Monday, May 05, 2008

Finally taking action

Ok, I think everyone is in agreement. Gas Prices are CRAZY! It cost us 60$ to fill the tank of the van. And even though the van gets markedly better gas mileage than the SUV, I can't spend 120$ a paycheck just to get to and from work.

So today I finally took the plunge. I'd been thinking about it for a long time, but I just couldn't avoid it any longer.

I took the bus to work.

And I'm so proud of myself! I know this is SO not a big deal to many folks. But I never lived in a city. My first city bus ride didn't happen at all till I was in college, and even then it was only on campus where the buses arrive every 10-15 minutes and so missing one is no big deal. City buses though, they're on 30-60 minute routes. If I miss a connection I have to wait up to an HOUR at a bus stop for the next one. And I don't have a cellphone to call Tom to come rescue me.

But I mapped out my route, and it went really smoothly this morning.

Really, the choice between riding the bus and driving to work should be a no-brainer for me. I mean it's FREE! It's not even "cost of gas v.s. cost of bus." It's "FREE vs. 120$ a month." (Oh I suppose we'll have to spend some money on gas still. Can't expect Tom and Nicky to always stay home.)

Anyway though, just for giggles let's look at my PROs and CONs list along with some random fears I had/have about riding the city buses.

On the PRO side:
As a university employee I can ride the buses for free just by showing my ID.
There is a bus stop within sight of my front door.
The bus arrives at my stop at 7:30am-ish and so I get to work EARLY and can then leave work EARLY!
Tom and Nicky don't have to get up and ready to leave with me in the morning.
Tom and Nicky don't make two trips to and from my work every day to drop me off and pick me up.
The bus drops me off within sight of the building I work in, and I only have to cross the road once (in the morning) and can easily do so at a light.

The CON side:
The bus arrives at my stop at 7:30am-ish in the morning! Usually I am not even awake by then.
I miss out on riding with Tom and Nicky in the morning, and being greeted by them in the afternoon.
There is one transfer I have to make and it's at the downtown bus station. While it's actually much nicer than I feared, although it is still a stone's throw from the street where the hookers walk.
If I miss my bus in the afternoon I'll have to wait an HOUR at the downtown bus station.

Random stupid fears I have had about taking the bus:
Getting hassled or mugged at the downtown station.
Being around crazy, drugged, or drunk people. (There seem to be a lot of these folks in my town, and some could be dangerous.)
Possibly sitting near someone really smelly. (You know it could happen.)
Getting lost or stranded somehow. Like getting on the wrong bus or something.
Getting in a traffic accident (hey, there are NO seatbelts in these things)

I'm happy to report that there was no one stinky on my buses this morning. Crazy? Possibly. Drunk or high? Most likely. Oh, and the two people at my bus stop this morning were talking about in their experiences within the system.

Let's see how this afternoon goes.


Anonymous said...

You are bold, brave and wonderful! Setting a great example for everyone!
I love you bunches and bunches!!!
Can't wait to be with you all this weekend---xxxoooMom/Grandmomma :)

Angela said...

Thanks Mom!

I did make it home ok, even though my bus was running a little late, the bus to my house waited for us. Phew. Cause that would have meant an HOUR of waiting!

Kristi said...

Good for you! This country needs to break it's dependance on foreign oil, and taking public transportation is a great way to do your part. Kudos!

Lisa said...

Buy a can of mace, that locks, so Nicky can't get into it, but that you can keep unlocked with you at the bus stops. I'm serious. I'm all for the benefits of public transportation... but I am a HUGE scaredy cat and I'd be really nervous too - especially if it was getting dark.

Jann said...

Good for you!!!! That will end up saving money and it shows a good example for Nicky!