Monday, July 16, 2007

Gasoline Guilt Week: Day 1, Get on the bus, y'all!

So I've been experiencing some major Gasoline Guilt lately to the extent that I grew fed up with my own inability to avoid "walking the talk". This weekend in an attempt to assuage some of that guilt and get myself back on the bus. No one can deny that LA is a car-centric culture but thousands of people do use the mass transit system here, successfully and as a necessity. I figured I could at least give it a try. Now I've read all the books about how taking the bus is great cuz you can use that time for more productive things like reading or being social, but the bad part about the LA bus system is the inconvenience of the schedules: case in point, the 23 mile trip by car should take 27 minutes (per Mapquest), by bus 28 miles and 1 HOUR 43 minutes. Oy. But I did it, I sat at the bus stop, I put my coins in the slot and rode 2 buses all the way down to Culver City to see a movie with a friend (Knocked Up: meh, don't believe the hype.) And while, don't tell my mother I stood on a slightly sketchy street corner downtown for 45 minutes waiting for my connection (only safety factor was that only about 4 vehicles passed in my entire wait). So the overall verdict? While an hour round trip by car ended up taking 4 hours and 45 minutes, I'm still not dissuaded by the bus. I surprised myself by being able to read and relax during the whole trip and while it won't be every day when I can devote that much time to transit, every once in a while, it can't hurt to be a little more conscious of how we travel. Coming tomorrow: AAA's cost per mile: how accurate? And is taking the bus cost effective when you have a hybrid?

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