Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What to bring with you on a bus.

For those of you whom have never taken a city bus before, here is a list of items you should bring:

1) A satchel

An automobile is not only a form of transportation, it's also a mobile storage unit. Once you commit yourself to public transit, you'll need a way to carry around day-to-day items.

This observation may sound obvious to women, but we men are used to storing everything in our wallets or in the car. In most cases, we feel awkward about carrying something that looks suspiciously like a like a large purse.

So ladies, if you want to encourage your partner to take public transit, compliment him on his large satchel.

2) iPod and/or some way to listen to music:

Public transit is less of a hassle than driving, but bus engines are noisy and music helps take the edge off.

Furthermore, the noises encourage other passengers to speak loudly to each other, and it's easy to overhear private conversations. Eavesdropping is only fun the first few times, afterwards you stop caring about the personal dramas of the average grocery clerk.

A kiss under an umbrella3) An umbrella, to be kept in the satchel:

If waiting in the rain for a bus makes you grumpy, be sure to have the song Bus Stop loaded into your ipod.

3) A monthly pass:

Without the monthly pass, taking public transit is not cheaper than driving. At $1.00 per trip, an errand will cost at least $2.00, if not much more.

As of this post, monthly passes are $30 for unlimited rides.*

5) Bus schedules:

Be sure to grab a few day and evening schedules from the front of any bus. You are going to read, and re-read, these so much that they will start to get frayed.

6) A watch:

You are going to need a watch. 'nuff said.

7) Patience:

Be patient! Especially at first. Most Americans are so used to the perceived convience of private automobiles, that we've forgotten how to share a public resource like transportation.

Expect a period of transition.

You will miss the bus a lot at first. You will mis-read the schedule, and expect a bus to pick you up on the wrong side of the road. You will forget to renew your monthly pass and not have any change on you. The bus will (rarely) be late.

Despite these problems, as you start to get used to the system public transit gets easier the more you take it. I promise.

In the long term, you will come to wonder why you depended so much on your car as the primary mode of transportation.

For the explanation behind the Brainshrub Bus Project, click here.

To see all posts for the Brainshrub Bus Project, click here.

1 comment:

MtnStyle said...

I love this Brainshrub.
Unfortunately, I have to drive my company truck to work every day but because of the inspiration I have found by reading your posts, I am happy to say that I have forced my wife and 2 1/2 year old to only take the bus. Sure they get stuck in the rain or at the mall after closing now and then. Ok, the constant diesel fumes and sounds have turned my child into a soot-skinned grumbler but we are doing our part. If my wife read your post a little more often, maybe she would have an umbrella and a bus schedule with her. Heh Heh Heh, it will just take some patience I suppose.
But really, great job and I promise to take the bus soon.