This is part of a series of stories by Kimmel, who's given up her car and is relying primarily on public transit.
We’ve all heard the news that the buses are late at times. It is the most talked about topic when I mention that I use the bus as my main mode of transportation. It’s no surprise, it’s nothing new and it’s definitely not something that only Indianapolis experiences. But have you ever really waited for one? And, if you have, do you get the same feelings I do?
I’d like to know that I’m not alone here.
You see, my problem is that I can’t help but have a small panic attack and blow the situation way out of proportion every time my bus is running late.
Have I missed it? Am I at the right stop at the right time? Do I need to find another route? What if there was a wreck? Should I call work and tell them I’m going to be late? Should I go home and get my bike? Can I take the 8 instead of the 17 to get where I need to go? How long am I going to have to wait for the next bus? Should I call IndyGo and see if there is a problem?
These questions race through my mind even when I only have to wait a minute or two.
I also still find myself obsessively checking the time, as if this isn’t a fairly regular occurrence.
Last week I was coming back from a meeting in Haughville. I had to take one bus into the city, get off downtown, and catch a different bus up to my house.
Once downtown, I waited and waited.
Did I miss my connection? Maybe I read the bus number wrong? Should I catch one of these buses that seem to be going north? Do I have it in me to just walk home?
After several long minutes of pacing and checking the time, I was sure I had missed my bus. I got on Google Maps to find another one that would at least get me close to home. As I was searching, I saw my bus coming up the road. I dug in my pocket to get my pass out, stepped up to the curb and got a very clear view of my bus flying by me without even the faintest glow of a brake light. I started to run. I ran as fast as I could, until I realized that the driver was definitely not paying attention and that I was running and screaming after it for no reason.
This isn’t the first time that this has happened to me and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I’ve heard other people have had the same experience. I always thought it was because I don’t fit the “normal” demographics of bus riders, but I hope I am wrong. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this….and any other bus stories you might have.
I’m mostly interested in a substantial improvement to our bus system and getting a real feel for what the baseline problems are is a step toward that expansion. I think stories like this could start a good discussion about tangible improvements that might actually happen in our lifetime.