The Sedalia City Bus has been serving the people of Sedalia for 17 years, and it seems there are some people who have never taken it anywhere. Maybe they’re intimidated by the whole public transportation thing, maybe they’ve got too much foolish pride to take the bus. But there’s no good reason not to try out the bus – it’s easy, cheap, friendly and clean.
There’s no better time than right now to give it a try because May 1-7 and during those same dates for each month through August the Sedalia City Bus is free to ride. There’s no catch – I rode the bus Monday and got to see multiple people attempting to pay their fare only to be reminded the city service is complimentary for a limited time.
For many, their potential for upward financial mobility depends largely on their actual mobility, or their ability to traverse the town. There are too many who don’t have a license for one reason or another or can’t afford a vehicle and it’s easy to feel excluded from society when you can’t come and go as you please.
Admittedly, the bus doesn’t go absolutely everywhere and it probably won’t take you directly to your friend’s front door, but it hits the hot spots and has the routes to get you to just about any place you need to go if you’re willing to put in a little footwork afterwards.
The bus goes to the Thompson Hills Shopping Center just in case you’ve got some license issues to work out at the bureau. Someone looking for a job could do an all-day resume scavenger hunt at Sedalia’s various businesses. You could go and see that car that one guy is selling on Facebook and kick the tires a bit. You could visit your ailing friend or family member at Bothwell Regional Health Center, or better yet finally seek treatment for that nagging non-emergency medical issue.
Pick up some groceries, or maybe just some liquor at stops like Woods, Walmart, Bing’s West and K-Mart. Go and get some paperwork done at the Division of Family Services or the Pettis County Courthouse. Book a ride on the Amtrak and catch a bus ride to the station. Go and see the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art at State Fair Community College for the first time in your life! It’s free all the time. When the rides are free, there’s no bad reason to get on the bus.
Even when the free event is over for the month, the regular rate fee is still pretty good. It’s just $1.50 to get anywhere in Sedalia, but be sure to bring exact change because the bus is not a bank. Or you could buy one of their punch cards, which eliminates the whole exact change problem and makes it so that you pay only $1.25 per ride if you don’t mind paying in advance.
Depictions in various shows and movies have given us an overwhelming idea that public transportation is inherently slow, dirty, dingy and ridden mostly by undesirables. That may be true in certain cities with so many lines and routes that keeping them safe and clean requires a whole lot of manpower, but the Sedalia City Bus defies every negative thing you think you know about public transportation and just might be the key to getting your life back on track, or on road as it were.
There’s no reason to be ashamed to take the bus to and from work, or college or anywhere you might want to go – the bus is for anyone.
Travis McMullen is a longtime Sedalia resident who shares his views on the city through his weekly Democrat column.