Tuesday, June 19, 2007

ROUTE 11

I've been driving the 11 route this week. Normally, it's not really a problem route. It does go by the welfare building so you do get people with a lot of kids and strollers sometimes.

The 11 also goes by the light rail train downtown. Monday a guy got on with a transfer from the train that is for people on medicare. ID is required to purchase/use them and it is kind of on the honor system since there is no one watching what ticket you buy from the machine so I asked him for ID. He got a major attitude and said "No, I don't have ID. I left it at home." And he went to sit down. I told him that was not legal and he'd have to pay a fare. He said "I'm not paying no fare, just drive the bus!" That pissed me off. Don't try and scam me and then tell me my job. I told him he needed to pay a fare or hop off the bus. He said "Man, I been going through this EVERY DAY!" Huh???????? Maybe that's a clue to either pay the right fare or walk!! I didn't say that, of course. I chose to push the button to have Mr. Attitude removed from the bus. When he saw that I used the phone and noticed the bus wasn't moving he started talking about how he wasn't scared of the police taking him off the bus. When I still didn't move, he said something about how I wasn't the only bus in town and called me a few choice names and got off the bus. What an idiot. I felt a little better when, as I drove away, a passenger yelled at the loser out the window and said "Get a job!!"

Today I got a teenager that snuck in the back door. I got on the microphone after everyone else boarded and said "No matter what door you come in, you still have to come up and pay your fare." She was shocked and came up and put in a transfer showing she was 6-12 years old. I told her that was a child fare and she'd have to pay her real fare of $1.50. Then this lady spoke up saying she WAS 12. Gimme a break. If she's 12, so am I. She was 15-16 years old. I couldn't believe this woman (I'm guessing it was her mother) would teach this kid to lie, cheat and steal like it was OK. Heck, MY mom would have punished me just for sneaking in the back door! She'd probably have made me go out and come back in the front like you're supposed to! I didn't feel like arguing, so I got on the phone with the control center and told them to come take them off the bus. I told the thieves that it was illegal to evade the fare by paying the wrong fare and to sneak in the back door. Unfortunately, I was very busy so stayed on route. They got off at the welfare building...what a surprise. I cancelled the squad and went on my way.

Most people on the 11 are honest, hard working people. The biggest problem is usually the schedule. It seems hard to stay on time sometimes. This route also seems to ALWAYS have a chatterbox in the peanut seat. That's fine with me. It makes the day go by faster. I did have one guy on Monday that was annoying, though. He insisted on calling out the streets (even though I was doing it on the microphone) and calling out the connecting routes. That got to be irritating. Then he started telling me when my next turn was coming up! "Take a left at the next corner." That was REALLY annoying. He rode all the way to the end, of course. Then he got off and hopped on a route 10 bus. Kind of gave me a chuckle to think what that poor driver was in for!

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