My wife and I moved to El Dorado county in 1991 and have throughly enjoyed every minute here. Until recently I worked as the chief of bridge design for Caltrans but after almost 34 years of service I have retired from this rewarding career. During that time I had the great opportunity to ride El Dorado Transit commuter routes to and from Sacramento every weekday for the last almost 20 years. I began making my trek from the Coloma area with friends in a vanpool to Sacramento. When the leaders of the vanpool retired, our comfortable and friendly vanpool was forced to disband. Not really knowing what options we now had, one of my now bus buddies, Gordon, informed us about the commuter routes through El Dorado Transit. I for one was skeptical about taking the bus, remembering my bus rides to work while living in Sacramento. But low and behold, this was to be an all together different experience.
In the early days the busess were not what they are today. They would leak during the rainy season; the heaters and air conditioners worked only when they wanted to; we would sometimes need to sit on the floor if no seats were available; and we would spend a lot of “quality time” with our fellow passengers when the bus would stop working halfway up the hill on the way home. But dealing with these challenges was made eaiser because of the friendly people on the bus and because of the great drivers. The drivers were very well trained in their jobs, not only to drive the buses but to take care of us passengers the entire time. They would need to learn how to drive a different bus as ED Transit purchased or leased various types of buses just to keep up with the number of passengers and the maintenance of the older busses. They are a friendly bunch that are always concerned for our comfort and safety and they try to learn the names of their regluar passengers. To me this makes the trip to and from work a little nicer. Now that ED Transit has been able to purchase very nice commuter buses the ride is really great.
I have met a lot of very nice and interesting people on the bus over the last 20 years. During that time I met a very nice lady Debbie that I would share the happening of my growing children. She was nice enough to listen to my stories of my children beginning kindergarden all the way to when they graduated high school and entered college. It was a very sad day for me when Debbie told me she was retiring, but time marches on. One year the people that sat in the front of commuter 3 (yes we are creatures of habit and sit in relatively the same seats day after day) decided to have a pirate day on the bus and most of the passengers dressed up like pirates. For those of us not so inclined they supplied eye patches so we could all get into the sprit of the day. I miss my bus buddies Gordon, Sherly, Mike, Tom, Debbie, Robert and the many others I’ve met over the years.
So thank you El Dorado Transit for the many safe miles and saving my sanity for the past 20 years. Not having to deal with the traffic on a daily basis was a life saver. I hope you have many more successful years of service.
One final suggestion for those continuing to ride the commuter buses, please don’t put you bag on the seat next to you until all of the passengers have been picked up and have a seat. Be courteous to your fellow passengers and I know they will appreciate it.