Sunday, December 13, 2009


I had a guy get on my bus the other day that seemed more than eager to talk. He sat in the peanut seat, of course, and told me of his exciting ride on the 16 route.

Seems the ride was going along fairly uneventful and suddenly there was a huge cloud of white smoke that terrified everyone. They ran over each other trying to get away from it and get to the back of the bus. Everyone was scared and confused as to what exactly was going on.

The driver, who was also shaken and confused, pulled the bus over and opened the doors. Some people took off out the doors, but my little storyteller stuck around to figure out what the heck had happened.

Seems the pin had fallen out of the fire extinguisher and it somehow jostled itself into a spot that pushed the handle with enough force to make it go off. Bummer!

I've actually had this happen, but not to this extreme. The extinguisher was under the peanut seat and I didn't notice the pin had fallen out. Someone sat down and pushed their feet back against the handle and it sprayed. It only lasted a second because it scared the person and they moved their feet quickly. It's kinda funny when it happens, actually. The video would be fun to watch!


For the first time in over 9 years of driving a bus, I got stuck!

I was driving the 18 northbound and pulled into the bus stop at 38th street. I was talking to another driver I had picked up who had just been relieved and was on his way back to the garage. When I pulled into the bus stop, I knew I was in trouble. I had forgotten how slippery this particular stop had gotten. The snow was mushy and there was ice under it. I didn't pull all the way into the bus stop. We aren't supposed to on snowy days. That's how we get stuck!! I had a woman earlier that got mad at me because I didn't pull up to the curb. I tried to explain that we aren't supposed to because we get stuck there. I wish she had been on my stuck bus!

Just after I pulled into the stop, I told the other driver I thought I messed up. I told him I almost got stuck here last trip. Sure enough, I tried to pull out and the back tires started spinning. The rear of the bus slid toward the curb. I tried to go back and forth and it was getting worse instead of better. I called for them to come pull me out.

All my passengers got on the next bus. Of course, the driver had to give me a hard time. The driver after him laughed at me too. It's a rookie mistake and one I didn't even make as a rookie!! It took nearly half an hour for the truck to come pull me out. The garage is only 6 blocks from there, but I'm sure they were busy that day! In fact, one of the guys told me I was the 2nd bus to get stuck in that bus stop! There's a clue...bring the plow truck and some salt/sand!!

Anyway, I'm still dealing with the harassment from my co workers. It's all in fun. I am making a mental note of who's messing with me...winter has just started. They could be next!!

Sunday, December 06, 2009


Once again...the lovely 18 route. I was heading into downtown and picked up a guy and who I am guessing was his girlfriend. She got on first and quickly tagged a go-to card and said "hi" and scurried to sit down. It seemed she was in a big hurry and then I noticed why. She had tagged a mobility pass. She was already past me and I already knew what was coming, so I let her go. Sure enough, her boyfriend stands there with his legitimate mobility ID and a stored value card. He was waiting for me to push the code into the farebox to deduct a mobility fare. I told him I already had one mobility fare paid and if the lady with him had mobility ID I could accept another mobility fare. He said "What do you mean?" I told him two people can't pay mobility fare with only one mobility ID. He told on himself. He got mad and said "That's MY card!" motioning to the lady. I said "I know. That is illegal. You can't give someone else your mobility card. You can get a minimum of a $240 ticket...each. It is actually punishable as a felony." He got mad and gave me the ol" "None of the other drivers say anything." I apologized for doing my job.

Seeing he wasn't going to get me to cheat the system for him...lie,cheat AND steal basically, he wisely decided to pay the whole fare and sit down. Then he became not so wise. He sat there and talked bad about me. How I was just being a jerk and no other driver has ever had a problem with it.....blah, blah.

I glared at him in the rear view mirror. I gave him the "keep it up and you'll be off this bus" look. I was actually being nice! I easily could have called the police and gotten them $480 in tickets...minimum!!!

It never ceases to amaze me. People will lie, cheat and steal and when they get's not their fault! It's the fault of the person that does their job and catches them!! Where's the personal responsibility? Hey, don't do the crime if you don't want to deal with the consequences!


I was driving the good ol' 18 route and had a pretty full bus. There was this loser...I mean the back area on his cell phone. He was obviously upset. He was getting loud and seemed to be arguing with some girl. Since he wasn't annoyingly loud (louder than basic conversation) I was waiting for him to cuss. I knew he would. Then, all of the sudden, he got very loud and said "I want you to get a fuckin' abortion. THAT'S what I WANT!"

That was my cue. It had gone beyond the comfort zone, in more ways than one, for everyone on the bus. I got on the microphone and said sternly " Hey, Hey! We don't mind cell phones on the bus, but if you want to cuss you'll have to get off!" He apologized and toned it down.

Note to this guy...and those like him....the bus is not your personal Jerry Springer stage! People don't want to deal with your personal and/or domestic problems!! Save it until you get off the bus. Better yet...keep it at home!!


Recently, I was driving the 18 route. I had just left the Bloomington Transit Center and was taking a right turn onto Lyndale. I heard someone yelling and looked to my left to see a woman standing in the middle of the street waving her arms. What an idiot! She had run half way across the street, causing oncoming traffic to slow so they didn't hit her. I instantly got angry. There have been 4 recent pedestrian/bus accidents. One was a fatality. People like this are part of the reason why. I didn't see her. I was in one of the newer buses that has two large blind spots to our left. When I did see her, she was between the two.

I spoke to the passengers on my bus, with whom I had already been chatting with. I told them that people like her were the reason people got hit by buses. I explained that all people see from the outside are our huge windows. They don't see the many large blind spots that can easily hide people from our view. I was upset. Someone like her could cost me my job...not to mention the fact of having to live with knowing you killed or hurt someone. The passengers seemed to agree and I continued to drive.

After my short layover, I was driving back again. As I drove through the transit center, guess who was there!! I opened the door for other passengers and she hurried over to yell at me and get my driver number so she could call and complain. I happily gave her my number. I told her that I wasn't able to stop in the middle of a turn. I couldn't stop once completing the turn as there was traffic coming that wouldn't expect me to stop there and might hit the back of my bus. She yelled that I wasn't turning, that I saw her and just left her (in the middle of the street?!)

Sure enough, I was called into my managers office. I had already told him the situation. Upon reading the actual complaint, I found out this liar claimed she was waving her arms (that part was true) and that it was unacceptable that I just left her STANDING IN THE BUS STOP! I told my boss that unless they moved the bus stop into the middle of four lanes of traffic, this lady was lying. I suggested he watch the video from the bus. I was sure the camera out the front window would show her in the middle of the street.

Needless to say, the complaint was tossed out. It amazes me how many people will call in and lie about a bus driver! If they do it too much, they become known as a chronic complainer. This isn't good if they should ever have an actual, honest and legitimate complaint. Just remember...there are multiple cameras on each bus. You can't lie and get away with it!

What's funny about this lady is, she already has that reputation. A guy that was on my bus when the incident happened asked me later if she called in. When I told her she did...and that she lied...he shook his head and said the lady had issues. Seems she was waiting near him one day for the bus and called to complain that the bus was three minutes late!! Gimme a break! Three minutes! It can take that long to load a wheelchair...and you still have to unload! Three minutes! That's a few red lights! It's a few people with questions. It's a few people without their fares ready. It's an elderly person that takes a little longer to get on and off! Get over it!

Anyway, remember the cameras!! : )

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