Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Free Ride on the Number 7 CTS Bus

I was on the downtown mall on Monday morning and about to head over to the UVA Law School to attend a lunchtime seminar/meeting about Environmental Decisions in the most recent U. S Supreme Court session (with Environmental Law Professor Jon Cannon the speaker) and contemplated my transportation options. I had one hour to get to the Law School. I could walk (I have done this before in the snow when no buses were running, but guessed that I could likely do the trip on foot in about an hour); I could ride my bicycle (but I would have to walk home (~7 minutes to get my bicycle); I could walk home and get my car and drive there (and have to find some sort of parking at or near the law school); or I could take the bus. What should I do?

I chose the bus. I could take the trolley from the downtown mall - and switch at UVA hospital to the UVA Blue Route that goes to the Law School after circling much of main UVA grounds. That is a trip I have done many times and it would get me to the law school in about 30-40 minutes (if my memory is any good on these experiences). But, I could also take the CTS Number 7 - and it is Free CTS Fare month. So I went off to the nearest CTS stop (right in front of Second Street Gallery on Water Street) and in about 3 minutes I was heading off to Barracks Road Shopping Center on the Number 7. In about 20 minutes I was off the bus and walking the short trip along Arlington Blvd. to the Law School. I was there with thirty minutes to spare before the seminar. The trip was fast, fun, and I got to read most of the current issue of C-ville Weekly on the bus. I spent my 30 minutes of 'wait' time in the Law School Library (a favorite spot for me to do a variety of legal research tasks among other activities).

After the seminar (that was well worth the trip) I walked back to the Arlington Blvd. CTS stop and was back on the mall in about 35 minutes. I expect I will be doing this trip about one or two times each week and the free bus service makes the trip fast, convenient, and free. That is a deal that can't be beat. And, I met some very interesting folks on the bus ride home, besides.

If you are headed anywhere along a CTS route I recommend you take CTS and see how well it can work for you. The Number 7 has the shortest time between buses but with a bit of planning you can leave your car or bicycle behind and try CTS. Now is a terrific time to discover how an expanded bus system in Charlottesville, Albemarle, and beyond can improve the quality of all of our lives. Give it a try if you haven't already become familiar with CTS - and in October you can ride any CTS bus for free! And, don't hesitate to say hello if you see me on the bus. It may well be the best way between lots of places in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

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