Sunday, June 13, 2010

Transit Adventure in the OC

As I mentioned, I'm back in the boondocks, so I recently tried to venture into Orange County on the OCTA bus fleet. It worked out great: comfy seats, reasonable fare, beautiful beach views, except for one thing. On Sundays, on the route I took (line #1), it's an hour between buses.

This wasn't an issue on the way there. When transit service frequency is that crappy, you should look up a timetable. The problem hit me on the way back. I just missed a bus, knowing full well as I saw it tantalizingly close it would be an hour before the next one came. To add insult to injury, I probably would have made it if the intersection had been configured to allow pedestrians to cross in two directions at every corner.

Luckily I had a plan. Having anticipated just such a catastrophe, I busted out a book I had brought and got my read on at a bus stop which mercifully had both a bench and shade.

If I made a habit of riding OCTA routes like these, I'm sure I could get an English degree in my spare time.


  1. Ah, the torment of the 60-minute headway.

    When I'm out and about for leisure reasons, I don't mind infrequent service- it forces me to slow down and live in a more contemplative fashion. When I actually have to go somewhere...

  2. Yeah. At least they have better service on weekdays. But getting people to try this out is going to be a hard sell unless they're very patient :)

  3. And to think- here in Riverside, some key routes (14/25) are running 70-minute headways on weekends, and there's a community route in Hemet running 120's.

  4. 120s?! Damn. That's close to the worst I've ever heard of. (That honor goes to somewhere in rural San Diego County, which featured a line with two buses per day in each direction.)