Bustang by Myron, Post 9

Bustang by Myron, Post 9

Post 9 – “Bus Friends”

Myron works for WSP 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.

Some days are more crowded than others, with regulars wondering why the others aren’t regular attendees. And when the ride is over we walk out the aisle and tell the driver thanks, good job (nice sermon).

Riding the Bustang regularly on I-25 is like going to church. You see a couple friends, nod to acquaintances and recognize a few faces, all while praying traffic keeps moving. People sit in their regular seat (pew) even though there is no assigned seating with some people getting there early to assure their seat and the late comers filling in the empty spots. Because of the no alcohol rule we don’t get ceremonial wine, but we are allowed to eat all the bread we want. We all face forward and pay varying amounts of attention to what is being said. Some days are more crowded than others, with regulars wondering why the others aren’t regular attendees. And when the ride is over we walk out the aisle and tell the driver thanks, good job (nice sermon).

I group the Bustang Church riders into four categories; BN, BA, BB, and BF, based on how often I see them and our conversation topics and familiarity. It’s a tiered system and people move up through the categories and sometimes, sadly, fall out.

At the starter level is the BN, Bus Novice. These are the riders that looked like me on the January morning 18 months ago. Novice riders who aren’t sure which end of the line to stand in or how the ticket scanner will work. The regulars watch out for these BNs and offer to have them stay for coffee and cookies (not really, but I couldn’t let the analogy go).

And no, BA is not what half the bus does to passing motorists, and if it was the tinted windows would dim the effect. BA is Bus Acquaintance, those people you see quite a bit and give the acknowledging head nod. You may have sat next to them a time or two with polite talk about the weather or work, but never religion or politics. That’s the extent of your interaction, but at least you feel comfortable when the open seat is next to a BA.

The third level is BB; Bus Buddy: noun – a person with whom a social relationship is developed while commuting on public transportation. You know their names and something more than how they feel about 90 degree days. I know about Duane’s and Kathy’s remodeling projects, Wayne’s daughter’s volleyball team, Susan’s weekend trips, Diane’s work and workouts, Bryan’s writing, Mary’s desire to get out of the city, and Wendy’s hatred of early morning commutes and her child’s political activism. And they know a little about my daughters’ graduation and dance, my wife’s crafts, and about my work and home projects. It’s always good to have a buddy.

Lastly, at the top of the grouping are the BFs, Bus Friends. I suppose there could be BBFs, but I’ll leave those initials for teenage girls to claim. BFs save you a seat when the bus is really crowded, you occasionally meet for lunch, or we know each other from work or other activities. Jennifer and Patrick are the ones I count as current BFs. Then there are the ones that fall out of the categories. Mary found her way out of the big city and Wendy landed a job that allows her to sleep in. Someone else has taken over their regular seats, and for now the new people are BNs. One sleeps with hood pulled tight and earbuds, making us miss our buddies Mary and Wendy all the more.

There is another level that Wendy, who knows about my Bustang stories, was hoping I would write about; a romantic match that started on Bustang. I think she watches too many movies, but if anyone has heard about a Bus Couple it might make for an interesting story. I’m dating myself, but I can’t get the Hollies’ Bus Stop song out of my head; “…That’s the way the whole thing started – Silly but it’s true – Thinking of our sweet romance – Beginning in a queue” We can have the wedding on the Bustang Church.

Read Post 10, “Sunshine and Lollypops”

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!