Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I am starting to wonder if people just don't think before they speak or if they really are that stupid. I have gotten some of the stupidest questions lately. For example, I was driving the 18 down Nicollet Mall. Some guy stood at the steps and asked me what route number the bus was that was behind me. I looked in my rearview mirror and about THREE BLOCKS behind me was a bus!! I told the guy " Your guess is as good as mine!" and closed the door.

Then there is the one all drivers like. You are driving your route and someone asks you what time the next bus on a whole different route is due to come by! I usually tell them that if I knew all the schedules (at each stop, no less) I'd be like Rainwoman! Some people get it, others apparently never saw Rainman...Great show.

How about the jokers that come up to the bus with a transfer in their hand and say "Can I get another transfer? This one is about to expire." To them I usually fake a laugh and say "If we did that, there would be no bus service!! You'd pay one time and trade in transfers for the rest of your life!" The normal reaction to that is something like a "duhhhh, I never thought of that" look to a look of total confusion.

It's also pretty funny when your bike rack is full and the bus is so crowded you have people standing all the way up to the front door. Then some fool, usually with a pitiful look on his face, asks if he can bring his bike on the bus. My usual reply...I look at the person standing next to my right shoulder and just say "Sorry, I don't think that's gonna work."

Here's a popular one during rush hour (when the fare is $2). "I have a dollar, can I get a transfer?" I use the ol' fake laugh and say "Now THAT would not be fare to everyone else on this bus that had to pay the full fare."

How about the one most popular in bad weather..."Can I just get a ride? I'm only going a couple blocks." That's an easy one. I just say "Well, if it's not worth paying a fare, then I guess you'll just have to walk." I have to admit, I've caved in to this particular one a couple times when there were small children involved. I DO have a heart you know!

There was one guy that just kind of took the cake though. He got on with TWO cases of beer...24 packs, not 12 packs. He was so drunk he could hardly stand up. He said "I need a ride. I don't have any money." I tried not to laugh as I secretly thought what a bad budgeter this guy was. Heck, he could have bought a 24 pack and a 12 pack and had enough for a couple bus rides. Or he could have said "no" to the last drink (or 4, or 5) and had enough to pay for a bus card!! I like when drunks give me a reason not to pick them up so, to avoid confrontation by saying what was REALLY on my mind, I just told him that I was sorry but everyone else paid to ride and that wouldn't be fair to them if I let him ride free. That happens to be one of my favorite lines. It gets the people on the bus behind you...Usually.

As far as questions go, you are better off to call the Transit Information Center. They pay people to sit in front of computers. They NEED the computers because there are probably close to 200 routes (I'm not sure what the actual total is) in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. They run on weekday schedules and separate schedules for Saturday and for Sunday/holidays. If there is ANYONE in the WORLD that could possibly memorize all that, I know where they can get a job!! (Not to mention the fact that changes go in about every 3 months!)


Anonymous Aaron said...

How many times have you denied people a ride for trying to get a ticket with a $50? Haha it happened to me and i had to find a shop, get change and wait another 1/2 hour for the next bus.

People are stupid, it's fun to deal with them (I'm in the IT business, we see some pretty stupid stuff :P). Allthough don't you have a policy to instantly deny all drunk people? Drunk people on public transport could be disastrous...

11:43 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

IT business? What's that?

We are actually told in training to NOT pick up people that are obvioiusly drunk, for the safety of our passengers and ourselves. Then, every Saint Patricks Day, one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year...we offer FREE RIDES!! The REAL kicker is...they are sponsored by Miller Beer!! If you can figure that out...educate me!

11:56 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...


By the way, I checked out your friends site. Funny guy. I only got to read the last half dozen or so most recent blogs, but I put him in my favorites to check out more. He's been doing this blog thing a heck of a long he like a founding member or something?? Thanks for the tip. I've looked at other blogs and they are really BORING!! Glad you like mine.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

As far as the $50....I get people that try that with a $ the middle of downtown!! These are mostly the same ones that think if they come unprepared they can get a free ride. Doesn't work here!! I do get some that are regular riders that always pay and honestly are just stuck once so I give them a free ride. Truly, it is hard to tell if it's an honest mistake or a scammer unless I recognize the person. When in doubt I let it go...usually.

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Aaron said...

IT = Information Technology, I'm one of 3 system operators at the local hospital here.

I would LOVE to go to a St. Patricks days, The festivities would be so damm good!! (I'm not Irish but EVERYONE IS ON ST. PATTYS DAY). As for the sponser of Millers Beer it's odd, but then again i've seen some wierd advertisments in US :P

Yeah Daves blog has gone a long way over the last 2 years, not a founding member though. Like everyone, just needs a place to express himself. He's a cool guy, and so damm funny in real life.

As for your last post, you seem to be quite a paranoid person, haha. I would suck as a bus driver because i would let so many people get away with riding for free.

It's been flat out here at work today. I'm not positive but i think you're about 16 hours behind Aus time.

This message was bought to you by THE FUTURE!

Looking fowards to your next entry!

1:12 AM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

So, THIS is what the future looks It's about time it got here!

Have to admit, if I was living where you are I don't think I'd like driving the bus so much. Probably be seeing the same people every day. I like the variety of people and driving all the different routes. Gives me a scenery change. (Not sure if I mentioned it, but I don't have a regular route to do every day. I chose to do vacations. Like if you went on vacation, I'd do your route. If Davo went on vacation, I'd do his route...kinda like that. Makes it more interesting).

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Aaron said...

Yeah starting to regret this career, thinking of a change but so damm confused and somewhat entrapped (Debt wise)...not really the best position to be in.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Debt is a 4 letter word...not a good thing!

6:02 PM  

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