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.