Why I Love the BusPosted by Matt on February 09 at 10:57 am
When I first started at Lima Beads, I would drive about 45 minutes to work, then park at the closest parking ramp. It was only about a 15-mile drive, but with rush hour traffic, it would end up being about an hour from when I got into my car to when I sat down at my desk. Not only was I wasting two hours every day trying to get to and from work, it was costing me about $10 a day for gas and parking.
I bet a good majority of you are shaking your heads right now. Either you’re shaking it side to side in disbelief or up and down in a “I can totally relate” kind of way. Chances are, most of you can relate to my situation in some way.
I wouldn’t say that I’m a penny pincher, but most of my co-workers would agree that I don’t like to spend my money on silly things like six-dollar mochas or twelve-dollar lunches. So, when I was spending close to eight dollars a day to park my car, I knew I had to figure out some other way to get downtown.
That’s when I learned more about Ann Arbor’s excellent transit system. The Ann Arbor Transit Authority (AATA) offers routes to just about anywhere in the Greater Ann Arbor Area. So, I would drive about 25 minutes to the mall and catch the bus to downtown. It ended up taking about 5 minutes longer than driving all of the way downtown, but it was worth it. I used less gas and didn’t have to pay for parking.
Last year, we moved into a new apartment. Now I live about 3 miles from work and it only takes me about 20 minutes to get here on the bus. We pay a bit more in rent than we would if we were living in nearby Ypsilanti, but living only 3 miles from work in one of the most beautiful parts of town is something I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Riding the bus is one of the most rewarding things I do on a daily basis. On the way to work, I get to see U of M’s North Campus, Lower Town, the Huron River, the Amtrak station, the Gandy Dancer, Kerrytown, the Farmer’s Market, city hall and finally the Ann Arbor News. Not to mention all of the environmental benefits to using public transit.
To be honest, the environmental advantages were kind of an unexpected positive to riding the bus to work. Now that “Going Green” is such a big deal, I can brag to my friends and family that I don’t even have a car. My wife and I share a car that we use to go back and forth to our parents house and do the occasional grocery shopping.
I’m by no means an environmental activist, but riding the bus every day is a great example of something that’s personally rewarding, but also has positive effects on a broader scale. If you have a similar story, share it with us in the comments.
Thanks for reading!