I’m on a Boat, I Mean Bus

13 Sep

I currently live about 50 miles north of Downtown Houston, which is where I work.  That means I have a fun little commute every day…and by fun I mean completely miserable and by little I mean long.

On a typical day I will take the shuttle from the Woodlands that brings me right into downtown and drops me off at my building’s corner.  Convenient?  That part, yes.

It takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get from my house to work if I take the shuttle.  It takes about 45-50 minutes if I drive.  The bus takes the HOV lane which is usually faster but the parking lot to get on the bus is about 10 minutes off the freeway, adding an extra 20 minutes to my commute one way.

Pros of Bus:  

Don’t have to deal with driving in traffic, which promotes a hefty amount of road rage

Get a solid 30-40 minute nap when needed (which is usually always)

My company reimburses me for my bus passes ($10/day)

Don’t have to pay for gas (which is a lot because I drive a truck)

Don’t have to put extra mileage on said truck

Bus full of business men and women so I don’t feel like I will be robbed and usually ride with a lot of the same people every day

Cons of Bus:

Takes me longer to get to work, therefore I have to leave my house earlier (did I mention I get to work at 6:30am so I have to leave by 5:15am to ride the bus??)

If I happen to sit next to a chatty Cathy, I don’t get my very much needed nap

Buses don’t always arrive true to schedule, usually at least 5 minutes late

Half the time they are full heading home so I either have to stand or wait 15 minutes for the next bus, which could also be full

If I have an emergency, I can’t leave between 9am-1pm and 1pm-3:15pm because the buses don’t run during that time

Buses tend to break down, AC not work, catch on fire, get in wrecks, etc when I am on them

Now that last con example, I believe I need to explain.

At my bus stop by work, I am known as the Jinx.  That’s right.  Buses I ride have so many issues that people who ride with me make comments like, “Oh great. Wonder what our problem will be today..” and nice things like that. I have only been riding these buses for about 13 months.  Within that time I have been on 2 buses that have broken down, 1 that was in a wreck (bus driver’s fault because they are awful drivers), 1 that caught on fire, 1 that had to stop before leaving downtown because it started raining and the windshield wipers weren’t working, 1 that had absolutely zero AC (in July, while standing and had sweat literally dripping down my back…sick, I know), 1 that decided to avoid traffic and take a back road that ended up costing me 2.5 hours of my life that I can never get back, and 1 that…wait for it…had the WINDSHIELD RIPPED OFF OF IT BY THE WIND!!  True story.  Don’t believe me?  Check it out.

left side is missing

I waited for about 8 minutes in a ridiculous storm with no umbrella or rain jacket, holding on to a post by my bus stop to keep from being blown over.  Just as I was thinking, “This may be a tornado, I should probably go back inside and wait it out,” my bus pulled up.  I usually sit in the front of the bus so I can get off quickly when we get to the parking lot so this day was no different.  I hopped on and we drove a whole 20 yards before we heard this loud “CRACK!” and saw the left-side windshield be ripped from the bus.  I immediately thought of the movie Twister and waited to be sucked out of the bus into the wind, never to be seen again.  It was terrifying.  Funny now, not so funny when it was happening.  I could have sworn the bus driver messed her pants because the windshield was maybe a foot from her face when it was removed by nature.

So I understand why they call me the Jinx, and have no hard feelings towards them about it.  But what can I do?  Nothing but sit back and laugh and appreciate that it’s never a dull day when riding The Woodlands Express.

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2 Responses to “I’m on a Boat, I Mean Bus”

  1. Morgan Pineda September 13, 2012 at 8:03 AM #

    LOL! Blair, you by far have the worst experiences. You just Tommy topped me with the winshield. But we normally get the grunt of it… I have a love/hate relationship for The Woodlands Express. However, the day we were on the bus with no A/C was by far the worst experience ever! But at least they make for interesting stories we can laugh at later 🙂

    • Neva September 13, 2012 at 8:43 AM #

      I agree about the day with NO A/C in July…in TEXAS!! That was my punishment for sneaking out early though, so I guess I deserved it! This post is exactly the reason for the new car pooling we are trying out that is helping us avoid the bus if possible!! 🙂

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