I live close (half a mile) from the Red Line stop at 38th & College and since it’s free I decided to give it a spin! My boyfriend and I made the plan to ride it to Fountain Square on Labor Day to hit up some breweries.
They are still working out the technical bugs of the pay stations and the app so it said our next bus was running all kinds of late but it arrived probably within 15 minutes or so which was expected. The bus itself was clean but crowded (I assume because of the newness and freeness).
Pros: Despite the crowds it honestly went very quickly. It took around 25 minutes to get to Fountain Square which wasn’t bad and there were quite a few stops along the way. If you had somewhere specific to be downtown you can get pretty close to your location (and probably other places too I just haven’t been to those areas yet). Overall, it was a pleasant experience and I would totally ride it again in place of an $18 Uber ride. And even when it’s no longer free $1.75 per trip is a pretty sweet deal.
Cons: There are only a few seats and it’s not crazy wide so it doesn’t take much to pack the aisle which meant a stroller or a bike took up a good amount of room. Also, not everyone pays attention to the signs asking for the seats to go to elderly or disabled people so I had some stress watching an older man who was unsteady on his feet try to hang onto the bar for dear life. I think when the schedule gets more nailed down it might be easier to plan ahead but I’m not sure I would take it if I needed to be anywhere exactly on time. It might be best to give yourself plenty of wiggle room for a while.
I know many people have many strong feelings one way or another about this new bus system but for me I’m always willing to give something a chance. I’m glad I did!