Monday, July 25, 2016

Riding NFTA Metro - Review

It is a Sunday afternoon and I had some cash I wanted to put into a bank atm. 

Seeing it is almost 90 degrees out and it is clouding up sort of like a thunderstorm prelude, maybe walking is not the best choice.

I have a NFTA Metro monthly bus pass so travel is free on the buses and trains. I figured that it might be interesting to take a ride on an off day.

Which bank to go to. 

Actually there are 4 branches located in the 4 points of the compass. I could take the 5 bus to either Riverside or to the University Plaza. Crosswise from this would to take the 20 bus either to the bank branch by Delaware and Sheridan or take it to Downtown to the Elmwood Village neighborhood near West Ferry.

Actually I was sort of partial to the University Plaza because after I got off to go to the bank the bus just continues to the University Station. It then starts its trip back so I probably would not have a long wait.

I do have the schedules and I also have an app on my smart phone named “Roadify Transit” that I downloaded from the Google Store for free. It gives you the number of minutes until the next bus is due at whatever stop you are at. It is neat. It uses satellite location services so it knows exactly where you are..

I looked at the phone and found there was a bus headed Downtown on the 20 Elmwood route in 6 minutes. 

With Sunday schedules the other waits were up to a half hour. The 20 Elmwood runs every half hour and the 5 Niagara Kenmore is every 40-45 minutes during the daytime on Sunday. No waiting made up my mind.

It was nice on the bus with the air conditioning. 

The bus had quite a few people on it without being overcrowded. A very comfortable, relaxing ride. It is really nice having the driver worrying about all the traffic, including bicyclists, in the Elmwood business section. That area is always a little chaotic with the traffic.



I got off the bus and gave the bank my money. 

All done in no time at all. I was the only person at the atm.

My phone said there were only two minutes before the next bus home. 

It was a little too warm to wander the area a little like I like to do every now and then. I walked to the nearest stop which was only a block away. A lady was waiting so I knew I had not missed the bus.

It was a few minutes before the bus actually came. That part of Elmwood was very congested so a little delay was very understandable. The air conditioning really felt great.

The bus ride was very uneventful except I got a kick out of what happened around Buffalo State. 

It was kind of fun to watch.

A bridge is being replaced over the expressway and Scajaquada Creek. Half is done and all traffic is being funneled over the half that is done. Merging lanes results in very interesting traffic jams.

The bus has to stop at bus stops and so drives along the curb where there is very little traffic.They actually fly past the bumper to bumper jam up in the center lane. The good part comes when the traffic is all merged into the center lane to cross the bridge. You usually picture busses as slow and clumsy and an obstruction to traffic flow. No one blocks a bus from getting into the center lane though when they have a schedule to keep. Especially if it is only bumper to bumper traffic.

When driving, I have been frozen out of lanes at merges like that for all sorts of time. 

But nobody has the nerve or foolishness to block a bus that wants to get in. I am fascinated watching it.

The ride went along smoothly for the rest of the trip. 

You get to see all the construction work with no stress. You can daydream a little going through the park.

Why would a person want to sit on a stuffy city bus on a Sunday afternoon if they did not have to?

It really is a very comfortable experience. 

It is cool on a hot day. It is comfortably warm on a cold day. The seats are actually quite comfortable and very available without the rush hour crowds.

The buses really do run pretty much on schedule. 

As long as you have some way of knowing when busses are due, and you have the flexibility, the waits can be very reasonable.

It is really a great way to see the area. 

I have been all around Erie County and to Niagara Falls basically for free. I need the pass for work and enjoy the added benefits. Did you go to the Canal Fest in the Tonawandas - for free - without the driving hassles this year?

From going to the Galleria or the Boulevard Mall sometimes with no more planning than seeing what time the next bus runs and acting on it.

I have always liked to get around to see what the area has to offer. 

It really does not require a car to take a Sunday drive. Just put your mind to it a little.

You will find you have been missing an awful lot that is available..

It would be really neat to get some comments from others. This type of traveling can be a lot of fun at times.

 

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