That new exercise policy, you know the one... the one that says "let's help passengers exercise more often..." or "passengers who can run the equivalent of three blocks the fastest can board the bus"? It works well! It certainly gets us running, which must make this the world's second full-contact transit stop sport; second perhaps only to third world's "100 Meter Dash from the People with Machine Guns" bus sport!
While it's really very kind of the company to think of my health like this, I'm sure my black and blue butt would feel even more healthy if I spared it at least one day of landing on it while playing bus stop sports.
At the West-bound transitway Bank Street stop there is, for some reason, an expectation that passengers standing anywhere from the head of the first bus in line to the end of the seventh bus in line must run to catch any of the buses that may be anywhere along that line o' buses. I've been a full time transit user for eight years and can't find any other bus stop in the city where we're expected to play this unique blend of Chicken/Blindmans Bluff/ Tag /Dodgeball /Track and Field in order to catch a bus.
On clear days waiting passengers can see down the street as far as the NAC at Elgin. We can also successfully navigate the obstacle course of people to run the seven bus lengths to catch that bus at the back of the pack.
On snowy days however seeing a full bus length away can be impossible, and forget about trying to identify the numbers displayed on the bus from a block away.
Recently though, there's been the brilliant addition to enhance the sport further - Mystery Buses! A truely invigorating development. Mystery Buses, like tonight's 18 seperate clusters of four or more busses that arrive at the bus stop kissing the bumper of the bus in front of them; close enough to each other that no matter where one stood along a half block stretch of
sidesnow-walk, the angle prevented one from seeing the bus route number on the front of any bus but the very first bus in the pack. This added bit of mystery provided a new twist to this delightful transit stop game, making it impossible to strap on the cleats/shoulderpads/helmet/pepperspray to prepare for the mad Chicken/ Blindmans Bluff/ Tag/ Dodgeball/ Track and Field dash down the sidewalk to scale the curbside snow-mountain to slide into (or under, as the case may be) the bus.
The four of us who ran to the back of the bus-pack, then to the front of the bus-pack six seperate times over 45 minutes tonight in an effort to identify, then catch a 97... we skipped the gym tonight.
Stupid me, I thought it could not get worse. Running late, traffic etc. Well I was wrong. Wednesday might be the worse working day I have ever had. I have never seen traffic so gridlocked downtown. There is no sense getting into all that again as it has been hashed over a million times here in the last two weeks. One thing though that I have never seen written about here is the daily STO bus parade westbound on Rideau Street . If you take the 2,7,14,15, or the 18 westbound on Rideau you know what I'm talking about. The entire STO fleet it seems is always one long line from King Edward to O'Conner. They seem to not have a clue to stagger their busses leaving King Edward, nope just send em all at once westbound. Oh and when you get to the Rideau center there will be four or five in the stop lane and the middle lane filled as well. We OC drivers being good soldiers, well we keep to the right lane and do our best and be patient but give those guys two inches and there cutting you off to get in front. Some sort of comprimise has got to be reached, it's no better in summer or winter. As our work period (booking) is ending this week I probably won't post until the New Year so to all in the OC Transpo forum, have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, your a great bunch.
P.S. Broke a personel record today, 2 hours and forty five minutes late on a round trip from St. Laurent to St. Laurent.