21 September 2006

Much Ado About Buses

Long story short, I wasn't feeling well and I needed to get medicine for Zero this morning. Driving didn't seem like a good idea, so I decided to try the bus. Two miles down Wilshire couldn't possibly be a big deal, right? Well, that depends on which line you take. Santa Monica, which is it's own city, runs the Big Blue Bus (BBB) Line 2 from the beach to UCLA, via Wilshire. LA runs the Metro Bus Lines 20 and 720 along Wilshire. Either BBB or Metro would do, and both stop at the exact same places for the area of Wilshire that I'm interested.

So I go to the stop right outside the apartment. There's a shelter with a bench in it, and a BBB sign to the right and a Metro Line 20 sign a couple feet to the left. Silly me, I sat down on the bench to wait. A couple of 720 buses went by, but not a big deal since they weren't supposed to stop there (for whatever reason, they stop at the next block in this particular area). Then a 20 bus went by, and I actually saw the bus driver looking directly at me as he passed at full speed! What the fuck was going on? Okay, so maybe that was a special bus or something. Whatever, I'm not in a huge rush, I'll live. Then an elderly man joined me on the bench. A minute or two later, another 20 bus was spotted a block away. He stood up and waved wildly at the bus, but this one did the exact same thing as the previous one. The man sat down, swearing loudly at the driver. This is when I discovered that most of the Metro drivers will not stop unless you are directly under the Metro sign. Even elderly people who can't stand for long periods of time must be directly under the sign if they ever want to get on the bus! BBB, on the other hand, would always stop regardless of your specific location at the stop, I was told. Sure enough, a minute later, there was a Big Blue Bus stopped to let us on. The driver even said "Good morning!" as I got on! She would stop right in front of the people waiting at stops, and once waited for someone running for the bus. I was informed by another passenger that most of the BBB drivers were this nice.

The best part about BBB is the fare; it is only 75 cents, while Metro is 1.25. Next time I venture onto LA public transportation, I'm definitely going with BBB.

1 comment:

farniks said...

I usually stand by the sign anyway. however, I'm surprised that the waving trick didn't work.