Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Another TRAX adventure

In the past year I have become a faithful TRAX rider. I ride it almost every day except when I have a reason to drive. It’s a reliable form of transportation that saves me a LOT on gas money, wear and tear on my car and the hassle of fighting traffic. Not to mention it allows me an extra hour of reading time each day.

I’ve only had a few experiences when it was less than reliable, so it’s very much the exception rather than the rule for that to happen. But in the last week it’s happened twice!  I’m not going to really tell about the one last week because I’m pretty much over it. I have to tell about the one today, however, because, quite honestly, I want some sympathy. So here goes.

I was riding home today and everything was fine until we got to the 90th South station. I noticed that the air went off and the lights out, but I’ve seen it flick on and off before so at first I didn’t think anything of it. That is until I realized neither was coming back on, and we’d been sitting there awhile. Not only was the train not showing any sign of movement, but the one going the other direction was also stationary.

I was trying to stay calm and chat with the other passengers a bit, but the plain fact is that it was hot in there. It hit 85 degrees today, and with a lot of people and no AC, the air was heating up quickly. I was very concerned about that.

You have to understand that I have this terrible irrational fear of getting stuck somewhere I won’t be able to get out. This includes elevators, stairwells and any tight spaces that look iffy. I’ve overcome it to a certain extent, but it’s still there. So, when I realized the power was off and that most likely meant the doors wouldn’t open, I must admit that I started panicking. I felt better when I saw the door just down the way open and a few other passengers getting out.

I’d just about made the decision to get out and start walking at that point, so it was just as well to see a UTA person coming to tell us we were all getting off the train for awhile because they didn’t have any power. I missed the rest of the explanation of what was wrong because pretty much I was ready to peace out. I’d been sitting on the dead train for 15-20 minutes at that point, and I had things to do. So I decided my legs would have to get me where I needed to go.

The 90th South stop is probably a little over a mile from the one I usually get off at, two stops later. There’s a nice little path that runs parallel to the tracks, and I actually walked it a couple weeks ago. So, off I went, along with several other passengers.

I wasn’t worried about the distance because I can run/walk a 5K comfortably, but I was concerned about A) walking in the heat in my nice clothes and B) my shoe situation. I was wearing my cute wedges today that are okay for walking short distances, like around the office or from the train to my car, but not much more. But even that didn’t stop me.

I made good time and got back to my car within about 20 minutes, including the times I had to wait to cross the street. It turned out to be a wise decision on my part too because I was in my car driving away before I saw a train pull into the station.

At that point I was hot, tired and in a bit of pain from the five blisters my little walk put on my feet. I went on a two-mile walk in those shoes earlier this summer, and it was a mistake. I wouldn’t have done it this time except I really needed to get home and waiting however long for the train just didn’t appeal. But I survived the ordeal, and the blisters will eventually go away, so I’m not all that worse for wear.

I suppose I’m just annoyed to have a major delay on Trax twice in a week, but what happens, happens I suppose.

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