I grew up in the wild country of Putnam County. There is no mass transit out there, unless you consider eight friends shoved into the back of my used mini-van on the way to a football game or to Marvin’s restaurant for a garlic cheeseburger (yum).
And up until this week, the only bus I’d ever taken was the school bus. But that all changed when I decided to take an IndyGo bus home, instead of waiting an extra hour-and-a-half for my husband to come pick me up after work.
We’ve been sharing a vehicle for the past two years, while we both worked downtown, but my husband just started a new job on the northwest side of Indy and the car shopping phase has taken a little longer than we’d planned.
That essentially means I’m at the mercy of his timing at the end of the day and traffic. I don’t like the feeling of being stranded.
So I took matters into my own hands, scanned over the IndyGo web site so I knew what to expect, how much to pay, and more importantly where to be and at what time. It was a $1.75 one-way trip and it dropped me within a 10-minute walk of my home, adding probably 15 minutes to my normal commute time.
You know what? I enjoyed my trip. I read a few chapters of a book, got to see some new faces, I didn’t have to pay attention to the road, use my gas or pay to park anywhere.
Typically, my thoughts go to my pocketbook: how will something save me money? And while that’s still true – the bus is cheaper than parking and gas money – I’m also enjoying the fact that I can play a larger role in cleaner air quality through reduced vehicle emissions.
So, dear Indiana legislature: I know you’ve decided, once again, to send a Central Indiana mass transit bill to a summer study committee. Please, just stop studying it and take some action in the next General Assembly. I don’t mind my taxes going up to pay for a service I will use. Mass transit will only add benefits to our growing city and will attract more of the young professionals we need here to continue this growth.
In the meantime, I’m sure I’ll find myself taking the bus a few times a week. But each time I get on the bus – ironically my stop is right in front of the statehouse – I’ll make sure and send all the Central Indiana legislators the vibe that we need to get with the times and expand mass transit. This constituent would greatly appreciate it.