01 August 2009

Public Transit Woes

Compared to public transit in Paris, most American public transportation options are bound to disappoint. I was expecting this.

When I hopped on a COTA bus for the first time last night, I was, however, pleasantly surprised by the air-conditioned bus and its fancy electronic ticker denoting the stops as we passed. This was on the way to my destination.

My opinion of the busing system changed on the way home. After leaving the fun, outdoor screening of Raising Arizona early to catch the one bus per hour that was running on a Friday night, I had to wait nearly a half hour for said bus, which was late. Plus, I had no way of knowing where the bus was or when/if it would arrive. Their wasn't even a bus schedule posted at the stop to let me confirm what I had thought I'd seen earlier online.

In the meantime, I had to suffer weird looks from bar-going passerbys and drivers because apparently it's weird to be waiting for a bus in this country?

Finally, a bus came by, but it was demarcated with a bizarre letter-number combo, while my bus carried a simpler, more reasonable moniker: 2. Luckily, the bus driver was helpful enough to pull over at my wave and inform me that bus 2 should be coming behind her. After a few more minutes, I was successfully on my bus, headed home, after a long and frustrating wait.

To top it all off, I had to walk an extra three blocks home when the bus driver, failing apparently to note that "Stop Requested" was flashing across his electronic ticker, neglected to let me off at my stop.

In the end, I got home and it only cost me $3. As far as public-transit related snafus go, my night was pretty minor, but it was enough to make me never want to ride the COTA again.

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