Tuesday, April 24, 2007


It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people are!! Saw on the news this weekend that a bus in downtown St Paul had a shooting on it. Seems a couple groups of kids started harassing each other and as one group exited the bus, one of the kids reached back in or hopped back in and shot one of the other kids. I'm not sure if the kid died or not, that's not the point. It is just how stupid these kids are and how quick they are to take deadly action. Basically, they are giving up their own lives over some stupid argument. There had to be a ton of witnesses, not to mention the cameras on the bus that had to catch the whole thing. One cop on the news said, "This is not going to be one of those unsolved crimes. This will be solved." He knows the cameras take good pictures, not just of the shooting, but also of the kids as they entered the bus. This usually provides a great close up facial shot.

One kid shot, another headed for life in prison. What a waste.


Had a guy get on my 11 route tonight. He's an American Indian guy that always has his bike with him and is known for being just a little short on his fare. Sure enough, he got on and told me he was a little short. I told him he had to stop making a habit out of that. He put in $1.35 (fare is $1.50) and he saw I was a little disappointed in him as I popped his transfer up. He said he hasn't been short for years. I reminded him of a few months back when it was snowy outside and his bike had a flat tire and he got on without a fare at all. He seemed surprised that I remembered him. He sat in the peanut seat (next to the front door) and said "Sorry the Indian guy got on and ruined your night. Sorry you have to deal with the Indian guy." I turned and looked at him and said "That's OK, you've got it a LOT worse than me." He looked a little confused and said "What do you mean?" I said "You've gotta deal with the redheaded Irish girl...and I'm a Gemini too!" He laughed. He thought that was great. So we started talking about stereotypes and how both of us are supposed to be drunks and stuff. Then he decided to tell me a joke. He said "How did the gay Indian spend his weekend?" I had no idea. He said "Blowing a few bucks!" That was nasty, but I had to laugh.

We talked all the way to his stop. Before he got off, he said he had a gift for me and gave me a DVD movie...brand new in the package. I thought that was nice of him so I told him I had a gift for him, too. I reached into my pocket and gave him a coupon for a free ride on the bus. I NEVER have those but it just so happens that a manager gave me a few to give away. I had been saving them for situations when I need to calm a situation or something, but this seemed appropriate, considering his lack of correct fare so often and since he is a frequent rider. He seemed genuinely shocked and thanked me.

Lesson for the day: Just because someone lacks the full fare, they are not bad people.

Friday, April 20, 2007


There is a guy that I happen to have ride my bus last night AND tonight. I always hate to see him coming. He's one of those annoying people. He's never at the bus stop on time. He prefers to flag you down like you are a cab and seems to always be too close to just pass up. He always gets on and tells you his most recent life drama or lack of, as the case usually is. He likes to touch your shoulder as he speaks and that really irks me. I don't like being touched by strangers...especially this one.

I think he has some type of mental issue as he uses a mobility card to pay his fare and he seems to be perfectly mobile. His conversation and actions lead me to believe it's a mental thing. For example, the goofy thing he did tonight. I was stopped at the light rail station and he got off the bus. My "what a relief" moment was just that...a moment. He got back on the bus and asked when I was leaving. I told him in less than a minute. He said he wanted to ride the bus but, due to his disability (??????) he had to get in the BACK door. Keep in mind, he was already standing on the second of three steps on the bus and had just gotten on the first time (and hundreds of other times) using the front door. I said "well, you're already on the bus and I leave in about 10 seconds." He insisted "It's part of my disability...I have to get in the back door. " He got out and proceeded to the back door of the bus and started to pull it open. I just let out a sigh as he struggled to get in the back door, getting his bags stuck after he got in and having to open the door again to get his trapped possessions. As I watched him in the mirror, I noticed the grins of the people on the bus. One lady was actually giggling. I'm not sure if it was at him or at my frustration with him. Whichever, at least he was providing free entertainment for the passengers.

He is one of those passengers that I don't look forward to seeing again. He's just goofy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Tonight as I was nearing the end of my final trip of the night, a lady woke up an elderly lady who had fallen asleep on the bus. She asked if we passed 4th and Nicollet yet. That is downtown and I was in northeast Minneapolis (route 17). The poor old lady was quite a distance from where she wanted to be and I was supposed to pull in for the night. The pull in takes the highway to south Minneapolis...bypassing downtown. I called the Control Center and asked them if it would be OK for me to make my own pull in route so I could drop the elderly lady off at her bus stop downtown. She wanted to catch a 16 to St. Paul. They said that would be fine (they have never told me "no" when I've called to help a passenger...nice people!) so I did just that.

On the way downtown we talked. She had the cutest German accent. As I spoke with her, I realized she may be one of the homeless people that used to ride all night on the 21 (it doesn't run all night anymore). It made sense to me. She mentioned that the 16 and the 5 are the only ones that run all night. Usually, the only people that seem to know that are the homeless that ride them for a safe, warm place to be during the night. She was such a darling old lady. I asked her if she liked strawberries. She said she loved them. I happened to have brought a bunch of fresh strawberries for something to munch on on the bus and I hadn't eaten them. I asked her if she would like them and her eyes just lit up. She acted like I had just given her a bar of gold. She kept saying "are you sure? They look so fresh." She said she had a cold and fruit usually helps her get better. I couldn't help but think...everything happens for a reason. I usually eat all my strawberries by the end of my work day 'cuz I love 'em. Here, this old lady falls asleep on my bus and I am given permission to give her a ride downtown and I happen to have strawberries and she has a cold...HMMMMMMMM.

To top it off, I gave her a new transfer. Heck, she slept for a lot of the time on hers. They last 2 and a half hours so I figured she'd be good 'til almost 2AM with a new one. She was so happy. It made my day.


For those of you that read the comment on a previous posting...yep, it was me. I actually locked myself out of my bus. I had never heard of a driver doing that but since it has happened and I've laughed with some other drivers about it (are they laughing WITH me or AT me?? Hmmm...) I have gotten confessions from 4 other drivers who have done the same thing. I don't want to go into detail for security reasons, but this particular bus had a feature none of the buses I've driven in my 6 and a half years have ever had and it caused me to be locked out.

Lucky for me, there were only a couple people that were waiting to board and they found it pretty funny, too. Thanks to the other driver who actually helped me get into the bus...I appreciate it!! I'm sure the waiting passengers did too!!


Sorry, I've been neglecting you all. Hope I haven't lost EVERYONE!! The good news is...I'm back!
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