The $5.00 and five mile challenges

The Woolly Mammoth's car needs a new alternator. It wouldn't start Saturday, and is sitting outside one of his places of employment. He's working really long hours this summer, but has to have quick and reliable transportation between his jobs. So, the old Skylark has stepped up to the challenge. For a few days, the old mom is stepping up to the challenge, too.
I leave the condo at 6:30 a.m. and walk to the bus stop. For $3.00, I can ride DART all day. The bus takes me to the train. The train takes me to another bus. That bus gets me to work. My five-mile (as the crow flies) commute takes 1.25 hours. After work, the process is reversed.
Humans are built to walk. Five miles is a healthy walk, and shouldn't take much more than 1.25 hours in the early morning. Before this year is over, I intend to walk to work some day, and home again. It's the "home again" part that concerns me in the late afternoon heat. Still, it's a goal I want to achieve.
I met a woman at the transit center this morning while waiting for my bus to work after the light rail train ride. She left her house in a suburb of Fort Worth at 5:30 a.m., and purchased a $5.00 ticket. She rode a "T" bus (Fort Worth Transit Authority) to the station to ride the Trinity Railway Express train to downtown Dallas. There she jumped on a DART light rail train to my transit center where she would take the bus to her morning destination. In the evening she would reverse the process. Her commute was taking a bit over an hour and a half. She said that when she drove it took at least thirty dollars for gas every day, and much more if traffic was bad. For her, the home-to-work distance was over thirty-five miles (as the crow flies).
I'm charged up about the possibility of taking mass transit to the art museums in Fort Worth and back for five dollars. It won't be on a Sunday, as the Trinity Railway Express doesn't run on Sundays. It's a challenge I want to meet soon. I'm grateful for my chance meeting with this pleasant young woman, and for sharing a laugh as we compared costs, times, and distances for our commutes.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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