Community in Motion

13 Aug

AC Transit Bus


Photo courtesy of

One of the things I love about riding the bus is the sense of community. I know many of the bus drivers on my line by now, and at night, when there are few riders on the bus and I’ve had a couple drinks at Radio, I usually chat with the driver for a while. This sense of community sometimes goes beyond the drivers, like today…

As I was riding a fairly empty 1R bus, a young woman with large, dark sunglasses to match her dark, long hair tied back in a ponytail, boarded the bus. As she walked towards the back of the bus, an older woman with a wide brimmed hat and a floral print purse stopped this young woman. The young woman stopped in the aisle, but the older woman asked her to sit down, which she did, across from her. This apparently wasn’t close enough for the woman – who seemed a bit hard of hearing – so she asked the younger woman to sit next to her. She sat down, and pushed her sunglasses back on her head, revealing dark brown, comforting eyes.

I was a few seats back, but I’m a bit nosy sometimes, and I could tell the two didn’t know each other. I’m not sure exactly what they were talking about, but it seemed as if the older woman was asking the younger woman for advice on navigating the legal system. “District Attorney’s office… they could probably find you help… the East Bay Law Center on Shattuck…”

Ultimately, I didn’t care that much about exactly what they were talking about. But it made me smile to see one stranger helping another.

2 Responses to “Community in Motion”

  1. kitty August 14, 2007 at 9:39 pm #

    it’s great to see simple interactions turned into kind gestures. something as small as having the door held open can make a difference during the day.

  2. vsmoothe August 15, 2007 at 2:44 pm #

    I love these kind of random bus encounters. Last week I met a fascinating woman while waiting for the 72. She complimented the flowers I was carrying, and we got to talking…about flowers, about Oakland (she was a recent Honduran immigrant), and all sorts of other random stuff. It brightened my entire day.

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