I rarely have meetings outside the office, (by office, I mean oversized cubicle in the windowless basement of a government building) but had an early morning meeting scheduled at UNO a few weeks ago. My boss suggested we carpool or take the bus because construction has greatly reduced the number of parking spots on campus.
If you're a frequent reader of this blog, you'll remember that right before my adorable husband and I got married (Almost a year ago! The first anniversary symbol is paper. I'm hoping for an origami swan and not a roll of Charmin.) in an effort to downsize and live smaller, we sold both our cars, bought a new truck and have discovered getting by with one vehicle is easy and cost effective. We get to work by either biking, walking, or taking the bus. I wienie-out if it's raining and drive. It's been far easier than anticipated and incredibly freeing! Of course, it helps that we are empty-nesters without children to taxi about town, and our fabulous condo building is close to both our jobs. And fun stuff.
Now back to our story:
So I decided to take the bus.
A quick Google Maps search informed me I'd need to take the #2. A new route for me.
When I'm sitting out on our balcony, I see the # 2 bus go up Dodge Street and down Douglas, yet I've never taken it anywhere. What an eye opener! It was an easy way to head west. You pick it up at Turner Park and Dodge and it'll take you as far as the Westroads Mall at 100th Street.
- You leave the driving to someone else.
- No parking hassles.
- You help the enviroment by being one less car on the road.
- You get a little exercise with the short walk to the bus stop.
- You leave the driving to someone else. I know I'm repeating it here, but that's my favorite part and worth saying again.
Here are just some of the places you can go by hopping on the #2 (note that the street numbers I give are the locations of the closest bus stop to the business.):
Bruegger's Bagels - 40th Street Hold on to your tastebuds! They have the new Pretz-Mex Breakfast Sandwich: a seasoned fresh-cracked egg, peppered bacon, Swiss cheese, and spicy guacamole on a Pretzel Bagel. With a cup of hot coffee - YUM!
Varsity Sports Cafe and Roman Coin Pizza - 50th Street Great place to meet friends!
Film Streams Dundee Theater - 50th and Dodge This historic, newly renovated movie theater will be the go-to spot when it opens this fall. Foodie FYI: the Kitchen Table will be within the new complex.
Memorial Park - Happy Hollow Blvd. This makes me Happy. Not Hollow. (Did I just hear you groan?!) We've always avoided the big Memorial weekend concert because of the parking hassle but wow! We could take the bus! Why haven't I thought of this before?
UNO - 62nd Street Higher learning is a ride away!
Jason's Deli - 71st Street I highly recommend Wild Salmon-wich and the Beafeater. Don't forget to request a pickle.
Do Space - The stop is just a little bit past 72nd and Dodge - Play with the newest, coolest technology for free. Take a class, mingle with hip geeks, coffee, and donuts!
Olive Garden - 74th Street (Psssst. Lady secret code word for cheesecake, wine, and catching up)
Panera Bread - 78th Street (Psssst. Lady secret code word for coffee, big bready pastries, and catching up)
Men's Wearhouse - 78th Street In case you're wondering, Extra 40% off Clearance on Shoes right now.
W. Clarke Swanson Library - 90th Street You can now rent a librarian or computer geek for free at the Swanson! Here's a link.
Westroads Mall - 98th and Nicholas (the bus makes a loop around the mall) - Have a bite at the groovy Flagship Commons "uncommon food hall", dive into some serious shopping or see a movie.
"When I'm sitting out on our balcony, I see the # 2 bus go up Dodge Street and down Douglas, yet I've never taken it anywhere. What an eye opener!"
So how long does it take to get to the Westroads taking the #2 you ask?
Google Maps says it's 36 minutes and that includes time to walk to the bus stop and then from the bus stop to the mall. By comparison, it says it would take "typically 14 - 24 minutes by car...and of course, that doesn't include driving around looking for parking while cursing like a sailor (okay, that's what I do). And you'd have to do some walking from the parking lot to the building.
So I call taking the bus the winner here.
But wait! There's more on #2 Route:
There's churches, dentists, medical centers, banks and more! Check out the route and zoom in to see place labels
There's also a tattoo parlor on the route - The Needle Bar Tattoo Parlor. Your bus stop would be at 50th and Dodge. You could get a tattoo of a little #2 Bus!
It was a snap getting to UNO and but (deflated game show loser sound effect) it would've taken 47 minutes to get back to the office because I would've had to transfer. By car, it's only a 12 minutes. I ended up catching a ride back with a coworker. So, I'm learning that sometimes the bus isn't the most time efficient option.
All in all, it was still a good active transportation experience that opened up some great possibilities for errands or entertainment.
One final note: keep in mind bus trips up and down Dodge Street will be faster once the new (and groovy - you can pay by smartphone and track the bus in real time!) rapid transit comes in late 2018. Here's a link to some info about that.
Go west, fellow Midtowners, go west (by #2 bus)!
A couple more helpful links: