Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Car, Train, Bus, Shoe

That was my commute this morning. High gas prices have made me flee to public transportation. I have long thought that public transportation was not an option because I live on one spur and work on another and never the twain shall meet. Turns out there is a shuttle bus to get from the train station to my office (I think that would qualify as the "last mile"). [well, technically the office across the street.]
Time wise, it is a little longer than driving (I have to leave the house much earlier, but get home around the same time, if a smidgen later). But cost wise, ah cost wise the ticket should pay for itself in two weeks (if I get the monthly pass).
And I'm concentrating on all the extra knitting time I'll have, since I'll be able to knit on the train rather than sitting in traffic. Which should also be good for stress levels, and I can always claim the warm fuzzies of a commute with a (hopefully) smaller carbon footprint. I can't claim I'll be getting more exercise since the shuttle stop is across the street and it took me about a minute to walk over. (If I was feeling ambitious I could get off at the next building down, which it at least a two block walk.)
But, boy howdy, this public transportation business wasn't as easy as you might think. I made the first train, which is key—if I miss the first train it's all over because it's the only practical train out of the itsy-bitsy station near my house. (I did a dry run on Friday and missed that train. But I was in the office by 8 am because there was no traffic since it was a holiday weekend.) However I didn't realize that the train made a stop before the station I wanted, so I got off(!), quickly realized my mistake and got back on. As though that wasn't embarrassing enough, the conductor noticed and asked if I had gotten off.
I think this might be a situation where looking 10 or so years younger than I actually am (no, really, people mistake me for a much younger person all the time) worked in my favor. People probably figured I was a befuddled college student wandering around, rather than a befuddled adult.
[And I just thought, do I really want to be putting this all on the internet? Well, let's see, I already told Boss Man, The Other Associate Editor, and The Deadline Setter. And I'm sure I'd tell my mom, if only for the motherly sympathy. And I e-mailed Hubby, so all the important people already know. And the blog title is "The Adventures of Traveling Ann" and if this doesn't count as a travel adventure, I don't know what does. At least at this point, next week I'll be an old hand at this public transportation nonsense—if I have the nerve to stick with it!]
So I made it to the station for my transfer—and instead of getting on the semi-express that gets into my final station at 8:06, I got on the local, which got in at 8:20ish. Obviously I have a lot to learn. Fortunately the little shuttle buses run until around 9 am, so there is flexibility on the way to the office. In the end I came tumbling in at 9 am, although my stress levels were probably about the same as on a normal driving day. In theory, if I get on the correct train, I'd be in around 8:30. At least the shuttle bus drivers were all nice.
On the way home, however, there is one train out of the station on this end that goes to the little station by my house. If I miss that I'll be stranded at one of the stations in between and will either have to call Hubby to rescue me, or try to figure out which public bus to take.
As you've seen how successfully I navigated in, you will not be surprised to hear I would call Hubby in a situation like that!
Of course this will make it a little difficult to get the Peace Lily back to the office. You won't catch me carrying a massive potted plant on the train. (look! it's the Long Island Ferry! I can see it from the train station waiting for my transfer.)

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