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, July 17, 2008

'What should I do?'

The wife walked the short distance from the bus stop to where I was parked. She leaned down and asked me, "What should I do?"

Each morning, I drive the wife to Watt Avenue, where she catches the No. 84 bus. She rides the No. 84 to the Starfire light rail station. She takes light rail to the Mather station and then hops on the No. 73 for the final leg of her commute to work.

In a perfect world, the wife would walk less than 100 yards each morning to the No. 82 stop on our street and then transfer to the No. 84, but the schedules don't align. Before I started dropping off the wife, I was more annoyed with this misalignment. Now I realize that several passengers on the No. 84 get off at the wife's stop when she boards and then wait five minutes and board the No. 82 when it arrives at the same stop. Of course, if the No. 80 and 84 ran on half-hour schedules instead of hourly . . .

Today, the wife had been standing at the stop for several minutes when the No. 82 came into view. There was no sign of the No. 84, which at this point was more than five minutes late.

"Take the 82," I told the wife. "You'll get to work a little later, but if the No. 84 never arrives you'll be even later."

As the No. 82 made the turn from Whitney onto Watt, the wife gathered her stuff. A half-dozen people were waiting to board.

The wife was the last to board. I watched her take a seat and then started home. As I pulled out of the shopping center parking lot I saw the No. 84 finally arrive. I called the wife to alert her. At the next stop, she got off the No. 82 and boarded the No. 84.

Back at the Watt and Whitney stop, two women now sat at the bus stop, waiting for the No. 82, a bus that wouldn't arrive for another half hour.


Anonymous said...

When I lived in Sac, I worked near Fulton/Hurley. I'd go down to the stop and kind of keep poking my head to see whether it would be the northbound 82 or the northbound 26 that would appear first: whichever came first would be the one I'd take to Watt/I-80, for the transfer to the 107. It's a game, but one I enjoyed playing.

AH, the memories.

- Jim U
Reno, Nev.

Anonymous said...

Northbound 82 doesnt go to watt/I 80.

also doesnt go to Hurley either...except on Morse.

John said...

Correct: Northbound 82 goes to American River College. But it does go to Watt, and it would be possible to get off and take the 80/84 the rest of the way to Watt/I-80.

My "problem" with the schedule is that it is not possible to take 80/84 and get off and take the 82, at least not without waiting 25 minutes.