Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Public Transit Ninja

Brainshrub Bus Project

The Brainshrub Bus Project is now over three months old, and at this point I'm surprised to report that my regular vehicle the more cumbersome method of transportation. I actually get annoyed when I have no other choice but to drive it.

I move through the city of Asheville quickly, efficiently and with minimal energy. I know the bus schedule well enough that I don't even bother looking at it as I run my errands.

I use the roads just as much as you do, only I haven't needed to re-fill my car's tank in six weeks.

Public Transit NinjaSix. Freaking. Weeks.

In other words: I'm a public transit ninja.

Becoming a public transit ninja wasn't an overnight process. It took a solid month to understand how the bus-system worked, and another few weeks to internalize the habit so that it became second-nature.

A public transit ninja is similar to being a vegan in that most Americans consider a 100% animal-free diet as an alien concept. When people meet a healthy, active vegan, it challenges their assumptions about their own diet.

Similarly, when people find out that I'm dedicated to public transit in a small city, I'm quizzed as if they don't believe that what I'm doing is possible. The same questions are asked over-and-over again:

Question: Doesn't it take you longer to get around?

Answer: If you time it right, no. In fact, I've never been on-time more often than these past few months.

Question: I hear that Asheville busses are unrelaiable.

Answer: That is a myth. Asheville public transit does a great job 95% of the time. Before you condemn them for the 5% they might run a tad late - are YOU on schedule 95% of the time in your car?

Question: Don't you hate it when you miss the bus?

Answer: If you arrive at the bus-stop at least 5 minutes in advance you'll never miss the bus. The key is to stop being scared of waiting a few minutes.

Question: What about places where the bus doesn't go?

Answer: If you look at the public transit map, you'll notice that with a bicycle, you can get to pretty much anyplace you need to be within 5 minutes.

Question: What about the people you meet on the bus?

Answer: That is part of the fun! But if you don't want to meet anyone, a set of headphones and a book drowns them out.

Question: What's it like being a public transit ninja?

Answer: It's great! I have more money to spend, more time to read and it's much less of a hassle to get around town when you are letting someone else do the driving. As an added bonus, I've lost 7 pounds from the biking!

This was originally posted here.

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

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


Edgy Mama said...

You rock, o public transit ninja!!!!

waz said...

good creative post, glad to hear you're still at.

enjoy it this winter!