the bus

well, i’m taking the bus to work now. it’s a straight shot down woodward, and i’m now going to enumerate the advantages for you:

1. it’s cheaper than gas. i get 30 to 33 mpg, 20 mile round trip, so 3 gallons a week at $2.80/g is roughly $8.50, but parking at wsu at $2.25/day is $11.25, total $20/wk to drive. That’s $80 a month. But a 31-day bus pass is only $47.

2. it’s economically responsible in a number of other ways — it provides employment for a number of people besides me, it could provide for us to be a one car family (yes!), it discourages the oil economy.

3. which leads me to a great advantage, which is that i’m voting with my pocketbook for better public transportation in the detroit area, something we desperately need but which the prevailing auto industry culture is biased against.

4. i get a half-hour walk every day, outside. exercise, baby.

5. i’m breaking out of the ‘me’ zone and getting into the broader community. heck, i might have to sit right next to someone i don’t know and have a conversation.

i know it’s not for everyone, but i’m so pleased to get to take the bus. it’s like a privilege (although check back with me in the heart of winter).

0 thoughts on “the bus”

  1. taking the bus to work for me would require two transfers, adding time and money to the process. i’m getting my bike back in shape though… my impression of that 31 day pass was that it still deducts money each time you ride. if you’re paying that fare twice a day, it’s actually $3 a day, and you’ll be paying cash for the last week of the month. is that not true?

  2. josh! oh my gosh! i just called about the smartpass, and i’ve been misinformed about detroit bus passes for years! a half-mile walk and two transfers is still a little rough, but at least the price is a possibility. hmm…

  3. I, too, ride the bus and save a lot too, despite having free parking at work at the Detroit Opera House. I use 2 gallons a day at about 23mpg. The bus is $3 round trip if I use cash, a little less using the $22 value pass which costs $20. It’s probably the pass Seth was thinking about. The 31 day pass is unlimited usage for 31 days from the first day you use it. The value pass has no expiration date. I echo Joshua’s sentiments concerning community, responsibility and the opportunity for exercise. I have to walk a little farther from and to the bus from my place of business but I enjoy it, rain or shine. Josh didn’t mention it, but I really enjoy the opportunity to catch up on my magazines, Crain’s Detroit, and books to and from work during those times when I’m not conversing with my fellow bus riders, which is getting to be more frequent every week. It just makes good sense.

  4. i took the bus to/from school and work for the first couple years we were in columbus. it was fantastic. even in the dead of winter, it’s not that big a deal because you just learn to dress warm. 🙂 the other benefit of taking it in the weather is you don’t ever feel as nervous about the roads, because YOU aren’t the one driving. one more great thing about the bus: even if you’re running late, there isn’t stress, because there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.

  5. whoah! dude! you post about the bus and everyone weighs in! mom, right, i can just cruise through my 52books because i get a good 40 minutes a day free reading! karen, good point. “sorry i’m late, darn bus. i’ll just take a short lunch, okay?” seth, yeah, the straight shot down woodward is what makes it doable. plus, there’s three buses (that i’m aware of so far) that will take me there, so the chances are good that someone will be by to get me soon at any time. if i had to transfer, the level of complexity would increase and it would be less enjoyable. but the 31-day pass is like unlimited free transfers, so think about that! if i’m willing to grab the 53 north from downtown i could get off at the fairgrounds and wait for the 450 or 460. detroit, come on! light rail! get it done!

  6. Elizabeth’s commute is right down woodward as well, why doesn’t she take the bus? I used to take the trolley (sometimes with a bus transfer) to and from work in Pittsburgh. It was amazing. It got very crowded most times though, my only complaint. The free-reading time was great. Elizabeth and I have taken the bus to the Detroit fireworks a couple of times, and we always seems to end up in the middle of a knife-fight or some other ruckus. That’s the 11pm bus on a drinking holiday though. Also, the woodward bus lets us off next to a liquor store that gets pretty sketchy after dark.

  7. on the smartbus website, the descriptions of the 31 day and $22 dollar passes are mixed together in one paragraph, hence my confusion. you’re right, josh. two transfers in the ddot system means a lot is riding on catching the right bus.

  8. Commuting! Ha! Bunch of suckers! I pay zero dollars for my commute, but I do have to go down a flight of stairs. FYI: I took the train and bus every day when in Philly, and lived in Detroit for 93.6% of my life and have never taken public transportation besides the occasional People Mover joke. The ideal situation would be for the tri-county area to offer light rail down the spokes of the city. Gratiot, Van Dyke, Woodward, Grand River, Michigan & Fort. FYI: This dream will not happen in my lifetime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *