Friday, September 13, 2013

Fancy bus apps and economics.

This morning I went to to poke around and see what improvements had been made since the last time I rode the bus here (well, that wasn't the last time, but it should have been). I was really hoping for an app that would display the ETAs for every bus in town.

Sound like too much to ask?  Well, in Edinburgh (yes, yes, I know you -- you're sick of me saying, "Well, in Edinburgh..." but too bad, it's my blog!), we had this handy app that would do just that. It would find our location and tell us how many minutes away each of the various buses was. As long as I had 3 minutes (or 6 minutes when I was hugely pregnant), we could easily make it from our flat to the bus stop without a worry or a wait.

I don't actually want a car
, but I would very much like to be able to ride the bus with that kind of convenience. Yes, I understand supply and demand. But David isn't the only person in the Highlands who is heading downtown for work this morning, right? Is there some sort of car-free day scheduled where everyone who lives off Bardstown Road will just take the bus for once?

I bet most Louisville readers don't even know how much TARC costs these days, but I can tell you that it's still a lot cheaper than driving a car.

Thinking positively, the Trip Planner on TARC's website is very helpful, even if it forewarns you of long rides that don't actually come when scheduled. Anyway, yes, I know the folks at TARC are working hard and doing good things for the city. I just wish more citizens would use the bus, so I can get all these things I like to whine about.

I'm considering a trip across the park today, but I'm a bit scared of trips that involve a transfer. I'll let you know how it goes.


  1. Now that we're living in Lyndon and crossing the railroad tracks has become a regular part of our daily lives, I find myself wishing for commuter rail, or some sort of transport system to get downtown and even to other cities. Makes going out and traveling so much easier!

    1. YES! And I have also never understood why there isn't at least a commuter train between Louisville, Frankfort, and Lexington (a local and an express, of course). There are SO many people who make those trips daily. It just doesn't make sense.

  2. Have you tried using GoogleMaps directions with the bus icon checked? It has worked well for me with TARC.

    1. Yes -- it's great that TARC is finally on the G-maps, for sure. It works well for finding out route info, but not super-helpful when the buses are never running on schedule. I want that real-time bus-tracking that so many other cities have, I guess.

  3. TARC needs additional funding sources. I'm pretty sure that's literally the crux of the problem in Louisville and almost every other Midwestern city in America where the powers that be and a good chunk of the general population think transit is a thing "for the poor people" and see no point in higher public transit related aspirations.


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