Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

# 4 - Iroquois Park?
Status: few minutes late

Two mornings in a row I have been at the northwest corner of 4th & Broadway when the southbound bus turned and stopped at the southwest corner. I have had a red light. The bus and I have both been running late. I can't really blame the bus for not hanging around when it's already late, but two mornings in a row?! I curse the timing of the lights at 4th & Broadway. I walked and made it to St. Catherine with a few minutes to spare. The woman in front of me spent my entire ride (plus more time, I'm sure) composing  a text in all caps on her phone. Needed help bringing her stuff back from the place she had just left.

Monday, September 26, 2011

# 4 - Downtown/Medical Center
Status: On time

The bus may have even been early because when we passed Breckinridge, the driver stopped and opened the doors. Guys, we're running 4 minutes early so we're going to have to wait here for a few. As we all remember from a previous post, the bus can be 3 minutes early but not 4 minutes early. The weather was nice, so I got off and started to walk. The bus passed me (that was not 4 minutes!), but it was still dropping off/picking up passengers at Broadway when I got there.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

# 4 - Southland
Status: 5 minutes late

The crosswalk gods were with me this morning as I made it to the stop at 7:30 with a minute to spare. The bus, however, did not make it until 7:36. Two northbound buses stopped across the street at the same time. Not a good sign.

After a few passengers got off at Brandeis, the driver opened the door again, faced the back of the bus, and made a waving motion. Is he telling me to get off here? I pulled out my earbud (the downside of listening to music on the bus), and it turns out he was asking a guy behind me to turn down his music. Someone else pulled the cord for Stansbury Park. Two vehicles were turning around on the street. Odd. Except they had to because following last night's rain, the street was flooded below the train crossing. There was a barrier, but not a sign warning approaching cars, so everyone was turning around in the street. Including the bus driver, who pulled into the parking lot, did a three-point turn and headed north. The cars that had turned around honked at the cars still going south, but no one knew what the honks meant based on the number of cars that didn't stop. Third Street was also blocked, so who knows where the bus went. Explains the late buses this morning and indicates maybe I should walk home this afternoon.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

# 4 southbound
Status: 4 minutes late

Four minutes wasn't too bad considering it was pouring rain out. On my walk down 4th Street, I was almost hit with a huge wave as a car slammed into the standing water gathering out from the curb. I understand you can't necessarily avoid the water, but you can slow down. I decided that if I did get sprayed that hard, I was just going to turn around and go home.

I got off the bus at Brandeis and pushed the Walk button at the first crosswalk (north side of the street). When the light changed, I tried to avoid the puddle at the curb and stepped in front of the car stopped in the right lane. Just feet ahead of me, a silver Chrysler drove through her red light in the left lane. I stopped in shock and glared. The other passengers from that stop were in the south crosswalk (still had the WALK sign!). The driver stopped in the middle of the intersection. One of the pedestrians yelled at her. No one was hit, and the car kept going.

My feet stayed surprisingly dry in my new shoes which are somewhat thin, but my legs and jeans were soaked from mid-calf to my ankles.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

# 18 - Valley Station
Status: 8 minutes late

The bus was due to arrive at 2:22. At 2:25 one of the students standing at the stop commented that the bus should be there. Another student said, "Yesterday, it was so late, I saw 3 other buses go the other direction before it showed up." I almost said but didn't, "I can't afford to wait that long." I had an appointment at 3 and had already chosen the 2:22 instead of the 2:37 to build in time for delays. I texted R. that one day I was going to calculate how much time I lost waiting for late buses.

The bus that arrived was pretty crowded near the front, but there were seats in the back so I made my way down the aisle. For a few minutes, I thought the route had changed but then realized my view was just a little different in the sideways seat. I texted R again: What has a tree, a small dog, and 2 Mormons on it?   My bus. A woman had one of those tall fake (plastic/silk) plants with her on the bus--someone's doing some decorating! She got off a few stops later. The two young male Mormon missionaries were easy to spot because of their white shirts and ties. They got off at Oak/St. Catherine. The dog was a small white one with a purple vest on. I assume it was an assistance/emotional support animal of some kind, which had me daydreaming about having my cat Liberty labeled as an Emotional Support Animal. I think he would do well hanging out in my office with me.

At Broadway, a heavyset/large man got off the bus. A young woman on her cell phone was in the seat right behind the rear doors. That's nasty. Cover that up, she said. Pull your shirt down when you get up. Then she told the person on the other end of the phone conversation, This man got up and half his ass was hanging out. I don't want to see that.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

# 4 - southbound
Status: 14 minutes late!

As I walked down 4th, I saw a northbound bus but not a southbound one. I wondered if I'd get there just in time. I arrived at 4th & Broadway at 7:47. Plenty of time for the 7:55 but too late for the 7:43.

More people showed up and eventually there were 8 of us or so. At 8, when the bus hadn't shown, I thought about walking. It's a 40 minute walk, and I could have caught a bus along the way (if it ever showed up), but I resisted. I had this fear of being halfway to the very next stop when the bus drove by. It was an irrational fear.

At 8:05, I checked the schedule and saw the next bus was scheduled for 8:07. Surely, at least one bus would show up- right? And at 8:07, there came two #4 buses heading east on Broadway then turning south on 4th. Most people boarded the first bus. One other guy and I jumped on the second, which didn't even really pull up to the curb. I was betting on the second bus being faster because the first one would stop more. This was based on the assumption that the first bus was the late bus and would have more passengers. We passed the first bus at the Broadway stop, and I felt secure in my decision. We still ended up making more stops than I anticipated but always stayed in front. As I started to cross the street at Brandeis, I saw the second bus stopped at Cardinal, so I did get a few minutes at least.

The afternoon bus was also late -- only 6 minutes.The time wasted standing at bus stops. At least I've started bringing my iPod again.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

# 4 - Iroquois Park
Status: 2 minutes late

I arrived at 4th & Broadway at 7:09. The bus had been scheduled for 7:04. A man in an electric wheelchair who had reached the stop just before said hello and I said hello back. I saw a bus approaching on Broadway and decided to wait, just in case. It was a #23, so I walked down to Breckinridge.

The bus showed up at 7:22 and was relatively full -- at least, it had more passengers than the 7:34 usually has. The sports bra woman was at Oak Street. The last few times she's been wearing a Seniors Class of '08 sweatshirt and dark sweatpants under brown shorts. She was smoking a cigarette and drinking from a water bottle. A man in a ball cap boarded the bus, and the woman sang from the sidewalk "...America..."
As the bus pulled away, the man said, Well, that was a fun stop. A few people laughed.
The driver said, She's in a good mood today. 
Ball-cap: I could tell she was smiling. She was talking to a few friends who weren't there, though. 

New Albany: You can't get there from here

The I-64 Sherman Minton Bridge between Louisville and Indiana is closed. Indefinitely. This means more people will be on the I-65 bridge. All the detours basically take you to the same point. Metro Louisville and the mayor's office have released tips and recommendations for commuters. 

Know what the ultimate form of carpooling is? Public transit. How about using this as an opportunity (and a necessity) to ramp up TARC service? More frequent routes between Indiana and Kentucky? Special rates? Or at least mention it as an option. Oh wait, it was mentioned this morning. Sort of: "Another option -- public transit."

Here are some tips courtesy of Eric Brown about riding TARC:
Search by route if you know what bus is close to you
System map if you don't know which bus to take
Trip planner will route you from point A to B but can be a little quirky with addresses
The bus is $1.50. Exact change only.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

# 23 - Newburg
Status: 6 minutes late

I got to 4th & Broadway at 8:38 for the 8:45 bus to take me to Baxter Avenue. Only one person was at the stop when I got there, but then a handful of people showed up around the same time -- possibly coming from the bus that stopped at 5th. There was a very young male-female couple, maybe in their early 20s but possibly still in their teens. She sat on the bench with a juice drink and he smoked the stub of a brown cigarette. He handed her an ad for a club. It says Free for 30 and Over, she laughed. Bunch of old people there. He handed her the cigarette, which she held without smoking, and then he took it back. She picked something off his lip / out of his mouth.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

# 4 - Downtown/Medical Center
Status: 6 minutes late

An older man in a backwards baseball cap boarded at Oak Street and sat in the row of 3 seats. The driver, who already had already put the ramp down, told him he had to sit somewhere else. He moved across the aisle and sat down in those seats. How about here, ma'am? Can I sit here, ma'am? he asked a few times. I don't care where. You just can't sit here because there's a wheelchair, the driver answered (approximately). The wheelchair boarded and the driver secured the seat. As she returned to the driver's seat, the baseball-cap man stage whispered across the aisle, Mad at the world. 

Just after Breckenridge, the man stood near the front of the bus. Ma'am, I need to get off at York Street. Seriously? Just pull the cord. Another passenger did pull the cord. As the baseball-cap man exited the bus, he said, Thank you, ma'am. Ma'am, thank you. Then he said it two more times from the the sidewalk. The driver responded quietly with something along the lines of, Oh, Jesus. 

Who knew "manners" could be so obnoxious sometimes?