I enjoy pretty much everything there is that has to do with the outdoors. Some of my most peaceful moments have been while walking through the forest, sitting on a beach, or boating (minus the loud engine). Accordingly I have a great respect for nature and enjoy learning about the plants and wildlife therein. My plan is to continue that learning process and hopefully enhance it by sharing what I learn. I intend for this blog to serve many purposes, but in the immediate future it will be a place for me, and hopefully others, to share ideas about reducing our individual impact on this planet, protecting wild spaces, and in general just to comment on the things we enjoy most in the great outdoors. I welcome all opinions as otherwise you cannot consider every aspect of a subject. However, I would ask that every opinion be expressed in a respectful way and considered with an open mind. Often there is no single right answer. Thanks.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Call me crazy, but I like the bus...

In a previous post I mentioned that I was planning on purchasing a bus pass for the month of April.  I followed through with my plan and the kids and I rode the bus to and from school almost every day.  Overall it was a positive experience and I bought another one for the month of May.

From a financial perspective a monthly adult buss pass is $82.50.  However, my daughter, who is almost 8, and my son, who is 5, ride for free when they are with me.  My son would be free anyways because he is under 6, but for my daughter to ride it would cost $1.65 each trip.  At the end of April I did a rough estimate of how many times we had ridden the bus, and how much it would have cost if we had paid per ride.  The end result is that it was definitely worth it to pay for the monthly pass.  To sweeten the deal bus passes are tax deductible and, if you get around to using it, are good for a free admission to any Victoria regional recreation centre.  Also, the money I have saved by not having to fill my gas tank as often more than pays for the $82.50.

Another reason I like the bus pass is the convenience of not having to worry about transfers.  Rather than having to think about timing, or whether I have to switch buses, I just swipe the card every time.  Sometimes on my days off I have dropped the kids off at school and run several errands on the way home.  One particular morning I walked approximately 4 kilometres stopping at a coffee shop, two different banks, a library and finally a grocery store.  I purchased a few items at the grocery store, walked right out front and caught the bus for the remaining 3-4 kilometres home.  After doing this a couple of times I realized that having a vehicle with you can sometimes feel like an anchor.  I like the freedom of knowing that I can keep walking in one general direction and hop on a passing bus if I decide that I am running out of time, the weather turns for the worse, or I have too much to carry.  Furthermore, a couple of my concerns about riding the bus turned out to be unfounded.