Category Archives: Bus Ramblings

Two more weeks

Well, I made the official call this morning. January 22 will be my last day as a CyRide bus driver. I should really go in and try to get as many pictures as I can…. since I still (theoretically) want to work on that Buss-Stuff page of Scrambled.

Earlier this week, I had talked to Karen about cutting down hours this Spring, since there was no way I’d be able to take 18 credits, drive 20 hours a week, and still do a decent job search as well as plan a wedding. There was talk about dropping half my shifts and only working 9 hours a week. That would be the only way for me to continue to be an employee. After some number punching in Excel last night, I figured, with all the times I’ll have to be off for choir or other related things, along with the lower pay rate and using up vacation time that I’d get as a bonus if I quit now, I would only make about $300 more working all Spring than I would retiring now. Not really worth it with everything else going on this spring.

So in two weeks, I’ll be joining the ranks of ex-CyRide drivers. I will sort-of miss it; driving a bus was always fun. But I won’t miss fearing a malfunctioning alarm clock, scraping my car at 7am, and lots of other fun politics that have made other drivers quit. Well… I still have my CDL for the next 6 years. Might as well hang on to it in case I need it later!

I’m not a push-over anymore!

No longer can you ride my bus without paying… HA!

I used to be a big push-over when people said they didn’t have any money, saying, “yeah, just bring double next time.” I finally learned to put my foot down. I was driving Green route and had 4 kids try to get on at the high school. They were going to the mall, an entire 4 blocks away. The first girl, who was obviously with the group, drops in 50 cents. The next person suddenly gets this dumb look on his face and says “oh, you have to pay at this stop?” Yup. It’s not a bad day outside; you can walk to the mall if you don’t have any money on you. I’ll even give the girl a refund for the 50 cents. They begged for awhile and I kept shaking my head. One tried to walk on my bus and I put up my hand and said, “no,” or something super-authoritative like that. Then one of them looks in his wallet and pulls out a dollar bill. I said, “well that will cover two of you.” More pleading, more staring them down. They finally got off my bus after swearing at me several times.

I was pretty proud of myself. On one hand.. yes, the bus follows a certain route and might as well carry people around rather than drive around empty. On the other hand. I had at least two people on my bus who had paid up the full four-quarters fare, and even if it weren’t theft to ride the bus without paying, it’s not fair to the other people who did just drop money in the farebox.
Continue reading I’m not a push-over anymore!

Low-floors are fun, but shifts get stressful

So I started my afternoon cardinal with the typical old-junk bus that was out all day. Usually these days I get switched into something halfway through my shift. Tonight, it was a low-floor! It was kindof interesting to try and remember how those things worked… since I haven’t driven one since summer. Anyway, I enjoyed it…. right up until two blocks before my releif.

As I was pulling away from Gilman, two girls come running across the street right in front of my bus. As I slam on the brakes, avoiding hitting them by a few inches, I remind them that that’s a good reason to run around behind the bus. One stop later, at MacKay, no one wanted on the bus, so I continued driving. An impatient driver was passing me as I started accelerating, which is a pretty normal, if irritable, occurrence at night. What’s not normal is when they decide to cut in front of the bus as if the bus isn’t moving. If I had been going a couple mph faster, I would’ve taken out their passenger door…. or they my front bumper. And by “taken out” I mean: demolished door/totaled car and a scratch on the bus’s bumper. One block later, I was slightly glad to be relieved. Ahh the joys of a bus driver!

I am a safe bus driver!

Well, I’ve finally done it. I’ve worked at cyride for about 26 months and finally earned my one-year safe driver’s award. Not because I had an accident to delay it, but because it’s awarded for one year of full-time driving hours (i.e. 2080 hours). Working 20 hours a week during the school year and even less in the summers, it’s taken me over two years to earn this. Which in a way says that I’ve actually been a safe driver for two years, not just one. Either way, it’s nice to get. Though I don’t get a shirt or anything, I will get my picture up on the “safe driver” board. Hey… it’s the little things.

On a coincidentally unrelated note, I also started my nine-month term on the safety committee on Oct. 1. Continue reading I am a safe bus driver!

CyRide is messing with my head

On my time card at work today I see a “new run assignment at dispatch desk” note. Fearing the worst, I figured they finally cut my last two cardinals, effectively cutting about 6 hours ($60) a week from me. Surprisingly, however, I find that they added back the 20 minutes they stole a couple weeks ago, so I’m back up to 20.5 hours a week! On top of that, I got the rocket-sled 942.

Now, normally, when they change your run, it starts the next Monday, so I figured I’d do what I was doing for the last two weeks today still. But the flow sheet (the thing the dispaters use to see all the buses and what routes/times they’re running) said I was doing my old run with slightly different times. Then the run sheet (the sheet that tells a driver what trips to do) told me to do my old run with the original times. As they send me out to start a 7:29 orange trip, another dispatcher over the radio explains that, no… I’m doing what I was supposed to be doing last week. The new run really does start monday; the flow-sheet was wrong. One dispatcher called me back to base, but when I got there, the one at the desk sent me back out to the parking lot. Argh! Don’t we all love communication issues?

To make my day more fun… I was driving around in a padidle all day 🙂 . My bus was winking at everyone I passed. I thought it was funny anyway…


Martina McBride’s cry seems to be hardly country at all. Still, it has a couple songs which still get to me. Even if they do get me down sometimes.

I got 20 hours of work next week. Immagine that! I suppose I have 24 considering monday is a holiday and I’ll get 4 hours for that. About time for me to start earning more than 8 hours a week. Though, supposedly I’ll have my U-Bill and Discovercard paid off with this next paycheck. Hopefully.