Waiting on the bus ... again!

Special to The TelegraphOctober 25, 2013 

Congratulations to Macon Mayor Robert Reichert on winning the recent runoff election. Thank you to C. Jack Ellis for his dedication to the city of Macon and wanting to make it better. And with that I segue into this: Why is the Macon Transit Authority bus system so terrible?

Yes, get your jokes out now. I have to catch the bus from time to time because I’m not allowed to drive right now and I’m not rich and famous yet where people can carry me around and feed me grapes.

I really don’t have too much of an issue with public transportation. I’m from New Jersey, so most of the time it’s more convenient to use than driving and falling asleep. MTA is interesting to me because Macon is a big city when you get out on your two little feet and start walking.

There’s a large population of residents who have to take the bus to work, school, etc. Yet every time I wait for a bus for an hour or more because one has broken down, I just get frustrated. Not just for me, but for the rest of the customers who are late to work continuously because of the schedule. I’ve tried everything from catching a bus an hour early to picking up every schedule possible. This isn’t every time I catch the bus, but it is a majority of the time.

Most of the buses don’t have air conditioning, and if they do, it doesn’t get used half of the summer. Most of the bell things don’t work on the bus and it took me a while to learn you have to yell out “next stop” to get off. I’ve been on the same bus twice when it’s broken down and I’ve gotten out and walked.

I’ve waited with numerous riders for a bus that just didn’t come, and have waited another 45 minutes for the next one. The drivers are doing everything they can and I understand that. A year or so ago, they apparently got a bunch of new buses with pretty advertisements on the sides. It just seems like there should be more of an effort to make MTA better, considering so many people depend on it.

I’ve overheard one of the drivers say that instead of fixing the buses, they sort of “patch them up” to keep them running and the same problem happens a week or two later. Why is that? Are the MTA customers not important enough to deliver quality service on a consistent basis? Is there not enough business for them to run more frequently on Saturdays? And WHAT is that water that drips on some of the buses?

Anyway, my friend Pilar Wilder (head of the Hayiya Dance Theatre) is leading the eighth annual “Thriller” Dance and Zombie Parade on Friday night in Cherry Street Plaza downtown. I miss this every year so I’m going to try to catch the whole thing this time. At 7 p.m., the pre-show will kick off with dancers, musicians and more followed by the “Thriller” dance and then a street party. I hear these at 9 p.m. guys kill the “Thriller” dance every time, so bring the whole family down and check it out!

After the party, you can hit many of the local bars downtown for music and random happenings. I’ll be heading over to the Contemporary Arts Exchange on Mulberry Street for a show I’m putting on called “Last Friday.” I’m bringing my friends from Nashville to put on a hip-hop rock show guerilla style. Brandon Brains, KidDead, Spoken Nerd and hopefully Macon’s own Dean Brown will be providing the music. Come by and kick it and donate a few bucks for gas for the bands.

Hope I see you out!

Floco Torres is an artist/songwriter. Contact him at flocotorres@gmail.com.

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