Navigating the Bus System 

This is an unusual post for me. It’s about an event of sorts, but not the kind I would typically post about. However,  seeing as how I am a strong believer in public transportation, I think it is equally as important.

{Update: I wrote this post almost a year ago. I thought I posted it, but it was just sitting in my drafts. Well here you go world.}

It’s 5:07. We walk to the bus stop a block from our building in Woodlawn to wait on the 5:15 bus.

It’s 5:26pm.  After waiting 10 minutes, the No. 17 bus finally arrived.


Today, our beloved intern (we’ll call him M) and I took our first excursion via the Maxx Bus. Of course, we had the help of seasoned bus rider, J, to guide us on our way.

J decided to trail the bus in her car.

The driver was extremely polite and helped us determine what kind of fair we needed to pay. She made sure M. got  a transfer.

We take a seat in the front  while I explain that it’s proper to stand or move to the back if someone elderly or pregnant boards.

“The  inbound 14 is down and stuck in traffic,” the bus driver says in response to a question by a fellow passenger.

The bus is clean  if not cleaner than that of a DC or NYC bus. (I know because I used to live both places)

As we journey down 3rd Ave towards downtown, I can’t help but look around to see who our fellow riders are.

The man across from us stairs sternly out the front window wearing a neon yellow vest and steel toe shoes.

The man in the back row ,wearing a well pressed grey suit, sits with his briefcase open quietly reading something inside.

There are other riders too. All peacefully content minding their own business and enjoying the ride.

It’s 5:43. We arrive at Central Station to catch the 14 Palisades in Bay 1. First, we go inside to inquire about the cost of a monthly bus pass. $36 for a student. Looks like it will be cheaper for him to just pay for his rides twice a week.

Oh shoot! We missed the 14 while we were inside. The next bus isn’t scheduled to arrive until 6:35.


It’s 5:52pm. The 12 Highlands Ave Bus arrives. We decided to just take it to 5 points South. M lives on UAB’s campus.


I didn’t pay the extra .25 for a transfer, so I’m on car duty with J.  M had to take this leg alone.

It’s 5:57pm. The 12 bus departs central station. 
“Are we going in circle?”

Yes. The bus goes around downtown before it heads to Southside.

It’s 6:15 M’s bus arrives at the corner of 20th Street and 10th Ave S. He walks across the street to meet us in Macario’s parking lot.

We decided to drive the remaining four blocks that he would have to walk home from that point.
It’s 6:21pm when we finally drop him off at his home. It’s been about an hour, but we made it.

Success…. I guess.

Keep riding Bham.

-A City Girl

{Update: I’m happy to say that our wonderful intern, M, round the bus successfully for several months to and from work.}

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