Today was an adventure. As I mentioned last Friday, I was invited to try out my local public transportation while being filmed and then give a testimonial. I was finally graduating from anxious to excited yesterday…then I checked the weather forecast. Thunderstorms! Gaaahh! If there’s one thing you can count on in the Sunshine State, it’s random and inopportune rain. Seriously.
So, I did what I needed:
- Got my manager’s approval to wear casual clothes to work in honor of my special trip. Hooray for jeans!
- Bought a proper umbrella (I decided walking half a mile in clothes I needed to work in the rest of the day would require more protection than the 12″ decorative umbrella that fits in my purse).
- Bought rain boots. I’m a little in love with them!
Other things you can count on in the Sunshine State? Humidity, mosquitoes and luckily, fickle weather predictions. That’s right, it held off so it was a gray but dry morning. I was quite thankful (even though I felt like a nerd posing next to a bus sign).
In addition to the rain, the other party that didn’t show up was the film crew–I got stood up! So, it truly was my first solo ride. When I got to work I had an e-mail waiting that apologized for some unforeseen circumstances that prohibited filming. We got back on track and will hopefully get back together for a second attempt 🙂 But, my ride experience was good. So we’ll get to the main lesson. Here are my pros, cons and tips for taking public transportation.
- A reliable schedule
- Each fare is $1 but week and month passes allow unlimited rides for much cheaper if you take advantage
- Save money on gas
- Save wear and tear on your car
- Depending on your situation, the bus can cost more than gas, cost more time and can inhibit your flexibility during the day. Me, for example. Unfortunately, I guess I live just close yet far enough that the bus route isn’t best for my daily commute. The bus costs me $1.50 more per day and quadruples my commute time 😦
- Research, read and THEN ride. Your local transit website should be most helpful. Mine, jtafla.com, provides a trip planner and FAQs that I thought were especially helpful as a first-time rider. Things like fares, maps, how to signal the driver to stop at your stop, etc. are key and easy to overlook.
- Always give your direct contact information to someone you are supposed to meet in case anything changes.
- Ask if you don’t know. Most people I ran into were super nice and willing to help. Make it the driver if you are uncomfortable with a stranger.
So, what did you try today? Anyone regularly take public transportation (bus or otherwise)?