Sunday, May 07, 2006

....and leave the driving to us!

I stopped by my neighborhood gas station/coffee shop to purchase my daily newspaper and coffee when the customer in front of me pre-paid the cashier $40.00 to put gas in his SUV. "Damn, how long is that gonna last you", I asked. "Less than a week", he replied!

The day before I had purchased a monthly bus pass, cost $40.00. This pass allowed me unlimited bus transportation seven days a week for one month. I was suddenly very pleased. I could sit back, read the newspaper and drink my coffee on the way to work without worry..... a private limo ride, but not quite!

Choosing to go to work by bus has a few disadvantages; the first being that I would have to take not one, not two but three buses to get to work.

The first bus leaves downtown at 6:10 AM, and since this bus eventually goes by a veterans hospital and without offense to military veterans, this group consists of former solders who are still fighting the vietnam war and take much pride in letting anyone who will listen know that they receive "crazy checks", [their term].

Many of the other passengers are homeless and/or alcoholics on their way to St. Petersburg for the "free breakfast" in the park distributed by a local church. They are not at all happy with the food at the Clearwater soup kitchen preferring the ride to St. Pete.

I notice that there are probably only 5 or 6 passengers actually going to work.

I'm on this bus for 20 minutes before disembarking and waiting another 15 minutes for my second bus which takes me to St. Petersburg.

Unlike the first bus, this one is filled with people on their way to work and has an interesting mix of men and women in business attire and casual attire along with construction men in tee shirts and jeans. Most reading the newspaper or a book, some with IPods, many in conversation with fellow travellers and a few on cell phones.

This bus has to move fast in order for me to make my connection to the third and final bus, because it's slated to arrive at my transfer station at 7:40 AM which is the time my third bus leaves. The bus arrives 10 minutes ahead of schedule which gives me time to run into a coffee shop for my second cup of coffee.

My third bus arrives at my place of employment at 7:50 AM; I begin work at 8:00AM.

Mission accomplished!



I commend you for doing the public transport thing. Though I'm sorry you have to leave the PUGS.

ConnieJane said...

With the traffic around here, it would almost take you that long if you drove your own vehicle!

Good for you.

BostonPobble said...

I do miss that about living in Boston. If I couldn't get there on the T or by foot, really? Why did I want to go in the first place?

I put $50 in my tank on Saturday night/Sunday morning (it was one of those weekends). I am already back down to half a tank. *sigh*

ProfessorGQ said...

I understand this post. The high price of gas helps my point of sticking to public transportation in Chicago...thanks!

CrackerLilo said...

Glad you can get there. I'm grateful for public transportation in NYC, too (when we don't have strikes!)

leone said...

Fortunately, I have access to a great subway system although I'm lucky as my place of work is around 3 minutes on foot from my apartment (oh Joy). If I did use a bus on a Monday morning after a heavy weekend, you might mistake me for one of the free breakfast brigade!!

sttropezbutler said...

This is inspiring. I figured out I will be able to travel by bus from my new abode, but the journey make take over 1 1/2 hours due to the lousy public transportation system here in Houston. BTW the 1 1/2 hour journey is a 6.4 mile trip via car. Also, I'm wondering about standing outside in 98 degree weather with 97% humidity. Do I care enough about the environment? All will be revealed!


sjobs said...

Congrats on using the public transportation. I wished I worked someplace where it would work.

I would love to read the paper, listen to music and relax on my way to work.


cats said...

well, i used to say you couldn't pay me to go back to using public transportation (unless in boston or nyc)

growing up in philly i took the train, bus, elevated, and subway sometimes all in one day!