That was my 2011 resolution as a bus commuter.
1. not so many unspoken but nevertheless mean-spirited thoughts about fellow passengers who can't find that last quarter in the bottom of their packs or purses, or who ask inane questions ("Is this bus going to Seattle?"--you mean the one with Seattle written over the front windshield?).
2. having on hand 5 one-dollar bills to have as ready change for someone coming on with a $3 fare due but only a $5 bill.
Maybe or maybe not some progress on the first, but twice so far I've exchanged my five ones for a fiver.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
Why not public transportation? Too few busses; not enough destinations. Too slow. Too expensive. Errands to run on the way home from work, kids to pick up from daycare. These are the surface explanations.
But there are also unspoken feelings: not wanting to sit next to a perceived bum or a drunk. Or someone smelling of exotic spices or wearing strange clothes. Or just someone from a lower economic group so that taking the bus is a symbolic step back from the American Dream
The other day I sat next to a guy holding a paper sack with a bottle inside. A mostly comical commute with his frequent, random comments, but could have taken a turn for the worse when he started to pour the beverage in question into another narrow-neck bottle. I was headed for an evening meeting; would not have been cool to show up smelling of booze.
So when a bus driver refuses entry to someone explaining a lost wallet, or apparently drunk, or who starts to ask if anyone can help him with the fare, I understand. We can’t turn potential riders into egalitarians, but at least we can make them feel safe.