Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Blue Streetcar Bus Ride

While waiting near Lexington and Camden, I decided it was too hot for the Park or Jeep, so I hit up the VIA Streetcar Blue Route, for a ride around town.
The Streetcars are a nice lil vintage trolley like ride, even though you feel like a tourist and the shocks are like riding in a tank! The Blue Route, for $1.20 gets you a nice long loop around town, down Flores and thru King William, Hemisfair and back around to the Alamo.

On boarding at Camden and Lexington, the bus remained empty , except for one passenger. Once it hit the King William area, it loads up for the Alamo Hemisfair destination and then empties out again before hitting Martin. The Via Metropolitan Transit drivers get in a tunnel vision mode, just taking the same route and my driver was very quiet the entire ride. I say the streetcars should have music or included information about the city. But having a talking tour guide or running audio would be annoying.
The cons here are the limited air conditioning and you cant bring on bikes. They cater largely to walking tourist traffic and curb appeal. I seem to recall in the early years, they were open streetcars, but I may be wrong. The ride would be very hot that way, but somehow seems more reflective of a south Texas city. The Via Metro planners, and powers that be, are revamping and modernizing the routes for the Streetcars. I hope they include the east side of downtown. I hope they will include more of the money toward improvement, rather than adding too many routes. I mention this because i do see the streetcars empty alot of the time, during the week. The vintage feel of the old style wood seats and trolley feel is appealing, but could use some magnetism and modernizing!  

I hope to ride the newer Primo bus soon, with interior bike racks, wifi and fast service routes!  The streetcars are nice for a quick ride around downtown when you are on foot, without too much crowding or traffic.

Full Album of the Blue Streetcar Ride: 

Cooksterz, the rolling photographer, shoots photos and micro blogs through postings on Google+ Cooksterz on Google+
I just felt like blogging again. The unplanned bus ride to escape the heat, was a good place to start today.