Apr 092012
Authors: Colleen McSweeney

You never know how bad you have it, if “it” is all you know. And he used to be all I knew.

I remember it like it was just three semesters ago: He’d pick me up a quarter past the hour, right as I was running out the door –– hair wet, backpack unzipped, coffee pot still on and roommate’s cat accidentally locked inside my bedroom, eating my fake flowers from Hobby Lobby.

Waving my arms, I desperately motioned for him to wait, but with a single hollow glance behind his shoulder, he drove off, and we both coldly realized how volatile our relationship had always been.

He was the Number 7 Fort Collins Transfort bus, and when I was with him, I thought I knew what love was supposed to be –– infrequent, and full of surprisingly fashion-forward transvestites.

But then, as fate would have it, I moved across town, far and away from Number 7’s route. We didn’t even try a long-distance relationship after that –– both of us knew how unrealistic it would have been. Besides, I knew I’d be better off without him.

The wound of our parting was still fresh, and since it was feasible from my new place, I started biking to campus instead of taking a bus –– what woman really needs a man (I mean… public transportation) anyway?

I bet some strong woman in at least three Lifetime Original movies has said, “You can try to escape love’s grip, but honey, you’ll always find your way back into it.” And sure enough, I did. After an unfortunate string of two stolen bikes and insufficient money for a car, Transfort lured me back in.

Except this time, it was the Number 3, and I’m happy to say our love is still abloom. (Listen, 7, I’m sorry. I’m sure you’ll be great for someone else, but our schedules just weren’t compatible. Only one trip an hour? Really? A girl has needs! )

Alright, you’re probably thinking, “Who is this crazy woman referring to buses as past love interests? Is she the type of person who regularly rides public transportation?”

Well, no. Maybe. I’m kidding, sort of. All I know is, the public transportation I’ve ridden in Fort Collins and cities around the world has not only gotten my frugal, car-less self around (albeit sometimes unreliable), but it’s also shown a genuine slice of the town’s culture.

And with gas prices where they are right now, I think a lot of us would be crazy not to give public transportation a try.

In a Salon.com article aptly named “It’s time to love the bus,” the writer Will Doig recognizes the criticism for what many see as the most lowly form of modern transportation. But he also touts its potential, saying, “The bus suffers from an image problem. But not long ago, so did bicycles. Now bikes are the cool kid’s transport, and all it took was a little investment and some reputation rehab.”

Meaning, we just need to see a PSA showing Ryan Gosling riding a bus to work, and every single one will be filled to capacity with lonely women (just kidding –– all women) within a week.

In the article, Doig also says, “Whether more glamour will translate into more riders is yet to be seen. But one thing is certain: When it comes to improving mass transit, there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit on the humble city bus.”

It’s time that that we pick that underrated fruit. For just a week, try dropping your car keys and hopping on one of Fort Collins’ many bus routes –– you just may fall in “love,” too.

Editorial Editor Colleen McSweeney is a junior journalism major. Her column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. She can be reached at letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 3:22 pm

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