A trip on public transportation in Syracuse
6/23/2005 12:48:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
My wife has accepted a new job downtown, and was interested in taking public transportation to work, as an alternative to driving. So, being the good husband that I am (and the fact that I have the day off on a beautiful morning, still recovering...) I decided to take the bus downtown to figure out the bus route for her.

Here are some pictures...

Our bus stop on the corner of my street.

Initially I thought that the bus route was under-utilized, but after a few more stops the bus filled up.

Picture of the CNG bus that took me downtown.

It was an easy and relaxing ride, which took about 25 mins. Compared with driving, it took me about 13 mins more time to get there, cost only $1.00 each direction. (Parking down town is anywhere from $3.00 to $6.00+/day depending where you park.) Also, I burned no gasoline, as the bus ran on CNG.

The book that I was reading on the way down seemed to fit perfectly with the activity at hand: James Howard Kunstler's Home From Nowhere: Remaking Our Everyday World for the 21st Century (1996). The chapter that I am digesting now has to do with how zoning laws have take the community out of where we live, and how isolated our lives truly are.

Getting on that bus, and watching the afternoon shift workers heading in to the restaurant, the laborer with his tools, 2 older women returning from a morning at the zoo, and a young family heading downtown (or possibly on to the beach) I felt a sense of community that I haven't since moving out of NYC and to upstate. We had very little similar in our daily lives, but at the same time we were all brought together to get to our destination. I saw a perfect stranger (the laborer) help another stranger (the mother of 2 small children) with her double stroller down the steps. Another passenger, moved her seat so a family could sit down together and the mom could keep an eye on her kids. Small and random acts of kindness, people helping each other out for no other reason than to be kind.

How many acts of kindness did you witness on your commute today? I think that I can count more incidents of road rage (myself included), than kindness on the freeways around here on a normal day heading to work.

More on this later. I am wiped out from my first day "out of the house."
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On 2:42 PM , NYCO said...

I rode Centro to work for a year and a half. (In fact, I actually blogged about it every day - although it wasn't a terribly exciting blog)

More recently I took it downtown to go to an event (Taste of Syracuse).

Centro has always been part of my life if only because my house has always been directly on a bus line. So I've always seen it as a ready transportation option. Before they cut back their routes a few years ago, buses were constantly coming and going on my street. Now we just have a few in the morning, and one or two in the late afternoon.

On 2:45 PM , baloghblog said...

I agree with the thought that the routes are limited. The route my wife will take has the last bus at 5:10 pm. Cuts it a little close if she has to stay a few minutes late.

Seems like we could cut down on a DWI or two if we extended the routes a little later into the evening as well.

On 2:47 PM , baloghblog said...

I think however, that ridership is destined to increase with higher gas prices. Perhaps that will spur the increased investment in more routes and more frequent service.