Monday, June 12, 2006

Back on the bus

Three more weeks of bus life. I've only been doing this 1-1/2 weeks and I hate it already. I missed my regular bus this morning, and I was overwhelmed by the options. Should I take the DASH to the subway to the Orange Line. Should I take the 200? Should I catch the 2 or 4 up to a further bus line? Should I take a later commuter express bus and hope it isn't too late? So many choices. In my indecisions, I kept missing buses as it got later: There goes the Dash, there goes the 200, there goes the 304.

I finally got to work, one hour late. I was demoralized and slightly queasy from the herky-jerky driving of my Orange Line driver. While on the bus, I tried to make a list of why the Red Line is better than the Orange Line. But the bumpy riding conditions turned my notes into intelligble scribbles. So here's what I have at the top of my head on why the Red Line is better than the Orange Line:

1) The subway train has roomier seats. Both wider benches and more leg room. On the Orange Line even a 5'4" tall person such as myself feels cramped.
2) You can write notes, letters, do the Sudoku puzzle on the Red Line thanks to the smooth ride. On the Orange Line, you are liable to lose your pen during a particularly hard stop.
3) There's no Transit TV on the Red Line. No wonder everyoen's got headphones on. The Transit TV on the Orange Line and other MTA buses blares from these little white boxes mounted above the seats on each side. You can't even move away from the sound. And it's not like it's "The Sopranos" or even "Finding Nemo." It's either headlines or obnoxious ads for vocational school.
4) You can read a book or my column on the Red Line and not get nauseated. I know the Orange Line buses are supposed to be exceptionally superior, but they still bounce along at the pavement. And if you're in a bus with a driver who is heavy on the gas and brakes, it will take all your concentration just to hold on.
5) The Red Line is not over-airconditioned. It's just right. In my experience the climate in buses falls into two categories: Third-world melt-o-rama or Arctic freezerific.

Were it not for the fact that I ride one right after the other, I might never have noticed how the Orange Lines fails so spectacularly by comparison.


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