Close Look at B/CS Public Transportation

By: Meredith Stancik Email
By: Meredith Stancik Email

It looks like the pain at the pump is causing consumers to stay off the roads.

Experts say gas use has dropped one percent in the last eight week period, it usually goes up about 1.5 percent a year.

That might explain why more people are turning to public transportation.

Here in Bryan-College Station the number of people riding the bus has doubled in the last year. But, just how easy is it to ride the bus?

With gas prices as high as they are we're all looking for ways to save a buck. So, I decided to try public transportation to see if is worth it to save money on gas.

We got dropped off in a south College Station neighborhood.

We started at about 2:45 p.m. on Monday. The bus was scheduled to arrive at about 3:16 p.m.

We decided to wait at the nearest major intersection, Rock Prairie and Longmire.

There were no signs to show us where to wait or what side of the road to stand on, and we soon found out riding the bus isn't as easy as it looks.

We missed the first one, and we thought it would make a loop and come back to us. Unfortunately, we missed it again.

Because of our frustration, we opted for McDonald's and decided to give it a try the next day.

We went back to the same intersection where there was still no clear bus stop, but they do say practice makes perfect.

This time we were on the right side of the road, we waived the bus driver down and left at 10:16 a.m for KBTX.

We were not alone on our journey. Turns out many riders take the trip everyday because of the pain at the pump.

"It's convenient, but you have to plan your day," one passenger said.

Planning means leaving at least an hour early. Thirty six minutes after we got on, we made it to the Transit Point on Texas Avenue where we switched buses for the rest of our ride.

I found out that time is an issue. However, the things you can do while on the bus could make up for it.

I chatted with strangers, while one mom fed her baby, and it only cost us $1.

However, it also cost us precious time.

Our trip would have taken 13 minutes in a car, and here's the ironic part--if our vehicle got 12 miles per gallon it would have cost us about $1.58 for gas. It took us about an hour and 15 minutes to ride the bus and cost us $1, transfers were free.

However, it looks like people are still riding the bus, no matter how long it takes. About 12,000 more people a month are using The District's bus service than a year ago.

For more information on The District's bus service click on the link below.

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