My morning commute began as it always did. The short walk from my front door to the bus stop, waiting for the bus which is notoriously 10 minutes late, the grumpy grunt in response to my “good morning”. Nothing out of the ordinary. I snuggled into a seat and immersed myself in my book.
Ten minutes later, the bus turned right and began heading up the hill when the driver called out, “Hey! Does anyone know where this route goes from here?”
The passengers of the 213 nervously looked at each other. The woman one seat in front of me spoke up: “You don’t know the route?” I recognized this woman as a regular rider.
Apologetically, the driver confessed that she hadn’t driven this route in six months and the route had changed since that time. Additionally, she hadn’t reviewed the route before she began her shift.
The woman in front of me smiled maliciously and whispered “This means we can have her drop us off wherever we want!”
Before I could respond, the woman stood up and ran to the front of the bus to help the poor driver find her way.
As we pulled up to the stop where everyone should have gotten off, I stood up to exit the bus. The woman looked at me and said, “Don’t you remember? The route changed and this bus now goes all the way up to the Hospital!” I expected her to give me a giant wink.
“Ma’am,” I began to the bus driver, “this woman is lying to you. The route changed three weeks ago. This bus no longer services the hospital. At the next light, you are supposed to make a left and head down to Central Campus."
The driver looked at me, then at the woman giving her directions. The driver shrugged and said, “Eh. I’m in no hurry. I don’t mind heading up to the hospital.”
I immediately exited the bus frustrated by the woman who used public transportation as her personal car service. I was also frustrated by the driver who gave into it.