Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Riding The Rails

Today was my first day back on the subway/bus and quite frankly, I was very excited. I miss mixing it up with my fellow citizens; I miss sitting back and leaving the driving to someone else. And it would have been terrific if only my bus pass worked.

I rode my bike to the red line (subway) and swiped my card. The screen flashed a screaming red message: card too low. Freak out. I got on the subway anyway and frantically searched for my receipt, the one they tell you to keep after you pay your monthly fare in case something like this happens.

Found it, and got really pissed off. I had asked the metro worker when I paid the monthly fee if she had loaded the fare on my card as I was buying passes for two cards. Yes, she said. All I could think of was, "liar!"

I used my receipt to get on the bus heading towards the main train station and the Metro office, to get to the root of the problem: incompetent workers who don't do their job.

Turned out the worker had loaded my pass, but it was my pass that wasn't working. So I'm stuck for the next few weeks showing my receipt until the replacement card shows up in the mail.

I thought it would be inconvenient, but doable. Until I got on the bus tonight and the driver acted like we were in Guantanamo and I was a Taliban. I protested my innocence, showed him my receipt, which he examined closely (come on, it's a $2.75 fare) and then asked me what kind of card I possessed. He was looking to get a fare difference as it was an express bus.

No such luck: my card is good for every bus and subway in the system. When it works, that is. It's going to be a long couple of weeks. Okay, G-d, what's the message?

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