One of the things I enjoy about riding public transport in the US, is that it tends to be so wonderfully straightforward that nobody can get it wrong. Yes, in most cities I’ve been to, one fare serves all. You get on a bus (or a metro), and unless you’ve got a day pass, or weekly pass, the fare is the same. Seattle is a bit more complex (though not dramatically) than that, but LA is delightfully simple, I’m pleased to say. You just put your coins, or notes in the box, or register your pass, and on the bus you get!
Over here, its a whole different game! Its not quite every stop that you get on at, and get off at have a different fare, but there are lots of ‘zones’ involved, even in a shortish journey like mine into town. And pretty much, within town, most people do the same journeys, know the fare, and should have it ready, pay, and the bus can move on.
Oh, if only. You get people trying to say that they’ll pay the fare from the next bus stop where its cheaper, or that they are getting off a stop earlier than they actually do, to save about 30 pence! And of course, if its the getting on, you get a 2 minute discussion with the passenger, and the driver, before eventually said passenger slams down the right money, says something ‘less than delightful’ to the bus driver, and gets on. Either that, or glares at him for the rest of the journey, for making him pay the right fare. Of course, all this delays the bus, and annoys ‘passengers’ who have a connection to make in town, as some seem to do it every-time I see them travel.
The other thing that makes me a ‘grumpy old lady’ is the people who stand at the bus stop for 5 minutes or more, waiting for the bus to arrive, but only get their fare money, or pass out, when they reach the driver. What is so hard about being ready, folks?
OK, you’re getting this rant because this morning, I allowed 30 minutes to get somewhere, which should be a 14 minute trip. I got there with 4 minutes to spare!
Oh, funniest flat fare story. One morning I got on a bus at Hollywood & Vine stop, heading towards Glendale. A Man got on in front of me, deposited his fare (I believe it was $1.50 at time?) in the box, and sat down. No sooner had we pulled off, and he rang the bell, got off at the next stop, about 100 yards up the road, maximum. Seriously, he couldnt walk 100 yards (no, there were no visible issues, and he ran along street after getting off bus), had to catch a bus? Well…rolls eyes…?
OK, rant over, lets get to the song. This is actually the original version of this song, though many believe Manfred Mann’s Earthband were that. Wrong, lol!