Yesterday I took public transportation for only the second time since the start of the pandemic.
Our Honda CRV is eight years old and we are planning to keep it for as long as we can. I’m not buying another gas burning car. We love not making a monthly car payment and since retiring I like taking the bus and train. I have more time to get places and I love people watching that only riding the Fullerton bus to the Red line provides me. And it is a major convenience.
I go online to the Bus Tracker which tells me exactly when the bus will arrive at my corner. I time my walk so that the bus and I both arrive at exactly the same time. And I never have to wait for the Red line at Fullerton. We always seems to arrive together.
That changed with the pandemic, of course.
We haven’t driven much since there was no place to go. Every six weeks I would go to gas up at Costco.
And I wasn’t getting on the bus or train before the vaccination.
When I got vaccinated I took public transportation to and from a dentist appointment in the Loop and rode the bus and train nearly alone. In fact, the Brown line from Wabash and Washington to Fullerton was empty except for me. Three of us were on the Fullerton bus and not all at the same time. It was eerie.
But yesterday I took the Honda in for an oil change and tire rotation. Since they said they couldn’t get it back to me until 3, they got me a free Lyft to go home from Clark and Division. But I took the bus and Red line to pick it up.
I walked up to the corner as the bus arrived, stepped on, swiped my senior CTA discount card and joined a crowded bus. Every seat was full and there was barely standing room.
And everyone was masked as the rules required.
I got to the Red line station just as the train pulled up and got on. It was not as full and there were plenty of seats. But it was 2PM, not exactly rush hour.
Everyone was masked.
The news is reporting that CTA ridership has grown but is still down from pre-pandemic levels.
But I’m back.
I love public transportation.