Public Transportation,  Transportation

Public Transportation Is The Heart Of Urban Commuting

Public transportation is the heart of urban commuting. Take the New York City Metro for example. Each day the trains and buses move thousands of people. Many times it takes a few hours to get from one point to the next, but it allows urbanites to commute without owning a car.

 

That Time I Drove From New York City To River Edge, New Jersey Instead Of Using Public Transportation

If you’ve ever been to New York City, you’d understand why this is so important. I’ve tried driving in New York City from JFK International Airport to River Edge, New Jersey.

 

It took over 2 hours because they were doing construction on the road, and there was bumper to bumper traffic. Plus, it was raining so hard, I could barely see out the windshield. A few times I thought I would have to pull over. Thankfully, it stopped because it was already very late.

 

That’s why I started using public transportation each time I went to New York City

 

Public Transportation From New York City To Suffern, New York

The last time I went to New York City, I spent most of my time in Suffern, New York, but required multiple forms of transportation to reach.

 

First, I had to take the AirTrain at JFK International Airport to Jamaica Station. From there I took the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station. Then I had to take the New Jersey Railroad to Secaucus Junction.

 

In total, the journey took over 2-1/2 hours.

 

Public Transportation Is The Heart Of Urban Commuting

As you can see, I’m no stranger to taking public transportation. I’ve been to New York City many times, and took the bus and subways on many occasions. I know how they work. And I do understand how important they are to the life of a city. That’s why I like to think of public transportation as the heart of urban commuting.

 

Without it, many commuters wouldn’t have any type of transportation.

 

Inside terminal at transit center. How’s that for public transportation?
Inside terminal at transit center. How’s that for public transportation?

 

There’s Many Different Reasons Why Urbanites Choose Public Transportation

There’s many reasons why urbanites might choose to ride public transportation. Maybe they can’t afford to buy a car. Or like this guy Mike that I know, be totally against car culture. Mike hates car culture, and refuses to buy a car.

 

But I’m not here to argue the point whether you should own a car or not. And will never tell you to be like Mike, unless you choose to.

 

Public Transportation Has It’s Good Points

Public transportation does have it’s good points. For starters, it’s much cheaper than owning a car. In Rochester, New York, for only $15 a week you can ride the bus unlimited. Just pay $3 a day for an unlimited pass.

 

Buses also can reduce traffic congestion and pollution. A typical city bus can hold on average, 40-45 passengers. And if the bus gets really packed, somewhere over 50. That’s over 50 cars not on the road at that time. Now imagine over 50 buses, riding 13 hours a day or more. That’s a huge reduction in traffic.

 

Buses are also safer for passengers. A 40 foot city bus weighs over 35,000 lbs. If another vehicle hits it, it will most likely weigh less. Moving a city bus takes something very massive. Most likely the passengers will hardly feel anything, if at all. I know because I’ve been on a city bus that’s been in an accident. And I didn’t feel a thing.

 

Also, if you’re going a short distance, and only taking one bus, riding the bus can be perfect. I use to work in Downtown Rochester, New York, and was only required to take one bus. As soon as we arrived at the Transit Center, I had a 10 minute walk to work. I actually use to enjoy my walks.

 

Public Transportations Also Has It’s Bad Points

With all this talk about how great public transportation is, there are also negatives. There has been many times when the bus was running late due to bad weather. I’ve had to stand in the rain or freezing cold, waiting for a bus that never arrived. Or if it did, was very late.

 

Another issue can be crowding. Many times the bus can be packed, forcing you to stand all the way home. Imagine standing on your feet all day, and then having to stand some more. Once the bus starts to empty, you can sometimes find a seat, but have to sit very close to another patron.

 

If they smell, you have to deal with it. Or if they take up all the room, sit uncomfortably on the edge. Plus with all those bodies packed together so tightly, things can get warm very fast.

 

Despite All The Negatives That I Mentioned, Public Transportation Still Is The Heart Of Urban Commuting

Regardless of all the negatives I just mentioned, public transportation still is the heart of urban commuting. It allows commuters who can’t afford a vehicle to get to work.

 

The elderly, who can no longer drive have an affordable transportation option. And others who don’t have a long commute, can save money while having a safer option to get to work.

 

While Riding Public Transportation It’s Important To Have A Plan

The most important thing to make your commute on public transportation easier, is to have a plan.

 

Let’s use the RTS Transit Center as our example.

 

Check The Route And Schedules Carefully When Riding Public Transportation

Before you commute to work on a new bus route, check the times that the bus leaves. This is especially important if you have to catch more than one bus. What I use to do was check what time the second bus left the transit center. Then I’d check what time the bus close to my house left, to get to the transit center on time.

 

There’s A Few Options When It Comes To Purchasing Tickets For Public Transportation

You can either buy your all day passes from the fare box on the bus, or the vending machines at the Transit Center. Both these passes cost the same, but there’s one advantage to buying them from the vending machine.

 

You Can Purchase Public Transportation Tickets From The Vending Machine Using Your Credit/Debit Card

 

Bus Pass Machines at RTS Transit Center. This makes public transportation so much easier.
Bus Pass Machines at RTS Transit Center. This makes public transportation so much easier.

 

You can buy the tickets from the vending machine using your credit/debit card. This is extremely helpful when you don’t carry much cash on you. I use to buy all my tickets for the week all at once, eliminating the need to keep repeating it. Plus if I did have any cash on me, I could save it for emergencies.

 

Those Digital Screens Are Very Handy When Taking Public Transportation From The Transit Center

 

Every public transportation center needs LED screens for schedules.
Every public transportation center needs LED screens for schedules.

 

There’s also digital screens throughout the Transit Center that tells what time each bus leaves, and what gate it’s at. This is completely different from the old days when we had to catch them outside. No more running up and down Main Street trying to find your bus. Or waiting outside in the frigid cold.

 

There’s Information Desks To Help You With Your Public Transportation Questions

 

Information desk at Rochester’s public transportation hub known as RTS Transit Center.
Information desk at Rochester’s public transportation hub known as RTS Transit Center.

 

Now, if you don’t have a clue about which bus to catch, or when it leaves, there’s information desks. The agents can look up any bus schedule that you need to know, and what gate it leaves from. I’ve asked the agents many times about certain buses.

 

A Conclusion To This Amazing Public Transportation Post

The Transit Center in Downtown Rochester, New York is just one example of public transportation. In places such as New York City, the public transportation is much different, but they all have one thing in common. They enable commuters to get to places such as work, or those who can no longer drive.

 

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