Story by Allie Perkins

Many college students use TriMet as a traveling system to get to their destinations. Often they use it for school, work or even to go to a friend’s house. I have both good and bad experiences while using TriMet.

I was waiting at the bus stop, drinking my Mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks, when I noticed a man approaching me. I had thought nothing of it. I don’t usually see a lot happen at the Clackamas Town Center, and I was doing my morning routine of waiting for the bus so I could ride it to Clackamas Community College. The man had walked closer, now standing directly on my left.

“Give me your Starbucks,” the man said. I was almost in shock; a full-grown man looming over a 19 year old college student for her Starbucks? I wasn’t sure if he was on drugs, or just really thirsty – but either way, it had made me uncomfortable.

“Sorry but no,” I replied. It was 80 degrees out and the man was clearly able to afford his own damn Starbucks. He didn’t seem to like my answer, and then decided that the best logical approach was to hover over me and repeatedly scream, “Give me your Starbucks!”

I know, I tried to be diligent in keeping my Frappe, but he was intimidating. I hastily gave him the rest of the cold drink, before running to the other side of the bus station. TriMet bus drivers were just across the street and they had seen the whole thing, but decided to do nothing about it. A kind, older gentleman confronted the guy who stole my Starbucks, and gave him $5 bucks to leave the rest of the awaiting bus riders alone.

I haven’t had all bad experiences though. I have had bus drivers who knew me by name, telling stories of how their day was, how the bus drivers daughter was going in to first grade, some who have even helped me through breakups. For the most part, riding TriMet has been a pleasant experience while trying to get to my destination.

Joe Locher who is a fellow student at Clackamas Community College said, “Good experiences would be times where I get to talk to some of the other riders and share experiences or have small talks or about random talents we may have. Most people are really friendly or at least keep to themselves,” Locher explained.

“On the other hand, there are some less than decent people that I’ve seen riding the bus. I’ve seen people who are tweaked out and screaming at no one. I’ve seen fights, I’ve seen drunk people thrown off the train for the police to take. But these people are few and far inbetween.” Locher acknowledges the pros and cons of riding TriMet. “I would say it’s absolutely worth riding the TriMet system. It’s a widespread service that is real cheap and running constantly so even if you miss one of your rides, another one will be coming shortly after.”

Deke N. Blue, an anonymous bus driver, made a blog about his not -so-great experiences while driving for TriMet on the website and had recently published a book called “JUST DRIVE – Life in the Bus Lane” and is selling it on Amazon.

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