Sunday, 9 October 2011

Road Rage

I would say on an average day in Hamilton I spend around 45 minutes waiting for the bus. The HSR, or Hamilton Street Railway is pretty much the bane of my existence. I rant about it every other day. You would think that trying to figure out the public transportation in another country would be very near impossible. I have found the exact opposite to be true.

The underground in England, the Metro in Paris, even just normal buses in Scotland or Belgium. For some reason it seems almost too easy to get from point A to point B in other countries. In Edinburgh if a bus is going to be late it comes up on an electronic sign that it is delayed. If a bus in Hamilton is going to be late you just stand there like an idiot waiting. The HSR has made me late for so many things and I always give myself a good amount of time. None of the buses connect and I have been passed by on more than one occasion. My sister and I even wrote a song about how bad the HSR is while waiting for the bus one day. I would share the lyrics with you but there is too much profanity.

I get more upset at the lack of reasonable public transportation in Hamilton everyday. Last night for example. I went out with friends and ended up having to pay almost $20 to take a cab home because the buses stop running around 1a.m. while other places I have been usually have a late running bus. In Brussels there was one last bus when the bars closed and it was the same in Paris, although we never found the stop for it and ended up taking a cab. Either way it gets very frustrating. In New York the price for a cab is ridiculously cheap. I took a cab from Madison Avenue to Canal Street in China town for around $10 US. That is almost a 15 minute ride and that's with no traffic, which let's face it in New York is rare. Here it costs $3.50 just to get in a cab. It's infuriating.

I do not drive. I am realizing I will have to get my license eventually but I really just don't like driving. I am a nervous, panicky driver and the streets are probably safer with me off of them. If the public transportation was more reliable and cost less I would never complain about it. I wish Hamilton had a subway line, or a better bus schedule. The debate about LRT is ongoing and it will probably be years before we see that implemented. Until then I guess I will just continue to wait for the bus and sing my incredibly profane song about the HSR.

A very overcrowded HSR bus.

My friend Amanda reading the metro map in Paris, France. (Easier in french than one might think)

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