After driving for Transfort for about six or seven months, some new positions were announced. Not so much new positions as new classified positions opened. These positions were twenty hour classified positions. This meant some additional benefits, along with guaranteed hours. I (as well as several other new people) applied and filled the new positions. The shift bidding for a twenty hour classified position sucked. It was pretty common for you to use up five days to get in twenty hours, on some bids it would take six days. The real complaint here was that the split shifts made it impossible to pick up or fill any of the full shifts that came open due to vacations or illness.

As luck would have it, after being there about a year, I was able to secure a Classified forty hour position. I can only attribute this to making myself available at a moments notice. This new position came with all the benefits. No longer did I need to have supplementary health insurance, would now be paid fully for holidays (instead of just days) and could now have sick pay and vacation! The only draw back here is I’m again at the bottom of the barrel as far as bids go. Because my new position came in between bids, my schedule would be changed weekly, sometimes daily. It was kind of fun as I got some pretty good shifts. When the next bid came due, I basically got what was left over. One week mornings, one week afternoons with a couple of split shifts each week. Since then the bids have been pretty similar until another forty hour position opened.

This next position was filled by someone who hired on after me. I was elated, someone was actually below me! That feeling was short-lived. Three more forty hour positions opened and were filled by people who hired on before me, which meant I was again in the toilet (bid-wise). When the bids came out, there were only just enough to go around. So, the two bids that were left over went first to me, then to Greg (the fellow below me). The bids were, well, yucky to say the least. Greg got a very broken up week with at least one split shift. I, on the other hand, moved to the night shift.   

DTC Grand Opening

The old freight depot in downtown Fort Collins was bought by the city to be fixed up and used for the bus system. I had known where the freight depot was and thought it was kind of a nice looking building but little else. The only thing that interested me was it was going to be a bathroom close to where the bus stops. After what seemed to be a very long wait, the new terminal opened (not exactly on schedule but finally did open). Approximately 2 to 3 weeks after the new terminal opened, there was a grand opening ceremony.

The opening of the Downtown Transit Center.

During the time DTC was being worked on, we as drivers were kept apprised as to how the work was progressing. We were all looking forward to the completion. When the Transit Center was close to being done, I was scheduled to take a tour group through the area in bus #45. After a drive around town to view several projects in process, I was instructed to go to the Downtown Transit Center. The regular transit busses weren’t allowed to use the facility yet but I was instructed to pull in. I thought everyone would get out and take a walk-about to see the new facility but none did.

The tour group probably spent about 10 minutes talking about what they were seeing out the windows. When all the questions were dealt with, I was instructed to head out and back to the Senior Center. The atmosphere in the bus was high and many conversations were on the go as I eased out of the transit center. I had a small problem leaving the transit center. Seems the ramp on the exit wasn’t designed quite right to accommodate the busses. The resounding s-c-r-a-p-e put a complete hush through the bus (not to mention two long divots in the road). The engineer who designed the ramp (who was giving the tour) put it very simply, “I guess I’ll have to go back and check the specifications on that, huh?”

Just before the “Grand Opening” (September 17 2001 if I’m remembering right) we were all told we could go, if we had the time off. I was working an afternoon shift that day, so, I thought it might be fun to go to the opening before work. I parked Ruby (our fabulous Subaru) in the lot at the Square and rode Route 1 to DTC.

When I arrived at DTC, one of the field coordinators came over and told the driver to shut off the bus, as it was a noisy distraction (at a bus station?). Jim Culley and Peggy were their samples of bus drivers, their job was to talk to people and make popcorn. When I started wandering around (dressed in my bus uniform), I was approached by the different coordinators and asked what I was doing there. Here this was, the opening of a bus station where the people in charge were walking about making the drivers shut off their busses then making them feel unwelcome, weird. It didn’t take me long before I’d had enough and went on my way.


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Copyright 2009 Pokie Parmidge