Wednesday, November 19, 2008

20 Degrees with the Wind Chill

Ok, today it was too cold to go for one of my marathon bike rides. Getting late in the season. I can mabye do the bike and bus thing for a few more days, but proabably not after thanksgiving.

Unfortunately the bike is indespensible to me using the bus to get to work. The ZOOM bus's closest stop in Portland to my house is about 2.5 miles away, and the closest the bus comes to my office is still about 2.9 miles. There are a couple of Metro Lines I could take to get to a ZOOM bus stop, the problem is how to get down town.

The cities of Biddeford and Saco run a bus line but the schedule doesn't coincide with my work schedule. The system is more geared for people living in Biddeford to work in Portland then for people living in Portland to work in Biddeford.

Amtrak's Downeaster is another possability, it gets to Saco at about 8:22, and is only a short walk to my office, the drawback here being that it does not head north to home in Portland in any reasonable time. Also, getting to the station via public transportation involves at least one transfer, and would require an hour of travel and transfer just to get to the station.

The point of this is that it as it stands now, the region's public transit system works for me as long as I can use my bike to augment it's shortcomeings. It would only take a few modest schedule changes, for me to be able to use it year round without a car or bike (don't get me wrong I love useing the bike, but I need a back up for bad weather). Now these changes to be practical, can't be just for MY convenience but for everyone's convenience. There also has to be the will out there by commuters to be open to trying alternative transportation. Convenient scheudling and frequent service are the two keys to making public transportation more viable for larger groups of people. And as gas becomes scarcer, as our climate becomes more unstable, we are going to need to use these alternatives, to insure our own futures on the planet.

No comments: