Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Among the new experiences associated with my new job is the joy of riding the bus to and from work. Going to work in the morning is not usually too problematic, as there is basically only one spot to get on the bus, and they arrive nearly on top of each other.

Going home is sometimes a bit more of a challenge. For one thing the buses heading home, at least at the time I ride them, are much less frequent and since I am on the second to last stop before leaving downtown the buses are much more crowded. Depending on exactly what time I leave the office, I can end up on very tightly-packed bus for the ride home.

The worst buses are ones where they have seats (if you ask the driver), but there are only one or two left which are invariably in the back row of the bus where it is 5 across. Or what I refer to as the sardine row.

Two days in a row this week I ended up in that row packed in between two people who needed more then their allotted space. That in itself doesn't bother me, as I just sit there and keep to myself. But it becomes relevant in a minute.

Anyway, after a long ride where I kept my backpack on my lap, studiously played my gameboy and tried to take up as little room as possible, we were pulling into the transit station. The bus driver came on the intercom and announced the stop, and then launched into a lecture about how there were 75 people on the bus which meant there should only be three people standing (there were more standing then that). He was saying how sometimes people put packages and things on the seats, and they really need to leave the seats available for people.

After the lecture, the lady on my right turned to me and said:

Damn, next time you should put that bag on the floor or something.

Uhh, say what?

At the time I just looked at her, trying to figure out if she was serious. After all, the cramped conditions didn't have much to do with anything I was responsible for, as far as I was concerned.

After a moment of extremely shocked silence from me and the woman on my left, lady-on-the-right hastily backpedaled and made some comment about how it was just crowded and the driver was an idiot. Exactly what she said I am not sure, because it was mumbled while she tried to curl into a little ball in the back corner of the bus.

So, remember the horrid thud that failed joke made the next time you consider saying something witty to the person next to you on the bus.


Shawn said...

Oh you have so much to learn about bus riding, my young padawan. There were many times when "sardine row" was filled with larger then life people, and I often choose to stand.

The other advice I would offer is to always walk up 3rd ave to the 3rd bus stop up, I think thats 6th St. For some reason, that corner is much more organized then the rest. People line up WAY in advance, so you know that you don't have to jockey for position to get on the bus first, etc. Plus, your getting on before the bus is usually full.

Steve Eck said...

The earlier stops are definitely better from the crowded perspective. By the time the buses get down to my stop, there might only be 2-3 seats open on the bus and they are invariably in the middle of the sardine row.

Oh well.