|My Morgan is 44-years-old and still going strong.|
It took me about twenty minutes to drive from my home in suburban Byron to the mechanic's in East London, Ontario. Getting home by bus was another matter. I had to walk about three blocks to the Dundas Street bus stop, take two buses transferring downtown after a short wait, and finally I had to walk about three blocks home. The bus trip took three times the time of the car trip.
|My VW Jetta TDI only burns 8.4-cents of diesel per km.|
Now, let's admit there are lots of hidden costs when it comes to driving. The biggest hidden cost is depreciation. Buy a new car and it immediately begin leaking value. Something in the neighbourhood of half the value of the car will be gone in the first four years.
Then there's the cost of the oil changes, tires, scheduled maintenance, repairs and insurance. I'm sure I could add more but you get the picture. Still, take out the depreciation and my Jetta has cost only 31-cents to drive per km up to this point --- ant that is despite being hit with some big costs since its purchase. For instance, I had to buy a set of four winter tires complete with wheel covers. I kissed more than a thousand dollars good-bye.
|There were two riders on this bus: Two!|
With more than an hour spent traveling home by bus, I had lots of time to consider the question: "Why don't Londoners use the bus more?" I looked around the bus taking me to Byron. I checked my watch, it was not quite 9:00 a.m. At no point were there more than 14 passengers on the bus and at times there were as few as two.
|What a mess. The dirt is so thick, I could write, "Clean me!"|
This brought back a winter memory of boarding an LTC bus and finding some seats contained puddles of melting slush. Some passengers liked to sit with their wet boots propped up on an empty seat.
Boorish riders are bad for the bus business.
As a young boy, I recall going shopping downtown or heading off to the doctor's office and taking the bus with my mom. As I recall, buses carried more people in the early '50s. Car ownership had not yet ballooned. Without a car, people got around by bus. The buses from my youth were a lot cleaner than the buses I've encountered in London.
And what has happened to the advertising once found above the seats? Today buses often sport large ads on their exteriors but I gather interior advertising is dying. Did it get too expensive? Did it price itself out of the market?
|Where are the ads?|
I found a post entitled "Why people don't take rapid transit." It's worth reading and considering. I like public transportation but they've got to make some changes if they are going to coax me out of my car.