Adventures in TriMet

I do not own a car, thus taking public transportation is my primary means of getting around Portland. For the most part, I don’t have many complaints about the buses, but one thing does irk me. Who at TriMet thought it was a smart move to put a driver on a route of which they’re not familiar during rush hour?

On my way home this evening, the first part of my trip was spent on the #77 heading down NE Broadway. Well, it was supposed to, but the driver missed the turn and continued on NE 39th Street. She was taking directions from a passenger. Upon missing the turn, she chastised the passenger for not telling her the correct directions. (He told her to stay in the right lane and follow the turn.) The driver then asked for help from the other passengers on how to get back onto NE Broadway while proceeding to tell everyone that she didn’t know the route. Were the passengers on the bus being filmed for “Clerks PDX”? Was the driver “not supposed to be there today?”

Fortunately, she was able to maneuver the bus on NE Hancock Street to NE 37th Avenue and then back onto Broadway. Coast clear? Not quite. After picking up a few more passengers, one asked about a stop in NW. She thought she made a stop there. I hope that guy was ready to walk a few blocks.

Fortunately, I had to stop at Kitchen Kaboodle tonight, thus ending this adventure.

5 Comments so far

  1. Dave (unregistered) on January 14th, 2008 @ 8:47 pm

    Fun stuff!

    Twice I’ve been on the 35 Macadam when the driver crossed the Ross Island Bridge, instead of turning right before the bridge to get on highway 43.

    On the 10 Harold once a confused bus driver went around and around the Ladd’s Addition traffic circle, and after a few laps and explicit and correct directions from passengers still turned onto the wrong street and had to negotiate those narrow streets in a bus; fun! ;-)

  2. Dodge Ram (unregistered) on January 14th, 2008 @ 11:36 pm

    OMG that’s the biggest screw up I have heard of the driver must have been demoted from MAX to bus cause max only gos in two directions forward and reverse. I’m not a big fan of MAX but at least they don’t get lost and I thought that the busses had GPS tracker and a direct raido to the office ie help i’m lost or what are you doing over there.

  3. Derek (unregistered) on January 15th, 2008 @ 7:22 am

    I had a similar experience around Christmas when some smart young lad decided to drive his van over a concrete barrier and up on the max tracks. A bus had to take us the last few stops to the airport and the driver didn’t really know where to go so a few of us had to sit up front and give her directions.

    On the other hand I did learn on that trip that there are a small pool of bus drivers that are on call for when someone can’t drive their shift. They are usually the new people as well so I think this probably leads to a lot of the lost bus driver stories.

  4. McAngryPants (unregistered) on January 15th, 2008 @ 8:00 am

    sounds like someone needs a Garmin!

  5. thisKat (unregistered) on January 16th, 2008 @ 9:12 pm

    Crazy. This happened to me recently on the #4 when the drive failed to turn right from Interstate to Denver. I just recently started riding buses again, though I grew up in NE and took buses all through high school, then college, then when I moved back to PDX in the mid-90s. I *never* witnessed a driver getting lost. I wonder what’s happened to their training program. I would think there would be some kind of cheat sheet or a GPS.

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