Today is the second day I used my bike to get to work. My job is about 19.4 miles from my house, so I cheat a little. I bike 2.8 miles, catch a bus, and then bike 2.9 miles to my office (all distances courtesey of Google Maps).
The ZOOM bus provides the crucial link between Portland and Biddeford for me. Sadly, like many other public transit agencies, they've been forced to cut back on services and raise their prices. Formerly it was $3.00 a ride, and $58.00 for a monthly pass. It's now $5.00 a ride and $80.00 a month, a considerable hike. They've also cut back a couple of runs. For example the last bus out of Biddeford used to be at 5:55, but that was eliminated, so if I miss the 5:35 bus, I have a long ride home ahead of me, or I can wait until 7:00 and take Amtrak back to Portland.
There may be sound financial reasons for cutting services and raising prices, but in any time, and especially a time of recession, the people it hurts most are the people who need it the most. My decsision to use the bus to get to work is a choice for me. I have a car, and I can afford to maintain it, but there are many who cannot, and these people shouldn't be penalized for not owning a car.