Public transportation is becoming such a natural thing these days. The things that once used to be unusual are no longer unusual, and the excitement of it all the newness has worn off a bit. Boredom doesn’t necessarily equal a discontentment in this case, though. I still enjoy the person I’m becoming because of not having a car.
There was a relatively unusual moment this afternoon.
I was waiting at the bus stop outside of Bear’s place of employment. I hopped on the bus, swiped my bus pass and found a seat. From the corner of my eye I saw a bike go past the window. Next thing you know he was on the bus. The bus driver asked him where he was headed and he replied. It was about half of the distance between where we were and the final stop that the bus was scheduled to go.
When the bus had almost finished its route, the bicyclist requested to stop and hopped off the bus. The bus driver made a comment to him as he walked by, “So much for getting off halfway!” His comment caught my attention. It sounded like sarcasm. The bicyclist looked at the driver and replied, “Yeah, I got a phone call from my friend whose picking me up.”
The driver replied back, “Well, that’ll be another two dollars since I drove you all the way.”
The bicyclist got off the bus and looked up at the driver from the sidewalk. “I don’t have any more money.”
The driver scoffed and said, “Yeah ‘ya do. You have two dollars. I saw you put it in your pocket when you paid for your fare.”
At this point the driver had the passengers on the front of the bus’ attention.
Clearly lying through his teeth, he responded “Nah, I don’t have anything.”
The bicyclist, then, grabbed for his bicycle on the front of the bus and mounted himself on his bicycle in front of the bus doors.
The driver was speaking loudly at the cyclist, “Are you going to give me the money you owe me? You can be ticketed and charged for not paying for your fare.”
The man outside stared stupidly up at the driver.
“The least you can do is be honest about the two dollars you have in your pocket,” the driver said.
The man outside gave him one last look and rode away.
…and then the conversation was over.
At first I kind of thought the driver was obsessing a bit much over the two dollars. When he started talking to the guys up front, though, I found myself backing him.
“I don’t mind helping somebody out,” he said, “but I don’t appreciate dishonesty.”
That’s fair. Right?
They continued to talk about honesty until I got off the bus.