Sometimes it’s more convenient to walk - Metro US

Sometimes it’s more convenient to walk

It seems like I’ve been walking instead of riding lately. With the extra time to think, I can’t help but wonder if we could walk a lot less if we were willing to walk a little more.

Transit is not a taxi, but it’s still tempting to call for more stops along more routes. After all, if there were stops everywhere there would be no reason to walk.

But I think the problem could be too many stops and routes, not too few. It’s just not worth riding anything shorter than a couple kilometres or making that last, short connection.

Near home I may know which bus to hop on, but otherwise it’s faster to walk than to figure out which bus goes where, from where, and when — let alone wait and ride it.

This partly results from the confusion of multiple meandering routes, all coloured blue or pink on system maps. It’s like I’ve been served a plate of spaghetti but have to figure out where the noodles go before I can eat it.

As for the length of the ride, more routes without more buses mean low frequencies.

Unsurprisingly, more stops mean more stops, which can represent up to a fifth of travel time.

It’s not much slower to board four people than two, nor does it affect the time spent slowing down, steering, and speeding up to navigate in and out of stops only to hit the next red light.

After walking several blocks to get to that perfect route, the bus could now be so late and slow that I might as well walk the rest of the way.

Until we see a system overhaul, you could try a little habit I’ve adopted: If the bus stops at the stop before yours, consider getting off there or even waiting at a busier stop nearby.

We might not all enjoy walking, but it’s good exercise. Besides, if there’s the possibility of faster trips, I’m about willing to try anything at this point.

More from our Sister Sites