March 28, 2009


     Forgive the language, but if you listen to this thing, there is no other word to describe it. Apparently this is from a couple of years ago. How could I not have heard this before? This is the most unbelievable customer service call I have ever heard. I can't express my frustration enough. Just listen:


March 25, 2009

The Bus Blog - Episode 6: Is it Worth It?

     Actually, I already asked this question a couple of episodes back. But this time, I don't mean is it worth it for me personally; but is it worth it in general?

This morning while waiting for my express bus (about 9 minutes), I watched as 18, yes eighteen, busses screamed past my stop on the way somewhere. Each of these buses had a total of one person on them: the driver. That's 18 busses with no one riding them. I finally got on my bus and from the time I got on to the time I got off, a total of 12 people had ridden it. So there are more empty buses on the road than there are people riding the express bus from downtown Minneapolis to the southern metro.

So what is the point? If all these empty buses are just going to drive around aimlessly anyway (not to mention there are usually as many as five idling away at any given time at the various stations around town), why should I bother taking up my time and effort to curb gasoline usage? I use FAR less gasoline in a week than any of these buses and spend far less time doing it.

The more I do this bus thing, the more I realize it's bullshit. I do like catching up on reading and relaxing after work however.

March 24, 2009

The Bus Blog - Episode 5: Waiting

     So far waiting for the bus to show up at my number of locations has not been a problem at all. Normally no more than 7 or 8 minutes tops and it's usually inside a shelter or building. And usually it's more like only 2 or 3 minutes of waiting. Until tonight.

18 minutes at the corner of Lake and Chicago. If you're not from the area, let's just say it isn't the most advisable place to be standing around at 10:30 at night whistling dixie. Note to self, use the other route from now on. It's 3 minutes longer but it's a lifetime's worth for the safety.

March 18, 2009

The Bus Blog - Episode 4: Green Day

     Because of the whole "green thing", after 6pm on St Patrick's Day, Metro Transit allowed anyone who wanted to to ride for free. Well, St. Patrick's Day just happened to fall on a day where I work at my second job this year. So when I went home at 9pm, every yahoo in the city and their brother was on the bus. It stunk, it was crowded and the people looking for a free ride were, shall we say, less than desirable. I think I'll take a cab next time it is "green" day.

March 17, 2009

The Bus Blog - Episode 3: The Wheels Go Round and Round

     I do like the fact that once I'm on the express portion of my commute, I can sit back and do whatever: sleep, read, play video games, watch an iPod movie, etc. The stress of not having to deal with cars and traffic is definitely a load off. The busses are generally pretty comfortable (a lot nicer inside than I thought they would be) and the drivers (for the most part) seem fairly sane. I've finally gotten some long overdue reading done over the past couple of weeks. Bonus.

March 16, 2009

The Bus Blog - Episode 2: Is It Worth It?

     Yes and no. So far I'm very much on the fence about the entire daily use of metro transit in terms of cost, efficiency and time. One of the biggest things that pisses me off is MT's constant advertising slogan about saving gas money and riding the bus. What a crock of shit. Ok, if you drive a Lincoln Navigator or a Suburban, you're probably going to save some money by taking the bus to work every day.

But if you're like most people who have a 10+ mile commute, you drive a fairly practical ride (like a Honda Civic or Gallant or something). Personally, I drive a VW Pasaat V6. I had to fill up my tank about once every 2 weeks. At $2/gallon, it ended up being about $60. Let's be liberal about it though and say I fill up every 10 - 12 days. So it ends up being closer to $80 per month (at the most). Guess what? My 31-day pass cost me $85. So right off the bat I'm spending more money than I would be if I drove my car everyday.

To be fair, if one ditched their car completely and had no car payment, no upkeep and no insurance payments, then yeah, you're obviously saving a boatload of money. But most work commuters who ride the bus still own cars, they're just paying for not having to drive and/or they're being ecologically sound. But for me, financially speaking, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Put simply, it sucks. I have to wake up an hour earlier to make sure I catch the bus on time. It's then about a 45 - 50 minute commute with 2 transfers when I could've hopped in my car with the stereo blasting and gotten to work in 20 minutes (or 25 if there happens to some traffic). Same thing on the way home. On top of this, I work a second job. So on those two days (+ Sunday), I have to take a bus to that job and since there is no express bus after I close up shop, I have to take a round-a-bout bus with again 2 transfers and it takes me 2 HOURS to get home. That is a 20 mile trip. I'll say it again: to go 20 miles it takes 2 fucking hours! People always say "time is money." I finally understand what that means and to a guy like me two hours missing from my life that I could be spending doing other things is seriously draining.

This part is not so bad. The bus picks me up in the morning literally across the street from my house. The most I ever have to walk is about 1/5 of a mile. So that's not bad. Plus I got a little Razor scooter that gets me where I want to go pretty quickly. I'll say this, the bus system pretty much goes everywhere I want/need it to. So no complaints there.

More pros and cons will be weighed on in future installments of the bus blog...

March 15, 2009

The Bus Blog - Episode 1: So I'm Riding the Bus Now

     It's been a while since I've done any personal blogging. Movie world is just taking up too much time... oh yeah, and I'm on a bus for up to 3 hours a day. Hence, this new series on metro transit.

As some of you may know, I've decided to go green (a term I'm beginning to loathe) and ride the bus to work. I tried it for a few days with the cash fare and decided it worked well enough to go for broke and keep my car parked for an entire month and see how it goes. So I purchased the 31-Day pass and have been taking the bus (or walking) everywhere I need to go since about the first of the month. I've been meaning to start this daily bus blog for some time. Well, here it is.

I will play catch up with my experiences over the next few days and weeks.