Metro sucks, you all
I just read the December 7 article by Dave Brady ("Portland Tries to Up Bus Ridership") and he seems to have missed two salient points about why riding the Metro here in Portland sucks royally:
1) Hostile bus drivers who think Daddy or Mommy knows best. He or she doesn’t always.
2) So, I want to catch a bus from the opposite side of the street as there is no time to catch it from where I am supposed to be? Fat chance. The last two times I did it (I forgot how the rules have changed and how much meaner Metro really has become), the first time I was bitched out, some guy made me put in another fare or get off the bus on account of the fact that I did not take the bus from the correct side of the street. How cruel. So, not feeling like I wanted to put up a fight as I was feeling rather powerless and meek, I begrudgingly put more money in the box, feeling like I was getting royally ripped off. No joke. It was either that or get off the bus and I could not think of a response to this ugly man. I don’t have it in me to be Diana Ross in high heels all tanked up and ready to go.
The second time an evil bus driver tried to pull this crap on me, I put up a fight and said, “I’m not getting off the bus.” He put up a fight and said, “Sir, you have to pay another fare.” I replied in my nastiest tones possible, “I’m not getting off the bus and I’m not paying an extra fare just because I forgot about your rules and got on the bus on the wrong side of the street.” And then I quipped, “Why should I have to pay extra just because I forgot to get on the bus on the correct side? Give me a break Mr. The Metro Bus System used to be such a fun way to get around Portland. Now it has become cheap and hostile.” The driver said not another word to me and I sat back down and rode the bus to my destination wondering if the police were waiting for me on the other side. I felt stupid, but what else was I supposed to do?
It used to be you could ride the bus for hours or all day if you wanted. Something fun to do, but oh, how times have changed.
I think “Free Fare Fridays” is a great thing to help increase ridership but you and I both know the only reason Metro is doing it is for public-relations points, and the fact that it is Christmas and to encourage people to get out and buy more Christmas presents. Blahbetty humbug!
If the Metro had any sense the company would:
-allow people to ride the bus all day if it wanted to if the person paid their correct fare and did not get off the bus;
-hire only happy bus drivers (that would be a switch. It would be like moving to Pleasantville, Maine — how nice!);
-change the colors of the bus to make them look less urban and more funky;