If there was ever one redeeming factor about the GATRA, it was that its buses could be reasonably trusted to arrive on time. I never had any doubt that their routes were at least reliable, and even if they were late, it was never more than five minutes or so. Buuuuuuuuut…I guess after this experience, that’s another good thing about GATRA I can discredit, because this was just ridiculous!
Nathan and I originally had a plan to arrive into Attleboro on the 1:56 train, do a round trip on the 2:00 GATRA 14, then come back and board the 3:11 train towards Providence. Pretty simple, right? Our train was perfectly on time, so we assumed we’d have an easy transfer to the GATRA. It was good that we wouldn’t have to wait long, too, since there were some pretty sketchy people hanging out at the station.
But 2:00 came and went, and the bus hadn’t shown up. Oh, well, it was okay if it was a little late – the route has a bit of recovery time at its terminus, so we would still make it back on time. But still, now it was 2:15 and the bus still hadn’t come? Something was definitely wrong.
At 2:20, we decided to call GATRA to find out what the heck was going on. After finding their number on a paper schedule, I dialed up and asked about where the heck this 14 was. “Oh, the bus broke,” said the woman on the phone. “You’ll have to wait for the 3:00 trip.” OH…WOW, OKAY. THANKS FOR LETTING US KNOW, GATRA!
At least one could make the argument that they don’t have any means of telling passengers when such things happen. Oh, hang on, YEAH THEY DO. HMMMMMM. Okay, anyway, we knew it would be a waste of time to take the 3:00 14 (we’d miss the train, obviously), so we formed another plan: we would get the 2:35 16 to the Rhode Island line, then make the 53-minute transfer to the RIPTA 56. Yeah, it wasn’t optimal, but it was the best we could do.
But ohhhhhhhhhhh no, the 16 decided to play games, too! 2:35 went right by, and there was no sign of a bus. At 2:45, we decided to call GATRA again, this time from Nathan’s phone (since I had called about the 14). “It’s just a little late,” the woman said. “It’ll be there any minute.” Great.
Well, if by “any minute”, she meant 15 minutes, then yeah, that’s about right. At around 3 o’clock, the bus finally arrived in Attleboro – 25 minutes late! Oh well, at least the insane lateness made the wait for the RIPTA that much shorter. And now I can review the route, right?
NO! GATRA announced that they’re extending the route! I have to ride the stupid thing again! But at the very least, while the route was pretty bad when we rode it, this extension has made it reeeaaaalllyyyyy bad. I look forward to being able to slam it even harder than I would have! Until we meet again, 16…