To say that gas prices have really shot up is an understatement. High gas prices affect all of us, but put an extra burden on low-income persons. When gas prices go up, individuals with less income must spend a larger percentage of their resources on getting to work, to the grocery store and meeting their transportation needs. High gas prices leave all of us with less to spend on housing, utilities, food and other basic necessities.
Some residents save on gas by riding their bikes or walking to work or to the store. The City has been working on increasing our access to safe bicycle and pedestrian routes, making biking or walking a much better option for us than in the past. But, walking or biking is not possible for many of us for a variety of reasons.
The method I tried recently to save on gas was to ride the Citilink bus to work. Here at Wayne Township we provide our clients with bus passes on a limited basis if they, for example, need a pass for a job interview or need a way to get to the doctor. So, when I started to think about ways to save on gas, naturally I wondered if riding the bus would work for me.
I was impressed by our local bus service, although I had to get used to adjusting my schedule to the bus schedule. For example, I normally leave work around 5:30 p.m., unless I have a meeting or event that keeps me downtown. However, the bus I need to take doesn’t leave downtown until 6:15 p.m., causing me to leave work around 45 minutes later than my normal departure time.
The opposite occurs on my way to work. Normally, I would arrive at work between 6:30 and 7 a.m. At that time in the morning, the drive to the office from my home doesn’t take very long. So, I could leave home around 6:15 a.m. and still be at work by 6:30. The bus gets to the bus stop nearest my home at 5:50 a.m., and I must be there on time or earlier if I don’t want to miss the bus.
I am fortunate that the bus stop is only about a block from my home. But, still I have to get moving earlier than normal in the morning to take the bus to work. The day I decided to take the bus for the first time, I ended up walking that morning in the rain to the bus stop and waiting for the bus in the rain. This certainly made me better appreciate what our clients without cars face all the time.
The bus ride into town was very pleasant. The bus was clean, and the driver was helpful. I told him this was my first time riding the bus in many years, and he readily answered my questions. In addition, my bus ride gave me time to think about my coming day and send some text messages. Riding the bus worked well enough for me that I am now the proud owner of a monthly bus pass.
Monthly bus passes are a real cost saving since you can use them to ride anywhere you need to go and as often as you want to ride. The adult monthly pass costs $45. I was able to get a senior pass, which is a really good deal at $22 for the month. For Waynedale residents, I checked the bus schedule and found two routes that service the Waynedale area, Routes 1 and 9. The Citilink schedules are listed on its website, fwcitilink.com, or you also can call Citilink at 432-4546. I would advise calling Citilink to confirm the schedules and times as they can be somewhat confusing at first.
Before I close, I want to wish all mothers a wonderful Mother’s Day on Sunday. My mother passed away when I was only 17. Yet, in my short time with her, she influenced me in so many different and positive ways; and I am so thankful to her. She would be proud to know that I am in a position now that allows me to serve the residents of Wayne Township.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee
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