Moving the Masses

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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?

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