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Live from BoltBus III: Arrived late, bus got scraped, plotted an escape

Posted by guest  April 24, 2008 08:14 PM

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The name BoltBus alludes to bolting out of the city. But on today's inaugural run from Boston to New York, passengers just wanted to bolt off.
That urge arose around 11:30 am -– when the bus was scheduled to drop the passengers off to satiate their shopping and sightseeing whims. It's amazing how quickly the riders got riled.
The 48 or so riders appeared pleased this morning when the bus pulled out of South Station at 7:30. They clapped tepidly when the bus departed on time and the driver encouraged them to "enjoy and relax." Many dozed. Others read books, listened to iPods or quietly chatted with their neighbors.
But then the bus slowed to a crawl on Manhattan's congested streets and things started getting ugly. Quickly. "It's an hour late. That's precious shopping time," griped Helen Wong of Pembroke, who had decided on a whim to spend the day in Times Square with her teenage daughter.
Ten minutes later, a middle-age man sitting behind her threw up into a paper bag.
"We need to get off this bus," 49-year-old Curtis Fitzpatrick of South Boston loudly grumbled to his companions. "That's what we've got to do. People are getting sick."
A minute later he'd have his chance.
The shiny new motorcoach suddenly scraped against a piece of construction equipment that was hitched to the back of a van parked just beyond an orange construction cone and flag. When the driver hopped off the bus to investigate the damage, several flustered passengers joked this was their chance to bolt.
But they politely remained seated. And when the bus finally pulled up to the curb across from Penn Station at 12:52 pm, an hour and 20 minutes late, they burst into applause.
Posted by Nicole C. Wong, Globe Staff

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