Public Transportation: Stuttgart

We have a great duty bus that runs in the area, allowing our kids the ability to get from our kaserne to any of the others for free. It’s pretty reliable and runs from early morning until evening, though I think it needs one more evening run. Soccer practice ran 30 minutes after the last bus, so during that season Matt stayed at work really late, or ran back out to get them.

The duty bus does a great job of getting the boys around to the different kasernes and we are thankful for it, but we knew that they would need a bit more freedom than it could provide. I have now taken public transit here in Stuttgart a few times and have found it to be worth learning. It’s complicated to read and try to understand, but once you take it it gets easier.

The first time I had to take it was to go to the airport to pick up a rental car. My van was in the shop and the nearest rental place was the airport. I can literally see the airport from Kelley Kaserne, and if you take the transit, you travel in two different zones. I needed a one-way ticket for two zones.  I only had one misadventure: When I got off the first bus to transfer to the second, I saw the second passing before I could even get to the other stop. I had to wait 20 minutes for the next one. I listened to my podcast and enjoyed being on an adventure.

I arrived at the airport, picked up my rental car, and felt very accomplished. I grew up in a community where everyone has cars and few people use transit daily. My experience with it has been while traveling in foreign cities. I guess this is a foreign city, so I don’t really know why I was so intimidated by it.

The next phase of this was to teach the boys how to make use of the public transportation system: Bailey was up first. He picked a location he wants to know how to navigate to/from and we were off. We grabbed a snack at a local bakery and then headed back home.

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Phase two was to teach Hayden. One night when the other brothers were still at soccer, Hayden, Anna, and I make a split second decision to take the train downtown to a record store he saw one day as we were driving through town.

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This picture of Anna with her passy is the last one we have. We genuinely thought we dropped it on the bus that night and so we broke her of her “van passy.” A week later we went cold turkey… no more passys.  {I ended up finding this passy later so I’ll save it in her baby box.}
On this trip, we went a fun record store and then back home.

I still need to take Carson on a training trip…

Hayden has since used the system on his own twice. The first time he and a friend went to a concert and it was on this adventure that they had a misadventure. I got permission to tell this fun story! First, on exiting the kaserne, Hayden got stuck in the box, and the MPs and Ponds guards had to come rescue him. Once at the bus stop he and his friend got help from one of Hayden’s regular customers at Subway. They got to the concert in time, had a blast, and on the way home, accidentally got on the train going the wrong direction. They figured it out in time to get back to our nearest train station, about 4 miles away. However, the next bus that was to come was 4 hours… the buses had quit running by then.
I could have gone to rescue them, but, since I knew they were safe and together, I let them figure it out. (They didn’t ask me to come to the rescue… they had this under control, but were keeping me informed of their progress.) They ended up calling an Uber to get them back to Kelley.
Such good lessons! I asked if he had any pictures from his travel adventures and his response was, “No! Too busy trying to find where to go!”

My purpose in having my kids learn this system is so they can have freedom to go and do what they want, when they want. If they were in the states, they’d have drivers licenses; here they have public transportation.

Mel from “Living in Stuttgart” wrote a fantastic blog post that helped me figure everything out. Check out her Guide to the Public Transport in Stuttgart

 

 

 

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
This entry was posted in brothers/boys, family, germany, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Public Transportation: Stuttgart

  1. Pingback: Fall, 2018 | thehamricks

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