13 February 2008

#4123 & #6KSomething

Thought today I would try the 92N/72N combo route again, only going one hour later. Didn't look at any schedules, just went to the stop at 7:45am. Crossing Guadalupe presented the first challenge. Traffic was fierce and I felt like a character in the old video game, Frogger. I made it to the center lane and then waited for a couple of minutes while the westbound traffic cleared. Generally, drivers in the greater Phoenix area treat pedestrians with disregard and disdain, which makes standing in the middle of a busy street a daunting experience.

Once across, I didn't wait more than a couple of minutes and a 92N bus arrived. I got on, rode to the stop on the NW corner of Guadalupe and Rural, crossed Rural and waited on the NE corner for the 72N. Yesterday, it arrived very quickly, but today did not repeat. Time passed, no 72N and I realized the 66N might come around the corner before the 72N arrived. The dilemma - which bus to take? Board the first to arrive or hold out for the 72? With a reasonably flexible work schedule, time doesn't really factor into these decisions. The 72N appeared on the horizon and stopped for the light. As predicted, the 66N turned onto Rural arriving at the stop prior to the 72N. A young man got on the 66 and I hesitated, then let the 66 continue on without me -- I wanted to experience another ride on the 72.

Not sure I made a good choice as the 72 was crowded and got more so as the ride continued. I got a seat, but in 2 or 3 stops, it became SRO. It took a lot longer for the 72 to reach College and University - I didn't get to work until 8:45am - easily 15-20 minutes later than a usual run on the 66 or 81. What a difference an hour made.

Despite the tardy travel, today's image honors my lucky location and the number of bus combos available for my use.

12 February 2008

#4119 AND #6483

Been a few - out of town (Miami, FL - hoo hah!) for business and blogging didn't figure into the equation. Back on track and boy, do I have a story for today.

First planned to catch the 6:57am81N. Going out the door, unseen forces pushed at my gray matter and I decided to use the 6am66N instead. Crossed Guadalupe and as I approached the stop, noticed a man waiting for the bus. When I neared the bench, he asked me what bus? and I told him, 66. He then launched into an interesting explanation about bus times and transferring and that I would improve my arrival time by catching the 92N, taking it to Rural and Guadalupe, changing to the 72N and heading on to ASU. Apparently, the current driver on the 66 makes no attempt to follow a timely schedule. This man uses multiple transfers to get to 24th and Thomas and really knows what bus goes where and when. Since I knew the 72N would get me where I needed to go and he seemed so pleased to enlighten me about all my bus catching and transferring alternatives, I told him I would be happy to give it a run-through. He kept opening and closing his cell phone while referring to the time. A bit of an OCD aura lingered in the air, but not to the point of scary. I had seen this man on the 66 a couple of times and felt confident that his motives in engaging me in the bus transfer scheme stemmed from his sheer delight in discovering the alternative arrangement. Let's at least say that if he kills, serially or otherwise, he does so in a very timely fashion.

The 92N arrived as he predicted and we boarded. At Rural we got off, crossed the street and waited for the 72N. As it pulled up, the man flipped open his cell phone again, showed it to me and said, "See, 7:01, just like I told you." We got on the bus and finished the ride to ASU. Ironically, we ended up right behind the 6:57am81N as we turned from Rural onto University. Had I gone with my first plan, I would have beaten myself to work by about 1 minute.

Today's image honors the new knowledge gained in the world of bus and transfer.