Even when we had a car, my wife and I still took the bus. There was a time when I used the car for work, and she took the bus to work; and then she used the car for school, and I took the bus to work. And even on the weekends, sometimes it was better to take the bus than to try to find parking. Now that we don’t have a car, we are almost completely reliant on the bus and walking.
Taking the bus in past years was at times painful (and I don’t just mean some of the crazy/smelly people on the bus). There were times when my wife would be waiting at the bus stop for forty minutes in the rain or I would be waiting for fifty minutes in the cold. You had no idea when the bus would come. Sometimes you’d have just missed it. Sometimes it would be coming just as you arrived. Other times you would just wait and wait and wait.
Enter Nextbus, a wonder of the internet and the only reason I have added web access to my mobile phone. Even though it’s not 100% accurate, Nextbus has changed my travel life. I know exactly when the next bus will arrive. If it’s coming in forty-five minutes, I know to seek an alternate route or just walk. If one bus is coming only five or ten minutes after the previous bus, I know it will not be crowded. My wait times for buses have significantly decreased. Now that it’s the rainy season in San Francisco, I’m especially grateful for Nextbus. I just wish there were more Nextbus displays at bus stops so I wouldn’t have to use my cell phone to check for the next arrival (a minor annoyance at best).