Just Another Snarky Student Blog

September 27, 2007

Bus versus Car — one student’s struggle to get to class on time

Filed under: bus,car,classtime,college,commute,late,school,students,time lapsing,transportation,UC Berkeley — justanothersnarkystudentblog @ 12:39 am

As some of you know, I’m a student at the dreaded UC Berkeley. As a student at this proper institution, my tuition includes a semester long bus pass for the East Bay’s bus system, AC Transit. Thankfully, I have a Rapid Bus Line, specifically the “1R”, only three long blocks from my apartment. Directly in front of my apartment is a regular “1” bus line stop. I also have a car that is available to me.

Every day, I spend time debating, deciding and finally using one of my three options for getting to –and from– school.

So, the times it can take to get to school using three transportation types:

1R: Walk 3 blocks to bus stop. Once on the “1R” bus, it only takes 5 minutes to get to school. Exit bus at Telegraph and Bancroft, and walk to class for 7 minutes. Arrive feeling warm.

1: Walk 20 feet to bus stop. Once on the “1” bus, it only takes 10-12 minutes to get to school. Exit bus at Telegraph and Bancroft, and walk to class for 7 minutes. Arrive feeling slightly less warm.

Car: Walk 20 feet to car. Once in car, it only takes 7 minutes to get as close to school as possible. Park. Walk from car to school for 17 minutes. Arrive feeling very overheated.
Here’s the dilemma, as I’m sure you’ve gathered..

Is it better to walk the three blocks to the 1R stop, risking missing the 1 bus between stops?

Is it better to walk 20 feet to the 1 stop, and take longer to get to school?

Is it better to drive part way to school, park, and walk the rest of the distance?

There are several factors to consider in this bus-car-dilemma;

            *TIME — The bus is faster, but involves waiting and/or missing a bus by thirty seconds

            *MONEY — The bus is free. Gas costs money.

            *CONVENIENCE — The car is available for driving on my schedule.

            *GETTING VERY OVERHEATED — By walking quickly to class, body temperature inevitably rises.

            *LAZINESS — Driving initially takes less effort, but then longer walks to class takes more energy. Plus, books are                                             heavy.

So which is it?! Which factor ends up deciding my transportation path, each and every day?!

Well, I’ll tell ya.. it depends. ..and mostly on time:
If I’m running early (which happens, maybe, twice a week), I walk over to the 1R.

If I’m right on time (again, once a week), I walk right up to the 1 stop.

If I’m running late –or miss the bus– (which happens, easily, twice a week), then I hop in the car.

This is how it goes;

  1. Start getting ready for school
  2. Check time and bus schedule online (NextBus has GPS systems on buses to give accurate arrival times)
  3. Do mental calculation to when the next bus arrives minus how long it takes to walk to the bus stop
  4. Rush getting ready for school
  5. Check time and bus schedule again
  6. Feel panic start to rise as mental calculations show that you must be out the door in less than five minutes
  7. Throw last couple items together
  8. Put on shoes, check bag for phone, wallet, bus pass, school stuff and grab keys.
  9. Go to the bathroom, one last time
  10. Hear “hhhssshhhhch” of bus pulling up directly outside of building
  11. Curse self while still on toilet
  12. Re-check time and online bus schedule
  13. Note that the next bus doesn’t come for 15 minutes
  14. Say “screw it” to yourself, and take the car
  15. Drive.
  16. Park.
  17. Walk super-fast to school, swerving around pedestrians that get in the way
  18. Arrive to class incredibly overheated and barely on time

(Repeat the very next day.. and next day… and next… with minor variations.. )

————

If only I could park near a busline, then all my problems would be solved.

Oh wait, no they wouldn’t. That’s just one more set of mental calculations before my caffeine fix.

…damn!

———–

–JASS

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