Commuting for Coffee via Public Transit

When it comes to Southern California, there are many local and unique coffee shops. One of my personal favorites is about an 8-minute drive right off of the I-57, so the thought that it could take longer than roughly 15 minutes (with traffic) may seem absurd.

As per usual on Mondays post-chapel, my trip involves a quick run with a few friends out to Coffee Klatch in San Dimas. This Monday it was different though, in that it involved taking public transportation.

After previously mapping out the route via to find outwhat buses we would need to take, we stood outside at the bus stop and waited for the bus to arrive. After realizing we were at the wrong stop, we rerouted to the correct one.

When we finally got onto the bus, I put my cash into the machine and requested a transfer ticket from the bus driver.

Ticket transfer pass to use for other bus.

Ticket transfer pass to use for other bus.

“That will be $1.75,” the bus driver said, as she pointed to the money slot.

The first bus for route 281 was not too crowded; it seemed to just consist of a few older individuals and a couple of young adults either going to or from work. We got off five stops down and quickly felt that we didn’t belong.

We were the only two female at this bus stop. It seemed obvious from the looks we were getting from the other people at the bus stop that they knew we were not used to taking this mode of transportation.

The second bus (492) was crowded with adults, students and parents with their young children. The only spots available were towards the back of the bus. The bus was silent and everyone seemed to keep to themselves. This was unusual to me as we sat on the crowded bus. When we stopped about five stops up, the bus came to full-parked stop and the bus driver stood up.

He helped a man in a LA Dodgers ball cap get his wheelchair unlocked from the belts so he could get off the bus. This process was quite interesting to watch and I could tell other individuals were beginning to get antsy. One man kept looking at his watch and one young man was constantly checking his cracked cell phone almost every 30 seconds. When the gentleman in the wheelchair was off the bus and across the street we continued on. After we arrived near our destination we walked the couple hundred yards to Coffee Klatch.

The usual 8-minute drive took just about 58 minutes to get to our destination. Once we got a moment to relax and drink our coffee, we decided to go a different way back to APU.

We decided to take a stroll up the street a few streetlights to our new bus stop. When we arrived at the 284-route bus stop, we stood with an older woman and a young man who was on his way to work.

The bus arrived within three minutes and this time, we knew what we had to do. We each gave the bus driver $1.75 and took a seat at the front of the bus. There were three other individuals on the bus who rode with us for about 17 stops. When we turned in Glendora and passed Glendora Ave near Classic Coffee, we asked the bus driver to verify that we were to get off at the stop.

“Yes, that is the last stop,” she said with a smile on her face.

We got off of this stop and with our transfer tickets and waited patiently for the final bus that would take us back to our final destination. The man in front of us was dressed in all black, talking with a girl who seemed preoccupied on her phone as he attempted to make conversation.

We got off at our destination and I couldn’t help but notice within two hours and making a full circle between the three cities how much the areas differed.

According to the American Public Transportation Association, “One person with a 20-mile round trip commute who switches from driving to public transit can reduce his or her daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds, or more than 4,800 pounds in a year.”

It is crazy to think that with only the two to three times per week that we go and do homework for a few hours, it takes up that much carbon per trip. But what would taking public transportation to and from Klatch save me though, other than a few carbon emissions? It took us almost two hours to get to and from Klatch while driving would have taken 20 minutes, tops.

However, when one factors in eco-friendly measures into his or her daily commute(s), opportunity cost must also be considered when it comes to choosing between saving fossil fuels and saving time.


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