The WRTA: some sucky days on the bus!!

By Robin Caron

It’s a wonderful thing to be able to ride the bus and get out and about [Worcester] and beyond, but as a daily [WRTA bus] rider let me give you a dose of reality.

Before I begin I have to say that I understand that it’s not the driver’s faults, as they are victims of the asinine schedules as well, so guys and gals please don’t splash me with slush when I’ve been waiting 45 minutes in a blizzard for a bus…any bus…that’s going to take me in a southerly direction.

So you just gotta love waiting for the #27 bus on a Friday after work and being told there’s  no room, then having to wait ONE HOUR for another bus (#19 or #33) only to have the #27 show up again…still no room and no sign of #19 anywhere.  #33 shows up (packed) and as we meander down Main St. behind the #27, (whose driver is telling the potential passengers that the #33 is right behind him), people are getting completely squished and whacked in the head by pocketbooks and backpacks by its castoffs.  And God forbid a “gentleman” or a healthy, young girl actually gives up their seat to a handicapped or elderly person. As if THAT’s ever gonna happen.

And let’s talk about the drivers.  I’m only subjected to a very few and the majority I encounter are wonderful and I love them to pieces.  HOWEVER, let me tell you a little story about the time I had to pay half the fare of a young girl who didn’t have enough money to pay for a full day pass TO GET TO SCHOOL and was almost in tears because the driver wouldn’t let her ride.  It seems that it was perfectly acceptable for the driver to pick up a tweaking, crack whore at the very next stop who jumped on, all smiles, slapped fifty cents into the fare box and declared “Here’s fifty cents, I’m only going down the street”. Yes…she was allowed to ride, no questions asked, and she WAS just going down the street.  She was dropped off in front of the PIP.  True story.

How about this little ditty?  Waiting at the bus stop watching the bus fly past me and seeing it screech to a halt when the regular riders, I’m sure, were yelling “Hey! You forgot to pick up Robin!” or he saw me jumping up and down and waving my arms with the WTF look on my face.  After running my 55 year old butt a block to get on the bus I asked the driver what, exactly, he thought I was doing at the bus stop at 8:30 in the morning.  His reply…”Lots of people stand at bus stops”. Really?  Perhaps they’re waiting for…oh, I don’t know…A BUS??? He then proceeded to make fun of me to his little buddy and when I asked his name so that I could complain to the WRTA, he pointed to his bus number and yelled at me “THAT’S MY NAME!” He then proceeded to beep his horn at the other traffic, swear under his breath at pedestrians and if I’m not mistaken actually flip someone off.  I bet my Charlie Card that if he wasn’t talking to his “co-pilot” and was actually concentrating on his job, the passengers on that bus wouldn’t have ended up with whiplash.  Oh, and I must point out that this particular “gem” was filling in for the regular driver who was being reprimanded and in “obedience school” for sticking up for herself after being verbally abused by an irate passenger.  That’s it, WRTA, replace the little girl whom everybody loves and who has a backbone with an arrogant ass with an oozing case of road rage.

Who’s running this horse and pony show anyway? Certainly not someone who actually has to use the service and get from point A to point B. Why do all three of my busses show up within 5 minutes of each other (if at all) and then I have to wait another hour for the next one? And trust me, my mother was rolling over in her grave when I left The Hanover after a show I attended by myself (got there on time, believe it or not) and walked home at 10:30 because there’s no service after 8 p.m.