I've been riding the bus now for about 2 months, and I still love it. As a matter of habit, I always look at gas prices when I pass a service station, and respond with a sigh of relief or an angry chortle. Today, when the bus passed the BP on Westport, I saw that gas had gone up another 4 cents or so, and I said "dammit," quietly to myself, and then I came to a sort of realization: I don't care. I spend $8-$10 dollars a week to get to work, whether gas costs $1.25 or $3.25 a gallon. I am out of traffic, and love the idea of it.
When I first started riding the bus regularly, I would take a book with me to pass the time for the 40-minute ride. Now, I still take a book with me, but I rarely get a chance to read it. I find it's much more interesting to look out the windows of the bus at all the sights and small details that I was never able to really look at when I drove: houses, plants, buildings, gardens, angry drivers, people, billboards, parks, storefronts, schools, hospitals, and all the other interesting things to look at along the way.
I thought to myself, the other day, "when will I have a reason to use my car again?" The simple answer came: "When I want to leave town." It feels really liberating to put only a handful of miles on the car a month. It helps me preserve the car's value, reduces pollution and gas use, gets me out on my feet for a little welcome exercise, and dramatically reduces my chances of getting into a car accident or getting a speeding ticket. All in all, I love riding the bus, and I think more people should do it.
Congrats on your conversion to the freedom that is not driving! I haven't driven in years, and I don't miss it. And you're right: it's much more interesting to simply look out the windows on the trip (and even more interesting during the walks from bus stops).
11:39 PM, Nov 24, 2003
Damn living in a suburb.
1:36 AM, Nov 26, 2003
Yeah, I've found that living in Chicago for some of the time that I do, that I LOVE public transportation. Driving on Chicago busy crazy streets is not an idea that thrills me. If I knew more about public transportation in Peoria, I bet it could take me pretty well pretty close to most of the places I need to go, but one fact remains: I love to drive in Peoria and my gas is paid for. But I do love the El.
1:26 AM, Dec 9, 2003