Tuesday, February 12, 2008

COTA Adventures

When I woke up this morning, I was slightly surprised to see snow on the ground. Columbus weathermen often seem to get a little too excited about what they see as the impending doom of storms. You are led to believe Armageddon is knocking on the door, and all you get is a couple of flurries. So when I saw the snow, I thought they might be on target this time in calling for wintry mix later on in the afternoon. What is wintry mix? Not really sure, but it doesn't sound like enjoyable driving. So after the internal battle of whether or not to call in sick, I opted to take the bus to work. Before switching jobs in the fall, Chris took the bus each day so he was able to give me some riding tips. It's a little embarrassing to admit that as a lifelong Columbus resident, I have taken the bus only three times. In light of this, Chris' knowledge came in handy. Together, we got me all bundled up with coat zipped, boots on, ear warmer in place and correct bus fare in my pocket to find my way to work in the impending doom of wintry mix.

The way there was rather uneventful. Chris told me to get on a bus with a #2 and stay on that until I was close to work. Then I had about a five minute walk to my office. It was pleasant and I appreciated someone else was doing the drive. I didn't have my coffee this morning, so the walk helped to wake me up.

The way home from work was a little more of a challenge. I consider myself an intelligent person, but I was having trouble figuring out how to get home. The COTA website isn't terribly clear and I was confused as to when a bus would be coming and where I should wait. All the real time busses seemed to be heading south while I wanted to go north, so this was a little concerning. No worries, I thought I'll just go find a bus stop and eventually a #2 should come along. And it did, right as I was trying to cross the street. Then four other busses came before another #2. I missed this one because I didn't know I had go to it (it was the third bus in line on the curb). Another #2 did finally come and other than the person who was loudly snoring behind me, the ride was uneventful. I got home a little later than usual, but because the COTA experience was overall a positive one, I'll be more willing to take it periodically.

I don't feel I can complain about the mass transit options in Columbus unless I am a consumer of the services. I would like to see it expanded, but I think what we have is a start. I'm glad it was there for me today when I just didn't want to drive in the snow.

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