The best bus ever

The best bus ever
Jason Sievers' awesome Art in Transit bus

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Why ride to the Y?

Under the current only-once-an-hour midday bus schedules for many Valley Ride routes, it isn't easy to make a quick trip downtown. Since the first of the year, I've been riding the Vista #3 a few times a week for my regular workouts at the Downtown Y. My routine goes something like this:

Leave the house at 12:20 for my five-minute walk to the bus (just to be safe; it doesn't come until 12:30).

Get downtown at 12:35ish and walk to the Y - another 5 to 7 minutes from the bus stop.

Get changed, do my workout, get dressed again. Total one hour or so.

This leaves me with a half-hour or so to kill until the 2:15 bus leaves. I've usually spent it reading. The bottom line is, this schedule takes me twice as long as it would to drive downtown and back (which takes me 15 minutes round trip, tops). But I really haven't minded. I've extended my workout a little, I get in some extra walking, and I'm getting some extra reading done, too. Plus I am doing my part to reduce those nasty CO2 emissions ...

Today, I had a noon meeting at the Statehouse, so I took the 11:30 bus. Yes, I arrived pretty early! After the hourlong meeting, I high-tailed it to the Y, worked out (cutting it a little short this time), and made it to the 2:15 bus.

Granted, using the bus makes very little sense at all to people who have desk jobs and little flexibility in their schedules. That's why it'd be great to see Valley Ride eventually have service every half hour at a minimum, all day, on all of their routes.

Tell me about times when you've taken the bus, even though it would be faster to drive.


wolf21m said...

My commute trip to and from work would be faster if I drove. It takes me about 45 minutes via the bus and about 20-25 if I were to drive. It takes 25-30 minutes if I ride my bike, which I often do as well. If it were purely about time, then driving is the obvious choice.
Some of the reasons that taking the bus is well worth the extra time: a) helping the planet and our local air quality; b) I enjoy my 15 minute walk each way to and from the bus; 3) I can concentrate more on the educational podcasts I listen to on the way; 4) the walking and reduced stress is good for my blood pressure! 5) I was able to sell my commuter vehicle for $11,000; 6) I reduced my car insurance by $40 month; 7) No gas or maintenance for the commuter car; etc.
These are significant quality of life issues, that are will worth the extra investment. I don't regret my commitment at all.

Bikeboy said...

Julie - your bus-trip to the "Y" makes a lot more sense than the people who hop in their car, and DRIVE to the gym, and go in and ride a stationary bike for an hour, and then DRIVE home again! (From a bike-riding bystander's view, that doesn't make a LICK of sense!)

Is there some reason you couldn't extend your workout a bit longer? (Or your shower afterward? hahaha) Once the weather gets a little nicer, you could alter your route back to the bus stop, and stop and smell the roses.

Like "Wolf..." said, there are tradeoffs to any transportation choice. Your short wait is a small price to pay for the many advantages you've earned. (Especially if you fill the wait with other worthwhile endeavors.)