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Got my exercise first thing in the morning today…

August 16, 2007, 7:29 PM

This morning, I got my exercise early. I’m walking down my street, I’m getting close to the corner, and I saw a large, white vehicle ahead of me at the opposite corner. It’s my bus. Immediately, my walk turned into a sprint, as I totally started booking it to make my bus (the bus was early, as it wasn’t supposed to be there for another five minutes). I sprinted across the northbound lanes of Georgia Avenue without much difficulty, and then traffic prevented me from sprinting across the southbound lanes right away. I did, however, get the Metrobus operator’s attention while I was in the median, and considering the bus was early anyway, I’d hoped he would hold long enough for me to catch him. Instead, while I was sprinting across the southbound lanes, he shut the door and started taking off, nearly running me over in the process. Nice guy.

So I missed the bus, no thanks to the bus operator. Okay, though, we’re flexible. I ended up walking up from my street to the next stop, about a quarter mile or so up the road. I figure from there, since my regular bus (though this wasn’t the regular driver) kicked me to the curb, I can either catch the next Y bus, or catch Ride-On’s 51 (whichever comes first), which skips my regular morning stop (it turns a corner there coming from Norbeck Park and Ride), but does take the next one. So I ended up taking the 51 to Glenmont, and then from there I caught the Red Line for my normal Metro commute.

Still, it was strange taking Ride-On in the morning. Ride-On is my afternoon bus four days a week, but never in the morning. Instead of the usual people I ride with in the morning, I had all these new faces. Now on the Red Line, I got most of my same Red Line people. It’s nice commuting with the same people every day. And with some of them, you get the chance to get to know them.

And you also learn that Ride-On is a lot more laid back than Metro. Ride-On drivers are also more courteous, as I’ve never seen a Ride-On operator leave someone behind. Metro’s bus operators, on the other hand, will happily close the door in your face and take off, even when they’re early.

Speaking of early, that’s another thing. Transit should never be early. They need to be either on schedule or behind schedule. On schedule means the bus is where it’s supposed to be when it’s supposed to be there. Late means that the riders are at the stop at the appointed time, but they’ll get to the bus whenever it shows up. But when you’re early, the bus has already been and gone when we’re all arriving at the appointed time. And when the Y5, Y7, Y8, and Y9 run 15 minutes or so apart, that’s a long wait next to a busy road. That’s when I say the driver needs to hold somewhere to make up that difference.

Thankfully, my evening commute went just swimmingly. No problems with Metro, and I caught the 51 from Glenmont at the appointed time. I prefer the 51 because it goes up my street, vs. the Y on Metrobus, which drops me off at the corner. Shorter walks when you’re tired in the evening are good things.

Web site: Oren's Transit page about Ride-On

Song: Caitlin Hill's new rap

Quote: By the way, if anyone can figure out how to tie an RSS feed into my Journal, running under mySQL and PHP, let me know. I'd like to run it entirely in-house if possible.

Categories: Commuting, Ride On, WMATA