Sunday, September 18, 2011

BUS STORY # 254 (The Race)


As noted in last week's post, several schedule changes went into effect at the end of August, and the Lomas bus did not get away unscathed.

One of the more dispiriting changes is the location of the layover -- the place where the driver pulls over, gets out and stretches, looks over the outside of the bus, maybe has a smoke if he’s so inclined and there’s time.

The schedule for my bus allows eight minutes. If it’s late, that’s going to be eight minutes less however many minutes it’s late.

The new location is not necessarily dispiriting to the drivers.

There’s a Circle K across the street. The old stop, over on Chelwood Park, didn’t have any place the drivers could get something to eat or drink, or use the bathroom. They’d had to wait until they got back downtown to the Alvarado Transportation Center. The full loop takes about an hour and a half, so it isn’t cruel and unusual punishment. Still, it’s nice to have the option at the halfway point.

It is dispiriting to those riders on their way home, and whose homes lie along the box formed by the distal end of the route: Lomas-east-of-Tramway, Turner, Copper, and Chelwood Park.

On the first Monday of the schedule change, there were six of us in that situation.

Three of us were old guys sitting in the front of the bus. Three were young guys sitting in the back.

We three old guys got to talking about how many stops away we were. We were all within the next eight stops.

We decided we could probably beat the bus by walking.

The driver laughed and said no way.

Well, there was a challenge we weren’t gonna let pass.

So we told him goodbye and we’d see him tomorrow.

He told us he’d pick us up when he came around Turner.

We took a shortcut through Hupmobile and along the arroyo. The first guy peeled off at his stop.

We kept walking. It was hot, and it was uphill.

We weren't even to Marquette when the bus pulled up beside us. The driver popped open the front door.

We climbed aboard, and noticed how effective the bus air conditioning had become since the layover.

The driver was cool, too. He just grinned at us and didn’t say a word.

But the three young guys in the back had a good time giving us grief.

Win some, lose some.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Brenda said...

I like this one. Made me laugh. Well done.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thanks, Brenda. Me, too.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Love it. And I sympathize (or is it empathize? I can never remember). Every stop my car pool makes feels like a thousand years.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thanks, Heather.

Yeah, that sympathy and empathy is a brain-buster. Near as I can figure, sympathy is when you feel what the other is feeling. Empathy is when you know what the other is feeling because you felt that way in a similar situation.

So I empathize completely with your sense every car pool stop takes a thousand years.

But I have to confess, I don’t feel your pain. (I feel my pain!)

Hmmm. Empathy is beginning to feel pretty hard-hearted...

8:18 PM  

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