Field Note: Transportation

The bus system in Bodø is how I get to school, to the grocery store and to everywhere else in my area. In my hometown of South Portland, Maine, the bus system is not good. The bus is usually late, and it takes a long time to get anywhere. In Bodø the bus is almost always on time! If it is raining, snowing or windy outside, the bus will never be more than one or two minutes late. Since the bus system is good in Bodø, this means that I am never late for important events like classes for school.

In Maine there are two different buses. The school bus is for students, and the public bus is for workers and adults. In Bodø there is only one bus. This means that there are children four years old and adults over 50 years old on my bus at the same time. Some people are going to school, and others are going to work or somewhere else. There is not a real school bus in Bodø, just the public bus everyone uses. Children who are very young have adults with them to bring them to school. Children also always wear reflective vests. Since it can be very dark in Bodø for most of the day, the reflective vests make sure they are safe and can be seen by cars and other people.

In the morning I take the bus to school at 9:00 a.m. It takes 30 minutes, so it isn’t a very quick trip. I read and do homework during my trip to and from school. Usually there are 10 people at my bus stop, and 25 people on the bus. I can almost always find a friend to sit next to. So if I do not want to study on the bus, I will talk to my friend instead.

Although the bus is a very helpful way to get to school, it is also very expensive! My bus pass for six months was $400. Public transportation is usually a good thing though, because this means that only one vehicle is used to get 25 people somewhere, instead of 25 people all using different vehicles. It produces less gas and helps the environment!

Another way people travel to work or to visit family is by taking a train or a plane. Norway is a very long country, and its coast has many fjords. These are basically long rivers that travel far into the land. This means that it is difficult to make many roads that go over all these mountains and fjords. So instead they have one train line going all the way from Bodø to the capital of Norway, which is Oslo. I will be taking this train trip, which is 18 hours long! Many of my Norwegian friends take the train to go home for the holidays. It is not very expensive, and it is easier than driving through all the fjords and mountains.

As I said, there are not a whole lot of roads in Norway, so another way to travel is by plane. Some even fly to work for a week, and then fly home to be with their family for the weekend. I took a plane from Bodø to Oslo for my spring break. It only took 1.5 hours, whereas the train is 18 hours.

Overall, the bus system is usually how people travel in Bodø. Workers, students, children, families and visitors all take the bus. It can take you anywhere within the city, and it is almost always on time. It is also safe, because the signs and driving techniques are different in Norway. If I had to drive a car in Norway I would need to learn what all these signs mean. The bus can be fun sometimes, and it is a good way to help reduce our gas use.

Now the next trip I take with my school will hopefully be a boat trip from Bodø to the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway. If I do take this trip, I will upload a video to show you all what it is like!

Until my next update, Ha det bra (goodbye)!

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