[M.M.X.I.V. 217] Routes

Public transit has always amused me, both on the inside and the outside of buses and trains.  On the inside, there’s the STOP REQUEST cords and/or buttons, the canned announcements for stops, and the advertisements.  Of course, there are also the interesting people.

But, what I wanted to talk about was the front of buses today.

Normally, the front of a bus will have a display on top that gives its route name and/or number.  For example, in Chicago, there includes the routes that I often take (separate lines represent what the display cycles through:

“62 ARCHER TO

62 HARLEM”

“201 CENTRAL/RIDGE

201 TO OLD ORCHARD”

In Lincoln, there is the same thing, but all of the displays fit on one line, such as

“40 HEART HOSP”

However, as shown in the next photo, there are times where the display has something other than the route name and/or number.  These sometimes introduce a part of amusement.

wpid-wp-1407242591372.jpeg

The display on this bus is from the weekend of June 20, 2014.  This bus was a commencement shuttle to take people to and from Ryan Field for Northwestern’s commencement exercises.  However, the title on the shuttle did not really reflect this–it was the constant message “HAVE A NICE DAY.”  I sort of like that, although might be confused that it was another way to say “NOT IN SERVICE.”

When I visited Pittsburgh to consider UPitt for grad school, I noticed that the buses that went around campus had the route names and numbers, but then alternated the message “LET’S GO PENS” or “LET’S GO PITT” on the back of the bus where it would ordinarily be just a number.  It was toward the end of the regular season in NHL action, and the beginning-middle of the spring season for UPitt’s athletics.

A similar thing happens with special bus shuttles on select Saturdays in Lincoln.  The shuttles cycle through three different messages on the front, and here is an example:

“(football icon) SOUTHWEST (football icon)

STADIUM

GO BIG RED”

The first line refers to the far-remote parking lot which the shuttle drops passengers off at.  It’s a special service provided on game days, for people who don’t want the hassle of parking downtown in Lincoln.  I never used it myself, since my parents had special parking spots, and/or I was on campus anyway.  But it seems like a great service.

One more thing with creative bus labels: in November and December, some Chicago buses have their usual displays of route, number, and destination.  But, occasionally an extra display will appear, with

“HAPPY HOLIDAYS

(reindeer and trees)”

It’s good that buses have the liberty to have a little bit of fun on their displays.

===================================================

Today is the two-hundred and seventeenth day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes thirty-one weeks.

Today is the twenty-second day of the Character Building Trial.  That makes three weeks and one day.

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