Friday, May 12, 2006

Day Twelve

Another successful day for us riding the Columbia Transit.
Once again Melinda met Sande in the morning at our regular stop at Osage and Rice. Tagging with Sammy and then off to work with Sande. The blue line to Wabash was a smooth ride in.

At Wabash Sande switched to the Orange line and was amazed at how many familiar faces she saw. The interesting thing is that Cowboy was driving in the morning and after a long, hard, and busy day at work Sande got back on to the Orange line with Cowboy and only two other passengers. Slow day for the Orange line.(I learned in the morning on the orange line that there is a law in Missouri that you can not barbeque with out beer. ha ha ;)) On the way back to Wabash the sense of community once again really stuck me. On south Hampton we picked up Esam and they talked all the way back to Wabash.
The same driver of the blue line in the morning was still the driver this evening. He was running pretty far behind. When he arrived to Wabash he had no passengers. We got on and were taken the regular route. Strange... I did not know why but he wasn't picking up any passengers. Melinda tried to get on to get a ride home but he refused and said he was done for the night and that she would have to wait for the next bus at 7? I didn't know that the blue line ended at that timeand neither did another couple that was waiting at Mckee and Orchard Lane. I thought that it ended only Mon - Wed. I guess we need to study the schedule a bit more. I thought that would work out perfect for Melinda and I to tag off like we do in the morning.

Well over all I would have to rate the Mornings's ride a perfect 5 out of 5. This evening I would have to rate it a 2.5 out of 5 due to the lack of communication about the ending of the route.

3 Comments:

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous CT Driver said...

--The same driver of the blue line in the morning was still the driver this evening.--

This is due to that driver working a "split shift". They work from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., are off mid day until 2:00 p.m. and then drive again until 6:00 p.m. The actual bus is also out of duty at that time and in the evening (so instead of two buses on each route there is only one during mid-day and in the evening).

-- I did not know why but he wasn't picking up any passengers. Melinda tried to get on to get a ride home but he refused and said he was done for the night and that she would have to wait for the next bus at 7?--

Right. The route leaves the station at 6:00 p.m., goes to its "end point" (on the Blue the end points are Indian Hills in the east and the Mall in the West). This is all on the schedule/map (schedule says "route ends" at that point). The reason the driver picked up so few passengers (or none) is that all the "regulars" know about the split shift and how it works.


--I didn't know that the blue line ended at that timeand neither did another couple that was waiting at Mckee and Orchard Lane. I thought that it ended only Mon - Wed. I guess we need to study the schedule a bit more. I thought that would work out perfect for Melinda and I to tag off like we do in the morning.--

Yes, studying the schedule is key. Being the type of service it is (as Lee outlined in her comments on day 11), service is reduced mid-day and after 6:00 p.m. since it's mainly set up to take people to and from work (and yes, we drivers realize there are now people who work after 6:00 p.m.-- it's one of those hang overs from the early days of the system that has not changed to match how we all work and play today).

As the city and the bus system grows, hopefully these and other quirks will be addressed. But as noted in all the discussion in day 11, it will take some shifts in perception of what the system is and should be.

Hopefully this blog can be a springboard for just the sort of dialogue that's needed.

 
At 2:27 PM, Blogger The Simmons Family said...

The only problem I see with the comment that it was the split shift that caused the bus to end early was that it was on a Friday, not a Monday through Wednesday.
The bus is supposed to run until 10pm on Friday, not 6pm.
At least that is what we've been told. A closer examination of the schedule reveals that this is not true. The truth is that one of the two busses on the line on Thrusday through Saturday is taken out of service at 6pm. Therefore there is a break in service. If you happen to be standing at our stop at Rice and Osage looking to get downtown, you simply can not do so after 5:42pm. Now, if it is a Thursday through Saturday, you can come back an hour and twenty minutes later at 7:02pm and get the bus, spend an hour or so wheverever you need to go and then plan onbe back an hour and 40 minutes later for the last run at 9:42pm.
You are right in that we didn't read the schedule properly. It is also true that this little detail in the schedule probably catches more people than we realize.

 
At 2:37 PM, Anonymous CT Driver said...

Right, but split shifts are EVERY DAY, Monday through Friday. After 6:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday the bus ends its route at the end point. Service drops mid-day, AND in the evening on these days. Monday through Wednesday service is reduced mid-day and ENDS on the 6:00 p.m. run. This is (obviously) a cost savings measure and the way it's done (with the evening service only on Thurs. and Fri.) is an anacronism left over from when the system was formed, as Lee has said.

It DOES catch folks unaware who are new to the system or haven't ridden the bus at those times before. Hopefully, as the system grows, these anacronisms will fade away.

 

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