Riding the Bus in Albuquerque

“You may be the only rider,” Dan, my mechanic commented when I told him I was going to catch the bus back home while he repaired my car.

I had attempted to research my options the previous night through SunTran’s website. I confirmed that the Number 2 bus traveled all the way up Eubank, which meant I could ride the same bus from the mechanic’s shop to a corner a block and a half from my house. I was delighted to learn that since I was over 62, I was eligible for a reduced fare as an “Honored Citizen.” I was not able to determine how often the bus ran.

This morning as I traveled down Eubank to the mechanic, I noticed there were no schedules posted. “This should be interesting,” I thought.

A covered bus bench was located almost directly across from the mechanic. I only had to walk up to the corner to cross with the light. I had seen a woman sitting on the bench as I pulled into Dan’s. That was encouraging.

When I approached the bus shelter after dropping off my car, there was no one there. I must have just missed the bus. No telling how long I would have to wait for the next one. As I got closer, I noticed a small schedule attached to the route pole. The print was so small that I needed my reading glasses to locate my stop on the map and decipher the time of the next bus. Indeed, I had just missed a bus, but would only have to wait another 15 minutes for the next one. It appeared that the bus ran every 20 minutes. I had my morning paper with me to pass the time.

There were five passengers on the bus as I boarded. I flashed my driver’s license and dropped in $.35. As the bus let off and picked up passengers, the census stayed right about six. There were a couple of students, a man who placed his bicycle on the front of the bus before boarding, a woman in a medical uniform, and other respectable riders – a far cry from the horror stories I had heard about bus riders.

My ride took 15 minutes. It was still in the mid 60’s as I strolled home from the stop at the end of my street. I just might try it again sometime.

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