Tuesday, January 27, 2009

PICKING UP STRANGERS.COM - THE BOOK

I had, what I hope will turn out to be, a great idea! It's been thought of before, but not acted on.

I want to write a book of bus driver stories. Seems people really enjoy my blogs. That got me thinking...every bus driver has stories! I'm hoping to get enough stories from my co workers to put together into a book. "Picking Up Strangers.com The Book". I have been putting fliers at each of the 5 bus garages in Minneapolis and St. Paul. I plan to get to the last two garages later today. Hopefully, I get enough drivers to submit their stories. So far, the response has been underwhelming. There are around 2,000 drivers in the system. If I can get 1 in 10 to give me a story, I should have enough.

If you are a driver...Pleeeeeeease submit your stories!! This could be a really fun, interesting book! The info on where to submit stories is/will be on the community board at your garage. If I am able to make the book, I plan to put a copy in each drivers room.

If you are a passenger...bug your driver!! Tell them to submit their stories!! Maybe if I end up making a book, I can do a contest again...this time with the book being one of the prizes.

Wish me luck!!

11 Comments:

Blogger John Charles Wilson said...

I recoomend shortening the title to just "Picking Up Strangers".

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfect! I have a story and many others from the 5 line, Diving late night on a Sat. up Freemont Ave. males smoking pot in back, older lady says, DRIVER........... they are smoking pot back there! What are you gonna do?!, I said Give me a minute, she was quiet, I was scared to death, WHAT do I SAY?!!!!!!, I started swerving the bus, hitting the curbsspeeding up and slowing down, I finally got on the mike and said. Say... can you gyes in the back finish that off the bus? I,m really high right now, ( laughing and slurring my speach) All of them got off at the next corner and the lady wrote in a commadation for me, It was the funniest thing she has ever seen a driver do to fix a situation.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great story, great blog! I just stumbled upon it recently and am learning a great deal about the human condition. It's nice to see someone enjoy their job as much as you do!

8:22 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Jeannie, you might have better luck just sitting down with a driver and a tape recorder. Most people will tell you a good story, but I suspect few of them are inclined to sit down and write any of them out. Just make the rounds -- or invite a handful to share a pitcher somewhere and make sure you have lots of tape. Good luck!

9:10 PM  
Blogger parts said...

this is a great blog, I drove in So Fla for 14 yrs and I am now in maint. when reading your stories/events you keep giving me flashbacks to the old days. keep up the good work

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Bostonred said...

A Metro Transit bus driver refused to let passengers board a bus in Oakdale on Wednesday morning and made them wait outside in frigid weather for about 20 minutes while he took a nap.

The driver was placed on paid administrative leave, and the transit agency is apologizing to the customers, said Bob Gibbons, director of customer service for Metro Transit.

"That, of course, is not in keeping with training, expectations or policy," Gibbons said. "Customers should be able to board as they choose."

The incident began when the driver for Route 375 arrived at a park-and-ride lot in Oakdale at 7:41 a.m. The bus wasn't scheduled to leave for downtown Minneapolis until 8:07, so the driver reclined on a seat and would not open the door. He told passengers that he was on his break, Gibbons said.

However, passengers are allowed to board buses whenever the driver is present, Gibbons said.

When the driver did open the door, a quarrel ensued between him and the passengers. A videotape recording was removed from the bus and will be included in the investigation. The driver has worked for Metro Transit for a little more than four years, but he is not the normal driver for that route.

Metro Transit received complaint calls from 16 passengers Wednesday. If passengers are ever blocked by a driver from boarding a bus, they are asked to call 612-373-3333.

Yes We Can .................!

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In My 17 Yrs. Of Driving Have I Ever Heard Of This Kind Of Behavior!. The work I Picked For Next Pick Is This Exact Piece Of Work!, Hopefully I can Pick Up The Pieces!!!!!!!!!!! Why The Hell This Guy Made It Thru Training I Do,nt Know!!!!!!!!!!!! We Must Be Hard UP!!!!!!!!!!!!, How Am I Gonna Make These People Secure About Riding With Us Again???????? Once a driver takes over on a new run, It is so hard to get the people to warm up to you, because of the last driver, GREAT!!!!!!!!!!! Now what the hell do I DO?? They are not fond of METRO tRANSIT AT THIS TIME, AND WHEN 1 DRIVER MISTREATS THEM, THEY THINK THE REST ARE ALL ALIKE, WHY???????????

5:18 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Anon - Thanks for the story, bus driver...but now I can't use it. I want ones that are NOT on this blog...fresh stuff. Feel free to send them to me in an e-mail. The address is listed at each garage on the board with my "Wanted" notice. Thanks!

John - Thanks for the suggestion, but I prefer to kind of link the book and the blog.

Anon - WELCOME!! Glad you enjoy the blogs. They just keep coming! Hope to see you back.

Busboy - I may have to do the tape recorder thing. I've gotten an e-mail from a driver that wants to have a group of drivers meet to do just that. Am considering where/when would be best.

Parts - WELCOME!! Glad you found me! Seems a lot of people enjoy the reality of my blog. Nothing is quite as entertaining as real people!

Boston - I can see both sides of this. Why would you be 20 minutes early? If you are at a park and ride, why can't you wait in your car? Do bus drivers not deserve a break? Keep in mind, some drive over 10 hours per day. I agree it was rude to sleep in the seat where they could look at him. I just think people need to realize that we need breaks too and if you are THAT early maybe you should wait until maybe 3-5 minutes ahead of the departure time to expect to board. I know the rules...that's why I just leave the bus entirely if I need a break, to make a personal call or just don't want to listen to people and their cell phones,headphones, domestic issues...whatever.Thanks for your comment.

Anon driver - Look at it this way, when you meet your passengers and let them on 20 minutes early...they'll LOVE you. You may even get commendations from them! Sometimes it's not all bad following a less-than-perfect driver. I give vacations and often get people that tell me how great I am compared to the regular driver. Some hate to see me go. Good luck with this new pick. I have a feeling they'll be glad to see you!

9:46 AM  
Blogger John Charles Wilson said...

Perhaps you can use humourous chapter titles that relate to various routes, like "The Synagogues of 'Saint Jewish Park'" for the #17....

1:40 PM  
Blogger minneapolismayor said...

Again, I think Route 375 and a few others are significantly different from local routes like the 18 and 24 and 2. Park and Ride routes like this one basically get all their inbound passengers from this one stop. The frequency of this route may be less than some others, but the idea may be that there is always a bus ready to board during morning rush and that allows them to leave with a full load right at the departure time. If you start boarding at your departure time on a local route, you may only have a few or no people, so you're fine, but on a route like this, even though most people have the faster goto cards there, would still take several minutes and make you late. Especially since many of these routes run the 60-footers.

Perhaps the real solution is to tax the rich and build a heated bus shelter.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

John - cute, but I think I'll keep doing it my way. Thanks, though!

Minn - The time on the schedule is the departure time, not the time to start loading...especially at a park and ride. Another driver told me that at that specific one, there is a layover area and a pick up area...two different spots. If the driver chose to park in the pick up area, he needed to let people board. If he wanted a break, he should have stayed in the layover area until about 5 minutes before departure time to board everyone in time to leave.

Thanks for your comments!

11:46 AM  

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