September 13, 2012 by Art Eddy
Week three was definitely an interesting week using the public transportation system. I rode various modes of transportation this week. Made it another four days of the week using public transportation and once again only filled up the truck once with gas. Seemed like week three was filled with late buses and packed buses.
Bus 27 that runs along Broadway seemed to never be on time this week. The good thing about having an office in Olneyville is that the buses run every 10 minutes. I can always get to the office when I need to. The west side of Providence is well served by buses. Although this service is great, I would also question the amount service as there are parts of the day when there is a bus going to Olneyville Square every minute. Seems somewhat overabundant.
On Thursday, if you have not read, a group of us took the train to Boston. I took the bus from North Smithfield to Kennedy Plaza and got on a train to Boston. Seemed to work rather seamlessly. I had a little extra time to poke around the train station before everyone else arrived, but I thought that was ok. We rode the T in Boston and did a fair amount of walking. Wanted to ride the bikes from the Hubway but, my cohorts chickened out. Went to some great events stayed a little longer than planned and headed back to Providence around 8:30 or so. Just late enough to miss all the buses heading to Woonsocket until 10:30. Unfortunately, my phone had died so, I had no way to know that the bus was going to be that late (there is also no way to know if you are in Kennedy Plaza, no signs, nothing). This afforded me the time to be talked at by a gentleman who insisted he was going to be rich because his boss made him climb up a faulty ladder where he proceeded to fall and was only drinking to kill the pain. At that point, I wished I had a drink. In the end, I got home safely and the biggest downside was being exhausted and having a wife that had no idea where I was berate me and in this instance I would say rightfully so.
Friday morning, got on the bus without a hitch but on the way home had to stand from Kennedy Plaza to Lincoln Mall. While I did not mind it, I could imagine it could be difficult for some.
Finally, I got to use Zipcar. I don’t know if I figured this part out or not. I love the idea – walk up get in a car drive off and then bring it back without talking to anyone. It is a block away from the office and easy to use. Financially, I do not know if it works for me. I imagine if you did not own a car and do not pay insurance, registration, gas, etc. it works great. I will keep testing to see how it works.
Overall, i find my time on the bus is twenty times better than the time in the car. I have seen the following benefits thus far:
Stress is way down. No yelling at other drivers.
Feeling much more productive during my commuting hours
Gas bill has been cut in half
Schedule, schedule, schedule. I am definitely more structured with my time.
Feel like I am contributing environmentally
Right now, I highly recommend it and see it as a viable way to commute. Can’t wait until a commuter rail connects Woonsocket to Providence, maybe?