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Old 05-15-2008, 01:59 PM
 
33 posts, read 137,817 times
Reputation: 17

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Hello Everyone,

I wanted to start a thread about mass transit in the Detroit area. I live in Royal Oak and work downtown. I regularly take the SMART bus to work. With current gas and parking prices, it saves me about $14 per day and I probably only lose about 10-15 minutes each way. Also, I can choose to nod off for a bit, read a book, or listen to a podcast along the way.

Lately I've been walking over to Woodward Ave near Lincoln--by the BP station--to take the "limited" bus which has fewer stops. I have to tell you, it's so depressing to see car after car go by with just one person in it! Especially large SUVs and mini-vans. Does anyone know of any organization that is working to encourage car-pooling in the area? Would anyone be willing to start one?

I know that I get a great feeling whenever I am NOT giving the gas station $3.89 a gallon!, all while trying to be a responsible steward of our environment.

What are your thoughts?

--Brandon
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:51 PM
 
5,114 posts, read 4,819,582 times
Reputation: 4380
Hi Brandon,

I live in the Royal Oak area, about 3 blocks off of Woodward and work in Auburn Hills. I usually drive to work.

I once took the SMART bus from my home to work. It was a five minute walk to the bus stop on Woodward. I waited 10 minutes for the bus to show up (late). I rode the bus all the way to the north end of its route, in downtown Pontiac, this took about 45 minutes. I then stood on the side walk and waited another hour for the next bus to take me on the next leg of my commute. When I did get on the next bus, it was another 25 minute ride up to Meijer's on Brown Road in Auburn Hills. Then it took me another 25 minutes for me to walk two miles east along Brown Road. That section of Brown Road has a 50 MPH speed limit, no side walks and varying terrain, from level grass to inclined slopes.

If I remember correctly, my bus fare was either $1.50 or $2.00. I can't remember whether there was a charge for transferring buses, but I don't think that there was one. It took me nearly two hours to make a one-way commute. I later looked up on the SMART website my bus schedule for my evening commute -- it would be closer to 2.5 hours of total time.

I have a vehicle that gets 20mpg, it takes a gallon of gasoline to get from home to work. Assuming $4.00 per gallon, I've saved either $2 or $2.50 one-way but it took me an additional hour and twenty minutes.

If I were to use the bus instead of my car, I'd save about $5 a day, but I'd lose probably 3 hours a day to increased commuting time.

Your mileage may vary.
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:01 PM
 
33 posts, read 137,817 times
Reputation: 17
That's great that you tried it! I'm very lucky in that my ride is a straight shot up Woodward and I don' t have to make a transfer. I do drive to the airport, for example, though, as that ride is about 1 hour 30 minutes from downtown to the airport, which is crazy. Most cities have a direct shuttle bus or a van shuttle system.

I would encourage people from Royal Oak/ Ferndale/ Birmingham, etc., who live along Woodward to consider giving it a try. I've had pretty good luck, schedule-wise, with the bus, especially during rush hours.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:28 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,855 times
Reputation: 10
Default Trying the smart bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by bem629 View Post
That's great that you tried it! I'm very lucky in that my ride is a straight shot up Woodward and I don' t have to make a transfer. I do drive to the airport, for example, though, as that ride is about 1 hour 30 minutes from downtown to the airport, which is crazy. Most cities have a direct shuttle bus or a van shuttle system.

I would encourage people from Royal Oak/ Ferndale/ Birmingham, etc., who live along Woodward to consider giving it a try. I've had pretty good luck, schedule-wise, with the bus, especially during rush hours.
I'm glad to hear you've had a good experience with the smart bus. I'd be interested to hear whether more people along Woodward in the suburbs are taking transit into the city-hopefully they will! As a student starting a grad program at wsu this fall, with gas prices where they are that seems like a great option. I'm assuming you've always felt safe riding?
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:01 PM
 
33 posts, read 137,817 times
Reputation: 17
I've found it to be very safe, especially during rush hours. I try to get on it coming home by 6:00 pm or so, not due to safety on the bus, really, but due to the fact that downtown just kind of clears out by then and I don't feel super-safe waiting for the bus. The traffic on Woodward always seems to move. $4.09 today... * 2 gallons + $6 for parking = $14.18 saved... (I get a free bus pass from my job...) Otherwise, it'd be $3 (or $47/ month for unlimited) = $11.18 saved.
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Old 06-22-2008, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Detroit
655 posts, read 2,020,615 times
Reputation: 199
Limited bus are definitely the way to go. If you can find one bus to get to work and back....go for it.
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