Today I had my first Fresno Bus System adventure.
The Fresno bus system, by the way is called FAX: Fresno Area Xpress. I… sort of want to make a snide comment about the “Xpress part (something along the lines of “how much I hate ‘leet’ speak and misspelled words in logos and marketing campaigns), but… I sort of like the acronym, so Xpress gets a pass.
I took FAX to Target!
First, I checked my handy google maps and it told me I had 9 mins to get up the road to the bus stop. This sounds easy but in fact the bus stop near my apartment is one of those bus stops disguised as a random pole in the middle of shrubbery. However, I found it and stood there hopeful, waiting, optimistic. The bus pulled up (3 minutes early and a good twenty feet behind the random pole) and off we went.
Pros for FAX:
The busses are in decent repair.
The busses announce all the stops! All of them! They even tell you what other lines you can transfer to and what is the main draw of the stop such as “Wal-Mart” “Sierra Vista Mall” etc. –Side note, I keep wanting to call it Sierra Mist-a Mall.—
If you are 65 or older, you get to ride the busses for free. Pretty sweet.
The drivers were friendly.
The busses have an auto voice that says things like “For the courtesy of others, please keep your conversations at low volume.” “For your safety, please don’t talk to the driver while the bus is moving.” Is it any surprise that the bus patrons were all quiet, well behaved, and friendly?
So… go FAX, you have a fan.
Google maps on the other hand…..
Ok, so I finish at Target, I go back to Target because I forgot something, I finish at Target again, I walk a bit to the pharmacy to buy stamps, I get on the bus to come home…. While on the bus I look at the map. It tells me to get off at 9th and walk. But… I know better. I know that there isn’t a crosswalk at 9th, I look closer. The google maps has my little purple path walking through 6 lanes of traffic.
Yeah, so… I got off the bus early and walked.. because… Shaw is a really big street and despite Google’s faith in me, I can’t fly.
Anyway. Now I know how to get to two malls, several coffee places, the grocery store, two different pharmacies, the Target, the Wal-Mart, and a handful of yummy restaurants. Next up: how to get to the bookstore, the library, the post office, and the bank!
Basically, I am totally “getting” Fresno thank you very much!