Tag Archives: public transportation

TMI (Disorder?)

WARNING: Portions of this post may be offensive to some readers. Discretion advised.

As I’ve mentioned on several occasions, I use the city bus to get to most places. There are a few benefits to this:

  • I have unlimited transportation for $25 per month.
  • I don’t have to cringe every time gas prices go up.
  • I can’t be pulled over for speeding or other minor traffic violations.
  • I don’t have to pay extra for insurance or maintenance.
  • Instead of fighting traffic, I relax with a book while I get where I’m going.

While there are a few downsides as well, the benefits far outweigh them in my opinion.

  • If it’s raining, taking the bus is a bit inconvenient.
  • Texas summers are very hot, which can make waiting for a bus unpleasant.
  • Sometimes I need to do more shopping than I can carry back on the bus. Even that’s not a real problem, though; I only do it about once a month, and then I just take a bus to the store and call a taxi for the return trip.

But the single most annoying thing about riding the bus is being part of a captive audience for people who either don’t know or don’t care that perfect strangers may not want to hear about all their personal business.

Why are some people perfectly fine with shouting into cell phones about their STDs in front of a bus load of perfect strangers? And what makes some people think that it’s OK to strike up a conversation with a stranger, using the fact that they were just released from jail as an opener?

Oh, I’m not exaggerating. Not even a little. These are some of the least disturbing things I’ve heard on the city bus.

Today I had to sit for forty minutes while some loud mouth on the bus talked non-stop to two other people, but loud enough for everyone on the bus to hear. Not only was I completely uninterested in the conversation and annoyed by his lack of consideration, toward the end of my trip, I had become quite uncomfortable with it all. Allow me to share with you some of the things that I now know about a perfect stranger:

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Psycho Bus Driver – My Worst Trip To Date

Warning: This post contains strong language which may be offensive to some readers.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t own a car, meaning I take the bus when I go places outside of walking distance. I purchase a monthly pass for myself; for my son, I take advantage of the outstanding student discount available, and purchase the semester pass for him. Because the semester pass only has to be renewed twice a year, it’s easy to forget about until we try to board with an expired pass.

We were standing at the bus stop yesterday when I got out my son’s pass, and it occurred to me that it had probably expired. There is no expiration date on the semester passes; not even a month. They do have a colored sticker which changes each time they’re renewed, but there’s no real way to know if it’s expired until a driver tells you. Since this was his first trip since the start of the month, I wasn’t sure.

I told my son to go ahead and show his pass in case it was still good; I figured the driver would let us know if it had expired. I also had his fifty cent fare in my hand, in case it was. The bus pulled up, my son showed his pass as he boarded, and that’s where it all hit the fan.

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Exit through the rear, damn it!

Why is that so hard to understand?

I take the bus to work and back every day. I also ride it on the weekends to get where I need to go. So it’s safe to say I take at least two bus rides every day of the week. About every two or three miles, on every one of these bus rides, a recorded announcement is made:

Please exit though the rear door.

The announcement is played in English, then in Spanish. In case you are deaf, the message is also displayed in red, flashing lights above the front door – again, in both languages.

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