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

Saturday, January 19, 2008

If you haven't got something nice to say . . .

Friday night I was looking forward to a quiet, uneventful transit experience to match my quiet, uneventful morning commute. I figured that after all the bad vibes I've been spreading, the least I could do was show that most commutes are just quiet and uneventful. Ride transit; save the world.

At 6:35 p.m. I was ready to start home. My ideal train connections are on the hour and the half-hour, which leaves me enough time to walk to the station. So it wasn't a good time for catching the train, but there's a bus that stops in front of my office building at 6:46 and goes all the way to 65th Street station. The hitch: It takes the same length of time as if I waited at my desk until 7 p.m. and then walked to the train. Friday night, I was tired and I didn't want to sit at my desk for another 15 minutes. I decided to take the bus and use the extra time to read.

I was standing in front of my building at 6:41 p.m.

I was standing in front of my building at 6:46 p.m.

I was standing in front of my building at 6:55 p.m.

And then I walked around the block to the 23rd Street light-rail station and caught the train to 65th Street.

I have no idea what happened to the No. 38 bus that was supposed to arrive at 21st and Q streets at 6:46 p.m. But when I got to 65th Street, there was a No. 38 parked off where drivers leave their buses when they are on a break.

And since the No. 82 driver had locked up the bus and left on break, I had the opportunity to stand around in the cold for 10 minutes thinking about Sacramento Regional Transit customer service. Yes, the bus driver was following the rules. That makes me feel sooooo much better.

Tonight, I figured if I couldn't say something nice about commuting by bus, I'd say something nice about panhandling.

Local comedian Keith Lowell Jensen has made something of a career out of answering the question: Can you make a real living panhandling? Now, he has finished a movie about his experience. It is called "Why Lie I Need A Drink."

The world premier will be March 7th at the Crest Theater. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; the film starts at 8:30 p.m. You can purchase tickets online here. Or buy advance from the Crest and pay no service fee. Call 44-CREST. Tickets are $2 more if purchased the day of the premier.

Why lie, it's a free ad for the guy...



Maya said...

OMG! I had the same problem on Friday! I was waiting for my 6:30 bus at 6:25 and one didn't show up until 6:50, when a second one should have arrived at 6:44. I called about it but got no helpful response. It took me almost an hour to get home. And I get off the bus in East Sac by Mercy Hospital.

I want to complain, but I doubt it will go anywhere. You know the way they usually handle a complaint about this sort of thing is to investigate what the DRIVER did wrong. What they should be asking is "what is RT doing wrong?" Every time I try to suggest that they implement either 1)shorter headways or 2)more honest time tables, they ignore the words coming out of my mouth. Furthermore, maybe if they found a way to cater to more riders of choice, they could get more revenue with which to fulfill the equity piece of the mission.

John said...

RT can't attract riders because it doesn't offer frequent enough service. RT can't offer frequent enough service because it doesn't have enough riders. It's enough to make a transitarian lose hope.

With today's local, state and national economic downturn, it doesn't look promising for the immediate future either.