Here's my problem...I'm a planner. Yes, I said it. I like to have a plan usually always and when you decide to try something new like public transportation its relatively impossible to have a plan because I have no idea what to expect. So maybe it's just I don't like the unknown? Either way, my initial struggle with riding the bus was finding the perfect route. That's easy, you say? Just get online, look at the schedule, find the closest one to your house and there you have it. I beg to differ. Not so easy. But I'm happy to say almost exactly a month of riding the bus....I have FINALLY found my perfect route. And I'm very very happy with it. But that's not the funny part. The funny part was all I had to go through to find this perfect route.
First bus route attempt:
Route 664 - Metcalf to Downtown
Pick up at 75th and Metcalf across the street from Burger King, drop off on the wrong side of the road in rush hour traffic and most likely illegally parking my car in CVS parking lot all day
Second bus route attempt:
Route E - Nall to Downtown transfer to Route A - Antioch to Downtown
Pick up at 79th and Nall really freaking early, I walk to the bus, nice because I don't have to ever get in my car, awful because I am frequently a few minutes late...which means I have to sprint down my street with a bag, purse and wedges or heels. That was not fun. Especially that one morning that I rushed out, closed the garage door and started walking fast. Then I realized I forgot my work badge. I cannot even get into the door that goes into my office floor without that. I turn back around and start jogging back to my house. I open the garage door and frantically yell "JIMMY, CAN YOU DRIVE ME TO THE BUS STOP." I stand there waiting for some sort of response which feels like an eternity, say screw it and just run out of the house and sprint down the street....about 11 houses away. It was humid. I was sweating. Jimmy mentioned that night he did thought he heard something or someone but wasn't sure (um hello, your wife in desperate need of a ride). Drop off at 79th and Nall, which is not so bad. However, because of the pick up situation(s)
Third bus route attempt:
Route 664- Metcalf to Downtown, try #2
Pick up a little bit past 75th and Metcalf. In my head, it was perfect. I would park my car at 24 hour fitness, get to work at 7:35AM because this was the fast route and then dropped off just a little before 5:30PM right outside of 24 hour fitness, grab my work out clothes and go to the gym. However, in reality, it worked like this: Pick up a little past 75th and Metcalf in which I have to dart across 4 lanes of traffic. The road is under construction and they are ripping up all the sidewalks and curbs and it rained the night before. I make it across the street but my wedges are muddy. I make it just in time as I see the bus at the stop light. Oh and the bus sees me. But then he stops, about 40 feet away from me and sits there. Apparently waiting. I was so confused, irritated and a little embarrassed. As I trekked my way through the mud, he moved the bus up a little bit but not much. Drop off was ideally right outside of 24 hour fitness, however, with the construction and the turn lane they put in, that made it a little difficult. Plus....I'm bell shy....meaning, I get very nervous to pull on the cord to light up the "request a stop" button. So I pulled it too early and I ended up having to walk too far to 24 hour fitness...in the rain...with a really girly umbrella...and wedges on...then the sidewalk was ripped out...so my shoes got more muddy. When I finally got to my car, I realized, this was NOT going to be an everyday solution.
Fourth bus route attempt:
Route E (again) - Nall to Downtown, transfer to Route A - Antioch to Downtown
This pick up was OK, as long as I didn't have to run. And I liked that bus driver. But it was the drop off that killed me...I was in a meeting and the time was getting closer and closer to 5:00 (the bus comes at 5:08, so I HAVE to leave the building by exactly 5:00). I started panicking because while there were more bus routes back to JoCo, the transfer from Antioch bus to Nall was only at 5:45, so I had to get on that bus or else I was stuck. Too much anxiety for me.
Fifth bus route attempt:
Route A - Antioch to Downtown and back
This time, I would drive to the transfer station at 6000 Lamar and just get on the Antioch bus directly. While the Nall bus was still there, I could leave my house 7 minutes later and get on the bus to downtown, so I was sold. Also, I could eat breakfast on the way. Also, if I missed the bus (which I did last Thursday......) I still had a car to drive to work. Then I would get on the bus back, it would drop me off at the transfer station and I would get in my car and be free to run errands, etc immediately. I liked this one a lot better because there are TONS of different route times and if I am working late, it's not a problem!
NOT A FAIL, BUT NOT PERFECT
Sixth bus route attempt:
Route A - Antioch to Downtown and then back on Route D - Downtown to Quivira
I would start out with 6th time is a charm, however I don't like even numbers, so I'm not saying that. I took this Route home today and love it. I'm sold. This is my favorite route by far. Lots of flexibility (I took the early bus home today and it was great). I get dropped off at 7:45AM and picked up at 5:18PM. Love it. But since I only did the latter today, we'll see how I feel after a few rides.
SOLD, BUT STILL LOOKING??
Ok, moral of the story.....it takes a very long time, lots of bus rides, and lots of researching JO routes to figure out what route is best for you :) But overall, I would like to proclaim that I really love riding the bus. Provides me with a relaxing start to my day reading my wonderful Kindle, which was a present from old Jimbo and my parents for my birthday, and some GREAT stories. Which will all be shared when Transportation Thursday returns next week :) Until then, happy bus riding....
P.S. October starts tomorrow, which means I already had to purchase my new October bus pass. Don't worry, I already did :)