Friday, November 21, 2008

A great day for a drive

We walked outside to meet the bus this morning, in the snow and cold. Cars were creeping along Brevard Road. That was for the best-- the road was almost covered with ice. When we reached the stop, a nice pedestrian woman asked us if we were planning to catch the bus. We admitted to that, and she told us that she called Asheville Transit to find out that the buses were not running. We went back to the house. I phoned them twice (busy signals both times). We got into my car, and I drove downtown.

The roads were indeed slippery, particularly Brevard and Haywood Roads. I-240 was not so bad. I expected the streets downtown to be worse, but the few that I used were safe. I did not see any wrecks.

Oh, and I saw an older guy standing near the corner of Haywood and Brevard Road. He was hoping to go south on Bre., which was not my direction. This fellow put out a hitchhiker's thumb when he saw a Mountain Mobility van coming his way. The van just kept going.

To quote the Mountain Mobility website: "Our mission is to provide transportation services responsive to the needs of Buncombe County residents."


All this leaves me wondering about Asheville Transit's inclement weather policy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Packed Like Sardines and Rambling About Owls

Yesterday we were packed like sardines into the #1 10:35a.m. bus. People were standing in the aisles and those of us who were sitting were touching, whether we liked it or not. It strikes me that there are very few public situations where we are this close to strangers. It's especially rare for us small-town people...crowds are few and far between.

Before I got on the bus, there was one young man at my bus stop. He kept me informed about when the bus should get there. "5 minutes till the bus; 4 minutes till the bus; 3 minutes till the bus..." You get the idea. Just before the bus came, he got a new idea for a conversation topic and showed me a dollar bill. He said there was an owl in the corner and that symbolized some evil something or involved secret societies and satan and sacrifices and what not. When the bus came, this guy got on first and sat in the front. Mercifully, the bus hadn't filled up yet and there were seats in the back, which is where I gratefully headed.

Today it is so cold, I was glad to carpool in rather than standing outside in 20 degree weather. I will ride the bus home, though. If I catch the 5:30 I won't have to walk all the way down Brevard Rd. I can already see that riding in the winter is going to take some gritty determination.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

rain, on top of it all

We waited for the 8:08 #9 this morning in a steady rain. Nearby there was a huge puddle in the road. Each car would drive through the puddle, which would spray water up onto someone's front yard. It would drench that entire front yard, over and over again. I am so lucky that the bus stop is not beside that puddle.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

News From the Asheville Transit Authority

This looks like it is new news on the Asheville Transit website, although there is no date on it.

Asheville Transit Receives Green Training
The Asheville Transit System (ATS) has been selected by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to receive special training to green operations. The FTA hired Virginia Tech faculty to work with ATS staff in developing a complete Environmental Management System (EMS) using the 14001 Standard of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
The 14001 Standard is a toolbox of management techniques to minimize harm to the environment. “This training will lay the foundation to make ATS one of the greenest transit operations of its size,” said Mariate Echeverry, Interim Transit Manager for ATS. “We are going to look at every aspect of the way we conduct our operations to minimize the impact on the environment, and run more efficiently.”
Asheville is one of 7 transit systems to be included in the FTA-funded training. The other seven are the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Maryland Transit Administration, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Miami-Dade Transit, and, the Worcester Regional Transit Authority.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Whatever Float They Boat

Overheard on the bus ride home last night:

A young man and (I'm guessing) his younger brother. There was a mention of some clubs we had passed.
Little brother: "They like to be bit!!!??"
Older brother: "Whatever float they boat!"
The next phrase I heard was "massacre-ist"!

Then the guy sitting across from us, who had been laughing randomly on and off for quite awhile, was trying very hard to make friends with a pretty young woman...he told her how beautiful she wonderful her skin was. He found out all about where she worked. He asked if she'd had a good day at work. She at first said yes. Then she remembered she had fallen and chipped a tooth. Somehow she did this while trying to photograph a baby. (Personally, if I had fallen and chipped a tooth at work, baby or no baby, there would have been no way it would have slipped my mind and I definitely would not have said I'd had a good day!!) He finally told her his stop was coming up. He got up and stood up in the doorway well ahead of time and did a silent dance to the beat of his own drummer.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

stretching out

#1 bus this morning, arriving downtown at 10:55. I got on near the corner of Fairfax and Haywood. Near the back of the bus, there was a bum-looking old guy sleeping one off. He was lying across two seats, and his belongings covered a third. I was the last one off the bus. Nobody woke him up. A few people tried.

I wonder if the driver woke the guy up, or what.

Later, I saw him in the bank. He was counting his money.