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, April 16, 2008

The glass half full

Don't forget: Q2 is cup holders on buses. And while the cup of Sacramento Regional Transit is in mind, we puzzle over the half-empty, half-full question and raise one cup half full. Cheers.

The wife is tormented in her wish to ride transit by the fact that she cannot ride the bus that goes by our house, the No. 82. Instead, the kid must drive her to Watt and Whitney, where she catches either the No. 80 or 84, which when combined provide half-hour service. In the evening, the kid must pick her up and take her home.

In the morning, the No. 82 bus arrives at Watt and Whitney after the No. 84 bus. The next Watt bus, the No. 80, comes along in 39 minutes. (Yes, she even gets a block penalty -- the extra 15 minute wait on what is supposed to be half-hour service.) In the evening, the 80/84 buses run behind the No. 82. Thus, for the wife to catch the No. 82 requires a wait of 23 minutes.

But one person's wait is another person's opportunity, and the half-empty bus service suddenly looks half-full.

Yesterday, the wife decided she needed to make a grocery store run for a couple of items. She took her regular No. 80 bus from the Starfire light rail stop and then got off at Watt and Kings Way, a short walk from the Raley's market at Marconi and Watt. She found her items and was out standing at the Watt and Marconi stop in time to catch the No. 82 home.

The wife got to ride the bus home, the kid didn't have to interrupt his skateboard filming to chauffeur his mother, and transit as an option to run errands looked, for one brief moment, actually useful. The wife plans to make the same stop tonight. We need milk for the kid.

Serendipity is that place between half empty and half full.

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