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In the Driver's Seat: Getting to the Bus Stop on Time

January 06, 1985

Here I sit in Balboa at 7:45 a.m. I left my home in Santa Ana at 5:35 a.m. and checked in at the bus division 20 minutes early in order to be on time leaving the yard at 6:32 a.m.

Light morning traffic got me to my destination at Balboa and Palm 10 minutes early, plenty of time to check the bus again and start my northbound trip to Santa Ana.

At 7:01 I attempted to start the bus but, lo and behold, the air pressure did not climb to the 120 psi necessary to safely operate the vehicle.

Radio dispatch advised me to wait with the bus for a maintenance unit.

What else can I do? It's like when your car won't start, you call Auto Club and just wait for them to show up.

I decided to pick up a copy of The Times and what did I find but an article by another person on hold, a passenger "biodegrading" while waiting for a bus. What a coincidence! I was greatly impressed with the style of the article and was therefore not nearly so annoyed as I would otherwise have been. I will admit that my first thoughts ran along lines of, "If things were so much better in Manhattan, then why. . . . ?"

Most of all, I guess I was curious as to how long Leslie Powell actually waited for that bus, and what kind of welcome that luckless driver received when he finally arrived.

Please believe me when I say that we drivers, and the transit district, are very concerned about our passengers--even those with less "endurance."

We do the best we can to stay on schedule.

During the last nine years that I've been driving for OCTD, the few occasions when I've been 30 minutes late or longer have been due to mechanical failure.

In the meantime, enjoy the moderate climate of our Golden State. Pick up a copy of The Times and check out the weather on the East Coast.

TOM PARRY

Santa Ana

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