I had 4:30 call this morning, which meant that I showed up at the garage at 4:28. The block between home and the garage felt like the longest block I've ever walked. Then I realized that I had forgotten my work bag at home, so I walked home, got it, then walked back to work. Then I was really cold.
First, I pre-tripped a couple buses. When we get to our bus, we have to make sure it is in working condition. It's an inspection that takes about five or ten minutes. However, if, for instance, the wheelchair lift doesn't work, and the bus is supposed to pull out in two minutes, there isn't time for another complete pre-trip inspection. The dispatchers make sure there are a couple buses ready to go, already pre-tripped, for such an occasion.
Then a dispatcher gave me a piece of work on the 589. We don't do the 589 out of Nicollet, and I've never been trained on it. And that is why I love the extra board. It's way more interesting than driving the same piece of work every day or every week.
Anyway, the 589 snakes around Prestigious West Bloomington, then works its way up to 394 on Normandale Blvd/Hwy 100, making a couple detours along the way. I wasn't too worried about getting lost, since I'm mostly familiar with the area.
I was, however, concerned about having to pass people up. Some of the women who got on my bus were worried. Apparently, the 589 is usually served by an articulated (a.k.a. accordion) bus.
As new people got on, they'd comment about how it was going to be crowded. The way they were carrying on, I imagined a standing load, packed to the back, and having to tell some people that they couldn't possible fit inside the bus.
Well, by the time I got onto Hwy 100 and wasn't going to make any more stops, everyone had somewhere to sit.
Yesterday there was weather. Today there was traffic. I dropped my last guy off approximately 25 minutes later than my schedule said I was supposed to. Just before he got off, I kind of apologized for running so late. He laughed and told me not to worry about it; he was only five or six minutes later than usual! Sweet, sweet scheduling department.
I got back to the garage and filled a trip on the 17 line. Then I chatted with a couple fellow drivers for a while and got sent home.
Labels: bus, scheduling dept.