Diary of a geek

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Andrew Pollock

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Friday, 09 September 2005

Discovering the pluses of buses

Or "Taking ACTION"

(I wonder how many more ACTION slogans I can cram in here?)

ACTION is the Australian Capital Territory's Internal Omnibus Network. I was so stoked when I discovered that was an acronym... It's got "omnibus" in it. Yeah!

Anyway, enough of the acronym, and the advertising slogans. With petrol prices bursting through the "ludicrous" level and rapidly approaching "fucking insane", when Sarah decided today to ride her bike to work instead of carpooling with me, I thought I'd give catching the bus to work a go.

We've got it pretty good. There's a bus stop right outside the entrance of our townhouse complex.

The first bus plus I discovered this morning was that you stand a much greater chance of getting to where you want to go if you get on the right bus. There are two different bus routes that go past the bus stop outside our place, but only one of them goes past my work. For some reason, I'd completely disregarded the timetable of the route that was no use to me. I knew that the bus I wanted left the terminus (a couple of stops further from mine) at about 8:01am, so I figured if I was at the bus stop at 8am, it'd all be good.

So this morning, I was at the bus stop at 8am, and at about 8:02am, a bus rolled up, and I got on it. Not paying any attention to the route number. Pretty soon, it was apparent that it wasn't the bus I wanted. I should have been more awake I guess. Fortunately, it still went reasonably close to my work, and I had a brief (and pleasant) stroll from where I bailed out, to my work. Post-mortem analysis showed that both buses leave the Watson terminus at about 5 minutes apart from each other. So when we used to drive to work and leave a bit after 8am, the bus we'd see at the bus stop wasn't necessarily always the same bus...

I think I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've caught a bus since I've been living in Canberra. I always get anxious, especially today, because not long after I got on, I started to wonder if I was on the right bus or not. I had no idea where the bus I knew I didn't want went, so I wasn't sure where I was going to wind up. It's also a bit of a hit and miss affair with knowing when you've passed the stop before your stop and so should ring the bell.

I caught the bus home after work much more successfully, and in spite of the minor SNAFU this morning, I quite enjoyed myself. I think I'll get a book of 10 prepaid tickets for $21.40, which is a far cry from the near $100 it now costs to fill up the tank in the car, and load up my iPod Shuffle and start bussing it in to work.

[02:22] [life] [permalink]