26 January 2009

Bus 6140/Car 137A

No mood for blogging recently as the university "disestablished" our college. We received notice of an "important meeting" a week in advance and then last Tuesday (yes, they scheduled this during the inauguration . . . ) the meeting provided some details of the disestablishment and people learned who lost their jobs. Uncertain how things might shake out, I felt quite stressed waiting for the news and, although spared for the moment, so awful to share the heart-breaking experience with colleagues told to turn in their keys, take their stuff and leave. Bleak days indeed.

Today I met a friend for coffee at the Einstein's at the corner of Rural and University. In pre-light rail days I just got off the 81N at the corner and walked over for coffee. Now, I take the 81N to the Apache train station, transfer to the train and then get off at the Apache/Rural station and walk over to Einstein's. A bit more maneuvering, but completely manageable. Lots of passengers on the train - too bad for the people who claimed it would never be used.

Today's image comes from an article in the New York Post about Citigroup's purchase of a $50 million corporate jet. Citigroup received some $45 billion in taxpayer bailout money, so I'm thinking that makes this jet a part of our public transportation system. Hoping to go to the UK and Germany this summer, wonder if Citigroup might fly me across the pond?

15 January 2009

video time

Last week I finally rode the light rail home for the first time. The hallmark event included an on-train delay due to an accident that occurred on the track. Well . . . just learned the wreck involved a westbound light rail train and a pickup truck.

Found this article from the East Valley Tribune's website, complete with video of the accident as seen from the camera on the train. Interesting view.

Apparently a malfunction caused the gates to rise prematurely and the bozo driving the truck ignored the flashing lights and large silver train to his left and dashed across the track. I never understand why people sit in front of those crossing gates and accelerate like a dragster as soon as the arms begin to raise. With a suspended operator's license, Mr. Truck Driver obviously gives little attention to driving rules so expecting him to look before crossing a rail track? Probably a bit of a stretch.

Finally, if you don't care for accident videos, check out the left hand column of the article - Most Viewed - there's a link to a video titled "Mesa leases 80 goats to eat weeds" - good stuff.

06 January 2009


Whew! It took until yesterday for me to ride home using the light rail. Free rides and football bowls through Dec. 31 kept the trains packed and virtually un-rideable. I put a trip together yesterday afternoon and probably won't do it again.

I boarded at the Tempe Transportation Center, the train took off, cleared the station, got to University and stopped. The track curves a bit and, being in the last car, we could see police lights on University. After a couple of minutes, the train driver announced that an accident on University blocked the tracks and we must wait until it cleared before continuing. What kind of odds put an accident smack over the light rail tracks? Phoenix/Tempe/Mesa/Scottsdale/Glendale/etc., etc., etc., contain thousands of really bad drivers, so what a surprise - not. Anyway, it happened and we spent 15 minutes in situ, waiting for the accident to clear. Uneventful for the rest of the rail ride, I got off at Apache and walked over to the bus stop to catch the 81S. About 10 other people did the same thing - pretty good numbers for ASU's winter break time. We waited and we waited and 20 minutes later, the bus showed up. In all, it took me one hour to get home - a good 30 minutes longer than usual. While I wouldn't expect accident delays every day, the bus wait seems pretty typical and pretty pointless. Guess the 66S gets my homeward bound business.

This morning I used the 81N/light rail combo and took some photos of more Apache/McClintock station art.