A Tale of Three Cities

I voted for rail both times it was on the ballot. Each time before election day I campaigned for it on a personal level. I had two reasons for voting for rail service in Austin. First, I had used commuter rail in California before moving to Texas and experienced the benefits it offered and saw how much people enjoyed it.  Second, and more importantly, I thought of it not so much as a need for us now but as a need for our great grandchildren and their children.

Go back with me in time to the late 80’s, early 90’s. At that time I was an assistant manager in a bookstore in Hollywood. And as fun and wild as it is in Hollywood, it was even more fun and wild in Tijuana. Plus it was a dangerous city, which was an added attraction for me. Kind of like some people are attracted to unsuitable people.

To get to “T.J.” I took Amtrak from downtown Los Angeles to downtown San Diego. There, in the same station, I would buy a one-way ticket for the commuter rail for two dollars. Then get on the red line to San Ysidro, the last town in California. A very small town. I think it was the size of Austin’s downtown and surrounding business district. It had more dirt roads than paved. Continue reading “A Tale of Three Cities”

Route 300

Today I found myself on the 300 route. That is the route I’ve been working since October. Today I also found, with help from little friends, a better me.

The best way to explain is to give an example of what a typical morning is like on the 300. I would pull my bus out of the Capital Metro gate about 4:20 in the morning. Life in Austin is remarkably quiet and still at this time. My assignment called for me to travel on Pleasant Valley to Cesar Chavez, then north on I-35 to North Lamar Transfer Center. Very quiescent was this drive but instead of drifting to daydreaming I would become reflective. It was the best time to write poetry. Unfortunately I was driving a bus instead of sitting at my desk. Continue reading “Route 300”

It’s Roadeo Time

Capital Metro’s local Bus and Paratransit Roadeo competition will be held this Sunday, November 1, at the Leander Station and Park & Ride.

I am competing this year in the 35-foot bus competition. This past weekend I practiced maneuvering a bus through a 10-piece obstacle course, each challenge made to be tougher, more treacherous and mind boggling to get through than the one before. Continue reading “It’s Roadeo Time”

One Million Miles and Counting

Last week in a makeshift ceremony I was presented my plaque foLeor reaching the million mile safe driving mark. The award was given to me by the National Safety Council. It was presented to me by Tony Dugas, from the Capital Metro Safety Department, and Erica McKewen took pics. I also received some patches, which earlier today I took to the cleaners to have them sewn onto my uniform.

Continue reading “One Million Miles and Counting”