Politics Magazine

A Big Joke

Posted on the 14 December 2012 by Steveawiggins @stawiggins

On the evening table my wife left a token of hope for me to read in this hopeful season. New Jersey “Transit” claimed that the very next day riders of the extensive bus system would be able to track buses precisely on their smart phones. No more wondering “has the bus already come, or is it late (again)?” I laughed when I read this because that very evening in the Port Authority my bus never came. The frazzled and apologetic dispatcher said nobody knew where the driver was. Did anyone think to drag the East River? I wondered. As other buses pulled to the gate, drivers refusing to switch routes, the line grew and grew. The bus scheduled for the next half hour did not show. My daughter was waiting for me to fix dinner. On a good day I’m home by 6:30. This was not a good day. I laughed ironically at the article and went to bed. My morning bus leaves, in theory, before 6:00 a.m. A day later, in the Port Authority. My bus, which can now be tracked with precision, precisely failed to show up. I’m sure you know the dispatcher’s chorus—please join in—”nobody knows where the driver is.”

So what is a diatribe like this doing on a blog about religion? I’m as mad as Hell about this, that’s why! Every month I pay hundreds of dollars for a bus pass. I think the least New Jersey Transit could do is the courtesy of sending a bus. In case anyone from NJ Transit is reading this, a bus is a large vehicle that seats about 50 adults and generally runs the same way every day. It’s called a “route.” People use it to get to and from work. Of course nobody expects the executives of a company that services over 19,000 bus stops to take a bus to work. They probably have to be on time. I take the earliest possible bus from my town to New York City. Most days it is late and consequently so am I. For this I spend over three grand a year.

This is not about Hurricane Sandy. Buses have been back on schedule since Thanksgiving. What it comes down to is the fate of most capitalistic ventures—the working person butters the bread of the Executive Director who earns more than $260,000 a year. Last night I toyed with the idea of getting other disgruntled commuters to link arms and stand across the exit ramp, or to lay down in front of the buses until a bus for my route was sent. I suspect, though, that they realize as well as I do that Tiananmen Square doesn’t take much to morph into Times Square when an individual stands in the way of corporate gain. Tonight I plan to wear my good walking shoes. After all, I paid good money for them too. Unless, of course, anybody out there would like to drive this bus?

Ghost bus

Ghost bus

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