Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Week 7: Standin on the Corner, Waitin for the Bus

Say hey mister driver man
Don't be slow
Cause I got somewhere I got to go...

I don't know whether Septa is a boon or a curse. (I also don't know why I just used "boon" or "curse", but I think I should put down the damn fantasy books for a while.) Septa is notoriously badly managed--every two years or so they talk about funding shortfalls and rate hikes. I can't help but wonder where all the money is going, and I know I'm not the only one.

But having said that, Septa is all we've got. We need it--especially now. Since the crisis, Septa's been adding more buses and trolleys, and running the trains more frequently, but as Baltpiker points out, there's a labor shortage. We need more drivers.

And we need more trolleys. Having more buses on the road is good, but it's temporary. The oil is drying up. The LA Times said that there's no way to avoid fuel shortages now. So what good is a bus when you can't run it?

And that brings me to our problem. Den and I are stuck in Lansdale, and have to get to work in Horsham. Now, normally this wouldn't be a big deal, since Lansdale and Horsham are both right on Rt. 63--a straight shot. But there isn't a busline that goes down 63 from Lansdale to, say, Willow Grove (which is east of Horsham). The easiest way to get from Lansdale to Horsham is to take the R5 to Glenside, and the 22 bus up to Horsham. It's like taking the wrong sides of a triangle when you could just take one leg. The trip is theoretically over an hour one way--which, granted, could be worse, and often is, with the trains and buses being overcrowded.

I shouldn't have quit my job at Temple. An easy train ride down the R5, and I'd be at work in 45 minutes at the most. But no--I had to quit. I had to get away from my weaselly little boss. It sounded like a good idea at the time...

If the fuel runs out... Look, in Pennsylvania we're kinda lucky, because there are a lot of farms. Dairies, vegetables, poultry, we've got it. But do we have enough? Is everyone gonna descend on the farmers' markets this weekend? And a lot of stuff, a lot of vegetables, aren't even in yet and won't be until July or August.

The good news--and there is good news--is that Den finally got to pick up a bike. We were gouged on it, of course--$300 for a used
Cranbrook. But I don't see an alternative.

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