So I walk to the nearest station, about a block away at Pauline and Madison. I wait for about 10 minutes before I see a trolley headed my way. Hmmm, I think, "Wonder how much it costs?" There are no signs at the stop indicating the price of a trolley ride; and no change machines. All I have is a $5 dollar bill and 46 cents in change.
I climb on the trolley and see that the fare is $1.
"Do you have change, Ma'am?" I ask the driver.
"No," she says. "You have to have correct change or I can't let you on."
"But, there's no way to know how much it is before you get on ... " I sputter.
"Sorry, sir. You'll have to get off."
So I do. And now I'm standing in the middle of Madison, 12 blocks from Downtown, and about 20 blocks from my office in the South Main area. It's 8:15 a.m. "Rush hour." I've wasted 15 minutes on Memphis mass transit and I'm no closer to work than I was when I started.
I walk back to the repair shop and get five $1 bills. Since I'm still fuming, I decide to start walking west on Madison, figuring it'll help me calm down and I'll catch the next trolley whenever it shows up.
Twenty-two minutes later, I'm at Main and Madison, downtown. I still haven't seen another trolley on the Madison route. I've just missed one headed South on Main. So, yes, I start walking. And no, I didn't see another trolley going my way. I did see a co-worker, who gave me a ride the rest of the way to work.
Total "commute": 16 blocks of walking; four blocks of "carpooling." Time to get from Madison and Pauline to South Main: 44 minutes. During "rush hour."
The MATA website didn't work this morning (quel suprise!), but another site I found on the Internet said MATA claims trolleys run every 11 minutes. This is a joke and a lie. There is NO discernible schedule for the downtown trolleys. I've tried to use them at lunch. You'll see three in a row rolling north and wait 20 minutes in vain for one headed south. Or vice versa.
Trolleys are strictly tourist sight-seeing buses, useless to anyone wanting to get somewhere on a schedule. Used in this fashion, they are an obscene waste of tax dollars, especially the worthless Madison line. MATA either needs to get these rolling boondoggles on a reasonable and reliable schedule or quit pretending they are supposed to be anything other than a parody of mass transit.
(For more on MATA, read John Branston and Mary Cashiola's Flyer story from June.)
One of the biggest issues being talked about on social media locally this week was The Commercial Appeal's announcement that, beginning Monday, only its subscribers — print and online — would be able to access the paper's website. In web jargon, it's called a pay-wall, meaning if you want to get the CA's online content, you're going to have to pay for it ...
I think something is horribly wrong with me. I can't keep a man for more than a few months before he moves away. My last two boyfriends have left town after accepting promotions or taking new jobs.
Neither relationship has been serious enough to warrant me packing up and leaving with them ...
Read more about one of Memphis' first "no-tell motels" at Vance Lauderdale's blog.