Sunday, June 05, 2016

BUS STORY # 500 (Service Suspended)

¿Dónde está Busboy?, originally uploaded by busboy4. Photoshop by Skyler Rexroad.

This is Busboy’s last post.

It’s time, really.

I began posting bus stories in August, 2006, when I was a rather wide-eyed newbie to public transportation. The riders, the drivers, the buses, the stories — all were a marvel to me.

The stories continue to be a marvel to me. But, like me, the stories have begun to slow down.

For one thing, I don’t hear as well as I used to. A lot of good bus stories have come from overheard conversations. These days, I just don’t hear those conversations unless they’re happening close by or whoever’s speaking has an exceptionally loud and clear voice. Así es la vida.

When I retired, I lost the regular work commute routes, and along with that, a ridership that was comfortable enough with one another to share stories. I also quit having to take the 50 between Central and the airport. That route may have provided more stories than any other. It certainly provided a lot of interesting ones.

You might suspect that retirement would also decrease my usage of the bus, and hence my opportunity to come across new stories. Not so. In 2014, I tracked boardings to see if buying an annual pass was worthwhile. I had 580 boardings that year. My work commutes involved between four and six boardings a day. Six a day times 52 weeks comes out to 312 boardings. So I’ve actually had more opportunities to come across a story than when I was working.

I think another reason for the decrease in stories is the ridership’s increased use of earbuds and headphones. Many of those who do not are scrolling and texting. It is not an environment that lends itself to conversations.

Finally, there is always the possibility that I don’t see the stories as readily as I did when I was new to riding the bus. It’s a lot like the mountains or the skies out here; you get used to them, and quit seeing them like you did when you first moved here.

I owe a lot of people a thank you.
  • ABQ RIDE. The improvements in keeping to the schedule and the professionalism of the drivers since 2006 is noteworthy. More, it’s critical to making public transportation in Albuquerque a reasonable option. There’s certainly room for more service, but I don’t think we can get much better service.
  • The ridership. I’ve read a number of bus blogs from other cities over these past 10 years, and for a city our size, we have a largely well-behaved and considerate ridership in comparison.
  • The many riders who have shared their stories with me. What a remarkable privilege and experience!
  • Blogger, and the Blogger community. I still wonder why someone else would go to the trouble of providing a guy who rides the bus in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the opportunity to tell the whole world about his experiences free of charge. I’m also grateful for the many folks who freely shared their time and knowledge on the Blogger Help forums and other Blogger-focused blogs about how to format, how to create links, how to download from Flickr, and so many other tips that helped make my site do so many more things than I could have imagined when I first set out.
  • I’m especially grateful to the many Flickr members who gave me permission to use their photographs. So many of those, besides being marvelous in themselves, were perfect for the story I was posting.
  • I’m grateful to those readers who shared their comments -- or didn’t, but read anyway. There are a few of you who have been faithful readers over the years.  I thank you for that compliment, and for the comments and/or emails you've sent when a story provoked reflection. Over the span of Bus Stories, 71 people have signed up as “Followers.” I could never bring myself to activate this function; it felt too self-aggrandizing. Still, I’m grateful for those acknowledgments, and to any of them still reading, thank you.
  • Finally, I’m grateful to all the other bus bloggers past and present. Finding others made me feel like a member of a little community, and I began keeping links to their blogs along the right-hand margin of Bus Stories. Some of those linked to mine as well, and those were especially meaningful acknowledgments. I’ve had favorites, present and past, but I admire and salute anyone who takes the trouble to write about their experiences on the bus.

And that’s the story.


17 Comments:

Blogger Megan said...

I have followed you for years. First in Google Reader and now in feedly. I have never commented before but wanted to thank you for the wonderful stories! I'm sad to see you go.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Megan, thank you so much for your kind words!

12:14 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

You've been a staple of my Monday mornings for several years now and while I understand your reasons, I'm sad to see you go. I've enjoyed your observations and speculations and will miss reading your stories!

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Will said...

Your stories inspired me to be more aware of those around me wherever I found myself. I'll miss your insight into the nuances of human interactions.
So long Bus Boy, thanks for a great, long ride.

Now it's time for the book !

3:48 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thank you, Heather. You know, that is exactly how I felt about your decision to quit blogging. Knowing the writer you are, with the insights you have, I'm flattered.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thank you, Will, for those very kind words. Yes, I'm anticipating quite a bidding war among the big publishing houses for the collected works...

9:03 PM  
Blogger Bob Bacon said...

I find it interesting that at the end after never responding people are. I road the bus with you for 567 episodes. Most of the time I responded. Having free time helps if you are lucky enough to have it. Also my life doesn't involve computers or reading so it was never work for me to enjoy the bus yarns. Many of my friends signed on also. Thank you for your work and for making Sunday mornings so much more enjoyable. Your insight and professionalism are outstanding. For a construction job well done the officers in the Navy Seabee's would only say " well done. " But it really meant much more. Well done Busboy and thank you.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Busboy. It's been a great ride. If you come out to the Northeast to visit Bob have him drop me a line to let me know.
Best wishes - Mike Lynch

6:34 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Hey, Bob, thanks so much, not just for all your many emails and reactions, but for sending me so many of those "This Week's Featured Story" items. It's good to know, too, these stories made someone's Sunday a little more enjoyable.

9:44 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thanks for your kind words, Mike. Will do.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Brenda said...

I am sad to see you go but there is a time and a season for everything. Heather (my daughter) got me to reading your blogs not long enough ago and how I've enjoyed them. You've caused me to stop and ponder the lives of those around us many times. Thank you for your keen insights and thoughtful observations. I will miss you.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Brenda, thank you so much for such a nice note. It is appreciated. All your comments have been appreciated.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Bob Bacon said...

I just caught the photo top right at the start of your bowing out e-mail. Clever and a perfect ending.

3:12 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thanks, Bob. Finding just the right photo for each story has been one of the challenges and great pleasures of posting these stories. I'd only been blogging a month or two when another friend (you've met Geoff) recommended I add photos to each post. I'm so glad I took his suggestion. I'm also happy Skyler Rexroth photoshopped my ABQ RIDE/Telemundo picture exactly the way I had in mind when I first took the picture. I'd decided many years ago, when I saw no end to the blog, that this would be the photo for the final post.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

Thanks for all your stories Busboy. I loved their humanity. I think you've called the time to stop perfectly, few people are in the present these days, prefering to tune out their surroundings. I remember many times being able to talk to someone about the book they were reading, but that is not possible with electronic books. You will be missed Busboy, thank you.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thank you, Barb. I appreciate your taking time to read them, and to comment here. I'm happy you enjoyed them. Let's hope neither of us has seen the end of interesting conversations with our fellow riders.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Mike Anderson said...

Thank you for your post.

Cheers, Mi3ke

5:01 PM  

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