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

Monday, June 30, 2008

A change in vacation plans

"It's like packing for a trip to Alaska and finding yourself on a plane to Hawaii."

That's how the wife was explaining the news she received today from the surgeon at the cancer center at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center.

We didn't take the bus or the train today as we did three weeks ago. We could have. The appointment was at 8:20 a.m. and the wife needed to be there by 8 to fill out paperwork. RT offered a bus at 6:56 a.m. that would connect with the inbound train at 65th Street and deliver us to the 39th Street light rail station at 7:23 a.m. From there we could have caught the UCDMC shuttle. We would have arrived at 7:45 a.m.

Instead we left the house at 7:30 and drove. I missed the bus ride, the way it allows your thoughts to settle and anxiety to subside. The wife, however, is not a morning person and didn't see the hour-long trip in the same light.

At the cancer center, the surgeon recommended that the wife have a few months of chemotherapy before she has surgery. With luck, the chemo will reduce the size of the lump as it kills any other cancer cells.

This changes the whole schedule of anticipated time off and recovery. I'm not sure why, but I found the news unsettling. I suppose I had prepared myself for the cutting first and the chemo after. Or maybe its because of my job situation. But the wife is very happy with this turn of events, and that's what's important.


ranma9037 said...

Sorry if I'm straying OT,but I got myself onto RFTM's mailing list after finding their site.If any cuts are made to 80,84,and/or 93;I would seriously look for a "light rail" apartment...

John said...

Unfortunately, RT hasn't shown much interest in improving bus service and the No. 80 and 84 are a prime example.

The wife takes the No. 84 in the morning. This is a reasonably reliable bus. Never early; sometimes a little late; always arrives.

However, in the evening, she has given up on the No. 80 bus running the same route. The bus is scheduled to arrive at the Starfire light rail station at 6:15 p.m. It is just not reliable. It was a rare day when the bus arrived anywhere near on time. It was almost always late and at least once a week it wouldn't show at all. Instead, the next No. 84 would arrive -- a half-hour or more after the No. 80 was due.

She's given up on catching the No. 80 and now takes the train to 65th, where she catches the No. 82 home. She can put a happy face on this -- the No. 82 takes her directly to her door, she could ride with me when I worked -- but she didn't choose to make the switch. RT's poor service on that line on that run pushed her.

These are the sorts of compromises that bus riders are forced to make. Is it any wonder that bus ridership hasn't keep pace with light rail ridership?

Everyone is going to have to look for "light rail" apartments if RT doesn't restore faith in the bus service.