Louisville Magazine

MAR 2014

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/267865

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Page 45 of 124

TWELVE IN TRANSIT PHOTOS BY CHRIS WITZKE BY ANNE MARSHALL A DAY OF RIDING AROUND LOUISVILLE ON ONE OF TARC'S BUSIEST BUSES — THE NO. 23. A t 4:44 on a Monday morning, a sleepy lid caps downtown Louis- ville. At 10th and Broadway one car passes. Ten another. Ten silence. A breeze would register as a tantrum. Union Station, a 123-year-old Richardsonian Romanesque building housing Transit Authority of River City's (TARC) headquarters, commands the corner by day, a fairytale of brick, stone, turrets and towers. At this hour, gray shades all elegance. One large circular stained-glass window may as well be a Cyclops' shut eye. At 4:45, a grumble. From behind Union Station, the frst No. 23 of the day pulls onto Broadway, its diesel engine coughing up muck, temporarily flling the empty bus with acrid diesel fumes. Two square headlights blare white. A Clydesdale frame travelling at caterpillar speed, the 23 lumbers east with the message — "Hikes-Hurstbourne" — fashing at its brow. Behind the wheel, a middle-aged driver with a long, thin ponytail begins his route, which will leave Broadway to head southeast on Bardstown Road, break left at Taylorsville Road and end up at a Meijer dis- count store in Jefersontown. On weekdays, up to 17 diferent buses dedicated to route 23 pick up some 8,000 passengers. About 40,000 others will cross the Metro on other routes. At Brook and Broadway, the bus's brakes exhale into a red light. Steam rises from a sewer grate nearby. A Walgreens sign reads 23 degrees, 4:51 a.m. Te light turns green. Hiss, groan, roar. Te bus rolls onward. A young African-American woman with a Dairy Queen visor, black coat, and blue and pink pajama pants climbs aboard. She pays her $1.75, walks past empty seats, clasping yellow rails before sliding into a seat up two stairs illuminated by a strand of orange lights. She briefy scrolls through her phone. By the time the bus tips southeast onto Bardstown Road her eyes have closed. Her head leans on the window. At the front of the bus, a tall man with white shoulder-length hair and a newspaper rolled in his back jeans pocket stands at the yellow line intended to separate driver from public, a barrier that often doubles as lectern, a place for passengers to speak at a driver's right ear. Tis morning a few phrases carry: "Beshear wants to raise taxes . . . like Wash- ington . . . dirty S.O.B.s." 42-53 Abort BUS.indd 43 2/19/14 3:10 PM

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