You could describe my childhood as "transportationally challenged". My mother never learned to drive, which was good for society in two ways; nobody ever got hurt, and it inspired her to invent pizza delivery.
Fortunately, my father drove her everywhere. Unfortunately, he died when I was nine. My mothers favorite mode of transportation in a city that barely had mass transit was the taxi cab. Actually, it was perfect for her, they were driving and she was Miss Daisy.
Here's how my mother invented pizza delivery. She would call and order a pizza from the only pizza parlour in our neighborhood. It was called Berconi's, and was owned by Bert Cohen who was really a nice Jewish man. Next, she would call the taxi stand that was behind the pizza store, which was called Center Cab. She was so bonded with the taxi dispatchers, they would have a taxi pick up her pizza, and deliver it to our house. Then my mom would reimburse the driver for both the pizza and the cab fare.
She would shop for groceries at the beginning of the month, and would tip the driver to carry a months worth of groceries into the house for us. My mother taught my sisters and me how to tip correctly at a very young age. She is a very charming woman, and to this day, is loved and admired by cabbies coast-to-coast, LA to Chicago.....'cause she's a smooth oper-A-tor.
My sisters and I walked everywhere. Until we went off to Jr. High School, we never left our neighborhood unless we actually left town. If it wasn't walking distance, we didn't go. You'd be surprised how far walking distance becomes once you get used to it.
We always seemed to live at the bottom of really big hills, and the first mile was straight up. I always thought of it as a metaphor for life, and when I bought my first house, I looked for the flattest neighborhood I coud find in the seven hills area. Eventually, somewhere along the way, we got tired of walking 10 miles each way to school. That's when we learned how to ride the Metro.
The mass transit system in Cincinnati is sub-par compared to most major cities, but like a cheap liquor in a crunch, it will get you where you're going. Or, as Patrick said, cheap liquor helps if you have to ride the Metro. You should go back to older posts and read Patricks mass transit story about the guy and the booger, it's a classic.
The worst part about riding the Metro is that you have to do everything on their schedule, whether they have one or not. If you're not at the orange pole, waving, they'll pass your ass right up. Also, never try to run and catch the bus. The average Metro driver lives to pass you up, and the smug, pointing-and-laughing-at-you looks on the other passengers faces, who were actually at the bus stop on time, will just kill your entire week. Just pretend like you meant to miss the bus, trust me, it's easier on your ego.
When it came time to bust out of Cincinnati, it was always on the Greyhound. Now that's a special experience all un to itself. It's a sub-culture both on the buses and in the terminals. Interesting how it's called Greyhound and they keep their passengers in "terminals" just like race dogs. It just came to me and I had to point it out.
Anyway, however long any trip would be by car, multiply it by 5 and that's how long it takes to get there on the Greyhound. Also, if an obese man eating cold taco's gets on the bus, he will always sit next to you, sometimes for twelve hours or more. I won't even get started on whether or not you should ever sit anywhere near the on board potty.
The upside to riding the Greyhound is that it's cheap, and always takes the scenic routes. The stops along the way are sort of nostalgic to me. Who doesn't love stretching their legs at 4 in the morning at the Evansville, IN bus station? When you suddenly go from cold, smelly, diesel fuel to warm, smelly diesel fuel mixed with coffee and french fries, it's feels just like leaving home. So special.
Finally, when I was eighteen, I bought a car. It seemed to be a really good reason to get a drivers license so I did that next. Then, after 3 or so years, I got so sick of owning a car so I sold it and didn't buy another one for 5 years. After five years more of riding the Metro, it's a dream of mine to never ride it again. The Elevated it ain't. So there you have it.