The bus fares around here were increased recently. Someone told me they had doubled, or thereabouts. As someone without a drivers license, I am not amused by this news.
Last week I went to catch the bus. On the previous fare schedule it cost me $3 to get to the middle of town, 3 sections away. A daytripper (unlimited daily travel) used to cost $6, so I would always get that and make my way wherever I wanted.
Are you following the math?
So last week I asked for a daytripper, and was horrified that it cost me a whopping $9. How insane is that? I thought the whole idea of public transport was to get cars off the roads? It's cheaper to drive nowadays, even with the criminally high parking prices.
That means that it now costs $4.50 for me to ride the 3 sections to the middle of town now. I was thinking me and the bus services are done.
When I was ready to get back on the bus home a couple hours later, guess what? It didn't come. I arrived just a couple of minutes late and couldn't see a bus further down the long street so I waited, but then decided after 10 minutes I had missed it.
I didn't want to wait another 20 minutes for the next bus and so decided to start walking. I had plans for the evening waiting for me at home and not a single thing with me to do while I waited at the bus stop.
I knew I couldn't make it home in 20 minutes, so I kept checking the bus stop times as I passed them, to make sure I could wait at the appropriate stop.
10 minutes before the next scheduled bus was to arrive, I saw the orange monster turn a corner and start lumbering up the street. What did I do? I took off running. I could see the next stop right in front of me, I was running up a straight street. I waved at the bus as it passed me and thought:
"You suck! $9 for 3 sections, 20 minutes waiting, a run down the street and a walk home! Grrrr!"
... The bus pulled over. It hadn't reached the stop either, but at the nearest intersection with a taxi stand the doors were open and waiting for me.
My thoughts changed to:
The bus driver had a bit of a laugh at me, but I was able to ride the rest of the way home. He ate while he was waiting in traffic (remember that no eating rule?) and responded to the passengers as they thanked him on exit. Then he gave me a knowing look as I stepped off.
That bus driver single handedly redeemed that bus company in my eyes...