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Patience key for bus commuters on two-hour, 7-mile trip to work

By Jim Stafford Published: May 14, 2008

e put me on hold just as our bus turned the corner to the stop.

Denman and I were the only two people to board the Edmond Express, on which one other rider already was seated. Fare was $2.25, with a free bus transfer ticket.

We rode to downtown Oklahoma City in silence, arriving only five minutes late at 9:35.

As I exited to change buses at the Transit Center I asked bus driver Ronnie Collins if he had seen any increase in ridership in the wake of the dramatic rise in gasoline prices.

It still doesn't register
"No, it won't register until it hits $4 (a gallon),” Collins said. "At $4 you will see an increase. Most people in Edmond have a very comfortable income and nothing deters them. They (are) still driving those Expeditions and Suburbans, and I'm thinking ‘wow.'

"But at $4, you will see more people riding the bus.”

However, the story was different on Bus 18 that makes a loop from downtown to Lincoln Boulevard, over to Kelley Avenue and up to Britton Road.

There were 14 people onboard the bus when it pulled out of the Transit Center, and three more boarded before it got to the Capitol. Most exited somewhere along Lincoln Boulevard as the bus headed north.

A few seconds after the bus turned west on Britton Road, I pulled the cord that prompted the driver to stop outside the north entrance to The Oklahoman.

It was 10:31 a.m. when I exited the bus. The journey to work cost $2.75 and had taken two hours and 10 minutes on three buses.

My normal commute of seven miles takes about 15 minutes.

But it's good to know that there is an alternative that requires only time and a certain amount of patience.

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