S.S. Minnow

For doing Route 1c, a mini-bus is supposed to be used. When I reported for 1c, there was a shortage of minis so I had to take out whatever was available. After a bit of searching and finding very little, I started to warm-up to Bus 19. The pre-trip went quickly and in no time I was out on the road just as it was starting to rain.

All the Route 1c is for is taking the pressure off Route 1. The pressure is removed by not allowing the Route 1 bus to turn up Harmony to Front Range Community College, instead, having the 1c mini ferry people from Front Range down to Ethan Allen and back to Front Range.

On this day the Route 1c was running just the way it is supposed to, except the rain. Bus 19 runs well and gets the job done but it has a bit of a rust problem. The roof above the driver (as well as the driver’s window) has a bit of a sealing problem. As the time passes, I keep cleaning spots of water off my glasses and finding new and creative positions to sit in. In order to not get dripped on, one has to adopt a kind of sidesaddle sitting position with your arms sort of bowed out. While driving down the road in this torrential downpour, the water that leaked in would get caught by the air coming in around the window and “flick” the water up and into your face. Route 1c only lasts a few hours but when it was time to 10-7 (finish route) I was well humidified!

Forgive Me 500

One of the drivers (Bob) working at Transfort is a “man of the cloth,” I don’t know what religion he practices but he is said to have performed marriages for some of the employees. One day while heading out to CSU for shift change, Bob was driving our Pool Van ranting on and on about lousy drivers. Bob was saying that with as close as some of these drivers cut it, it would be real easy to not react quickly enough and allow said drivers to experience a bus at less than close quarters. Seated behind Bob in the pool van, I started to giggle (imagining the call into 500). Bob got quite irritated with me and asked what I found so darned funny? I told Bob I was imagining this call on the radio from him starting with “Forgive me 500 for I have sinned”. I was amazed he kept that van on the road, both he and I laughed so hard there were tears running down our cheeks.

Minor Rescues

I’ve always known why all the drivers need to know all the routes; I’ve just never been involved in the actual need. I was preparing to drive Route 1c when it became apparent there were no minis available. Carol told me to go ahead and take out a full size Gillig. Even though it was early, I went ahead and started 1c as the other Route 1 busses were having time troubles. After about two hours a call came over the radio that Route 2 had been hit by a car. 500 responded with “Don’t move the bus.” Knowing they’d be looking for options, I got on the radio and announced “558, Front Range, 10-8 standing by WITH A FULL SIZE GILLIG.” 509 (Michael) called me straight back asking if I had any passengers on board, at which time I was already reviewing Route 2. Jumping on Shields and driving out to where Route 2 was down, picked up his passengers and headed to CSU only 11 minutes down. Within the next two runs, the route was back on time,… I, on the other hand, had a late dinner.

This being summer and with school out, there’s just not a lot for the bus drivers to do. Let me re-phrase that, with school out some routes have been removed so there are not enough routes to go around. In order to keep as many people working as possible, shorter work times are offered (for those of us that are not classified). I have been working every other day and only getting mostly small shifts like the 1c or only mornings on South Side Shuttle or only afternoons on the same.

This one morning I was out on the South Side Shuttle, the Route 10 driver and 500 (Hank) kept talking back and forth then going on to Admin.1. When I returned to the shop after South Side, Hank asked me if I would go out and relieve Route 10, as he wasn’t doing very well. Seems the back-up driver was already out on a route and there wasn’t anybody left. Moments later, I was driving to Fort Collins High School scrubbing my plans for the rest of the morning.

Full size Gillig Phantom at Fort Collins Highschool.


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Copyright 2009 Pokie Parmidge