If this is your first time reading this blog I recommend you start with the first one .
** Disclaimer – I’m probably a lot crazier than most people as I tend to walk/bike all over the place and distances don’t really phase me. As such, many things I find common and easy to do could very likely be tough and inconvenient for others. This is clearly not a “how to” for going car-less but rather “how I” manage to do it .**
So the whole week I brainstormed for Christmas gift ideas and prepared my list. I had set aside Saturday for shopping realizing that taking the bus will be a little less convenient than a car. I had several stops to make that took me to Victoriaville mall, Intercity, Thunder Centre, and then back home (in the North end). As I haven’t had to take the bus for work yet I’m not overly familiar with bus routes in my area. I checked the bus maps available online and figured out my route. I decided I’d like to get going as soon as possible and since I would also be doing some walking I grabbed my warm clothes, backpack and 2 bags to carry everything. Headed out at 8:55 am and walked to the bus stop I needed. I caught the bus around 9:07 am and headed down to the Water Street Station where I transferred to the mainline and headed to City Hall.
I arrived at Victoriaville around 9:50 (ok not bad only a 40 minute bus ride). I picked up what I needed at Vickiville and checked the time. Hmm next bus to Intercity was in 15 minutes, I hate waiting so I decided to walk there. I headed out into the cold and marched my way to Intercity. Needing an energy boost I stopped into the farmer’s market and enjoyed a delicious cinnamon bun (that made the trip worth it). From there I continued on to Intercity. Now some of my purchases there were a bit bulky and I soon realized that without a car in which to make regular deposits of my purchases, I’d have to carry them from store to store. I was starting to look like the picture above (minus the heels and long hair) balancing gifts as I carefully navigated my way around the mall.
I took a break in Intercity to enjoy the warmth and free internet as I double checked bus schedules. With a full backpack and a parcel in one hand I headed across the street to the Thunder Centre. Now one thing I didn’t expect was the requirement to unload my parcels and backpack at customer service before I was allowed into some stores. This started to become a hassle as I end up waiting in line to make my purchase then waiting in line to have my gear returned to me. I also had to ensure I had my receipts in order as some stores potentially carried the same items I had already purchased. By the time I hit the last store I was starting to feel a bit bogged down. My backpack was quite full and the parcel in my hands wasn’t getting any lighter or less bulky and I still planned on adding one more thing. I checked the time and it was 12:15, ok not bad 2 hours of shopping so far and one stop remaining. I visit the last store and great, they’re out of what I want (should have known) but they recommend trying their other location on the far side of town....yeah that’s not going to happen. So I gather up everything I was carrying and headed to the bus stop ready to go home.
As I’m walking there I see 2 buses go by the bus stop and I start thinking ‘great, now I have 15 minute wait in the cold for the next bus’. But luck was on my side, within 2 minutes a 3rd bus passed the stop and picked me up heading north back to the Water Street Station. I sat down on the bus taking up 2 seats and more with my load. Took the transfer at the station to the bus going home and arrived home at 1:30. Ok so round trip was 4.5 hours, didn’t have to put up with parking but had to walk about 3 km, catch 4 buses in total, drag everything I had store to store and didn’t get everything I wanted. Since I used a bus punch card and transfers the whole trip only cost $3 which beats $30 for a taxi. Total distance travelled was approx. 18 km and with my car I used to have I averaged about 12.5 km/L in the city and at current prices that’s ~$1.75. This is just comparing the gas—I’m sure car payments, insurance and maintenance would put the trip over $3. So maybe my trip didn’t “suck” as much as I thought. With a few gifts on my list still outstanding, I may just wait for another weekend or shop online.
Until next time!
Job well done
Posted By Julie Vien on 12/15/2010 12:30:31 PM
I love your motivation and dedication to this 'project' and new way of living! Completely inspirational! You have definitely planted some ideas in my head for my new years resolution!!! Thanks! Looking forward to your new post!
Re: Job well done
Page last updated on Wednesday, March 02, 2011