Thursday, September 11, 2008

Expectation Express

Back in 2006 the public transpo option to / from work nearest my home and work-place went express. Overall I was happy about this service improvement though even after two years, nearly every day someone shouted, "LET ME OFF! I DIDN'T KNOW THIS WAS AN EXPRESS!!"

Some weeks ago the public transpo authority decided to de-express the express (partially). They decided that for part of the route (the longest, most populated part) the bus would make all stops for about a 2 1/2 mile stretch. That's about 20 city blocks (give or take). There are 23 bus stops in that stretch. TWENTY-THREE vs. the 6 it was making as a pure express bus. SIX and that includes the end-of-the-line turn around. Keep in mind that over this same stretch of 23 stops is the regular route bus making the same stops.

Think the express patrons were confused before? 'Taint nothin compared to the confusion reigning now, not to mention the anger.

The route does maintain the express concept for the second part of the trip, making only another 10 stops before it hits the down-town area. I get off at stop number seven. So in theory the bus could stop 30 times (not counting traffic lights and stop signs) before I get to my destination. THIRTY vs thirteen.

Change, it happens. I get that. I adjust. I deal. What continues to burn my buttons about this change is that the patrons found out ON THE DAY of the change. There were no hearings, no notice and no signage along the route until the day of the change. Further, I don't see how they can call this an express bus, when it is clearly no longer express (at least for most of the route). The CSA responding to my emails spouted the company line about servicing the maximum number of customers in the most efficient manner. It was / is my position that this change does the exact opposite.

Partly as a result of this change and partly because I'm working on working in more exercise in my daily routines (more about that later) I found an alternative to the non-express express bus and the elevated trains with all those daunting stairs. I take the on-ground train, but I have to walk (or ride my bike) several blocks to get to the station.

Now and again, I'm not up to the walk (especially in the rain) so I resort to the non-express express bus. This morning was one of those times. This morning there was a public transpo authority service rep on the bus handing out survey forms about this route. Trust, I stated my opinion.

I expect one of two scenarios. 1. the non-express express will be cancelled altoghter or 2. will only run from that 2nd part through the downtown area, which will effectively take it off my service radar.

In either case, I expect that I must embrace walking (or riding my bike) the several blocks to the on-ground train, come rain (wind, sleet, snow) or shine. I suppose considering the overall health benefits of the alternate travel plan, they can take this express bus and shove it.

9 comments:

  1. I wish my city had better mass transport systems. I am lucky in that my job is at a hospital that takes me about five minutes to drive to...and if I weren't so lazy, I could probably walk it, but I would dearly love a decent bus service.

    Doesn't it drive you up the wall, though, to have to stop and stop and stop like that?

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  2. Arrgghh

    Sounds exasperating!

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  3. Having only 1 bus running only 7-6 M-F in my area, I hear ya'.

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  4. Can't even imagine. 30 stops? Would it not be fsater to walk? ;0

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  5. Maria: Absolutely all that stopping & staring drives me up the wall, especially when you consider just how close together many of those stops are to one another.

    Trish: It is.

    Tiff: Hmmm, well not the way *I* walk. ;)

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  6. I so hear you. When I lived in SF, this happened to me a few different times. It just makes you feel so out of control and so angry. Hang in there and maybe you better go book shopping.

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  7. I'm glad to see that you're taking a positive approach to this change but I am sorry that you may not have the option of the non-express express bus on those especially cold/snowy days.

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  8. I hate when they "improve" service on bus routes. I fortunately live a twenty minute walk from work, but when it rains, I take the bus (on principle, I refuse to pay my employer for parking at a job).

    I hope the express is reinstituted pronto!

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  9. I'm not holding out any hope that the express will be reinstituted.

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