I'm sure after I have been in Chicago for a while I will be one of those jaded bus passengers that can just sleep or listen to their iPods until their stop, but I am currently not one of those people.
I am alert. I am attentive. I'm incredibly obsessed with getting off at the right stop. Part of my plan to get where I need to go is looking around a lot. You can do a lot of looking around without actually making eye contact with people. I like to see who gets on the bus and if they are creepy. I like to look out the window and try to memorize the scenery. I try to remember which Walgreens or which CVS is on what corner, and of course, I am always conscious to which stop we are approaching.
Today I was riding the bus when we made a routine stop about half way to my destination. I watched as people got on the bus and paid their fare. Then I saw the bus driver get up. They sometimes do this when a passenger needs assistance. However, he didn't help anyone. Instead, he just got off the bus and went... who knows where. Maybe to Walgreens.
He just got off the bus.
I was baffled.
Then I noticed another bus driver had taken his place. I guess I'm not as alert and attentive as I thought.
So, if you are a bus driver, do you take a bus to the stop where you will begin your shift? And then when you are done with your shift, you just get off the bus? And try and catch a bus home? If you are on the last shift of the day, you can't take another bus home. I'm sure there is some type of giant bus barn or dispatch center of sorts, so the buses must return there nightly. How do the employees get home? They wouldn't park their cars there, because they didn't start their shift there. Or did they? Maybe you report to the bus barn (via bus) and then a giant bus drops everyone at their assigned destinations? I've been fascinated by this concept all day.
Do you think the next CTA employee I see would object to being interviewed? I've got to get to the bottom of this.