Wanna ride?

While getting my coffee at the MU this morning, the clerk asked if it could have been me she saw, waiting for a bus? I told her I do take the bus to work and if it was on Guadalupe, it was probably me. She said that was the place and then immediately apologized for not stopping to offer a ride. I’m touched at her thoughtfulness yet equally saddened that she feels the need to rescue bus riders with a car. Why is public transportation viewed so negatively?

blogbus.gifI could drive to work – I have a lovely Infiniti parked in my garage, complete with leather seats and Bose surround sound. It’s a comfortable, elegant ride. However, I choose to take the bus. What madness, eh? Not so, and let me tell you why. With gasoline hovering at $3 a gallon, need I say more? Insane traffic – driving anywhere in the greater Phoenix area has got to be the best training ever for NASCAR wannabes. How fast can we go from stoplight to stoplight? How little space is needed to wedge a car in front of another at 60 mph? Gotta be first, gotta be in front, gotta be the fastest, gotta go, gotta go, gotta go – sheesh! The bus is no less inconvenient than the time spent stacked on the freeway, jockeying for position, trying to get ahead. Freeway? What’s free about the Broadway curve or the 60 at rush hour? On the bus I can read, knit, play Nintendo, even nap. Listening to music or talking on the cell is far less hazardous riding the bus than while driving a car.

Mostly, though, the bus is about people. Watching people, learning from people, communicating with people. Most people-to-people communication in a car is anger-based and a lot of flex with the middle digits. On the bus, opportunities abound to learn about others, sharing the good and the bad and everything in between. Do I want a ride? Absolutely — on the bus.

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