Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Does this bus stop at 82nd street?

Part of my move to bike commuting included the knowledge that commuting by bus would be a part of my regular routine. So, today I took my first-ever public bus ride! Here are my first impressions:

  • There is no mercy for the uninitiated. I got on the bus, and it immediately moved. No waiting for people to get their seats...that's it, the bus stops, lets people on, and keeps going! Luckily, I grabbed one of the handles and twisted into a seat...sparing me the embarrassment of falling flat on my face. This time.
  • There are NO SIGNS indicating how to request a stop. This is how naive I am to the ways of public transit: I had no idea you even HAD to request a stop; I only realized this after (a) the bus didn't automatically stop at the next place on the route and (b) after hearing an announcement of "stop requested" at some point in the ride. At first, I had no idea how such a stop was requested! Luckily for me, Rachel Weiss came to my rescue.  Don and I had just watched The Runaway Jury the other day (great movie!), and there is a scene in which Rachel Weiss's character is on a bus and pulls down on a horizontal yellow cable to request a stop. I looked on the side of the bus and lo and behold - there was the yellow cable! Thank you, Hollywood! You've educated me once again.
  • Bus riding has some definite perks. Perk #1: You don't have to worry about where to park a car OR bike. You just get off the bus and go. It's kinda nice.
  • Perk #2 of bus riding: By studying the schedule and maps, I discovered that I can pick up the bus outside of my building on campus and go right to The Frosty Parrot, which is easily the most amazing frozen yogurt place I've ever visited. This is dangerous knowledge, my friends.
  • Perk #3: I still get exercise! Even though I'm not riding my bike to school, I still get some exercise by walking  from the stop to my building, or walking to get lunch or whatever if I choose not to wait for the bus to do so. Of course, if I need some rest, the great thing is that there are many convenient stop locations, including one almost right outside my apartment door.
  • Perk #4: I'm not quite as sweaty by the time I get to school. :-)

All in all, I have to say that it was a fun first day on the bus. I left the house around 11:34 and was seated at my desk in my office by 11:53. I didn't have to stress about traffic, and could sort of "zone out" for a few minutes. On the way home, I actually read my book. So, I guess that's Perk #5: Increased work and/or relaxation time! I'm thinking that I need to find a pair of headphones for my phone, and perhaps I can use my bus rides as my "listen to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" time. THAT would make this experience 10x more enjoyable.

Well, that's it for today!  As my bike and bus riding continues, I will be sure to continue to update on all of the fun - and not so fun - adventures. 


  1. Wow! Good thing that you had the hollywood background. I would have probably never figured it out and ended up in the parking garage. However, the perks to the public transportation sound AMAZING!

  2. The only downside yesterday was that I decided to walk to Starbucks, and ended up taking the LONG way - which was about a mile (but I took the shorter, 1/2 mile route back to my office). The problem is, I walked it in my more "decorative" sandals, instead of something more supportive. My feet were KILLING me by the end of the day.

    1. OOOH! Not fun! Walking is fun, but walking long distances with the wrong shoes is just miserable. I am guessing that stilettos will not be part of your wardrobe :)