Observations: Taking the Bus


I generally take public transit to work. Well, at least part way. I drive to the subway, which then carries me to within one block of my mid-town office. This, along with not eating beans, is my contribution to the one-tonne challenge. I shall continue to eat pumpernickel however.

Today, I took the bus rather than drive home from the subway. The reasons are numerous and complex; far too much to burden you, the reader. The trip turned out to be quite pleasant. I got a seat; the bus was clean; it didn’t leach obnoxious odors.

I was about the fifth person to get on the bus. I noticed everyone was sitting on the left-hand side of the bus. Immediately recognizing this as more than chance, I too took a left-hand-side seat. It was good I did as I soon discovered. Being a north-bound bus, the right hand side was exposed to the full glare of the lowering sun.

Learning: when travelling a bus route for the first time observe where people are sitting.

When I was a youth I took the bus to school. I had to take three buses. The Granville St. bus, the 41st St. bus followed by the Dunbar St. bus. I don’t recall exactly how long it took, but I can imagine it was some time. In those days, bus fare was (using a token) 3.5 cents or 7 cents per day return. Today’s trip, on just one bus, for about 15 minutes, was $2.50.

In those days my parents gave me an allowance, paid monthly. It was $4.00. It was a princely sum, however, I did have to pay my expenses: 1.40 for busfare (7 cents/day * 20 day/month); 1.80 hair cut ($0.90/hair cut, twice monthly); $0.40 for spending money ($0.10/week * 4 weeks); $0.40 savings. Often I would ride my bicycle to school to save the busfare. That would be 7 cents. I could by 3 jawbreakers for 1 cent.


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