Tag Archives: The “un” Golden Transfer

How to make a bus chick angry

It took me a full minute to get around this considerately parked vehicle, which I encountered on my way from the 48 stop at 23rd & Spring. When I got to the other side, I spent another minute trying to figure out how someone with a wheelchair would have managed it.

Bad car!

Perhaps it was too much trouble to pull forward a few feet into that empty driveway…

Bus driver envy

From the Associated Press:

A 15-year-old boy stole a bus, drove it along a public transit route, picked up passengers and collected fares, authorities said Sunday.

Wow. And I thought I was bad for dressing up as an old-school Metro driver for Halloween.

“I drove that bus better than most of the LYNX drivers could,” the teen, who is too young to drive legally, told a deputy after he was stopped and arrested. “There isn’t a scratch on it. I know how to start it, drive it, lower it, raise it.”

Evidently, he stole a decommissioned bus that was about to be sold at auction. I wonder how he decided which route to drive.

Speaking of unprofessional…

This behavior–reported in the Kansas City Star–is definitely grounds for an Out of Service. (Yes, I finally decided on a name for the “other award.”)

MINNEAPOLIS – A city bus driver who complained about a gay-themed ad got official permission not to drive any bus that carries that ad, according to an internal memo confirmed Tuesday by Metro Transit.

Here’s a question: What does this driver do about gay passengers?

Just wondering…

Ah ha, hush that fuss

The automotive industry is the largest advertiser in the world. Auto makers spend billions upon billions of dollars to convince us that cars (and trucks) are the keys to happiness, freedom, success, and an unlimited supply of hot chicks. Apparently, they’re also responsible for the Civil Rights Movement.

Or something.

You see, GM is now using Rosa Parks in an ad for a Chevy pick-up. Seth Stevenson reviewed the ad for Slate.

The spot: Singer John Mellencamp leans on the fender of a Chevy pickup, strumming an acoustic guitar. He sings, among other things, “This is our country.” Meanwhile, a montage of American moments flies by: Rosa Parks on a bus. Martin Luther King preaching to a crowd. Soldiers in Vietnam. Richard Nixon waving from his helicopter. And then modern moments: New Orleans buried by Katrina floodwaters. The two towers of light commemorating 9/11. As a big, shiny pickup rolls through an open field of wheat and then slows to a carefully posed stop, the off-screen announcer says, “This is our country. This is our truck. The all-new Chevy Silverado.”

This ad makes me–and, judging by my e-mail, some of you–very angry. It’s not OK to use images of Rosa Parks, MLK, the Vietnam War, the Katrina disaster, and 9/11 to sell pickup trucks. It’s wrong. These images demand a little reverence and quiet contemplation. They are not meant to be backed with a crappy music track and then mushed together in a glib swirl of emotion tied to a product launch. Please, Chevy, have a modicum of shame next time.


Rosa Parks Bus (source: Montgomery Transit)


I say, if you’re going to exploit the image of a woman who is no longer alive to defend herself, at least have the decency to do it in an ad for the vehicle she is associated with. It was, after all, a GM bus she was riding on the day of her historic arrest.

That “other” award

Some of you will recall that, about a month ago, I witnessed a bus driver behaving so rudely toward one of my fellow 48 passengers that I felt compelled to create a new award. Unlike the esteemed Golden Transfer, this is an award of shame, its purpose to expose particularly egregious bus behavior.

I don’t have a name for this award yet. (I like BUSter, BUSted, or Expired Transfer. Busnerd insists on Out of Service. A few readers have also sent some good suggestions.) I do, however, have another winner.

This morning, again on the 48, a woman with a reduced fare card got on the bus without paying. The driver gently reminded her that the ride cost 25 cents. The woman showed the card again and (rather rudely) insisted that she didn’t have to pay. The driver explained that the reduced fare permit entitled her to a reduced-cost trip, not a free one. “You don’t have to pay this time,” she said, “but you should know for the future.”

“I already paid for this card. Why would I pay again? You’re giving me false information.”

The driver, still calm and polite, directed the woman’s attention to the fare sign by the door, which clearly stated that those with reduced fare permits are required to pay 25 cents per ride.

“I’m going to have to talk to your supervisor about this. I’m going to say you’re giving false information.”

The driver attempted to explain the system again, then gave up and continued driving her route. The woman, on the other hand, was not ready to let the subject go.

“You’re giving false information. I’m going to talk to your supervisor. Stop giving me false information.”

And so on, ad nauseam, until it was time for her to get off, at which point she leaned into the driver’s face, screamed (one more time for good measure), “Stop giving false information!” and stormed down the steps.

Perhaps today’s incident was the universe’s attempt to right itself, a reversal of roles intended to rebalance the 48 driver/rider Karma. Now that things are even, let’s have a moratorium on yelling and public humiliation–at least before 9 AM.

What’s the opposite of a Golden Transfer?

Whatever it is (I need to marinate for a few days to come up with just the right name), the guy who drove my morning 48 today certainly earned one. He was just plain mean to a poor, innocent newbie who asked (politely) how to use the bike rack, barking unclear instructions at him and then honking–angrily and repeatedly–when the newbie’s performance didn’t meet with his approval. When the honking failed to convey his crystal-clear message, he stormed off the bus and (I will assume, since I couldn’t see) performed the job himself. I am certain that there was more shouting involved.

Here’s a question: If a person can’t ask the driver for help with something like this, exactly how is he supposed to learn it? Yes, it slows the bus down (yet another reason not to blame the driver when your route is late), but unlike schedule times and fare structures, which can be learned by using the Internet or the telephone, this is not something one can “figure out” without trying at least once. Unless there’s a special practice rack I haven’t heard of.