Posted by Magda
There were several moments this morning when I wasn't sure I'd make it to work at all. I occasionally take the bus between Guelph and Kitchener, and it's generally efficient, not too expensive, and fast. This morning was a little different.
I inadvertently was the first person to take the bus to Guelph after the official start -- today -- of Greyhound service running out of Sportsworld, near the 401, in an attempt to garner more commuter traffic. A lot has been written, and there's been lots of confusion, on the issue -- not just among the public, but within Greyhound as well, as I found out this morning. Here's what happened:
Saturday: I decide to catch a ride with a friend to Waterloo. I check out Greyhound's online schedule, which indicates a Monday morning trip to Guelph that would get me to work on time.
Sunday night: I check the online schedule again, because I've forgotten the time. There is no morning trip. I play around with the website for a while, then realize my trip is now listed as departing from Sportsworld at 8:45 am and arriving in Guelph at 9:40. It's not listed as passing through downtown at all. It's listed as a 55-minute trip. And I have to get to Sportsworld, without a car. Hardly attractive, or easy.
Today, 8am: A friend has agreed to drive me to Sportsworld. We hit the road.
8:30am: We arrive at Sportsworld. At this rate he may as well have driven me to Guelph. We can't find the station. Ask at the Sportsworld McDonald's, but they don't know. Call Greyhound from the Kitchener phone book, and it's actually a Grand River Transit number. Finally I call the Guelph Greyhound office, and get directions. The station is actually a trailer. They're building a bus-shaped bubble, the staff tell me, but it's delayed. That'll be temporary, too, until they build a proper station. I buy a ticket in the trailer. While I'm waiting, the staff explain to me that the bus does still stop downtown. They say they'll look into the problem with the online bus schedule.
8:55am: I inquire whether the bus is coming. Staff make some phone calls.
9am: The bus is downtown Kitchener. For whatever reason, it isn't coming through Sportsworld at all. The kindly Greyhound employee drives me from Sportsworld to the bus.
9:15am: We arrive downtown Kitchener. The bus is waiting for me. It was supposed to depart from downtown at 9. The 3 or 4 other people on the bus don't actually glower at me in frustration.
9:50am: We arrive at the Guelph station, just ten minutes late. Shortly after that, I arrive at work, feeling something like I've just fought a battle.
My colleague, Nicole, is working on a story about the Greyhound changes. It'll likely be in the paper tomorrow -- I'll post a link here.