Being the only passenger on a bus

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Nov 16, 2012
San Francisco Bay Area
Bear with me as I'm stringing along several thoughts before I get to my main point......

So I'm back home after about a week in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. I managed to survive a Southwest flight cancellation with perhaps the last Amtrak bus/ride to LA. I think the Pacific Surfliner wasn't close to being sold out, but the driver said that the bus was 100% reserved (although we had no-shows). I also managed to make good use of a $12.50 LA Metro 7-day pass. That is one heck of a deal, although supposedly they're going to a fare cap system this summer where 7 days will be capped at $18. Still a pretty good deal if one is using their service.

But the most interesting was riding Anaheim Regional (formerly "Resort") Transportation, which is a public transportation system paid for by taxing local businesses (I think). They have California exempt plates like one sees on police/fire/government vehicles and public transit buses. I heard that they were trying to get more public funding, and OCTA objected thinking that it might take money away from them.

They traditionally run on a series of fixed routes - mostly centered around Disneyland getting people to assorted places like the train station and even as far away as Buena Park (mostly Medieval Times and Knott's Berry Farm) and that seems to be the primary means. They still sell paper tickets, although when I did that in the past they either just handed them to me or someone wrote down an expiration date. But most passengers these days buy a virtual pass on their app and then activate the pass. It has to be activated for the first time. If it's a multi-day pass it has to be activated again each day - I guess as part of their security protocol. I also have different versions of their app (iPhone and iPad) and each one can hold the same pass if I'm logged in, but I had to activate them separately. They have something that shows a ring that's constantly moving and has the current date/time.

But the cool thing (and one that a lot of people haven't quite figured out) is their on-demand ride system. It's kind of like requesting an Uber ride although they're restricted to designated locations. But last summer I was with my kid and often we were requesting rides and were the only passengers. And this time I requested quite a few rides for just myself, and then I was often the only passenger. Once I mentioned this to a driver that I felt guilty about it, but he said don't. This is the way the service works and I'm not breaking any rules by requesting a ride that only for myself. It was odd though being on a 30-40' bus as the only passenger. I've certainly been on public transit where I was the only passenger for some time, but they have to stay on schedule anyways.