Tuesday, February 05, 2013
On Thursday, January 31 I had an accident on my way to work and totaled my van. (Fortunately there were no injuries). So yesterday for the first time in YEARS I rode the bus to work.
Since I'm not sure how long it will be before I have another vehicle and also for convenience I got a bus pass today. (I may even ride the bus to work after I get another vehicle)
A lot has changed since my first bus pass back when I was in high school and riding to my job after I got out of school.
the pass was a punch card and DID NOT include the cost of a transfer if you had to change buses.
The fare had to be paid with coins only and exact change.
The pass is electronic and can include transfers (the one I bough does since I have to change buses in town but you can get a pass without transfers)
The fare machine recognizes ANY U.S. currency (you get a change card if you overpay since the drivers don't carry change)
The buses have a bike rack on the front which carries 2 bikes and the buses now have a wheelchair lift.
Yesterday as I was coming home there were 2 people in wheelchairs getting on the bus I changed to in town. It was fascinating watching the ramp appear out of the stairs into the bus.
Some other changes have happened since I rode the bus in high school
Back then the buses lined up on Douglas and Broadway. They lined up on Douglas just east and west of Broadway and on Broadway just north and south of Douglas.
Mostly two lines were connected so you might be able to get on a bus in east Wichita and ride completely across town without changing buses IF the two routes were endpoints of each other. (The buses changed line names downtown) That was because the buses could not turn around downtown.
The buses lined up in the order they arrived in town (either on Douglas or Broadway) so you might have to walk down the row of buses to find your bus. Specific routes lined up in each direction so you just had to look down the side of the street your bus would be on.
At some time they moved the location for the buses to line up so they were in front of the Public Library (This was because the downtown businesses complained about people LOITERING in their establishments waiting for the bus.)
Now they have a transit center set up downtown. Each line has a specific place to pull in so there is no hunting for the right bus. Just go to the right location. You can also purchase bus passes at the transit center (I got mine at Dillon's a local food chain)
The biggest drawback to riding the bus is having to work around the bus schedule which for me isn't a problem since my days and hours are very flexible. I would not normally take the upcoming Presidents Day off except the buses don't run that day so guess I will take it of this year.
While I certainly wish the accident hadn't happened, I am trying to get over it and focus on what I can do and since I live in a large enough town they have bus services, I can still get to work and right now I can get rides for other places I need to go.