Thursday, April 23, 2009

Things I'll Miss About Shenzhen (4)

Public transportation in New Jersey is awful. Supposedly, it's not so bad in the more densely populated areas, but it's awful around my hometown.

There are no bus stops nearby to go anywhere--I would have to drive at least 10 minutes to find a bus stop (which is not well marked) and then figure out what buses stop there (there are no lists at the bus stop). And to top it off, the buses don't run frequently.

In Shenzhen, I had a major bus stop right outside my apartment (at all the apartments I stayed in over the years). I could take buses to go just about anywhere. It was great to be able to find the lines that were rarely crowded, which happened often because I avoided the rush hour at all costs. The subway was severely limited, but that'll change in a few years.

Two of my favorite bus lines in Shenzhen were 113 and 19. The 113 seemed to have the friendliest riders--I heard "excuse me" in Chinese and English often. I also once had to pay the 2 Yuan fare with a 100 Yuan bill...and the ticket girl actually had enough change. The 19 was the quickest and most comfortable bus I got to ride--mostly because it was near campus and stopped by my apartment. For the extra 5 jiao it was worth riding the nearly empty bus.

Now the only time I get to use public transportation is when I see my brother in Jersey City. I have to drive about 30 miles to his house, walk 15 minutes to the PATH station that goes into New York City, and then I can get on the subway. I wouldn't mind the walking and the PATH if it wasn't for the fact that I have to drive. I really hate driving. New Jersey needs more public transportation.

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