26 May 2008

On the Bus: Who Takes It?

Who takes the bus? We do, of course, but I have noticed there are a number of people who do not appear to take our bus.

1) Not those with disabilities. The city has a tram it runs that is just for these folks, with wheelchair lifts and higher ceilings. They also pick up people with developmental disabilities.

2) Not the high fashion or business folk. These people often are on the road by the bus, on their scooters or in their cars.

3) Not the Senators. One morning I saw a police escort and a black towncar, dark windows, have traffic part like water before them as they drove up toward the Capitol.

4) Not people buying tickets. Few people punch tickets when they get onto our bus. Either they have passes or they do not appear to pay. My guess is that they buy weekly or monthly passes, as they are more convenient and a better price if you ride frequently.

The folk on our bus who do appear to be headed into work are not in high fashion. They may have suits on, but they are clearly working and middle-class folks. They do not get off in the middle of the city, as we do. Where do they go? It would be easier to take the metro if they are going far (although it is dirtier and more crowded than the buses, so it could be about comfort). Why the bus? Where do they work? The shopkeepers and clerks in the shops around the city are often dressed very smartly. These middle-class folks look nice, but not chic. Where do they work? I want to spend a morning riding the bus all the way through a route, just to see.

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Works Cited

Fiona Wild, ed. Eyewitness Travel Rome (London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 1993), 2007 edition.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Marble Faun. New York: Penguin Books, 1990/1860.

James, Henry. Daisy Miller. New York: Penguin Books, 2005/1878.

Powers, Alice Leccese. Italy in Mind: An Anthology. Toronto: Vintage Books, 1997.

Steves, Rick. Rick Steves' Italy 2007. New York: Avalon Travel Publishing, 2006.