“Tales from the TARCside”: ‘Too Early For That!’

(Name credit goes to a co-worker. These are various stories – good to bad, funny to annoying, and everything in between –  from my adventures on Louisville’s Public Transit system)


I am a 3rd shifter. I leave work around 6:30 AM, walk a few blocks to one of several bus stops, catch my bus at 6:50 (usually), and get home a little after 7:00 AM. I can walk downtown to Jefferson Street, between 4th and 6th Streets, or walk to 10th and Jefferson, a closer stop but not in the best of spots, and catch the bus.

I caught the bus at 10th, Wednesday morning. There was another guy on the stop (“2nd Guy”). A 3rd dude walked up a few moments later. He started asking the other guy for a Transfer (a thin strip of paper that allows you to catch any bus, without pay additional bus fare, for about 2-3 hours); the dude say he needed his. 3rd Dude then asked me for the same (I have a Monthly Pass, so I don’t need Transfers) and got the same answer. He then asked if I was “down for a search” to make sure I wasn’t lying, to which I faced him fully and told him “I don’t have time to lie about a transfer. I wouldn’t be standing here if I had one”. He nodded, then went back and said something to 2nd Guy, who started moving away.

Across Jefferson Street, a dude (let’s call him “Car Guy”) parked and got out of his car. 3rd Dude started yelling across the street: “Hey Shorty! You got a cigarette?” Car Guy, now on our side, said no; 3rd Dude: “You got one. I see that car you parked, so I know you got some.” They had some words before Car Guy walked to 10th Street and went about his business.

Finally, 2 buses pulled up: #71 (route from Jeffersonville, IN, through Louisville, to New Albany, IN), and, a few moments later, #43 (my bus; from Fern Creek, through Downtown, to Portland). 3rd Dude gets on the #71, immediately asks a guy standing at the front for HIS transfer, then threatens to take it. Bus Drive, having none of it, throws him off, as the #43 pulls up. 3rd Dude walks on – no fare, no Transfer. Bus Driver #2 asks him for the fare; 3rd Dude sits down, says “I an’t got it. I dropped my transfer.” Bus Driver #2, parked (paraphrasing): “You’ve gotta pay or I can’t let you ride”; 3rd Dude: “I’m not moving. You’re just gonna be late.”

3rd Dude sits behind me and tells the couple across from him to give him their transfer. Guy In Couple says “she doesn’t have one and I still need mine.” 3rd Guy then threatens to take his transfer because “he knows he’s lying”. They have words, including much profanity, then 3rd Guy suddenly gets up and leaves. He starts to stay something to something to Guy In Couple again, stops, then just walks off the bus.

It’s too early in the morning for that.

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