Sunday, July 25, 2010

BUS STORY # 194 (The Correction)

U-Turn? No Way., originally uploaded by clive.flint.

The Red Line is heading for Louisiana. It’s probably three-quarters full, and a lot of folks usually get off at the Louisiana stop.

Some of those riders realize the driver is not getting over toward the turn lane in what would be called a timely manner. Several of them stand up in their seats.

When the bus rolls through the intersection in the outside lane, they’re in the aisles and calling out what’s going on, where’re you going, and so forth.

We pull into the old stop in front of Ta Lin. A few seconds later, the driver, a young, easy-going Latino guy who is clearly laughing at himself, says into the mike, “Sorry, folks. The last time I drove this route, we stopped here and turned north on Wyoming.” He assures everyone he’ll get us back to Louisiana.

He waits until the traffic is clear, then pulls across the lanes to an inside left turn lane to the second street past Louisiana. It’s a small street, and I’m thinking he’s going to make a box – left turn at this intersection, right turn at the next, turn right at the next, and a right back onto Central going west, then a right on Louisiana.

But he’s got a different idea. After that left turn off Louisiana, he sees a parking lot entrance on the right, pulls into the entrance, then makes a hard left. He’s gonna try and turn around right here in the street!

Fat chance, I think.

And sure enough, it looks like he’s not gonna make it, and it looks like he’s not gonna be able to back up and straighten out, either. The other riders are thinking the same thing.

He stops, then inches forward, then inches forward a little more, then a little more, and then – a big bump. There’s a collective “Whoa!” from all over the bus before we realize he’s up on the sidewalk. But dang if he doesn’t get the thing all the way around.

We get a thump when the wheel drops back off the sidewalk.

As the bus heads back to Louisiana, the driver comes back on the mike.

“That, folks, is a Chicano U-Turn.”

Even the stern-faced security guard laughs at this one.

The photo at the top of this story is titled “U-Turn? No Way” and is posted with the kind permission of clive.flint. You can see this and all clive.flint’s photos on Flickr at:


Blogger abqdave said...

Funny story. Wasn't there one similar to this a while ago, where another driver did a detour through a neighborhood (I can't remember the circumstances)?

I wonder what ABQRide's tolerance level is for bus drivers who make mistakes? Did you ever see that first driver again, and what will the fate be for this one?

9:06 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Good memory! Yes, I wrote a story back in October of 2007 about a rather unconventional Rapid Ride trip. (I had to look that one up!) I never did see that driver again, although I have no idea if that is in any way connected with the detour.

In this story, I gathered from how the driver said it that he’d last driven the Red Line when it turned down Wyoming and had temporarily reverted to habit. The other possibility, of course, is that his last route was the Green Line, in which case he had momentarily neglected to switch routes.

I’ve done this sort of thing myself: found myself driving along a familiar route and then suddenly realizing I’m driving myself to work -- and not where I’d intended to be going. Given this perfectly human lapse, the quickness of the correction, and his great good humor, I would hope ABQ RIDE would grant him the same dispensation I do.

9:56 AM  

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