Taking the Bus

I’m generally pro-public transportation in theory, but I never take public transportation in my town (a town of just shy of 100,000 people, last I checked). There’s a combination of reasons, but it’s mostly about convenience. I own cars and can drive exactly when I want to straight to my destination. However, in 2023, all bus rides in my town are free.

I was curious just how long it would take me to get from my home to our lovely downtown area with many shops, restaurants, and bars. According to google maps, I can walk there in 38 minutes. I can drive there in six minutes. Or I can get there via bus if I walk half a mile to a bus stop to get picked up and arrive in 25 minutes, after waiting 20 minutes from now for the bus to come. I believe the half-mile walk is already factored into the 25 minute travel time.

That’s really not that bad, and if I were retired or unemployed, I would probably not mind the shuffle to get to my destination. During a busy work day, I don’t think I could do it because time is money blah blah blah, but I think I’m going to make it a goal to ride the bus at least once this year in my town while the state is footing the bill.

I think for public transportation to really take off in a town my size and have any scalable impact on the environment, we’ll need more routes more frequently, and probably restrictions on car driving to balance out that convenience factor. I’m not very optimistic. I imagine we’ll restrict driving by car in Kansas just about when Hell freezes over, much like we’ll probably be the last state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.

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