small but useful victories

So hey I’m back from New York. I managed to take an entire trip away from home to two other states without getting in my car. That is, I walked to and from the public transportation that took me to and from various places. I had never done this before, mainly because it’s completely impractical, but also because I’d never had a good reason. The whole deal worked like this [enumerated for nerdliness, as well as a how-was-my-weekend report]

– Walked into town and took the Amtrak train to New York City. There are two trains I can take into NYC and this one is the closer-to-my-house one but also the longer-travel one [eight vs. five hours]. It was not bad. Side bonus: the other two people at the train stop with me were also at the conference I was at and will, I am certain, be my new friends. I had to buy my ticket from the conductor; if you live in Vermont, there is no way to buy a ticket in advance if you do not want it mailed to you. ($58)
– Took the subway from the train station out to dinner with my friends, then to ice cream, then back to where I was staying with my other friends. Subwayed around NYC. Took a bus once. The bus is a pain, requiring exact change and an awful lot of it. [no bills] ($20)
– Got the BoltBus from NYC to Boston. Cheap. Simple. Wifi. Outlets. ($20)
– Got a few rides: from the bus station, to Jim’s place, to my sister’s place, to the subway. (free, as in favors)
– Took the subway to the bus station in Boston. ($1.70)
– Took the bus from Boston to Hanover. ($25)
– Screwed around for a few hours. Was interviewed by some guy at the New Yorker. Got rained on. Took the cute three-times-a-day “short bus” from Hanover to Randolph. Walked home. ($3.50)

All in all not bad. The short bus only leaves three times a day at not that convenient (to me) times, but it worked and was siple. I’d never tried it before because the one that is outgoing leaves at some ungodly hour of the morning, but taking it back home didn’t involve getting up too terribly early. Yay for long bumbada bumbada trips. The entire time I was traveling, I was reading Paul Theroux’s book Dark Star which is about traveling from Cairo to Cape Town in Africa which made every dirty subway car seem like the Taj Mahal by comparison.

What do you think?


  1. If you want to save money on the train to NYC, see if the Amtrak line you use stops at one of the MTA lines that commuters take into Manhattan (New Haven and Hartford both have this) The commuter lines run more often and cost less than the parallel Amtrak line; it’s just a matter of a transfer, which is sometimes pretty conveniently timed.

  2. I’m all about mass transportation. Driving is so over rated. Unfortunately, in many places it’s not a very convenient or economical option. Pity.