Bus Report #703
We caught sight of the bus a few blocks away, but when it rolled up to the stop I saw that it was NOT IN SERVICE. Ah, well.No problem, our bus would be along shortly.
Then I noticed who the driver was - my favorite driver, with his cap and his glasses, his big smile. He flung open the door and beckoned me to come over.
"Hey there, sugar," he said. "Come on, ride with me a few blocks, we haven't talked in a while."
I stepped up onto the bus and, out of habit, swiped my Clipper card. Put my bag down on the seat by the door and stood near the front of the bus so we could talk.
He was covering the shift of someone who hadn't come in this morning, so he was taking the bus back to the yard before setting out again. We caught up on each other's summers - he hadn't been up to much other than watching the Olympics and barbecuing.
He stopped at Turk and picked up one of the young teen girls who often rides the bus in the morning.
"Where you going, honey?" he asked her.
"20th and 3rd," she said.
"Well, you ride along with us for a while, then you can switch later, okay?"
She nodded and climbed on board, sat a few rows back with her headphones on.
My favorite driver told me how tired he was from his accidental Olympics-viewing all-nighter, told me his coffee hadn't kicked in yet. I asked what his favorite Olympic sport was. I asked him how long he's been driving for Muni.
"I just like good athletes, doesn't matter the sport," he said.
As for his Muni career?
"I've been driving almost 30 years," he said. "I've got a little seniority."
He grinned, I grinned. I said, "A LITTLE seniority? Yeah, I bet."
The teenager took off her headphones and walked up to the front of the bus. "Can I get out here?" she asked, as we approached Mission and 16th.
"I'll drop you across the street," the driver said, "So these people don't think I'm picking them up"
After that, it was just me and my favorite driver for the rest of the ride. He was turning at Bryant, which was fine with me - I often get out there and walk, anyway.
"Thanks for the private shuttle," I said, gathering my things.
"See you soon, dear," he said, and shook my hand.