Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kudos for Public Transit

We're iced in up here in the Pacific Northwest. That, and Christmas shopping traffic over the holiday weekend got me taking the bus.

I'm not usually a bus person - I believe in them, but my schedule always seems to make it a tough idea. I suspect I'm not the only one out there thinking this is a good idea, but hard to implement. Partly because I'm doing this (there are a lot of reasons to do this blog, and one of them is to remind myself about habit changes I can make), I decided I should try it out the day after Thanksgiving when I needed to go to downtown Seattle on Black Friday. I have a flex-pass provided by my work as part of the commuter program. I hadn't used it in over a year. So I looked up the bus routes and discovered that if I drove a mile to the park and ride, I could get an express bus to one block from my destination. It worked perfectly.

I'm a horrible snow and ice driver. So I tried again when I needed to get to work yesterday. There's a bus stop across the street from the entrance to my neighborhood. I used it. It takes the same route I would have taken driving, and about two minutes longer than driving on a clear-road day. That's faster than me driving on ice. The bus, and my return bus, were both on-time, safe, warm, and the bus driver was friendly so I got a greeting and a "Have a nice day" out of it.
I'm going to take the bus again today. Better, even though my schedule really does stop me some days when I have mid-day meetings all over town, I suspect I'll start sorting for days that I can take the bus instead of making it so hard in my head.

Let's hear it for the bus-drivers and this excellent use of our taxes. The only sad part was that the busses weren't very full.

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