There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Monday, March 5, 2007

Options, we've got options

Each morning, about 15 minutes before it's time to leave to catch the bus, I start a cup of coffee. While I go about my preparations to leave, the coffee machine fills up my stainless steel travel cup. At least that's how it's supposed to work.

Today, when I went to put the lid on the cup and prepare to walk out the door, I realized that the cup was only half full. Looking inside the coffee maker I realized something had prevented the water from flowing through the filter and into the cup.

I didn't have time to figure out what had happened, let alone brew another pot. Instead, I grabbed an alternate cup, packed it in my backpack and walked to the bus stop.

People who don't ride the bus (at least people like me in my former solo-commute days), assume you don't have any options once you board the bus. Not so. For much of my ride this morning I puzzled over how I was going to get some coffee before I got to work.

I could get off at 29th Street light rail station and walk to N Street and Alhambra, stop at Starbucks and then walk to 21st and Q streets. Or, I could travel one stop past my regular 23rd Street station and get off at 16th Street. From there, I could walk to 16th and P streets, stop at Starbucks and then walk to 21st and Q streets.

As the bus pulled into the 65th Street station, I watched the downtown train pulling out. At this point, it occurred to me that I had a third option. When I got off the bus, I walked across 65th Street and back to Folsom to the Starbucks. I had the barista fill my travel cup and walked back to the light rail station. The entire trip took less than 10 minutes.

Waiting for the train, I drank a toast to the Starbucks corporation and its goal of world domination.


Joseph said...

I often wish that RT would schedule our breaks at the Sacramento Valley Station rather than the Sunrise Station so I could grab some my java at the Starbucks @ 5th and I.

But then I remember, it's RT.

John said...

"But then I remember, it's RT."

Well, I'm new here, but I'd like to think there ought to be a way to negotiate a change in working conditions. But then I just ride the system; I don't work for it.

Of course, I can imagine that RT might be worried that the site of RT operators milling about might frighten the downtown bureaucrats. Keeping the riffraff out of town does have an out-of-sight, out-of-mind kind of logic.