I ride the #4 bus now. I haven't ridden a city bus in the US for over 25 years, and now I have a bus. It's the 4. It picks me up two blocks from home, and after 45 minutes it lets me off 10 blocks from work. Or vice versa. That doesn't sound like a good ad for public transportation, and I still get driven to work by the love of my life most days, but I like the 4. It makes me feel like I live in a more diverse city than I do live in.
Today, about a mile into the ride, a whole class of 7-year-olds from Boise-Eliot school got on at one stop, with what looked like 2 adults. This made me smile. They were noisy and well behaved. Except for one of their supervisors who kept yelling at them to stop talking: "ZERO TALKING." "How much talking did I say? ZERO." She did eventually almost succeed in silencing them. I liked the chatter better.
My husband goes to Dallas every Friday to cut the grass, work on the house we are about to put on the market, and play volleyball late into the evening with his friends. He drops me off at work and I go home on the 4. I do what everyone else does, find a seat, pull out my faux-pod (a cheap Sansa MP3 player my kids found me on one of those websites where you have 24 hours to decide) or my book, and leave the driving to a very nice man or woman who is, I hope, paid well to put up with us all. I watch people of every color, age, and capability get on and off. I watch Portland go by. I pull the string. I walk the two blocks home. I feel kind of like I live here.