Public Transportation

Follow up entry on my experience on riding public transportation. On my second day riding the bus I was up to speed on how to figure out the schedule, pay and get a ticket, how to inform the driver I want to get off, and where to sit. Even with all this knowledge the second day was still very interesting. I started to realize there is some type of stigma that follows people who ride the bus. As I looked around at the people on the bus with me I realized that they are just normal people. In my mind I figured that people who rode the bus were just down and out. But that is not true at all. So far I have seen some of the same people on the bus, I am starting to enjoy this bus thing. These people are construction workers, nurses, and students. I did notice a large number of students taking the bus to school. These are the kids with the headphones on.

As I was waiting for the bus to pick me up, I started to realize the strange perception that people have when riding the bus. I had mixed emotions. On one hand I was really excited to try a new experience and use our mass transit system. I was also excited to only pay 1.30 to get to work and save on gas. I started to get the feeling that I was in a big city and just commuting. On the other hand, as I was waiting for the bus, I realized that all the people that I may know on this side of town and the people who we go to church with would be seeing me waiting for the bus. I started to wonder what they would think. Why is jim riding the bus? are they having money issues? Do they not have a car? etc…? All these things were going through my head, it was the strange sensation that riding the bus was not cool. Or that riding the bus was some type of underclass means of transportation. I could not shake this thought, why would we see mass transportation that is cheap, reliable, cost effective, and good for the environment as lower class.

Well enough babble. I have to say I am enjoying riding the bus. I have not missed the Car so far.

2 thoughts on “Public Transportation”

  1. Riding the bus should be a liberating experience. To know you can survive with out an expensive and environmentally unfriendly vehicle is a great concept. Congrats on using the public transportation, even though it is lacking in GR

  2. Hi Jim,

    I can totally empathize with your public transportation experience. After moving from Switerzland to Los Angeles I felt the exact same way. In Zurich I didn’t own a car and enjoyed riding the trams and trains tremendously – they were clean, fast, and hi-tech. L.A.’s public transit system is rather rundown, but it still does the job.

    Good for you for supporting PT. If only the automobile industry and government subsidizations hadn’t paved over the U.S. – we may have had a similar transportation infrastructure to Europe today. At the turn of the last century L.A. had one of the most comprehensive rail networks in the world – including trams to local communities.

    There’s the argument that cars will eventually be as environmental as public transport – which may be true. But for me, especially in Zurich, public transit is a social experience as well. For a couple hours each day, I was around random, interesting people instead of being boxed up behind four glass walls yelling at traffic.

    Anyways, I’m rambling. Nice site. I wrote a documentary on public transit back in college and posts such as yours have encouraged me to put it online – it’s finally done -> feel free to check it out: http://www.los-angeles-public-transportation.com

    Cheers,
    Speedy

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