It’s that time of year again where I need to renew my bus pass. Like many universities, part of my tuition (well extra fees combined in with tuition) covers a bus pass each semester. This is the second year that includes a summer bus pass.
I have a lot of mixed feelings over the summer bus pass. Because I pay for it (even if it’s subsidized), I feel like I should use it to get my money’s worth. But, I don’t actually live that far from campus – about 2.5km – a distance that can be easily walked or biked. For the summers when I didn’t have a bus pass, I’d buy bus tickets and then try to make them last as long as possible. Which was easy to do when combing walking, biking, and working at home.
I do have meetings and days where I’m required to be on campus in the summer, but generally not as often as the fall/winter semesters. Except when I’m supervising a student, as happened last summer, and looks to be happening this summer. Those weeks I need to try to keep similar hours to the student.
Since I live in Canada, which means it’s generally cold and dark during the winter months of the year, I do usually take the bus in the fall and winter. On top of the fact I prefer riding my bike when there is sunlight, the campus is also much more crowded, which makes for slow going trying to avoid running into pedestrians. It also takes me the same amount of time to walk to campus as it does to bus (if I include the time needed to get to the bus stop).
I do really like the idea of bike commuting, as it would cut my travel time almost in half. And I have done it before. The main negative for me, is that by the time I load up my backpack with my laptop, power cord, lunch and any other notebooks/necessary items, it’s really heavy. This often leads to arriving on campus with a sweaty back. This year (as I debated last year) I’m thinking about getting a rack and panier for my bike.
There’s lots of debate on the internet as to whether or not it’s okay to ride with a laptop in a panier. Thankfully, people like to study everything, and I found a study by MIT on the issue. Even if I have to carry my laptop in a backpack, getting the rest of the weight into a side bag should help alleviate the problem.
I figured out how to add polls, so how do you generally get to campus?