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

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The accident

I was involved in an accident while riding Sacramento Regional Transit to work today.

The No. 82 bus I take to work is scheduled to arrive at the 65th Street transit center at 9:53 a.m. Today, it arrived at 9:46 a.m. It was an accident, and it caused me to be 15 minutes early to work.

The principal cause of the accident was most likely the absence of the Sacramento State students, who are on spring break this week. Without the considerable inconvenience of all the stopping to pick up students, the bus makes much better time on its lengthy route across the wastelands of suburban Sacramento.

But there were extenuating circumstances that contributed to the accident. There's the driver of the bus. It so happens, just coincidentally, that a new driver takes over at 65th Street. Once replaced, the old driver then takes light rail to 29th Street.

When the bus arrives on schedule, the driver has a 10-minute wait for the next inbound train. But if the driver can manage to arrive a little more than five minutes early . . .

Accidents happen.

As the bus pulled to a stop at 65th Street I could see a crowd waiting for the inbound train, a sure sign that there was a chance I wouldn't have to wait long for a train. As I crossed Q Street, I looked up the track. The rail crossing guard at Redding Avenue was flashing. By the time I reached the station, the train was rolling down the bridge over the freight rail tracks and racing for the station. I could count the seconds I had to wait for the train without using my toes.

Now, is it at all possible that such accidents might befall the wife on her way home? I'd like to avoid the expense when her bus fails to arrive.

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