Friday, May 8, 2009

For Sale: 1 Bus Pass

I like my new job very much; however, I'm not a huge fan of my commute. It's frustrating and, at times, harrowing. Then there is the walk between the building and the parking lot. I'm sure it's all quite safe, but it still makes me a little nervous. Really, though, the biggest problem is the stress of the drive. (I may not have mentioned in the past that driving - anywhere - is not something I enjoy.) Recently, a co-worker, who has been taking the bus for years, offered to help me see if there was a way I could do something similar.

Well, we found something and I gave it a try one morning last week. Which brings me to my title. I have 1 Detroit Area Smart pass, with $11 on it. Cost me $10, and I'll sell it for $9 and will pay for the stamp myself.

On paper, it makes all kinds of sense: The total fare for the day costs about the same as my parking fees. I'd get to work about the same time, without the stress of trying to cross a freeway to take a left exit in 1 mile. I'd also save some gas by only driving halfway each time. The bus stop is close to my building -- closer than the parking lot.

What the above doesn't take into account is the fact that 1) the bus drivers have to be willing to stop and pick you up and, 2) be willing to drop you off.

The ride to work was uneventful. Bumpy, but otherwise stress-free. After work... that's another story. After standing in the rain for half an hour, the third bus finally stopped. There was another soaked-to-the-skin woman on board, who had had the same difficulty getting the previous buses to stop. Because it was my first time, she helped me ID my upcoming stop and told me when to pull the cord*. The driver refused to stop. We finally convinced him that yes, that was my stop, so he pulled over to the side of a road, a road with no sidewalk, next to a sign that said "no stopping". And I got to walk back to my car in the rain, crossing an exit ramp, going under a bridge, crossing another street, and finally climbing a hill to get to my car. Around the same time I would have been climbing the steps to my house.

So, I'm done with the bus. I'm serious about selling the pass. I bought it after the uneventful, but bUmPy ride to work, and for some reason, the home-bound bus meter wouldn't accept it, so it's got the full value on it.

*It's "Park and Ride," so there are very few scheduled stops.

2 comments:

Tvini said...

I hope you'll consider telling your city's transportation department about this.

Jen Anderson said...

I agree with Tvini. Also get in touch with your local politicians. Public Transportation may be unpleasant a lot of the time, but that's ridiculous. You can use PlanetFeedback.com to get a message directly to the big bosses at the transportation department.