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How Do You Find a Bus Schedule in This Town?

December 17, 1995

I am the woman in the black car who has been chasing buses on Ventura and Reseda boulevards and White Oak Avenue. It started when the vehicle belonging to my son broke down and I volunteered to help. He checked the bus lines passing his home and said he was having no luck getting schedules.

Get real! But I thought I could find them.

I am an annoyingly determined person. I have called the Metropolitan Transportation Authority 800 number and waited for the "next available person" more times than I have fingers. I have driven behind buses and passed them trying to see if they had schedules in the slot by their door. I have actually sat at bus stops and asked the drivers if they had schedules--and gotten that "Sorry, no" grin at least three or four times on the 239 and 522 lines.

Three times I have gone to the bus terminal / parking lot / break room on Nordhoff Street and Canoga Avenue, asked for bus schedules and been pointed to the misnumbered wall dispenser--but had no luck getting information for the lines we need.

And another thing: If you are in front of a bus, the bus line number is clearly displayed. But who decides which one in 20 buses will open the number light display doors on the back of the vehicle, so you know whether to run to catch the bus that just passed you by?

Please help me. Is there a master map with schedules? Another phone number besides the 800 black-hole number?

On my last grumbling attempt to get a schedule from a parked 239 bus in Encino, a silver-haired senior passenger giggled as she said, "These buses aren't for us."

Tell me that isn't so.



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