Don’t. Before you even think about taking a Saskatoon city bus, stop. Take it from me, unless you absolutely have to, try not to. I have seriously had it with this transit system. Every year, the city wonders why people don’t love the environment enough to take the bus. Then they cut funding to public transit to build a new art gallery, make the routes longer, have them run only every 30 minutes and don’t build a heated bus depot downtown for all the people that DO use the bus. I have spent so many days this winter waiting for a bus in –30 weather for over 20 minutes, because the bus schedules are such that there is only one bus that goes where I need to go, and it only comes every 30 minutes.
Today was the last straw. After much deliberation, I readied myself for school. Lately, I have a hard time motivating myself to attend class, so once I have decided I’m going, I like to get there. My bus (#12) comes by the stop nearest my house at 6 minutes past the hour, and 36 minutes past. Since it is only two blocks to walk, I usually leave my house on the hour, so today I left at 2:00 pm. Approaching 7th Ave, I see my bus (the only one that comes through my area) fly past. My cell phone clock reads 2:01. I run around the corner, hoping he stops at the scheduled stop, and waits the FIVE MINUTES that he is ahead of schedule, but of course, he does not. I am livid. I dragged myself out of the house with every intention of attending my ONLY class today, only to have my effort rendered completely unnecessary, since I would now have to wait 30 minutes for the next bus to come by, and I would end up missing half the class anyway. The worst part is, this happens more often than the bus is on time. “So leave earlier if it’s always early” you are saying. It was –25 today, so if my bus decides to be on time this day, I end up waiting for 20 in the freezing cold anyway.
On my angry walk home, I called the Saskatoon transit offices. After waiting through a ridiculously long automated message, I am given the option to press 0 to speak to a representative. Press 0 I did, ready to rip someone’s head off. “Call ended.” reads my phone. So I call back, press 0, wait… Silence. “Call ended.” Each time I try to transfer to an operator, my call is dropped. I tried this half a dozen times and have given up.
On days where Matt takes the car to work, I can’t simply go home, hop in the car and drive to school. And luckily, today I did not have an exam. Equally lucky is the fact that I don’t depend on this awful transit system to get to work. I am offended with the amount of bullshit that Saskatoon residents tolerate, and in a time when we should be pushing “green” alternatives like there is no tomorrow, the City of Saskatoon somehow makes public transit MORE inconvenient than driving and trying to find a place to park at the city’s busiest locations. The fare keeps going up, and the service does not get better. Why don’t students and residents demand more? Especially as students, when we are FORCED to have a bus pass included with our student fees, we should be demanding something that is worth our money, not taking what little is offered.
And now for the apathy: If I were going to be in University next year, I might try to do something about this. But it is my hope that March and April are my last two months using the bus system. Sayonara, bitches.
In other news, the kitties were perplexed by a new visitor last week:
Also, Minnie is ready to burst! Expect a birth announcement any day now!! Please leave your guesses as to how many baby Meezies we will find in there and predict whether Meez will attempt to eat the kittens once they are born!