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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Making Sacramento Regional Transit look good

Let's take personal responsibility.

My primary care physician is with UCDavis Medical Group. His office is just three blocks from where I work at 21st and Q. That's a choice I made some years ago, before I was such a transit fanatic. I liked being able to walk to the doctor's office.

Today, I was at my doctor's office, and he decided I needed to see one of the UCDavis ophthalmologists at the Medcenter on Stockton Boulevard. And, as if by magic, the ophthalmologist's office said come on over right then, and they'd work me in.

So there I was with my car at home. I want to rely on Regional Transit, and rely on Regional Transit I did.

I walked back to 21st and Q, where several buses have stops. Two of the lines I knew went by the Medcenter -- the No. 38 and the No. 50E express. The 50E is on a 15- or 20-minute schedule (until cutbacks take effect next year) but I didn't know if its limited stops included the Medcenter. The No. 38 is a 30-minute bus, but I didn't know when the next one would be along.

Got questions? Call 321-BUSS.

OK. I know I have not been kind to the 321-BUSS people. They deserve some credit for being there. Yes, the automated voice said it would be two minutes to talk to someone, and it took four minutes. Yes, callers are subjected to the worst hold noise I've ever encountered. It is a frightful thought to imagine anything worse. But when I told the lady I was at 21st and Q and wanted to get to the UCDavis Medcenter as soon as possible, she told me the No. 50E goes there, and it would be along at 12:42, which was less than 10 minutes away.

The 50E arrived on time and I was walking to the ambulatory care center at the Medcenter by 12:53.

And just to underline the benefits of taking RT, when the doctor got through with me I couldn't see to drive my car if I wanted to. The bright sun stuck daggers in my dilated eyes. I walked most of the way back to the bus stop with my eyes closed.

People make choices where they live. Personally, I think people who work downtown and choose to live in Roseville deserve what they get. They have no one to blame but themselves when they discover that a long commute only gets longer when you try to fit transit into the equation.

I will try to hold back the smugness oozing from me. Sometimes stuff just works. And sometimes personal choices make it work even better.


Ray said...

Didn't your ophthalmologist give you those stylish disposable "glasses" made from high quality cellophane-like material? Nothing says "my eyes have been dilated" more than wearing those things.

I live in Roseville, but I telecommute. And boy do we need Real Transit Service ™ out here...

John said...

Yes, the doctor offered to give me the disposable sunglasses, and I must admit my vanity caused me to decline his offer.

I'd rather be stabbed in the eyes with unnatural levels of bright fall sunlight than be seen wearing those.