Back From Down State

I grabbed the Michigan Flyer bus at the Baraga stop at 12:40 am this past Sunday morning. Why they leave at that awful hour has never been explained to me, but that is the system. I was the first passenger on this run, and found a seat, pulled my hat over my eyes, an fell asleep. I dozed on and off until we arrived in Escanaba around 4:00 am. There I changed to the eastern UP bus, which eventually took me all the way to Lansing, arriving at 3:00 pm Sunday afternoon. The Lansing stop is nicely set up. All the city buses converge there, so for $1.25 I can grab a ride on the comfortable but well used bus that takes me to within a few miles of my parent’s home, where they pick me up.

We had a nice visit, spending most of Monday driving up to Mount Pleasant for several hours at the casino and some nice meals. I headed back Tuesday afternoon, and arrived back in Baraga about 7:30 am.

I ride the bus because it saves me money. Our second vehicle is a large pickup that only gets about 15 MPG. At $4/gallon fuel prices, the 1,000 mile round trip would cost far more than the $160 round trip fare. I think that even if the ticket cost as much or more than the fuel, I’d still do it though. It feels right to me to support mass transit in Michigan. This system is subsidized by the state, so the few bucks I pump into it when I ride instead of drive does that much more to make it a paying proposition that doesn’t need so much state help. I also always enjoy the characters I meet on the bus. And many of these people would simply not be able to travel if there were not a relatively cheap bus system.

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