Bus Report #451
Finally, after what felt like forever (but was probably less than five minutes) two of the buses ahead of us took off and we slipped into the stop.
On the sidewalk in front of the ham store stood a knot of people, mostly in their late teens through mid-thirties, with blue-shirted Muni employees peppering the crowd. The Muni employees were writing tickets.
Slowly, my brain processed this information.
We were getting POP'ed*! The doors opened and the Muni inspectors stormed up the stairs.
"Everyone get your fast passes and transfers out!" one woman called out. I took out my fast pass and held it out for inspection. The rest of the riders help up crumpled transfers and passes, and everyone looked at the trio of teens who got on the bus holding their fare evasion tickets.
It didn't seem like anyone on my bus was getting busted, which was odd. Were we really all in the clear?
The inspectors left and we lurched into traffic.
The fare evader kids were pissed. "Oh, man, my dad will kill me cause like, he'll have to pay my fine," said a boy carrying a keyboard under his arm.
His friend, a hippyish girl with long hair and a flower tattooed on her arm, held up her ticket. "Yeah, I'll need my parents to pay for this, I'm only 17 after all." She sighed and sat down.
Their buddy scuffed his sneakers against the floor. "I can't tell my parents about it," he said.
I thought about the kids and all the other people who had been pulled off their buses at Divisadero. Will they learn their lesson? Is this the first day of the rest of their law-abiding life? Will they see that $55 (soon to be $60) a month is a deal compared to a $75 fine? Who can say. I guess we'll have to see.
It was definitely a departure from the usual routine. Exciting!
*POP'ed - Proof Of Purchase'd... I don't know, it sounded catchier when I made it up...