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I can’t remember the last time I used public transportation. At least 10 years ago, I think. But this week I had no choice. On Monday I walked to a nearby stop, hoping I would find my way.

I, who once knew all the bus routes in the city inside out, who knew the fastest way to get anywhere, and when it was worth waiting at the stop for another five minutes and when it was better to change lines; I, who...