Monday, March 21, 2011

Rolling Stone?

I wanted to use snowball as the title of this blog but I'm told I already have so let's try this one...
This is how my day started:

I did an AM Express run that starts way out West of Denver and comes into the Civic Centre Station then heads out to become a local route.
I've explained to y'all before how these insert routes run.

I'm spot on time to start, pick up my first handful of regulars at the Park N Ride and as we leave, we immediately hit the first 3 stop lights in a row.
No biggy but that's a first and it sets us behind by at least three minutes right off the bat.
Not a good start for an Express.

Then we pick up a new passenger right in the middle of a long stretch of a higher speed limit road, where there hasn't been a passenger all year long so far.
Again, no biggy but it sets us back another minute as I slow down, wait 30 seconds for the passenger to come aboard, find his seat and ramp back up to the speed limit.

By now, we're only 5 minutes into the route (schedule wise) but already 4 minutes behind.
And the regulars are used to me being freaking spot on time, so much so that as I'm coming up to two of the next stops, I see the regulars walking AWAY  - back to their homes to wait for the next bus.

I had to honk to get their attention so they can come with us.
Turns out, they figured that since they didn't see me, they were too late to the stop - they didn't realize that I was late - which is a first on this route.

But that snowballed (there's that word) as the route goes on.
As we get more behind, we start hitting traffic lights out of sync.
Meaning we start hitting ALL the lights red rather than breezing down the road in sync as we do every morning.
This sets us more behind with each light.

I noticed that more and more regulars have gone missing - I'm assuming that they figured they've missed me as well.

But as we fall even further behind, we start encountering heavier traffic because we're outta sync and you can guess it...
We fall furher and further behind.

As we hit 6th Avenue to head Downtown, since we're so outta sync, we fall into full on traffic that causes us to sit and wait.
Taking at least 15 minutes to get into town rather than the shorter 6ish.
So yes, we're FAR FAR behind now.

And of course you can see this coming but as we hit Lincoln, the traffic is bumper to bumper and once we get into the Station, it takes close to five minutes to get out instead of the single minute for me to get in and out normally.

But don't forget, I have another route into which I'm inserted in the morning.
I still have to get to that and it takes at least 15 minutes on a normal, dry, sunny warm day.

Today's anything but normal at this point and by the time I get to the beginning of the next route, through more heavy highway and surface street traffic, I'm a full ten minutes behind.

Passengers are looking at me like I'm nuts.
The next bus on the route is only 5 minutes behind me by now.
I'm so far behind that I'm picking up more passengers than normal, folks who are five minutes early for the next bus are already there and wondering who the heck I am.
So that slows me down even further.

To the point that once I get back into town, the bus behind me, who has had nobody to pick up since I've gotten all his right on my tail and he's thinking I'm a big nimrod & probably some new Driver who has no idea what he's doing.

And I don't know if you've been on Broadway yet this week but it's been repainted for construction and there is heavy traffic on it now.
Trying to cross or travel Broadway for the next while will be near impossible - on a schedule at least.

By the time I reached the end of my run, I was so late I considered sleeping in the bus and just pulling out for my next asignment.
Well, not that late but you get the point.

So you can see how a butterfly moving his wings in Africa can cause hurricanes in North America.
One new Passenger, one out of sync red light and BLAM-O!

A perfectly sunny, warm, dry day and I'm later than if it were 8" inches of snow and -30° outside.
How embarassing.

As Always, "Welcome aboard, find your seats, hang on to your patience - Let's Roll!"

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