But no. I handed my ticket to the driver (instead of slipping it into the ticket machine before he could examine it), such was my good faith. He peered at it over his glasses and said flatly
"This is expired."
"What time is it?" I asked, slightly dismayed.
"6:17" he said, deadpan.
Even though I was weak from trading my precious fluid for a mere 20 Federal Reserve Notes, I wasn't about to spend a buck thirty-five more so some goblin could drive me home. My ill-conceived plan was to walk home just to show the bus driver that his stinky-pants attitude was not going to coerce any more dough out of my already cash-strapped-ass. I said something ineffective and indignant like "Whatever" and spun to storm off the bus. I could not however, because a woman with curly grey hair insisted on paying my fare and was blocking me like a goalie from leaving. So I was forced to storm to the back of the bus, muttering "Two fucking minutes!" under my breath.
The woman came back to talk to me and I apologized for almost mowing her down and that I was just angry. Lo' and behold, like a Jehovah's Witness telling you that "God has a plan for you" when you are obviously having a bad day, the woman launched into a well rehearsed pitch about her website called http://www.freetrimetrides.com She stated what I had always suspected was true, that fares consist only a fraction of Tri-Met's budget, 13%, in fact. She said that she had sent out press releases and tried to interest the local media, but to no avail. There's a petition on her website that they will approach the Tri-Met board with when they reach 25,000. I thought I would give her a shout out on PDX IMC since she did not seem to know what it was and see if we can get a buzz going.
It is publically owned, after all.