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, October 13, 2008

Night moves

Four mornings each week I board a bus near my house and then another at Sacramento State, and I end up at the Amtrak Station in time to board a train to Oakland. It's a long trip to the Amtrak station -- about an hour -- but there are no long waits or walking, and I like to read on the bus.

Each evening when I return to Sacramento on Amtrak I mutter curses about Regional Transit and its unwillingness to provide a reasonable level of bus service after 7 p.m. Rather than attempt to make lemonade from the bitter fruit left on RT's schedule, I hang my head in shame as I wait for the wife to pick me up.

Somewhere there must be an entrepreneurial spirit who could fill the need. Even if it were only on weekends to bring people to the night clubs in downtown and midtown. Once that proved successful, it could expand to other nights.

This all comes to mind after reading about the Night Move bus service in Detroit.

The Night Move is no ordinary bus. Fueled by a biodiesel engine and decked out in starry decals over a metallic-gray body, the bus will streak along Woodward carrying nightlife seekers at all hours of the night every weekend. The creator, 26-year-old Chris Ramos, said his bus is the green answer to mass transit in a metropolitan area desperately in need of it. The bus started rolling Friday night. Unlike the SMART bus system, the Night Move operates only on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., offering round-trips to and from Detroit, Royal Oak and Ferndale for $12. The bus provides maps of restaurants and bars and information on attractions and events in Detroit's reemerging social scene.
It sure would be nice if Sacramento Regional Transit had a little entrepreneurial spirit of its own and aggressively pursued opportunities for public-private funding to extend service. This certainly sounds like something midtown and downtown businesses ought to be willing to consider. Imagine Second Saturday crowds every Saturday?


Mattie said...

This is EXACTLY what I want! I have virtually no social life because there's no public transit after dark. A taxi is prohibitively expensive and my friends live too far away to pick me up. I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd take advantage of a late-night "club bus."

John said...


Send a note about this to Maybe someone will take note.

OK. That's not really likely. But if you don't let them know, you know they'll never think of it themselves.

Mattie said...


I can dream...