Thursday, August 23, 2007
Riding the Bus
Last weekend, we had our first opportunity to ride the FRED bus. Just 10 years old, FREDericksburg Regional Transit (nicknamed FRED) is our little municipal bus system that serves the city of Fredericksburg and the nearby area (I can understand why they didn't name it Fredericksburg Area Regional Transit). The buses were used last weekend to shuttle people from downtown parking areas to the City Dock for the Discovery Days event, and that's where we hopped aboard for a little joyride. The bus was comfortable, clean as a whistle, outfitted with seatbelts, and really nothing like you'd expect from a city bus system. I gave it a big thumbs up.
On the other hand, I don't HAVE to ride the bus. If you were dependent on FRED for transportation, I understand there is a lot of waiting involved. The bus comes by each stop only once an hour, and each route is rather long. To get from point A to point B, a distance that might take 5 minutes by car, can take you 45 minutes by bus, depending on where point B is on the bus route. Still, the fare after 10 years remains at 25 cents a ride, a bargain by any measure, and if you don't own a car or are unable to drive, it really is a lifesaver.
The designs on the sides of the buses are very distinctive illustrations that look like old-time woodcuts, created by Falmouth (just north of the burg, over the bridge) resident, Troy Howell. Troy is an amazing book illustrator and artist, by far my favorite artist in the area. Check out some samples of his work here and here.