My bus didn't show up this morning. As a result, the following bus was stuffed and I was a little late to work. My fellow fellow that works farther up the street from me was even more stymied.
I can't say I love the DC buses. They are generally on time and get me where I want to go, but after living in the Central City of Sacramento, I am not as well-versed in dealing with the seedier elements of bus travel that I encounter in larger urban areas, particularly DC. The neighborhood I live in is on the other side of the train station, and requires passing through several really depressed neighborhoods. Which means we pick up all manner of folk on the route through town.
I experienced this phenomenon in Seattle, wherein the bus was filled with commuters during rush hour, but transformed into something out ofFrom Dusk Till Dawn, with folks with un-extinguished cigarettes and cigars, missing teeth, wild hair, dirty clothes, lots of things to say about the universe in a very loud manner, and coughing up lungs, etc. at other times.
Let's just say that while I really despise the lack of support we as a society provide to our neediest members, I don't like being a captive audience to it. (Though, maybe if our wealthy policymakers had to encounter it regularly, they too would want to fix it.)
Regardless, I too must make economic decisions, and the bus is a cheap way for me to traipse from one end of town to the other on a regular basis, which is necessary at the moment because I am cat-sitting for Judy this weekend. It's $1.25 for a bus fare, MUCH cheaper relative to Sacramento, as I live just outside the downtown zone, but since I take the bus every day, I was looking for a way to save as a matter of bulk usage. Unfortunately, there is something called a SmartTrip card, which works both for bus and metro, but provides no discount, and a weekly pass, which would, if I took the bus every day, provide a $1.50 discount. Which is kinda pathetic as far as deals go and how can I be certain that I will always take the bus?
Sigh. Public transit, you are so beleaguered. Even in a city with the density to support it. Maybe Metro gets all the money.