Today is "Dump the Pump" in Lawrence--an annual day where the local bus system ("the T") is free, in an effort to encourage more people to try riding.
I thought it might be a fun adventure. Although we walk and scoot quite a bit, I've never ridden the bus in Lawrence before. While there's a regular ongoing debate about whether the T is really cost-effective, I certainly support the idea of public transportation in general. Especially when Sweet Husband and I first moved to Lawrence and hadn't made a lot of friends yet, it was comforting to know that if the car broke down we wouldn't be without other options. In addition, with gas getting more expensive by the minute, taking the bus every now and then just seems to make sense.
In defense of the T, for people that don't have to juggle between routes (like Sweet Husband) the bus is a really good option. He could get on at roughly 8:15 a.m. and be at work 5 minutes later.
On the other hand, for me to get to my carpool drop-off point by 8 a.m., I would have to be at the bus stop around 6:45 a.m. For reference, I'm rarely even awake yet at that time, and on a normal day it takes about 10 minutes to get to my carpool from my house. I'm not positive--because Lawrence is really hilly--but I think I could probably walk the distance in less time.
Sleep outweighs most other considerations in my world, especially at that time of the morning, so I will not be dumping the pump today. But this whole exercise has made me curious. Is this the norm for public transportation? I know there are a lot of variables at play, but I'm particularly interested in experiences people have had in places that are of the large town/small city size. (Lawrence is roughly 100,000.) Do you have to live in a big city to have really convenient public transportation?
(Photo c/o the Lawrence Transit System.)