Sunday Sound-off: Do you ride the bus?
While nowhere near the all-time highs of 2008, gas prices are still much higher than most of us would like to pay. Add in the seemingly-endless construction season in Wisconsin and the daily commute can often be a bigger pain than it needs to be.
So sound off, OnMilwaukee.com readers; do high gas prices, construction, traffic and parking get you to use the Milwaukee County Transit System or are you willing to "tough it out" each day, and make the trek on your own?
Yes, I use the bus for my commute, errands or short trips: It's easy and convenient and saves me some money. Other people in bigger cities like Chicago, New York and the Twin Cities use public transportation, so why shouldn't we?
No, thanks. I'm fine on my own: The bus is too expensive, too out-of-the-way and too much of a hassle. I spent a lot of money on my car and insurance, so there's no need to let it sit in the garage.
Handicappers? Please try to be more politically correct. I'd be outraged if I was a person who got upset by things like that. Spending a lot of time on the bus back in college is what made me realize I don't want to be around a lot of humans.
I love the bus. I mix it up between my bike and the bus. Mostly the bus in winter. I live in Riverwest and commute to Bayshore. The bus takes me nearly the same amount of time as driving and parking in a busy lot. I only wish the 10 ran later from Bayshore, especially Friday and Saturday and holidays when the mall is open til 10 or later (mall workers are often there at least an hour after close). When I called the bus company they were very nice and offered to drop me off at my stop with a bus that was ending service for the night on the way back to the depot. As my schedule is irregular and I don't need the bus every night I didn't take them up. I was, however, very impressed with such a high level of customer service. I have never had any trouble with anyone on the bus. Most drivers are friendly and courteous. I do worry about the handicappers in the winter as many people don't shovel the bus stops in front of their property. This is bogus. I do have a car I share with my husband, but often it sits in the garage for weeks on end, as most of our outings, shopping, fun occur in Riverwest or the Eastside. People should try the bus. It's actually kind of fun and brings people together in a way that makes me realize we are all just a bunch of humans.
I live on the East Side and have parking at my apartment. However, I work Downtown and I do not want to pay for parking every day. Luckily, I'm fortunate that I get a Commuter Value Pass through my employer. I pay $26 a month (through payroll deduction). I ride the bus 2 x a day during the work week. Bus riders come in all forms. There can be some really rude and unpleasant people on the bus...but there are those kinds of people everywhere. I try to picture all the strangers on the bus as the atmospheric actors in my life. Some are more memorable than others that's for sure. Ultimately, I enjoy the personal savings and the relative ease of the bus commute.
I do ride the bus, and you have to maybe experience a poor transportation system to fully appreciate ours. I moved here from Indianapolis two years ago and was considered an urban pioneer in that city because it was nearly unheard of and horribly stigmatized to be car-free. If you didn't have a car it was assumed you were poor, had your license taken away for DUI's, or mentally ill. My main mode of transportation for 5.5 years has been my bike, but the bus is sometimes my way to escape to those suburban areas that poor traffic planning (cars only) makes it too dangerous to get there. More so when the weather is too nasty because of rain or cold it has been a very reliable and a lifeline of service to me stay extremely active in Milwaukee. In Indianapolis I hated the bus system even the most popular routes were infrequent, most only came every hour. They were rarely on time, and it did seem that only the lower class used the bus. Most routes also stopped running before 10 pm, so you could get to a bar or late night function, but you could not get home. It was simply terrible. When I moved to Milwaukee I felt as if I had went from a third world class bus system to the best. The buses number one; were frequent so you didn't have to live and literally die waiting for the next bus. They are diverse that everyone between suits down to the malt liquor wielding folks were in perfect harmony if only for minutes of the day. The drivers typically are very friendly and helpful, and last but not least they finally got bike racks which give me so much security wherever I'm riding in the city. Why? Because the bus isn't only my "second car", but it's my tow truck. Now I need not be concerned if I have a breakdown/flat or get caught in a storm I can just throw the bike on front of the bus and take a safe ride home. Money is a huge factor in this as others have mentioned. Being car-free is the biggest raise I've ever given myself because disposable income is the easiest way to have those extra dollars to be out with your friends more often, try those new restaurants, and take more vacations. On that note, the bus is good for the economy. We need all the help we can get now. Get on board!
(how much does it cost to get to and from work in your car every week?!) Doesn't matter, I can afford it. I also love the bus and enjoy riding it sometimes(when their is not a 55 minute wait on hwy 100 or students at 330). However loving the bus system is like being a fan of a horrible sports team that never gets anything right. IE Transit TV- what a great idea! let's do puzzles and movie trivia that repeats every 5minutes. MCTS needs to learn from Reno's bus system. Can we also have stops every 5 blocks instead of every other block!
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