I have not written a blog entry here since August of last year.
2010 has been quite interesting for me in my travels. While I have been riding some buses and subways for fun, I have noticed a trend early in the year where some "commuters" were riding the bus or train with the same operator/conductor. I thought that was rather interesting. My first train operator buddy was a guy named Miguel who I met three years ago on the ravo line. He was operating a R-40 slant at the time from 145th Street to Brighton Beach. He kept his cab open as I watched him at the controls. That was a lot of fun.
December of last year, I had a B/O friend named Dominick who worked the bus route. I later bumped into him while taking the from school and he invited me on his (X29) bus to Manhattan.
Before this year, I had three T/Os and two B/Os as friends. This year I have about 30 RTO personnel as friends, with 20 of them working as train crew members, (15 of them as T/Os) I also have 10 bus operator friends who I tag along from time to time, mostly working on the express bus routes.
My train operator and train conductor friends that I have now work the and lines. While I live near the Brighton Beach Subway station, I also live around 15 minutes away from the Neptune Avenue station along the Culver Line and 20 minutes from the Coney Island Stillwell Avenue and station.
This year I have averaged at least one "tagging" trip per week with one train/bus operator friend, usually on the and lines, since they come by my area of residence, but I have also tagged along on the and the now defunct lines, as well as over 15 different bus routes in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In the summer, the most tagging trips per week was five in which some people criticized me as doing it "too excessively" in which they were right.
While tagging along with what I call them "buddy operators" or "buddy conductors" is fun and exciting, it's best not to do it too much because these "buddies" aren't going to be in a good mood all the time. Lots of things can stress them out such as traffic problems. I have seen them become agitated sometimes too.
Having these "buddy operators" brings in many advantages. They know you personally and they can assist you in many ways, not always in transit but in other areas of life like school, sports, family, etc. While this isn't my first year in having buddy ops, I'll say this is the best year since I made plenty of them.
Nothing makes commuting more exciting and fun than having a friend behind the controls of a train or bus. It has been for me throughout the year.