Getting close to New Year's in London, but I'm in El Paso and still have quite a few hours to go. Yesterday afternoon I got to the Greyhound station with several hours to spare, so started walking south on 7th looking for a bar. A friendly black dude who said his name is Dave started talking me up, but he didn't seem to be hitting on me so I offered to buy him a beer. I guess I was feeling expansive, happy to be on my way home. Anyway, you guessed it. He was a low-level drifter. As soon as my back was turned, putting money in the jukebox, he took $15 and split out the back door. Lucky I never took my laptop case off my shoulder or that might have disappeared too.

Anyway, the bar is Tony's, on the opposite site of the street from Greyhound, a couple of blocks down or so. They have Santana and Maná on the box and a few other groups other than the standard Mexican bands. And the bartender is a real hottie. Not much for beer though, I think the best was Negra Modelo.

Finally slept on the bus, most of the way to El Paso. I feel pretty well rested too, despite it being a little less comfortable than a room at Marriott. Still planning to bring in the New Year at Hemingway's, then crash somewhere along Mesa if none of the chicks want to take me home.

Talking with another passenger, Midnitesun, I'm beginning to think Greyhound will eventually get competition again. Not from another huge company like Continental Trailways was, but from enlightened cities whose public transit systems interlink to form viable transcontinental transit. 3rd-party websites like Google might also play a part in tying them together. The first step is scrapping our school buses and getting the big comfortable buses that anyone can ride. Sell those shitty orange buses to Mexico or whoever else might want them. Then just do the same school routes, but let anybody ride for a fee, the school kids of course riding free. Add buses and more scheduled runs as demand grows. San Diego shuttles its schoolchildren this way, I don't know how many other cities do. Probably LA. One disadvantage I can think of right away: huge initial investment. Some advantages: bullies won't be able to pick on little kids as easily with adults around. Transit system has potential to be less of a money sink as paying passengers come on board. Fuels local economy by shuttling paying customers to market areas (including kids after school, who can opt to go to the mall or movies instead of home). Those are just off the top of my head, I'm sure there are many more. And of course, the long-term goal of tying them all together into cheap national transit.

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last updated 2013-01-10 20:50:15. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com