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One woman’s candid experience of New Bedford’s public transportation

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Do you use the local public transport? (StuffUnemployedPeopleLike)

By Cheryl M. Lamb-Spooner

Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion piece submitted by one of our readers. 

I don’t have a car so I have to use public transportation to get to most of the places I need to go to here in New Bedford. Here is just a taste of what that experience is like for those of you unfamiliar with it:

A bra is not a top. Just a thought here, but you might want to consider putting something on over that, before coming downtown to the bus terminal.

If you are over a certain size, please do not wear your clothes so tightly that they may tear if you fart. No one wants to see all of that.

Two words: Soap and water. Oh, and how about some deodorant just for shits and giggles?

Please do not talk about your inability to perform cunnilingus due to your cold so loudly that the entire bus station can hear you. I think you just gave that old lady over there a heart attack.

When you were in kindergarten you were taught to wait your turn and stand in line. Those rules still apply, thank you very much. Cutting to the front of the line is just being an a$%hole.

If you see me pause to hold the door for an elderly person, it’s probably not a good idea to just push past both of us. I may have to kill you with her cane just on general principle. Oh, and speaking of “thank you”, you might want to try using that phrase when someone holds a door for you or “excuse me” when you bang into someone really hard instead of just continuing on your way.

Cover your mouth please when you cough. It would also be nice if you could refrain from sneezing on me. (Not just near me, but actually on me. Yuck!)

Pajamas are not proper attire for the court date about which you are telling everyone who will listen to you. I can see why you have that court date by the way you are screaming at the poor attendant at the ticket counter.

Please don’t encourage your little kid to talk to that creepy guy. I think I saw him on a wanted poster. Please don’t let that other creepy guy talk to me. Why the hell is he staring at me? Oh, God..is he actually drooling? Yep. That’s actual drool. What time is my bus again?

Talking about how you tried to smuggle booze into the club in your boobs because the prices at the club were too expensive, but you got caught in as loud a voice as can be? Classy!

There are, like, 30 empty seats on this bus. Don’t sit in the seat immediately next to me and start arguing with your imaginary friend. No, I’m not getting in the middle of it no matter how hard you try to draw me into it. For all I know, your friend may have a valid point.

I am here to ride the bus, not become your BFF. Stop telling me about how your ex is secretly a serial killer and how you decided to stalk him.

Sorry, but being drunk does NOT automatically make you the most attractive male in the world despite what you seem to think. I’m 2 seconds away from using pepper spray on you.

If you shoot up before you get on the bus and start nodding off, there’s a strong possibility you’re going to miss your stop. Don’t yell at the driver because he drove past it while your eyes were closed and you never even told him you wanted to get off there in the first place.

In short, taking the bus in this city SUCKS!


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18 comments

  1. Oh, I almost forgot one of the classics: Strange person you’ve never seen before in your life comes up to you with their hand out and says, “Hey, Man, let me hold a twenty.” Seriously??? Does that ever work? Do random strangers just magically deposit $20 bills into your hands with that line?

    • Deborah L. Ledoux

      I took a bus years ago and things were different, now it is a matter of walking or not, there is no control who takes the bus but it is not the drivers fault, and this city is a descent place, that is coming back up I have lived here all my life and I still love it here ,not all of New Bedford is bad remember there is good and bad everywhere try Boston.

    • What a great piece. I don’t live in New Bedford anymore, but often visit in the summer. I’m too cheap to rent a car, so I take the bus and I love it precisely because of the stories you told. I’m a writer and find the bus, the terminal and the surrounding area fertile ground for “Tales from the City”. I detect a critical note in your piece, but I see a book of fabulous short stories, from the heartbreaking to the hilarious. That guy with the twenty approached me as well while I was waiting for a taxi in front of the terminal. He didn’t get the twenty but he did get me a taxi and I got a 500 essay published about it. So, it’s all good…

    • The person who wrote this is an absolute fool. They have the audacity to surround themselves with low lifes and expect them to act like polite and reasonable people.What’s next? Are you going to go to a rock concert and complain about the loud music?

  2. I agree with everyone.I would rather walk if I can than ride a bus.in some cases I evan got off the bus before my stop,because of people stinking,or swearing up a storm.I think if you are swearing on the bus,you should be asked to get off the bus.this would not be happening if this was 20 yrs ago.back then you either had too much respect,or you did get thrown off the bus.

  3. I used to drive for SRTA, now I drive for RIPTA In Rhode Island, I’ve always said people should for 1 ,8 hour shift sit behind the wheel of a bus school, city, church bus and see that we just don’t sit there and drive. We have to deal with the UN unemployed ,homeless, drug addicts, rude loud obnoxious people, and not to mention traffic detours , other motorist that can’t drive their Smart Car,but pprocedure to tell you how to operate a bus.Don’t get me wrong I love my job ,that why I been doing it for 25 yrs and counting,so before you use the expression ( thrown under the bus) take a Ride on one and see it takes a special breed to drive one.

    • sadly in too many cases that loud obnoxious jerk is the one DRIVING the RIPTA bus.

      dn’t get me wrong, the majority of RIPTA drivers i’ve encountered are pretty awesome, or at worst quietly doing their jobs. but there is a sizeable minority of RIPTA drivers who seem like they’d be more at place among the kennedy plaza scumbag club than driving the bus….

  4. So the biggest problems riding a bus in NB are the people! It’s gladdening to read no faults about the bus schedule, availability or routes, the cleanliness, the driver, etc. Thanks for this.

  5. Though I’ve never met or even seen a picture of Cheryl M. Lamb-Spooner I’m sure I’ve run into her. She’s the one who would NEVAH pay with cash at a store, it carries germs you know! Maybe she was the one on TV news scratching eyes and pulling hair at Macy’s Bargain Basement sale on the last pregnant wedding gown for her daughter (her fiance’ is from a very well to do family!) who will graduate from Stang next year. I know I never saw her at Walmart, or Market Basket or Price Rite (THOSE PEOPLE go there, you know!). She seems to forget that what she saw on the bus is all across America. She probably never realized Newport RI has projects. Newport fah GAWD”S sake.

  6. I lived in New Bedford for 3 years, and never took the bus since I had a car, but I can relate to the writer’s comments regarding the citizens of New Bedford.

  7. I used to take the bus constantly some years ago. I routinely ran into some interesting characters and situations. However, the situations described in this article only represent a negative view of public transportation. Like the author, there are many people who rely on the bus to get to work, school and home. Most people on these buses are good people who mind their business. Unlike the author, they all don’t focus on the negative things that occur. I think that sometimes in our observations, we tend to dehumanize people whose paths we cross. It sometimes makes us feel better about ourselves. However, we should all try to appeal to our better selves. Being bitter and angry is no way to walk through the world.

  8. I wouldn’t worry about people like that because 99% of Everyone that lives in a City will NEVER see the Year 2021 and the way things our going with this World Never mind the up coming GLOBAL Economic Collapse that is coming to a city NEAR YOU VERY SOOON!!! ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS ” Those that PANIC DIE FIRST ” Please watch this folks>>>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDDWY7veVjc

  9. I work at the Zeiterion Theater in downtown New Bedford but I live in the area around Target in Dartmouth so I take Route 9 to and from work pretty often. Route 9 runs from New Bedford to Fall River so I feel fortunate to enjoy my time with the riff raff from both of those cities. I just want to point out that it is clearly posted that the driver is within their rights to remove “objectionable people”, however in all of my… shall we say interesting if not thoroughly unpleasant, bus rides I have never seen any action taken against anyone. I suppose it is one thing to leave well enough alone, but one drunk, high, rude, unclean or otherwise objectionable person should not be permitted to victimize or offend a busload of nearly forty other commuters.

  10. Your attitude sucks! You don’t like the bus! Get a job get a life and stop putting yourself in those compromising situations! Buy a car! Oh do you have limitrd income or resources what makes you think your better than the other people on the bus? Your of the same caliber just kidding yourself because maybe you dont have mental illness, limited education or some serious side effects from abuse as a child and vope by self medicating yourself! There are some ignorant people out there that just talk to see the shock effect they can cause! But remember it is public transportation not a taci not car! Get over yourself and get a life stop passing judgement and look for a silver lining! You could have it a lot worst and not be able to ride a bus because maybe you have no legs to walk, no eyes to see or a dabilitating disease that doesn’t allow you to leave the house!

  11. I agree with most of those comments the woman above stated. I rode the bus to work 6 days a week for 8 years. I quickly learned to read a book,at bus stops and in the terminal just to not focus on what was going on around me. But these things happen everywhere you go in New Bedford, in the stores, many business offices, even when you’re walking down the street. For some reason the attitude of many people seem to think that they have a right to speak as loud as they can, and screw the rest of the world if we don’t like it.There is so much “drama” everywhere you go. I’m 67 years old and my generation were taught manners. The generations of today don’t have a clue to what manners are or even know how to follow rules. It’s really sad. But I think the public transportation system should come up with a set of rules to be posted in the terminals and in the buses on proper behavior.Violaters will be asked to leave promptly. Just my opinion .

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