wouldn't it seem to make sense

that buses ran North/South along highway 9?

Monday my car finally went in the shop to take care of the hit-and-attempted-run damage from last Halloween. having failed to get my truck started by the designated drop-off time, i elected to rent a car. it's taking a bit longer to finish fixing my Escape than anticipated (hopefully it will be done this afternoon), but i decided, rather than pay an extra day's rental on the rental car, i'd just return it as planned.

i planned on taking the bus back here, and looked up the routes. the closest route to get me from the body shop in Snohomish back home (about 7 miles away, i think) requires riding into Everett's park & ride / train station commuter complex, waiting half an hour or so, and transferring to another bus that runs between there and Granite Falls via Lake Stevens, a trip of around an hour and a half. this still requires walking about 1/2 a mile to the bus stop in Snohomish (from the body shop) and another mile from the closest stop to my house, about 1.5 miles total, or around 20-25 minutes, depending on how fast you walk, for a grand total of about 2 hrs for what would be a 7 mile trip by the most direct route.

i forgot to grab any small change before i left (a pretty dumb but easily made mistake for someone who pays for 95% of everything with a card and never takes the bus), and it wasn't raining, so i started walking it.

along the way a Good Samaritan stopped and offered me a ride up Hwy 9. i wasn't hitching, just walking. he drove me about a mile and a half, maybe 2 miles of the total distance. my entire trip back from the car rental place took about an hour and 20 minutes. in the absence of my Samaritan friend, you could tack about half an hour onto my trip.

conclusion: if you need to get from Snohomish to Lake Stevens, you'll get there in almost exactly the same time walking as you will riding the bus. making the same trip by car (via the direct route i walked) takes about 10 minutes total, and costs about the same in gas as the bus, or less, depending on what you drive. probably a bit less in my case.

this is a pretty textbook example of why public transit- as implemented around here- cannot substitute for a vehicle. the longer the round-trip, and the less far-flung the two ends of it are, and the less bizarre the times of day you need to be in those places, and the more notice you have of needing to go, the more public transit makes sense. but if you live in my world, there's always something coming up, often without much warning. the time of day the trips need to happen are often bizarre or arbitrary or subject to change on a moment's notice, or unable to be determined in advance. the destinations are all over the map, often in places there IS no public transit. trying to manage a system that served all those needs is impossible.

unless things get a lot less complicated, private transportation is here to stay- even if the world goes totally post-industrial, and people have to go back to riding horses and donkeys.

time to get something done. PEACE

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