Wheels on the bus
Oh, the metro transit system. Coming from a town in Wisconsin that only has one bus I never had a true experience with public transportation until I came to the U. It wasn't until my senior year when I ventured out on the town relying solely on a map and my U pass. (Side note: a U pass is a fantastic investment if you plan on taking a bus or the Light Rail. It costs $64 per semester and you get unlimited rides through metro transit).
I was definitely thrown into the bus system when I got an internship downtown during the summer between my junior and senior year. Parking downtown during a workday, your typical 9-5, is easily about $18 a day. I tried to convince my dad this was a worthy expense he could subsidize. No luck. So instead I got a U pass.
The first time I took the bus it was the 6E that runs right down Hennepin Avenue through downtown Minneapolis. It was easy enough to get off and find my building. Finding my way back was a whole new story. I was unsure of where to wait for the 6U to take me back to campus. I walked up and down Nicollet Mall- a street three blocks away from Hennepin Ave. Since I had never taken a bus, I didn't realize that a bus normally picks you up on the other side of the street from where you were dropped off...Anyway, I stopped at every bus stop I saw, trying to find a stop that said "6�?. I walked for about thirty minutes in my heels looking for the stop.
In the meantime, I had spent that time calling my mom, my boyfriend, my roommate- anyone who might know. Finally I stumbled back upon Hennepin and ran after a 6U I saw one block down. I still have blister scars, but I will never forget where the 6 picks up. Ever.
If I had done my bus-riding right, I would have checked out www.metrotransit.com. You can plan your personal route, figure out bus transfers and find schedules and stops on the website. Looking back, I wish I hadn't been so intimidated to ride the bus. It took me a few years to start exploring the Cities and getting off campus! While campus is great and there is so much more Minneapolis and St. Paul have to offer- but you might have to take a bus!