Monday, October 13, 2014

Between A and B

I must say it. Some of the new bus drives are lost when it comes to getting a wheelchair on board. Either they don't know how to come close enough to the sidewalk for the lift to reach it, or don't know how to power and operate the ones that are by the back door. Both things happened to me Friday, as I was trying to get home from a campus movie. First, with Later Gator A (Later Gators are night buses that go through UF connecting different parts of the city with downtown to make sure that often drunk students get home safely)- that was the bus that I needed. The driver saw me sitting by the stop but didn't pull any closer. He asked me what bus I wanted, and after I said the name of his route, he nodded but drove away without a word. Even if he started to unload his lift right there, I would have to jump off the sidewalk to get to him through the bike lane. OK, I thought- I guess I have to wait for the next one. But for a good twenty minutes, nothing was happening. A concerned driver on the regular daytime bus saw me, opened his door and told me that all the "A"'s are held up downtown for some reason and I'd be  better off if I caught the B. It also went downtown, although it took a different route and was less frequent. It stopped round the corner (and then across the street) so I decided to give it a go. After all it was supposed to be here sooner. A lady who just got off work and just wanted to get home as soon as possible joined me in the move. We tried to figure out where the buses were on the GPS, but not all of them were showing and we kept getting something ridiculous like 28 and 38 minutes away. As we were sitting waiting for the B as instructed by the other driver, We saw two "A"'s going by from behind the corner. "It figures"- I thought- "that they would come as soon as we left. The lady tried to make a run for it and she made the bus wait, but I can't roll that fast so I just told them to go. Still, she decided to stay a bit and wait for the "B" with me. We waited quite a bit, but nothing was coming. If it doesn't come in the next few minutes, we're going back, we agreed. I have a feeling it will come now- I said. We waited a little longer and the "B" finally came. But the driver didn't know how to get the lift powered. He told me it was broken and he called it in as such, but it's not that it was stuck, he just didn't know how to turn it on and there's a thing that he should have done in the front. But I guess it's easier to say, that something is broken. "There's the A now, go catch it" he said and he was apparently very surprised that I was rolling down the siidewalk instead of going straight at it. Well, I'm sorry I have have to get to an actual ramp at the end and not just jump the curb. I didn't get to the "A" in time of course, but I decided to wait for the next one. I guess we were waiting for a really long time, because the city route driver pulled up again. "What are you doing here?"- he said- "I told you to go wait over there". Go here, go there, wait, move, a good hour was lost following tall he good advice how to get home sooner. This time I decided to stay put and just wait for the bus. And guess what. It came not long after. And to think I left the film early to beat the traffic and do some work. As I was getting home, my driver told me that two people were hit by a car earlier that night causing detours and delays as they were running in the street.

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