Sunday, April 19, 2009


I had so much fun last fall with the contest, I'm gonna do it again. For those of you unfamiliar with the contest, it is basically the first person to find me driving a bus and giving the winning phrase is the winner! Friends, family and co-workers are not eligible to win. I will be starting the contest soon and will put up a blog to announce the start of the contest. THE CONTEST WILL NOT START UNTIL I PUT UP THE BLOG ANNOUNCING THE START OF THE CONTEST.

I've ordered new prizes for the contest. I decided to keep the beer stein style mug and added a stylish courier-type shoulder bag. Thanks to my big brother for adding to the choice of prizes. If you are interested to see what they are like, go to to view the prizes and other stuff. Maybe next time I'll take suggestions as to what to get for the prizes.

Soon I will put up the blog to announce the beginning of the contest and to give the winning phrase that you must say to the driver in order to see if it is me and if you have won. For hints on what routes I drive and a little about what I look the blog! I often mention what routes I am on. I have mentioned a couple things about what I look like that are a dead giveaway.

Keep checking the blog...the contest is coming SOON!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Last week I was driving the 12 for 10 hours a day. Not a bad route. A lot of the people are regulars. One regular, in particular, I was less than happy to see. She's a lady in a wheelchair that usually has her 3 kids with her. She is well known for not paying her fare...or her kids fares.

I have had problems with this lady for about the past 2 years. I don't see her too often, since I switch routes so much. I have had her quite a bit on the 21 and the 12. I have let her go with a stern warning at least half a dozen times. Usually, it's because she has her kids and I don't want to involve the police with them there. I've also let her slide due to poor weather and the fact that she is in a wheelchair. The last time I had her on, she had her three kids. As usual, she didn't pay. I was fed up, but the weather sucked AND she had the kids with her. I put a little bass in my voice and warned her this was her last free ride. Next time, I would call the police and she'd be taken off the bus and given a $180 fare evasion ticket. When I got to her stop in downtown Hopkins and was unhooking her wheelchair, the oldest boy asked if I had called the police. He seemed a little distressed and was afraid his mom was going to jail. I explained to him that I didn't call the police this time, but that when people ride the bus they have to pay a fare. I told him his mom had a habit of riding without paying the fare and that was illegal. If I did have to call the police on her, she would get a very expensive ticket but she would not be taken to jail. He seemed relieved. The kids are great, actually. They are well behaved, fun kids. Their mom, on the other hand, irritates the hell out of me. It's not just that she doesn't pay the fare but that she pretty much ignores the three kids. She's always on her cell phone, loudly, for the entire trip. One time she had an Ipod or something, but she never seems to interact with her kids. Maybe that's why they get along so well. They are all they have. Mom has all the toys. The kids never have anything. Makes me wanna take them home and spoil them rotten!

Anyway, Miss never-pays-a-fare got on my bus on Monday. Decent weather, no kids...the chance I'd been waiting for. After I tied down the wheelchair, I stood there as she went through her pockets and purse repeatedly. I knew she didn't have a transfer. I also knew she just got off the 21. She never pays. Realizing I wasn't going anywhere without payment, she smiled and threw her hands up and said "no money". I told her not this time. I went and checked with the other driver to see if she had paid on his bus. He had relieved the other driver so he didn't know. Knowing she would have a transfer if she had paid and that she NEVER pays, I got back on my bus and called Control. I told them I had a chronic fare evader (that's what we call them) on the bus and would like the police to come handle it.

Realizing I was calling the police, the lady tried to hand me 36 cents. I told her no way. I had let her go far too many times already and she needed to know this was not acceptable. The police arrived. One officer recognized the lady and asked if I had called about her before. I told him I have had fare problems many times but never called because she usually had her kids with her or the weather was bad. This time I had had enough and there were no kids to scare and the weather was good. I requested that he give her the $180 ticket because the warnings were not working and there needed to be consequences for this repeat behavior. He indicated that he understood and said "By the way, it's $240 now. It went up." As usual, a passenger offered to pay her fare when he saw that I was unhooking her wheelchair tie downs so the officer could remove her from the bus. The officer told the guy that this was an ongoing problem with her and it needed to be taken care of. I was very glad the officer saw my dilemma and was taking action.

The lady was taken off the bus and from what I hear she did get the $240 ticket. I had her get on a couple days later and ,for the first time, she paid her fare! She actually overpaid. She put in a dollar instead of the 75 cent mobility fare. Seems even with the ticket, she's got money to blow. I've spoken with other drivers that know her and they said she's been paying on their buses too. I guess she did the math and realized $240 would have paid a whole lot of 75 cent fares!

No more free wheelin'!!

Sunday, April 05, 2009


I was driving the 11 and this kid about 17-18 years old got on. He had white three-quarter length pants on, sagging off his butt. A knit hat all crooked and barely sitting on his head. By far the funniest part of his wardrobe were the fuzzy black slip-on slippers he had on his feet. I tried not to laugh as he got on waving a dollar. He gave his best fake smile, tried to look cute and said "All I have is a dollar." I put my hand to block the bill feeder on the farebox and informed him the fare was $1.75. He asked if anyone had any change. Everyone on the bus ignored him. Finally, the little liar finally reached into his pocket...somewhere about mid-calf area...and pulled out another dollar. He mumbled about how the bus was taking all his money and went to sit down. He had his headset on so loud I could "name that tune" if I had brushed up on my gangsta rap crap. He sat there throwing gang signs to himself and anyone else that bothered to pay any attention to him. That got him absolutely no response, so he decided to sing along with his tunes.

After hearing a string of profanities longer than any of us on the bus cared to, I got on the mic and loudly told him that profanity is not allowed on the bus. He said "I'm just singing along with my music." I told him I didn't care what he listened to, but he wasn't going to use that language on the bus. His response "My bad." He kept bopping his head and tossing signs, seeming a little annoyed that no one seemed to care.

As he got off the bus downtown, he cussed up a storm and glared at me as he went out the back door. I laughed out loud. Some of the other passengers looked at me like "be careful!" I said "It's kind of hard to be a tough guy when you're walking around in fuzzy slippers!" They all laughed.


Anyone that knows me knows that April Fools Day is a day that was made for me. I like to mess with people. I decided to play a joke at work...try and brighten someones day.

I pulled in at 3 AM on April first after a very long 12 hour split day. I asked the dispatcher for paperwork to write up an accident. I told him I'd need an extra sheet to explain in detail what happened. I sat down, laughed to myself and filled out the form.

Name: Anonymous
Date of birth: Yes
Sex Male or Female: ?
Date hired: What?
Drivers license number: I don't have one
Number of passengers on bus: A bunch
Number of people in other vehicle: Didn't look
Damage to bus: Lots - I left quickly though, so I hope no one saw me!
Damage to other vehicle: Even more! I peeled outta there!
Control center called yes or no: Heck no!
Supervisor at scene: No way!
Police at scene: I hope not!
Injured persons: Didn't stick around to get names. Are you kidding me?!

Description of accident: I was at a stoplight. I knew it was gonna be a long one, so I figured it was a safe time to hit my crack pipe. The pipe got really hot and burned my fingers so I dropped it on the floor. When I reached to pick it up, I spilled the cold beer that was in my lap onto the floor. When I reached for the can, I accidentally floored the gas and flew through the intersection and hit two cars and a fire truck. Being a little paranoid about getting caught, I put my "Drop off only" sign on and turned off the passenger signal and got out of the area as quickly as possible. Of course, I didn't collect any courtesy cards or call Control or anything.
By the way, can I get Workers Comp for my burned fingers? I can't seem to grip the steering wheel very well due to the blisters.
Enjoy your April Fools Day! :)

Signed: Bus driver
Date: Sometimes
Address: Under the 35W bridge at Lake Street

I turned it in. Later I found out the safety guy thought it was hilarious. He sent a copy to our Risk Management department and asked them how this one should be classified. They thought that was pretty funny, too. Seems it made some rounds in emails. My fellow drivers have been requesting copies of the report from me. I'm glad I could brighten so many peoples day! April Fools Day should be once a month!

Life is short....enjoy it!


I thought I put this blog up, guess I forgot. It was pretty funny. I was driving the 21 and had just turned back onto Lake street after leaving the Chicago Transit Center. There was a guy that had fallen asleep in his seat. He was way drunk.

The drunk guy fell onto the floor. He just laid there. He didn't seem to move or anything so I immediately called Control. People on the bus were telling him to get up or the driver was going to have the cops come. As he laid there curled in a fetal position with his head under the seat across the aisle from where he had been sitting he suddenly moaned "No, I'm alright. I'm okay." I was glad to hear him speak. One guy said "Man, you're laying on the floor of the bus!" He eventually got up and back into his seat. I turned and asked him if he was okay or if he needed any medical help. He said he was fine. I told him I just wanted to be sure, because it sounded like it hurt when he fell. He didn't want any help. Control called and I told them the guy seemed alright. He was laughing and joking with another guy and refused any medical help. Control told me to try and get his name and write up a report when I got in. They would get the security tape from the bus cameras to put with the report and we let it go at that.

He kind of shook off the jolt of the fall and looked around, checking out each person near him. Then he said "Who hit me?" It was hilarious. The guy he was joking with laughed and assured him that no one had hit him, he had just fallen out of his seat. Others around him were laughing, too.

Of course, he was the last one on when I got to the end of the route. I told him I had to write a report and would like his name for the report. He looked like a kid with his hand in the cookie jar. He said "No, I can't tell you that!" I asked him where he was trying to go. He said "South Minneapolis" I said "So far, so good. You're here." He then said he was trying to hook up with the 18. As much as I didn't want to, I offered him a ride back to the garage with me. The 18 comes right on the corner there. He seemed suspicious. I could just see him thinking about how I had asked his name. I must be the enemy. He said he was fine where he was. I proceeded to pull in to the garage, by myself, to start my half hour of paperwork. Sucks. It was on a Friday night and I just wanted to go home. Oh well, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

Still makes me laugh to myself.... "Who hit me?"


I liked this one...thought I'd share.

Tact is for people who aren't witty enough to be sarcastic.
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