12.10. Inbound 54. 7:15PM

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.
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