Today's Mighty Oak

PATransit Tuesdays: Park ‘n Rides are weird

Here’s a bit of a story for you.  Back during all the snow, our heater broke.  So my brother graciously allowed me to crash on his couch.  His house is very close to a park ‘n ride lot, so after getting ready that morning I drove down the hill and had my first ever experience with a park ‘n ride.

And I can say that they are weird.

I’m probably just used to getting the neighborhood bus on the street, although this lot served flyers and some of the local neighborhood lines that came through.

So I parked and went over to the little shelter, which is very small, especially for how active this lot is.  A few other people were there, waiting for other buses to go to Oakland and after their bus came and went, I was left alone, jamming out to music on my headphones.  Eventually, a few other people joined me in the shelter, and soon the line stretched out into the parking lot.

The strange thing with the line is that I’ve seen it go into the parking lot some days, and into the street on other days.  I can’t figure out which is the “normal” way.

So back to the story, as the bus was coming towards the shelter, herds of people flooded out of their parked cars and shuffled and ran over the line.  I got on, and headed into town no problem.

But I’m still confused, which way should the line go?  How many people should get on each bus?  What if I need to get on a bus to get into town by a certain time, but the line doesn’t get me on, can I skip ahead the people waiting for the next bus?  Why do people wait for the really nice coach buses (ok, that one is easy to answer, but I always feel like our neighborhood bus isn’t good enough when no one gets on)?  What does it all mean?

I’ll have to use the park ‘n ride lot come June (we think, if rumors are to be believed), so I’m already feeling somewhat anxious!  Park ‘n rides are weird!

In other PAT news, they are looking for input in updating their website (general consensus, work more with Google Maps. make it user friendly and make it fast to find schedules.  Also, real-time bus locations would be awesome, but PAT doesn’t have the money for it yet) and the first wave of TDP changes start April 4, I’ll be reporting more on it then, as well as looking at the new schedules!

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