Today's topic is once again on our bus system. We depend on it a lot when our car is not working, or just one of us needs to get somewhere, and the girls would like it if we took the bus all the time everywhere.
Here are a few more discoveries I've made recently about how "things work" here versus my experience with public transportation elsewhere:
Bus times are not consistent. Some drivers leave the Starting station (the only one with an official departure time) a minute or two early, others a minute or two late.
Bus routes are not consistent. For awhile is seemed an additional loop was added on to the end of the rout, but not every driver took it, some just followed the original route.
Drivers make personal stops. I may have mentioned before that we've had drivers stop at sports gambling shops, I can only guess to place a quick bet. I've also had a driver stop to purchase cigarettes from a person who stands on the sidewalk and keeps her stock in her backyard.
Routes are subject to change without notice. For a few weeks, a two block section of one main street was closed. The first time I rode the bus after this closure (which I was unaware of), I was surprised to have my bus veer off it's normal course and take me farther away from where I had planned on debussing. Since it wasn't the regular route, people would signal that they wanted to get off where ever, and the driver would comply. There was no informing signage either at the bus stop or on the bus about this change. Perhaps online or in the paper, but not everyone checks those. It seemed that towards the end of the detouring period (I believe the street is reopened), the route was constantly changing-improving I guess, but it kept you on your toes. Where is the closest place this bus stops to my intended destination? Where can I wait to ensure I can catch a bus back home?
Bus rules are not consistent. On two separate mornings (of two different weeks) when I was taking the girls to school, a bus driver (different one each time) told me that it was a free ride to take children to pre-school. The morning after the second time, Steve took the girls, and even though it was the same driver as the day before, he had to pay. The following day, same driver, so did I. And we haven't heard it since. Perhaps it was a limited time offer, or the bus company felt like they were losing too much money. Just seemed pretty random to us.
I know all of these sound like grumbling, but overall, I am well pleased with the bus which gives us some freedom to get our children to school or us to other destinations even when we can't (or don't want to) take the car.