I'm sitting here with a half-dozen lemons that Sacramento Regional Transit gave me this week and I'm thinking: Lemonade? Or will it be lemon whine?
Today I misplaced about an hour of my morning. I'm not at all sure where it went, but when I finally discovered it was gone, I realized I'd missed my regular bus to work. And to make matters worse, Sacramento Regional Transit's block schedule hit me with a 15-minute penalty. Take that!
So I had a choice of waiting 45 minutes for the next bus to 65th Street or head for the Watt and Interstate 80 station.
Nice day. I need the exercise. I walked from my house to Auburn Boulevard to catch the No. 1. The No. 1 bus is amazing. It is always full. If only all of RT's lines had this many customers.
As the bus approached the light rail station a guy walked to the front of the bus and asked the driver a question. I heard the driver explain to the guy how to get to the train -- down the stairs, under the Watt Avenue overpass and there you are.
When the bus arrived at the stop, I joined the guy and about a half-dozen others who headed down the stairs. By the time we reached the bottom, we were stretched into a single-file chain. As the first person reached the edge of the light rail station he started to run. Then the next person started running. And the next until finally I saw the train and started running too.
Miracle of miracles, the train was still there and the door open when I reached it.
As soon as I was aboard, the train rolled out of the station. The guy who asked the driver for directions to the train was seated across the aisle and down a couple of seats. He was wearing an auto mechanic's uniform.
I settled into a seat and started reading.
At the Arden Way stop a bunch of people boarded. At the back door to the car I was on I could her a lady having a load conversation with someone who was boarding the other car. The door started to close on her and she managed to squeeze on. Inside the train, she did a happy dance in the aisle and then took a seat. She immediately started talking to the women around her. She appeared to know everyone on the train. Must be a regular crowd, I thought as I went back to my book.
When the train arrived at Cathedral Square, the guy in the mechanics uniform got up and asked the group of women across from him if this was the way to Florin Road. He was clearly worried, unsure. He spoke with a heavy accent that I couldn't place.
The lady offered that, yes, this train goes to Florin Road.
"Or you can take the bus," she said. "That's where I'm going. Why don't you follow me?"
The guy nodded appreciatively and sat down.
At the Eighth and O stop, the lady got up and started to the exit.
"Come on. This is it," she said to the guy.
He got up and followed her off the train.
So it's lemonade after all. Isn't that better than hearing me whine about how I had to drive to work not once but twice this week because I had an appointment after work and RT's skimpy service wasn't adequate for my needs? Isn't a nice tale of a veteran passenger befriending a lost new guy better than hearing again about the driver who locks her bus while she takes a break and then arrives late without so much as an, Oops, sorry?