The Community of the Bus

While riding the bus you belong for a moment to a community.

When I’m staying in Mexico, 8 km south of Puerto Vallarta, there are two ways into town for the car-less: the taxi or the bus. The taxi is 100 pesos ($7.85 US); the bus is 7 pesos (55 cents US). In the taxi you are with your companions; in the bus you are with the community.

The taxi saves a bit of time, but only a bit. A bus comes by every 10 minutes during the day, so it’s not much of a wait. But once on the road, the pace is about the same. The road is one lane in each direction. This year it has major renovation underway so for some stretches it is one lane period. The bus stops only occasionally and briefly, So, everyone moves along at the same pace.

On the bus, it is necessary to be much more in tuned with your surroundings. It has a bumpy ride as the buses long ago took the fine edges off of their suspension systems. Able bodied riders should be ready to relinquish their seats to those having trouble managing the bumps and sways. Also, the step in or out of the bus can be a big one. Some riders appreciate some assistance. The give and take of attending and accommodating one another builds a community.

Some qualities have a more dubious dimension. The singing guitar player who busks for the last few kms into town can be experienced as a feature or an annoyance. The man who attempts busking via is very loud boom-box playing mariachi music is definitely not a feature.

You have to attend and make sound judgements.

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