This past Sunday I was able to add another experience to my time at Azusa Pacific. I had the opportunity to ride the bus for the first time with my friend Savanna to Monrovia.
To be completely honest, I was both excited and scared. I was excited because it was a new experience even if it was not very far but I was scared because I did not know what to expect or know how the bus system worked. I decided it would be best to look up how the Foothill Transit operated.
The Foothill Transit has its own website. were fares and passes are posted, along with different types. As a local student I paid $1.25 in cash. Fares can be more or less depending the age range and type. Fares can be also paid with tap cards. Tap cards are reusable and reloadable electronic cards, according to the Foothill Transit website. Riders can also pay a 31 day pass, which allows unlimited travel for 31 days or an EZ Transit Pass, which allows riders travel on 23 agencies throughout the LA country.
The multiple bus numbers and specific schedules did confuse me. I knew one would run one way and another a different way, but what if I missed it? Then I noticed their website had a “Transit Planner” located on the top of the page. To try it out, I decided to see how long a trip to Plaza West Covina would be. If someone were to leave about 5:30 in the morning, the trip would take about 41 minutes on two busses and walking to the bus stop. If someone were to go later, about 11:15 a.m., the trip changes time. The trip turns into one hour and four minutes with two buses and more walking and a bit of backtracking because of where the person is dropped off.
After researching, Savanna found a great place to take the bus and relax for a bit. She said we needed to take the 187 bus down to Huntington Dr. in Monrovia. I thought, “Great, sounds fun. We can get some tea and talk to some people.”
Sunday afternoon was a bit cold and we thought it was going to rain. We walked to the bus stop on Citrus Ave. and Foothill Blvd. across the street from Citrus College. We talked and sat on the bench. We waited about 20 minutes because we believed to have missed the bus before. The bus finally arrived and I made sure to have exact change to get on. I placed my money in the machine and made small talk with the driver, and then off we went. I never noticed how many bus stops were along that road. Each one more and more people came aboard the bus. We sat two rows behind the designated handicap area.
Along the way, a lady who I was unable to catch her name, began asking the man across from her if it seemed like an ordinary day. I found the conversation to be interesting topic but she seemed to want an answer. A little later she asked Savanna and I the same question. I answered that it does not feel like an ordinary day because of the odd weather we have been having. She commented back that it just felt like an ordinary day but not like a Sunday. I agreed with her comment and she asked if we attended APU. We said yes and that we were doing an assignment for a class. Her stop came up but before she left, i must admit i enjoyed her comment about Savanna and I. She said, “You two look as if we could be characters in a movie,” then asked if APU had a theater department. The conversation came to an end when she hurried off the bus.
At another stop a few people entered and a man’s card was not scanning. The man behind him helped him out and paid his fare. It was a nice gesture on a “not ordinary day.”
Not too long later, we were at our stop. I noticed some police lights up ahead and there was some traffic just after the stop we came up to. We got off the bus and backtracked a bit to find the tea place. We walked across the street and found the small little place in between other stores.
When we walked inside, it was not too busy. The left wall was covered in different teas and the menu looked appetizing. I ordered a milk tea and a grilled chicken Panini. While waiting, I spoke with a girl name Dianna. She gave me few minutes of her time and talked about The Loose Teas. She mentioned she had no favorite drink because she liked to try something new each time but she enjoyed teas with boba. She seemed in a rush when she picked up her order, but her Thai tea with boba look good.
The ride home was quiet and a bit cold but I enjoyed hearing two older men talking about gas prices. Their conversation jumped from subject to subject but they laughed and joked along the way. The ride back felt shorter but it was nice. Taking a different form of transportation is a fun experience. Despite some moments of uncertainty, learning the system and learning things along the way made for a great trip.