Confused, sad and stranded: side effects of the Eau Claire city transit

Without expert help, the transit app will leave you lost, taking you to an undesired location

More stories from Bri Hageman



I spent four hours getting lost on the Eau Claire city transit. Oops.

It all started because of my craving for Chipotle, which I’ve been completely deprived from since I moved away from home and began living in Towers Hall.

Being a college kid without a car doesn’t give me many options of places to go within walking distance, Chipotle included. It’s either Shopko, with its array of off-brand snacks, or a walk down to Burrachos, which I took a hard pass on.

Because of this, I downloaded the bright green Transit App and took a city bus trek out to the mall to fulfill my Chipotle craving. But it turned into a way crazier fiasco than anticipated.

I got on the overly crowded bus outside of Towers at the designated time the app told me to. The app said that within four stops, I should be at the mall, so I sat down next to a stranger and relaxed for the duration of the ride.

By the time I counted four stops I was certainly not anywhere near the mall or anywhere that I could identify, so I continued to sit a little longer until I was the only one left on the bus. I got off at a stop in a random neighborhood, which might have been the biggest mistake of the day.

For the next few hours I wandered around what seemed to be the middle of nowhere, stranded in this random neighborhood with houses that all matched.

I typed into the Transit App that I needed to get to the mall from my current location, and it said that the only bus that could take me there would come in two hours at a location about a mile away.

So I sat on the curb for what seemed like forever, waiting for this god forsaken bus. In this time, a man named John sat next to me and decided to tell me his entire life story. I was thinking how much my life resembled Forest Gump in that very moment, but it was a little frightening because there wasn’t anyone else in sight, and John’s stories were creepy.

Eventually the bus came, but it didn’t even stop. It drove right past me.

My chances of getting a burrito literally just passed me by.

You realize you’ve hit an all-time low when you’re running down the street chasing after a bus just to take you to Chipotle. In the end, the bus won that race, and sped ahead of me as I was left in the dust. I either had to call someone, or wait for the next bus that was apparently planning on coming the following night.

I called my friend to pick me up because I was utterly terrified. Word of advice: The Transit App is a downright lie, but the Find your Friends app is a lifesaver. He tracked my location and eventually picked me up, but not before it was pitch black and I’d had enough.

To anyone without a car, find an expert to show you the ropes of the transit before you embark on a solo journey. It would also help to be more aware of your surroundings than I was, and maybe rely on something a little more credible than an app.

In all, taking the bus was actually enlightening, because I got to see new places in Eau Claire, (like a random neighborhood with identical homes) and talk to a bunch of strangers.

Never again.