Monthly Archives: April, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

# 2 (northbound) – Northwood Station?
Status: on time

As I boarded, I headed toward the two empty seats immediately behind the driver. A woman sitting in the first seat after those said to me, Ma’am, you don’t want to sit in that seat — someone spilled water. I could see a wet spot on the first seat, but the second seat looked dry. Is this one okay? I asked. She said yes, and I sat down.

It’s not water – it’s urine! a man called from the back of the bus. I looked toward him and replied, Well, I’m not sitting in that seat. The woman near me laughed and said, No, it’s water.

You can sit back here if you want, he said. I can move if you want to face forward. 

No thanksI’m fine, I said. But I spent the rest of the brief ride wondering if the seat next to me smelled or not.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

# 2 (southbound) – Maplewood Station
Status: On time (8:10)

This morning I took the bus to work — the first time I’ve ridden the bus since I left Louisville in October — not counting airport shuttles and a bus to the beach in Costa Rica at Christmas. It was raining with thunder and lightning this morning and we were under a tornado watch, so it seemed like a good time to check out the bus. Fortunately, I had picked up my free transit pass yesterday afternoon.

Even with the rain, the bus seemed to be right on time. Previously, I just needed to flash my id card, but here I need to swipe my pass through the machine and have my id–new experience for me but very, very easy. The bus was quiet; I’m pretty sure no one talked the entire time I was on it. The ride was uneventful, except the bus did not turn where I thought it would. I thought it would go through campus but stayed on the main road instead. All that meant was I walked a little more in the rain. I do have a fabulous bubble umbrella now, though. Possibly the best $16.99 plus tax I’ve ever spent. It keeps me much drier than previous umbrellas and it’s clear so I can see through the bubble. But I still need to get those rain boots…

I need to check the schedule to see if this particular bus just doesn’t turn. It’s the best time for me, so it won’t really matter, but I like to be prepared.

[edit]: Mystery solved!
It isn’t supposed to turn where I thought it would, but it is supposed to turn — except there’s a detour through the end of the month.

Dirty feet for the rest of the day

Dirty feet for the rest of the day

The hazards of walking to work right after a rainstorm (the sidewalk was flooded, so I tried the grass, which was equally wet and even more muddy)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

This is the 4th day in a row I’ve walked to work, and it will be the 3rd day this week I walk home. Yesterday, R. picked me up because we had an appointment at 4:30 to get to. The walk is about a mile and rather pleasant.

Last night big storms swept through the area, which left the sidewalks full of puddles and worms and the temperature in the mid-40s. Once I start busing it again, I have two possible buses to take to work, both of which arrive in the same area around the same time. Both passed me this morning. But as I walked down Skinker, I caught up to and passed both of them. My first thought was it was just the normal weekday morning Skinker traffic until I realized that the traffic light was out at Forest Park Parkway. = massive backup and four-way stops for all. Also not fun for me because I had to cross four lanes of traffic (plus left-turn lanes) twice. I crossed to one side early at an intersection with a functioning light.

The four-way stop sign system wasn’t working out ideally as I think one direction kept getting skipped, and I “let” the buses pass me as I waited at the corner watching the traffic. Then played a slight game of Frogger at the larger intersection trying to coordinate my crossing with the cars going the same direction, the downside being the cars can cross much faster than I can. I made it! But I hope the lights are working this afternoon or that there’s someone to direct the traffic.

A New Beginning

Monday, April 8, 2013

Today I walked home from work, and, no, it wasn’t a 10-mile walk from my new job. It was a 2-mile walk from my newer job! Beautiful weather and it took me about 30 minutes.

With my new job, I can ride the bus for free. Previously, I just had to show my university ID–pretty easy to do! The system is different here: first, I have to request a transit bus. It took about a week before I showed up in the system as eligible. I just submitted the request; now I have to wait to find out it’s been processed. When it’s ready, I can have it mailed to my campus address or I can pick it up–between 8:30 and 5 on a campus different than the one where I work, also from 8:30-5. So I’ll have to figure out how to get there first thing in the morning or make it out early to pick it up after work. Then the pass will expire at the end of June, and I’ll have to do the whole thing again. The pick-up campus is even closer to where I live, so that is a benefit. But they certainly don’t make it easy for employees to embrace public transit!