Saturday, August 30, 2008


I was driving the 6 route recently. I was pulling into downtown Minneapolis getting ready to do the 1 AM line up. ( Line up = All the buses from different routes sit within a two block area for about 10 minutes so people can transfer buses. This is done at midnight, 1 and 2 AM because there are fewer buses running these late hours and it makes it easier for people to transfer from one route to another. Fantastic idea, in my opinion.)

As I pulled into downtown, I smelled the very strong odor of a magic marker. I looked in the mirror to see who may be leaving graffiti on the bus. No one really jumped out at me as the culprit. I pulled into the line up and parked my bus. Everyone got of. Curiosity got the best of me so I went to find any fresh graffiti. Sure enough, there was some on the wall by the very rear seat. The guy that had been sitting there was a mid-20's white guy who had put his bike on the rack on the front of the bus. He even asked me if there would be a route 5 bus in the line up before he got off the bus. Nice guy, actually.

I don't discriminate. Nice guy or not, he was goin' down! I called the Control Center and told them about the graffiti and gave an excellent description of the guy. I even told them what bus he was looking for. Seeing as the transit cops are there for the line up, I just knew he was going to get caught. Not to mention I had a newer camera system in that bus... 5 digital cameras and 2 microphones.

I stepped out to talk to another driver and told him what was going on. I noticed a transit cop sitting in his car across the street. I just knew, any second, he'd be arresting the guy. Didn't happen. After the line up was done and I was back on my route Control called. They said the police didn't have a chance to come to my bus during the line up so the bus should be pulled directly into the shop when I pulled in (so that they could get pictures of the graffiti). I asked if they caught the guy and they said they hadn't. I was so disappointed!

When I pulled in that night, the officer was waiting at the garage. He took the pictures and got the info he needed. I told him I'd keep an eye out for the guy, but that I do all different routes so I'd be lucky to spot him. Regardless, we do have him on camera caught in the act. I'm sure eventually, he'll be caught. I wonder how much that'll cost him!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I was chatting with a passenger the other day and she reminded me of a dilemma I had a while back. It was kind of funny, actually.

I had a guy on the bus gabbing away with me. He was telling me how he thought bus drivers should be tipped since the cabbies get tipped. I told him that was ridiculous, but I would be all for it! We joked as he told me that he tipped a bus driver before. He said the driver was very personable and he truly enjoyed his ride so he tipped the driver. The driver was shocked, to say the least. I told him the driver probably didn't know what to do. That situation isn't covered in our handbook.

As the guy was getting off the bus he said "Have a great day" and tossed a dollar in my lap as he hurried out the door, laughing.

What should I do? Do I put it in my pocket? Do I put it in the farebox? Was I being tested? I called the Control Center and told them of my dilemma. They actually had to put me on hold while they checked into how it should be handled. I laughed to myself as I waited for their answer. I'm sure this isn't a common problem.

Finally, they got back on the line and told me if I wasn't uncomfortable accepting a tip that I was welcome to keep it. Uncomfortable? Accepting money? Who? ME??!!?? I am a female and I love to shop...I COMFORTABLY accepted this donation!

I look forward to giving this guy a ride again!

Monday, August 11, 2008


I was just noticing on my tracker that I had 522 visitors to this site on August 6th. How the heck did that happen! I don't normally get out of the double digits on any particular day. I have noticed quite a few visitors from various transit systems throughout the country (WELCOME!). I just find it awesome (literally-the shock and awe type) that there were that many people here in one day. There were a hundred sixty something the next day...where did you all come from?

Hope you enjoy the site and come back for more! It's great to see you!


I was driving the 2 a couple weeks ago. I was just starting my trip when I pulled up to Nicollet and boarded about 10 people. There was a guy trying to get the bike rack down the whole time they were boarding. He couldn't get it to fold down so I went out to help him.

I managed to get the rack down (FYI - sometimes you have to shake it back and forth as you grip the release bar) and the guy put his bike on. He put the tire holder over the tire to hold the bike in the rack. I commented to him that he did a good job as some people barely put it over the side of the tire and sometimes they fall down, especially if it is raining. He joked with me about how great it is to have a woman help him out. I told him something to the effect that guys couldn't live without us telling them what to do. We were both laughing as we got onto the bus.

As I pulled up to Chicago, suddenly the bike bounced out over the front of the rack. It happened so quickly that by the time I realized what had happened and had stopped the bus, the bike was halfway under the bike rack on the ground. I still can't figure out how that happened. Anyway, I called the control center as the guy went out and started to drag the bike out from under the rack. There was a loud "BANG" as one of the bike tires blew. Scared everybody! The guy got the bike out and started walking away. I honked the horn and motioned for him to come back over. I felt bad about what happened. I know I actually only folded down the rack, never touched the bike, but he was really a nice guy and I felt he didn't do anything to deserve his bike being messed up. Some people don't put them into the rack correctly. Then I feel it is their own fault. That wasn't the case here. The only reason I could see that it would have fallen was that the tires were VERY thin. Maybe that had something to do with it, I really don't know. I just wanted to get his info in the hopes this issue could be fairly resolved.

The guy walked back over to the bus door and said "Just call it a day" and kind of smiled and walked away. There was this crackhead looking chick out there on her bike. She started getting loud and saying "They need to pay you for that." Meanwhile, I told the control center the guy was leaving and I hadn't gotten any info. They told me to get the cards filled out by the passengers...basically, they are eyewitness reports of what the passengers saw. As usual, no one wanted to get involved. I had at least a couple dozen people on the bus...I got ONE to fill out the card. The chick outside kept fussing so I told her she was welcome to fill out a card...she did.

Haven't heard anything about this incident. Honestly, I just hope the guy gets his bike fixed. I hope to see him riding again!

I just feel bad. I killed an innocent bike!



Don't have to worry about going on least for a couple more years. The second offer was approved by the union members.

The buses are gonna keep rolling so everybody Hop on!!

Saturday, August 02, 2008


I am going to the Convention Center tomorrow to hear what the 2nd contract offer is. I am VERY curious, but haven't heard any buzz about it.

The first offer was turned down by a whopping 95% of the workers that voted. There's a clue. Think there's something wrong with the contract???

I've seen on the news they want to say it is due to the slap-in-the-face raise increases they offered. 1% , 1% and 2% over 2 years when some management has gotten OVER 4% this year alone. I don't knock management. Overall, I think they do a fantastic job. However, when is the last time ANY of them has had their life threatened over a quarter or been punched, spit on, egged or any number of other abuses drivers are subjected to daily? They already make MUCH more than we do and to keep spreading the gap is really unfair.

Anyway, the big sticking point really isn't the insulting raise issue. It is the fact they slipped in a paragraph that would allow the supervisors/managers to drive the light rail trains "in case of emergency". What entailed an "emergency" wasn't specified. The way a lot of us read that was that if we were to have to go on strike in the future, they would keep the trains running. That would have a huge negative impact on our striking efforts. Besides, there could be negative results from agreeing to this on a more regular basis. Why pay overtime to a regular train driver when you can stick a salaried supe/manager on the train and save money? I just think they either need to remove that paragraph/idea entirely or they need to be VERY specific on what exactly is considered an emergency.

I've already decided, if that issue remains then so does my "no" vote. I really hope they fix it. No one wants to go on strike...except maybe the people that REALLY hate Governor Pawlenty and want to strike during the Republican National Convention just to make him look bad. I have to really would embarrass him nationally. Who wants a Vice Presidential candidate that can't keep mass transit running in his own town???

Anyway, wish us luck! Hopefully, they offer a contract that is fair to all and we can just keep doing what we love to do!
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