My Problems With Public Transportation

By | November 18, 2005

In my last post I mentioned I have had a few mis-adventures using public transportation. My concern (or fear if you will) started when Mother and I went to Montreal back when I was in Junior High School. Our plan was to go to the Museum of Civilization from our hotel via the buses. I was on watch duty and if I saw the Museum, pull the chord and we’d get off at the next stop.

I never saw the Museum. And once we had been on the bus for an hour it became apparent that the museum was not where we were. The plus side of this was that we were able to get a nice country side ride through the rural scene. But when we had to figure out how to get back with a French speaking bus driver I was a little concerned. In the end we were able to get back in the right direction and actually go to the Museum, almost two hours later than expected.

Since then I have always been a little hesitant of buses and their train brethren. When I started dating Jenna I didn’t have access to a vehicle so I would bus over to the University campus and then bus back to NAIT. On our first date the bus I arrived on (#140?) stopped running almost an hour earlier. So I took the LRT to Rexall Place (then known as Skyreach) and waited for the #109 (or #9?) to appear on 118th Ave. It didn’t, and I waited for over thirty minutes. I decided to walk the thirty-plus blocks back to my apartment and not once did a #109 / #9 bus go by me.

Every date after that when I was making my way back to NAIT posed a challenge. The next time I took the LRT to Corona, then caught a bus that took me somewhere else and was hopefully close to home. This route was given to me by Nora. The other time I took the LRT to Northlands and walked to NAIT. I did a lot of walking back then when I was unable to navigate the late night labyrinth. After that I was able to use a vehicle and never had a problem with ETS but I am still uncertain of taking it. Especially if I have to go alone because I always think back to Montreal. It’s like my bad experience with E.T., I just can’t shake that initial fear no matter how much time has passed, perhaps that will be for another day as well.

When I went to Vancouver in April and August this year I had to rely on public transportation a few times and based on my prior experience I was very worried, especially when you consider there are different zones and multiple ways to get around (SeaBus, SkyTrain and regular buses). But once I did some research I had no problems at all. The system is great over there with clear routes and on some stops the ETA for the next route arrival.

In fact I found it easier to use than Edmonton’s and would gladly take public transportation in Vancouver but would look for alternate options if I had to do so in Edmonton. Thanks to Corine I have seen the bus map she uses in Japan and the ETS doesn’t seem that bad at all but I would probably still end up riding one line all the way until the end never seeing my stop. So there you have it, those are the public transportations woes of a small town boy trying to get around in big city Edmonton.

Update: I used the more” link for this post because it was kind of long’and I wanted to see how it turned out. If the margins were wider on this theme then it may not be an issue. But seeing as I like to write a lot maybe it’s a user problem.

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