Today I took a trip that I'd been planning to take for some time: A trip on the Metrobus.
I'm a big advocate of making our public transit system one that is convenient for and appealing to riders throughout the City of St. John's and the region. Throughout my research of the issue I've heard many calls for decision makers to actually experience the system firsthand.
While my trip was an easy one (I took a direct, albeit meandering trip from downtown to the Avalon Mall on a sunny morning), it reminded me what it was like to use our mostly unchanged bus system back when I was in university not so long ago.
My good buddy Joey (a very frequent user of the bus for all kinds of trips) and I picked up the bus by Moo-Moo's.
Once we got on the bus, I grabbed a weekend Telegram and referred to Pleasantville as Paradise, which I do way too often...
The ride was a great opportunity to hang out with Joey. He's been taking the bus all over town for years and keeps me informed on the joys and challenges of being a transit rider in this city.
Most times he enjoys the ride, but did mention that on days with crappy weather it can be pretty depressing waiting in the cold for a bus that comes once every 30-45 minutes.
When we got to the Mall, we hopped off and strolled in for a Tim Horten's bagel BELT and a chance for Joey to buy a new shirt for a wedding he's going to this afternoon.
After our stint at the mall, we hopped onto route 15, a direct shot to downtown. I got Joey to take a photo of me as proof that I was actually doing this!
Our bus passed by MUN and reminded me of a big reason we need a regional system: students and housing affordability.
On this final leg, Joey and I took the chance to review the paper, and I came across this ad which features my cute niece, Katherine. So I tweeted it out in a moment of pride.
Finally, we were back at the original stop. I hopped off, yelling "thank you!" to the driver (which not as many people did today as I remember from my university days) and took a parting photo.
The trip was relatively easy given the conditions (weather, traffic, route) but did give me a better appreciation of both the freedom and restrictions provided by the bus. I want to do more to enhance our system and will continue to do what I can from my position on Council.
As I made the short stroll back to my home, a tweet came through that I simply had to agree with. Wouldn't it be better if all of our councillors gave the bus a shot now and again?