Monday, February 6, 2012

A series of late buses

No ride highlights -- I've mostly been standing at corners, checking the clock on my phone, waiting for the bus. The greatest work of fiction is the TARC schedule. I was excited when it was finally available through Google Maps, but that has not made riding any easier or any more reliable.

Last Saturday, I started to walk home from my weekly coffee-work date but decided it was a little chillier than I was prepared for, so I used my phone to check when the next bus was coming. Any minute, so I walked the block west quickly. And waited. And checked again. To see different times. So I walked a few blocks north. Should have just braved the chill the whole way, but a bus came, and I boarded.

Last Sunday, I rode the #43 to brunch with a friend and a few of her friends. Starting Friday I checked the bus schedule through Plan Your Trip and I checked Google Maps for the best bus option. I feel like every time I searched, even though I had the date and arrival time the same, I had different options -- different buses at different times, or the same bus at different times. I caught the #43 around 11:50 and headed towards Germantown. Along Shelby, an older woman with a grocery cart was walking north, while the bus traveled south. The woman motioned towards the bus, and the driver pointed at the corner, where she pulled over and stopped. The woman turned around, walked to the corner, and boarded. I could never figure out what she was walking the opposite direction as the bus.

A few stops later, a man boarded and told the driver the bus was late. I've been waiting 20 minutes -- I'm gonna be late for work. The driver said something about a new schedule. The man commiserated with the grocery cart woman about the bus being late. Another woman handed them her copy of the yellow schedule -- yellow meaning new times. Monday I saw a press release online about changes to the #43 starting the day before --- Sunday. But if you're not at a location with the new schedules, and you're not online, and there's not a schedule at your bus stop, and there's not necessarily the new schedule on the bus, how do you know the scheduled has changed?

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