Riding the Bus with a Transportation-Loving Preschooler


The biggest disappointment of my five-year-old’s short life is that he will not get to ride a school bus until he’s in high school.  We live so close to school that we see school buses all the time.  But that also means that there is absolutely no reason that he will ride one for the next 10 years.

For his birthday, he decided that he wanted to take a bus ride.  While school buses are clearly out for us, we live an easy walk from a TARTA bus stop, ready to whisk us downtown almost every hour, on the hour.

This is extra-easy these days, as TARTA has suspended fares for passengers until January.  Until then, TARTA buses are basically a city-wide shuttle.  Hop on, hop off.  Let someone else do the driving and don’t worry about parking downtown!

Plus, it made my son’s day!

What Do I Do?

Pull up TARTA’s schedule, and find out when a bus passes by your nearest stop!  Click here for TARTA’s list of routes.

All buses heading toward downtown stop at the corner of Cherry Street and Huron Street.  All buses wait on that corner, giving passengers time to make transfers, and then they all move on.  Coming from the west side of Toledo, I thought this was an odd way to do things, as I would have to go downtown, transfer, and then ride back west if I wanted to  go to the University or Franklin Park Mall.  But, from my limited experience, the buses stick really well to their timetables, so wait times weren’t overly tedious.

Do be sure to wear a mask, of course!  It’s a federal mandate that masks are worn on public transportation until January, at the earliest.

Where Did We Go?

For the five-year-old’s attention span, we got off downtown and easily walked a few blocks to the Imagination Station.  We enjoyed ourselves, keeping an eye on the time, so we could catch the 1:30 bus back to our neighborhood.  Leaving the Imagination Station at 1:10, we walked for 10 minutes and then had 10 minutes to wait before the buses left.

The seats in the back of the bus are raised up, so my son preferred sitting there, as he could see more.  If you bring a small child, sit in the second row of seats (if they insist on sitting in that raised section), so if the bus has to stop suddenly, there is a seat in front of them and they won’t go flying.  As an added precaution, have them sit on your lap.  You can tell them they’ll see better that way.

Reasons for Riding (even if you have a car)

  • Your transportation-loving preschooler will be THRILLED.
  • It’s an important life skill.  (I’ll be bringing my older children soon.)
  • The more people using public transportation=less air pollution!
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Jill Douglas
Jill Douglas is a 40-something momma to her three minions (one girl and two boys, ages 11, 8, and 4). Originally from Ft. Wayne, IN, Jill spent most of her adult life in northern Mexico, almost halfway between the midwest and her husband's hometown of Mexico City. This last summer, Her husband's job asked him if he would be interested in moving to the Midwest, and Jill is thrilled to finally live so close to her family. Jill has been a stay-at-home mom for the last 11 years. In the wee hours of the morning, she teaches English online in China. When she's neglecting things around her house, she teaches herself how to knit, dabbles in music (flute and voice), watercolor, modern calligraphy, gardening, volunteering at church, wandering the woods, and kayaking the rivers. Jill blogs at http://jillmichelledouglas.com, sharing epiphanies, inspiration, or great places to explore! Having spent the last 10 years documenting the great things about Saltillo, Mexico (the city where she lived), she's now looking forward to this new adventure of discovering and sharing the wonders that Toledo has to offer!


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