Patience key for bus commuters on two-hour, 7-mile trip to work

By Jim Stafford Published: May 14, 2008
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As I waited for the Edmond Express bus to arrive at N University Drive and E Ayers in Edmond on Tuesday morning it became apparent that for bus commuters patience is not a virtue.

It is a necessity.

It was well past 9 a.m. and the Edmond Express that would take me to the downtown Oklahoma City transit center was already more than 10 minutes late.

I was fumed.

The bus commute to work was prompted by an assignment to check out alternative commuting possibilities as the price of gasoline inches toward $4 a gallon.

My journey began at 8:21 a.m. at the Wal-Mart on the far west side of Edmond where I caught the "Eddy,” a bus that circulates between Wal-Mart and the University of Central Oklahoma stop every 30 minutes. The Eddy delivered me to the University stop at 8:37 at a cost of 50 cents.

Only one other rider had boarded.

So, I waited at the bus shelter across from UCO for the 8:47 express bus and tried to read the newspaper brought along for the down time. However, clock watching and bus anticipating were too distracting.

When 8:47 came and went with no bus, I put down the newspaper and went on full alert.

Standing next to me was Isaac Denman, a 24-year-old UCO student who showed none of the impatience I displayed. He was waiting for the bus that would take him back to Oklahoma City after an 8 a.m. class.

Denman obviously had been more bus savvy than I and read his newspaper without any signs of anxiety. The bus often arrives after its appointed time or even before, he said.

"Sometimes they will come by 8:40 or 8:45 and if you are late even one minute you miss it,” he said. "Other times you will stay here for a long time before they show up.”

At 9:06, I could take it no longer and called the Metro Transit number displayed in the bus shelter and asked the woman who answered if she could find out how much longer we would have to wait.

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