I woke up at 6 am. I’m in that routine now but with my car back I don’t have to leave for a couple hours at least. So I waste the next hour – checking my e-mail, having a nice leisurely breakfast and finally at around 8:15 I decide to start my commute.
The long awaited reunion with my car… perfectly timed to coincide with the first real snow fall in Calgary for the year!
I left my house at 8:17 and got to work by 9:20. Traffic on deerfoot CRAWLED. The bus may have been an improvement!
Still – traffic isn’t USUALLY like that!
So to bus or not to bus. Let’s review the facts:
1. I saved money! 40 dollars worth of gas… vs. the bus fare for 7 trips. (I discovered, at the end of the day you can often find someone heading in your direction to give you a ride!)
2. I got some wonderful “me” time… an hour in the half in the morning, to read, listen to music and get a little extra morning exercise
3. The 301 BRT route is WONDERFUL… I never had to wait for a bus in the morning, they were on time in the evening and there are so many busses coming through this route..I almost always got a seat. It really does mimic an LRT.
4. You really need to budget ALOT of extra time… it seems getting anywhere is a 45 – 90 minute commitment. Your life revolves around what time the bus comes.
5. Its winter and taking transit means being outside more than you probably want to be when the temperature falls. Its not fun.
6. Service hasn’t caught up to our growth in some areas of the city. In particular the South East. Between the Foothills Industrial Park and a number of new growing neighbourhoods, alot of people just do not feel transit is a viable alternative.
Transit says better service is coming to the South East but they need more drivers first. So for everyone down in that area… 2009 is your year. Sorry.
As for me: I’m going to drive to work for the most part - but I’m also going to make an effort to take transit more often. Especially when the weather is nice and I’m reading a good book!
Thank you so much for all your comments during this 7 day experiment. Ron Collins with Calgary Transit has been nice enough to address some of your complaints. Here they are:
Brian: “The commute home is another story. If I wait for the 142 express back to panorama, it is completely packed by the time it gets to my Centre St. & 4th Ave. Stop. I have tried to catch the 301 but again have had to wait for two or three buses because these were so packed that they do not even stop.”
Calgary Transit: In the peak of the peak CT buses are filled to capacity (and most all of them used.) Centre and 4th is very near the last stop as Northbound buses exit the downtown (thus buses are carrying maximum loads.) The Centre Street Corridor has a great deal of service that provide options for customers. Routes 3 and 301 provide transfer options We are aware of capacity issues on express buses but with operator shortages adding additional service is difficult.
Lindsay: “I think that people are just getting frustrated with the crowded bus due to it being full and never getting to sit.”
Calgary Transit: With limited resources, it is not possible to fulfill the expectations of customers to ride at exact preferred time with a seated ride. An analogy is that everyone can’t drive at 7:30 am at the speed limit without stopping at a light. In the shoulders of the peak customers can improve their experience.
Rob: “Quite often scheduled buses don’t show up. Also more often than acceptable, the buses regularly operate ahead of schedule. My strongest suggestion is to have a text messaging opt-in option on the website wherein you can enter the route you take in to get to work – they (Transit) could set up an automated system that notifies you of what buses in your route and time frame won’t be running as scheduled.”
Calgary Transit: Technologies such as this are under consideration at Calgary Transit. We want to ensure any infomration that we provide customers that is marked real time is rock solid reliable. Efforts at this time are to ensure that buses run to their scheduled times.
Terra: “I live in the deep south neighbourhood of Copperfield and can only hope for the city to create a bus similar to the 301 but down our way. I must leave my house by 6:40 am to catch the express bus into downtown otherwise my commute can be as long as 1.5 hours. I feel like our district is ignored.”
Calgary Transit: South East BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) is under development and once some infrastructure is in place (Park and Ride Lots) the new route will be implemented (likely in 2009)
E.G. “One of my friends who used to live in Calgary spent about 2 hours each morning commuting from his home in Tuscany to his work in the Foothills industrial area.”
Calgary Transit: It is on our list for 2008 improvements but these are up in the air with resource shortages. This is not yet grown as a major demand pair that would drive more direct service.
Thoughts? E-mail me at [email protected]杭州龙凤