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But at least y'all thank your bus driver

Portland transiteers,

We are too well trained.

We have all those TriMet buses that go to the Transit Mall, through downtown on SW 5th southbound and SW 6th northbound. This means getting us to downtown destinations and/or to a place where we can switch from one bus to another, or to a light rail train or a streetcar -- really, it's a pretty sweet system --

-- yes, I'm being basic here, but for a point --

-- and a lot of us seem to forget that the buses have to stop.

You do not need to pull the "next stop" cord, because the drivers are required to stop at each stop that's designated for that line. The bus will stop five or six times on either 5th or 6th the length of downtown. It's to ensure proper transfers and line regularity and good stuff like that.

If, somehow, by some brain fart, the bus driver forgets to stop, THEN you'd have an issue. But the driver will then stop a block or two off that designated stop. Or maybe not stop until the next designated stop for the 19 or 44 or whatever, which is -- wait for it -- NOT THAT FAR ALONG, as Portland's downtown is a relatively small downtown with short blocks.

Get off those fabled lengths of street, and yep, THEN you should be sure to be ready to pull the cord, because for the vast swaths of area covered by TriMet routes, not every stop will be needed. (Heck, now I'm wondering if there are any stops where no bus has stopped ever. That's...sort of sad. But the stop doesn't mind. If it did, it could be a children's book. The Loneliest Curb! Sad Sidewalk! The Stop No One Wanted!)

But. Not in the heart of the whole system.

Really. The driver won't forget.

People who transit-ize in other cities: this happen there too?



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
Portland buses sound almost fictional.

For both the MTA *and* SuffolkTransit, if you don't pull the cord to signal the driver to stop, he/she *will not stop* unless there is someone standing there waiting to catch a bus. There is a super crappy exception to this: MTA buses, if they are kinda full, will just bypass a stop even if people are standing there waiting, if you don't pull the cord.

Feb. 9th, 2011 02:31 am (UTC)
I've never seen an MTA bus skip a stop with people there unless it was completely full and there was another bus already stopped.

Feb. 9th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC)
I take the MTA bus every day in Queens (and have for many years; I attend Queens College) and I've watched completely empty buses pass me by with no bus showing up for a very long time before or after this occurs. It's really awful, especially because I have a train to catch to head home, and whenever this happens, I miss my train.

Feb. 9th, 2011 02:57 am (UTC)
I guess it runs differently in different neighborhoods; that really sucks. I take it every day, too, and I've not had that problem.

Feb. 9th, 2011 03:11 am (UTC)
May you never have that problem.

Feb. 10th, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC)
I assure you these buses exist. (We really do say "Thank you" to the drivers, a lot.) Heck, I worked at the TriMet offices for a few months; it would be some elaborate Truman Show-y prank if it didn't exist.

The good, the bad anf the ugly of TriMet gets chronicled at, among other places, this blog by TriMet driver Dan Christensen. (Example: "T.Girl Saves My Bacon.")
Feb. 10th, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)
I always thank my bus drivers, and then a wave of thank yous happen after I say it, but ONLY after I say it so it seems.

Feb. 10th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
Good of you. The drivers definitely appreciate it.
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:23 am (UTC)
Indeed. I also say Good morning to them when I board in the morning and hello in the afternoon/evening.

There's one driver in particular that is really great. We (my friend Becky and I) affectionately call him Ears. We get worried when we don't get him as a driver for a while and then we have an Ears spotting and it's all good.

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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