Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 25: Bus day #2

I've never ridden a public bus before. ever.

I didn't even ride the school bus when I was a kid because I went to private school. And in high school, my sister drove me.

Therefore, I am somewhat frightened of buses- it is the Great Unknown.

Until this month- now I have conquered my fear of buses.

The ice and snow on the roads hadn't quite melted by Tuesday morning so we decided that we would again walk to the bus station and I would ride to work while Nathan walked five more blocks to his office.

Walking to downtown.

Monday was my first official bus ride though. I admit, I was nervous. After checking the bus number and times about 17 times, I was confident that I was boarding the correct bus. It was filled with all kinds of people from students to elderly working people and even a few homeless.

Thankfully the girl in front of me had demonstrated the proper way to pull the cord to request a stop then exit the back bus door. The bus dropped me off next to my office building just a few minutes after 8.

It was actually nice to relax and not worry about wrecking my car on a patch of ice (which I have done before, I'm capable). I was relieved to know that this trip on the bus was only going to cost me $1.50 with no risk of having to file an insurance claim or pay a deductible if I ran into someone else with my car.

Again, after checking the bus schedule 17 times, I boarded my bus to go home at 4:45. The bus was a few minutes late, causing me to be petrified that maybe I had missed it. (But I couldn't have missed it because I was at the bus stop about 13 minutes early- again scared that I would miss the bus and be stuck at work).
There's my bus...way down there. It's coming, eventually. The stop lights at 21st and Utica are painfully long and slow.

The bus was actually pretty crowded so I made my way to the back of the bus. I nearly slipped and fell as the bus driver was taking off combined with my wet boots and a slippery floor. The only seat available was one that had a litte bit of water on it, so I had to sit carefully.

I rode back to the downtown bus station where Nathan was waiting for me. We walked the mile home as he wrote about yesterday.

On Tuesday, my second ever bus day, our walk to the station was a little easier and faster since more snow had melted. We didn't have to dodge large piles of snow on the sidewalk. I boarded my bus without a problem. We had purchased a 10-ride pass at the bus station before the ice started, so I don't have to find change when I need to get on the bus- simply swipe my card. I have been surprised that some of the Tulsa Transit buses offer free Wi-Fi.

This day I was a little overly anxious about pulling the cord to request a stop. Usually the bus driver will stop after we go through an intersection to let someone off. I pulled the cord a tad early and that made the bus stop about a block and a half too soon. I felt like such an amateur. So I just got off the bus and started walking. I have so much to learn.

As we've mentioned before, one of the great things about not being in a car but rather going at a slower pace is that you notice details that you've never seen before.

I've passed this fountain a thousand times. It's beautiful especially at night.

But you know what I discovered today. It MOVES! Some of those metal pieces teeter back and forth with water on them! Who knew. I would never notice that just driving by because it moves too slowly.

A local businessman- also enjoying the fountain.

I've conquered my fear of buses.
The end.


  1. Shame on me. I've ridden the bus once in my 18 years in Tulsa. That businessman is Han Helmerich. You can actually read the paper he's reading, its a copy from a particular day back in the 60's I think.

  2. I am glad that you are combining cycle/metrotransit commuting...often wondered what its like...maybe someday you can cycle to a bus stop, store your bike on the front carrier and give us a report on how that works.

  3. Twenty years when my husband and I both worked downtown, we used to ride the bus together to save the parking money. Lots of stories to tell about that! It is a nice time to read, etc.

  4. Yogi - Thanks for the tip about reading the newspaper on the Helmerich statue. That is cool.

  5. Cap - We were planning on using the bike rack last Thursday during the beginning of the ice storm. We both rode to work in the morning but Kristin was going to put her bike on the bus rack and bus home. She ended up getting off early enough to ride home before it got bad. Maybe we'll get another chance to try them out. I don't know if your bike would fit though on a bus rack.

  6. Celeste - Thanks for the comment. That is cool that you guys took the bus for twenty years. I would like to hear the stories sometime.