Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bus stops are good.

I passed this nifty little structure on my way to a student's house. In my own neighborhood, kids don't tend to meet in one place to wait for the bus, so the bus stops every 15 feet or so to take on passengers. If I happen to be stuck behind the bus, I yell at my windshield, c'mon kids, walk! That's what feet are for!

But I'm not being fair, because at least these kids (well, their parents) are taking advantage of public transportation. They don't add to the congestion everywhere within a two mile radius of the schools during drop-off and dismissal.

I won't slide into a rant about SUV Moms cutting people off to get their one and a half children into or out of the school parking lot. Or about the cops stopping traffic to let those SUVs in and out. Because that would be a cliché. Complaining about SUV Moms is so yesterday (not to be confused with regular moms, about whom, in general, I do not complain).

No. This post is about bus stops. My childhood bus stop was just a corner; not even a sign indicated that anything special might happen if you waited there. Everyone just knew where it was. My little sister Amy and I lived three blocks from it, which wasn't bad. Unfortunately, the last block was a steep hill. Amy had a strangely charming laziness about her that translated into, among many other quirks, an inability to get herself up that last hill to the bus stop. Every morning, weighed down with textbook-filled backpacks (those books are online now), we trudged up the hill. Amy would start to fall back, and I'd grab her hand and pull her. We'd see the bus rolling into the stop, which meant we had about 90 seconds, if we were lucky, to catch that bus. So I'd take Amy's backpack and swing it onto my back on top of my own, and with my right hand I would push that kid up the hill.

If we missed the bus, we walked—which stunk. But at least we could walk, and what a stinkin' luxury that was.


Rowena said...

I only rode a school bus for one year of my school career. After that, I took city transportation, bus or subway. Before that, I walked, because my school was across the street.

I used to be jealous of tales of kids who rode a regular school bus. Direct transportation. But I really miss the subway, now. Such freedom to go anywhere a token can take you. Uh. Metrocard.

Colette said...

There are certain days, especially in the fall that bring me right back to the feeling of walking to the bus stop. Sometimes there will be a chill in the air, and it will just feel like it did when I was a little girl waiting for her bus. I would've never thought then that I would be thinking about it now. I always hated having to wait for the bus.