Why people avoid public transportation

My day today is why people hate the bus:

I left my house around a little after 11am to get on the 11:13am bus into downtown. To my delight, the bus came almost exactly at 11:13, which should have been my first clue.

All hell broke loose between me getting on and Nicollette Mall where I was supposed to transfer. There were these old Hmong ladies (who I really should come back to at some point) who had some bags to unload off the bus, then there was a lady in a wheelchair, then there were the three lights we sat through at Park Avenue while a whole line of people got on the bus.

I was suppoed to get to the transfer station at 11:30 and have an eight minute lay-over. 11:30 came and went, and around 11:36 we were still three blocks away when the lady in the wheel chair wanted to get off, so I got off and ran the rest of the way. I've gotten really good at running since I've been taking the bus. Sadly, I still missed my transfer. A barrage of swear words issued forth that are best left unpublished.

I got on another bus which would take me close to where I wanted to be, a five minute car ride away. Due to the logistics of the roads, stills too far to walk, especially with the time constraints that I was now under to get to the office on time. But at least if someone had to come pick me up from the office, I was close. Unfortunately, the office is getting recarpeted and its Friday, all day, so I had a feeling the office was going to be very empty.

The whole time I was thinking, "this is why people don't take the bus". I had a job that depended on me getting there on time, and public transportation is all I've got. I left my house two hours early, and still had to worry about being late to work. This is ridiculous.

The bus costs $1.25 on off-peak hours which is the weekends and non-rush hours on weekdays. It costs $1.75 during rush-hours, and express buses (which only stop downtown, and then take the expressway out to a suburb) cost $2.50 one way. For anyone who has free parking, it's cheaper to drive than take the bus. And the bus isn't a reliable form of transportation, as I learned today, so where's the incentive to use public transportation.

"Beacuse it's good for the enviornment" isn't enough. Not even for me and I like the enviornment. "Because it's easier" simply is not true. This is Minnesota. Stand outside in the minus ten degree weather, it's not easy. That leaves "because it's the only choice" which just isn't good enough.

We are the richest nation in the world. We have more people with college degrees, more food and more technology than anywhere else. Surely we can find a way to move people from point A to point B in a way that doesn't relegate anyone without a car to second class citizenship.

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