The 40 foot limo

by DaniGirl on October 25, 2005 · 11 comments

in Uncategorized

I have a love-hate relationship with the bus. No, that’s not quite true – mostly, I just hate the bus. I know Ottawa has a really good bus system compared to some other cities, and the bus I catch half a block from my front door leaves me within a 10 minute walk to work. Even though two hours of commuting each day eats a big chunk of my already precious time, it does let me indulge in the morning paper on the way to work, and both a soduko and crossword puzzle, or a few chapters of whatever else I can lay my hands on, during the ride home.

Of course, I can also feel smugly superior to all those commuters sitting by themselves in their cars, wasting fossil fuels zipping past me as I shiver in the rain at the bus stop in the pre-dawn darkness, waiting for a bus that may or may not show up but secure in the fact that I am doing my part to reduce air pollution and improve the global environment. Wetly.

This morning, I am having my picture taken for a new bus pass they’ve introduced. The EcoPass lets you buy an annual transit pass through payroll deductions, saving 15% off the monthly pass price. I like the idea of saving a few clams ($144 a year on an $80 monthly pass), but I really love the idea that I’ll no longer be hunting for loose change to use as bus fare because it’s the first of the month and I forgot to queue up and buy my pass again.

The irony is that they’re talking about a transit strike some time in the near future. I’m sure the suburban commuter runs are not among the priority routes that will be staffed by managers in the case of a strike, so I’ve got to do some contingency planning this morning. While I kind of like the idea of working from home on the three days each week that the boys are at daycare and Beloved is teaching (a full eight hours in a completely empty house – I whimper at the mere thought of it), I don’t forsee a terribly productive day if we’re all stuck in the house together.

Maybe I can take a page from Ann’s notebook and head to the local Starbucks Tim Horton’s to get some work done. Now that’s a plan I can work with!

Do you rely on public transit? How is the transit system where you live? Anybody got room for a stranded commuter from Barrhaven?

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tania October 25, 2005 at 7:00 pm

It’s been years since I’ve taken the bus (working from home certainly has advantages!) but the bf buses from Barrhaven to downtown Ottawa and finds the service pretty good.
If the transit strike actually does happen, there will be lots of carpooling going on, I think.

2 nancy October 25, 2005 at 7:04 pm

I would gladly help you out, but just a tad out of my way – sorry.
That annual pass deal sounds fantastic!! when I was in school I also shared your same love/hate relationship with the bus. Time to read/nap/study but also fucking cold waiting at -30C in February, and well, once there was this nasty old man who masturbated in front of everyone on the bus. I remember nearly puking after seeing that (I was 17).

3 BeachMama October 25, 2005 at 10:00 pm

Heck, I’ll drive you for $80 a month ;). I haven’t taken a bus in way too many years (in Ottawa that is, I have taken buses in Bermuda and Mexico, and Montreal). After almost being in two bus accidents while my car was being repaired many years ago, I vowed to keep my licence and drive. If you can’t find a carpooler, do let me know, I am sure we could work something out šŸ™‚
Anna – loving the car.

4 Running2Ks October 26, 2005 at 1:00 am

I’m a homebody–and living in the burbs of a major city means a lot of car time.
Wish I could help….
….I’ll get right on inventing a transporter system.

5 Troy October 26, 2005 at 1:02 am

A year or so ago Kelowna got two of those new double decker transit buses, so the girls and I decided to live a little and catch it for a spin.
I spent a whole weekend one Saturday afternoon riding it.
I don’t know if I could handle the bus every day.

6 Colin October 26, 2005 at 2:02 am

I have a mixed relationship with the bus. I like the convenience and the pure savings in vehicle maintenance, but… I also like the comfort and privacy (read: not-crowded with some guy with a cold coughing on you.) What I wish for is an elite bus service. Something run by a private company (so you don’t have to worry about strikes or city budget cuts). It would cost a little more than riding the bus, but less than driving in. You register your seat for a set time and are guaranteed a seat for that time slot. If you miss your bus, there would be a percentage of seats on other buses for overflow. Basically, I want a comfortable seat for the ride in from Kanata. The bus company might negotiate a fee to use the transitway. When you get on in the morning, there would be a complimentary newspaper for you to read on your trip in as well. Having a guaranteed comfortable seat for the ride home in -30 C weather instead of being sardined in with 2X the max comfortable capacity would sure make me feel good!
I basically want it to be WestJet commuter services. Not too fancy, just good service at a reasonable price.
I really wish there was a service like this, I would use it!
Check out what this guy says your blog is worth. Now all you have to do is find a buyer willing to give you the cash so you can start the elite bus service up for all of us to enjoy!

7 Danigirl October 26, 2005 at 12:52 pm

Hey Colin, I vote you for mayor next year!! And if I can find a way to make even half that through blog, I’d be more than happy to buy a used Cavalier and shuffle at least some of us around town!
Thanks for the funny link… and thanks to Nancy for completely freaking me out at the idea of seeing some old guy choking the chicken on the bus. Ewwwwwww!

8 SilverCreek Mom October 26, 2005 at 2:33 pm

I have hate hate Relationship with it…Yes I know great for the enviroment. BUT So many rotent hing have happent o me while waitng for a bus or taking the bus.
1) while waiting for a bus to buckingham while attending CEGEP I man was jerking (Yes I said Jerking ) Off behind a pillar for all the world to see.
2) While riding down Carling ave. Some kid sat with me Couldn’t have been more than 12…grabbed my ass and boobs. Then when I pushed him out fo the seat was told to smarten up and then when I said what he did the drive didn’t believe me. UNTIL he grabbed a 40 year old woman waand offed her 10 buck for something unpseakable.
3) How amny time times I stood from Ottawa to Buckingham sick as a dog. Because of not enough seats.
4) Been kicked off for smoking but I wasn’t…Hated smoking. Jack ass behind me. Had no more money had to beg for a quater to call my parents who were not happy.
I could go on but maybe I should blog about it?? Hummmm?????

9 SilverCreek Mom October 26, 2005 at 2:34 pm

OH sorry I see I didn’t check my typing yet again…
hangs her head in shame.

10 twinmomplusone October 26, 2005 at 4:01 pm

Oh the bus, seemed like I lived in them back in Montreal! 3 years of high school and then NINE years of daily transit to university which was THREE hours a day, on a good day, if there wasn’t a snowstorm, or teh bus broke down, or the driver decided to stop for coffee along the way, or some one decided to commit suicide in the metro when the whole line would close down, or the dreaded bus stikes, lived through so many of those, resorting to hitchhiking (gasp, everyone did it) to go there and back. And then week-end treks to go partying too! Did a LOT of studying and mastered the reading while standing pose. First thing I did when I graduated: bought a car and never looked back. Took the bus ONCE in ottawa, cuz my kid wanted to experience it.
oh the bus…hope there isn’t a strike for your sake

11 Beanie Baby October 26, 2005 at 11:13 pm

Too funny–that’s one of the programs that was presented at the meeting in Ottawa I was at a few weeks ago. I hope it works well for you, strike aside.

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