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

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


It was wet and a bit steamy at times, but I rode to work and returned home without incident. I even had some bonus good fortune.

Finally, I get to write about an ordinary perfect commute.

Scroll down and see Sweet and sour transit or The smell, but not of success or If you haven't got something nice to say . . . or just about any of my recent posts about my experiences riding to work and back on Sacramento Regional Transit. Jeeze, you'd think I was some sort of enophile of whine.

I left for work a little later than usual this morning. It was raining steadily but there was little wind. I consider the wind more daunting than the rain after Weathering transit on Jan. 4.

The bus was four minutes late, but I'm not going to complain. The driver was having a hard time. Only one windshield wiper worked -- luckily the one on the driver's side -- and the defroster didn't appear to have any effect. I haven't seen that much steam on the inside of a vehicle window since my days of drive-in movie dates. Eventually, the driver had to open some windows to get some air circulating.

The No. 82 bus managed to arrive at 65th Street on time, which I'll call my good fortune. Normally, I take the next train downtown, which today would have meant standing around for several minutes in the rain. But because we were not late, I was able to walk over to a No. 38 bus and start downtown almost immediately. I know, it's such a small thing. Why do I make such a big deal of it? Having a bus make a connection with only two minutes between the scheduled arrival and the scheduled departure is worth celebrating. To add icing to this cake, the No. 38 bus dropped me off at P and 22nd, a block closer to my office than the 23rd Street light rail stop. The extra rain waiting at the start was compensated for by the shorter walk at the end.

Riding home was even better. I got out of a meeting just in time to catch a train. The train had an extra car, which meant more open seats and better odds of having an uneventful trip. And when we arrived at 65th Street station a No. 82 bus was waiting at the curb with the engine running and the driver inside keeping the coach nice and toasty warm.

So, there you have it. It is possible to ride to work and back home without having (too much) to complain about.

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