There is a lot of sage advice in John Hughes’ film Sixteen Candles. However, I think Molly Ringwald (as the movie’s lead character, Samantha Baker) said it best: “I loathe the bus.”

I’m going to be honest, here. You will see my ass on the bus the day they start loading those deathtraps-on-wheels up with super cute boys – but not a minute sooner. I just can’t do it.

Every time I’ve been forced to ride the thing I’ve been hit on by some scary, toothless beggar. Or someone with an incurable cough or an exotic, skanky disease always sits right next to me refusing to cover his or her mouth as the germs escape from his or her lips.

The worst? I’m often seated next to single parents whose kids have NO home training whatsoever. They scream. They kick. They curse. No thank you. My ass will walk, or I just won’t get there.

When you’re in a transportation pinch, but you don’t have benevolent friends to chauffer you around or the kind of mass transit found in New York and San Francisco, there are some great backups.

Invest in a good bike. Now, some might argue that in this economy, it’s not always feasible to make frivolous purchases. But you don’t have to go overboard. There are some excellent models out there for UNDER $100.

That’s right. is a wonderful place to start. Two boyfriends ago, I bought a super cute mountain bike from with a gift card that my then-betrothed gave me for Christmas (a purple Magna to be exact). It was on sale for $78. And it rides like a dream.

I live near the park, and I’m able to ride fairly rough terrain on the thing without it falling apart on me. For men, they also have a good selection. The Bayview Cruiser bike retails for about $80 as well. It’s stylish, sturdy and oh-so-cool.

For those of you channeling your inner Bob Burnquist or Ryan Sheckler, pick up a skateboard and ride. The choices here are infinite.

Equip your favorite deck with super-fast wheels or buy a long board for leisurely cruising around your ’hood. A great shop to do your thing in is Brooklyn Projects Skateboard Shop (2125 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; 213-483-0322). They’ll set you up with everything you need to get around town on a dope board. They also have a location on Melrose Avenue as well as one in Japan, for those of y’all with dual citizenship.

However, if you’ve got enough money for a bit of an investment, but you don’t want to commit to buying a new or used car, might I suggest a scooter? Some people are huge Vespa-freaks. I get it – I am, too. But there are some great makes and models out there that will take you everywhere you want and need to go on very little gas with all the style of an expensive two-wheeler (but at a fraction of the cost).

The Geely scooter at gets a whopping 80 miles to the gallon. Yeah, put that in your Prius and smoke it! This company boasts a wealth of rides in nearly every color of the rainbow. Scooters arrive pre-assembled, with a free alarm system and a large rear-storage trunk.

But if that doesn’t have you convinced, maybe the price tag will. The Moped 150cc Gas Scooter currently retails for $899. That’s a lot of pennies in your piggy bank. But considering the average new compact car retails for $15,000 fully loaded, you’ll be saving yourself a nice chunk of change.