Sunday, June 8, 2008

Public Transportation

How much does gas have to cost before the public invertigates public transportation? For me the experimental price is $4.25/gallon. That's what told me was the cheapest non-Arco station around. Bleh.

Can I afford it? Certainly. In fact, the roads have been significantly less congested, making driving much easier. But it's the principle. I have the freedom, the money, and the time (especially today) to explore the option. Shouldn't I do it?

The trade-off is obvious: 30 minutes vs. 120 minutes for just the first trip of the day. Perhaps I can catch up on podcasts and blogging on the way? :-)

I'm headed down to Costa Mesa, Los Alamitos, and back to north-OC today, all places within walking distance of a bus stop. So I spent a little time making sure I'd be able to return, confirmed the routes, packed for the day, and set off.

Lesson one: Be early if you can help it. I didn't scout out the first stop properly and ended up having to jog with my pack the mile to the Brea Mall where the first transfer was. And juuuust made it.

The running for buses took me straight back to my childhood, when my family was car-less. I hated running for buses then, but now... I still hate it.

The Sunday bus is uncrowded, air-conditioned, if a touch spartan (no cocktail service, no DirecTV). $3 for the day-pass vs. over $20 via the IRS mileage compensation formula.

My transfer is coming up, so I'll sign off for now. [snappy bus-riding line goes here]


  1. I use the bus sporadically, but commuted by train whenever I was in a situation to take advantage of it (e.g., not now). My main beef with the bus (other than time) is that I get carsick.

    Tip: combine bus/train with cycling. This expands your reach and can also increase your transfer options.

  2. i'd really like to explore alternative transportation. because frankly, i'm not sure i can afford gas if it keeps going up the way it has been. but i can't afford to spend two hours on a bus--not when i can't use that extra time to read. and buses make me sick.

    so the avenue i've been toying with is biking to and from school. haven't worked all the kinks out yet. where i'll clean up once i get there. whether there's some kind of locker (can i use my office as a glorified locker?) to store stuff in there. how i'll minimize the amount of stuff i take with me to campus. time management.

    we'll see. maybe i can experiment in the next month.

  3. Biking around Back Bay is pleasant, with lots of well-maintained paths, though I'd hate to get across Costa Mesa (cut through OCC maybe?). I used to go back and forth between UCI and the Blackburns, and it was a pain. And even if you wanted to combine bus and biking, Costa Mesa has no East-West options south of the 405. Sucky.

    Locker hint: they don't really monitor the lockers in the bookstore. It's a great place to leave stuff--you just need to keep an eye on opening and closing.

    If I was still over by humanities, I'd offer you some space in my office. Ah well.

  4. I took the bus to work this morning. I had been talking about it for a few weeks and then your post inspired me.

    It took me about 45 mintues start to finish while driving takes about 15, but I didn't think it was that awful. Sitting on the bus when it is not that crowded is a good time to sit back, relax, and think a bit.

    I am considering trying to start taking it a couple of times a week, and planning to do it on the days when I don't have anything after work that I need to rush home to. I wonder in my small economy car if the 10 miles of gas each way saves me that much by spending $2.50 for the trip, but it's definitely much more environmentally friendly, and I am completely on board for that.