RIP Green Bus Lines

January 8, 2006 marked the end of an era as the Green Bus Lines would no longer be. The MTA officially took over the company starting on January 9th, 2006. I had never rode or photographed GBL before so I decided to conduct a farewell shoot/first ride on their last day. The plan was to ride the Q6 to their main depot & go from there.

I got on the Q6 (243) from the 165th St Terminal & soaked up the ride until I got off at the corner of 147th Ave & Rockaway Blvd. When I arrived, the area looked so familiar to me as I had been through there tons of times in a car. I somehow must have never noticed the depot or never made it a point to stop & shoot. Whatever the case is, I made it out there okay.

I got a ton of great shots while going all around the outside of the property. I even spotted a few transit enthusiasts as they walked by me. The day was going by smoothly but that wouldn’t stay the case.

I was wrapping up my shooting when a GBL driver approached me asking if the bus that headed into the airport had looped around yet. He wanted to run to McDonald’s & take a leak. He makes it back with plenty of time to spare & in the meantime a few others are in the bus stop.

The bus finally arrives & I have now boarded (261) to head back to the 165th St Terminal. I take a seat in the priority seating up front & we are on our way. The ride was smooth until some ghetto teens get on the bus. I don’t recall how many got on but there was at least 5 who did.

I saw one girl have her metro card out. I figured she was paying for all of them. Some of the teens went straight to the back while a couple stood there watching her dip the card only once. The driver who sat next to me saw this & stopped the kids telling them to pay their fare.

The idiots didn’t seem to care & walked straight to the back. He told his female colleague to stop the bus & call the police. He took off his jacket & went to the back. He told the teens to pay their fare & they didn’t take him seriously.

He mentioned about the takeover & how the MTA wants them to enforce the fares being paid. The teens still didn’t budge so as he tried to give them one more chance to pay, he kept telling his colleague to call the police as we have fare beaters.

The teens finally accepted the fact he wasn’t playing games so they said they would pay. They had someone they knew who was outside where they just came from to get some change & pay the fare. The rest of the passengers just looked & acted like it was of no surprise these idiots were trouble makers. I guess when you live in these types of areas, it comes with the territory.

The driver finally made his way back to his seat & continued his conversation with his colleague. Meanwhile you can hear a couple of the guys saying he was lucky they didn’t punch the old man. Yawn….. fake thugs trying to act tough. I thought this was the end of the events but I was wrong.

A few stops later, some older black lady boarded. She just had to be the fucking idiot who felt the need to squeeze between the driver & myself when it was clear she wouldn’t fit. I was annoyed & wanted to smack her already. She started talking about the takeover & wouldn’t shut the fuck up!

I think the main thing that annoyed me about this know it all was how she kept bragging about her brother or uncle (forgot which) was a conductor on the D. The next sentence would be how he is a T/O. Ok lady which one is he, as he isn’t doing both of those jobs on the D at the same time moron! Also what the hell did that have to do with the takeover?

Next we have a drunk guy who looked mentally behind the 8 ball board with a drink in hand. He was told by the driver that he couldn’t bring that on the bus but he was so wasted, he just put in his metro card before she finished her sentence. The man reeked of beer which is disgusting & he had a fucked up look on his face to boot. Oh I couldn’t wait to get off this bus!

The ride is continuing & next we have a woman who doesn’t have exact change on her to board the bus. She asked if anyone had change. Miss know it all now sitting across from me (thank god!) chimed in that she didn’t.

However leaving it at that was not good enough for her as she had to keep flapping her gums like a damn yenta! She goes on & on about how one should always be prepared with the proper fare when boarding a bus. This statement is followed up with how she “NEVER” boards unprepared.

I admit I can see her first point as it is true. However life isn’t perfect & sometimes things happen & we aren’t fully prepared to board with the proper fare. Instead of leaving it at this, she went on for a good 3+ minutes about how to be prepared.

The woman seeking change turned around & told her I got your point so you can shut up now. She said she wouldn’t do so & the change seeker told her no one wants to hear you so shut the fuck up.

I was about to clap my ass off & say thank you sister for telling it like it is! The worst part of her holier than thou speech was how she threw in a reference to her family member who works on the D. Once again wtf does that have to do with what’s happening now! Thankfully the know it all got off a couple of stops later. Is this the end of the story? No it isn’t as one more event took place!

The drunk guy gets off at the corner of Sutphin Blvd & Jamaica Ave. As the bus is turning onto Jamaica Ave, I hear a loud boom. The people on the bus start to look & see if they can tell what happened. My first thought was that a car hit the bus. The change seeker notified everyone of what happened & she tried to keep a straight face while telling us.

I wondered why would she find a possible accident funny. It turns out the loud boom was of the drunk guy who got off falling straight into a garbage can & it falling into the street. The entire bus broke out in laughter as we drove away.

The ride finally came to an end & I felt like the ride back was enough to make up for never riding GBL’s any time before that!

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