Archive for April, 2011

Outbound 9. 8:40PM. 4.26.11

Posted in 9 San Bruno on April 27, 2011 by 4x24

I’m telling you that shit usually happens on the last trip..

I take off from 2nd and Market at about 8:35pm and I’m making good time. I get to 5th and Market and I get my first bunch of morons: these 2 Ol drunkish-grampa-aged white dudes. So I do get alot of people at this stop but when you make good time, it evens out. So the 1st old dude has a token and he shows it to me and I get a transfer and I’m holding it next to the box and since I see it’s a token I know it’s the fare so he gets the transfer and I assume he’s gonna drop the token in the box. Well, not exactly. He starts fiddling around with it and tapping it at the coin slot as to say,telepathically to me while smiling at me with his missing front teeth, “hey bus driver, I got a token but I’m a make it seem like I dropped it in the box and just take the token and the transfer for free.”

Sorry toothless Tommy, it ain’t gonna fly.

So after 5 seconds of time-wasting I just tell him ‘drop in the box.’ So he drops it in the box and then starts Tryin to make convo like “orale” and “ya you from San Francisco” and I’m thinking to myself I got a conversationalist with me tonite..great. So I tell him “cmon keep it moving” and he goes and takes a seat near his friend. Good thing they were chatting each other up cuz I wouldn’t be able to deal with his bullshit.

I get to 16th and Potrero and pick up a wheelchair and about a dozen people and wheelchair dude tells me he wants to get off at Bacon. Sounds good and I get going.

Some old dudes start talking about how they are from San Francisco and how they used to live in the Haight and then they went to music and how they wrote some song that is hella famous and were trying to sing it but didn’t know the words. One of them had a goofy ass laugh that would change octaves also. So when I get near their stop the 1st moron decides to just walk all the way to the front and hold on to the handles on the front and the one on the door. I gave him a piece of my mind after that.
Me-“what do you think you’re doing? Theirs a reason to standing behind the line.”
Him-“oh I didn’t know. (and he moves up 1 step)”
I pull up to the stop(but still don’t open my doors) and let him have some more.
Me-“you aint paying attention and that’s how accidents occur. what if a car pulls out in front and i gotta jam on the brakes? you gonna get hurt and I’m a get in trouble because you aint thinking. that’s why you stay behind the line”

him-*blank look*

Then to top it all off his friend has to throw his 2 cents in by saying:” you’re getting a paycheck” as he gets off right after. What does your friends intelligence and reading level in regards to safety have to do with my paycheck?  still trying to figure that one out.

So I close my doors and im mumbling words under my breath and they are waving goodbye to me and i take off.

I get to Bacon and San Bruno and start getting ready to let the wheelchair dude off. I let the lift out and then nothing. It doesn’t want to go up and it doesn’t want to go down. GREAT. I keep hitting the button for like 2 minutes to see if anything will unstick but nothing so i call central. Now we have 2 buttons to call central: a regular call button and a priority button. I hit the priority button because, well… it was a priority since it never happened to me before.

They call me back like within the minute and here is how the convo went:

Me-“hows it going central. this is run 189 on the 9L. my wheelchair lift is stuck. doesn’t want to go in and out.”

CC-“run 189? you need to change the radio we have it saying 42. Location?ID?”

me-“on San Bruno at Bacon going outbound. ” I tell him my id number.

CC-“is the wheelchair passenger getting on or getting off?”

Me-“getting off.”

CC-“ok. we are going to send you some help. next time don’t use the priority.”

me-“copy that.”

So I tell the wheelchair passenger( who is like right next to me now) if he heard that. He said no. So I told him that central said this situation wasnt a priority and not to use that button for this. He looked at me an laughed and said “it is a priority to me!” and we laughed. Then he told me ” the fire engine will get me off the bus.” I didn’t know what he meant but I was soon to find out.

4 minutes later, a fire engine pulls up and 4 firefighters get out. I’m thinking to myself “there isn’t an injury or life threatening thing going on so where did they come from?” and the passenger gets up and hobbles down the steps. The 4 firefighters grab his scooter/wheelchair and pick it up out the bus. He gets back in his chair and gives me a wave and says good night and rolls off ha-ha

About 3 minutes later, an inspector pulls up and starts asking me questions. I told him that a fire engine came a took the passenger off the bus. He asks if I got the engine number and I told him no. I didn’t know i was supposed to get it. So he then starts pushing at the lift while I hit the button and nothing. So I let him get at the controls and I step aside and after 30 seconds it clicks loudly and moves in. You should have seen my face.  like really?!? the lift moves for him but not for me!? wow.

So he asks to see my paddle and radios in to central that we got it moved in and since the current time was the time I was supposed to pull in he just told me to go ahead and do that since their isn’t any point in waiting for the shop.

I change the head sign to ‘garage’ and head in.

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51 Broadway. Outbound. 12:20am

Posted in 51 Broadway on April 26, 2011 by 4x24

I ended up with this late schedule this nite and it ended at around 12:40-12:45am. And lemme tell you I was rolling so I could pull in and go home because my ride home took 20 minutes and those minutes were precious to my sleep haha.

So by the time I got to Park and Santa Clara in Alameda, I gave a quick look in the mirror and it looked like no one left on board. Cool. I could get to the end of the line,change my sign, and be moving towards the division all in no time. So when I got to Broadway and Blanding, I changed my headsign, looked up again quickly and started to head towards the building over the Fruitvale Bridge. So what we’re supposed to do is do a “once over” and walk up and down the coach to make sure everything is good and nothing is left over. Well this time something was left over and it was this dude sleeping! Right after the bridge its bumpy, so I looked up and I seem dude jump up when I hit a pothole and thought how the hell didn’t I see him? Also, on the Van Hool style 40′ buses had a sort of wall/partition/side that was where the doors were and they were the 2nd set of rear doors so if someone were slouched over and sleeping and if someone didn’t do what they were supposed to do(me duh), this would have happened.

So when he jumped up and I noticed he did, I was already at Fruitvale and east 9th st where we make our turn to get to the freeway to pull in. So our convo went like this at the light :
Me-“you know the buses stopped running like 20 min ago.”
Him-“where we at?”
Me-“were on Fruitvale. Where you need to go?”
Him-“to the Bart station we near it?”
Me-“yeah. Like 3 blocks from it. Lemme pull over and I’ll drop you off. ”
Him-“right on. This is even better for me! That’s where I needed to go.”
Me-“(as I’m turning to let him off) I didn’t even see you back there. Good thing you got up.”
Him-“yeah I know. I just been nodding off.”

So I open the door and get up and point out to him which way he has to go. After he gets off, I get up and just do a walk through just to make sure no one is sleeping in or under the other seats. I get back in my seat,put it back in gear and head towards the freeway.

52L Sather Gate. Saturday Afternoon.

Posted in 52L UC Berkeley on April 25, 2011 by 4x24

Got a few stories done.Gonna be putting them up over the next few days.

Totally forgot bout 2 incidents on the 52. Here’s the 1st:

During the weekends the 52L would get to El Cerrito Bart and switch over and become another line: the 79 MLK/Colusa. The 79 was a super easy line so it complimented the 52L since that line never had any running/recovery time on it. On this day, I picked up a regular with her daughter and she wanted to ride around for a bit. We had been rolling around for a couple of hours and when I got to Sather Gate is when this little incident happened.

So I’m sitting in the seat talking to the lady and I usually would let the passengers on so they wouldn’t have to be standing around. So this one homeless looking dude* tries to get on but he has his shoes around his neck. He tries to get on by not paying and walking right past me so I tell him if you want to get on you’re gonna have to put your shoes on and put something in the box. He starts talking shit when he steps off the bus and he’s crowding the doorway so now I start getting irritated. I really can’t close the doors since I’m not getting off the bus and I can’t take off because it ain’t time to go. Only thing left to do was deal with this crazy head on. He keeps going on about how if I step of the bus he is gonna whip my ass and how if he sees me again he’s gonna whip my ass and everything he’s gonna do will wind up whipping my ass. He makes other comments about how he is gonna cut me(I Dunno with what since he has nothing that could make me think that) so I tell him how his best bet is to keep walking because if I get off the bus there is only one person gonna get his ass whipped and it ain’t gonna be me. So we keep goin on like this for a few more minutes and finally I tell him “you wanna keep talking about threatening my life in front of all these people, when I push this button and get the sheriff out here trust me you will regret all this.” So he keeps talking a little more shit and then starts Walking away,yelling and screaming.

So people start getting on my bus and start asking questions and the lady with her daughter tells me “what an Interesting day!” and I tell her “and my day isn’t even done!”

*this dude got on my bus before and after this incident. The 1st time he was cussing up a shit-storm but got off before i figured out it was him. the 2nd time he was on his meds; no cussing, paid his fare, was quiet and was totally opposite that what I saw here.

51 Broadway Outbound. Sunday Night. About 8:30PM

Posted in 51 Broadway on April 5, 2011 by 4x24

I had been thinking bout what lines I  worked and realized I never put any stories up bout the 51. Probably because I hated that line so much I must have purposely blocked it out of my mind hahaha I got 2 more from the 51 I’m working on typing out.


So the 51 is one of the busiest lines out out the division where I worked out of. Every day was busy. Even busy until we had to pull in busy. It would be the equivalent of a 14 or 38 or 71.

So I was doing the 51 on a late night schedule that night. I believe I got off at around 12ish. It wasn’t *that* bad since it was a Sunday and it was after 7 in which you noticed a reduction in time and reduction in people.

So I was on time when I left rockridge Bart and being on time meant driving hella slow to the next time-point. So when I got to pleasant valley and Broadway I was glad I had to pick up people. Too bad for me since they were going to fuck my night up.

At the bus stop were three boys. 2 had bikes and the 3rd didn’t. So I load up some people while the boys loaded up their bikes on the rack. So when they get on the bus a 4th boy pulls up and tries to take one of the the bikes off so he can load his. I start to say something to the boy who’s bike it is but he is already running out the door to get his bike.** 4th boy and the 2nd boy are arguing about how he should put his bike on and the other is telling him no. This continues for like 2 min and that’s when I tell them that only 2 bike can be put on and that one of them needs to move out the way cuz they wasting my time.

Nothing. They keep arguing. 4th boy is trying to take the bike off and other is holding on to it so then I told them if they don’t figure it out in the next minute I’m calling the cops.

“fuck you. Call the cops I don’t care” says the 4th boy who is *still* trying to take off the 2nd boys bike. So I press the priority button and wait for central to call. So by this time at least 10 minutes have passed, some passengers are getting irritated and I’m getting angry. With all this time wasted I thought I’m going to get no time to go to the bathroom, which is no bueno on a route that is at least 1 hr one way.

So eventually the kids come to an agreement of sorts and the one with the bike on the rack takes his bike off and the other puts his on and starts walking to try to get on my bus.

NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

He gets to the front door and is about to step and I tell him “you know you ain’t gonna ride this bus after all that.” He started getting mad and said something I don’t remember and I told him that he’s better off getting his bike before the police get there and riding away. So he wasted 2 more minutes before be finally gets around to taking his bike off the rack at which time the other boy with the other bike gets off the bus and also grabs his. This was finally my opportunity to get back in gear and try to catch my schedule. I take off and finally get called back from central asking me what the situation was and how it diffused itself and when I get to the end of the I would call them back to get put back on schedule.

So I’m rolling and I get to about 28/29th and Broadway and load my passengers up and as I’m about to close my doors, the young boy causing all the trouble rolls up on the sidewalk and yells ” I got something for you” and grabs at his pocket of his black hoodie. At this point I didn’t know if he 1. Had a gun 2. Was messing around that he had something but didn’t 3. Wasn’t really thinking of the situation as a whole and I looked at him and answered with an “oh yeah…” and pushed the emergency button(which would bring the sheriffs out)and drove off. I kept picking up passengers and when I got to about 20th is when the sheriff pulled up next to me and I explained the whole situation and at this point I remembered that one of the boys was still on the bus( the one without a bike) and I told the sheriff that he should talk to him because he knows who the other ones were.

So the officer takes the boy outside and is having words with him and like about 4 minutes later, a supervisor rolls up and starts asking me questions and is trying to get the information gathered. He started talking to the boy and then comes back to me and tells me 1. to get to 14th and Broadway and that we will put my passengers on the next bus and 2. To take the kid with me (after I had already said I didn’t want him on my bus). Now I got mad. So got back in gear and took off flying down Broadway because I wanted to talk to this supervisor off the bus.

I get to Broadway and the supervisor was already there. He jumped on my bus to let the people know that the 51 behind me was going to take them because I was going to be taken out of service. So I step off and I tell him that I didn’t know what the kid had so I pushed the button. He said ” well that button should only be used in situations where your life is in immediate danger. ” the look on my face was that of “what the fuck?” and “is this guy a moron?” combined together. After that I didn’t want to even talk to him about why he had me still allow the kid back on the bus.

So we switched the passengers onto the other bus and he looks at my paddle and puts me at a time point that I won’t be able to make. I just agree, change my head sign, head into Alameda and get to where I got to go.

** i didn’t realize it till later but all the boys knew each other