Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Riding in style

I've got to send compliments and kudos out to Knoxville Area Transit for the expeditious manner in which they made sure I got to work this morning. This after I criticized them for mis-spending the funds they do have.

It all started when I attempted to board the bus at my usual time at about ten minutes to eight this morning. The bus driver stopped the bus and picked up the passengers waiting in the driveway and then informed me that the lift wasn't working. She then told me she would have to call and see if she could get someone out to get me so that I wouldn't run too far behind schedule. Based on past experience, I assumed that would mean that what would really happen would be that I would have to wait on the next bus for over an hour. Thinking this, I immediately called the office to inform them that I was going to be late for work.

After I made that phone call, I then called my wife and let her know what was happening. I didn't know it at the time, but the wheels were already in motion. While I was on the phone with her I saw speeding down Inskip Drive a full sized bus with the sign on the front that said "Not In Service." The bus stopped and the driver opened the door and came out and asked if I was the passenger waiting on the bus downtown. I said that I was and I quickly realized that not only did KAT send a full sized bus, they didn't send just any bus, either-they sent one of the newer buses in the fleet. Compared to the old models, these newer buses are the Cadillacs of public transportation, and they have automatic wheelchair ramps instead of lifts, which are virtually assured to work every time they are used.

I got straight downtown in a very short amount of time and I had a plesantly good time on my way. To be honest, I was completely shocked with the efficiency with which KAT answered my call for help. Perhaps KAT should put some of their resources into making all of the buses in the fleet as nice as the one that picked me up this morning.


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