you're just like crosstown traffic, so hard to get through to you

a strange thing happened today (and you know it is going to be good if it starts like that). it has been awhile since i complained about the bus system in town. back when i used to commute everyday it was a topic which presented itself with regularity but these days there has been no need. other than the boy, it has been the greatest thing about being on maternity, well that and the taking afternoon naps. however, lately i have been feeling grumpy about it again. twice last week i was waiting for the bus with cohen in our new bus friendly stroller when it came and it was so packed i would have had to fight my way on and so i chose instead to walk the 40 minutes home. it wasn't even rush hour, but instead the middle of the day. it has gotten out of hand, this bus to rider ratio. still, i can't complain, i mean i have all the time in the world really and so what if i walk and maybe stop for a leisurely afternoon coffee in the process. it pails in comparison to those days of urgency, lateness to work or an important meeting, frantic as another full bus chooses not to stop to let people on. so i stay quiet and take it in stride.

then today happens. i was waiting for the express going east. i was meeting someone and from my watch was right on time. i got to the stop where more than a dozen people were waiting, which is never a good sign as it most definitely means the bus is going to be packed, so it came as no surprise when it finally showed up and it was in fact crowded. so i hedged my bets that the next one would be right behind it with less people and my hedging paid off when not two minutes later another arrived. this is good right? well, not exactly. the spot on the bus designated for strollers was vacant and there weren't too many people standing so i started to wheel myself onto the bus when the driver puts up his hand and says "sorry i can't take you!". my immediate thought was that i misunderstood him so i looked with confusion and asked "pardon?", "look mam please don't make this about me and you, it isn't about me and you, it is about transit, take it up with them". strange...right? so i back off and say quietly, almost embarrased, "but i don't understand you have room and i already let one bus go by" to which he politely acknowledged me with "well you can come on if you want to but i am very full and it will be an enormous inconvenience to everyone". seriously.

i am not one to fight in public unless i am incredibly drunk and even then it better be a good reason so i let it slide, but as fate would have it some of my fellow passengers couldn't bear to let it go. there were three women at the front faster than i could comprehend the situation and they were yelling, screaming really and names were being named, names i would really rather my infant son not here. i was off the bus by now and i peacefully said to one of the women, "please it is ok, i will just take the next bus, if he feels so strongly about it then it's fine". she wasn't even listening to me by this point, she was wagging her finger, smoke billowing out of her ears, this was about something far greater than just me to her, there was wrong to be righted. so i stood and i watched and i waited. another bus had come along by this point, but i couldn't even get on it because in order to be at the stop the other had to move. it was a situation to be sure. so finally the door shut and the yelling continued as they drove off.

was it worth it? i bet that is what the driver was asking himself as he endured the frustration. i hope his answer was "maybe i should have just let her on", but probably he is just a jackass and doesn't care. life is full of them.


Tara said...

So the women were on your side right?

If you could get safely to the designated area before the bus departed then there should have been nothing for him to gripe about. That is what those sections of the bus are there for, it isn't like you intended to stand in the center isle with a double stroller blocking everyone from passing.

Sounds like someone peed in his cheerios this morning.

t said...

oops, someone else asked me that as well. yes, the women were on my side and angry at the driver. i am not sure why he didn't want to let me on, although he clearly thought that strollers had no place on a bus. strange situation all around!

Arnold said...

Dang, that sucks. I say mow him down with the stoller next time.