Transit blog, day two

Transit blog, day two

Gazette Blog
All routes lead downtown If you want to ride in Cedar Rapids, you can’t escape the hub. My not-so-stellar Monday kept true to form as I made my way back home to Marion last night. Initially, I thought I’d walk to street level at The Gazette office and catch the Route 3 bus, ride it to First Avenue and 19th Street and then transfer to either Route 5S or 5N for the return trip to Marion. The plan was possible, but ultimately not practical because of the timing. Route 3 stops near that intersection 30 minutes before either of the other buses arrive. Making the transfer requires crossing busy First Avenue on foot and waiting at the Route 5 bus stop. There’s a bench at that location, but not much…
Read More
Transit blog, day one

Transit blog, day one

Gazette Blog
Not off to a stellar start This Monday morning lived up to its bad reputation. And, no, it wasn’t completely the fault of Cedar Rapids’ public transit. Nonetheless, let’s start this off on a good note: I didn’t have to charter an ark or a speedboat to get to the bus stop. The rain finally agreed to a much-needed break, and I was crazy grateful for a blue sky and a few sunbeams. I had a simple agenda planned for the first day of my public transit experiment. I wanted to catch the bus in uptown Marion, ride to the transit hub in downtown Cedar Rapids and switch buses for another short ride to the bus stop about a block from The Gazette. Before anyone points this out, I’m perfectly…
Read More
C.R. transit consumers speak out

C.R. transit consumers speak out

Gazette Column
Last week I announced a C.R. transit experiment, and asked readers for their advice and suggestions. They didn’t disappoint. With new money soon arriving for public transit services in Cedar Rapids, many local groups are studying all aspects of what currently exists. Surveys have been completed. Public meetings have been held. Yet my experience is that most of the people who seek and are elected to public office — those folks that tend to hold the purse strings for public transportation — have few, if any, firsthand experiences of what it is like to use and rely on public transit. So, I announced last week that I’ll be riding city buses, beginning the week of May 1, as if I was part of a one-car family. Alternate transportation would only be…
Read More
Calling all CR Transit riders

Calling all CR Transit riders

Gazette Column
When was the last time you took a ride on a city bus? If you are like the city council and school board candidates I’ve asked, the answer is “not lately,” “ahhh,” or “can’t remember.” Regular riders often fall into two categories: those who are most passionate and those who are most needy. About five years ago, with a wrecked vehicle and no steady job, I had a toe in each bucket, and decided our family could manage with only one car. My husband would drive to work, and I’d ride the bus. The plan was nearly ditched the first day when I needed to visit Linn County offices, then located at Westdale Mall. After seeing the children off to school, I walked to the closest bus stop from our…
Read More