Well, I took my car in for some major work and I have taken to riding the bus. First off I must mention that I work two-and-a-half miles down a single road from home, and have to take two busses to get to work. That pretty much exemplifies the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (or VTA as they call themselves.) Now sometimes I work late – as many of us do – and really didn’t expect any problems getting home, but leave it to the planning monkeys at VTA (probably the same monkeys who work in traffic planning) decided that the bus that I took to get to work in the morning should stop running at 6:18 PM. If I had left at 5:00 or 5:30 I wouldn’t have had any problems.
Tonight I left at 6:00 and caught the 6:15 which took me to where I would have made the connection to the bus that would have taken me home (actually it would have taken me to another destination I wanted to go to, which would have been convenient – but alas…)
I apparently sat for about ten minutes before a bus came around, proclaiming itself to be “Not In Service.” The friendly driver waved at me, I waved back. I waited another ten minutes before I decided to call the VTA customer service line listed on the time-table for the other bus I had just taken, where the automated system stated that there are no more busses on this route as of the time that I called. I really wished that the driver of the “Not In Service” bus would have stopped and let me know that service has ended, but she didn’t.
Well, this meant I had to walk the rest of the way home. I don’t usually do a lot of walking – perhaps I should, as I really need to get into better shape – and it really wouldn’t have been so bad were it not for the “Beast of 40 Gigabytes” hanging off of my shoulder. I refer to the laptop computer that I am currently writing this on. I say laptop as a general term; it’s more sort of a portable – not a lug-able, but still fairly heavy. I think they actually refer to it as a “desktop replacement.” It’s not the sort of thing you want to lug on a mile or so trek.
Well, the VTA wonders why rider-ship is low, and continues to decline – especially in the face of further service cuts and fare hikes…