Archive for December, 2010

52L UC Sather Gate Line 5:20PM

Posted in 52L UC Berkeley, AC Transit on December 30, 2010 by 4x24

I always like the 52L line out there in Berkeley. Pretty easy line, awesome views, people that could actually hold a conversation, good food around the campus and well… you always see fine females there so that’s always a plus hahahah. Anyways…

Usually I am pulling up to the end of the line on telegraph and Bancroft when my leader would either be leaving or arriving. It was a hit or a miss but when rolling an artic, you just have to try to get an ample sized parking space at the end of the line and hope that the other driver is smart enough to realize that you ain’t moving till you got to go.

So on this day, my leader was late. I don’t really care since once I get to the end of the line I deadhead back up to the campus and I could wing it with enough time to get some lunch so I was like lemme start loading so I can leave on time. I make it around the campus to Euclid Ave where, as always, I pick up hellllllllla people. Pretty much almost standing load to the front. When I first started driving, lot of things used to get to me and with that driver late, it had caused me to be in a bad mood. So this one homeless guy gets on and drops like 39 cents or some shit like that in the fare box and demands a transfer. This homeless dude always would stand in front of the McDonalds on Shattuck and university and he had done this before but today he was going to pay the full fare. FUCK THAT. I look at him and tell him ‘ that ain’t nowhere NEAR the fare so you ain’t getting a transfer.’ He sits in the front solo seat of the artic and starts yelling bout how he’s a senior and how he better get his transfer. So we’re rolling to the next stop me and me and him are arguing back and forth and then he throws out the ‘ I’m a whoop your ass’ line to me. In my mind I’m like ‘FINALLY this shit is gonna get real. Old 120 pound man with busted ass teeth, you really don’t know how my day is going and if you touch me, I’m a throw you a beating that everybody on this bus is gonna have to pull me off of you.’ Throughout this no one said ANYTHING till he said that and then a lady told him ‘you can’t say that to the bus driver. He can have you arrested.’ He then tells the lady ‘ I don’t give a fuck. Call the police. I want my transfer and I’m a whoop his ass if he gets off the bus.’ I actually at that moment started laughing and saying to the passengers, ’he gonna whoop my ass?! hahhaha he gonna whoop my ass?!’  Ya sure old man. So right there I told him ‘pay your fare and get your transfer and get the fuck off my bus’ and I crossed the intersection to the bus stop, opened the door, popped my brake and waited.

You could feel the tension in the air like if we were in Mexico under some humid ass weather.

So he gets up, grabs his change cup and his radio. I’m thinking ‘if he swings that radio, ill take a hit on my arm but I know I can get a kick in and he will go flyin out the door.’ So I shift my body as if I were to get out the seat and wait. He puts in more change and he grabs the transfer out the box and proceeds to get off the bus. At the same time he is walking off I shift back into the seat, pop the brake and put it in drive. At the very moment he turns around to yell to me ‘get off the bus so I can whoop your ass’ I pull off and close my door and started laughing at the whole situation. Shit, I was hyped up from what might have gone down.

That homeless dude got on my bus, went 2 stops, got off and paid regular fare. What’s even funnier is that he got on my bus (another route) the next day, greeted me, paid his fare, thanked me when he got off and went off to ask for money in front of the McDonalds.

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40 Foothill Line. 9:45PM

Posted in 40 Foothill, AC Transit on December 29, 2010 by 4x24

After 7ish PM, the 40 ends at Eastmont mall which can be a good or bad thing either way you look at it. On the one hand if all your schedule does is Eastmont trips, your gonna be doing alot of trips. Or you can look at it as each trip is about 30 min and that’s 30 minutes you’re going to deal with people on each trip. Sorta like if you got an annoying passenger halfway through the line; you can just think ‘ I only got 15 more min of this bullshit.’

So I get to 11th and Broadway and start loading up my passengers. I noticed I had a sleeper from one of the other lines I drove before. Short lady who had a BIG ass red backpack she carried and she would always smirk and go back and sit down and sleep. Ok out of sight out of mind right? WRONG. haha.

I get to Foothill and Fruitvale and I pick up some more people. This guy gets on and walks to the back where he proceeds to talk to sleeper lady. Like 2 min go by and he comes to the front and sits in the single front seat. 2 more min go by and he gets up and starts to go back to talk to the lady when she gets up and starts yelling ‘ stay the fuck up there! Leave me the fuck alone!’ and she keep repeating this for like 20 seconds. Mind you I’m still rolling and I’m crackin up because I’m watching this unfold like a soap opera. So the guy returns to his seat and looks in my direction and says something like ‘I know her husband’ or something like that.

Well, he gets up AGAIN to go back there when I tell him ‘ ayy check this out. You gonna sit down or u gonna get off the bus. She doesn’t wanna talk to u and I don’t wanna have to call the police to protect you.’ he then plants himself back down and says ‘ I’m a get off on the next stop.’

In my mind I’m like ‘well shit thanks for makin it easier to get u off the bus u annoying ass old man.’ and he steps of and turns around and starts telling me something I don’t give a shit about and took off and closed the door.

12.22

Posted in 54 Felton on December 23, 2010 by 4x24

Yesterday I had 4 different encounters on the bus. So this is gonna be a multi part story that interweaves together. Kind of like a Quentin Tarantino film hahah

6:44PM Outbound

I pull up to Mission and Geneva and start to load up my passengers. I notice this older lady and realize its this lady I picked up yesterday. She greets me and we have a mini conversation before she heads to her seat. She is a little old white lady who reminds me of Betty White and she always comes from shopping at Safeway. Now when I get to her stop, she comes up to the front I lower the kneeler and wait for her to get off, but right before she does that she thanks me and hands me some candy. The previous time it was a snickers creamy caramel bar and yesterday it was a Nestle’s extra dark chocolate bar. Another time before she gave me a graham cracker (already opened like she had the others in the package) it’s funny because I appreciate the thought that comes behind her gesture. I close the doors, raise the kneeler and take off.

7:27PM Inbound

So as I pull up to Balboa Park BART station, usually at this time I got a lot of people who get on the bus to get to Mission St. It wasn’t as bad as it usually is but I got everyone on through the front doors since no one went out the back. As my last few passengers got on, a lady greeted me and I realized it was a passenger that use to be in a wheelchair and ride with me at my former job! I had seen her about 2-3 months ago but it was great seeing her again. She was telling me that her dog (that she would bring with her) was at home and how she just wanted to get home today. She got off on Mission St and I waved by and took off. Its good seeing people that recognize you. It was a trip though.

8:03PM Inbound

I get to La Salle and load up one passenger that was at the bus stop. As I’m closing the door I see about 6-7 girls running from down the block to get on the bus. I leave the bus door open because I’m not gonna roll up and pick them up. They can run to the bus since I know most of them will ask for a ride so they can earn this ride by running to it. So I load them up and 3 more are still running up and I wait. I mess with them and close the door and the look on their face is hilarious. So I open up the door and they get on. Their conversation goes something along the lines of boys, one of the girls had a birthday that day, jeans/blouses/underwear, and alcohol. As they get off the bus they pass in front of me and one of the girls says something to another and right in front of the bus she starts booty shaking hahahaha all of the girls are laughing, and I’m laughing too. It’s hilarious because it was so random. I close the doors and take off laughing.

9:42PM Inbound

Usually on my last trip when I get San Bruno, I have between 3-5 people that get on at this time. A few are regulars but others…well… I dunno. So as I pull up to the bus stop I notice this one lady from a couple weeks ago who was having a fight with her husband. They both are drunk, with the husband being the drunker of the 2. So they are both taking hella long to get on the bus and I’m getting ready to take off. So I tell the lady and the guy to hurry up or they are gonna get left. She starts yelling at the guy telling him to get his lady ass on the bus because the bus driver needs to go. At the same time, there is another passenger on the back of the bus yelling to them to hurry up cuz they are wasting time and how she needs to go. So we get rolling and the lady gets her husband seated and then begins to give him the speech of the night.

“don’t ever push me like that muthafucka cuz I’ma a woman and I got a pussy that will whip yo ass. Try to touch me again. Do it. Touch me and I’ma whip your ass.”

The husband was so drunk he didn’t say anything. She then proceeded to go to the back of the bus with the other girl who I found out was related to the lady. So we get rolling and the 2nd lady started playing a ringtone(or she only had a quarter of the song) and she kept repeating it. Then she starting snapping her fingers and THEN she starts singing along. COMEDY because she was so tone deaf that some of these other youngstas could do better than this crap. So I noticed that drunk guy starts moving to the back and he doesn’t seem a drunk as he got on. Bus sobered him up? Doubt it. So I pick up more people at 3rd and Palou and start going up into HP. As im rolling I look up and see that drunk lady and her friend start dancing in the back of the bus. Looking like 2 idiots with 2 left feet. So we get to their stop and a lot of people get out and the lady gets off and the husband is right behind but hella slow. The friend runs up to the front of the bus and I think she is gonna get off so I reopen the door in the front. She them says “nah not this one big daddy. Im going to the next stop. That was a great ride.” She then turns around and yells at the drunk guy as he is getting off “hurry up I gotta go pee.” Then she turns back to me and tells me “they get too drunk. Im related to her and they be acting a fool. I aint from here but that’s my blood.” OK. HELLA RANDOM. Then as I take off she starts dancing and booty shaking right next to me. MORE COMEDY. I get to her stop and then she goes “right here daddy. Are you going to be rolling this all night? Cuz I’m going to be going back tonight.” I tell here that this is my last trip and once I get to the bottom I’m done for the night. She gives me a look like sadness/disappointment and gets off. I close the doors and take off.

40 Foothill Line 7:30PM

Posted in 40 Foothill, AC Transit on December 22, 2010 by 4x24

So the 40 line (when I did it) was basically 2 routes combined into one. Sort of like an A and B line. One would end at Eastmont mall and the other would end Bayfair BART. The Second(Bayfair) would do the same as the first but after it gets to Eastmont it would continue down Bancroft through the deep east Oakland and wind up to 150th and e.14 and then go to Bayfair BART. It was a long ass route. You would get SWAMPED right at beginning of the run at 11th and Broadway and if you didn’t stay in the gas you were going to be late and if you had the Bayfair trip, you might as well put that paddle away because unless 1. You had a good bus and, 2. Your leader was running on your time aint no way you were going to make Bayfair to get your break.

On this day my paddle had me down as the last bus from Bayfair BART back into downtown Oakland. I already knew I had to have the bus running once I got onto Bancroft to make sure I would see my break when I got to the end of the line. It wasn’t that many people when I loaded up to take off which threw me off. Silly me. As I pull out to international and 158th I see like 2 youngstas waiting to get on. I already got a vibe that they were gonna ask for a free ride so I pop the door open and confirm my suspicions.

youngsta: can me and my brother get a ride?
Me: let’s go

All of a sudden, the youngsta yells ‘AYY the bus driver said it was coo!’ and out of NOWHERE, like 7-12 more youngstas come out and hop on the bus. I’m shaking my head but I’m like ‘fuck it’ I want my break and close the door.

So, on this trip I had a good variety of people for kids to alot of older people riding. I then hear the youngstas put on their music from their phones while their talking in the back of the bus. I forgot to mention that this was an artic, so they were in far, far back of the bus. As we get to 98th, one of them comes up and says ‘ay bus driver all I got is a quarter… can I get a transfer?’ In my mind I start to get my wheels spinning. If I give him a transfer I can 1. Get him to get his homies quiet and 2. They can turn off/lower the music down. So I look at him and tell him ”check this out. I got some kids on the bus. Yall using some bad words. yall gotta cut that out. I aint trippin bout the music on but if I can hear it, its too loud. Yall gonna have to lower it a bit. If u want a transfer go do that for me and then come back up and I got u.” So he looks at me, and without hesitation walks back and tell them to turn off the music. The conversation gets quiet and he returns. I print up 2 and pass them to him and thank him and he tells me ‘good lookin out OG. My bad for the music’ and walks back to the back. The get off around Eastmont and I close my doors and take off.

18 Montclair Line. Approx 9:30PM

Posted in 18 Montlair, AC Transit on December 20, 2010 by 4x24

I got some stories from my previous job too.

When I would do this line I would park the bus and get my lunch from the lucky’s around the corner. I usually had enough time to eat and load people up and leave on time. It would be like a handful of people trying to get downtown Oakland from the hills. So as I loaded all my people up I had this old man I would see every once in a while. You couldn’t miss him: fisherman cap, scruffy looking and always looked kind of spaced out. Didn’t pay him any attention after he showed me his RTC pass and continue to load everyone on.

If my driver window is open and one of the rear hatches/window is open I’m going to smell what everyone else smells on the bus. So as I’m rolling down MLK Ave. it smelt like someone passed gas. It happens. But in my mind I’m like ‘damn whoever farted is fuckin dead inside. That shit was foul.’ So like 15 min later, I smell it again. I’m like whatever and keep driving and hope that it airs out down Shattuck where I can keep my foot in the gas. So I get to Berkeley Bart and as I load people up at the stop I can see the facial expressions of my regulars because you can smell that someone let one loose. So I’m at a stop light and as I take one of my regulars runs up to the bus. At first I think ‘damn I passed her stop but she gets off in Albany..?.’ I glance at her and she goes ‘this dude back her shit on himself,’ and BAM I caught a whiff of it damn THAT shit was NASTY.HELLA NASTY. So the NABI bus design allows for the driver to open the front door in while driving if need be. So right after she tells me this, I crack the front door open and hope that ventilation will help me. So I go through the tunnel that leads out to Solano Ave and in the reflection of the glass and light I can see the old man pulling the stop request cord but since the door is open the sign just lights up and goes off. He keeps pulling it and then he yells ‘ I need to get off! I need to get off!’ and I get to the bus stop and he gets off the back door. He runs off hella fast (I can see him in the side mirror and his pants are all covered in shit down to his leg) in the opposite direction and I pop the brake and call central. So I get up out the seat to see what the fuck just happened. I got my shirt over my nose and I walk back to where he was sitting and basically knew what went down. The seat and the ground right below him are covered in shit. Like he had diarrhea or something. UGHHH. DIRTY ASS OLD MAN.

So central calls back and basically the conversation went like this:
me: hey good evening central this is run … on the 18 and well, basically, someone shit on my bus.
cc: what?
Me: yeah someone shit on my bus.
cc: do you have passengers?
Me:yeah 2.
cc: can you get to the end of the line?
Me: yeah I think I can.
cc: ok. Well if you can’t call us back but well send the shop out to meet you at the end of the line.
Me: copy.

So as I found out later, I should have had them come pick up the bus from where I was at(for health reasons) but I asked my 2 passengers( one was a regular) what they wanted: go to the end of the line or wait for the next bus. The guy was like ‘let’s go to the end’ and the lady, whose bus stop was like 1 stop before the end of the line had a similar response. So I put it in drive, throw up the not in service sign and head down to the end of the line at San Pablo and Marin. Dude gets off near the end and the lady gets off at her regular stop and thanks me.

So I jump off the bus and just wait for the shop. It’s probably like 10:50 and I’m the 3rd to the last bus to go back and the bus before the last to go to downtown where my bus ends. So when the shop gets there, they bring me another bus. I’m thinking to myself ‘ I’m already late and I’m not the last bus so why am I getting another bus?’ I tell the shop guy what happens and I jump on the second bus and call central. They respond back and tell me to continue in route. Great. And here I thought I was gonna go home after I had to deal with poopy pants. But NOOOO I gotta do this last run. At the end of the night schedules DRAG because their is too much time on paddle so when they said continue in route I took off with my foot in the gas to try to catch up the 12 minutes I was already late. You don’t pick up alot of people at that time and when you do they are at main time points so by the time I got to Berkeley BART I was down 4 min and when I got to 40th and telegraph I was on time. Make it to downtown Oakland, drop off my people, change my sign and pull it into the yard.

Another night in the books.

Outbound. 54. 8:35PM. 12.14

Posted in 54 Felton on December 17, 2010 by 4x24

I dunno how these nut cases people  gravitate to me and the bus I’m driving. maybe its the rainy weather heh.

Last night I was on Van Dyke approaching 3rd st. I was already 5 minutes down since I needed to get the bathroom and even though it was early evening i still had a good amount of people on the previous trip I still got to the end of the line late. Anyways as I’m coming across the intersection i see this idiot in an army parka running across the street as I’m coming though. I slow down because this idiot crosses on my green and if I weren’t paying attention he could have been windshield material. My regular is at the stop anyways so I was gonna stop regardless. I’m one of those drivers that, if I see you making an effort to run to catch my bus ill wait. But don’t flag me down and continue walking even though u are hella far – that isn’t gonna get me to slow down. NEGATIVE. So I stop open my doors, get my regular on and wait to give dude an earful for being so fucking stupid.

As he gets on I let him have it.
me: how are u gonna run in front of the bus? that aint smart. what you trying to do? get yourself killed?
him: I really needed this bus and I thought you weren’t gonna stop.
me: so you made the assumption that I wasn’t gonna stop? you need to pay attention more because their was someone waiting at the stop. How do you know what I’m gonna do?
him: your right but I really needed this bus.

so he gets his money out and tells me he is gonna make sure he pays his fare. I can already smell that he had been drinking at some point within the last..1/2 hour.. I’m gonna say. He doesn’t want his transfer and I tell him are you sure? and he’s like ya. OK. I’m thinking OK. he’s gonna be quiet but I was wrong. SUPER wrong.

We get about 10 blocks down, and he goes ‘ well regardless I hope you have a happy holidays driver,’ and I respond back ‘same to you and your family, thank you.’ I guess that was the phrase to him that said I found my talking buddy of the night and its the driver. Great. So he comes up and starts telling me how he was looking to “talk” to someone tonight that was messing with his family. I start thinking I need to change topics because this dude is weird as fuck but he does that for me when he starts talking bout muni and how I’m not gonna get my money from the trust fund. I tell him I doesn’t matter to me since I didn’t see it last year, why should I expect it this year? I then tell him if I need the money I can work days off.

So his rant about me not getting my money then went to how his job is taking his money, how he is going to invest his money in a t bill for 6 months, how he is going to call his finance agent and make sure he speaks to the ‘man’ , to how if he gets his money and is down on funds – he is going to use that money to sell drugs.
He is also paying attention to the other drivers and passengers because he helps one guy with directions and starts making fun of a girl in a car because she kept coming forward on a little street and in the process she HAD to jump on the sidewalk to go around me. “awe poor baby, she didn’t know any better. she didn’t know she needed to wait for this big ass bus.” Several passengers were chuckling too. So I get to his bus stop and he wishes me happy holidays and tells me “I needed this bus or i may have “talked” to that other person tonight. I say” well you be safe tonight” then he goes, “nah they should feel safe.”

I close my doors and take off.

12.10. Inbound 54. 7:15PM

Posted in 54 Felton on December 17, 2010 by 4x24

So in the few months that i have been doing this mini*, I have followed the patterns of people who use the bus at a certain time to get where they have to go. Many of these “regulars” go by, tag their card or wave their pass, get on and eventually get off and we repeat the process. Now some of them have been more vocal than others and basically stand out when they get on my bus…

So I pick up this young girl who is my 4:55 regular and we continue our regular banter about how she’s on this bus because she went to the gym then the convo went to how she thinks she would fail the muni DMV test on the first try to how she wanted a piece of chicken at that moment because he stomach dictates when she needs to eat. As I get to mission and Geneva I see my next regular, and old latin lady. In my mind im like “damn im gonna have 2 keep a convo going with the girl in english and im gonna have to keep a convo going in spanish with the old lady? aint done that in a while. lets see how it goes” So this old lady reminds me of my mom/aunts/grandma all wrapped into one. She always is happy to talk and she speaks her mind(in spanish) about everything. She once told me ” we need to get Gavin Newsom on this bus because it smells like shit.” facial expressions were equally priceless. So i got this one convo going with her about life, how my day is going, how she rides to clear her mind so she can go to sleep,and i got the other convo going with the girl talking about Wingstop, and what she is working for at this point in time. Young girl gets off at her regular stop and says bye.

So my route is pretty long(time wise) but im rolling along. I have a foods co on the tail end of my route. As I pull up i see ANOTHER regular. Now this young latin lady is usually with her 4 kids and they live deep up into the point. Now today what was different is she had her husband and like 10,000 bags of groceries. hahahahahahah. She greets me in spanish with Good Evening* and starts loading the bus up with bags. She really doesn’t talk to me; just mainly greets. Still nice though. So im like 3 regulars?!? SHIT its gotta be a full moon or something. So im at the old ladies stop and she tells me im gonna ride around and im like ok. Me and her got this joke that she is my bodyguard and she is gonna protect me. Gangsta.

So I get to 3rd and Palou and who do I see? Another regular! I was like hot damn I need to go buy a lotto ticket or bet it all on red tonite. Now this guy gots a lisp so its hella hard to understand what he says..fuck that..ANYTHING he says. I think he got a learning disability so he usually asks me the same questions from the day before but I aint trippin. He rides back to DC with me so he gets on the bus early so he isn’t waiting in the cold. So I load him up and everyone else and a bus driver I know gets on the bus. Its like the gotdamn partybus up in here!
So me and the bus driver get to talking bout how he’s gonna try to stay under the radar for the next sign-up* and how he’s dealing with an incident on the bus and how the company is doing a lot of unprecedented stuff in regards to runs,policies, etc. So its my young latin lady’s stop and she does her unload and I got EVERYONE helping them unload – from the driver, to the old latin lady and others in the back. SO when they finish she gets off and comes to the front and offers me soda and chips. I thank her for the generosity but I decline. Regardless,she thanks me again from outside and I take off. Now the bus drivers stop comes up and he tells me “how I gave him some tips based on my driving to stay off the radar.” hahahha classic. When you come from driving somewhere else (ie:east Oakland) the only thing changes are the routes; you deal with people the same way.

So I usually get like 4 minutes before I start the next trip but today I just had to pull in to change my sign and leave. The old lady asks if im gonna eat some chicken(because a KFC/Taco Bell is at the end of the line) but I told her “nah not today” and she responded in a worried tone on how i havent eaten and how I should eat. I told her I’ll eat an apple and she laughs. So when i get to her stop I let the kneeler down and she thanks me like she usually does by saying she hopes all the angels protect me and how she will see me the next day. I make sure she’s on the sidewalk and I leave. My last regular, from what i could understand, said he lost or gave his phone and keys to an inspector and if I seen an inspector to get them back for him. Yep. Random. But he aint harming anyone so he asks some more questions and I drop him off at his stop. Tells me to not forget about his phone and how he will see me tomorrow and I take off.

Every ride gets regulars. They are invisible till they want to be visible.

  • mini: a run that is placed up so that someone interested can do it but the catch is that it is your run till the sign up ends. You also get the days off attached to it.
  • sign-up: a time when drivers pick new runs to do for the next 3-4 months. all based on seniority. u sign one day and 2 weeks later they go into effect.