Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I'm not sure if there's a difference between old green and new green any more than between old money and new money. Money is money and green is still green, whether you're just starting to pay attention because it's in or you've been recycling for years. I'm old green. I can't remember not recycling or composting. I have grocery bags older than two of my kids. Yet... there are some sticking points. I'm happy in my rut and I can justify it any number of ways. Driving myself is so convenient. I can leave when I want and stop where I want. I have errands to run after work. Besides, my car gets good mileage.... Yeah, you get the point. But last week, my Catholic guilt grabbed my old green by the throat and -ta da -- I bought a bus pass and joined the mass-transit crowd.

I used to commute to work in Santa Cruz regularly. I worked at City Hall and the buses ran by my house and dropped downtown regularly. The ride was 50¢ with a day pass costing a buck. We live in Eureka now and I've wanted to ride the bus....I really did. But, to CR? When would I leave? Can I fit work around the bus schedule? It's hard. Maybe tomorrow. Every excuse to not give it a try. Last week, I got the entire 4-1-1 from Glo and borrowed her bus pass. I hurried through packing my lunch and scurried out the door, straight down to 5th. The bus was on schedule. The driver was helpful. The riders were few. I arrived in my office exactly on time. That afternoon, the ride home was just as uneventful. The next day, I bought a pass for my very own. That brings the cost of the ride down to $1.50.

I may not be saving money but I am saving fuel. If I don't drive two days a week, I'm not buying fuel for my car on those days. I'm sharing the fuel it takes to ride that bus with all of the other riders. Sure, I'll have to schedule my errands. What night will I grocery shop? What night is my hair cut? But once I figure out those days, I can ride the bus on the days with no errands. I'm not sure if this will continue once school starts. Two of us riding the bus versus two in my car that gets good mileage will require a new equation with the variable being the price of gas by the end of summer.

Either way, I feel good. I broke out of my rut. And the ride gives me time to read James Patterson books I've had set aside.


Monica... Media Professional said...

I am SO envious. The day Dad and I rode the bus to CR was an adventure. I really wish I could bus it more often. The stupid bus schedule compared to my work schedule doesn't come close to jiving. And that the closest it comes to Ferndale is Fernbridge, it's almost like the proverbial "they" are wanting people to drive everywhere.

The trade-off is that I live in Arcata now. Further from work, but closer to everything else.

And I got my scooter back!! I'm hoping to get her re-registered this week, so at least I can ride her around Arcata to the places that are too far to walk, and also to Eureka for Sunday dinner.

I could really use a good scooter ride right now.

Speaking of right now, I have three articles to write/finish writing.


Anonymous said...

My daughter and her mother have been riding the Eureka bus system for the past year. The worst part is actually some of the passengers with their puking and reeking of urine, pounding on their children and some really truly bizarre behavior.

When my daughter moved to Portland, it is much more common
for workers to take the transit systems. There, the bus runs early and right up to midnight. And is always available by just a few minutes.

Perhaps if our local ridership increases, the bus system will be more conducive to fit our lifestyles instead of the transit systems schedule. You know, we do drive our own cars for our convenience.

Kym said...

Yah, I'm impressed. I used to love riding BART.