Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Won't be long 'til summertime is through

Although astronomical summer officially ends with the autumnal equinox (falling this year in three weeks time on 23 September at half past two in the morning), in the normal sense, summer - the season for holidays - is over. Yesterday, quite overshadowed by the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII and the darkening prospects for European peace, a new school year commenced. For the first time in 19 years, this did not affect me, as Eddie finished school education at the end of last term.

But back to school means more traffic, busier buses and an end to ZTM's summer schedule. For Jeziorki, this means the 319 is running again. This must be one of Warsaw's most bizarre bus routes. It runs but three times a day between W-wa Jeziorki and Metro Wilanowska, leaving the latter for the former at 07:23, 07:53 and 08:23. The 319 departs Jeziorki heading towards town at 08:03, 08:18 and 08:43. Quite why this bus runs at all is mystifying (too late for school and anyone starting work at eight), but run it does, one of four day-time and one night-time bus routes that ply ul. Karczunkowska, serving my bus stop, Trombity. And I'm grateful for the 319, as I'm guaranteed a seat all the way to Villanoska. And as this route starts but one stop away from me, it always arrives at Trombity on time. Though today, it delivered me at Poleczki, my destination, 11 minutes later than scheduled. A journey that should have taken 15 minutes takes 26 minutes.

It puzzles me how ZTM people who put together bus timetables schedule rush hours. It is known to anyone who uses ul. Puławska on a daily basis (click on the label below to see posts relating to this hardened artery) that in rush hours is either congested, mega-congested or reduced to walking pace. Indeed, I've outrun a bus over a distance of three stops once to prove the point. I've been in a bus where it's taken nine minutes from one stop to the next. Time has come to paint a bus lane down the entire length of Puławska from Piaseczno to Metro Wilanowska. Local elections are coming in November and public transport users outnumber the short-distance one-per-car commuters who need to pay the full social and environmental cost of their chosen mode of transport.

The heatwaves have passed us as pass they should; 30C might seem anomalous. And yet I blogged about a day in mid-September when that temperature was reached back in 2012, and a year earlier we had 27C on 11 September). So - don't give up on summer. And remember, that Poland often rewards those who live here rather than just visit during the summer with glorious golden Octobers.

The bittersweetness of the impending demise of summer, by the Beach Boys...

Post script, 3 September. I took the earlier 319 today, leaving Trombity bus stop at 08:04. This also arrived at Poleczki 11 minutes late (08:32 rather than the advertised 08:21). At least I got to my nine o'clock meeting on time today.

This time two years ago:
It was a good year for the apples

This time four years ago:
Early-September moan about the commuting

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