So I caught an early morning bus and thought, hey, I’ll get to work early and be able to leave early. And the bus sped through the pre-dawn light, but then stopped to pick someone up. I couldn’t complain. That’s what buses do, and if the bus didn’t stop to pick up someone else it might not have picked up me either, and then I’d be really late getting to work. Then the driver started up again and rolled on to the next stop a couple of blocks ahead. There was no one there but the driver stopped anyway. Then went to the next stop and stopped there too even though there was no one to pick up. And I get it. Buses are supposed to run on a schedule. It’s the nature of public transportation, especially in a city like Nashville, which doesn’t have a lot of public transportation but is spread out. Most people drive their own cars, and pretty much have to. I once asked a friend if she ever took the bus and she said, “Well, I would if I didn’t have to walk three miles along busy roads with no sidewalks.” And even if she could get to the nearest bus stop that particular route only runs once every two hours so missing one could wreck her schedule for the day.
So I really appreciate it that some drivers are considerate enough to want to keep to the schedule. Not everyone does. Once I was on a bus that stopped for about fifteen minutes at a stop. I guess the driver had gotten more ahead of his schedule than he meant to. While we were sitting a guy in front of me started fuming. He didn’t step up and say anything to the driver; he just sat in his seat muttering, “Why have we stopped? Why aren’t we going anywhere?” Then he pulled out his phone and called the MTA customer service. I’m not sure what he thought they were going to do. Maybe he thought they’d send a message through to the dispatcher who’d radio the driver to say, “Get moving!” but by the time that was all done we’d be moving again. At one point when he was talking to customer service he said, “I work for the MTA!” Well, I thought, then he should know that buses are supposed to stay on a schedule.
Anyway I couldn’t be too annoyed when I ended up being a little late getting to work.
It’s the same thing with the trains here—if they’re early, they have to wait until the exact minute it says on the schedule. But who’s waiting until the exact minute to show up for a train? Oh well, it would only cut about ten minutes off my trip. At least it’s not usually late!
It’s a good thing the trains there aren’t usually late. I never know when the buses here will show up and, honestly, the ones who try to stick to the schedule, who’ll wait at a stop if they get ahead, are really the exception rather than the rule.
I appreciate that you’re considerate enough to keep your blogging schedule, Chris.
I’m always in awe of your daily schedule, which I don’t think I could ever manage.
This sounds so much like the buses here in L.A. Everyone looks at me like I am nuts when they find out I take the bus.
I’ve driven in L.A. and I think its nuts to drive when there’s a bus available.
I loved transit in Germany – the bus stops all had electronic displays indicating when the next bus is coming – and you could set your watch to it.
But I appreciate not having to drive, so I’m OK with keeping schedules, not keeping schedules and the quirks of handing it all over to someone else.
Some bus stops here in Nashville now have electronic displays with the time of the next bus, although it’s not always accurate. Although like you I appreciate not having to drive and I’ll put up with a little inconvenience with the buses to not have to deal with the inconveniences of driving.