This morning, heading to my other office, I was on the Howard Transit Purple bus going north when the dispatcher called the driver and sent him back to the mall to pick up a driver who needed to go to Elkridge. People on the bus - a couple dozen - were outraged. Me, too. And rightly so. As one woman said, "You're making a whole busload of people late for work for one man who couldn't be there on time like everyone else!"
I missed my connection at the MARC station. I'm fairly sure most of the people on the bus were late - after all, I clocked this move as adding 10 minutes to the route. Two people bailed off the bus to grab a cab, they were so afraid of what their employers would do.
By my reckoning, Howard Transit had four other choices:
- He could have waited for the next bus. This wasn't any route's first run, and nobody could have been on overtime yet. But, supposing that there was some bus sitting around with no driver, then
- He had a van which he was leaving in Laurel. He could have driven that to Elkridge. If there was some reason he couldn't leave the van there, then
- They could have sent someone to drive him, a manager or mechanic or somebody. If they truly had no person with a driver's license to spare, then
- There are cabs at Laurel. He could have taken one of them. If it was his fault he was late, he could have paid, or HT could have.
(And, yes, I called them (and so did half the people on the bus), and I wrote them.)