Well, I have a flat tire. Not a big deal, except I don’t actually know where the special lugnut lock bit is for changing the tire. No time to waste, got to get to work! What are my options Google?
Okay! A 50 Minute walk, a 35 minute bus trip, or a 10 minute cab/uber ride. Hmmm. How much money is 16 minutes worth? Spending $3.75 will save me 16 minutes, plus fatigue, dirt and my safety, as the walking route goes through some sketchy parts of town. That works out to about $15 an hour. Would I spend $3.75 to save 16 minutes? Uber costs $10 to save 41 minutes. So roughly the same ratio of $15 an hour. But I’m cheap, so transit it is!
Update. I am crammed in like a sardine with the thousands of riders at this bus stop north of shoppers world. I don’t know how I’ll board, it’s gonna get violent. I can tell.
Update. I made it onto the bus. With a scant few 20 empty chairs, I am not sure there won’t be more bloodshed. Question: I used my presto card to board the bus. Do I need a transfer when I get off? Or do I just tap again on the next leg of my journey? I am tempted to set a fire to keep warm, as these conditions are inhuman even.
Update: I’ll have time to figure this out, as I see Brampton has never figured out that buses should wait for transfer riders.
Update: As I approach the transit station, it is clear that I will have to actually enter the loading area before I will see any signage telling me where my bus will be stopping. I love “choose your own adventure” stories best of all!
Update: It’s true what they say. No one travels east-west in this town. Thank god it’s a double length articulated bus, or I am confident the children in strollers would simply be left behind. This. Is. Savagery.
Update: Before we disembark, a man on a scooter has boarded. I must give up my priority seat. Sorry lady with infant, my hunger is overtaking my humanity and that baby looks delicious.
Update: I have been on the bus for a few minutes now. There is a strange bell like noise. It seems every time I hear it, the bus stops shortly thereafter. I am unsure why, as I am not yet at my destination. That infant has given me heartburn. But at least I am now resting comfortably in its stroller.
Update. More people have boarded. The newcomers are giving me side eye. They are jealous of my stroller throne. I will have to brain one to set an example. I dare not take their picture, as it may alert them to my plans.
Update: I have come as far as I can. Transit goes no closer to my destination than this.
Good luck fellow travelers. There are left over brains if anyone else is hungry.
I must now face the road from the bus stop to my actual destination. There is no food in sight, no water or means of washing the blood spatter patterns off my clothes. I am unsure if society will even recognize me now.
In all seriousness, my observations today were the same as they have ever been. I summarize them as follows:
- Main was empty, as I was travelling outside of rush hour;
- The 501 bus that I missed looked full, outside of rush hour; and
- The 501 bus I rode on was definitely full and I had to stand, and this was outside of rush hour.
What do I conclude?
- I am not surprised that the Queen Street corridor has 15,000 riders per day, and that Main Street has 10,000 riders per day.
- I accept that overall transit ridership has grown over the years, anecdotally / from memory, that jives with what I saw today.
- The ridership patterns in the Metrolinx report for Main are probably correct, i.e. that the Rush Hour loads for Main Street probably are pretty busy. And, that in off peak hours, there is very little ridership on the Main Corridor. It truly is a workers’ commuting line.
- That Queen Street has always been, and always will be, a busier transit line than Main. And that ridership on Queen is more consistent throughout the day, as it services more retail which involves shift workers and shoppers travelling at more sporadic times of day than office workers in the commercial areas near Square One.
- That the growth on Queen Street to the East (out near Highway 50) will no doubt see more growth for the Queen Street transit services, travelling both east and west as people move back and forth between those homes, the City Centre and Four Corners. To the West, there is continued growth all the way to Mississauga Road, and I wonder if Queen Street will ever be extended beyond Mississauga Road, or if transit will evolve to jog south and travel west along Embleton Sideroad as a quasi Queen Street West extension.
So thank you Brampton Transit. You really came through for me today. I will ensure that MayorJackson2018 is aware of all you do for our great city!