I haven’t gone on a rant in a while, so this post may be overdue…
If I say I am going to be somewhere specific at some specific time, I usually like to be there when I say I will. I usually like to leave early most of the time to make sure of this. I’ll do anything in my power to make sure of this. Well, it seems no matter how early I leave, my arrival time to a certain destination is usually not up to me. Instead, this (sometimes important) decision is up to the (sometimes) friendly neighborhood bus driver.
Since I currently live on south campus, I have to take a bus to get everywhere. If I need to go to class… bus. If I need to go get food… bus. If I need to go to the library… bus. If I ever want to leave my dorm room…. bus.
Riding a public bus is nothing new to me though. During my last two years at Roger Williams University, I used to ride the public bus known as the RIPTA. Aside from buses, I have spent my fair time on subways as well. Though I am not on these modes of transportation all the time, I have had enough experience to list a few of the joys of public transportation.
1. They’re hardly ever on time
This point doesn’t apply as much to subways, but all of the buses I have been on seem to come whenever they want. The schedule says 3:15? Oh, well they’ll be there at 3:30. You need to get to class for 4? Well, you better leave at 2. I understand that some of the time, the times may vary by a few minutes. That is to be expected. I just don’t really find much fun in guessing when they’ll decide to show up. There are some times that I don’t mind waiting, it just seems to be when you need them there most, they let you down.
2. Oh, the people you’ll meet
One of the key points of public transportation, is that fact that its PUBLIC. Anyone who has some change in their pocket can ride. As a result, you are bound to meet some interesting people. This fact may not apply as much to the bus I ride from my dorm room to class, but in most other settings it does. Sometimes the people you will find can be quite entertaining. For example, I had the “privilege” of sitting behind a very sassy woman speaking with her girl-friend on the phone. Though I couldn’t hear what the other party was saying, it was extremely entertaining nonetheless. There have also been some times where I have felt extremely uncomfortable. For example, I have had the joy of sitting next to some people who may have felt deodorant was optional that day. Regardless of when you are on the bus or subway, you are bound to run into some interesting characters.
Now, these aren’t all of the joys that I have experienced, but I think you get the point so I won’t waste your time by rambling on.
Despite some of the pains of public transportation, it can be useful at times. A lot of the time, its cheaper than parking in the city. You don’t have to worry about someone breaking into your car or finding an impossible parallel parking spot. It can also help reduce traffic in congested areas.
Even though there may be certain pains to public transportation, sometimes it can be quite humorous arriving late to my first class of the day sitting next to someone who lives by the philosophy “its 5:00 somewhere” at 8 am.