Tuesday, November 07, 2006

view from the bus

We've got to come up with a new category for these posts that are not really announcements, and not tips either. They are just personal reflections on carfree travel in Ann Arbor. Ideas?

Dawn describes the variety of driver personalities and community spirit that can only be experienced on a bus ride. While she is not specific, the locations indicate that this is an AATA route.

She considers

other drivers I’ve come in contact with during this first semester at UM. There’s the 60’s leftover hippy with long grey hair that smiles (sometimes) at students. And the, well, no other way to describe her, librarian, in her long navy skirt and navy sweater who reads books at the red light on Plymouth and Huron Parkway, and who smiles and waves at every group of departing passengers. They each have their personality and distinctive driving style.


HomelessDave said...

Perhaps a category called Hooray for the Bus.

So I had an art show opening I had to attend up at Pierpont Commons and figured I'd see if I could pull off a bus ride up there. I elected to just hoof it downtown and start from Blake, where the #3 takes just 8 minutes to get to a stop along Fuller, where it's just another quarter mile up to Pierpont.

I'm not that familiar with Fuller or north campus, so I told the driver I was going to Pierpont and asked her if the stop closest to that point was one where she generally had to let people off or on (because I wanted to know just how much pressure I'd be under to pull the cord at the right time).

So she says to me something like, "You know, I don't necessarily neeed to stop at that one on a regular basis, but now that you've told me, I'll be sure to stop there." Because I'm pretty cynical by nature, I thought, "Yeah, right."

So we're headed up Fuller and we pass some baseball diamonds and I started getting restless in my seat thinking the stop we were pulling into was my stop. I hear this voice calling, "No, this is not you! You're the next one!" And I look up from the middle of the bus and see the driver in the rear view mirror smiling at me."

My traveling companion and I exit the bus and for the icing on the cake, the driver hands me two transfers, just in case we want to cross the street and catch the bus (the #22, I think) that goes directly to Pierpont.

Well, huh. AATA sure won the battle of customer service that day.

Edward said...

I'd post to a Hooray for the Bus category.

I found a good place to wait for the inbound #1 - if you have Ridetrak you can lounge at Sweetwaters Kerrytown and then launch yourself out the door when the bus hits the Beakes and Summit time point. That's just about right.

Similarly you could catch the inbound #1 with a minimum of time outside if you timed it from the Northside - there's a stop right there.

A warm place to catch the inbound #5 is Caribou Coffee - watch for the Packard and South timepoint, and you have to leave the cafe about a minute or two before it gets to that timepoint to allow time to cross a busy street. There's a bank there at the corner that's closer, but I don't usually think of a bank as a warming hut.

I *think* I can walk a short distance to the outbound #2 at Plymouth and Broadway and use it for a lunch trip up Plymouth, but I haven't timed it precisely yet. You could wait at Ken's Nielsen Flowers. Looking at the schedule that's every 15 min during the day so that actually sounds workable.