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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 01-06-06, 10:13 AM   #1
chivespa1
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No More Bussing it...

Well, I had been using the bus to get to work in the mornings because I don't have a place to clean up there. Unfortunately they changed the route schedule so when the driver didn't show up I would've had to wait 30 minutes for the next bus. Well, I decided why wait since I could be downtown by the time the next bus came to pick me up. I was pleasantly surprised that since it's almost all downhill I made better time than normal without as much sweat. I guess I should've given that a try a long time ago. I was judging my sweatiness and time off of my ride home which is almost all uphill. Somedays I'm a little dumb but thanks to COTA's mistake I'm going to save my $1.50 each morning!
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Old 01-06-06, 03:25 PM   #2
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Does that mean you can ride downhill to work in the morning, and in the evening you have a bus to haul you uphill if you want? If the bus has bike racks, that would be urban transit at its finest.
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Old 01-06-06, 04:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chivespa1
Well, I had been using the bus to get to work in the mornings because I don't have a place to clean up there. Unfortunately they changed the route schedule so when the driver didn't show up I would've had to wait 30 minutes for the next bus. Well, I decided why wait since I could be downtown by the time the next bus came to pick me up. I was pleasantly surprised that since it's almost all downhill I made better time than normal without as much sweat. I guess I should've given that a try a long time ago. I was judging my sweatiness and time off of my ride home which is almost all uphill. Somedays I'm a little dumb but thanks to COTA's mistake I'm going to save my $1.50 each morning!
I remember using buses to get to work years ago and it was horrible. The buses were packed with people and it smelled due to poor ventilation. The constant jerking of the bus and movement from side to side made me sick to my stomach on many occasions. I can't believe I did that for so many years.

What surprises me is how many able bodied men stick to this horrible from of transportation. When someone sits next to you and is sick, you get sick too! Then you get passengers who don't bathe, crush you or start eating smelly food. It's as though no one knows the secret of bicycle commuting. I think most people really believe their bicycles will get stolen, traffic will kill them or others will laugh. It's just the opposite.


Today I use a light rail and it's night and day compared to a bus.
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Old 01-06-06, 05:57 PM   #4
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hate buses, they are even worse over here in Aus. Slow, late, a lot of deros, dirty, you get the idea.
Good to see a another cycle commuter
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Old 01-06-06, 07:52 PM   #5
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Ride your bike both ways- use the uphill ride as a training ride. It's not like you have to be all alert and ready to do stuff when you get home. Challenge yourself. Save 3 bucks instead of 1.50.

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Old 01-06-06, 08:32 PM   #6
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I just found out that my employer will pay for my monthly bus passes, a $33/month deal, so long as I ride the bus most days of the week. Me thinks i will be using the bus more often, but that doesn't mean I'll be hannging up the bike anytime soon. Riding the bus leave me with more energy to ride AFTER work....
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Old 01-06-06, 08:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
Ride your bike both ways- use the uphill ride as a training ride. It's not like you have to be all alert and ready to do stuff when you get home. Challenge yourself. Save 3 bucks instead of 1.50.

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Exactly. Within 2 months that hill will seem like nothing.
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Old 01-06-06, 08:52 PM   #8
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Amen Roody. You'll be trucking up and down that hill so fast you won't even feel it. You'll be looking for bigger hills to challenge you for the ride home.

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Old 01-06-06, 10:32 PM   #9
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Are there hills too steep? All the hills on my route have faded into minor nuisances except one. It has a max grade of about 27% and though climbing it is not too hard, my knees hurt every time I do.
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Old 01-06-06, 10:51 PM   #10
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...max grade of about 27%...
Yikes, I'm outta my league here!! Guess I have to do more hill climbing.
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Old 01-07-06, 01:50 AM   #11
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Riding the bus leave me with more energy to ride AFTER work....
hit yourself with a couple of energy drinks and keep going! Buses are crap!
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Old 01-07-06, 03:15 AM   #12
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I do this when I go shopping in downtown(I'm more of a utility cyclist, really), or go to the valley, opposite of downtown. I live on a mesa, and downtown is about 4 miles away, downhill. I would and have tried to ride, but I just can't bike uphill up for about 2 miles non-stop. The hill is not that steep, but i'm not much of an athelete either. We do have bike racks in almost all of our buses(I think all urban and sub-urban routes have them), and two are allowed per car on the trolley(in the valley) so I'm all good.
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Old 01-07-06, 09:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by chicbicyclist
I do this when I go shopping in downtown(I'm more of a utility cyclist, really), or go to the valley, opposite of downtown. I live on a mesa, and downtown is about 4 miles away, downhill. I would and have tried to ride, but I just can't bike uphill up for about 2 miles non-stop. The hill is not that steep, but i'm not much of an athelete either. We do have bike racks in almost all of our buses(I think all urban and sub-urban routes have them), and two are allowed per car on the trolley(in the valley) so I'm all good.
Get a folding bike and now you don't have to worry whether or not the bus has racks because you can board inside the cabin of any vehicle so long as the cycle is folded and in a bag.

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Old 01-07-06, 10:54 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
Get a folding bike and now you don't have to worry whether or not the bus has racks because you can board inside the cabin of any vehicle so long as the cycle is folded and in a bag.

www.dahon.com
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I ride the bus all the time and I'm not 100 percent sure if that folding bike law also applies to SD Transit. I know for sure that a cyclist can bring a folding bike on the Coaster and Trolley anytime, but I'm not sure about the bus.

All San Diego routes have bike racks for 2 bikes. I ride the bus because I ride during peak hours and the chances of my getting one of the two spots on the racks are very slim so I don't commune to work anymore.
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Old 01-07-06, 10:57 AM   #15
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Before anyone tries to convince me to bike my commute both ways, it's an 1.5hr bus ride each way. About 80 miles round trip. I've toyed with the idea of riding a few days halfway and I'm still considering it.
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Old 01-07-06, 12:05 PM   #16
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Get a folding bike and now you don't have to worry whether or not the bus has racks because you can board inside the cabin of any vehicle so long as the cycle is folded and in a bag.

www.dahon.com
www.bromptonbike.com
And don't forget about the Bike Friday: www.bikefriday.com

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Old 01-17-06, 04:20 PM   #17
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Buses are cool. Bus drops you off, it keeps going, you keep going. You never have to worry about where to park it, or about it getting stolen. And as for having to sit next to people...eh, big motherhumping deal. Bicycles can be just as isolating as cars, as this thread amply proves.
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Old 01-17-06, 04:47 PM   #18
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At least the people who ride the bus are not in cars. And with about 85% of people in a lot of cities commuting by car, ANY form of more fuel-efficient transport is a step up as far as I'm concerned.

Whatever, I'm a wimp. What's so bad about sitting next to people who are, admittedly, sometimes odd-smelling? Beats trying to get home in the rain and wind and dark.
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Old 01-17-06, 09:45 PM   #19
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I would rather ride home in the worst rain or sleet than sit next to some smelly breathed, nasty person on a train. Really. I've done it. Last week was my latest opportunity to ride home on the train after I realized I had no rain gear and I was entering a heavy, cold shower. I idea of sitting next to some stank, stale-breathed, dirty toothed nasty person was enough to keep me riding. I was soaked and shivering when I got home, but at least I didn't have to deal with the nastiness. I just hate stank nasty. It's the worst.


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Old 01-18-06, 10:59 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
I remember using buses to get to work years ago and it was horrible. The buses were packed with people and it smelled due to poor ventilation. The constant jerking of the bus and movement from side to side made me sick to my stomach on many occasions. I can't believe I did that for so many years.

What surprises me is how many able bodied men stick to this horrible from of transportation. When someone sits next to you and is sick, you get sick too! Then you get passengers who don't bathe, crush you or start eating smelly food. It's as though no one knows the secret of bicycle commuting. I think most people really believe their bicycles will get stolen, traffic will kill them or others will laugh. It's just the opposite.


Today I use a light rail and it's night and day compared to a bus.
You hit the nail right on hte head. That sounds exactly like my bus ride. NO ONE has the bus more than I do. I get on the bus and it smells, and since it is -15 here we don't open the windows becuase everyone would freeze, so the bus smells pretty raunchy.

Also the part about people eating smelly food is dead on as well, I always smell garlic whenever I get on the bus and it makes me sick. And the bus fare is $ 2.00 per trip, what a ripoff that is...

If more people would try cycling, it would make them a lot happier. I only have to wait 2 -3 more months before I can ride again. I hope I can last that long. I hate public transportation.

THe transit system here has raised the fare every year for the last 12 years, and they wonder why the buses are half empty, well maybe the fact the fare is too high is a good reason. I hope when the weather warms up, that the buses are almost empty ( 1 or 2 passengers)
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Old 01-18-06, 12:51 PM   #21
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I don't ride the bus much because, compared to my bike, it's slow and I hate waiting around for it. But to me it's not as bad as you all make it out to be.

I rarely encounter stinky people, and if somebody does stink, I'll either move my seat or sit there like a man and take it. Here the bus is only $1 and transfers are free, so you can ride anywhere in the city, or get off for a while and continue your trip on a later bus.

The bus is a great backup to my bike. I've included it in my emergency plans if my bike breaks down and I can't fix it roadside. When I got hurt I used the bus for a while too. Don't rule it out if you haven't tried it!
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Old 01-18-06, 03:48 PM   #22
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I haven't used the bus yet but i must say i like knowing that it is there. I like having a backup in case i get really sick or injured. The main reason i don't use the bus is that pretty much everywhere i want to go is an easy ride away. Like Roody i am too impatient to wait for the bus and i make better time on the bike.
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Old 01-18-06, 03:50 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Roody
I don't ride the bus much because, compared to my bike, it's slow and I hate waiting around for it. But to me it's not as bad as you all make it out to be.

I rarely encounter stinky people, and if somebody does stink, I'll either move my seat or sit there like a man and take it. Here the bus is only $1 and transfers are free, so you can ride anywhere in the city, or get off for a while and continue your trip on a later bus.

The bus is a great backup to my bike. I've included it in my emergency plans if my bike breaks down and I can't fix it roadside. When I got hurt I used the bus for a while too. Don't rule it out if you haven't tried it!
I agree with Roody. My experience with three of the bus systems here in the DC area has been positive. I too once had to bus around for a month or so after an accident. No stink. No rudness. The schedules could be better. Rush hour has crowded and off schedule busses but other times its been pleasant. Not as pleasant as biking but relaxing. Koffee- you can switch cars on the train. If you are paranoid ride in the front of the front car where you can alert the driver to any problems. Eating isn't allowed. You're post doesn't describe the transit system I use. Obnoxious teenagers occasionally, beggars occasionally, and once in over 20 years a flasher came aboard.
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Old 01-18-06, 04:40 PM   #24
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I guess it depends on the city.

New York City spends mega bucks on it's extensive bus line and the cars are well ventilated. It's slow due to traffic once the bus gets closer to the center of town. My city (New Jersey) has some very horrible bus lines. I find the private bus lines to be the worse but as someone said before, it's better than nothing.
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Old 01-18-06, 09:24 PM   #25
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I'm not paranoid- I've just been unlucky nearly every time I've ridden the train. I will ride it when it's really unsafe for me to ride- ice storms and thunderstorms. Otherwise, I'll ride my bike. Fresh, polluted air smells better than bad breath air anyday.

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