Thursday, January 03, 2008

NEW YEARS EVE

I was one of the unlucky ones that had to drive the bus on the night of New Years Eve. I drove until about 2:30 AM... into New Years Day. What fun.

I knew I was in for an interesting night when I realized I was doing the 6 route. It goes through Uptown, Downtown and Dinkytown (through the U of M campus area). All areas have more than their fair share of bars. Oh yeah.

My first group of characters were three guys...one was a Marine on leave. When I opened the door they stood there with their plastic cups. I informed them they needed to have lids on their cups if they were bringing them on the bus. Smelling the stench of beer I said "They ARE non-alcoholic drinks, right?" They slammed their beer and threw the cups under the bus, like I didn't see that. I had to remind them a couple times not to use foul language...usually I only give one warning and then kick them out. I couldn't bring myself to do that to a Marine on New Years Eve so I cut them a little slack.

Later I got a group of about a dozen very loud college students heading back towards the U. They were all very drunk. One girl with the highest pitch voice I've ever heard sat in the peanut seat and loudly asked me stupid questions repeatedly. My ears were relieved when they got off!

The funniest part was the very last trip. I was in the bus line-up downtown at 2 AM. (The buses line up for 10 minutes so people can make connections) Needless to say, I was the only sober person on that bus. This particular trip only went to 36th and Hennepin, not the usual trip that ends up in Edina. They were happy drunks, for the most part. Then I picked up 3 VERY drunk guys in Uptown (6 blocks from the end of the trip). The first guy put in his stored value card and it was a quarter short. I told him "close enough" as the other two staggered on behind him and plopped down in the back of the bus. I told them they needed to pay their fare like everyone else. They made no attempt to come up and do so. Suddenly, the entire bus load of people turned on them. "Yeah, losers...pay your fare like we all did." "If you can afford that scarf around your neck, you can afford to pay your fare." (????????) "Kick them off, driver!" "She's gonna call the cops!"

The guy that paid most of his fare came up and asked how much they owed. I told him $4 all together and he proceeded to pay their fares as the passengers continued to give him hell. I came to his defense telling them that he actually did pay his fare and now he was paying for his buddies. That seemed to calm them down. I had really never gotten so much "support" before. It was hard not to laugh, actually.

As I approached 36th street I made the announcement "LAST STOP 36th street". The panic began. I still had about 10 people on my bus. "You don't go to Edina?" "Don't you go to 50th and France?" I told them 36th was the last stop but I would be going over to Nicollet and back down to 32nd and they could ride along if that helped them out. I also offered to drop them off at a gas station on the way that was open if they wanted to call a cab. Some got off at 36th and the rest got off at the gas station. Hindsight being 20/20, I really should have called the Control Center and asked if I could get them out to Edina. I had already worked over 10 hours and had more drunks than I cared to see and just wanted to go home, so I really didn't think about it until later. I haven't read of anyone frozen into Lake Calhoun or anything, so I'm guessing they all managed to get where they were going.

Lesson for the day: If your going to get fall-down drunk...know the bus schedule...or call a cab!

5 Comments:

OpenID weirdointhecorn said...

Hello. I was on your bus yesterday when you told me about your blog. I just wanted to say that it is fascinating to hear stories about what goes on in Minneapolis, and I read half the webpage before I had to stop myself. Great job.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Wierdo - cute name. Welcome...glad you enjoy my site. Where are you from? Were you the 20-something dark haired girl I was chatting with? Not that it REALLY matters, just curious.

Thanks for checking out my site. Hope you visit again...often and soon! You never know what may happen on the bus!

4:10 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Weirdo - OOPS! sorry I misspelled your name! Please accept this correction! Hey, what do you expect...I'm just a bus driver!

4:12 PM  
Blogger Mr Kramden said...

That NEW YEAR'S EVE 6 IS a BIT different than late night 6's any OTHER night of the year, isn't it, Jeanne? What's normally a 3-4 passenger trip is suddenly standing room only up to the yellow line. LOL. Had it year before last. At least they're HAPPY drunks. Hehehe! Keep up the neat blog.
Friendly Neighborhood South Operator.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Mr Kramden, aren't you glad St Patricks Day falls on a MONDAY this year!!! I don't have to worry about it. I'm done at about noon...going in really early. That's why I am one of only a few drivers that is happily wearing the ST Pattys Day pin to advertise the free rides. ;)

6:11 PM  

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