Have mercy, been waitin’ on the e-bus all day

Got your brown paper bag and your take-home pay?

So, we start the week with a shot of seltzer in the snoot for Impeachy the Clown and follow it up with a squeeze to the wheeze of our local Bozos and their e-buses.

Hur-ry, hur-ry, hur-ry! It may not be The Greatest Show on Earth, but it is another episode of Radio Free Dogpatch!

Yes, it’s free! Join the expectant crowd gathering now as we stop here on [Intellectual Property Theft Street]. Live in The Future: It’s just starting now. As for The Past, well — we’ve been taken for a ride down the Mother Road before.

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: This time around I cheapskated the podcast using an Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic (a model since discontinued) and Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack. Editing was in Apple’s GarageBand, with an assist from Auphonic. Sound effects courtesy of Zapsplat, including the background music, “Waiting Game” by Dave Miles. Special guest appearances by The Firesign Theatre and ZZ Top, who did not know they were making special guest appearances, and if you don’t tell them, we won’t either. Let’s just keep this moment of simulated exhilaration locked under our wigs.

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7 Responses to “Have mercy, been waitin’ on the e-bus all day”

  1. jaf48 Says:

    I am uncertain why you are slagging electric buses. They will likely play a big part in urban transit in the future. I work as a transit supervisor in the the Roaring Fork Valley. While it may be at the Beta 1.5 stage (at least in the New Flyer coaches that we purchased), it’s viable. I’ll listen to the podcast, but you seem to be sliding toward the anti-gubmint view. Long-time fan of the cartoons and the blog. Miss your TdF live blog. Be wel. JF


    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’m not slagging the buses — I’m slagging the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project, which has been a mess since … well, since its conception.

      Running the 10-mile ART line down the middle of Central Avenue, like the trolleys of yesteryear, made an unholy mess of the Mother Road through the Nob Hill-University area for the better part of quite some time, squeezing business owners and annoying pretty much anyone who wanted to go down there to eat, shop, drink, or otherwise recreate. Herself and I quit going down there once the multimillion-dollar clusterfuckery commenced.

      The buses themselves proved largely inoperable, with batteries that didn’t last as long as advertised, leaky axles, and parts dropping off like leaves from a dead tree. The city sent them back and sued the manufacturer, BYD Motors, but they settled the suit without gaining a nickel; indeed, they flushed another $138,222 down the loo in outside legal fees.

      Once the city started running non-electric buses on the route just to get something going on, our local motorists failed to grasp the altered traffic scheme and bus-auto crashes became routine.

      Here’s a Los Angeles Times story on the ART project. A quick Google search will turn up any number of stories about the businesses shuttered and citizens provoked to gibbering insanity. Shucks, I’ve even blogged about it before too.

      I don’t have anything against buses, when they work. I was astonished how well the San Francisco system functioned when I first visited there, the Bibleburg bus system having been a bad joke for decades. And the bus system in ’Burque seems largely reliable, save for the ART project. A neighbor frequently uses a combination of bus and bicycle to get to work. Anything to get some of these insane, inept and impaired motorists out of their cars, sez I.

      Well, almost anything. Except ART.

      Meanwhile, thanks for following the blog, the ’toons, and the yappery Chuckles and I used to do around Tour time. I gotta tug on his coat, see what he’s up to.

  2. carl duellman Says:

    it sounds like a conspiracy to kill mass transit along the lines of ‘who framed roger rabbit?’

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      It is a puzzlement, to be sure. I don’t know that anyone has done any deep-dive journalism on the ART project, from top to bottom, probably because there seems to be no bottom atall atall. My assumption is that a number of people made money and the citizens wound up paying the freight for a long trip to Nowheresville.

      This fascination with trolleys is mind-boggling. It was the transportational Flavor of the Month for a while there, and may still be. I remember Bibleburg wanted to run a faux trolley through its “downtown,” which can be walked end to end in about 15 minutes by a spastic drunkard with a wooden leg. Don’t know if the rubes ever got their pockets picked on that one, ’cause it’s been a while since I last visited.

      I’m for mass transit, if it works. I hate driving in this town, where “aggressively bad” is the only way to describe the motorists’ mad skillz. But running a bus line smack down the center of Central for 10 miles didn’t and doesn’t seem like a workable alternative to the personal automobile for anyone interested in patronizing the Nob Hill-University area. I should clamp a GoPro to the dash of the Fearsome Furster and drive the route for posterity’s sake. It gives me The Fear.

  3. Shawn Says:

    Your photo depicts what appears to be a great station design (bus stop) for an airport or other location where little to no cross traffic exists. Are the other bus stops of similar design? How does / did the 10 mile ART system affect the small business owners you mention? Is the bus route protected with curbs and razor wire, or is the frequency of buses through the area that disturb the business area? I wonder; Would a subway system be as scary in AL-B-CUE as I imagine it could be. Yikes, running into Walt and Jessie and their barrels. Oh the horror !”

    But I think going fully electric is a great idea. But I’d like to see that the electricity generated to charge the system (buses, cars, etc) is done so efficiently and not out of a coal fired or similar more polluting power plant. Additionally, at this time recycling a cast engine block is a lot easier than recycling Li-on batteries. Perhaps in the near future, development will be made in restorable battery systems that require minimal disposal.

    As for where to buy the equipment for electric transit systems, supporting a burgeoning communist country is not what my ideal of free enterprise and human rights is all about.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, the ART stops mostly get the Denver International Airport treatment. But getting to them where they sit in midstreet looks hairy depending upon time of day. Nobody stops or even slows before making turns around here, and as a consequence pedestrians throughout the Duke City are an endangered species.

      The businesspeople were kvetching about (what else?) lost business due to disappearing foot traffic exacerbated by a concurrent shortage of parking and the general massive pain in the ass involved in just getting to Central and then trying to navigate the ART construction. The subsequent confusion over who goes where — cars, buses, bicycles, pedestrians, etc. — didn’t help. Neither did The Bug®, which slashed the tires of mass transit.

      And I don’t think it’s ever been made clear just who was supposed to be riding this route. It seems an awful lot of effort for a 10-mile stretch of Central.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    if I recall correctly, the electric buses did not handshake well with the Great Station Design. Also, it appeared to be another case of “build it and they will come” without paying attention to where “they” will come from or where ‘they” will go to.

    I spent many years on the Los Alamos County Transportation Board as well as being one of the three members of the Transit Task Force that designed Atomic City Transit. These things don’t fall out of the sky completely well designed. You gotta do it right based on hard headed study and patient analysis. Seems to me Albuquerque really intercoursed the penguin.

    [video src="https://y.yarn.co/ca2159a8-6b9c-431b-902e-0fa98546939c.mp4" /]

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