Melissa and I and the family moved to the Detroit area in October 2006, so that I could follow a job. About six months later, in March of 2007, I needed to drive from my workplace in Southfield to Taylor in order to attend a meeting for work. Unfortunately, I was involved in a car accident where the truck behind me rear-ended me against the truck in front of me. The bad news is that the truck behind me had a snow-plow assembly (sans snowplow) that went through our back hatch, while the truck in front of me had a ball hitch that went completely through the radiator and the condenser. So, in essence, I was in a place that I never would go except for work and was the only vehicle damaged seriously in a three-car accident.
Of course, being an older car, we didn't have full insurance on it. Also, my place of work refused to cover the complete cost of fixing the vehicle, though they did give us some money. We ended up finding a used (reconditioned) radiator and a rear hatch yanked off of a junk vehicle, and never did fix the condenser (yeah, this means no air conditioning... it's Michigan, but dang the humidity...)
So, we pieced the vehicle back together. At about this time, I figured that I'd check out the bus schedules to see if there was a different way to get to work. Amazingly enough, I found a route that passed both two blocks from my house and about eight to nine from my place of employment.
Since April of 2007, I've been riding the bus on almost a daily basis to work. Letting Melissa keep the car has allowed her to get the kids to school, and has absolutely extended the life of our vehicle too. I can count with one hand the number of times I've driven to work in the past six months. I've attended Tigers and Wings games by riding the bus, and have also used the buses to hit various job interviews and even the zoo. There are certainly inconveniences... including that zoo trip... but I really cannot complain about the service when I consider the body of work.
I observed this three-year anniversary by taking two buses to get to work by 7AM this morning, then taking two more buses to get to Wayne State for my class. After my class, I took one more bus, and while it dropped me off about a mile to a mile and a half away, I walked back home during an absolutely beautiful night.
Tomorrow's schedule is taking the same two buses to get to work early, then taking two Detroit buses to then pick up the Port Huron bus, to go to my parents' house for Easter weekend. I will be covering about eighty miles for free due to my Detroit bus pass + $0.75 for a Port Huron bus fare. Granted, it'll take me three hours, but I won't have to get stressed out over all that Friday traffic either... my laptop and a good DVD + Rifftrax is waiting for me. :)