Wednesday, September 19, 2012

mass transit, mass benefits

i know i have been so delinquent in the past few weeks in posting, since school has somewhat taken over my life. now that i have a schedule in place and am on top of all homework, i have a few things to share about being resourceful.

since i've been in Minneapolis i've started using public transportation again (Tahoe is not exactly great for those without cars). as an urban area its incredibly easy to get around by bus, and very soon the Light Rail will be expanded to cover more area in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. though its great to save money and energy, there are a few pitfalls to public transportation.

1. timing

in order to make it to my classes, i have to give myself a minimum of one hour to get to campus, usually more to be safe (i absolutely hate being late to class, especially as a professional-looking grad student). i actually have to take 2 buses to school which can delay things even further, especially when i'm done for the day and i just want to go home. it is, however, a great time to practice patience and remember why i'm taking the bus in the first place.

2. waiting

waiting for the bus goes hand-in-hand with timing, but i also feel like there's a decent amount of waiting while i'm on the bus. sometimes passengers need extra assistance getting on and off the bus, or maybe there's a lot of people getting on or off the bus. in addition, just waiting to get to my stop can sometimes feel like eternity. to combat this, i bring a book (unrelated to school) that can draw my attention away from the waiting. by nature i am not a patient person so i try to remember to do these things and not drive myself crazy.

3. bus etiquette (or lack thereof)

personally, i prefer to ride the bus with headphones and keep to myself. other people want to make conversation. as politely as possible, i smile and pretend like i can't hear them, which usually i can't anyways. i certainly don't want to offend anyone but i also am not interested in talking to a stranger about nothing while i'm commuting to school. it's also important to be courteous to everyone and their space, though some people have a harder time with this. i always make room in a seat for older folks, and i politely excuse myself when i arrive at my stop and i'm sitting on the inside seat. people who often ride the bus are usually on the same page, so this hasn't really been an issue for me. just to be safe, i make sure and practice my best manners.

all in all, riding the bus and public transportation is better for my wallet and the environment, though it can sometimes be trying. when possible, i think its a great option and certainly much better than trying to commute into or through a major city, and pay an outrageous amount for parking (unless your company or firm is willing to pay and you don't mind traffic). it's a great way to save money and energy and be resourceful!!

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