This is part of a series of stories by Kimmel, who's given up her car and is relying primarily on public transit.
I'd always heard from my friends at IndyGo that there is a real community on the bus, but I was always skeptical. The past few weeks have shown that my friends are right.
First off, I am on a first-name basis with my regular bus drivers. I have even seen my usual Bus 17 driver outside of the bus and have had a friendly conversation with him where he called me by name.
I have met at least three people at various bus stops throughout the city who I have run into in other parts of the city and picked back up the conversations we had left before.
I saw a man sound asleep on the bus, not far from downtown, and two different strangers tried to wake him up at different times to make sure he wasn't going to miss his stop.
I got on Bus 2 for the first time a couple of days ago and the guy who climbed on right behind me had a full conversation with his friend who was at the very back of the bus, not concerned that the rest of the riders knew he got a new job that paid $12 an hour and how incredibly thrilled he was to have it.
People are constantly giving up their seats for one another, shaking each others' hands as if they have been friends for years, helping to secure wheelchairs in the allotted spots, striking up conversation and even giving spare change to the ones who don't have that last 25 cents.
More often than not, I ride the bus with people who know each other just from riding the same bus. I am working to introduce myself to as many people as I can, and to establish myself as a legit bus rider, struggling with the system, too.
I have made friends on the bus, at the bus stops and in line to buy my bus pass. Authentic friends... if only for a short time.
I have also seen an increase in people I know outside of the bus system popping up on some of the routes I ride, which is always exciting to me.
All in all, the 'bus rider community' is becoming more apparent by the day and I am proud to be a part of it.
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