Thursday, December 18, 2008

I rode the bus yesterday... the 12:08 #9 fronm West Asheville. It was on time (or reasonably close) as it arrived near the end of my street on Brevard Road. The bus was nearly empty on the way into town. I think I was the third on, and there were eight by the time we crossed the river. That was fine by me. Some lady had a big plastic bag with a singing toy inside. Ooh, I hate singing toys. I hate toys that make noise. I like musical instruments, and I like some videogames, pinball machines, etc. But talking dolls and junk like that, uh. That just gets under my skin and makes me want to leave the area. Thankfully, I had the iPod.

The return trip was a different story, though. Shortly after three, Walter and I hailed the #9 as it arrived on Clingman Ave. The bus so full that we sat apart. That's fine by me; I'm glad that people are riding the bus. Does Asheville Transit keep statistics on ridership, broken down by hour? I'd be curious to see those. Sherry rode the bus yesterday also, to and from work, and described a full bus on the morning ride.

Walter, Sherry, and I all managed a carfree day yesterday. Hooray!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette

I have noticed a curious habit of one of the bus drivers. This is on the 8:30pm route that goes down Haywood Rd. toward Deaverview. The first time it happened, we left the station on time, then when we got to the Ingles stop a few people got off, including the driver. I thought, hmm, what's up? Then I smelled cigarette smoke and I caught on that the driver was taking a cigarette break. I waited for a few more minutes, got tired of waiting, and especially got tired of breathing cigarette smoke, and got out and walked the rest of the way. My normal stop was a block or so up at the corner of Brevard Rd.

I had almost forgotten this anomaly when I rode the night bus this week. But sure enough, when we got to Ingles, no one got on or off, but the driver stopped the bus, got out, and started his cigarette break. This time I was fast on the uptake and hopped right out and walked the rest of the way.

I guess the driver has time to kill because he is ahead of schedule, but this cigarette break seems weird. It's really the only unprofessional behavior I've seen since I've been riding the bus. (Behavior on the part of the drivers I mean!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

bridge open again

News item, per the Citizen-Times: the Brevard Road bridge over I-240 is open.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

contain yourself

I rode the 10:35 #1 in from Ffax/Hay. today, and if the ride was uneventful from a logistical standpoint, it was made interesting through a nice conversation I had with Ron. Thanks, Ron. I'm glad you were on the bus today.

Otherwise we just were a metal box full of people, shoulder to shoulder, jerking and bumping our way into downtown.

Word on the streets is that Asheville Transit buses stopped running early on the day before Thanksgiving, with no posting. Some riders reported that drivers told them on the way into town that service would end early. Another rider told Sherry that he had no idea that service would end early, and he arrived at the bus station late Wednesday and had to call someone for a ride. That is messed up.

Here's a rip-- the Brevard Road bridge over I-240 is closed. Yep, closed. It's been half-closed for two weeks now, and the A C-T reports that the bridge is completely closed but will reopen soon. This is my usual bridge for car access to I-240. While I don't travel over the bridge on a bus route, likely #9 will avoid my neighborhood entirely (both incoming and outgoing) because the bridge is part of the quickest route between my area and the Biltmore Square Mall. That means I will ride #1, and walk half a mile to get to a bus stop. So be it.