Sunday, May 03, 2009

BUS STORY # 131 (Roz’s Bus Story # 1)

Roz* is pumped. She’s got tickets to Kenny Chesney, she’s taking Friday off, and – she’s saving this last for Elliott* and me because we ride the bus – she and a girlfriend are taking the Rock Star Shuttle to the concert at the Journal Pavilion.

She tells us the price is pretty steep – $15.00 per ticket – but it means they can both have a couple of beers at the concert and, best of all, they won’t have to wait on the traffic to get in and out.

“You know how that is,” she says, and we do.

When she leaves the office Thursday afternoon, we wish her a good time and tell her we want a full report Monday morning.

And so when Monday morning arrives and Roz walks in, Elliott and I both greet her with “So how was the concert?”

“Awesome,” she tells us. “The show was fantastic!”

“So how was the Rock Star bus?”

“It sucked.”

A big “Whoa!” from Elliott and me.

“What happened?”

Roz says getting to the concert was great. They left on time, passed a long line of cars on the way in, and were at the Pavilion 20 minutes before the show began.

She says there were three buses, two from the east side, one from the west. Her bus was full. She figures if they were all full, that must have been something like 50 cars off the road.

After the show, they hustled back to the bus because the driver had told them the bus would leave 20 minutes after the show ended. They boarded the bus and waited. And waited. And waited some more.

Finally, the riders asked the driver what the deal was. The driver told them their police escort had been diverted to escort Governor Richardson out instead of the Rock Bus. This did not go down well with the riders.

“Hey, don’t complain to me,” he told them. “Tell Greg Payne about it.”

“So how long did you wait?” we ask.

“We sat there a frickin’ hour before the driver decided to try and exit by the old route.”

That took another 40 minutes. It was after midnight when Roz got home.

Roz tells us she took the driver’s advice and called in a complaint to 311 Friday morning. She laughs, then tells us what the response was: the police escort was diverted to help direct traffic around some ongoing construction.

“Construction that’s been going on for months that somehow they forgot about that night,” she adds. “What kind of bull____ is that?”

Elliott and I laugh. “Why, Roz, you’ve been a citizen long enough to know what kind of bull____ that is. That’s Official Bull____.”

There is no way to know if the bus driver was right – although the city’s lame explanation reinforces his credibility. If it is true, there’s irony in our RailRunner governor, unwittingly or otherwise, being the prime cause of conditioning some 100 citizens against using public transportation to future concerts.

Roz emphatically tells us there won’t be any more Rock Star Shuttles in her future.

We’re bummed – for Roz and for ABQ RIDE. Elliott and I both think the Rock Star Shuttle is a great idea, a win-win for everybody. But the selling point is getting in and out quickly while the cars are inching along. And ABQ RIDE has to deliver. Especially at 15 bucks a pop.

Whatever the real reason, the bottom line is they didn't deliver. And word is getting around.

*Real name changed.


Blogger JM said...

You should send this post to the folks at ABQ RIDE--and the governor too, why not?

9:35 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thanks, JM, but I doubt that is necessary. I'm sure Bus Stories is the first thing both of them read every Sunday morning ...

1:11 PM  
Blogger JM said...

Absolutely. What was I thinking?

8:46 AM  

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