The new adventures of commuting!

My first bus stop of the day

Confession:  I’ve lived in Austin 20 years, and I’ve never rode the bus!  Not sure why, but it I never thought it was possible or easy enough.  

I’ve been mistaken!

Since I love a good challenge & I love change, I decided to attempt commuting to work via bus & bike.  Last week was my first week and every day, every single bus ride, is an adventure where I learn something new.  It’s terrific. 

I went into the experience pretty blind since I’ve never rode a bus in the States.  Figuring out the bus system in another country with unfamiliar cities, signs & languages is tricky.  But, it’s been equally eventful trying to do so here, in English!

The bus route map is just a little confusing

I’ve loved every minute of it!  I love that I get to sit down and relax for an hour or so, a couple of times a day).  It’s time to read or think or meditate.  It’s a time to people watch.  It’s a time to be outside & just sit & wait.  It forces you to loose control over every minute of your day….that is very refreshing for me!   It’s saves money & it’s good for the environment!  And, because the last stop is about 2-3 miles from work, I get to ride my bike every day…which is great since I sit behind a computer too much.  I highly recommend trying out Austin’s public transportation system!

Here’s a couple of things I’ve either learned the hard way or just observed this first week that will hopefully be useful to future commuters….

  1. There’s actually a right & a wrong way to put a bike on the front stand.  Don’t do it the wrong way, or your bike will bounce off.
    It costs $.50 to ride. October prices goes up to $.75
  2.  It might be obvious to some people, but apparently there’s a bell/string you are suppose to pull to let the bus driver know you need to get off.  It looks like a curtain hanger to me.  
  3. Buses take quarters….& they don’t have change for bills.  Monthly bus passes can be bought for a mere 10 bucks and any neighborhood friendly HEB.  (definitely worth the investment)
  4. Some buses are “express”  and buses don’t stop very often.
  5. The majority of all drivers I’ve encountered are friendly.  I have so much more respect for them now after seeing a little piece of their day.  stopgostopgostopgostopgostopgo
  6. There’s a lot of different ways to get from point A to point B.  

    Bus maps are available on the bus.

     

  7. Sometimes it feels like you are stranded and they forgot about you….but, rest assured, they always come.
  8. Bus stops are allll over the city.  I never really noticed them before.  They are quite convenient really.
  9. Bus maps are available on the buses & at HEB
     
  10. There are designated “transfer” stops & just the regular stops along the route. 

    Bus signs/stops are all over this city!

     

  11. If a bus is stopped alongside the road, it doesn’t mean it’s not working or broken down.  They wait there for time to pass so they can stay on schedule.

Happy Commuting, everyone!

🙂
Maari

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~ by Natural Impressions on September 10, 2008.

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