Commuter Diary, Day 1

I’m participating in something for the New Haven Independent wherein a handful of people are reporting on their commutes for a week. I realized this morning that I could use this long-neglected blog space to write things up and then pass them on to the Indie. Below is what I wrote; the published piece, edited of course, is on the Indie’s site.

My commute has gotten so routine that the smallest things are only the ones of notice. For example, I changed where I stood while waiting for the bus so that anyone walking up my street could see me waiting and also could see if I got on the bus. Useful information transmission, perhaps.

For the first time in a while, I had a chance to do some professional reading during the commute, but I did note that one regular rider sat somewhere different than he usually does. In my time using the bus and in previous time commuting in to New York on Metro-North (ugh — don’t do it!) I’ve thought that the habits we picked up as bus riders in school (if we were such) never seem to go away. We sit in the same seat when possible, or at least the same basic area. Sometimes someone new or feisty sits in our seat and we have to move around a bit. This can throw us off and certainly makes the other regulars notice. Perhaps this happens more on the less-crowded transits, which are usually mine. On the more-crowded transits, it’s harder for anyone except those who get on at the head of the line to be in the same place every time.

The only other thing worth a remark — and that’s an arguable description — was that the driver let someone out at a spot that was not a formal stop. I’ve been granted this privilege before, but I can’t tell quite when any given driver will do it. My guess is this is against CT Transit policy, and it’s uncommon in my experience, but it does happen. Makes one long for a trolley that can be hopped off whenever the vehicle slows down enough to permit it.