Flutterby™! : Why I'm not bus commuting

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Why I'm not bus commuting

2012-04-05 16:19:34.120953+00 by Dan Lyke 8 comments

I recently took a new job that involves a commute. I looked at the Visa bill last night, saw how much I'm spending on gas now, and made a new commitment to trying to figure out how to get taxpayers to subsidize my commute, so now I'm back to trying to figure out the bus thing.

Continued in the comments.

[ related topics: Invention and Design Heinlein Public Transportation Woodworking ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-06 14:05:20.820576+00 by: Nancy

Our commute is actually 6.25 miles each way according to mapquest and 6.2 miles by googlemaps. I think my dad walked farther, and through snow, every morning and evening.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-05 23:45:15.081457+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I am totally missing working from home, and getting back to the point where I'm coding at my desk in my house most days is a priority.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-05 23:04:15.490888+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Dang, it's 7pm, (post rush-hour). I'll walk 1.5 blocks to my Mini and be home (< 11 miles) in under 15 min, and using about .25 gallons of gas.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-05 22:09:17.187939+00 by: ebradway

My current commute is 42 miles each way. The drive is almost exactly 1 hour each way. Total bus takes a minimum of 1.75 hours each way but only if the buses are aligned just right. I only have one transfer, but RTD doesn't seem to understand the concept of the commuter flash. If the buses don't line up, it can easily be 2.5+ hours. On snowy days, I've taken 5+ hours. Yeah - got there just in time to turn around and head back.

The only saving graces are that there is only one transfer, it's coach buses the entire trip, and I ride the longer segment from first stop to last stop with the last stop being directly in front of work.

But the reason I've all but stopped taking the bus is that RTD reduced service on both segments. The alignments don't happen and if I have to work past 6pm, my only option is to walk 2+ miles to get to a bus that takes me downtown Denver, then bus to downtown Boulder, then bus to Longmont. That trip takes 3+ hours. And I would only take that trip after 6pm which means I get home closer to 10pm. If I stay much later than 7pm, then I start sliding into the late-night schedule where the buses only run every hour. A 15 minute slip means adding an hour (at least) to the trip.

So I drive... and send resumes for closer jobs.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-05 19:43:19.475962+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think the way it works, I'd have to have the bike at both ends. Or add another 10 minutes (min). The transit mall appears to have 8 lockers, though I would have to figure out who to contact about that.

And, no, it's not true that once I'm jused to it I'll know when to get off. Get heads-down in a book or on a laptop and I can easily blow by a stop, although I'm pretty sure I can set up my cell phone to ring when I get close using Locale.

I just need to pick a day when it doesn't matter if I lose an hour or two off either end and try it. But there's the big barrier to entry that I whined about in the other blog entry.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-05 18:19:02.040676+00 by: TheGreaterMarin

That said - once you're used to public transit, you'll know when to get off. If you need to stop at the SR Transit Mall, it's pretty obvious where you are. The bike you could probably store in a locker in Santa Rosa (though I'm unsure if they have that) so you wouldn't need to worry about it on the bus. If you want it at both ends, you'll always face a slight chance of getting screwed with the bike rack.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-05 17:18:27.759868+00 by: Mars Saxman

Buses just suck. Always.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-05 16:19:43.194268+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

My job is about 3½ miles from downtown Santa Rosa. Driving takes me 30-35 minutes. There are several buses that run from Petaluma to Santa Rosa in the time frames that I'm interested in traveling, a few of them are Golden Gate Transit. The reasons I'm still driving:

So, basically, taking the bus means:

  1. I'm never sure if I'm going to fit the bike on the bus.
  2. My commute will take more than twice the drive time.
  3. Because I have to be aware of my location to know when to get off, bus time is only fractionally usable time. And I currently listen to podcasts while I drive, so even that gain is questionable.