By Sheree Stubblefield

Friday, May 10 I had the opportunity to take the bus in Memphis for the first time at the “Bus Bunch” event hosted by Commute Ops Memphis and the CYCA. Commute Ops is an advocate for alternative transportation options and we wanted to get in on the action!

A group of us arrived Friday at 7:15 a.m. in front of the Steve Womack State Farm office to await the #2 bus that rolls through Cooper-Young. We got to chat and get to know each other a bit and received our free bus pass for the day. When the bus arrived, Alejandro showed us how to put a bike on the front of the bus, then Robert showed us how to insert our passes to get on the bus.

While we rode, they answered our questions and another rider, Erin boarded the bus with her bike, which they allow if the bus isn’t too full.

We arrived at the downtown terminal where we got off and Robert and Alejandro showed us how to remove the bikes from the rack and stuck around to chat and finish answering questions.

I decided I wanted to continue the adventure and Robert assured me my pass was good all day. So together we got on the #34 and rode down Union and got off at Hollywood and Union where I had a nice 10 minute walk to my next meeting. Arriving unscathed, my confidence was built and I thought, “Why not?” So after I was done, I went back to the stop and with the help of Robert’s instructions, I caught the #5 heading downtown all by myself.

When I got on the bus, it was empty so I had the chance to talk with the driver, Bernard and ask him questions. We had a nice chat and he made sure I got off at the correct stop and knew where I was going. I walked one block and made it safely to my next destination!

All in all, I had a lot of fun riding the bus. It’s nice not to drive and be able to send a couple of emails, read or get to know someone new. It’s all about what you want from the experience. With a bit of proper planning, you can make the bus a part of your daily, weekly, or monthly routine. Give it try during the upcoming “Bus Bunch.” I was happy to know that should I need it, the bus is only a stop away.

Sheree is the Communications Director for the Cooper-Young Community Association and now a bus rider.

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