Sunday, July 08, 2012

BUS STORY # 296 (Ted's Bus Story # 1)

Schedule Change by busboy4
Schedule Change, a photo by busboy4 on Flickr.
Ever since my work schedule changed, I don’t see Ted* as often as I used to.

Ted is one of the regulars who is also blind. He works, and he uses the bus to get to work and back home.

I ran into him shortly after last year’s end-of-August schedule changes. He told me he’d taken a real hit. His first bus, the # 12 Constitution Commuter, had been moved up four minutes, and it had so disrupted his connections that he was having to ride the bus downtown to the transit center, then wait for his connection there. Those four minutes added almost an hour to his commute.

Ted’s story was just another one of many I’d heard. (You can read about some of them here.) I knew there were needs being met, but it seems that tweaking bus schedules is a lot like upgrading a computer program: the fix you get here breaks something else over there.

But this story has a happy ending.

I ran into Ted again near the end of May. First thing he told me was they’d put his old schedule back for the 12. He was delighted.

I asked him if that was one of the May 19 adjustments, and he said it was.

How did that happen, I asked him.

Well, he called ABQ RIDE and asked to speak to one of the planners. Ted told the planner what the August changes had done to his commute. When the new adjustments were announced, his old route had been returned to its original schedule.

I’m happy for Ted.

I’m also reminded that we are incredibly fortunate to be in a city with a public transportation system as responsive and committed to good service as ABQ RIDE. I have read far too many blogs and news stories from elsewhere not to realize Ted would have been out of luck in a lot of places.

It’s true we riders have a wish list a mile long. I figure that’s true of ABQ RIDE, too, and I’ll bet there’s a lot of overlap between their list and ours.

But I also know from Ted’s story, and from many others I’ve heard over the years, that we have a system that really does make an effort to meet its riders’ needs with the resources it has.

So, on behalf of Ted and the rest of us, thanks, ABQ RIDE. And please keep up the good work.


*Real name changed.


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