Bus

Okay, Urban In-Fill has been an inspiration to me with his bus-riding commitment. I was already thinking about taking the bus to and from work for economic and environmental reasons. But, I really didn’t have any motion behind that thought. (pun intended) However, Jeff’s incredible savings plus current astronomical gas prices have really inspired me!

Today, I mapped out my route. I am very unfamiliar with bus routes and even how to ride a bus, so I did some research at COTA.com . That wasn’t really helpful, so I had to call the nice lady at COTA, who told me that I don’t have a bus that runs on the road where I live, at all. I wonder how many of the people who work in the office buildings all around my apartment, plus those who live in my complex, would commute by bus if they had access to one? Anyway…

Here is my plan:

1. Walk to the nearest bus stop. This is .8 miles uphill according to MapQuest, but I’ll make it a little shorter by cutting through parking lots of the office buildings that are between my apartment and the stop. We have no sidewalks and it is a very busy road. I will do this on nice days only, because I am a big pansy. Other days, I will have my boyfriend drive me. Trust me, this is a lot less driving than we were doing, especially on days he took me to work and went back home, went to work and came home, then came back across town to pick me up. Yeesh! So, I’ll walk to the stop most days.

2. I will take a bus to Broad & High, where I can pick up another one to work. A bus goes right by WOSU, which is across from the Schott. I will pick the bus up across the road and take it back to Broad & High at night, and then transfer to one that will take me home, to the stop from which I’ll have to walk again, or have someone pick me up.

3. I plan to start Monday, going to work only since I have an after-work meeting. Boyfriend will pick me up from the meeting. This will be a good start, since I’m a little nervous about the whole thing.

4. I will buy a bus pas, but only after I’ve done this for a week or so to see how it works out. OSU employees can receive $4 off their purchase of a bus pass. I think it should be more, since we’re technically state employees, but I’m going to look into that later.

I expect the following benefits:

1. I will save tons of money on fuel/transportation/car upkeep.

2. The extra walking will fulfill my intention to do more exercise. Since I do none now. I expect to be a svelte hot mama in a few months!

3. I will get more time to read both work-related items and books. I’m a book fiend.

4. I will continue to be forced to pack my lunch, since I won’t be able to run out for lunch anywhere. This has sort-of been forced because boyfriend has been bringing me to work for a couple months now. It’s good for the budget and the diet!

5. Excellent opportunities for people-watching.

So, wish me luck! And, thanks Jeff for the inspiration.

Update: I have postponed until Tuesday. Found out Friday night that boyfriend is working a double on Monday, so I have the car. Andrew: Boyfriend doesn’t even own a car, so he has “had” to ride the bus for a long time. Right now, he spends most of his time job hunting, which is hard without a car. He gets much more done being able to go to several places in a day and apply. After he gets hired, then we’ll talk about bussing it again. I think the perspective is different when you are forced to ride the bus all the time. However, I’m grateful for him — he’s telling me how to get around on the bus. I’m clueless.

Suzanne

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4 Comments

  1. Jeff said,

    March 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Glad to hear, Suzanne, that you’re taking on the COTA Challenge! Since it sounds like you may have been a car-commuter for awhile, so keep in mind that it’s going to take a week or so to get used to. I think you’ll find the “personal time” very beneficial, especially for reading. Keep us posted on how things are going. I look forward to reading about it.

    -J

  2. Walker Evans said,

    March 15, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Good luck! I’ll be watching for your updates on this project. I’m thinking about attempting something similar myself soon.

  3. Andrew said,

    March 16, 2008 at 6:55 am

    This is excellent news Suzanne and I wish you best on your attempt. I would say that it is important to keep in mind that riding the bus, riding a bicycle, etc. is a lifestyle change so you’ll have the various stages associated with such a thing. The first few days you have a natural “high” associated with doing something new and adventurous, something you know is good for you so it seems fun. Then you’ll settle in and get some of those doubty thoughts like, hmm, this isn’t what I’m used to and it’s taking me some effort to accomplish. Assuming you make it through to the end of the month though you’ll get into the groove and find that the days you aren’t on the bus will be disappointing. In my case it is with the bicycle. This past winter I actually took several days off of riding and everytime I felt the worse for it and resented being in the car – something I never would’ve even considered a few years ago.

    The best part of the bus (something I don’t get on the bicycle) is the time to read. I mean that is so great and I’m envious of you for that. Anyhow, best of luck with this – I’m sure you’ll settle in just fine!

    Now how do we get your boyfriend to do the same?

  4. Andrew said,

    March 16, 2008 at 6:58 am

    Oh, one other thing. As a State employee we didn’t really get any discount but we could take advantage of the pretax purchase plan. It’s called Wage Works I believe and I’d guess that you could do that too. I’m curious if your OSU id will get you on for free. OSU students can ride COTA for free but I’m not sure about employees – you should ask.


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