I knew something was off when I got to my bus stop and there was no waiting line. What I didn’t imagine, however, was that my Tuesday’s ride home from work was going to take five hours. Because normal bus schedules were thrown off by the traffic back-up, I and many others jumped not on our regular bus which was MIA, but on the first bus available going toward our district. We all thought we’d transfer from there. One of my fellow riders bet that we were going to get there by 10 p.m. I was more optimistic; I thought we would make it by 8. Unfortunately, she was right. We along with hundreds of other vehicles crawled and inched through the freeway. Inside the bus it felt like a 10-hour flight without a bathroom. Passengers were getting up their seats and walking up and down the aisle to stretch their legs. Fortunately, nobody was in dire need to use a restroom.
When we finally arrived to the bus’s first stop, the driver could’ve just left us there to wait for the next bus that would go the rest of our way. Instead, she told us to stay and that she would figure out how to complete her regular route and drive us to our final stops too. I think the stars aligned to reward her good intentions. The next bus that came along was also doing the same route as our driver so she arranged for the second bus to take her passengers while she drove us. We were very grateful to her for driving those extra miles that were not part of her route in order to take us to our destinations.
A lot of frustration went around the next morning. Phones were ringing off the hook at the radio station with callers ready to vent over Tuesday’s gridlock or Zipnado, as it was nicknamed on Twitter, and about how the DOT failed to warn the public in a timely manner when the ZipMobiles died down, leaving the Zipper Lane still open and the freeway with only two lanes available for the westbound afternoon commuters. Others floated conspiracy theories while there were those who saw it as a sign that the rail project should go on. Me? I was telling my co-workers about how a kind bus driver got me home.