Chicago has some of the best public transit in the United States. My grandmother, who rode the buses all the time, said that she could get anywhere in the city on a single fare. Things have changed since she (and I, for that matter) rode the buses. For one thing, it’s a whole lot more expensive than it used to be; for another, they’ve adopted a zone system for fares, where if you’re traveling to one of the more remote outposts of the city, you pay more; and the buses and trains no longer can be counted on to run at all hours of the day and night. Nevertheless, if you don’t have a car (and many Chicagoans don’t), it’s a pretty reliable method of transportation, especially if you live in the city itself. There are a few of the Rapid Transit (train) lines that go to some of the suburbs, and there are suburban buses there that can get you where you need to go, or at least close to it.
I didn’t drive until I was 28. I had a bad experience in Driver’s Ed in high school, after which I decided that I would see how long I could go without having a car or being able to drive before taking driving lessons and buying a car. Since most of that time I was working close to bus routes, it wasn’t much a problem, at least when the weather was decent. When we would get bad weather, it was iffy, especially if the bad weather involved snow. I talked about one particular misadventure here, in case you’re interested.
There are times I miss it, because it reminds me of a much simpler time in my life when I was young and slim and the world was bursting with possibilities for me. Then I remember the bad experiences: standing in the rain, waiting for a bus for seemingly hours, only to have two or three show up at the same time; having the bus break down and having to wait for one to come along and rescue me and the other passengers; having ten inches of blowing and drifting snow wreak havoc on my plans to get home; watching the bus I had to catch to get to work on time drive past when I was half a block away from the stop.
And yet, I still miss it.