Yesterday, I had to take the public bus to work. If you follow me on Twitter (@WhineLess), you know this was my first ride on public transportation. And I was more than a bit nervous! I had looked at the bus company’s website to learn what I could expect, but it really didn’t answer all my questions. From the website, I learned:
- Bus will take cash, tokens or bus pass. I assumed exact change was needed.But what form of cash?! Do I need coins? Or do I need dollar bills? I never have cash. I had to go to the ATM on Sunday. I meant to break the $20 somewhere, but totally forgot to do it. So Monday morning I was digging through my newly acquired coin collection for enough bus fare.
- Enter the bus at the front. Exit the rear door. But how does the bus know when you want off?
- Bus would be at my stop every 30 minutes on the half hour.
The stop where I was to get on is 0.2 miles from my house. Just around a corner really. I decided I would leave my house at 8:20 AM to catch the 8:30 AM bus. Figured I would get there in plenty of time. Well, halfway there I hear a bus coming but 1) assumed it was going the other direction and 2) that it was too early to be my bus. Wrong on both counts! The 8:30 AM bus came at 8:23 AM. Good to know! But I was down a side street and no way the bus driver could see. Not that I was running in my work skirt anyway!
I proceeded on to the bus stop thinking I would be in for a 35+ minute wait for the next bus. The quarters in my hand quickly became warm and all I could think about was all the germs on money and how my hand was now going to smell like quarters. Ick.
While waiting, this fun guy whizzed by…
It was some sort of scooter/bike/trike thing. Pretty cool!
Back to the bus. I was wrong again! The next bus came at 8:46 AM. Not 8:30 AM, not 9:00 AM. I realized the bus schedule is not at all accurate. As I boarded with my hand full of hot, smelly quarters, I wasn’t sure what to do with. So I just asked the bus driver. Where do these go? He pointed to a box/machine mounted next to him. It took coins and dollars and counted them as it received them.
Then it was time to take my seat. What if the bus was packed? What if I didn’t have a choice who I got to sit next to. Flash back to school years and terror struck! Wait. I didn’t ride the bus as a kid. I lived close enough to walk K-8. And then by the time high school came around, I had older friends that drove me. Ok, present day bus. My fears were for nothing! There were only 3 other people on the bus. A college student, a gal my age and an older gentleman. Score! I had my choice of bus seats.
My main objective once seated was to watch how people got off the bus. I thought it would be a lot more technical than it was. But nope, it’s a pretty simple system. There is a cord that runs down each side of the bus. You just pull it if you want off at the next stop and it alerts the driver a stop has been requested. The next stop is displayed and announced at the front of the bus all along the route.
I’m not really sure why I thought it important to know how to get off because I was riding the bus to the end of it’s route. The main bus station is 0.3 miles from my office. Perfect location!
So my bus ride was rather pleasant. Not very good people watching, but clean and quiet. The ride itself took twice as long as it takes me to drive it. But I enjoyed the experience. I am still seriously considering selling my car entirely. I only go over to my office in that city a couple times a week. And while I’m there, I have my own department vehicle. Everything else is done in my town and easily within walking distance.
But yesterday, other than taking the bus for the experience of it, I had a very good reason. I was picking up my rental car for vacation! I am officially on vacation for two weeks! Today is get ready (hair & pedicure!) and pack day. Tomorrow I head out on a road trip back home to the Midwest! I am stopping to see a couple friends (and meet a blogger!) along the way in Utah and Colorado. I have never even been to Colorado. I can’t wait!
My blogging over the next few days may be pretty non-existent. I will try to at least tweet along the way.
See you on the flip side!
What’s the longest road trip you have been on?
Do you take public transportation?