Taking the green route to school

Brighid Monahan, Staff Writer

“Morning,”I say to the driver as I board the 8:15 a.m. bus enroute to Madison College. The driver smiles.

“How’s school going?” he asks, the way he does every morning when I get on and swipe my pass.

I have been riding route 6 for about a month now while attending school at Madison College. The melting pot ideal of the United States is most easily experienced in Wisconsin by riding Madison Metro. Individuals from all walks of life use the bus to get from place to place. Some of the regular riders are students from high schools like West and East and colleges like Madison College and the UW.

The fair is reasonable. Only $1.25 per ride for students and $1 for the elderly and persons with disabilities. Children under the age of four ride free. As a Madison College student, however, you can obtain a bus pass from Student Life, the cost of which is included in your tuition.

Madison’s public transit system is also part of the Paratransit program for individuals with disabilities that can’t drive themselves. But, the bus may be doing more for Madison than we might think. Not only does the bus help citizens get from place to place, it is also becoming more environmentally friendly.

Madison has a number of hybrid busses, which get 20 to 30 percent better gas mileage than non-hybrids, and they emit 90 percent less emissions. Hybrid buses work by using pressure built up by the breaking system to charge its batteries.

Hybrid buses have been around since 2007, and there are now 19 hybrid buses in Madison Metro’s fleet.

Committed to staying up to date with current technology, Madison Metro has recently launched several apps allowing you to track busses and plan your routes on your phone or other mobile device. If you aren’t so technologically inclined, they still offer paper schedules and maps on every bus.

Madison Metro has also proposed adding free wi-fi to buses in the spring of 2015, giving procrastinators that extra hour to finish homework.