Sunday, November 19, 2006

BUS STORY # 11 (Elliott’s Bus Story # 1)

One of my co-workers started riding the bus a few weeks after I did. He and his wife saw Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, and he came out of the theater Born Again. When it came to changing his driving habits, he didn’t even wait to get a free bus pass before starting out. He spent a weekend preparing the same way I did: learning to interpret the data on the bus route schedules so he could figure out which bus to catch when.

If I started using the bus before he did, he surpassed me in bus usage. For example, he began commuting among the facilities we have around town during his workday using the bus. Meeting in the Northeast Heights at 2:00 p.m.? Grab the Yale at 12:30 p.m. to the Rapid Ride to the Wyoming and arrive with enough time to get a cup of coffee from the cafeteria and maybe catch up with some old co-workers. He began using the bus on Saturdays to do his grocery shopping. And last week, he took his bike with him, using the rack on the front of the bus. That way, he could ride to a store he wanted to go to which was seven blocks from the nearest bus stop. I’ve tried commuting between the office and our downtown facility following his example, but I’m balking on Saturday grocery shopping. But he’s got me thinking . . .

Elliott* catches the Yale bus at the same place I do when I transfer from the Rapid Ride. Elliott, however, catches the first bus of the day; I get the second. He describes the same sort of commuter community I have on my inbound No. 11. And Elliott has a bus story here.

It seems one of the women in this group often goes to the McDonald’s across the street to get coffee, and many of the riders will hand her a bill and say, “Hey, as long as you’re going to get coffee, would you mind . . . ?” She doesn’t. One morning, the bus arrived, and this woman was still in McDonald’s. You have probably guessed the rest: this group of commuters had a raucous old time haranguing the bus driver (the regular bus driver, you understand) to wait until she had gotten back with their coffee. One of the riders even offered the driver his coming coffee if he would wait for her.

And you have also probably guessed the driver’s response to his riders’ request. Well, you’re right!


*Real name changed.


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