Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

This is how I ride. How I ride TriMet, specifically.

Much of my time living in Portland, my ideal way of using our bus/train system (which I like, by the way; no mass transit slander here) has been getting a monthly pass: a flat fee for as many rides as I want and need. At times, when I've been relatively poor or within walking distance of a job*, I haven't bought that pass. I'd get tickets instead, available at TriMet's downtown office and many supermarkets, each good for 2 ½ hours of boarding and riding.

One thing I realized when I used tickets: I'd hoard them. I was stingy. I'd be more likely to walk a really long way instead of using a ticket. (For a couple of weeks in 2009 when I started work at an office 2.7 miles away — I just checked — it made sense to only use a ticket going one way and walk the other way. That took an hour's walk, sometimes in the morning.) I'd feel a little relief when I could afford/justify a monthly pass again.

This year, TriMet's changed things: it added the MyHopCard, a reloadable card. There's also the option to load tickets to a phone, but I doubt my phone's anywhere near able to handle that, so that was out. After finishing my last batch of tickets, I bought a MyHopCard in early September for a small initial fee ($3, if I remember correctly) plus $40 of fare, and I've been getting used to it. You scan it when getting on a bus, or at a pillar on a MAX Light Rail or Portland Streetcar platform. I'm not crazy about it keeping track of where I get on and off, which passes and tickets don't do, but I can live with that. The main thing I wondered: would I hoard again?

Mostly, so far, no. Probably because it's easy to buy more tickets online, without going to an outlet. The nearest place I can buy those tickets, the SE 82nd and Foster Fred Meyer, is 12 blocks away, not far, but that's another trip I now don't have to so. It's slightly — slightly — loosened up my use of the system. I made spur-of-the-moment bus trips on Thursday and Sunday using it...after I'd also walked a ways, because I can always walk more.

I'll see how this changes when I'm working again and likely needing to ride TriMet much more often.



* That's happened twice so far, both times when I lived in the Brooklyn neighborhood: the Fred Meyer/Kroger call center, a 15-minute walk from the apartment, and before that a temp job at the TriMet office itself. I got free monthly passes for those months, which I didn't actually need for work (four blocks!), but it was nice to have for other trips...
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments