The Route Of The Problem.

It’s been more than four years since I last rode the bus. If I’d known the last time that it would be the last time I’d have treated it as a special occasion, maybe ridden it all the way to the end of the line and back around. That also would have made getting off at my stop easier since I wouldn’t have to cross the street. I used to disembark next to a major shopping center which isn’t exactly pedestrian-friendly since the planners obviously assumed everyone would just drive there. And they’re right–every time I drive by there I don’t see anyone walking. When I’d get off the bus there to make the trek home I was almost always alone, and always on the wrong side of the street. There is a light with a crossing signal but it only stays red for about ten seconds which isn’t much time to cross a four-lane road.

Recently I was at work and had to go pick up a prescription, so I thought, well, why not take the bus? The pharmacy is only about a twenty minute walk for me but the heat wave and the threat of storms and also the idea of revisiting an old routine all made the bus seem like a good idea. And with four routes converging on this one stop I figured it would look like this:

Source: Tumblr

In fact I’d been at the stop less than a minute before a bus drove up. I hopped on without checking to see what route it was. All I wanted was to go straight down the street for about ten blocks, and three of the routes listed would have done that. I’d picked the one that went two blocks then took a left turn and would go from there to parts unknown. Or rather parts not only known but far away from where I wanted to go. It’s not a route I know well but I know it’s long. I briefly wondered how long I should stay on to avoid looking like a schmuck but decided to risk it and pressed the stop button. The driver gave me a funny look that seemed to say, “Next time stick around a little longer”.

On my walk back a bus went by that would have dropped me right in front of my office, saving me several minutes, but I’d decided the next time I ride the bus I will stick around longer. I’ll make it a special occasion. Also it would have dropped me on the wrong side of the street.

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  1. Thomas Slatin

    Consider yourself fortunate; my wife and I live in a remote area, far removed from any form of public transportation, making us entirely dependent on our pickup truck.
    Thomas Slatin recently posted…The Muses Companion – July 8, 2024My Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      My wife and I have talked about moving to the country and I’ve thought a lot about the advantages and disadvantages of living in a more remote area. Everything has tradeoffs, of course, and these days we get around with our car and van so much I wouldn’t miss the relatively easy access to public transportation we have now. The biggest downside would be that I still can’t work remotely full-time and the last thing I want is to add to my commute.


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