the Bus: It's Not That Bad
Sarah Curran, Columbus Bar Association
you think about public transportation, specifically buses, what
images come to mind? Crowded seats, noisy passengers, standing in
the rain at a bus stop? This is how I imagined it would be, two
years ago, before I started riding the bus downtown each morning,
from a Park & Ride near my home in Worthington. I’m here
to tell you that it’s not that bad.
initial motivation in using public transportation was a desire to
save money. As we all know, gas is expensive, especially lately.
By riding the bus to and from work, I use much less gas, and I don't
have to pay for parking downtown. In addition, my car needs fewer
oil changes, and I receive a discount on my car insurance due to
the fact that my car isn’t used for commuting to and from
work. The cost of my monthly bus pass ($62/month for an Express
bus pass) offsets some of the savings, but I still come out ahead,
saving approximately $88 each month, according to COTA. (How
much money could you save by riding the bus? Check out COTA's Expense
saving money is great, there are other benefits to riding the bus:
like knowing that by using public transportation, I'm playing
a small part in reducing carbon emissions and helping our environment.
It's much less stressful to be driven than it is to drive during
rush hour traffic.
Since I began taking the bus, I've had more time to read. Often,
I can’t wait to get on the bus so I can read a favorite
I get a little bit of exercise each day, walking to and from my
bus drop off point.
what about those down sides to riding the bus (crowded seats, noisy
passengers, standing in the rain at the bus stop)?
it turns out, my fellow passengers are polite, the drivers are friendly,
the bus is clean and comfortable, and it’s nice and cool on
the bus in the summer (whereas the air conditioning in my car is
notoriously unreliable). It’s almost always quiet, especially
in the mornings – probably because everyone else is just as
tired as I am. My bus stop is covered so I never have to stand in
the rain. I get to work on time, every day.
not the only one - many people in Columbus have been giving buses
a try lately. According to COTA, ridership during August 2008 went
up 13% compared with the number of people who rode the bus in August
COTA's news release here). So if gas prices have you
down, if riding a bike to work isn’t for you, or if you’d
like to reduce your carbon footprint, consider taking the bus. You
might find that it has its perks!
System Map (Park & Ride locations marked in orange) http://www.cota.com/pdfs/System_Map.pdf
& Ride Locations
Bus Pass (Local Routes): $45
Monthly Bus Pass (Express Routes): $62