Sunday, 16 June 2013

Decisions, decisions

On the way to work there is only one choice for the second bus, on the way back they is only one choice for the first bus.  It was once two, the second option being a bus which did a route through estates and took twice as long, however that bus changed its route and ceased to tempt me into the folly of getting on it.

The choice for second bus is also a choice for which stop to get off as they do not all stop at all the stops. First option is to get off as the town where the littering incident occurred.  Only the black bus is is available for my onward journey from here.  There is a three sided shelter next to the retaining wall for a churchyard so there is some respite from the weather however, it is a busy stop and no guarantee that the shelter will not already be fully occupied.

The reason for this being therefore a possible choice is all based on time, if it is close to a time the bus should be there, if the red bus is running late or early then getting off here can be wise.  Sometimes having decided to remain red as that bus pulls to a large round-about I can see back to the stop and catch sight of the black bus coming behind.  My normal reaction is to get off at the next stop to make the change as on occasion black has overtaken red and I miss it.  A similar situation can also occur at the second potential interchange, this interchange is generally again a choice based on the weather (plenty of shelter room here as the shelter is more like a long tunnel) and the timings still of the black bus.

There is a level of frustration when you can see your next bus in front of the bus you are on and your chance of catching it and making the connection is based on passenger requirements at each stop on each bus.  If the bus in front has people wanting off or on at enough stops that my current bus does not we will pass it and it feels like winning.  Passenger requirements the other way around and at the point the red bus reached its terminus I can watch the black or occasionally the yellow bus pull off into the distance.

Traffic lights also aid or hinder in this process and the presence of wheeled personal transport on either bus can be a deciding factor. 

The choice I make most often is to stay put till the red bus reaches the end and turning point of its route, get off and quickly walk the short distance to the next stop.  All of the possible buses home service this stop, it has the downside of having no shelter whatsoever on a street which whatever the weather is always windy. In addition there is a gap in the buildings next to it which allows the wind, rain snow and hail (yeah have been there for it all, and some times on the same day) direct access.

You would think that from here decisions are made and all that is left is waiting for whichever bus turns up first.  Not quite, if there is going to be a 15 min or more wait there is one further option.  Walk up the bank one more stop to a three sided stone built shelter.  In the cold moving helps to warm me up with the prospect of some shelter if rain is threatening.  I get a bit of exercise and it is less boring than just standing, of course there are dangers to that choice as well.  A late bus thought already missed or one running very early can be missed this way as it passes me half way up the hill.

It is all decisions and good or bad they are mine as are the consequences, delight at a smooth connection or disgust at a miss and extended wait.