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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Public transit: A convenient adventure

Consider this piece of advice: Use the city bus instead of your car. You are most likely laughing, thinking that it would be crazy to use the bus when you could drive. But, from personal experience, using the Sun Tran is not only convenient, but can also be quite an adventure. I have to admit that I am a recent convert to mass transit. An ill-fated collision between a sorority girl’s brand-new car and mine (yes, it is kind of funny, in retrospect) forced me to find alternative means of transportation. But even after getting my automobile back, I decided to stick with the Sun Tran.    

As I think back on the mornings when I did last minute studying on the bus, or the money I saved on gas, or the absolutely hysterical (or disturbing) time I had people-watching, I cannot imagine going back to driving. Really, it takes away so much stress to know that I can let someone else chauffeur me around during rush hour — as long as I stay on top of the bus schedule, of course. If you tend to run late, beware. The bus is generally prompt, and you might get left behind. Oh, and there is the occasional breakdown, so leave extra early on final exam days. But considering how that type of unfortunate mishap has yet to occur to me, you probably shouldn’t worry too much about it.

Furthermore, a ride on the Sun Tran can teach you about any number of school subjects. For instance, remember learning about diffusion in chemistry and not really caring at all? It will only take one individual of questionable hygiene (or a smoker) to get on the bus for you to understand why diffusion will be a frequent part of your bus experience. So there, that’s some chemistry in action. Also, because some drivers have different acceleration and braking patterns, you may have a smooth ride, or end up with whiplash. But at least you can better understand principles of motion for your physics class. And of course you know that there will be some interesting characters riding the bus along with you. With a little observation, and perhaps interaction if you are brave enough, you will have plenty of new insight to bring to your psychology or sociology classes.

It truly is a convenience, especially for those of us who live in the far ends of the city. Hours of monotonous driving can transform into endless time for leisure activity on the bus. Now you can catch up on that reading, or get ahead on some of your math homework (yeah, you just laughed again). But whatever you do, you won’t have to keep your eyes on the road because someone else is doing it for you.

Now, I know the university would rather have you buy a ridiculously expensive parking permit, but resist doing so. The bus line runs just about everywhere, and there’s a cheap Sun Tran pass, especially for university students and faculty. If you are ready to take the plunge, just remember to sit in the front, smile and put in those headphones so nobody can strike up an awkward conversation with you.

I jest. There is nothing to fear with Sun Tran, unless money scares you — because you will certainly have a lot of cash left over once you leave your gas-guzzling car at home. Just take the bus already. It will be well worth your time.  

— Tanner Weigel is a sophomore majoring in Spanish and history. He can be reached at

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