With my bus pass (30 Day ED) set to expire on Friday, I made the trip to Hampton Roads Transit's (HRT) Monticello Avenue office to buy a new one this morning. (Why I don't buy them at Silverleaf is another story....) The trip showed me some problems still existed, while some new ones have appeared.
My original plan was to transfer from the 20 to the 23 at Military Circle, taking the 23 to Cedar Grove. (Route 23 has more than twice as many places to go 10-39.) However, the 23 was running about twenty minutes late, so I got back on the 20.
The driver on the 20 had a nasty attitude. Shortly after we left Military Circle, I called the Superintendent of Southside Operations to report an incident from yesterday. Apparently the driver overheard enough of my phone conversation to know who was speaking to who: his attitude dramatically improved, and he started doing everything by the book.
On the bus there were still a few people unaware of the switch from downtown Norfolk to Cedar Grove.
Turning into Cedar Grove, the 3 was directly ahead of us, but it pulled out. I had seen the 1 at the front of the conga line, so I ran for it. It was starting to pull out, but stopped for me. I made the hop up to Monticello on it.
Great time buying the bus pass: a soft-spoken young man did the best Customer Service job I've ever had there.
I walked back to Cedar Grove from the office. Not only did I not want to wait for a bus, but I wanted to test the distance for future trips.
Ominously, a repair crew had come to work on the parking lot. Apparently all those 18 ton buses on it has damaged it. (Not designed for that, was it?)
A lady was still not familiar with Route 310, the free Downtown Shuttle.
I made change for two people needing it for bus fare. That's a regular request you'll get from fellow riders, as the drivers themselves won't make change. (That and I'll get asked to use my cell phone.)
After a wait of about twenty minutes, the 23 Outbound arrived. The bus was surprisingly full for that hour on the 23. About two-thirds full; the 23 normally runs less than half full midday. It and the other two 23s I saw were all operated with Orions. Route 23: Antique Alley.
Unusual sight: the Route 9 had a 2000 series Gillig on it. The 9 is a backwater catch-all route (like the 4) that usually gets older equipment. HRT trying to kiss up to Norfolk State? (The 9 runs on the northern periphery of the NSU campus.)
1. The 23 is FUBAR with the Cedar Grove stop. It needs rescheduled ASAP.
2. Still not 100% awareness on the Cedar Grove changes 2 1/2 weeks later.