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300k aftermath: bus adventures

Sunday after the 300k was quite nice. I got to lounge around a bunch on my friend A's comfy sofa, eating snacks galore. Then we went on a lovely expedition to a nearby botanical garden so I could start learning the flora and fauna that do well in this part of the country. Tons of lovely flowers and cute insects. After a tasty lunch in a nice neighborhood coffeeshop and a few moments of gazing at a beautiful stretch of the Charles River, it was time for the drive back to Albany.

The rental car was due back to the airport by 8 am yesterday morning, but before I returned it, I had one more plan: use it to haul a huge carload of heavy boxes in to the office. Given how much spaces the boxes required, and how creaky I felt, I decided against riding my bike back from the airport. Instead, it was time to try out more Capital District transportation.

Once again, it's useful to take Texas as a baseline. There was no public transportation system in the Bryan/College Station area. When that's the baseline, pretty much anything even remotely functional is a big step up. So yay, there are buses here, and they go to useful places!

But as with navigating by bicycle, there's a learning curve. As I'd hoped, the airport was reasonably well-stocked with bus route schedules, but after perusing them I had to conclude that the only way to get a bigger picture of the bus route network is via the CDTA website. That would help me figure out to what extent this system is set up as a hub-and-spoke versus a cross-town arrangement. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out any way to get the website to be even remotely useable on my smart-o-phone while I was waiting at the airport, so that's a project for another time. But at least the Goog is familiar with the buses and schedules, so it was able to suggest some routes to get back to campus. And the maps and schedules for the individual routes are quite nicely laid out and easy to read. So as long as you know which bus numbers you want, the system is great.

The woman sitting at the information desk sounded incredulous about the idea of taking the bus. That's disappointing to me but not a big surprise.

Anyway, what I've learned for the airport is that one of the main airport buses only runs Monday through Friday, and only about once an hour in the middle of the day. So I had lots of time to peruse the various schedules I'd picked up. It also meandered a bunch and headed back towards Albany, but it did connect right up to what appears to be the one bus line that runs back out to Siena. So an hour and a half later and I made it back to campus. And maybe in the future I'll figure out how to cobble together more of a bus-walk-bus arrangement to expedite the trip. We shall see.

The bus that runs by Siena seems fairly good and direct - it was only a 20-minute trip back to Albany at the end of the day, after a 15-minute walk from my office to the bus stop. But then it took another 40-minute walk across Washington Park to get home. So if I wind up taking the bus in the winter, it might be worth it to do the transfer to a second bus line in Albany that runs right past the house. We shall see. Either that or I'll give in and get a folding bike, heh.

In sum:

Driving to campus took 14 minutes and required driving a car, which was lame, even during non-rush hour.

Bicycling to campus takes 35 minutes and is phenomenal, especially in good weather.

Taking the bus to campus will take ???? and will be all right.

With that all accomplished, time to get back to various trainings and syllabus-writings.

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1244846.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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