The MTA 44 select bus service runs through my neighborhood and I take it to Williamsburg to get my hair cut.
The thing that’s great about the sbs is that they are relatively fast. You use a kiosk to pay for your ride before the bus gets there, so loading the bus is faster than a regular bus. When you insert your metro card, you get a small receipt that looks like the receipt you get at the pump when buying gas.
You need to retain the receipts while riding to prove you paid to get in the bus, and once in a blue moon, the transit cops stop the bus and check everyone for tickets.
Today was one of those days.
I had my headphones on and didn’t see the cop over me asking me for my receipt so she had to wave her hands between my phone and my face as I was engrossed in the newspaper. She startled me and I looked up. “Receipt please!”, she said.
This caused a bit of panic because I knew I had my receipt but had no idea where I put it and today I have a big bag and a jacket with lots of pockets.
My hands hurriedly reached into my jacket pockets and I found it and handed it over. She shook her head and said, “This is from January 28.”
Shit, that was my receipt from my Target trip last weekend.
I dug around in my coat pockets again to hopefully find the receipt. My hands were shaking at this point.
Ah! I felt another piece of thin, slippery paper in my pocket. It had to be it.
Without looking at it, I handed it over, my hand shaking. Hoping it was the right one.
And it was.
She handed me back the slip of paper and I slipped it back in my pocket before she moved on to hassle an old woman on her way to church.
It’s so easy to lose these little slips of paper, that I need to come up with a better system than putting my current one in a pocket full of old receipts.
The sbs is nice, but not a $50 fine, nice.