Second Bus Ride

Walker is doing a much better job of writing about the COTA Challenge than I am. I’m going to imitate him and give better detail about my second bus ride, since I’m not freezing, wet, and miserable following this one.

First of all, I must agree that it gets easier every time I ride the bus. I didn’t feel a low level of panic like I did the first day, when my head was filled with chatter: “Is this the right bus?” “What if they changed the route and didn’t update the schedule yet?” “What if I end up in Clintonville? I only have one more dollar!” “Did I forget my shoes? Oh, man. I forgot my shoes. Now I must wear tennis shoes all day!” Anyway.

Grey dropped me off at the bus stop. I was in no mood to walk a half mile this morning. I arrived at the stop about 1 minute before the bus. I must learn to get up earlier.

When I got on the bus today, I was very proud that I knew where to put my coins and my dollar bill as I asked the driver for a transfer. And, when I transferred, I asked to make sure, but really knew which slot took my transfer card. Once you do this stuff once, you feel less like a dork newbie.

My first bus going to work is the 5, which travels at pretty frequent intervals — every half hour or so. The trick is timing the 5 so that I don’t have to wait very long for the 18, which only shows up once per hour. I caught the 5 at 5th & Grandview at about 7:30 a.m. This got me to 5th & Neil at about 7:35, where the 18 would show up at about 8:10. If I’d taken the 5 at the next time point, I’d have missed the 18.

I had about a half hour to wait for the 18, which is the minimum wait I can achieve when transferring from the 5. I decided to walk south on Neil and get a look at the other stops, since the one I land at has no cover and a broken bench, which isn’t exactly comfortable in the rain. Walking also gave me a way to stay warmer on this very brisk, but sunny, morning. In hindsight, I know I could have easily walked to the Giant Eagle, but I was afraid I’d miss the bus in the middle of the stops, so I walked to Neil & 2nd. None of the stops on the northbound side of the street has cover, though I’m betting the one at the Giant Eagle does.

A timing note: Grey talked me into transferring at 5th and Neil. However, if I take the 5 to Broad & High, I could time it to only wait 10 minutes for the 18. My rides are longer, but my wait is less. I’m going to start doing this, because I’d rather spend my time sitting on the bus, reading a book.

I caught the 18, along with several chatty OSU students, right on time. The ride to my workplace, the Fawcett Center, is about 15 minutes or so. Then, I took a beautiful walk through the Cancer Survivors Pavilion located near the OSU Alumni Center. There are sculptures and inspirational plaques in this lovely park. I was sorry to see that some of the plaques have been ripped off. I hope that OSU can quickly spruce this park up, because it really is a treat.

I arrived to work in just over an hour, and got some walking in.

I think I’m taking the bus again tomorrow morning, and I plan to transfer at Broad & High. This scares me a little, since I’ve not been there before and I know that every bus transfers there. It ought to be fun.

It is about 13 miles round trip from home to work. Grey only had to drive the car 1 mile to take me to the bus stop. I estimate the cost of driving round trip to be $1.80. There is little savings when I pay $1.50 for a transfer. I will need to take at least 30 trips in a month to begin to save with a monthly bus pass. This is, of course, fuel savings only, and doesn’t figure maintenance.

If I use the .505 standard mileage rate from the IRS, I get a different picture of the savings. I rack up $6.57 for each round trip home-to-work. This makes the savings of using the bus much more appealing, even if I paid outright for a transfer each time.

I’ll continue to share my riding adventures, as well as my financial picture.



  1. walkerevans said,

    April 15, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    Great post! Perhaps I’m just a dork, but I love to read about these experiences in more detail. Keep it up! 😀

  2. Andrew said,

    April 17, 2008 at 11:57 am

    So there is a shelter on the side street by Giant Eagle which would make sense for you if you head south but since you’re going north you’re out of luck there too. I’m really surprised by how few shelters there are relative to bus stops. Seems like financially it would be difficult or impossible to shelter all of the stops but greater frequency would certainly make sense.

    I like your idea of going for the ride downtown, I mean, you aren’t loosing anytime from the clock but you are gaining time you can be reading or relaxing which is a good thing for sure.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: