Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Public Transport Rant: The Good, The Bad, and The Super Delayed T

Being from a small town in Florida means that for most of my life, I have had pretty regular access to a car. My high school didn’t even have a school bus option for where I lived. The closest grocery store was under 5 miles away but there was no direct bus line and if you wanted to walk it would be through 90 degree weather and 100% humidity, not my ideal afternoon out. Also subway systems in Florida just don’t exist since Florida is basically sand. So moving to Boston and having so many public transportation options is a super new concept for me.

I’ll start by saying that I am very lucky to have been able to live with my cousin whose from MA and lived in Boston for a little over a year, so when I arrived in August I had a guide waiting with a Charlie Card for me. I still remember though my first T ride alone following along on my phone with google maps. I quickly learned my stops and all the different ways I could get to campus from my apartment.

I haven’t quite nailed my timing right (it always seems like the bus or the T pass by right as I’m walking up to the stop) but I’ve certainly become more comfortable then when I first got here. My secret to successful public transport travel is to always expect the worse. The T will be late, crowded, and it will take forever (especially on the B line, don’t get me started on all those BU stops!). Even today I had missed my regular bus since it was a few minutes earlier than normal. Taking public transport is a great exercise in patience and it is all about planning your commute ahead of time and never trusting google maps arrival times or the plethora or apps that give you estimated arrivals (ProximiT is the one I use and it is quite thrilling to watch the timer jump from 2 minutes to 20 minutes while you are waiting for the bus in 36 degree weather after your evening class).

Regardless of all the struggles that come with taking public transport and all the fears I had moving to Boston without a car, I think it was the best option for me. Not having to worry about parking (or paying for parking!) outweighs the stress of waiting for the bus in the cold. Also if I’m not in a rush, Boston is a very walkable city (which is very helpful since I have on occasion been known to have a cannolis for dinner and need that extra bit of exercise). It takes just under an hour to get to campus from my apartment walking, which is basically the same amount of time it would take if I took the B line all the way to Kenmore and then a bus to campus.