There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Monday, April 9, 2007

A failure of imagination

For the first time since I started riding on Feb. 1, I needed to get into my car in order to get to work today. I'm disappointed.

This week I have an appointment that starts promptly at 9 a.m. at 20th and J streets.

The obvious bus choice to arrive would be J Street Dash bus (Route 30) that runs every 15 minutes from Sac State down L Street. The 8:37 a.m. bus arrives at 21th and L at 8:52, which would leave plenty of room to walk to J Street.

The 82 bus goes by my house every 30 minutes, except between between 7:19 a.m. and 8:04 a.m.

So, try the 82 schedule and you find that the 8:04 bus arrives at Sac State at 8:45, almost 10 minutes too late to connect. And the next earlier bus leaves at 7:19 a.m., adding 46 minutes to the trip.

Using the 82 and 31 bus, I could leave my house at 7:19 and get off the bus at 8:41 a.m., a trip of an hour and 16 minutes, not counting the walk from 21st and L to 20th and J.

Taking buses to the Watt and I-80 light rail station wouldn't get me there any earlier. I would have to leave at the same time, transfer to the 80 bus at Watt and Whitney to arrive at 8:03 at the Watt light rail station. From there, I take light rail to 12th and I and then hoof it to 20th and J Street.

So today, rather than leave at 7:19 a.m., I got into my car at 7:55 and drove to the Watt light rail station off Longview Ave. The trip took 10 minutes. I parked and was waiting at the station before 8:10. The train arrived at 8:17 and I was at 12th and 1 at 8:34. The walk to 20th and J took 15 minutes, leaving my arrival at 8:50 a.m.

If it turns out I have to make this trip often, I hope I can get some flexibility on the arrival time. I could get the bus timing down to 58 minutes (not counting the final walk), if my arrival time was 8:30.

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