Monday, July 31, 2006


There are 3 interesting people I know that can very often be found at the Uptown Transit Station. They are known by a lot of drivers. Some call them stalkers but one of them has given herself a more gentle title..."Bus groupie".

Lady #1 is actually someone I have known ever since I moved to Minneapolis in 1982. She worked at the same office job that I did. It was my first job. Nowadays, she spends her days riding around on the buses with her little dog in it's backpack. (It has like a mesh screen on it so it isn't totally inhumane). She was getting a list of signatures before we went on strike a couple years ago. She wanted the governor to see that he needed to help support transportation and its funding. She got around 12,000 signatures according to her count. In all fairness, when I went to sign the paper I saw it was sign by the "Crips" (a street gang) and there were a few other questionable signatures like Superman and Elmer Fudd.

Lady #1 has been kind of irritating to me lately. She gets on the bus and rides...Usually a round trip. The entire time she is talking about negative things. Lately, it's been how she's been trying to organize her block party for National Night Out and hasn't been getting the help she needs. It gets old REALLY fast listening to someone be so negative constantly. Her other latest issue is some bus driver that has supposedly been pointing her out to gang members (I highly doubt that) and trying to get her in trouble...As she says. I am not sure what she means by that. I know she did mention one of the drivers was trying to get her little dog taken away. I said maybe the driver was just concerned for the dog...Being in that backpack all the time. Of course, THAT couldn't be it...It's always much more of a conspiracy than that.

Hell, the first dog died and then she got this one...A twin of the first one!! I suppose it's not all that bad if the dog gets out and runs and gets to be a puppy sometimes. I let it do just that a couple times on my layover. I felt bad for the little thing. I let it run up and down the aisle of the bus just so it can get out of that backpack.

Another thing that irritates me about lady #1 is her hinting for money or snacks. She said once that the dog needed shots or something and how expensive they are. Then she hinted at how "some drivers" give her donations for the dog. I just told her that is why I don't have a dog...They require a lot of time and money. I would love to have a dog but I am just not home enough. Besides, they can be expensive. Other times, she sits outside the drivers room at Uptown and hints "I wanted a Pepsi, but I don't think I have enough change."

I get so tired of people thinking I'm a walking bank or that I owe them something because I FINALLY got a job that doesn't leave me on my last dime every payday...GRRRR.

On to lady #2. This chick is much more positive. She is always happy and smiling. She gives me puzzles copied out of the newspaper and sometimes even chocolate!! (the only addiction I have left).
She has more bus driver clothes than some actual bus drivers. She even has one of the older style uniform jackets (sometimes called the pizza jacket because it looks like one the Dominos guys used to wear) and the uniform baseball caps. The WORST part is she actually CHOOSES to wear the pinstriped shirt that we are forced to wear as part of our uniform! I can't WAIT to get home and get out of that ugly thing!!

Lady #2 rides the buses around on a daily basis. She knows more of the drivers and more about the bus system than I ever will...Or ever care to. For example, she can look at a bus and tell you which of the 5 twin cities garages it comes from! That's just more than I need to know! She calls the drivers by name, like I know them. There are around 1500 drivers out of the 5 garages. I know a handful out of MY garage and that is about it. However, of the 3 Uptown girls...She is the one that I least hate to see coming onto my bus. She has the most positive attitude.

Lady #3 is much like #2. She rides the buses daily...Usually searching out a specific driver. She knows what driver is doing what work. She has her favorites and ones she will get hit crossing the street to avoid. She walks with a cane and usually carries no less than 2 bags/backpacks/coolers or whatever. She runs errands for the drivers (sometimes being taken advantage of, in my eyes) and brings little gifts like candy and Micky D's double cheeseburgers or cans of pop or whatever else she finds in her bags. She went a little overboard one time and offered one of my coworkers a cell phone!! He is a decent guy (not to mention his wife probably would have kicked his booty!) so he turned it down. I did hear later that someone actually took her up on the offer and ran the bill up like crazy. Not a nice thing to do, but I hope she learned from it. She tends to put people on a pedestal simply because they drive a bus. I have tried to tell her that bus drivers are just people and there are good AND bad people in any group. Hope she's learned.

Seems that these ladies know each other. Lady #3 really doesn't seem to like lady #2. I think she feels like she is competing for the bus drivers attention. Lady #2 seems to get along fine with lady #1. Recently I saw lady #2 watching #1's dog at Uptown while #1 was out doing whatever, probably going to Mickey D's.

There is pretty much a 100% chance that on any given day at least one of these ladies is riding around on the bus. None of them is ever really going anywhere specific...It's just how they chose to spend their days. I know there are drivers that just hate to see them coming...Sometimes I am one of those drivers. I would just ask that they do what I do...Put yourself in their shoes. How would you like for this to be YOUR life? I realize life is what you make it but you still should be a little tolerant of others and the lives they have chosen for themselves.


I had a blog a while ago that mentioned the ads at the top of my page. Well, those ads are gone now. I've been cancelled from the ad program for clicking on the ads on my own blog. That sucks. I mean, how else could I have warned my visitors about ads that I thought may be bogus? I think I should be able to check out the ads that are being displayed on my own blog.

Oh well, just thought I'd let you know that that big white box up there isn't decoration. I haven't fig'rd out how to get rid of it!! Some day maybe it will disappear, huh?

Friday, July 28, 2006


I was driving the route 6 the other day. Two gay guys got on. The first guy paid and went to sit down. The second guy just looked at me and asked "Did he pay for me?" I told him he hadn't. Guy 2 kind of flicked his whole body to the side and said "Just a minute." He went back to guy 1 and after a short time he came back up with the fare. He complained "What is the purpose of even HAVING a boyfriend?" I said "I can TOTALLY relate to THAT." He thought that was so funny, he laughed all the way back to his seat.

Comedy...It's on the menu daily!!


I was driving route 23 through south Minneapolis last night. Usually this is one of the mellower routes. Not a lot of issues.

I was going down 38th street and there is one corner near 22nd avenue or Standish that there is always a bunch of kids playing on. As I approached, sure enough, there they were. There were about a half dozen kids from about 4-12 years old. One adorable little boy about 3 feet tall was standing in the bus stop like he wanted to catch the bus. He couldn't have been more than 4 years old. I thought it was kind of funny, his little game to be pretending to be waiting for the bus. I slowed down a little (little kids that close to the street make me a little nervous) and I waved at him. As I passed, I was surprised to hear rocks hit the side of the bus!! Actually, it was more like pebbles...They weren't big ROCKS. I just kept going...Not believing that cute little kid had done that. Then a lady on the bus said "You should call the police."

I thought about it a second and decided she was right...Get 'em while they are young. I called it in and let them know there was no damage or anything. I just thought that the cops should talk to that little boy before he got older and was throwing bricks. They agreed and said they would send officers to talk to the kids. When I hung up with the Control Center, the lady that urged me to call in the first place said "You probably just saved that kid from a life of crime."

I thought THAT might be pushing it, but felt I had done the right thing...For the kid. As I passed that spot the rest of the night it was strangely quiet. NONE of the kids were out. Hope they didn't get in TOO much trouble...Just enough to teach them a little about right and wrong.

Bet you didn't know bus drivers could be so educational!


Anyone that knows me knows I am a fan of the Minnesota Vikings. Most of my family, however, are fans of our biggest rival...The Green Bay Packers. What can I say? They are my family so I gotta love 'em anyway.

There is an old man that gets on my bus quite a bit. He's got these beautiful blue eyes that just seem to be looking for trouble. He always has on this VERY worn out Green Bay Packers cap...Which proves to me he found the trouble he was looking for. I always tease him and tell him things like "Packer fans have to pay double on THIS bus!!" Or I tell him we have special seating for Packer fans and I point to the emergency escape hatch in the roof and tell him to climb on through and hold on tight. He laughs and teases me back the same way my brother does...He asks how many Super Bowls the Vikings have won.

One day the old guy got on and I said "That hat is looking really old. You need a new one. Why don't you let me buy you a nice new Vikings hat?" He said "Yeah. You're right, in fact, I could use two of them." I was really shocked!! That's when he GOT me...He said " I need one to shit in and the other to cover it up with."

Gotta love the ol' guy!!

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Thursday night there was a retirement party for good ol' Andy. He's the guy that was on call every weekday at 3:50 AM. He'd always be standing with his arms propped up on the counter that holds all the bus schedules. That was kind of his spot. In fact, one time someone took masking tape and drew a box on the floor where he always stands and wrote "Andy" in the box in tape. It was pretty funny, especially when Andy saw for the first time.

I had to work until midnight the night of the party. I was hoping it would still be going on. Knowing Andy, I figured they'd be the last ones out of the bar. After work, I quickly changed out of my bus driver shirt and threw on my Twins jersey. (The company frowns on wearing your bus driver clothes to bars...Understandably.) Sure enough, there were still about a dozen of my co-workers there when I got there.

I gave Andy the gift I got him and watched him unwrap it. The bartender (who knows most of us) thought it was great. Reaching in the gift bag, first he got a bunch of straws wrapped in bus schedules. Then he pulled out the filler paper around the main gift. I used crumbled bus schedules to fill in the bag. Finally, he pulled out the main gift, also wrapped in bus schedules. It was a jug of his favorite whiskey...To go with the straws, of course!

Had a good time. Chatted with everyone and before I knew it, it was closing time (2AM). One girl I work with had had more than her share so I did the RIGHT thing and gave her a ride home.

Well, cheers to Andy...We'll miss you!!


I'm warning you now, if you are easily grossed out or if you happen to be eating right now...Skip this blog.

I was dropping off a lady the other day. She was quite heavy set and had on pale yellow knee length shorts that were very loose at the bottom. She seemed very nice and polite. She was just getting ready to get off the bus and told me to have a nice evening. I said "Thanks, you too." Out of the corner of my eye I saw something fall to the floor. I was about to tell her she dropped something when I looked and saw what it was. This was one of VERY few times in my life that I was speechless! It was a bloody tampon!! The lady sitting next to the door saw it sitting there. I was so embarrassed for the lady that "lost" it, I just tried to play it off like I didn't see it sitting there at the top of the steps. I closed the door and pulled off.

Body fluid is contamination, so I was driving thinking to myself I HAD to get it off the floor. I wanted to puke just thinking about it. In the back of my mind, I was still trying to figure out HOW that happened. I am a female and in all my years I have NEVER had one FALL OUT!! Didn't she have underwear on under those very light colored thin shorts?? That just brought on more of the silent gagging.

I realized I was going to get to the Light Rail station a little on the early side and mentally tried to prepare myself for the VERY unpleasant task ahead. I pulled over and opened the door. There was a man getting on and I thought he would see it and step around it. Of course not, he stepped ON it and fresh blood oozed out onto the floor!! I had a few napkins in my hand (as a bus driver, it's always good to have a stash of napkins...Usually for you or your passengers to blow your nose or something...Never dreamed of using them for THIS!!!) and reached over and picked up the nasty nasty (from the WHITE side) and put it into the garbage.

For my mental well being, I used my Purell hand sanitizer that I also carry in my little goodie bag. I sat and ran out my extra time...Leaving early can get you a written violation...Acting like nothing happened. As I drove around the rest of the night, the dark spot on the floor was like a silent reminder of the disgusting sight of the guy stepping on the used tampon. I know I should have gotten a new bus, but I told myself there wasn't much time left for me to work and I was doing route 23, which isn't all that busy after rush hour. When I pulled in, I DID tell the lady that took the bus from me (to fuel and clean it) about the incident and that the THING was in the garbage can.

Strange things happen on the bus...And I'm STILL trying to figure out how it FELL OUT!!!!

Monday, July 17, 2006


After that disclaimer, I thought I should mention that there are some fun people that have come to this site...They are part of the reason I put the disclaimer on here. I consider my visitors as friends and don't want them to get caught up in some BS advertising.

There are two visitors that come to mind. Hope you two don't mind, but I want to let others know about you and your sites.

Davo has a neat site at . And Reaper (don't let the name scare you, he's got a great sense of humor) has a fun site at . They both seem like really cool people...Check them out!

Thanks again to all those that visit...Even those of you that don't leave comments! I am glad to see that others are entertained by the daily life of a bus driver. It's a fun job...People are so unique and interesting. It makes for an interesting life...No two days are the same!

Welcome to all and I hope you visit again soon!


I was checking out some of the advertisements that show up on the top of my page. Most seem to be linked to legitimate businesses like or some other reasonable, reputable company. There is one, though, that is for some kind of colon cleaner that I have my doubts about. Some of the grotesque pictures of what some people are claiming to be ridding their bodies of by using this product just seem like a scare tactic to get others to buy it.

Therefore, I just want to say...If you buy something from one of these type of advertisers and it is a crock of $h!t (no pun intended)...Don't blame me!! Hell, if you are continuously shitting out 2-3 foot long stuff that looks like chunky dead intestines...Maybe you should see a doctor!


Usually, route 24 is pretty boring. It is a newer route so the people haven't all figured out it exists yet.

Tonight this lady got on. She's a heavy set lady missing most of her front teeth. She sat in the peanut seat (of course) and started telling me that a bus driver owed her $20. She claimed that she gave him a loan and he never paid it back. At this point, I didn't realize this lady was missing more than a few bricks. I told her drivers should never ask passengers for money and she should report it.

As she continued to ramble on, I wished I could have taken back that suggestion. It was becoming obvious that she had a lot of extra space where her brain should be. She started pointing at nearly every apartment complex and saying it should be torn down. "They could put a playground there." "They could put a park there." Then she said they should tear down Hennepin County Medical Center...The main Level 1 Trauma Center in Minneapolis!! I had been trying to normalize the "conversation" and to that I said "What if you got shot right here? You'd be glad that hospital is there!" She didn't miss a breath and said "Everyone should go to Unity Hospital in St. Paul anyway. Then we could all come together and be friends."

At about that point, a guy got up and on his way off the bus he looked at me as if to say "Nice try, but it's hopeless!" He almost made it to the bottom stair before he busted out laughing...He tried.

The lady didn't notice. She just kept on with her new topic...How terrible it is that people are kidnapping the elderly. I had a hard time not laughing at that one! Yeah, there's so much money in that...EVERYBODY is doing it these days!!

Life is a comedy...Enjoy it!

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Funny thing happened on my way in to work the other day.

There is a newspaper machine outside the front door and I stopped to get a paper. I put in my fifty cents and opened the door. Before I could reach in and get a paper, a fellow bus driver reached in and took one! I said "Well, thanks a lot for making me an accomplice to your crime." I carried on and made a big deal out of it saying "Now I have to go to church..."

We both got inside to the drivers room and prepared to get to our buses. She went out into the bus bays and I was still in checking detours and checking my watch and getting schedules and all the other stuff you have to do to be prepared for the day.

After a few minutes, the other driver came back into the drivers room looking angry. She looked around and then said "Alright. Who took my newspaper? I put it right here on the counter and now it's gone. Who took my newspaper??" I couldn't help but smile. I guess it was OK for her to steal it, but she was pretty pissed off that someone would steal it from her. She finally wandered in my direction and I just looked at her and said "Now, THAT is funny!"

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Today I had this loser get on totally drunk...It was just before 10AM. He claimed that he lost his transfer and I told him he would have to pay a fare. He argued that he had a transfer. I told him I would have no way of knowing if he did or not. All I knew is that he got on my bus and hadn't paid a fare. I told him he is responsible for keeping track of his transfer...Not me. If I gave everyone a free ride that claimed they lost their transfer...Or gave me any of the gazillion other excuses we get on an average day...The bus fares would probably double because everyone would be coming up with a story. As usual, some kind lady offered to pay his fare. I told her that is not fair to her and that is why some of these people do it. There seems to always be a good hearted soul on the bus ready to pick up the slack for them. I told her to keep her money and the drunk got off the bus. I thanked her, but tried to explain that nice people like her are the ones the losers are counting on. Therefore, her kindness actually makes the problem worse. If they KNEW no one would be allowed to pay their way they wouldn't even try it.

This guy, for some reason, made me think of the girl I call Felicia. She's a crackhead that reminds me of the crackhead chick on the movie "Friday". I was driving the bus down Nicollet Mall one day and Felicia got on. She walked right past me and started asking people for money. Speaking to her back, I told her panhandling on the bus was illegal and she'd have to get off. Before she did, a couple kind souls had given her some money. She turned around and walked off the bus like she was in a daze.

One of the ladies that gave Felicia some money looked shocked. She said "I want my money back! I thought she needed a bus fare!" I tried to explain that she just gave her her hard earned money for drugs. I decided to let it go since the crack chick was off the bus.

On my way back down the Mall in the opposite direction, guess who got on the bus!!! Felicia again asked people for money. She totally ignored me telling her, again, it was illegal to do that. I got kind of pissed that she just acted like I wasn't there and made no move for the door. She just kind of stood there looking pitiful hoping for more drug money from strangers. I had enough. I called the Control Center. When Felicia heard me talking to them, she exited the bus. I told the Control Center that this girl must be doing this on ALL the buses in both directions. I gave her description and they said the Transit Police would attempt to find her.

On my way back down the Mall the third time, I saw Felicia sitting in the back of the Transit Police car...WOO HOO!! (A round of applause for another fine job done by the Transit Police, please.) Then the officers came to my bus and pulled the tape recording of the incidents. They told me they had found a crack pipe and other paraphernalia on her and she already had a trespass notice so she was going to jail. One officer told me they had been dealing with her for something like TEN YEARS! He said if he showed me a picture of her way back then I wouldn't believe it. He said she was a very beautiful girl.

Hard to believe, because she looks (and smells) kinda like a wet dog now!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


There are a couple things I've noticed lately that drive me nuts as I am driving my multi-ton dangerous bus.

Why do parents insist on putting their kids into their car seats while standing in the street???? This is VERY dangerous to not only the no-mind parent but the innocent child. Why not put them in the passenger side? This would make it easier to look over your shoulder and see them rather than trying to see directly behind you. If you have them in the rear-facing seat like they are supposed to be, it would make it easier to see their faces. You can see if they are happy, sleeping or turning blue from something they put into their mouths!! It just makes more sense...Stay out of the street with your baby!!

Bikes...Hate 'em. (except mine, of course). Specifically, I hate bikes on Nicollet Mall. If you are local let me be the first to inform you that bikes are not supposed to be on the Mall weekdays from 6AM-6PM. If you think I made that up, check out the signs that are posted in EVERY block on the Mall!! It is extremely dangerous. They are small and fast and hard for bus drivers to see as they dart in and out of traffic. STAY OFF THE MALL!!

Okay, I know a couple usually means two. But I have one more thing that I just have to mention...Please??

Why do so many people turn right in front of a bus?? Don't want to wait a minute for people to board? How about the amount of time it will take until you get out of the hospital once you get hit by the bus you just HAD to get around? Don't be stupid...Wait your turn...Or be a hood ornament. The choice is yours...And the life you save may be your own!!

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Sorry I haven't posted in a couple days. Nothing earth shattering has happened lately.

I did kick 3 teenage girls off the bus on Thursday. They were in the back of a bus that had mostly people going home from work on it. All I could hear was F this and MF that and it got old. I gave them one warning. I said "ladies, profanity is not allowed on the bus. Please save it until you get off...Thank you." One of the little brats said "whatever" and continued with the yuk talk. I pulled the bus over and told them that was it, they'd have to get off the bus. After calling me a couple nasty names they went ahead and got off the bus. I smiled and waved at them as I pulled off.

People do seem to appreciate when I risk my life and limb doing this. The very next day I had an older lady stop in the doorway on her way off the bus. She turned around and said "I like riding your bus. I was on one day when you kicked off some kids for swearing." I told her I did it again only the day before and thanked her for letting me know it is appreciated. She told me to keep up the good work and exited. That little exchange made my day. It's people like her that I do it for. They don't need to sit in such an enclosed space and listen to kids that obviously have no respect for themselves or anyone else. Let 'em walk!!

Friday, I also found out something new. The bike rack won't hold those kids bikes that they have put those little bars on so their friends can ride standing up. It doesn't allow for the retractable arm to go up high enough on the tire to hold it securely. Luckily, I noticed it before the bike bounced out where I could run it over!!

Gonna have to cut this short. Cut down a tree today and hauled it over to my sisters house. Now we HAVE to have a bonfire tonight...She's got a ton of stuff to burn. I just keep adding to it! The good news is, we're gonna be drinking Bacardi coke and solving all the worlds' problems!! Tomorrow, the world should be a better place!*

*No guarantees. Void where prohibited.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I am starting to wonder if people just don't think before they speak or if they really are that stupid. I have gotten some of the stupidest questions lately. For example, I was driving the 18 down Nicollet Mall. Some guy stood at the steps and asked me what route number the bus was that was behind me. I looked in my rearview mirror and about THREE BLOCKS behind me was a bus!! I told the guy " Your guess is as good as mine!" and closed the door.

Then there is the one all drivers like. You are driving your route and someone asks you what time the next bus on a whole different route is due to come by! I usually tell them that if I knew all the schedules (at each stop, no less) I'd be like Rainwoman! Some people get it, others apparently never saw Rainman...Great show.

How about the jokers that come up to the bus with a transfer in their hand and say "Can I get another transfer? This one is about to expire." To them I usually fake a laugh and say "If we did that, there would be no bus service!! You'd pay one time and trade in transfers for the rest of your life!" The normal reaction to that is something like a "duhhhh, I never thought of that" look to a look of total confusion.

It's also pretty funny when your bike rack is full and the bus is so crowded you have people standing all the way up to the front door. Then some fool, usually with a pitiful look on his face, asks if he can bring his bike on the bus. My usual reply...I look at the person standing next to my right shoulder and just say "Sorry, I don't think that's gonna work."

Here's a popular one during rush hour (when the fare is $2). "I have a dollar, can I get a transfer?" I use the ol' fake laugh and say "Now THAT would not be fare to everyone else on this bus that had to pay the full fare."

How about the one most popular in bad weather..."Can I just get a ride? I'm only going a couple blocks." That's an easy one. I just say "Well, if it's not worth paying a fare, then I guess you'll just have to walk." I have to admit, I've caved in to this particular one a couple times when there were small children involved. I DO have a heart you know!

There was one guy that just kind of took the cake though. He got on with TWO cases of beer...24 packs, not 12 packs. He was so drunk he could hardly stand up. He said "I need a ride. I don't have any money." I tried not to laugh as I secretly thought what a bad budgeter this guy was. Heck, he could have bought a 24 pack and a 12 pack and had enough for a couple bus rides. Or he could have said "no" to the last drink (or 4, or 5) and had enough to pay for a bus card!! I like when drunks give me a reason not to pick them up so, to avoid confrontation by saying what was REALLY on my mind, I just told him that I was sorry but everyone else paid to ride and that wouldn't be fair to them if I let him ride free. That happens to be one of my favorite lines. It gets the people on the bus behind you...Usually.

As far as questions go, you are better off to call the Transit Information Center. They pay people to sit in front of computers. They NEED the computers because there are probably close to 200 routes (I'm not sure what the actual total is) in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. They run on weekday schedules and separate schedules for Saturday and for Sunday/holidays. If there is ANYONE in the WORLD that could possibly memorize all that, I know where they can get a job!! (Not to mention the fact that changes go in about every 3 months!)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I have to admit, I have used my cell phone while driving my car. In fact, it's a very hard habit to break. I did have an experience on the bus though that has made me think twice about doing this again.

I was coming off the highway in St. Paul driving route 53 heading back to south Minneapolis. At the top of the ramp is Snelling avenue. It's a very busy street, especially at rush hour. The stoplight at the top of the ramp was green for me. I did as I was trained to do. I looked left and saw traffic was stopped. I looked right and saw traffic was stopped. I again looked left as the bus was about to the crosswalk and saw a car flying through the only empty lane. I had no time to stop or divert the bus. I smashed into the side of the car. As I did so, I saw the female driver on her cell phone and her eyes got huge as she saw the bus hit her. Her car spun around a couple times and, as it slowed, it seemed to back in between the two lanes of traffic that were stopped at their red light on Snelling in the opposite direction she was coming from. In doing so, she hit three other vehicles causing slight damage to all of them. No one in those cars was injured. I was amazed to see she didn't take the phone away from her ear and put it down until her car came to a complete stop.

I immediately made sure everyone on my bus was okay, called for an ambulance for the driver of the car and went out to check on her. She was still belted in and the cell phone sat on the front passenger seat. I asked if she was alright and she told me her arms were tingling. I was thinking she may be paralyzed but stayed calm so she didn't get scared. One of the bystanders wanted to take her seatbelt off of her, but I insisted to leave it and let the paramedics handle it. It is better to leave it on to help support her than to take it off and move her and possibly cause her further injury or ,worse yet, paralyze her. (I took a First Responder course a long time ago...It teaches you that stuff).

She went to the hospital and I was taken immediately for drug and alcohol testing. That is required if you have an injury accident. Of course, all test came back negative and I thought that was the end of it for me. It wasn't. This chick decided to take it to court! My guess is she wanted to get out of the tickets she got so her insurance wouldn't go up and open up the possibility of a lawsuit against me and/or the bus company. I couldn't believe it. First she causes an accident by running a red light while yapping on her cell phone and then she wants to take it to court! Whatever happened to personal responsibility??

In court, she lied in front of God and everybody. Thankfully, the three people she hit after I hit her were all there. So was the transit cop...Who was there IN UNIFORM, with his wife no less, on his day off!! And of course I was there with the written statements from passengers on the bus that I had gotten right after the accident. In fact, one even wrote about the fact she didn't put the phone down until the car stopped spinning. Everyone testified that the girl ran the red light while talking on her phone. She even admitted she was on the phone...With her mom...But denied running the red light. She claimed that I was the one that ran the light! If that was so true, why wasn't her mom there to back her up since she claimed that's what she was saying to her mom at the time of impact? Gee, I think I can answer that...BECAUSE SHE WAS LYING!!

Everyone but her knew she ran the red light and testified to it. The judge told her she lost her case and it was over. I was so angry! As the attorney and judge were gathering their things to leave, I asked the attorney (loud enough for the judge to hear) if there wasn't something called perjury? How should this liar be allowed to drag all these people into the courtroom just so she can try and get out of her responsibilities? The officer was supposed to be enjoying his day off with his wife (they had made plans to go to the lake), all three of the other people, who already had to deal with the damage to their vehicles, had to abandon work or whatever they had planned for that day. I had to be taken off my work to go to court. Not to mention the Judge and the attorneys...All dragged in to court over this girl trying not to be responsible for her own actions..And probably trying to clear the way to file a bogus lawsuit next! I was so angry. The lawyer just said that people have a right to take issues to court. Fine, I understand that. But when you are found to be lying and scheming, you should be made to pay for ALL the related expenses. Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for any of that. This would also take care of a lot of bogus people tying up the court system in hopes of making a buck or just trying to get out of taking care of their responsibilities. When they are proven to be liars wasting everyones time and money, make them pay for it all. Heck, give them some jail time and a fine, too. Just think, consequences for your actions...hmmm...What a marvelous idea!!

Anyway, I was glad to see she was alright. Not paralyzed or seeming to have any permanent injury. Even though she was wrong, you don't want to see anyone hurt badly. In fact, I wanted to thank her for teaching me something and tell her I was glad she was okay. I never got the chance. She glared at me and the only words she spoke to me had anger and hatred behind them. I decided to just ignore her and let her live in her own bitter world.

Please, if you are driving...Hang up the phone. I know it is a hard, hard habit to break. Just think...If this girl not only did not see all the red lights over and on the sides of the street, but she didn't even notice that all the lanes of traffic around her (I believe there are 4-5 there) were stopped (that's usually a clue!) it truly is a major distraction to be talking on the phone. How would you feel if you killed someone, a child maybe? It would be hard to live with. I can't say I am perfect and have never been on the phone again while driving. I do try and ask myself before I do it though..."Can it wait? Is it really THAT important?" The life you save may be your own!!

Sunday, July 02, 2006


I've been driving the bus over five and a half years now, and I've only had to use my pepper spray one time. That's not bad. I'm just glad the stuff worked or I might not be here right now!

I was driving the route 21 back from downtown St. Paul to south Minneapolis. I was actually on the mellow side of the route...In St. Paul. I picked up a bunch of people on Snelling and University Avenues. One guy got on, put in a dollar (during rush hour, no less!) and DEMANDED a transfer. Now, I may be a female but I am really not easily intimidated. I told the guy the fare was $2. He said he didn't have another dollar and again demanded a transfer. Though my patience was wearing thin, I still tried to be nice. I told him I would give him a ride, but that he could not have a transfer without a full fare. Usually at this point the person forks over the money they were just trying not to spend and I give them a transfer and all is well. Not this time. The guy started to make a scene and kept demanding that I give him a transfer. I am sooooo not the one to try and punk...I had said no and there was no way I was going to let him bully me into changing my mind.

By this point, he had called me an F'ing white B ...I was done. About that time though, someone came up and paid his fare (I HATE when people do that...that is why some of these losers cause a scene in the first place...They know someone will pay for them just to keep the peace). I wasn't having it. I had no choice but to give him a transfer, so I did. I didn't have to take the verbal abuse, however, so I told him "Here's your transfer. Now get off the bus. You aren't going to disrespect me like that and ride on my bus." He looked at me like I was crazier than he was. I just glared at him and sat there with the door open. He stepped down one step and I thought this was going to be easier than I had expected. Then he turned around with these psycho eyes and SPIT!!! That is sooooo gross! Luckily, I was wearing glasses. Some got on them and the biggest glob landed on the window next to my left shoulder. Knowing there may have been a confrontation coming, I already had my pepper spray in my hand but was holding it so he didn't know it. I feel to put it out there in the open is more of a threat and I don't want to threaten anyone, but I do want it ready when I need it. I pointed at his face and just kept spraying. I must say, it was a pretty darn good shot for a first time. Got him right in the eye and all over his face.

He stepped backwards off the bus and I quickly closed the door. He grabbed his shirt and started wiping his face and eyes (BIG mistake!!). Unfortunately, I was sitting at a red light so I couldn't just drive away. I did fake him out though by pulling up a couple feet. He must have thought I was driving away so he took off running blindly (literally) down the street. As required anytime we use our pepper spray, I called the Control Center and told them what happened. I thought it strange when they asked me if I needed any medical help. I told them I was fine. Then, about 2-3 blocks later I told them I would have to pull the bus over. My eyes started pouring like waterfalls. Everyone on the bus started coughing and gagging and opening windows. That stuff is strong!

I got everyone on the next bus. The police came and when I looked in their car I was surprised to see he wasn't in the back seat! Not thinking rationally, I told the cops to give me their car and I'd be right back...I thought I knew where he would be. They kind of laughed and said I couldn't take their car. That brought me back down to reality, I was just a little excited and wanted to catch the guy...Even if I had to do it myself. Instead, I gave them a description and told them where I thought he would be (in the bathroom of the restaurant near where I sprayed him...I knew all he'd be thinking about was water to flush out his eyes). As I described him, I noticed the cops looking at each other funny so I asked "what? what?". Turns out the same guy attacked another female driver who I happen to know.

I think the cops were more upset about it being two FEMALE drivers than anything. They were racking up the charges on the guy. It is a felony to assault a bus driver. (Technically, we are government employees because the buses are funded so highly with government money.) So he was looking at 2 felony assaults, 1 felony for interfering with public transportation (everyone had to get on a different bus...Messing up all their schedules) and 1 misdemeanor fare evasion.

The good news is, I was talking to a transit officer a month or so later and learned that they caught the guy. WOO HOO!! The transit officers are regular police officers (not like security guards or something) so they have all the great connections and computer info...I'm sure the video from the bus itself helped. I would like to credit the officers though. They do fantastic work and I think I speak for many of my fellow bus drivers when I say they are greatly appreciated. I know I wouldn't want their job (they tell me the same thing!) so I am glad that they do it...We need them!


Heard a funny story from a fellow bus driver. Thought I'd share it.

All the buses have bike racks on the front of them for an added convenience to the bike riders/commuters. One day some kid rushed up to a coworkers bus and put his bike on the front. He got in and sat down. Apparently, he forgot to pay his fare so the driver asked him to come up and do so. The kid had a real attitude problem and told the driver to "just drive the bus" and made no attempt to pay a fare. Personally, it grates on my nerves to have someone tell me to "just drive the bus". The only times this has happened to me is when someone has refused to pay a fare or is about to get kicked off for whatever reason. I don't need anyone, especially a kid with an attitude problem, to tell me to do my job.

The driver got mad, understandably. He waited and the kid just sat there like he owned the place. The driver again asked him to pay a fare. The kid called him some names that he was too young to even speak. The driver put the air brake on, got up and walked off the bus. To the brats' amazement, the driver proceeded to remove the bike from the bike rack and THREW it! The kid got off and they were yelling at each other when a couple cops appeared out of nowhere. They grabbed the kid and threw handcuffs on him. Then they thanked the driver.

It seems that this little Einstein just committed a crime and was fleeing from the police when he spotted the bus. He decided to use it as his getaway vehicle. Funny thing is, if he had paid a fare and not called attention to himself it just might have worked!!

I should mention that it is really not a good idea to use the bus for a getaway from police. Not only are there cameras on all the buses, but we also have a Mobile Data Terminal that can be used against criminals who do this. Either we can push a silent alarm and the loser won't know the cops are even coming, or we can send and receive info regarding people the cops are looking for (or whatever other info needs to be communicated). This comes in handy for "Amber Alerts", lost elderly people, and once we even got info on a bank robber downtown so all the bus drivers could keep an eye out for him. It is also fairly common that we receive info on people that have caused problems on a bus so the other drivers can either avoid picking them up or contact police if they see them.
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