I rode the city bus quite a bit when I was a kid. The stop was at the end of my street. It cost 25 cents. I would either ride it downtown to the music store, or out to the mall. It was long before I could drive a car. At that age it provided an almost unbelievable amount of freedom.
I traveled to Minneapolis a couple of years ago, and wanted to visit a local store during some of my free time. I asked the concierge at the hotel about a taxi. He responded with “why not just take the bus?” I will admit I blanched a bit at the proposal. He assured me that their buses were very efficient and would cost much less than taking a taxi. I thought, well I am in Minneapolis if they’re known for anything it’s their public transportation (and near manic devotion to bicycles). The experience was pleasant, the bus stopped a mere block from where I wanted to go and it was terribly affordable.
The experience got me thinking. I wondered if I could go 30 days without using my car. I would ride my bicycle when I could, and use buses when I couldn’t. The bus company has a Twitter page that posts the current status of individual buses. After monitoring that for a couple of weeks, and seeing how often they were delayed, I gave up on the idea. It is still something I circle back to from time to time.
The city of Indianapolis does not have a vibrant mass transit system. The city itself is very spread out. Logistically this can make using mass transit here challenging. There are plans for a better, faster and more efficient system. I think that would be a benefit to many people. I also think that to be a modern city that appeals to the younger folk, you gotta have a public transportation that works.
What are your thoughts on mass transit? Do you use it? If not why?