Car-less in CLE: That Slow *ss 5
So today I started late which I already know is the worst thing you can do when riding the RTA. I didn’t need to be to the office until around 2, the girl caught a rude to school from a friend so I took the opportunity to sleep in since I knew I had a late day working.
Today is a colder day.. High in the 40s for October and I can’t find my cold weather gear. My thought was to run up to Big lots for a cheap hat and pair of gloves. Since I was 23811 going toward Beachwood I might as well drop off this bag of plastic store bags I’ve been saving to recycle.
I check the schedule and headed out to catch the 14 up Chagrin. The ride on the 14 was uneventful. I got on at 11:53 and rode up to the end of the line at the new Van Aken district. Now to grab the #5 bus and head up the road.
I got off the 14 a little after 12. I checked the time table and the next bus is 12:23. While waiting for the bus an older man was also waiting and began telling me about the woes of the 5 and how the RTA was only interested in “putting money in their pockets” He talked about the different stations and the amount RTA was getting from organizations to redo certain train stations.
He blamed the businesses owners and employees who work calllng the 5 route for allowing and not speaking up on the 5 running only once an hour. He talked and talked until he got a call. I overheard him telling someone to meet him at Ahuja Hospital. While he was on the call I looked up the schedule again and found out my mistake. The bus wasn’t coming at 12:23, it was coming at 12:50.
I started thinking about my trip to the store and how I would have to get back to catch the Rapid or bus downtown. I considered grabbing a Lyft which would have been about $7 but I would still need a ride back from the store. Would I Lyft home to drop off my stuff or go directly downtown and have to keep whatever I bought with me the rest of the day. Suddenly my quick trip to save money on gloves and recycle looked like it would be costing me $30 in transportation cost.
At that point to I told the man sitting with me we had another 30 minutes to wait. He called someone an told them the bus wasn’t coming and said to his caller . “My appointment is at 12:30, I won’t make it.” Then he hung up the phone and began slowly to walk away.
As for me, I decided to give up on going to Beachwood, I had been at the Van Aken stop for 20 minutes and no busses or trains had come by. I decided whatever bus or train comes next I’m getting on it to head downtown. I was cold, I had those stupid bags I wanted to recycle and it was starting to rain (of course it was).
Finally a blue line rapid train pulls up. I noticed a guy waiting for the #14 bus starts to walk over to it and I followed. “Please don’t let there be a layover, please don’t let there be a layover. “I thought. I was cold, I was frustrated and I just wanted to get away from that station. Once on the train the guy I followed behind was talking to someone else on the train when he explained that he ran out of time to do something waiting for “that slow ass 5.” I chuckled but thought it was the perfect explanation for what I had just experienced.
The rest of the ride was uneventful. Tired of carrying the plastic bag full of bags around I pitched them in a trash can at Tower City (sorry environment, I tired to do the right thing, I really did.) I arrived at my office in Midtown at 1:48, almost 2 hours after catching my 1st bus.
Getting on that blue line train made me sad. While I knew that there would be smooth sailing downtown and to my office I realized that I was cut off from going the places I used to frequent, that were literally up the street. Maybe in warmer weather I would have just walked but for now, I’ll have to figure out another way to get to my local Giant Eagle, Big Lots and meeting Friends for Happy Hours at Eaton.