Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It was like riding...the bus!

2W4W fans!!
Hello from your long lost bus/biker, Julie.
Ok, not really lost. But I have had a lot of personal changes going on - many of which effect my commute.

I moved to Ferndale last August and currently reside in one of the Metro Detroit dual-bus-system-mega-hubs: 8 mile & Woodward. That was super for my commute to downtown Detroit (limited bus lines + running to the bus stop last minute whaaaat).

Wait - it WAS super?

Yup, that's a "was". I shifted jobs and actually now work full-time in nonprofit finance for....myself! Being a small business owner is exciting but that also means: my commute is down the hallway to my home office. The greenest commute ever, right?!

Melissa has been a super dedicated bus/biker - commuting weekly on her own (let's all give her a shout-out - the accountability to each other has always been a huge part of why we bus/bike - so check out that dedication! GO MELISSA!!).

We've been talking about new ways that I could use the bus and honestly - it just got so overwhelming. Starting my business and balancing these new clients became my focus - that and you all know how accountants have it in the beginning of the year (by the way - HAPPY TAX DAY, my accountant brothers and sisters). So I did kind let my involvement with 2W4W and the local transit community slide for a few months. What can you do? A girl's gotta eat (and drink).

Now as I'm expanding work with my clients, I'm finding myself in more local meetings. More reasons to go to Royal Oak, say. Or Troy. Places I can easily bus/bike. So yesterday, I went for it. And covered the following errands via bus/bike:

- A client meeting in downtown Royal Oak
- Post office
- A stop for a swim at the Y
- 8 mile Meijer for some dinner fixins

All of that took me 3.5 hours start to finish. And realized I missed bus/biking more than I could have imagined. Why?

- The productivity - I caught up on emails and texts during my short bus rides/stop waits

- The people - After interacting with mostly cats during the day, there is something to be said for face-to-face human interaction. The fun in wishing the bus driver a nice day. Saying hello to random other people. I know. I am SO Midwest.

- The comedy - Of course. Someone was openly drinking a beer at 3:45pm on the bus. And there's a stop just north of the Detroit Zoo going southbound called "Chicken and Ribs". The restaurant is closed, but dude. That bus voice announcing that stop TOTALLY got me hungry. Can someone get on this business opportunity?!

- The exercise - I biked about 4 miles - at 35 calories a mile - that's at least 2 vodkas. WIN.

- The impact of our voices - I did get stuck waiting for 15 minutes on the way home, and a bus that was on SMART's new bus tracker never showed. It was frustrating and this is day-to-day for so many bus riders, right? There is still so much work to be done in our area and I missed being one of the voices in the ever-growing SE MI transit community.

Oh man. It feels good to be back in my transit home.