It was a sunny morning in Ville Émard. I had decided to take my children, aged 6 and 8, to spend the day at Parc Molson for the Foire des Possibles. In my mind, everything was clear: I wanted to be consistent with my values of sustainable mobility. There was no question of taking the car, even though FabMobQC’s Planner predicted a 20-minute journey. I had opted for public transport, despite a predicted journey time of 55 minutes.
With my cart in hand, loaded with food, books, a half-tent for a bit of privacy amidst the festive crowd, and of course, my exhibitor materials for representing Fabrique des Mobilités QC’s Mobiclic project, I set off. My children, excited about the adventure, snuggled into the cart, anticipating a long day of play at the park.
The first stop was Jolicoeur station, newly renovated with a new elevator. A big thank you to the craftsmen for that. I avoided the transfer at Lionel-Groulx, opting for Berri-UQAM instead. This transfer proved a bit more complicated with the kids and the cart, but we managed. At Jean-Talon, the directions were a bit more confusing, and the D’Iberville station was less welcoming with its long escalators. Google Maps suggested taking the bus to go faster, but with the cart, equipment, and children, it wasn’t a viable option.
After a 1.5-hour journey, we finally arrived at Parc Molson. The children, exhausted but happy, complained about the “disgusting” food (in their words) – apples and grapes. I smiled, thinking about the ease our Subaru Outback would have offered. But would I have been consistent in talking about sustainable mobility after arriving by car? And was the car, although faster, really the better choice?
The adage “time is money” is well-known, but it’s essential to recognize that the value of time is not measured solely in monetary terms. The time spent with family, experiences lived, and memories created have an immeasurable value that often surpasses the simple financial equation. Here are some reflections to help you reconcile your commitments to sustainability with the well-being of your family:
1. Education and Awareness
By choosing public transport and adopting a sustainable approach, you show your children the importance of making environmentally respectful decisions. This is a valuable lesson that will help them become responsible citizens.
2. Quality of Time Spent Together
The subway journey can be transformed into an adventure or a learning moment for your children. Tell stories, play observation games, or simply have a conversation. These moments can strengthen family bonds.
3. Health and Well-being
Walking to the metro station or park is an excellent physical activity. It can help reduce stress, improve mental and physical health, and offer a welcome break in the digital age.
4. Financial Perspective
If time is money, think about the hidden costs of owning a car: insurance, maintenance, depreciation, fuel, etc. By using public transport, you might realize long-term savings.
5. Impact on the Community
By supporting public transport, you help reduce road congestion, improve air quality, and create a greener, more sustainable community.
The value of time is not measured just in dollars and cents. The moments spent with family, the lessons taught, and the memories created have profound value. By staying true to your commitments to sustainability, you offer your family an enriching perspective on life while contributing to a better future for everyone.
Article written by Jeremy Laplante