Wednesday, January 04, 2006

CTA vs. CWA: Home to Lincoln Square

After waiting for about 15 minutes and still no sign of a bus, I thought to myself, "I should have walked. Or cycled." I was trying to go a mere 3.2 miles from my house (near the Clark/Grandville bus stop) to Lincoln Square. Going fast, it's about a 15-minute bike ride. Driving is also about 15 minutes, plus the time required to find parking. I thought the bus would take about as long as driving/parking, so I decided to start a stopwatch as soon as I left my apartment. "Yeah, they raised the fare and don't offer transfers anymore, but it's still pretty reliable." Being anti-automobile, I'd like to have faith in public transportation.

Of course it took 25 minutes for the Clark bus to show up, with another right behind it. Then, a switch at Lawrence, another wait, and off towards Western. To sum up a long commute, it took exactly 50 minutes, 7 seconds to go door-to-door.

Going home I decided to see if I could beat that time on foot. I wouldn't run, just walk normally, and see if I could save four bucks and some time. So, the race was on: The Chicago Transit Authority versus Chicago Walking Andy.

As I walked, I thought about the pros and cons of each activity:

Bus: Stay dry
Walk: Stay fit
Bus: Meet interesting people
Walk: See interesting sites
Bus: Can read
Walk: Can think

Bus: Smell interesting people
Walk: Sweat and become one of the smelly people
Bus: Waste of money
Walk: Waste of time (possibly)
Bus: Waiting can be infuriating
Walk: Crossing streets can be dangerous

Anyway, as I walked into my apartment, I stopped the clock, and the result: 43 minutes, 39 seconds.
So ... walking wins in many ways.

Perhaps people who normally commute relatively short distances by bus could consider walking or cycling. It's healthier, cheaper, and unbelievably, faster. We could go from being one of the fattest to one of the fittest cities if we just stopped waiting around for that darned bus.


Anonymous Mr. Molitor said...

What is the time that it takes to drive a car? Also what is a cab fare cost? It would be nice to see all the standard transportation options.

9:26 AM  
Blogger ap said...

Car takes roughly 15 minutes, although I'll have to time it next time I drive. Cab I wouldn't know as I'm too big of a tightwad to find out. Are there other options? What about getting pulled on a sled by a four wheeler?

12:01 PM  
Anonymous jenska said...

Yes, or dogsledding. I'll mention dogsledding in each post from now on (or maybe just sometimes) until I actually do it. If H2O can hook me up with that dogsledding guy in the UP, it will fulfill one of my life goals.

And if we eliminate bussing, we'd lower the number of busses, and thereby help traffic on Chicago streets, and eliminate art attack racing busses on CHicago streets...the benefits are endless!

1:44 PM  
Blogger Marley6 said...

rickshaw is always a winner. i won't even get into how green we are in lancaster with our horses and buggies...

3:20 PM  
Anonymous jenska said...

Isn't the CTA going to be super-sizing the seats? What a waste that would be if Chicago walked more. We need to stay chubby, make that upgrade worth it!

10:33 PM  
Anonymous jen said...

you could also consider alternative wheeled forms of transportation. i.e. skateboard, rollerblades, or scooter (old school or vespa, you choose).
but then again, you'd have to actually know HOW to skateboard, etc....

4:54 PM  

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