Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Transitory Trips

Transitory Trips

While it's true I have started driving quite a lot on weekends and sometimes on evenings, I still plan on commuting to work by bus for a while. Of course, I log many times more miles in the car on outings into the suburbs and the suburban-ish parts of St. Louis City (I seem to drive that Gravois-to-Chippewa route out to Hampton Village area a lot lately!), than I do on my little three-to-four mile transit ride into downtown from home.

But I still run occasional errands via transit, preferably in the mornings or at mid-day.

My usual AM transit commute is about 30 minutes total; riding the express bus rather than the local shaves off a few minutes, depending on traffic.

So, for example on June 15 I rode the #10 Gravois local bus:

Left home 7:01; Arrived bus stop 7:07. Waited until 7:14 for bus to show; got off at 7:29 in front of City Hall; arrived at office 2 blocks away by 7:33. Total travel time: 32 minutes.

On June 25, meanwhile, I rode the #11x Shrewsbury express, because I left a little earlier:

Left home 6:47; Arrived bus stop 6:54. Waited until 6:58 for bus; got off at 7:11 in front of City Hall; arrived at office by 7:15. Travel time: 28 minutes.

And yesterday, I rode the #10x South Grand express, because I was running a little late:

Left home 7:16; Arrived bus stop 7:22. Waited until 7:31 for bus; got off at 7:45 in front of City Hall; arrived at office by 7:49. Travel time: 33 minutes.

These just illustrate some typical examples.

Today, to drop off some videos at Hollywood on S. Grand, I made a much longer trip than usual. But I still made it within about an hour.

Left home 6:30; Arrived bus stop on Arsenal 6:37. Caught #30 Soulard at 6:46; disembarked at Grand & Arsenal 6:52. Dropped off videos, got to bus stop on Grand 6:55. #70 Grand bus showed at 6:58. Disembarked #70 Grand at MetroLink station, 7:09. Eastbound train arrived 7:14; exited at Civic Center 7:19, walked to office, arriving by 7:30.

You'll notice, however, that route this morning involved more time walking and waiting than it did actually riding the bus or train! I was only on the #30 for six minutes; on the #70 for eleven; and on MetroLink for five.

There probably are ways to make these systems more efficient and user-friendly. Admittedly, I'm largely illustrating here the one thing that our transit system was originally designed to do: ferry commuters to-and-from downtown St. Louis, at peak-hour. It still does that reasonably well. However, for other destinations, I realize, it can be much more difficult to make the trip by bus.


Urban Review said...

Excellent point, our transit system is designed mostly for suburban commuters --- not localized service within the city.

It is almost shocking to hear of you driving!

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