, I geeked out a bit asking them all how they commuted and where they lived and whether they had cars and what they thought of CH Transit.

Hearing about transportation from non-planning students was refreshing. We get in our own little planning world where everyone is supportive of biking and walking and transit, and forget that most of the world doesn’t think about this stuff all the time.

A few highlights:

  • C has been driving every day to class, but admitted that he was getting tired of it. So he took a bet (not on my urging, I swear) to walk to and from class for 10 days straight! Of course I asked him to do a guest post, and he agreed (cough-C-now-you-are-publicly-accountable-for-it-cough).
  • A few of the students I spoke with didn’t have a car, just like me! They’d come from big cities, also like me: New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, and DC. Some of them were biking or carpooling to class, and one person was walking. It made me happy to meet a fellow walker.
  • We took my first Uber in Chapel Hill (!) to move from one person’s house to another. I protested, but not well enough. It was about a mile with temperatures still in the 80s, so comfort while walking would have been an issue, and with 5 people in our group the cost to take an Uber was extremely low. Still, not the mode I would have chosen had I been by myself. But good to know that Uber is alive and well in the area in case I ever need it.

Given that I’ll be sharing my trips taken by different modes, I’ve added some additional info to my trip details. Check it out:

Trip: MLK Blvd. – Rosemary St.
Total trip time: 4 minutes
Total trip distance: 0.9 miles
Mode: Car (UberXL)
Line: N/A
Frequency: N/A
Level of crowding: 5 people in 1 UberXL
Trip quality: 4 of 5 stars (+ for expediency, comfort, cost and – for environmental and congestion impacts)

Stay tuned for that guest post from C!

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