Bus Therapy

8 Apr

Today was a rough day for me. I woke up at 6am to go to Sacramento, did a bunch of running around the Capitol, sat through a long hearing, rode back to Oakland, and participated in a three hour strategy meeting while intermittently taking phone calls about a bill that’s being heard in Sac tomorrow. I practically ran out of my office to the bus, where I waited in the chilling cold wind, imagining the large, cold glass of Pinot Grigio that awaited me at home.

Needless to say, I was a bit grumpy and exhausted by the time I got on the bus, but by the time I disembarked, I had a huge smile on my face.

At 40th street, a man boarded the bus, and I could tell he was negotiating with the bus driver. Then, a woman with a child ran to the bus and made it on, and I realized he had been asking the driver to wait for this stranger. The woman proceeded to negotiate with the bus drives to wait for her friends and children, as they made their way quickly to the bus and piled on. All this time, the bus driver and several riders cracked jokes and enjoyed the high energy of the children. Keep in mind that this is the same bus driver that for the previous portion of the trip had been driving as if he was driving an ambulance, speeding through yellow lights, and stopping several feet away from the curb so he could quickly pull away.

Before I got off the bus, I had a moment to chat with the driver. We commiserated about our long days and how we’d have to do it all over again in the morning, and I found out that this was to be his last trip of the day, before he made it home to his family.

To recap, the bus driver, so eager to get home after a long day, delayed his own gratification to wait for a few mothers and their young children, and he did so with a considerable amount of cheeriness.

This is what I call bus therapy, and for $1.25 a session, it’s one of the best deals in Oakland.

4 Responses to “Bus Therapy”

  1. Eric April 8, 2008 at 8:21 pm #

    Nice post. It can be easy to forget how appealing the social, community-building aspect of public transit is, even on the best of days, and especially after a tiring day.

  2. JHorner April 9, 2008 at 8:15 am #

    Very good, indeed. One of the multitude of problems with auto dependence is social isolation and alienation in the public realm.

    So, what was the bill on…?

  3. Becks April 9, 2008 at 11:18 am #

    The hearing yesterday was on AB 2279, Mark Leno’s bill to end employment discrimination against medical marijuana patients. You can find out all about it here: http://www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/AB2279

  4. Lala April 21, 2008 at 11:00 pm #

    Aaaww, that’s a great story. Not quite enough to make me reconsider my anti-bus stance (I’d rather walk) (and of course, that’s only for me) but a great story nonetheless. Thanks.

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