Today's my first shot at riding public transportation to work. Lydia's coming downtown twice, and by eliminating my trip, we save about six bucks in gas.
Our fair city has a bus system as its sole form of public transportation. The one notable exception is the Music City Star, our lone rail line from downtown to the east. The bus system appears to be, at least at first glance on my trip, a great government institution: big, old, operational, and inefficient. When I got to the intersection where I boarded, the bus didn't stop at any of the bus stop signs. It stopped in the middle of a parking lot. I had to ask when I got on if I was supposed to get on there.
Also, in the first ten minutes I've been on this "express" bus, we've wound our way through five different back streets when we could have gone straight down Old Hickory Boulevard. Interestingly, on these back streets, we've picked up people along the way at "non bus stop" locations. It makes me think, of course, "well why can't I have a bus come straight down my street instead of making this ten minute walk in the morning??"
37X is a double bus, and when I boarded, I was passenger number two. A little awkward, because I had no idea where to sit. I made my way past the first passenger to the second half of the bus. Now that we're moving, I've figured out that there's more noise back here... it's where the engine is (duh.) So next time, closer to the front.
When I ran my trip on the website, it showed the fare as $1.35 each leg. When I boarded, it shows $1.85. I knew they were going to be raising the rates, but it's a little frustrating (read: "governmenty") that they haven't updated the information to the public. Since I'm on a one-way trip, I'm paying cash today, but in the future, I may go for a multi-ride ticket to make it even cheaper.
So far, the clientele on my ride is all business people... and I'm just inferring by state of dress and age that they're all government people. Since the main bus stop is right in the middle of a bunch of city and state government buildings, that's probably not a stretch. School's out, or we might have some magnet kids with us.
But, the real upside to the whole thing so far, if you haven't figured it out, is that my broadband card is working, and I can GET STUFF DONE on the trip instead of just sitting in my car by my lonesome on I-65. Or I could just blog. Which I am.