One of the biggest complaints about taking transit is that of dealing with inclement weather. In a car, at least there is the comfort of staying mostly dry and warm. There are also privileges with higher levels of accessibility and public services prioritizing automotive traffic.
In bad weather cars are forced to slow down for better visibility and more control of handling. Buses are the same. However, the bus riders must also factor in extra time to arrive at their stop (and they MUST be early as drivers are known to leave before their scheduled times), as well as extra time to travel between transfer points. All in all, the planning for a transit trip is possibly tripled with inclement weather.
Today I checked the weather while drinking my coffee and it reported only a partially cloudy day – no rain (although a couple days ago I did see rain in the forecast for today). So I went about my morning getting ready and just as I was rolling my bike out the front door (I live in a townhouse, so storage options are limited), I was met with rain. Ugh! Have you ever tried to hold an umbrella and ride a bike? I personally find rain and biking a bit incompatible.
So, I mumbled a few frustrating comments, grabbed my hat and pulled out the umbrella, and fired up the walking to lightning-speed. I made it to the corner bus stop in the same amount of time as with a bike (and that’s even with dropping my water bottle mid-street as I was crossing at one point). I breathed a sigh of relief as I gathered myself, took a deep breath and looked at my watch after boarding the bus. We pulled away at 10:07am and the schedule reports a 10:08am departure. That might seem insignificant to most and “not a big deal”, but for a #multimodaltrial transit rider without her bike that one minute can mean the difference between making the connection and being 20-30mins late for an appointment.
As it turns out, a call from my afternoon client that just came in reports there is no rain in Oakridge. And now that the bus is driving through south London I see this area is also dry. So now I’m kicking myself for not having my bike because it means an extra 30mins travel-time mid-day to make a connection via bus, and an extra 30mins end of day.
I can just imagine the stories I’ll be writing come winter and the plows don’t touch the sidewalks for days at a time. I’m thankful it’s just rain I’m dealing with today.