Friday, May 30, 2008

Riding the Bus

When I travel I always use the public transit system to navigate the city I'm visiting - I've taken buses all around Amsterdam and the metro in Paris but haven't made use of the bus system right here at home in years. With gas prices continuing to climb, my dislike of driving, and the environmental advantages of using public transit I decided to acquaint myself with the local bus system. Armed with the route maps of my neighborhood and the $3.00 I needed for a round trip I began my hometown adventure.

I was the only rider when I boarded the bus at the corner close to my home. The buses are clean and comfortable - the blast of air conditioning was welcoming in the 80+ degree weather. I was soon joined by two other riders as we rode along the streets to Campbell Court - the bus terminal in Downtown Roanoke.

The bus terminal was much like any others. Signs indicate where to stand to wait for the designated bus. The heavy exhaust odor and the general hustle and bustle reminded me of the many other bus terminals I've visited.

I particularly enjoyed my return trip home on the bus in the heavy (for Roanoke) afternoon traffic. I plan to take the bus to work when I am scheduled eight hour shifts at the hospital. Bus service stops too soon after the end of a 12 hour shift for me to comfortably feel I can rely on the bus at that time of the evening. The buses do not run on Sundays or holidays but who knows - with increased ridership that may change.


KnitNana said...

I'm interested to know how long it took you to get from your home to the hospital...and then the return as well...I've tried to figure this out for me, but I think I have to leave home an hour before I have to be at work! Which is ridiculous for a less than five mile commute!
(And my car is a 4 cyl. so it's still not cost effective, even with the price of gas today - but I'm thinking that will change!)

Conchscooter said...

Can you carry a bicycle on a rack? The combination of bus and bike is enough to cover most travel requirements (assuming you don't ride a Bonneville) when you arrive.

SandraTee said...

Knitnana - I catch the bus at 5:55am, arrive at Campbell Court at 6:15 and transfer to another bus to arrive in front of the hospital at 6:30. Not bad considering that I leave my house when I drive at 6:10 to get there at 6:30. It is already cost effective for me - a round trip from my home to work and back is 10 miles and my Xterra doesn't do much better than that per gallon in town. Along with the convenience ( I can read or knit on my way to work) it is a definite win-win for me. Conchscotter - the Valley Metro is installing bike racks on the front of all the buses so I'll try that for other intown excursions soon.