Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Learn How to Ride the Bus
From the Fishwrap:
"Commuters thinking about switching to the bus can take a close look at a Metro bus, ask questions, pick up schedules, test an online trip planner and register to win a free monthly pass Friday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Walnut Street side of Fountain Square."
Seriously, HOW HARD IS IT ?
Granted, teenagers have a hard time with it, but what are our expectations of teenagers ?
One of the biggest things you need to learn on Metro's newer buses is how to be under 6 foot tall, because you ain't gonna fit if you are taller. If you need to stand near the rear, you need arms (at least one) that are about seven feet long to grasp the overhead handrail. A skill with gymnastics can be helpful as one gropes for handholds placed "here and there" and an ability to make onesself paper thin as you squeeze past the kids who congregate around the front of the bus.
It also helps to not be old as the low seats can be murder to get out of, and without that seven foot arm, you won't have any handholds to assist yourself getting out of the seats.
But, other than being a physiological freak, riding the bus is pretty simple. Schedules and a system map are online. There is a poorly done but usable "trip planner" application on the home page and you can just call for routing info at 513-621-4455, too. The bus names and numbers are clearly marked (for normally sighted people). Most of the drivers are courteous and helpful as are most of the adult riders. Zones might be kind of weird but once you know your zone, you are set. The bicycle racks are pretty easy to use. You might need to instruct the driver if your wheelchair has special requirements. The driver will usually tell kids to give you their seat if you are handicapped & the surly kids are just giving you that, under the brow, I've got a block of cement where my brain oughtta be, glare.
Seriously, riding the bus isn't that difficult.

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