Tips for riding CDTA

CDTA bus
By ThisQualityLife

We asked ThisQualityLife from Qualities of Life in Albany to share some of her savvy for making a ride on the CDTA a little smoother.

Plan ahead
If you're doing this for the first time, plan well and check the weather. I think if someone tries it in bad weather on their first time out, the likelihood of a second car-free outing will be greatly decreased.

The other day, I was standing out in the pouring rain with thunder and lightning crashing around me. I felt really vulnerable, and proceeded with "Plan B" -- I got my sorry self to a bus stop with a shelter (luckily there was one pretty close by). The feeling of vulnerability lessened, even if the actual level of vulnerability was about the same. If that were my first day traveling without a car, I can't imagine I would try it again.

Wear the right shoes
If you're going to be walking, wear comfortable shoes (throw the heels in your bag and change when you get to your destination -- I've gotten to pretty fancy events wearing comfortable shoes in transit, and slipping into the more stylish upon arrival.)

Book it
Bring something good to read if your trip will require waiting for a bus, and if you can manage reading on the bus without motion-sickness setting in (something I've learned to do -- the trick for me is to sit in the direction the bus is going -- (you often have a choice about which direction to sit on the bus), and anytime the bus has to turn, I STOP reading. It works.

Get CDTA's digits
Memorize the CDTA information number: 482-8822, but don't bother to call it after business hours!

(Thanks, TQL!)


That's it? Plan ahead, wear the right shoes, bring a book and make sure you've got the phone number?

That's not a checklist.

THIS is a checklist.

1) pack a few cans of Febreze, in varying scents. You never know when your driver has been smoking.
2) make sure you have a few conversation stoppers handy for nosy riders - it helps to mention your microchip implants and develop a twitch.
3) Don't want the 300lb person taking the seat next to you? Travel with a blow-up doll that you talk to and feed snacks.
4) Get used to the overhead enunciator's thick Albany accent. If you need to get off at Whitehall Rd, listen for "White-hoo-awwl" or you'll miss it.

I'm pretty offended by Ellen's comments. Some of my best friends are blow-up dolls.

I don't understand the bus-riding angst. It's a bus... you step aboard, give you money and they take you places. Not difficult.

Anxiety about bus riding didn't start with that TU story; whatever we can do to lessen the fear will enhance the community. Thanks, TQL.

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For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

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