So, this is a little look at what I do to get to the U for class.
I drive to the little town pictured at the top of this little map, there I hop onto a bus which does a straight-shot run on to the campus at the bottom of the image.
From front door to classroom it takes about two hours and I arrive just before my first class.
Doing that two days a week seems doable even though on the way back in the middle of the day there is no straight-shot bus so it takes me a bit longer to get home.
Next term, I will have to be in class 4-5 days a week, with 1 (one) class each day. The idea of commuting for a total of 5 hours a day to be in a class for 80 minute.... it just makes me, I mean, I can't even begin to, I'm just saying, do you really think... I mean, come on, people! How the... what is the... REALLY???
Soooo, I began to explore other options.
Driving all the way to the U would mean paying upward of $300 in parking fees and dealing with rush hour traffic, gah! Not really a great plan in my opinion, but I was convinced a better plan existed and was merely awaiting my discovery of it. After hours of exploring transit pages I believe I have located it!
I will drive to this lovely park and ride facility...
which is pretty cool. The bus I will catch onto campus in the morning leaves from the area off to the right of this image but later in the morning when I return to my car the bus pulls into that area in the center median which has platforms and walkways to get pedestrians to the buses and back and forth to the parking structure and I will hop into my car and be home in HALF the time it is taking me to get home this term. Of course, I am going to have to drive further but at least I won't be parking on campus and as long as I head out before rush hour in the afternoon the traffic will be no problem, yay!
** UPDATE 3/3/14**
The navigator on my phone pisses me off and Verizon and Google should both be scolded soundly for wasting my time and being uncooperative!! So, it occurred to me that in driving the stretch of road leading to this new park and ride I will be encountering pretty heavy traffic therefore I mapped a route that used surface streets from the point where, I know from experience, the traffic starts to line up. I printed it out and hopped into my little car and headed south this morning. Sure enough, at just about the point I anticipated, traffic slowed and I decided to use my surface street plan. I turned on my phone's sat-nav and it estimated a travel time of 45 minutes to the park and ride. I turned off and began paralleling the freeway and even with stoplights I was going faster than the cars on I-5. However, my freaking phone kept trying to route me back onto the parking lot of a freeway instead of giving me a surface street route or time estimate. Every I passed a ramp onto I-5 it would first try to get me to loop back around and then it would send me to the next on-ramp and estimate my time and distance that way, grrrrrr.
Once I finally passed the last possible entrance to the freeway it finally recalculated properly and voila, my travel time magically decreased. In total, I made the trip in 20 minutes instead of 45. I guess I should be glad though, as more people rely on Google they are all getting terrible driving advice and that leaves the side roads clear for meeeeee!
My trial run went well and I am excited about my new plan and the fact that it doesn't cost $300 a term to park there.