Wednesday, April 22, 2015

• Southwest Transportation NOW April 2015

When was the last time you rode on a city/county bus?

I honestly can't remember how long it's been for me. I'm thinking it was way back in the '70s when I was 14 years old when we'd go from the Little Mountain area of San Bernardino to the Central City Mall (or was it Inland Center?) and watch movies. I'm pretty sure it was about a dime to ride back then too.

Today Southwest Transportation NOW had their monthly meeting, this time at Lucille's Smokehouse at the Promenade in Temecula. Instead of driving to the meeting, the aim was to get as many attendees as possible to take a bus.

A group of 8 or so boarded a bus in front of Murrieta's city hall.

I hitched a ride to the departure point, Murrieta's city hall, with Wildomar planning commissioner Bobby Swann and we arrived about half an hour before pick up.

Not really knowing what to expect, as the clock got nearer go time, I suggested we follow the couple that had just left the foyer. They were heading to the bus stop... which is exactly where we were supposed to be. Makes perfect sense in retrospect.

I love my fertile imagination when it takes off on its own. I thought we were going to be on a chartered bus, and one of the big comfy ones at that I'd seen at last year's bicycle safety event. Instead, we took one of the smaller buses. Which I was standing and hanging onto the overhead bar for dear life for about 85% of the trip.
A picture of the first half mile... when I had a seat.
I snapped a pic of one sign on the bus (see below). Like I was telling Temecula's Mayor, Jeff Comerchero, those last two words should be changed from "When Requested" to "Because You Know Better".
Imagine having to be told such a thing.
The ride took us down Jefferson, to Walmart then east over Murrieta Hot Srpings Rd, to Hancock to Los Alamos, then over to Winchester and finally we were dropped off about pin high to Trader Joe's. The ride cost $1.50 and I was told that one in attendance only paid 70¢ with a senior discount.

The entire ride was more than 45 mins and it was a bit bumpy and a little herky-jerky while on my feet. Not one I'd recommend if you're prone to vertigo or carsickness.

The pro side is that my forearms felt like I'd just got done doing several sets of curls. Once dropped off, we still had a walk that was more than half a mile, but it actually felt good to walk and regain my landlubber's legs.

The meeting was primarily about a future transit stop near the parking structure at The Promenade. After doing that 12 minute walk from stop to store, I can't imagine why they don't already have at least two stops in that parking lot. Especially considering they stopped at the Walmart parking lot earlier.

overfilling a stomach is a no-no
There was also a lunch which consisted of a sampler of everything Lucille's makes. Thankfully I managed to tame my inner greed-bag and only took a sensible portion... though I would have loved to have eaten myself into a food coma... but that looming bus ride back was wagging its finger in my face saying
"Ah, ah, ah..."

Thankfully, since we blew way past the allotted time for this event, we got a ride back in the Swann's Laker-Mobile and avoided the return Bus ride.

I have to hand it to those that do ride the buses regularly. It takes longer, and comes with a lot more work and planning than driving. Thing is, it does cost less than owning a car with it's gas, insurance and maintenance. You can buy daily passes and monthly passes. (here is a link to the pass info)

The next Southwest Transportation NOW meeting will be in Wildomar at the library on May 27th. I'm not positive about the time, but if it's the same as today, that would be from 12:00pm to 1:00pm.
Also at the meeting was Lake Elsinore's Chris Hyland. It was good to finally meet her. She was telling us that was her first bus trip in 80 years (she wasn't shy about letting us know that she is 86). She also made that same walk the rest of us did.

•         •         •

I'd rather deal with a full time crook than a part time honest man... at least you know where you stand. 
—E.G. Marshall


  1. How quickly we forget, on March 11, 2015 the City Council by unanimous vote made City Hall in beautiful downtown Wildomar the place to purchase your bus passes, the city also makes 5% off each sale.
    How's come you went to Murrieta to get on the bus. You could have left from city hall walked a quarter-mile to the new covered bus stop on Clinton Keith rode to the hospital, enjoyed the thrill of a transfer then continued on to Temecula total time about 1hr an 40 min cost $3.00 each way unless you rate a discount.
    Kenny Mayes

    1. Considering that there wasn't any "meet and greet" there... I'm not sure of the that meet place either... other than to eliminate that additional hour of travel that would have most likely gotten me green around the gills. No discounts for any of us that weren't in the senior category.


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