Road Champ city bus, Oakland: photo by dcast70, 2 January 2002
"Twenty-five minutes behind schedule," muttered one dripping, disgruntled member of the disparate group of assembled waiting ones.
"Yeah, right on time," mumbled another.
Gloves aren't good enough on cold nights like these (though this is to speak only of the half-glove variety, from which the frigid digits extrude like small shivering piglets).
Here in the land of plenty, it's full fare, or off you go.
The drivers, who are union-organized, are extremely well paid.
Their periodic strike actions keep causing the fares to go up.
"The transit company just wants to make money," one driver confided, on a miserable rainy night when the combined wealth of the sad passengers might perhaps have bought tea and a biscuit.
And then he said, "I think public transit ought to be free for everybody."
A new vision of the afterlife: when you die, go straight to heaven on your own toy bus, no charge for transfers.