I’ve been commuting on GRTC regularly for nearly 6 months now, and I still like it. It’s now my habit and I can’t imagine having to get to work any other way.

Some observances:

  • I don’t like driving. Taking the bus every day has made me recognize how much I don’t like driving a car. I know I’m normally all about things I DO like, but I get no direct joy from operating a motor vehicle. Having to drive somewhere at these days feels like a chore (probably because most of my remaining car trips are chores)
  • I’ll happily take 30 minutes of playing on my iPad sitting on the bus over 15 minutes driving myself home. That decompression after a work day is exactly what I need to arrive at my family ready to be immediately present with them. After driving a car home, I’d often have to “take a minute” to myself.
  • There’s a freedom that comes with not worrying about where you’re going to park. Much like a mild chronic back ache, you don’t realize you have it until someone takes the pain away.
  • I greatly value businesses on my route to and from the bus, or generally in walking distance. I can stop and do those “pick something up on the way home” errands at Little House Green Grocery or my local drug/beer store. I’m even considering changing my primary doctor not because he’s bad at his job, but because his office is near Short Pump.
  • I’m fully in favor of the Richmond Transit Network Plan and the “High Ridership” model. That model emphasizes bus frequency over stopping on every block. This means, practically, that you might have to walk two more blocks to a stop, but most busses will come every 15 minutes. I take the Magic 37 and walk a kilometer home rather than take the direct bus because the Magic 37 comes every 15 minutes and I don’t have to worry about missing it.
I’d love Richmond to become a city where not having a car is a stress-neutral choice for its citizens. It’s there for me, and with the Transit Network Plan we can get there for more, if not most, Richmonders.