DAY 16: Our second car-free week was stormy and surreal

A few missteps dampened our multimodal enthusiasm, and we’re running low on hummus.  

How was your week, America? It confirmed for me the theory of parallel universes. As for transportation, we used feet, buses, bikes and Uber. Only once did we beg for help. Thank you, Robin.

Highs of the Week

  1. Stephanie experienced the DC Metrorail. And a slow march with a half-million new friends.
  2. Bike ride to Minute Maid Park. Astros Fanfest prepped Paul for our 2017 MLB Championship season.
  3. Bus ride on MLK Day. Speed wasn’t the point.
  4. Our first transportation shootout: Yellow Cab vs. Uber. I tried the new zTrip cab app. Watch for the results this week.
  5. A flawless bus ride to dinner. While friends searched for a parking place, I tried not to gloat.

Lows of the Week

Just before things went wrong
  1. How not to ride the bus. Stupid human mistakes (ours) and rain nearly ruined a fun outing.
  2. A setback for Stephanie. I learned the value of Uber to health and marital bliss. (She’s feeling better.)
  3. Walking in circles. A busted attempt to use the bus to grocery shop taught us the value of next bus arrival texting.

The Deets

By walking, biking and taking buses, 22.32 lbs of CO2 was not emitted.

Walking: 11 miles

Bus/Rail: 35.9 miles

Bike: 16.7 miles

Uber: 15.7 miles

Car: 13.9 miles

We added transportation costs to the chart (above). Private car costs are calculated at 58 cents per mile. Bicycles and their upkeep cost something. We’re using $1 for every day the bike is used. Don’t ask why. A cab ride (in the name of science, not transportation) was not included.

Now, I’m off to the grocery store. Will it be bus, bike, teleportation? Watch for another weekly report next Sunday.



  1. We need specifics on the busted attempt to use the bus for grocery shopping. Surely we can learn something from your failures.

    1. We have two grocery stores accessible by bus. One is on route #40 (30-minute Sunday frequency). We foolishly did not text next bus arrival. We see a bus go past just as we’re approaching the stop. LESSON No. 1: Use next bus arrival texting. So we text to see when the next bus on the #40 and the other route (#56) will arrive. Based on the estimated times, we walk to a stop on line #56. The #56 has a 15-minute frequency. We wait for 20 minutes. As we’re texting next bus arrival, the time keeps moving back. It moved from 3:29 until 3:49. LESSON No. 2: Unsure. We didn’t understand how the bus arrival time (supposedly based on real-time data) could shift 20 minutes. We could only assume the bus was hijacked or the Daleks had finally defeated the Time Lords, and all was lost.

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