This evening I took my very first trip on the Brooklyn bus. EVER. I will of course remind everyone that until the car accident, I had a car. And after the accident, I've limited my use of the MTA to commuting work/interviews, aka going to Manhattan. Local shopping I do on foot. In short, why would I take the bus?
But tonight I had a doctor's appointment in Boro Park, so the bus it was. I will admit to being nervous when I started out: Will I hold up the line onto the bus by not finding the card swipe/swiping incorrectly? Would I be able to move down the aisle or would it be packed like sardines? Would the ride be smooth?
I was most relieved to discover that every city on the east coast of North America seems to use the same bus manufacturer. So when I ascended the steps and went to pay, I was grateful to see the familiar Metrocard graphic indicating the Metrocard slot and method for inserting your card. Then, while the front was so crowded I could barely squeeze by after saying "Excuse me" a bazillion times, I got to the centre of the bus and found it quite comfortable while standing. A few blocks later I managed to get a seat. The trip was relatively quick. The bus was much cleaner than the metro and certainly quieter. The bus driver announced the stops clearly yet without that deafening volume they use on the metro. The ride was even even interesting sociologically: the teenagers and their texting/iPod combo were priceless, and I managed to interact with various nationalities that you don't see in Flatbush. So, my first bus ride in Brooklyn was a pleasant experience overall.
Was the ride bumpy? Yes. Were the seats comfortable? No, but given my experience with the MTA's metro, I wasn't expecting them to be. Honestly, the only serious complaint I had was my wait time. Both going to and coming from Borough Park, I had to watch 3 buses service the opposite side of the street while waiting for my bus to arrive. The schedule consequently seemed more like a joke than an actual representation of service.
Still, I took the Brooklyn bus...and am glad I did. Now I have an alternate way to get around locally, and in the winter (if I'm still in NYC) that alternative could prove really handy. Go B9!