Monthly Archives: June, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

# 4 – Iroquois Park
Status: On time

Two days in a row I’ve just missed the 7:40-something bus. Yesterday, since I didn’t see the bus, I thought it was just running late and stood there waiting for it. The 7:55 arrived at 7:58 and the driver told a man at the stop, No, this isn’t the 8:04. That should be obvious but not when you’re on TARC time.

This morning, sitting at an outdoor table at the not-open-for-the-day Sicilian’s Pizza were two youngish white men with painted faces talking to an African-American man standing in front of them. Their faces were painted in what I immediately thought of as Scary Death Clown but there may be a more technical name. They smoked cigarettes. It was about 7:40 in the morning.

Learning my lesson from yesterday, I decided not to wait at 4th & Broadway but keep walking and catch the 7:55 bus further down line. Men were on the roof of the church at 4th & Breckinridge. I saw them pulling shingles as I approached, but I still gasped and whispered, Oh my god when I saw a limp black figure fall from the roof to the ground below. It was roofing material.

I boarded on time at 4th & Kentucky. An older man asked the young guy near me if something he was holding was from a sorority, which I found an odd question, considering they were both men. I missed the young man’s answer beyond the No, but then he identified the other badge/keychain he was holding — I got this for being clean 30 days…It’ll be 60 days Monday. The older man said something about being clean 6 days and having the shakes–he demonstrated with his arms. He had been in the hospital, he said. I noticed the hospital tag on his wrist when I passed him at the Broadway and he asked me the time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

# 2 – UPS via Airport
Status: 3 minutes late

We arrived at 1st & Chestnut at 9:26 for the #2 bus to the airport. Free for me; $1.50 for R — can’t beat that. The bus arrived at 9:30. It was crowded (lots of people) but not full (empty seats). Many of the people were heading to UPS — the brown shirts gave some of them away; and the ids marked the rest. The young woman across the aisle was speaking to the woman next to her who appeared to be eating dry cereal out of a large thermos. The young woman was talking about the house she was staying at. She’s so stingy that she buys the Kraft cheese for herself and Kroger cheese for the kids. She won’t share any of her food but if you have something she likes she says, Let me have some of thatYou can’t say no or she’ll tell you to get out of her house.

The young/pre-teen boy sitting next to her must have been cold — first he tucked his arms into his t-shirt and then his head so that all you saw were jeans, a bright blue shirt, and a mess of dreads sticking out of the neck.

The bus took an odd detour down Preston Street and then west on Eastern Parkway before turning onto Crittenden — it’s been awhile so either the route changed or there was a detour because of the previous night’s storm. An incessant whining noise came from the bus which was one of the newer fuel-efficient ones. This constant high-pitch drone for the entire ride.

We reached the airport just before 10, with plenty of time for our flight.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

# 4 – Iroquois Park
Status: ??

It was the 7:55 bus — I was running late and moving slow this morning — but I’m not sure when it arrived. I think it was about on time. The bus was not crowded but had more people than the earlier buses do. Highlights:

  •  the man boarding in front of me had a tattoo on the back of his neck that read in swirly script: King Honky. And TARC is his royal carriage. I wondered about Queen Honky.

  • the “talking in circles” guy was at the stop with more McDonalds beverages, but he appears to have switched to iced coffee (or tea) instead of hot coffee. It is supposed to be 93 degrees today.

  • the blind woman from the library was on the bus. She got off at York. Another woman boarded with a shopping cart filled with blankets, etc. 
  • A group of young women who knew each other were on the bus, but they were getting off at different stops. Possibly temp workers? or starting new jobs at different places. One was very unsure of when to get off and where to go.

U of L Today: employee switches to bus

University employee switches from car to TARC

A U of L Today story about a university employee who’s been commuting by bus for the past month. How do you get to work?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

# 4 – Downtown/Medical Center
Status: On time

Crowded bus when I boarded. I grabbed the vacant sideways facing seat between two occupied seats on the non-driver side. The young woman across from me sat in one seat and had a large purse in the other seat. A man further back sat in the aisle seat and was turned towards the window reading the newspaper.

Across from Central Park, two young men motioned to an unseen young woman to get on the bus. You get off! she yelled. We have to go to Iroquois Park. She pronounced the “s” at the end, which is something I’ve been making a note of. Apparently the “s” is silent in Louisville but not in Iroquois?

At St. Catherine, the driver turned the bus off. The woman next to me said, Oh-hell no. The young woman across the aisle said, What the fuck? A woman further back said, This is the 3rd time in 2 weeks my bus has broken down. 

This was one of the newer energy-efficient buses and was not particularly hot outside but warm enough, especially with a full bus. We started back up a few minutes later but without the air conditioning. A man wearing an animal print and carrying a few grocery bags boarded a few stops later and grabbed the pole across from the sideways seats. There was a pause before he asked the young woman if he could sit in the seat (currently occupied by her large purse). She moved it, but did it really have to take a special invitation? The man with the newspaper never moved.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

# 4 – Downtown/Medical Center
Status: On time

Overheard from the back of the bus — a guy on his cell phone:
I get tested for that shit….She’s sayin I smoked it with her…but I get tested now at work…I know what I’ve been smoking…Haven’t you ever gotten coke for someone and not used it? 


Other than that, pretty quiet ride.



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

# 4 Central Avenue
Status: 2 minutes early

I skipped making coffee this morning to catch the 7:31 (Southland) bus. At 7:26-7:27, I was standing at the northwest corner of 4th & Broadway waiting for the Walk sign when the Southland bus turned and stopped at the southwest corner. No one was waiting at the stop. One person got off. The bus continued on at 7:27 as I was crossing the street. I thought of the little things I could have done to get there sooner but the big obstacle was the traffic light, and unlike many of the people I see on Broadway, I do not feel comfortable running across 6 lanes of traffic. Particularly when the bus is 4 minutes early and should idle at the stop for a few minutes anyway.

I continued walking south on 4th Street. At least the weather was good, if not a bit humid. I considered crossing to 3rd Street which is more scenic, but then I would be committing myself to walking all the way to work. I stopped at Oak Street at 7:42. The bus came at 7:46 (two minutes early).

Instead of getting off at Brandeis, I waited for the Stansbury Park exit. I pulled the cord (the sign lit up). I walked to the back doors and stood there. The bus drove past the stop. I called out Stop (my Bus Confidence is improving). And he stopped (while looking back at me funnily)! I said Thank you and got off. We were only about a bus length past the stop and it was before the railroad bridge. Otherwise, I think I would have had to get off at Winkler. If that happened, I would have been tempted to cross to the northbound side and just go back home.

Monday, June 6, 2011

# 4 – Iroquois Park
Status: No idea because the bus schedule changed

A woman was huddled in a blanket on the bus. I thought she had Issues. Somewhere along the route, she yelled up to the driver that the bus was cold (it was!). The driver asked, Is anyone else cold?

I didn’t respond–in the summer I’ve learned it’s better to just stick with the cold bus because it will get hot soon enough. A man from the back of the bus called up, Yeah, it’s a little cold.

The driver said, I can have it on or off. That’s it. 

The woman with the blanket asked for it off then she put her wrap back in her bag. The bus felt a little stuffy the rest of the ride.


Afternoon
# 4 – Downtown/Medical Center
Status: See above

At Oak Street a woman boarded the bus with four children. Three of the children were each carrying a bunch of green bananas. The woman carried the fourth child. One girl counted her bananas – eight! then tried to take her brother’s but he resisted. The mom said something about the bananas being better than candy. Then she talked about making banana pudding. One of the little girls, who was sitting across the aisle from me (with the mom sitting behind me), chimed in on something—I don’t remember what she said but the mom responded along the lines of Sit the fuck down or Shut the fuck up.

CJ: TARC ridership up on lines where bus runs increased

 TARC ridership up on lines where bus runs increased

The Transit Authority of River City is seeing a sharp spike in the number of riders on two busy lines where it increased bus runs in mid-February.Using a $1 million grant from a U.S. Department of Transportation program to improve traffic safety and to reduce congestion, TARC increased service effective Feb. 13 on the No. 18 route that includes Preston and Dixie Highways and the No. 23 line on Broadway and Bardstown Road.

Friday, June 3, 2011

# 4 – Downtown/Medical Center
Status:  4-6 minutes late

After I got off at 4th & Broadway and met up with R. along 4th, I said, There was a guy on the bus — I don’t know if you’d call him “casket sharp,” but he was something-sharp. Maybe craps-game sharp . . . Do you want me to start from the top or the bottom?
R: Go from least amazing to most.

The outfit:

  • black shirt and tie
  • purple jacket and pants
  • red straw hat with a black rim, and
  • purple alligator/snakeskin patterned-shoes — a lighter shade of purple than the pants
Around Kentucky Street, a young man with a bicycle wanted to board. He asked the driver if there was room for another bike. The driver said no — there were already two bikes on the front of the bus. I have seen drivers let riders bring their bikes on the bus, but the bus was pretty full. The young man hopped on his bike and pedaled north. At Broadway, there was a line of traffic and another northbound # 4 bus in front of us [where did that come from?!]. A passenger asked if he could off even though we were back by the alley between Ermin’s and the public library. The driver opened the door for him, and then the rest of us trickled off the bus. The young guy with the bicycle rode up to the light before any of the other traffic moved. 
The man in the purple suit also got off and headed east on Broadway.