i’ve been traveling to work via the bus lately. i’ve been living in the city for the last 6 years and only take the bus a handful of times. even with a broken tailbone, i deemed it more enjoyable to ride my bike than take the bus. much of this stems from an early incident that made me swear off the bus. while waiting for the bus a somebody threw a bottle it landed at someones feet, someone got pissed, some one whipped out a knife, some one threatened to “slit your fuckin throat” then hoped on the bus that pulled up. strangely enough even though i was planning on getting on the same bus, i didn’t deem it the best choice. i waited the 10 minutes fro the next bus.
having finally come to grips with these images in my mind i’ve found myself back trying to tackle the bus. i have actually been enjoying it. it feels strangely liberating, it makes me feel like i live in a major urban center with real live, honest to goodness public transit. two things i think have made this possible, a very kind hand me down ipod, and google maps transit planner. the ipod i could be without, but with some hip hop on it, i can walk down the street bobbing my head pretending i’m some street smart urban youth. of course half the time i’m listing to podcasts of the splendid table which is about the least urban youth thing i could listen to, but if i bob my head, maybe i’ll fake folks out, they might think i’m a cool kid for a second. the google transit planner is crucial to this whole thing. the department of transportation’s own transit planner doesn’t work, and trying to understand the tiny print bus schedules is close to impossible. those without internet access, i feel for you, how you get anywhere i have no idea. with google maps i can just punch in my location and where i want to go and then a plan of action come up. of course this transit planner can’t account for all the late buses, and i’ve found the trip planner to be more of a starting place, then you need to just take what opportunities are open to you. on the way to work i pretty much have to pick a bus stop and wait, but on the way back i can carefully place myself in strategic location and grab the first rout that comes. i enjoy the challenge, and of course the people watching. i also like that i end up spending more time in downtown, just sort of observing what happens, enjoying the spring sunshine of the huge buildings downtown. sorry this sounds like a plug for google.