Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Miami Day 4...

OK, before I talk about day 4 here is a follow up from day 3. I mentioned the Blue Bird bus wrapped to look like an old streetcar, well here is the picture I took but couldn't find earlier. This is taken from route 282 which is laying over at the Palmetto MetroRail station.

My day started off at the Omni Transit Center. This picture was taken on day 3 since it was still dark when I left at 6:20am the day before the time change. I originally going to take route A which is the most direct route to the part of Miami Beach I was heading for. However, 6:30am came and went with no bus so ended up taking a Route S over to Miami Beach. Now the route actually has a number but they only go by the letter which I am sure can be confusing to some
I arrived at the Loew's resort where Railvolution was being held at 7:00am and head some breakfast and to get ready for my presentation. After my presentation I went into another session before picking up my box lunch. The final Plenary did not hold much interest so I decided to take a walk and get some pictures of terrific Art Deco architecture that I love and Miami Beach is know for. I must of looked pretty goofy walking around the Miami Beach area in a suit but oh well.

Here is some pictures I took:

Next I started walking north along the main drag. Here is a picture of the main Miami Beach shopping area and its classic business area.

Next I caught another Route S and took it up all the way to NE 195th and over to Adventura Mall. I saw many things to take pictures of along the way so I decided I would return tomorrow. The Route S remained very busy with a full load all the way from Miami Beach to the end of the line at Adventura Mall. The Adventura Mall is a transit center and very busy mall. The first thing I noticed is that while its nice that the mall allows the transit center, they need some work. When several buses were loading and loading plus cars going by created some bad congestion.

Next I caught a route 3 which would take me back to the hotel. I was hoping that I would see a Chinese restaurant on the way that I could come back to for dinner. The 3 bus finally showed up and was standing room only before leaving and stayed that way. I finally saw some Chinese restaurants along the way that I could come back to.

When we got to 125NE the traffic lights were out with no sings and no police directing traffic. We made it pass the intersection when the bus stopped and the driver said we have broken down, everyone off. So here is some of us waiting for the next bus that would come along.
The driver wouldn't say what the problem was but the bus still ran and he got back in with the A/C running. So he made his 50 plus passengers sit in the hot humid sun while he stayed in air conditioned comfort. That should be cause for termination right there. Talk about spitting on your customers.
The bus was supposed to run every 25 to 30 minutes but it was more than 40-minutes before the next bus came and it was even more packed than our bus was. The driver had passengers all the way to the front door and pointed us to the back door. About 5 people got on and that was all that would fit. The driver got angry that people were looking at them through the front door and started screaming he wasn't going to open the door.

Finally the driver of our broken down bus came over talked to the driver through the driver's side window then walked to the back door and saw that there was no room left. That bus took off and our driver once again jumped back into his bus.

After a little while longer a third bus showed up and although it was also packed, there was enough room for the people off our bus. We jammed on and had a pretty unpleasant ride back to my hotel.

While I understand that buses will break down, that is something you can't help. What made me angry was the way the drivers handled it especially our driver who kicked us off the bus and then stayed in his bus with the a/c running.

After getting back to the hotel I watched the Busch series race and Carl Edwards win the championship. After words I decided I didn't want another bus trip so I hopped on MetroMover to find someplace else to eat besides Burger King and Checkers that is across from the hotel.

I knew there was a McDonald's along the MetroMover so after seeing nothing else worth eating I settled for it. After words it was back on MetroMover to the hotel.

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