The Twenty-​Three

The best RTA route in Cleveland is the 23. This is my third year riding it, and I could set my watch by the morning bus; if I wore a watch. The drivers are friendly, deft and will put on the brakes if they see someone hoofing it after them, and the bus doesn’t stop every two feet like the 81 [that isn’t a knock on the 81].

For the most part no one talks on the bus. This is the unspoken rule on every public transit system I’ve been on [NYC, Chicago], when personal space is constricted, eye contact and speech become invasions. Lots of people riding the bus I’ve been seeing for three years but hardly know them. I’m going to run an experiment. Instead of being civil and unobstrusive, I’m going to start being reservedly friendly to the familiar faces. If this goes well, I will increase my friendliness incrementally until the bus is full of joyous singing, improper dancing and sundry gallivanting. Yeah right. It might end up making Cleveland a little less crabby though. Worth a shot.

5 thoughts on “The Twenty-​Three

  1. I like your bus critique in that I’ll know what to expect if this economy melts down a few more notches. I haven’t been on a Cle. bus since I started making more than $0 a day. Ok actually I’m nuts, riding the bus sounds a bit more easy than pedaling into a 20 mph wind at 15? F.

  2. You can catch the 23 on the corner of West 14th and Kenilworth. I ride it 5 months a year, when the wind and cold sucks the most. Buy a stack of 5-​ride tickets and you can use them for the bus at your convenience, so if it is nice out and you want to ride your bike, you won’t be losing any cash.

  3. I actually like being crabby, and I like crabby people. Therefore, I like riding the bus. (There, I said it.) That said, my dad retired with 30 years’ worth of bus-​friends because he was a friendly, not-​crabby fellow. Good luck!

  4. The experiment will have to wait until it gets cold again, since I’m riding my bike to work now. The month in which I did this seemed to go well, though.

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