8/18/2008

A bus report!

I've been continuing to ride the bus, though not as much as I would like. The reasons why are many, but mostly I have an odd schedule that causes me to drive equipment around, as well as late night meetings here and there. But, on days like today, when I get to work an actual 9 to 5 shift, I figure I may as well take the bus when I can. After all, the bus runs right past my house.

So, at 8:10 I got out of bed and raced to get showered and prepared for the day, and to get out the door by 8:30. At 8:31, the GPS tracker told me the bus would be arriving at my stop in 2 minutes. Somehow I managed to grab all my gear and get out the door. I was halfway to the stop when the bus, a smaller one, drove up, stopping at my out-stretched hand.

However, it was not the 4-A. Instead it was a "SPECIAL" that picked me up anyway. The driver asked me if I was going straight downtown, and seemed kind of disappointed that I was. Another passenger who got picked up after me wanted to get dropped off on Roosevelt Brown. So, suddenly we're going that way, instead of down Cherry Avenue. Sensing a potential adventure, I stopped reading my book.

By the way, that's the best thing about riding the bus. Having 15 minutes to read a book while I get driven home? Works for me.

This morning, though, no book, because instead I wanted to see where we were going. Maybe I was being kidnapped. Perhaps because I'm special.

So, the woman gets dropped off near Crispell Avenue, and we turn right onto West Main Street, just like every other bus. Though, after having the 4 B for a while, it was nice to see what that looked like during the morning commute. We kept on going, and I assumed we were just copying the 4B, and we'd end up going down Market Street. Instead, the driver took me straight down Water Street, past 2nd Street (where the trolley goes) and towards the transit center, in the wrong direction.

One flaw in the transit center is that the vehicles can only access it in one direction. This takes away a lot of options in terms of routing the buses, in my opinion. Maybe at some point they could put a bus pull-in somewhere close to downtown in that direction. Today, though, the driver went to the end of Water, and then switched round in the other direction in the kind of tricky move that I do when I drive. He then turned back around and was able to light directly into the transit center's pull-in. Or is it pull-out?

So, in general, it was a pretty good ride, and much faster and direct than I'm used to. I liked it, but of course, when I take the bus again, it won't be like that I'm sure.

This afternoon was a different experience, only slightly confusing. I'll admit I don't know the full schedule for the 4A yet, but I did kind of expect it to leave the transit center at about 5:20 or so. I left my office at about 5:10, and walked down. The GPS tracker did not identify the 4A as coming, but when I got to the transit center, the monitor said the 4A would arrive in 4 minutes.

So, I took a seat and waited. And waited. And waiter. About ten minutes later, I got up and checked the monitor inside again. Now the 4A was due to arrive in 2 minutes. Sure enough, 10 more minutes later and the 4A sped up to the station, another small one. This one smelled brand new.

The day over, I had another nice 15 minutes of reading my book, for real this time.

2 comments:

Waldo said...

I was behind the 4A on West Main today, around 5:10pm, and I thought "hey, Sean's bus is going to be on time." :)

Sean Tubbs said...

I'll admit, I could totally be in the dark about the schedule during peak hours. All I know is, the bus rumbles past our house like clockwork sometime around the half of the hour.

And, by clockwork, I mean, a not very reliable clock that still manages to kind of sort of tell time.