Sunday, September 30, 2007


There's a lady that got on my 21 about a week ago. She has twin little girls that are adorable. She keeps them on kid-leashes and they always seem to be wearing their teddy bear backpacks. The girls are "almost 4" years old.

This particular day, one of the girls seemed to be on a mission to irritate her mother and knew just how to do it. Out of the blue, she said to her mom "I'm a young lady." Her mom said "Actually, you're a little girl." Again, the girl said "I'm a young lady." This really seemed to bother her mom and it seemed the little girl knew it and was enjoying it. The mom said "No, you're a little girl. When you get a little older you will be a young lady." There was about two minutes of silence and like a comedian right on cue, the little girl said "I'm a young lady!"

A message to the mom...chose your battles!! Thanks for the entertainment, though!


I pulled up to 18Th and Nicollet, heading into downtown. There were about half a dozen people waiting to board. The first lady got on and put in fifty cents and put her hand up to the transfer spot waiting for a transfer. I asked if she was paying a reduced or mobility fare (both require ID). She said "mobility" quite snotty-like and kept her hand at the transfer spot. I told her she needed to show ID. She nodded, but didn't move her hand or attempt to reach for ID. I repeated that she needed ID. Other people in line started fussing, so I made the mistake of popping up her transfer. She grabbed the transfer with a swipe, like that would somehow hurt me.

Miss Limited Mobility walked all the way to the back of the bus and sat down. She still was making no attempt to produce the required ID. The rest of the people got on and my light turned red. I looked at her in the mirror and she just sat there. I told her she needed to show ID and she told me to come back and get it. I told her it didn't work that way, that she needed to bring her ID up and should have had it ready when she boarded. Eventually, she made her way to the front with ID in hand. She put it way too close to my face. I gently pushed her hand back. She said "YOUR drivers maimed me for life and now I have to go through this??!!" I told her "Ma'am, I have done nothing to you but ask for the ID that is required when you pay mobility fare." Then she said the one thing that really pisses me off. "Just drive the bus!" I got mad and said "I don't need you to tell me my job. I'll drive the bus when I have a green light." (I was secretly thanking God for the light being red because I had no better comeback ready.)

I wanted to knock her lights out, but I don't feel like taking anger management classes. I just waited for the green light and continued on my route, being nice to everyone that got on and off just to let her think she didn't bother me. One older lady actually thanked me when she got off. She said I did the right thing, after all, she has to show her ID so why shouldn't the other lady?
Though Miss Mobility seemed to get around just fine, from her comment I'm guessing she's one of those fools that stepped in front of a bus or something.

I have the 18 for the next two weeks. I kind of hope she gets on one day and leaves her ID at home. Hehehehehe.


Sorry, I've been gone a while. I've been doing some really boring routes and the people were pretty normal. Kind of cuts down on the material there is to write. I've been back on the 18 and now have real STRANGErs to write about!

I had a guy get on with a cane during rush hour. He showed me medicare ID, which is not valid during rush hour. I told him the fare was $2.00 and he said he had to get to 6Th street to go to the bank. I told him I'd just count it as downtown zone fare since he was within the zone limits and that fare is fifty cents (what he had put in already). Then he said he needed a transfer because he had to catch a 6 bus. I told him he'd have to pay the rest of the fare to receive a transfer. Then he said he had to get to St. Paul. (The 6 doesn't go there.) Again, I told him the fare during rush hour was $2, as there is no reduced fares at that time. He insisted he needed a transfer. I messed up and said "First you told me you needed to get to 6Th street to go to the bank, then you said you needed to catch a 6 and now you are saying you need to get to St. Paul. To get a transfer, the fare is $2 during rush hour." He blew up. He said "Are you calling me a liar?? I don't deserve to be treated like this!" I told him I wasn't calling him a liar, that I was simply repeating what he had said to me. He kept ranting about me supposedly calling him a liar and he got off the bus. He got off at 7Th street. I thought that was odd, since he kept saying he wanted 6Th street. Just as the light turned green and I was checking my mirrors to pull off, I saw him coming back to the bus. Hell, no!! He's not going to blow up at me for no reason and then come back to get back on the bus and yell at me for another block. It's not my fault he got off at the wrong stop because he was too busy yelling at me to realize where he was. I took off. Maybe when he walks that block he can cool off and realize HE was in the wrong! I doubt it, but maybe...

Sunday, September 09, 2007


I had some early morning stuff this past week on the 4 line. There was one old lady that got on at 27th and lyndale a couple mornings. She was going into downtown just after rush hour started.

The first day, she smiled and put in 50 cents and showed her senior I.D.. I told her the fare was $2 during rush hour. She instantly got snotty and said the other driver never charges her that. I explained that the farebox changes automatically to rush hour fares and I would not be able to give her a senior transfer. She continued to be rude and insisted on a transfer. I told her that now she was aware of the correct fare so I would give her a transfer, but she would have to start paying the correct fare. She sat down and continued to go off about what a jerk I was. I kind of got pissed. I had not only let her get away with paying only 25% of the fare, but I had given her a transfer. Still, she was ranting and raving all the way into downtown! Some other passengers near the in the front seats told me she did this all the time.

The next day, there she was again. She got on, smiled as she showed me her senior I.D. an put in 50 cents. She held her hand up for the transfer. I told her we went through this yesterday and we were not going through this again today. She needed to pay the correct fare. She again tried the excuse that the other driver lets her do it. I told her I had informed her of the correct fare yesterday and I wasn't going to go through this all week, she needed to pay the required fare. She said she would pay it tomorrow and held her hand out for the transfer. I told her she would not be getting one. I gave her one yesterday and she still put up a fuss all the way downtown.

She stomped away and went and sat down. She didn't say one word all the way downtown. The two guys up front said it was about time she not get away with her game. I told them it wasn't all her fault. The other driver should not be letting her get away with it. Obviously, she has come to expect to pay senior fare during rush hour. I blame the other driver, partially.

Because Monday was a holiday and Friday was my "golden" anniversary (been a bus driver for 7 years on the 7th of September) and she hadn't gotten on on Tuesday, I am just hoping that whoever did my work on Friday didn't let her get away with it.

C'mon ,drivers, we all need to be on the same page!! Don't let people chose their own fare and stop letting them use mobility transfers from the light rail with no I.D.! This has gotten to be ridiculous.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Friday on my last trip through downtown Minneapolis, there were sirens and police cars that seemed to be coming from every direction. It was strange. It reminded me of the day the I35W bridge fell into the Mississippi river. I noticed there were no ambulances or firetrucks so I knew it wasn't another disaster.

I saw on the news that night what it was all about. There were a group of people riding bikes that started a "riot", according to the news. This group gets together once a month and they gather and ride their bikes in traffic, slowing it down and basically causing a traffic nightmare. The message they are trying to send is for people to try not to rely on their cars so much. Using other forms of transportation will help the problem with global warming and reduce our relying on foreign oil. I agree with their message, but I think they need to find a better way to get it across. Their message usually turns into how annoying bikes are in motor vehicle traffic and kind of defeats their purpose.

That particular night, one bike rider was confronting motorists and when the police went to arrest him, other bikers went after the police officer. Seems all hell broke loose after that. Turns out 25 people were arrested. Luckily, no one was seriously injured.

Lesson - If you have a valid message to relay to others, make sure the way you chose to spread the word doesn't defeat the purpose of the message!!


I've had this guy get on almost every day for the past two weeks. He always wears a black leather vest. Doesn't seem to matter if it's 90 degrees or if it's cool outside. He wears it every day. I always give him a hard time when he gets on. One day it was pouring rain and as he got out of the bus shelter and got onto the bus, I said " We really don't need that shelter here. I think I'll have them take it out." Then I topped it off with "As a matter of fact, that stop sign just slows me down. Maybe I'll come back tonight and pry that out of the ground. Then when I see trouble waiting to get on the bus I can cruise right by!" He laughed.

He worked late on Wednesday, so he wasn't on my bus. The next day I harassed him and accused him of riding with OTHER drivers. He must have known he was going to get harassed for "standing me up" so he gave me a little bouquet of flowers he picked on the way to the bus.
The last week or so, he's been giving me flowers every day. They are little weed-flowers, but they are pretty and even smell good. One day he actually pulled some small green stalk out of the ground, complete with the roots. He said he has been watching this plant for two years. He said it grows a yellow flower about the size of a dime. I took it home and planted it outside. So far, I haven't killed it.

Friday was the last day on this route for me for a while. Mr. Black Vest got on and gave me a chocolate cake desert with pudding and whipped cream. I think it was called a Black Forrest dessert. Yum! I am a chocoholic, so that was just my thing!

It's always fun to get a passenger that has the same strange sense of humor as I do. It will be strange not to see him around. I'm back giving vacations starting next week so I will have to find a new passenger to hassle!!
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