Community thrives among regulars on the bus

I’m not a regular bus rider, so my apologies to all you habitual New Flyer commuters. But I’m thrilled and amazed by the sense of
community found on some bus routes.

It’s only natural, especially for people who may be commuting on a bus
with a limited schedule who need to be at work or school at the same

Last week I took the #205 Chicago/Golf  to a doctor’s appointment. As I
approached the bus waiting at the Howard terminal I saw the short, stout
and friendly driver joking with a passenger outside the bus. That should have tipped me off.

As we boarded, people waved greetings to each other, inquiring about their kids.

There were students, health care workers, a blind woman and two young
men with Down syndrome. One was chatting up an older woman who lent him
$2 when he realized he was short to buy a power drink.  The bus was
buzzing with conversations — quite unlike my boring morning commute on
the Red Line.

As one woman disembarked, the guys hollered out, “Bye Stephanie!”

“See you next Thursday Matt and Josh,” she replied.

We could use more of that friendliness all over the CTA.


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  • This seems to be unique to routes that run infrequently and have riders commuting on a set schedule. There was never this level of love on the 49. Trust me.

  • Most outgoing friendly people always have "bus buddies ",regardless of the route they take.

  • During the time my Brown Line station was closed I took a bus over to the lake and an express bus to work. Yes, I made bus buddies then.

  • When I did the reverse commute (city to job in northern 'burbs) I did indeed make bus buddies. Heck, I dated people I met on the buses. You have weeks to get to know them, you can decide to meet in neutral places (e.g. sure, let's have coffee when we transfer at whatever stop). One was a long term relationship.
    Some people do have bus buddies in the city, but it is different I think with the longer-timed bus schedules of Pace, or if you're an evening/night commuter in the city you probably get the same level of knowledge of your fellow night workers.

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