Public Transportation and the apathy thereof

I work downtown, in Syracuse, NY, part-time. My diatribe on parking will have to wait for another post but, it is the main reason I do not drive to the City.  Since car-pooling isn’t really an option, I have discovered that Centro (our bus service here) has provided me with the means to work and be productive. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what the big deal is.

Most half-way decently sized Metropolitan areas have some sort of public transportation and I highly prefer that to trying to find a parking place, trying to find a decent taxi or trying to figure out the fastest way to wherever I want to be. Of course, patience is essential with public transportation but you also gain a lot of practice in planning.  That said, I wondering, how come there are so few of us who have figured out that it’s easier to take the bus?

According to 2013 (latest I could find) census data, Syracuse (and its environs I assume) has a population of 144,669 people (every size, shape and color included).  [http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/36/3673000.html] Of that, according to a bunch of smarty-pants researchers who work for The City, only 3% use the bus. That’s 434 people and a crying shame.

Are we so enraptured with our vehicles that to avoid using them would cost us dearly? Are we so uneducated that we can’t figure out the bus schedule? Are we so intimidated by the thought of riding with strangers? Really folks, it isn’t that hard. The website for our buses is: http://www.centro.org and contacts a “trip planner.” That has saved me a lot of time and trouble to say the least. Just plug in your starting point and destination, and bada-bing! bada-BOOM, you’ll be told which bus to catch at what time, whether or not you have to transfer, and what time you’ll arrive. Not that hard…Then again, any effort beyond starting a vehicle seems to be much too much for people around here.

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