Since I moved to the Houston, Texas area about a month ago, I have enjoyed being able to take the bus to work via the park and ride system.
It really frees me up to do more reading and writing without having to focus on what is going on around me on the road.
Another bonus is that I don't use the gas in my vehicle and I'm not putting any miles on it with a considerable commute to and from work.
My process for getting on the bus is pretty easy in the morning. I hop in the SUV and drive less than a mile to a huge parking lot and then I get on the bus within a few minutes. Easy enough.
In the evenings, though, it is a different story. I have to walk several blocks over from the street where my office is and try to get on a bus as soon as possible while recognizing that my end of the street is near the end of the bus line before it gets on the interstate.
If you think about it for a while, that's not the best place to be because if the bus starts out on the other end of the street, people get on at that end and more continue to get on every other block until it reaches the end. If you are waiting at the end, it is very likely that you may not have a seat.
Last week, I left the office a few minutes later than I usually do and I was disappointed because it meant that I would likely miss the first of the buses on my route that are usually emptier. It also meant that I would be competing for a seat (well, not really competing, but that just sounds more fierce) with people who get off closer to 5 PM, which is a lot of people.
Anyway, as I got to the street, I could see the first of the buses passing me by. I had missed it. I saw another one coming up the street and I jogged — ok, maybe I was galloping — to the bus stop.
The bus pulled up and the driver informed us that there were no more seats. I was thinking, "Are you kidding me?"
I decided that rather than wait on another full bus, I would walk another two blocks to an earlier stop. I did that and then I was able to secure a seat on the next bus.
As we were nearing the middle of the commute back to the park and ride lot, I could hear a driver speaking over the radio to the dispatcher. One of the two buses that I had missed was struck by a truck and the truck drove off.
I could not believe it. Had I caught one of the two buses, I would have been involved in a delay and could have potentially been injured.
When we exited the interstate near the park and ride, I saw both of the buses underneath the interstate and the passengers were having to exit while waiting for police assistance.
The bus I was on paused for a moment and determined that everyone was alright and we continued to the lot. I felt so bad for the people on those buses, but I was glad to get back to my vehicle safely and without incident.
I wasn't so disappointed about missing the first couple of buses once I saw the big picture. I often wonder how many times similar situations occur and God works things out so that I am kept from danger or harm. Either way, I'm glad that He is on my side.