In Which the Bus is Not Handicap Equipped

So this week being Holy Week, we got Good Friday off of classes. As is becoming tradition, we hurriedly called the Grandparents in Indi and asked if they were around for us to come visit for a long weekend. They were just returned from Florida. Sweet. We hopped on-line and purchased our bus tickets (we don’t own a car) to get on a bus at 6:00 Thursday night, to arrive in Indi at 10:15 PM local time. Uncle Chris was going to pick us up.

I got off work a bit early and my generous employer dropped Stephen and I off at Union Station where we were to catch our bus. Now, this particular bus line is so cheap, it doesn’t even have it’s own station, just a sign that says “Bus Stop” where it literally pulls over, loads you up, and leaves. Or at least, that’s what’s supposed to happen.

So we stood around waiting for about half an hour in the cold (like…25-30 degress I believe). The bus arrived at 6:00. We hurried into a line, and I saw a woman in a wheelchair and her caregiver talking to the bus driver.

“How are they going to get her on the bus?” I asked, eyeing the narrow bus door. Stephen shrugged.

The bus driver checked our reservation number, and we boarded the bus. We breathed a sigh of relief as we found two seats together. (I am always nervous whenever there are no assigned seats that I won’t get to sit next to Stephen). Safe on the bus, I settled in and began chatting with Stephen about the day. It wasn’t until about 10 minutes later that I realized the bus was full and we still hadn’t left yet.

“Where’s the bus driver?” I asked Stephen.

Stephen peered out the window. “He’s taking a smoke break and talking on his walkie talkie.”

“Oh, great!” I moaned. Last time we had a bus driver who smoked, she took a 10 minute smoke break at every stop and we arrived an hour late. She got on the intercom and told her passengers that she was sorry we were late but it “couldn’t be helped.” Yeah right.

Shortly thereafter, our very short, stout bus driver climbed aboard the bus and faced us. “ALRIGHT!” He yelled. “EVERYBODY OFF THE BUS NOW! THIS BUS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HANDICAP EQUIPPED AND IT ISN’T, SO WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO SWITCH BUSES.”

We all looked at each other. Not handicap equipped?? Is that even legal? And where on earth were they going to get another bus? If you’ve seen these particular buses, they don’t grow on trees. But we all filed off anyways, grabbed our luggage, and stood on the sidewalk. Our very disgruntled bus driver paced the sidewalk furiously, talking on his walkie talkie and lighting another cigarette.

We just happened to be standing next to two other Moody students and struck up a conversation with them. It was cold. After awhile, Stephen asked the bus driver how long it would be before there was another bus. The bus driver stopped in his tracks, now on his third cigarette, spread his arms wide and said “FOLKS, I DON’T KNOW WHEN THE OTHER BUS WILL BE GETTING HERE, I KNOW AS MUCH AS YOU DO!”

An hour (and five cigarettes) later, still standing on the sidewalk, the bus driver got a call from his walkie talkie and announced to the group that a bus was on its way. On its way? What had it been doing for the last hour? We were not comforted, as we didn’t know from whence this bus was coming and it was rush hour.

Finally, an hour and a half after we boarded and unboarded the bus, another bus showed up. Again, we filed onto the bus, secured our seats and waited. And waited. And waited. The bus driver climbed into the driver’s seat and started the bus. He inched it forward a bit…then climbed off the bus.

“Now what’s happening?” I asked. We soon realized that they were trying to load the woman in her wheelchair. They loaded her on the lift, then unloaded her, moved the bus and tried again. Thirty minutes later, the woman, her caregiver, and her dog were finally on the bus. And we actually left the building.

We arrived in Indi shortly after midnight. But at least we made it:-)


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by StevoWillco on April 8, 2007 at 2:16 am

    true story!


  2. Posted by StevoWillco on April 9, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    true story!


  3. Posted by Jenna on April 9, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    oh SISTER! I can see that you have stolen my blog title style which I have stolen from A.A. Milne! I suppose it’s OK.

    How terribly dramatic and cold for you to stand in the elements for an hour. Were you quite blue by the end of your trial?


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