While the last month has been fraught with aggravation and frustration, there ARE positive aspects to riding CARTA and taking advantage of public transportation. I don't have to worry about dealing with traffic or parking, especially when I make trips downtown. When I ride during rush hour, I may have to deal with being on a crowded bus, but the traffic is somebody else's problem! While I live in the "city" of North Charleston, walking to the bus stops both in Park Circle and now the Northwoods area gives me the opportunity to enjoy the local flora and fauna. Walking is the best free exercise available. And there are no excuses, any place I have to go involves walking at least half a mile. Costwise I'm paying $37.50 a month for an unlimited pass, and an occasional cab fare. Weigh that against a car payment, insurance, gas, repairs and maintenance!
Over the past year I have seen acts of kindness and generosity I don't believe you'll see in many larger cities: a bus driver who actually parked the bus to walk an elderly passenger across a busy intersection, a young man who picked up a woman's full shopping cart and carried it off the bus for her, passengers all pitching in to make up somebody's fare, an older woman helping a young mother get her kids and groceries off the bus. I see these random acts of kindness on a daily basis, and it makes me more aware of the people around me as well as the opportunities to pass on a small kindness whenerver I have a a chance. So yes, public transportation can be inconvenient and extremely frustrating at times. But it does have it's perks!