Friday, May 16, 2008

Those Cute Blue and White Buses

As aggrieved as we all are about the price of gas and the lack of downtown parking, let’s get real. Honestly? We can’t pry ourselves out from behind the wheel. Why, when Laguna Beach is blessed with an efficient, subsidized, vastly underutilized local bus system that can save local residents all kinds of money and let them leave the driving hassles to someone else?

The local bus system covers most of Laguna’s neighborhoods. Chances are you have a bus stop within a few blocks of your home. It’s actually fun and freeing to get on the little blue and white bus and head downtown, unencumbered by an automobile. You can hop off at any of the stops, run your errands, and have the bus return you practically to your doorstep, all for $1 each way. The schedule is easy to figure out –- buses leave the depot on Broadway every hour at half past (except during the noon to one o’clock hour -- bus drivers need to eat, too). Click on the link on the right to access route and schedule info.

If you have children, so much the better – they ride for free, and for my kids, when they were small, the Little Blue Bus was as good as an amusement park ride. Now that they are older, the bus is a ticket to freedom and independence – for them, and for me as their personal chauffeur. It is also a confidence-builder – when they visit a real city with a functional public transportation system, it won’t be a totally foreign experience. It doesn’t get much safer or easy to figure out than riding the short, easy routes and friendly drivers the city of Laguna Beach hires. With a bit of advance planning to allow for the bus schedule and a dollar in your pocket, you are free to roam about the town -- and substantially reduce your carbon footprint.

Try it! You might like it, and you can be above the fray of downtown parking problems this summer.