Sunday, October 21, 2007

BUS STORY # 55 (Take Me For A Ride In Your Bus Bus)

I’m homeward bound on the Rapid Ride one evening, and we are rolling. We roll till we hit a red light at Central and Louisiana. When the light turns green, we’ll cross the intersection and stop at the station by the Ta Lin grocery store. But when the light turns green, the bus turns south on Louisiana.

“Hey! What the -- ”

“Detour,” calls out the driver. “Been some kind of accident up by I-40 and Wyoming.”

“So where are we going?”

“We turnin’ left on Zuni and goin’ back to Wyoming.”

The passenger across the aisle looks at me and raises his eyebrows. He’s thinking what the rest of us are thinking. Someone in the back articulates the thought.

“That doesn’t make any sense if the accident was on I-40 and Wyoming.”

“It don’t matter if it makes sense or not. I ain’t gonna get myself fined for not followin’ directions. Maybe it was a accident on Central.”

“Maybe it was a roll-over.”

“Maybe it was a shooting.”

“Yeah, that’s the war zone.”

“People just don’t be treatin’ other people right,” the driver adds, jumping back into the conversation. She editorializes on this subject right on past Wyoming.

“Hey! You just passed Wyoming!”

“That was Wyoming? Oh, well, we gonna get there.”

She laughs and drives on. Zuni merges into Central well east of Wyoming. We are in uncharted waters as far as Rapid Ride goes. She comes to a stop light at Moon and makes a left turn. Moon quickly turns into a little residential street with cars and trucks parked on both sides of the street. She’s threading the needle, taking the Rapid Ride boldly where no Rapid Ride has gone before.

“Bet folks round here never seen a big ol’ bus on their street before,” she laughs. I’m laughing myself, but mostly because I’ve just been hit by the sheer goofiness of everything that’s happened since the stoplight at Louisiana.

Moon dead-ends at a right-turn only. “We ain’t gonna be gettin’ to Lomas this way,” she says. She negotiates a pretty tight turn for a Rapid Ride. I’ve gotta hand it to her: she can drive a bus. She makes another right turn at the next intersection.

“We goin’ back to Central. We gonna get there.”

And we do. A couple of passengers have moved up to the front of the bus and are standing just behind the driver and the fare box. They aim to make sure she doesn’t miss Wyoming again. She doesn’t. She swings the bus around and slows but doesn’t quite stop at the station. She’s already pulling out again when an irate voice calls out from the back, “Hey! Back door! Back door!”

She slows a bit, then resumes full speed.

“Hon, you didn’t pull the cord.”

“The hell I didn’t! That was a stop. Now I’m gonna miss my bus. That’s the last bus! You’re gonna make me miss my last bus!”

He’s picking up steam just like the bus. When he’s finished blowing off, she calls back, “I cain’t be stoppin’ just anywhere to let folks on and off. This is the Rapid Ride.”

We come to a full stop at the Wyoming-Lomas station.

“Thanks a lot for making me miss my bus,” the guy in the back calls out as he exits the rear door.

I exit the front. “Thanks for the ride,” I say with a grin.

“You’re welcome, hon,” she sasses right back. And she gives me a wink.


Blogger John said...

I laughed out loud when I read this post. Very interesting encounter...

ABQ RIDE. Its mission:

to explore new streets and new subdivisions,

to seek out new riders and more usage,

to boldly go where no bus has gone before.

ABQ Ride should consider that as a slogan if they ever start thinking of an expansion plan.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

It's certainly been my most interesting bus ride to date. Makes an uneventful ride home downright dull.

10:05 PM  
Blogger abqdave said...

I was so stunned reading what happened that it has taken me almost a week to be able to write down my thoughts.

So your life was in the hands of a lunatic. Kidnapped using the bus as a weapon.

Even beyond the shockingly poor judgment she demonstrated...repeatedly...she is a bus driver and doesn't know the roads at all?

Even assuming she misidentified where the accident was, and it was really on Central between Louisiana and could she drive down Zuni and not know where Wyoming was?

And isn't it idiocy to miss the Louisiana stop, detour down another road, miss your turn back on to your route, then not stop completely at the Wyoming all these things that the Rapid Ride service is not supposed to do...and then when someone asks to stop when she misses the Wyoming stop...she states "it's the rapid ride and I can't do that..."


6:43 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

I haven’t seen this driver since, and I’ve often wondered if one or more of the other riders (or Moon residents, for that matter) reported her and there were consequences. The experience was so surreal I found myself suspending judgment and just watching the show. If her driving had been reckless or careless (or if she’d kept going down Central and into Tijeras Pass), I would have been anxious and not amused (at least not while I was on the bus). But I gotta confess, I was mostly amused by the whole experience.

5:15 AM  

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