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!