Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hey Hey You You Get Off Of My Bus

I saw something thrilling today. As I sat at a stop light, I noticed a Metro bus with lots of writing on it. The graphics were announcing the “new Metro” with new rules. Listed among the newness was something like “Pay on entering. Exit at the rear”. Ooohhh, I like the sound of that! I rarely ride on Metro, and am apprehensive when I do because I got yelled at the first time I rode a Seattle bus. Twenty-two years ago when we first moved here, I took my kids downtown on the bus. I put my money in the slot as we got on the bus, and was scolded by the driver. I didn’t know it, but the direction the bus was going determined whether you paid when you got on or paid when you got off. Huh??? What kind of goofy system was THAT? Being chastised loudly by the driver was embarrassing, even though some of the other riders seemed a little off. (I’m talking about you, dirty-man-with-sacks-full-of-soft drink-cans-having-a-loud-conversation-with-yourself-or-possibly-the-cans). I lived in San Francisco for 8 years and rode the bus quite a bit. Now THAT was a trip, and not in a good way. Electric buses were jerky and not fun for someone (me) who suffered from motion sickness. I learned the hard way what an express bus was on the first day of a new job. I dinged the bell to get off at my stop, but the bus accelerated and zoomed past it. I crazily rang the bell even more and yelled “Hey STOP!!!”. Finally somebody sighed and told me I was on an express bus, which meant the bus made fewer stops. I got off at the first opportunity, and had to run to make it to my new job on time. Out of breath and sweaty is not the way to greet a new employer. These days it’s my son who is the bus rider in the family. I’m sure he does just fine, and has probably not paid the wrong way and gotten yelled at. Who knows? By the time he has kids there may be a new set of rules... for flying buses. 

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