I know, slow news day. Towards the end of the year most of my clients are busy with parties and vacation so I don’t travel much during December.
My car was having issues and there are only 2 places in Charlotte besides the dealer who specialize in Audis. I didn’t have a good experience with the first one so I decided to try out the other one. It’s pretty far from my house, but right off the light rail so since I could either take a cab, try to bum a ride off a friend, or just suck it up and ride public transit I decided to go with option 3. It’s a 1.5 mile walk from my house to the bus stop, but once on the bus I had a straight shot to the light rail station at the main transportation depot right across from the basketball arena. For some reason I always assumed that I’d need to transfer or who knows what so I never bothered with even investigating.
It was 20 degrees F. which is VERY cold for Charlotte so my 1.5 mile walk was as brisk as I could make it. The bus was supposed to leave the southern end of the route at 8:21 and I am the second stop on the route so when I got to the stop at 8:25 I thought I had missed it…but it came at 8:32. That’s good for me since the buses run every 40 minutes at that time of day and standing in freezing weather did not sound fun. I got off at the depot and hopped up the stairs to the light rail. I could have asked for a transfer from the bus driver, but I wanted a debit for my rewards checking so even though I had paid $1.75 to board the bus (which is payable in bills and coins, not just coins) I used my debit card to purchase a $1.75 ticket for the light rail. Apparently ticket fraud is so rampant on the light rail I consider it a donation.
Now that I know the bus will take me uptown following the same route I’d take myself I might actually consider taking it in the future if I go to any more sporting events uptown. The only issue with the bus is the last outbound on my route is around midnight but the bars close at 2 am.
Why do I tell you this? I take public transit in many other cities. I was in Toronto last week and didn’t rent a car, but the thought of taking it in my own city seemed odd. I’d have to connect to go to the airport and the whole walking 1.5 miles with my luggage to get to the bus doesn’t sound like fun, but people in other countries do it all the time.