Monday, October 1, 2007

the wheels on the bus

this morning I learned that the cleveland RTA has just received recognition as 'the best large transit system in North America' according to the american public transportation association (apta). ALL RIGHT!

according to the story in today's PD our rta system brought home the award for a number of reasons, one being that it has experienced four straight years of growth in terms of ridership. I proudly count myself in that number. in april 2006 my much beloved volkswagon jetta (which incidentally had almost 200,000 miles on it) bit the dust. I decided instead having it repaired or replace it with another car, I would start using public transportation to get around. definitely one of the best decisions I've made.

I have saved money (owning a car is EXPENSIVE); gotten great intrinsic satisfaction that I'm doing my part to help the planet; seen an increase in my annual yield of books read; and I have felt much more connected to my community. you just never know who or what you might encounter on the bus, train, or trolley.

also worth noting is that I'm probably in better physical shape, I don't always rely on using the rta to get around - I walk! I love to walk and like riding the rta, walking brings so many unexpected pleasures - you never know what you are going to encounter, who you might meet or what you might learn by wandering about the world at ground level.

although I do think cleveland still has a bit of room for improvement in terms of it's transit system, it is totally worthy of the apta award. I would like to see an increase in the network of the rail part of the rta - I'm fortunate to live close to the red line (right now we only have three lines). cleveland does have a system capable of meeting a lot of people's transportation needs and economically it is a great deal. in spite of a fare increase last year, the cost of riding on cleveland's public transit is reasonable. there are all sorts of passes and even discounts for many members of the community who have special needs. in terms of passes we have daily, weekly, or monthly packages. for me the all-day pass meets my needs - for 3.50 I can ride anything, anywhere, as many times as needed for an entire day. how many cities can boast a deal like that?

8 comments:

gig said...

Eugene can...at $2.50 for a day pass, where you can travel up to the McKenzie River Bridge and do some awesome hiking!

randeep said...

Alright! I used to walk/ride the bus pretty much exclusively when I lived in Cleveland Heights, and I learned so much about east side neighborhoods and the people who live there by doing so. You never know who you'll talk with on the bus!

lettuce said...

not bad! about £4.50 or something here for the same.

we don't have a car - I love walking, cycling, using the bus and train - def. the way to go.

Colette Amelia said...

Yes indeed since I sold the car for legal advice and been riding the bus I too have experienced an awakening of being closer to nature, increased social interaction (and nicer interaction...a pleasant good morning instead of road rage)

I also get to see just how lucky I am for in this city the bus is thought of as a loser mobile...handicapped, poor, elderly...and even though I am not healed enough to be able to drive my life is sure many times better than so many others.

For all too many the car is the ultimate expression of success, it gives you social standing, it gives you independence, it gives you power.

And since I have been without the evil machine I have seen that it only enslaves us...we need to find parking, we need to maintain it, we need to worry about making sure it is safely locked and parked, we need to feed it and wash it...oyy the money!

kimy said...

gig - as you know I'd be in eugene in a heartbeat and not only for the cheap bus fare. but alas, f's job tether us to to cleveland.

lettuce - excellent - you folks in europe are so much more evolved on these matters!

randeep, lovely to hear! by the way I LOVE your recycling link on the coyote!! you go girl! xxx

kimy said...

thanks ca! excellent points in your reply/comment!

msb said...

Eugene, I used to live in Ashland. I didn't have a car there but a bike for years. Now, in small, smmmaalll town AZ the bus doesn't work so well.

I was in Capistrano Beach last month and we took a train to San Diego. There we caught a bus to the museum. We were going to catch a cab but seemed so much more adventurous to do the bus.

But my little car gets me all over the country cheap so I guess I'll keep it. Thats an adventure in itself.

Dumdad said...

I have a car and I cycle but I still enjoy traveling on buses especially the red Routemasters in London.

There used to be a bus in Paris that had a tiny open-air section at the back that I loved standing in and watching the traffic. Sadly, this has been phased out.