I rode the bus in different cities for a few weeks off an on over the last few months. Before then, it had been many decades since I knew what riding the bus was like. I had a car accident and general vehicular troubles and the metro bus was my only choice to get around besides walking. Some destinations were quite some distance (10 to 30 miles) so a time efficient option was needed. At first, I was disoriented as far as understanding the rhythm of taking the bus. Unknown to me were the intervals buses arrived a bus stops, the drop off points, or how to best use the bus. I learned quickly with the help of the bus drivers who helped me understand what I needed to know to use the bus effectively.
Early Morning Bus
A bus route can take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. Some routes can take 45 minutes. You may have to take the bus to an exchange point where you get off one bus to board another that is continuing onto the destination your ultimately trying to reach. Suppose the first bus takes 15 minutes and the second bus takes 45 minutes, you need at least an hour to get to your destination. However, since buses run on the hour and you may need to show up at your destination early, you need to actually take the bus at a time that is 2 hours ahead of your scheduled time.
That means boarding a bus two hours early to arrive in a place an hour before. Preparing to be at the bus stop first thing in the morning so the times match up right means getting cleaned up and ready for your morning journey an hour before you need to be at the bus stop. You do this so you do not run the risk of missing the bus. It is advisable to be at the bus stop 15 minutes early just in case the bus runs early which is a prudent action to take if you want to stay on time to where you need to be.
Timing Is Everything
If you followed that last part, the result is if your last bus takes 45 minutes, the first bus leading up to it is 15 minutes, but you must be ready at the first bus stop in advance, then you need to be up 3 hours before time rather than the 1 hour common for when riding a car.
The time involved should be acceptable since 3 hours seems a fair exchange for the advantages provided by the metro bus system when no alternative is available. The important thing to when a passenger is to plan ahead on when to wait for the bus; when to shelter indoors (it may be raining heavily outdoors); when to walk to the next bus stop; and when to call for bus service in seldom trafficked areas. Buses generally run on time and that general predictability when you have gaps in time on your side can allow you to take a journey, stop at a Wal-mart, a Kroger, a public library or other place in the proximity of a bus stop and then continue onto your final destination.
Metro Bus is a Foundation for Economic Activity
The reality is that some people live on one side of town while the jobs may be far enough on the other side of town that people who need jobs, don’t have a car, need the metro bus to have a chance at getting income to support a life and a community. The metro bus is an engine of economics and allows the community, especially the traditionally economically disadvantaged, but anyone requiring its services (though typically excluding rural areas) to have a chance at work, a career, or local government services and non-profit outreach and charity were otherwise they would be cut off from such things. The metro bus system fundamentally saves lives and allows all of us to be enriched by its existence.
Funding Metro Transportation
Continued and increased investment in metro transportation is needed. The financial and industrial investment in this system is returned to the community as it is self sustained. Those who benefit directly from metro transportation such as the employed and the employers alike contribute to the sales tax base. As sales tax margin is maintained or grown over time due to population, the community benefits by improved service and a sustained economic environment.
Hopefully, some of those that benefit from the use of the metro bus system will find themselves into an improved economic situation that affords them the use of a vehicle. Still, as population grows and businesses expand both in variety, scale, and geography, the need for metro transportation will increase. The investment is needed advance metro transportation encompassing buses, rapid response lifts, and rail systems; the administration and overall conditions throughout the metro transportation operation and services presented.
Better Transportation for Better Life Outcomes
Sometimes you just need a really good ride for a while to get you through. Without it, your chances for success or survival could drop dramatically. A commonly available system such as the metro transportation system can make the difference in the life of a person and an entire community of persons some of which will have no practical or available alternatives.
In other ways, beyond critical need for some, the metro transport system can be a good way to travel a city even when you have alternative means of travel. Conserving personal vehicle fuel; limiting a vehicle’s exposure to traffic; and having a clear and straightforward route to a destination can be benefits you derive from metro transportation. When you add in walk paths that span the entire city in a loop, you gain multiple ways in which people can enjoy the city, naturally incorporate exercise, and make the journey to various parts of the community more enjoyable.
By Michael Gautier