Bustang by Myron, Post 11

Bustang by Myron, Post 11

Post 11: “The Regular Old Neighborhood”

Myron works for WSP in downtown Denver as a Senior Supervising Planner. Myron commutes by Bustang from Fort Collins every day, and kindly agreed to write about his experiences for a series of blog posts. Read them in order starting with Post 1 – Hi, I am >BUZZ< and I ride a bus.

It reminds me of new neighborhoods. In the beginning, everyone is out working in their yards or walking around visiting with everyone else out working in their yards. Then the landscaping is completed, and the next year people are outside a little less…until the time comes when your interaction is reduced to waving at familiar strangers while doing routine yard maintenance, with the occasional O.N. (Old Neighbor) visit.

I tried, Russ. I really did. But it didn’t make a difference.

It has been awhile since my last Bustang article, an overly exaggerated piece about all the bad things on Bustang. My Bus Buddy Russ suggested it, hoping it would slow the ridership on the sometimes-over-capacity buses. But images of rats, mice, snakes, and freezing vegetables using Bustang’s air conditioning system were not enough to reduce, let along slow, the North Line’s ridership. (It is either a sign that people don’t care what I blog or that driving on I-25 is worse than sharing a seat with frozen-carrot-eating vermin…and the rats and mice, too.)

It’s been a few months since I’ve written about my Bustang adventures, and I find that the experiences are becoming routine for all the regulars. I guess that’s what happens when you’re riding the same route for more than two years. But that makes me sad. Sad that we’ve lost the wide-eyed wonder of riding into the big city on a new service. Sad that sharing a set of seats is no longer the chance to meet someone new, because most of the riders now are regulars and set in our routines. You get on, put on headphones, open your computer, or close your eyes — and the next thing you know, the trip is over.

regulars on the bus

Credit: Annie Spratt

It reminds me of new neighborhoods. In the beginning, everyone is out working in their yards or walking around visiting with everyone else out working in their yards. Then the landscaping is completed, and the next year people are outside a little less, and you visit a little less. And as some neighbors move away, replaced by people you didn’t establish that early bond with over sod and mulch, the visits become fewer — until the time comes when your interaction is reduced to waving at familiar strangers while doing routine yard maintenance, with the occasional O.N. (Old Neighbor) visit.

Dang, now I’m depressed….And I shouldn’t be. Bustang is still a great service, and most everyone on the bus is interesting in their own way. (You can interpret “interesting” however you want.) It reminds me of something I read a long time ago about long relationships; paraphrased, “Those traits you found cute or quirky become irritating.”

So, as I continue writing about my Bustang experiences, I will share some cute, some quirky, and some irritating interactions and happenings.

In the meantime, a shout-out to a couple of the drivers: To Jonathan for finding my cell phone and making sure it got back to me; and to Jennifer for finding my glove among several that were left that first cold snap, and keeping it up front so I could retrieve it.

And a special shout-out to Mark Imhoff, one of my former CDOT coworkers, for his efforts to get Bustang going and his patience when ridership was about 10 people per bus. He recently retired, and I wish him the best that retirement has to offer.

Post 12: “Newly Redesigned Front End

Did You Know?

Smart Commute can over the cost of your first Bustang Trip if you are currently driving solo on a portion of I-25 – check out our I Drive I-25 Program!