The best bus ever

The best bus ever
Jason Sievers' awesome Art in Transit bus

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Three minutes early

I've been either missing or waiting on buses a lot these past few days.

Last Saturday, I wanted to catch the 1:15 bus from downtown to the Hyde Park Street Fair. I had to be there by 2 to help out at a booth. When the bus didn't show up by 1:30, I decided I'd be better off walking.

Yesterday, I took the State Street bus to meet friends for lunch. The bus back downtown was two minutes early, but fortunately, I was at the stop in time. I transferred to the Vista bus downtown, only to sit on the bus a full five minutes past departure time before the driver showed up.

Today, I was running a little late to catch the Vista bus downtown, but it's usually pretty much on time, so I wasn't worried. But I watched from a block away as it pulled up at Overland three minutes early. It was a little too far for me to run, so I missed it- and since the Vista bus only runs once an hour at mid-day, I decided to drive instead.

My lessons (re)learned? It's always wise to be at the bus stop five minutes early. Still, I can't help but think about the people who miss these buses by a minute or two, but who are not riding the bus by choice, like I am, but out of necessity. I hope the days comes that Valley Ride can run all its city routes every half-hour minimum, and preferably every 15 to 20 minutes on the major routes. If people know they can rely on another bus to be available in a reasonably short time frame, they'll be much more likely to give bus riding a try.

4 comments:

slfisher said...

Yeah, this bus-every-hour business is ridiculous, especially when some buses are so full that they pass up passengers.

And I'm sorry, buses should *never* leave early from a stop.

Nickin206 said...

This is the nice thing about Seattle, I have been walking up and missed several buses. Most of the time this works because one is usually coming in 10-15 minutes. However, late at night some route switch to 30-45 minutes and that can be a pain in the rear. Especially when coming from far distances back to the city. I have waited and learned many lessons that when 20+ miles away from Seattle to be at the stop early! They were showing off our light rail and new streetcar yesterday, the LR should help for these instances. I do feel your pain though. I am coming back to Boise for a longer weekend. My family lives in Meridian, and sadly bus won't be the primary mode of transit I believe. Maybe someday.

Dave said...

I'm a driver for Valleyride.When looking to board a bus,you should make sure your watch is set to the correct time(we use the atomic clock in Colorado Springs).
That being said,it breaking the cardinal rule for a driver to leave(or drive by)a stop early.If you encounter this problem again,You should call 345-7433 as soon as possible to register a complaint.Most of us don't drive that way,but a few do and they need to stop.

Julie in Boise said...

Dave,

A very belated thanks for stopping by and making your comment.

I know it must be hard to keep the buses on a perfectly on-time schedule, given the differences in traffic, weather conditions, etc. It would be fascinating to know how drivers can get back on their schedules if they are running ahead on their routes. Do you drive more slowly? Hope for red lights?