Friday, June 02, 2006


Warning: This rant brought to you by JTA and Gator City/Yellow/Checker Cab of Jacksonville.

You'd think a city that boasts the largest land mass area in the U.S. would have a more comprehensive public transportation system.

You'd think.

Must've spent too much money on the downtown skyway that about 3 people use a day.

Don't get me wrong, the skyway's nifty; I'm sure it'll prove useful in a Jacksonville of the future. But what I wouldn't give for more southside bus routes instead.

It's very hard to encourage the husby to stay in SC where he's needed, to help his clueless sister and her equally clueless partner move their stuff into storage because they're a hairsbreadth away from being evicted (and yes, folks, this is the pregnant sister), when the taxicab situation is so unbearable in this town. I've been taking a cab to work and doing a mix of cab or bus to get home at night. Getting to work is easy. Asking a cab to pick me up at my place of business is apparently a clusterf*ck. I'm in a business complex that sits right on St. Augustine Road, but it's apparently beyond their capabilities to find the front of the building in the evenings. Yesterday I called them at 4:10 for a 4:30 cab, gave them the phone number of my place of business and decent instructions for where I'd be (outside, out front, building 200, etc.). 4:30 came and went.

4:45 came and went.

I called them for status and since I hadn't been picked up yet, they said they'd have to put my request in again and to be sure to call in 10 to 15 minutes if it still hadn't showed. The problem is their computer system keeps every single note from your previous calls, and the dispatch office appears to be run by Mensa candidates of the Springfield set. That's a sarcastic, local euphemism for black and white trash. I don't mean to sound racist, but when I'm explaining my location on the phone, and the response is, "ok, where you at?" the snotty white girl in me comes forward.

I call back at 4:55 and my loss of patience must've shown in my voice, because I get transferred to a supervisor. I lower my tone a notch and calmly explain that I originally called almost an hour ago for a cab that isn't there yet. Her response: "so you at the food court?"

I hung up on her. The cab showed up a minute later. Had to short the guy because the charge machine wasn't working. Didn't feel nearly guilty enough about that.

I much prefer the bus, wish I could take it to work everyday and save money on gas, but alas, I work too far south for it to be feasible. I can catch a Ride Request shuttle from my work to the Avenues Mall and then catch the S1 up to my complex, but the chances of those two schedules coinciding without forcing me to stand around for an hour someplace are slim. Screw it! Friday night with no husband in town, I'm a woman of leisure--I'll grab dinner at the mall and wait for the bus. A cab ride with tip is costing me between $18 and $20 on average; the bus is $2.75. Needless to say, it's maddening that I can't take the bus all the time. Cannot wait to get legal (paying off some tickets to get my license renewed) and get our car, our new, gently used, beeyootiful Nissan sedan with the CD player, cruise control, and little hidey space for sunglasses, back home with me! Haven't even driven it yet; it was such a step up from the Saturn, that I didn't want to set my ass in the driver's seat until I was legal. But my goddess, a car is necessary in this town! Even if I was in shape to hoof it the 3.5 miles from the Avenues to my house, there's no sidewalks to speak of from the mall to Baymeadows Road, which means uneven terrain, breathing in exhaust, and a din of car noise that makes it very hard to have yourself a relaxing walk.

Les finally admitted last night that he's ready to work toward moving up to SC!! I'm gonna spend the weekend figuring out how to make it happen in Columbia.

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