Due to a series of events that would take far too long to explain here, I found myself yesterday sans car keys.
Of course, I didn’t realize it until I had to leave and was slapped in the face by the unfortunate realization that I and my keys weren’t even in the same state. After a brief moment of panic and some creative rescheduling, I changed my day from one of business meetings and work to one of vacuuming, laundry and pink-and-white animal cookies.
I still had one very important downtown meeting, though, which meant I had only one choice.
The city bus.
I’d never, not once, needed to take the bus in my city. There I was, 36 years old, trying to find the bus website so I could figure out how to get downtown. I didn’t even know for sure if my city had a bus website.
It does, of course, and it’s even linked to Google Maps for easy trip planning. All I had to do was input my destination from my current location, and Google told me where to catch the bus, where to transfer and how long each leg would take.
The bus arrived at 2:08, just as Google said it would, and took me downtown to the plaza where I needed to transfer.
Aside from a few unfortunate scents and hearing all about government conspiracy theories, the ride was smooth. Long, but smooth.
I can get downtown in my car in roughly 15–20 minutes. The bus took 38 minutes and had about 1,363 stops along the way.
I will say that the ability to ride without responsibility was pretty nice, and I was even able to write a blog about the experience from the relative comfort of my bright-blue-and-pink seat.
The experience got me thinking about car ownership. I am admittedly completely addicted to my car. I need the freedom to go anywhere, anytime. But… my bus day gave me a new appreciation for people who choose to rely on public transportation. For a $3 round trip, I was able to get to my meeting, and home again, in spite of my key situation.
But here’s the deal. My car gets around 22 miles per gallon in the city, and the round trip downtown is probably about 15 miles. Driving would’ve taken less than a gallon of $4.00 gas, so in this case, the bus cost me money and time.
As much as I appreciate the new adventure of riding the bus, I think I’ll stick with car ownership for the foreseeable future.
I just need to focus on keeping my keys within state borders.
Would you ever give up your car for public transportation?