I’m home after walking from the newspaper office on State Street to the bus stop about 5 blocks away. I missed one bus and caught the 5:50 p.m. Coastal Link. I met a lady who told me she gets up every day at 5 a.m. to take a bus then a train to Stamford. I got to my stop in Milford at 6:22 and then walked home –got back at 6:33. It was nice to see my car in the driveway –tomorrow I’ll be back behind the wheel!
Archive for January, 2012
Yes, you can get there from here, but it takes a little longer when you don’t have a car. I left my house at 8:47 a.m. today to walk to the bus stop — two long blocks from my house in Milford. I got to the corner of Bridgeport Avenue and Rivercliff Drive at 8:57 a.m. but wasn’t sure exactly where the bus would pick me up. Neither did the people at the convenient store where I got a cup of coffee. So I decided to wait across the street in an area where the bus driver would see me. The bus arrived at 9:10 and it stopped for me after I waved it down. The trip to Bridgeport took about half an hour, after making several stops along the way. I got to Bridgeport at 9:45 which was plenty of time to catch the 10:33 train to the Valley where I had an interview at 11 at Crave restaurant. Even though there was some extra time between the bus and train, it did take time to get to the train station and buy my ticket. The train arrived right on time and got me to Ansonia at two minutes to 11, just in time for my interview. I caught the 12:45 p.m. train back to Bridgeport and got to the train station at 1:10 and walked to the office. I got here around 1:30. What I learned: Don’t take a cup of coffee onto the bus – there are no cup holders and the ride is bumpy. Also, you can get to the Valley from Milford by bus and train, but it can be complicated and inconvienent.
I did feel virtuous though, even smug, waving off ride offers and standing on the platform, reading my CT Post.
I can see why people do this, and why my colleague Vinti wanted us all to try it. I might do it more often but it wouldn’t save me money. If a gallon of gas is $3.49 and my car gets 27 miles per gallon, I could go to work and back on that. But the round-trip train was $4.50 and the buses $1.25 each way.
And it was nice weather today. I shudder (literally) to think about a nasty winter like last year.
But I might leave my car at home and depend on mass transit sometimes anyway. Whenever I need to feel virtuous…
“I saw this ‘Get There’ project you are doing, and one of your reporters should try taking the train from Bridgeport to Naugatuck,” he said. “It’s a nightmare.”
Roth works in Stamford but lives in Naugatuck because rent is much more affordable. He said he would like to take mass transit because with traffic, the commute can take well over an hour. Also, he spends about $120 a week filling up on gas.
“They have been saying for years they’ll do more service from Naugatuck to further down the line,” Roth said. “People rarely take it because it’s hard to get. The train is very rare.”
It’s true. There are eight trains that run throughout the day.
If there was reliable bus service to Bridgeport, that would really help, Roth said. There is a bus that runs from Bridgeport to the Shelton and Derby train stations, and maybe they could extend that line to the Naugatuck station as well, he suggested.
” I get the feeling that they don’t want to spend more on the Valley services or they just don’t care,” Roth said. “Of course it’s not the main line, but at least they could run a bus. Everyone will say they’ll look into it, but everyone’s figured it’s the Valley so we’ll just work on other things.”
I’m finalizing my plans for tomorrow’s bus/train ride to work. I’ll be walking to the bus stop around 9 a.m. And hope the bus stops for me! I think it will take longer than the 15 minutes my car ride takes each morning for me to get to the Bridgeport office. We’ll see! Follow me here and on Twitter.
Oh —I better to remember to bring exact change for the fare!
Fun fact: I didn’t get a license or car until I was in college! See as a kid and then a teen I rode my bike and walked to the playground, to my friend’s houses, etc.
Then as a student at UConn Stamford I rode the train to the campus and the bus to work. The reason I gave up public transportation? I had to finish my degree at the main Storrs campus and my poor parents were tired of picking me up as often as I wanted them too It’s definitely going to be strange to get on a public bus on Wednesday!
It might just be because the line you always seem to need isn’t running, or it turns into a local or — or, well honestly, it might be all those shots.
The MTA, in a stroke of semi-genius (that this random guy in Queens already did last year), has released a “late night map” that’s got you covered between midnight and six a.m.
Just don’t miss the 1:53 back to Connecticut.
You’ve probably heard that platitude at just about every motivational speaker presentation that your boss made you attend over the years. And have you ever noticed that when the speaker leaves the hotel, he gets in the backseat of a huge SUV and turns his attention to his laptop, muttering “Darn, wish I had WiFi here.” Some journey.
This journey/destination thing isn’t true all the time. I don’t think Roald Amundsen was thinking that when he had to ski a few thousand miles over the featureless polar plateau on his way to the South Pole. Ditto for Christopher Columbus when his crew was running short of water halfway across the Atlantic.
But today I took my bike to work –– not the first time, by the way –– and I stopped along the way on Barnum Avenue and East Main street to look at some of the buildings. The architecture is truly fascinating, and it presents a cityscape that’s really hard to come by these days. You certainly won’t see it in Fairfield or Milford or Monroe or Trumbull or Stratford – towns that have little more than reproduction colonials everywhere.
Frankly, when you visit those suburban towns, there’s really not much of interest to photograph. Which brings to mind the most dangerous neighborhood that I’ve cycled through.
Now, I’ve bicycled in Harlem, the South Bronx and through Bridgeport’s East End many times. But the worst place was Southport. That’s Southport as in the part of Fairfield so exclusive, even the fire department has an unlisted number.
I was on a charity ride about 25 years ago. One of the Southporters didn’t think that a bunch of guys on bikes should be riding in front of her $22 million home. So, she scattered a handful of thumbtacks on the street just before we got to her house. Predictably, there were several punctures.