Let's start with one overly-medicated lady with a wheelchair. She got herself lost at E Union/Broadway outbound and wanted me to take her back downtown. Light turned red on me, so I wait. Just as well, she jaywalked in front of the bus. I have to coach her heavily to get her and her chair on the bus. So I'm 5 minutes late to lunch. Fine.
I take my lunch at the northend #2 terminal, 7 W/W Raye. I make it all the way to 3/Broad when I notice the "NO CHARGE" light and see that my battery voltage has dropped to 23 volts. Dang. I call the control center, and they have me proceed to 3/Virginia where a shop truck is waiting. I announce to my passengers that the bus is sick and the doctor will meet us at 3/Virginia.
3/Virginia, the doctor starts by shooting some juice to the battery and checking the fuses. Fuses are good, and battery is charged, but the charging system is still not engaging. The doctor calls the control center and they instruct that I drive the coach back to the base while the truck follows. Good thing, too. At 3 S/S Main, the traction control system decides it wants more juice than it's getting and now I can't move the bus on its own power. The doctor pushes me the last 1/2 mile to the base where I am issued a new coach
2/3a coach 4190
I've pretty much lost a trip from downtown to the lake and back, so the control center has me chill at the base long enough to be on time for my northbound #13 trip (Leaving 3/Pike at 2:33). I leave the base at 2:21. At 5 S/S Jackson, I see three (3) route 7 coaches trying to get themselves sorted out. 180 happy feet of rolling stock in my way. The last one of these manages to pull far enough up to get on the siding wire.
(Why were the #7's so clogged up? Police busted an LSD lab in the 1900 block of 10 Ave E today, closing that street for several hours due to the potential for explosion. Also the Northwest Flower and Garden Show is in town at the convention center. Anyway...)
I get past that last #7 and start scooting up 3 Ave. I'm already late. I get to 3/Union and blocking that zone (but at least on the siding wire) are a #1 and a #7 with a big gap between them. I stay in the left lane until I'm even with the gap and load about 40 people. Then I pull up to the front and look around the front bus to make sure I didn't miss anyone.
This gentleman walks out with two big trash bags and tells me that he needs to put these on the bus then step off and grab two more. The light turns green, and now I am blocking traffic. I decline the ride to this gentleman (who has pulled this stunt on me before). He informs me that I'm violating Metro policy. I agree with him and close the door and proceed on route. I get to the 13 terminal soon enough to be on time again southbound.
Back to the lake, back to 7/Raye, back downtown.
Last trip to the lake. Downtown traffic is hideous. The garden show let out. There's an event at Benaroya Hall. I get to Spring Street and I see my leader who has only just completed the left turn there. (Don't forget about the lane closures on Spring Street due to the new library construction!) The I-5 ramp is backed up for 5 blocks, and I have to jump into that lane. Eventually a gap opens in the closed lane and I jump in there. At least I'm not blocking the intersection (Police crackdown on gridlocking this week). I make it up to 4th Ave and lo and behold, my follower is coming around the corner behind me. We three (3) route #2 coaches are stuck together all the way to the lake.
Traffic on Seneca Street (behind the convention center) is awful. Verily, The Northwest Flower and Garden Show can slather peanutbutter and jelly on my ass and bite down. I'm not clear of heavy traffic until E Union St/14 Ave. But it's fun driving the "Lucky Pierre" bus, I guess.
Coming back up from the lake, I get a call from the control center. Can I do a coach change. Well, my evening is completely toasted anyway, so I say Sure. I just have to get past this new driver who is still in front of me from the previous trip's clusterfuck. She informs me she'll go to a safe place and pull her poles. Fine. She does so, and I speed myself downtown. The control center requests I relogin to the radio system as 2/300. I have an anxiety attack trying to decide where the traffic will be worse, Madison or Seneca. I decide I'll be screwed either way and take Seneca. I zoom to 3/Lenora and take the turnback and get to the coach change point (3/Union) soon enough to make th other driver only a couple of minutes late. He jumps on my coach, and I jump on his.
2/300s coach 4101 (s == "special")
I proceed to base, driving in the second broken coach of the day. I don't know what's wrong with it, but the brakes feel mushy. You don't want mushy brakes in Seattle. I get to base and wait for a bus stuck in a dead spot to be moved. Then my poles switch without my direction. I catch it before I lose my poles and move them back to the correct wire. Finally I make in into Lane 5 (not quite running over a vehicle maintenance worker in the process when he wants me in a different lane entirely.
47 minutes overtime.