“No, the Fifteen is twenty-four minutes late, so I don’t know when–.” I told Pat to hold on as a bus with its identification sign smashed stopped for me at the corner of 15th Ave & Jefferson. The corner where I had been waiting for ten minutes was eerie but not scary. By 8:10 p.m., Jefferson had become a one-way, four lane street, completely empty as far as the eye can see, no cars, no people–nothing. After the driver told me this was the One bus, I confirmed she went to Central Station and sat down. I told Pat not to worry about picking me up; I would call her again once I was on the train. I noted the contrast of me still in my going to court suit and the clearly homeless people riding the bus. At the shelter stop a man boarded with an all day pass. I heard the machine beep to acknowledge the ticket was valid, but the driver said, “Excuse me, sir, I don’t mean to be rude, but you didn’t pay.” “Yes he did,” I thought to myself. As he turned to her, she explained, “No, not you, him,” gesturing to me. “Oh my gosh,” I exclaimed and got up to scan my metro card as the bus moved on to the next stop. She laughed about.
The privileges one enjoys as a middle-aged white guy wearing suit are pretty impressive. What reason do I have to fear the streets at night? Of course the bus driver assumed I had the fare, but was just absent-mindedly boarding without offering it. I wonder if such preferential treatment will be eliminated if Arizona Voters pass Proposition 107. Cross posted on Do Just This.