Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The wheels on the bus...

Ever feel like not driving?  Want to reduce your carbon footprint but don't know how?  Or do you just want to save money?  If you live in Anchorage, Eagle River, or the Valley, you should try the People Mover.  I feel like there is a negative stigma associated with riding the bus in Alaska and I'm not too sure why that is.  Yes, there are some crazy and creepy people who also ride the bus, but for the most part, you can just ignore them.  If we want the bus to become more mainstream and feel "safer" to ride, we need to get on there and ride it!

I have ridden the bus pretty regularly for the past two years.  When I first started riding it, people at my work were shocked.
"I thought you had a car?!!!"
"Yes, I do."
"Then why are you riding the bus, did you get too many tickets?"
"No, it just saves me money and I can ride it and bring my bike along."
Silence...."Oh." (Raised eyebrows and sideways looks indicated that I was basically crazy).

But seriously, what is so bad about riding the bus?  In other big cities, it is just a fact of life.  For me, it would be a little ridiculous not to ride the bus.  With my Wolfcard, it is free, and it goes everywhere I need to go (see, there is no excuse for you UAA/APU students to ride the bus - you just can't beat FREE).

I can ride my bike to campus, and then if I'm feeling lazy on the way home, I can jump on the bus (with my bike, remember) and get some reading done for school at the same time!  I am also saved from the hassle and stress of driving on campus, and save $250 thanks to not buying a parking pass.  See the appeal?  Also, besides about two major snow days last winter, the bus has been very close to on time nearly every time I ride it.  There are some delays during rush hour, but it's the same for those actually driving, so it never really bothers me.

If you don't have a Wolfcard, don't worry.  Regular rates are also extremely affordable.  With gas prices so high, it is much more economical to ride the bus.  Here is a breakdown of rates:

Adult                            $1.75
Youth                           $1.00 Ages 5-18.
Students 12 or older may be asked to show school ID.

UAA, APU                  Free.
UAA students, faculty, and staff must show WOLFCard.  APU and Anchorage Charter College students, faculty and staff must show their current semester university ID card.
4 and under                  Free

Reduced                      $0.50
Seniors (60+), individuals with valid Medicare card & individuals with a qualifying disability.  Seniors may be asked for proof of age.  Disabled persons must show People Mover Reduced fare ID card.  Check here for reduced fare application.

Adult/Youth                  $5.00
Reduced                       $1.50

Allows for unlimited rides on People Mover bus throughout the calendar month

Adult                             $55.00
Youth                            $25.00
Reduced                       $19.25

For more pass information, click here.

No, this isn't a paid add by the government.  I just feel strongly about supporting good things.  And the service the People Mover provides is most definitely a good thing (one might even go so far as to say it is a great thing).  There has been a big fuss lately about increasing People Mover rates and eliminating certain routes due to budget problems for the Municipality of Anchorage, and I noticed many people claimed to be outraged.  But you know what?  Nearly 70% of those people have never even ridden the bus!  So why do they even care?  If you really care about the People Mover, you need to bite the bullet and start riding it!


  1. I must say- having no car here in Pullman means riding the bus a LOT. And the bus system in Anchorage is MUCH better and reliable than the one here. Yes, I too was one of those "homeless people ride the bus" types- but now having to ride it myself (not that IM homeless) I agree that the more people that ride it- the better the system will- get and you cant beat a free ride :)

  2. Several thoughts come to mind:

    A) Whaddya mean 'crazy and creepy people ride the bus'? The crazed and creepy are with you always...

    B) How much did PeopleMover pay you for this nifty piece of advocacy?

    C) Your timing is impeccable - gas just went up a nickel a gallon today, and with more unrest in the Middle East it's not coming down soon.

    Nicely written - but I'm gonna be riding my bike as soon as breakup's over...

  3. Dad: sounds good! I will come over and help with tune up if you want, I just did all that on my roadie...