Route 89 – Lions Park
Another university student flashes a pass and takes a seat. There are three passengers on the bus, and all university students. It's still dark outside. When the 89 returns to this same stop in an hour, the bus will already have all its seats filled by junior high and high school students from Queen E, Francis and occasionally Aberhart.
Susan yawns as she goes through the 14th Street intersection into MacEwan. She has already skipped at least five stops. It's 6:30 in the morning on a Tuesday in mid December, and there is no reason to slow down for an empty slab of concrete.
Two more people board the bus in MacEwan. Susan opens her mouth, perhaps to say good morning. Both a businessman and a sexless hoodied individual drop coins into the fare box. Neither one looks to Susan, or says a word. The din of the engine and heater has already swallowed the brief noise of the clattering coins.
At the 14th Street stop there's an Asian girl with bright eyes and pretty red-black glasses frames. She waves and shakes her head from side to side as Susan approaches. She's waiting for the 64. Susan blows past.
14th Street is pretty quiet.
At the ridiculous lights in front of the third district police station, there is a small line of cars. Exhaust billows from the cars in front of her. She mouths numbers as she counts the cars in front of her. All except one is without a passenger. The one is a woman driving with her black standard poodle and a little boy. The cars lurch forward, three pass and the light is red again. The police station finally finished its renovations a few months ago, and isn't quite so hard to look at. The clean-cut silver and blue sign that announces 3 DISTRICT, had evolved from a brick one, and a temporary Day-Glo advertising board. The building is bigger now, too. The flag at the station is at half-mast. Susan shakes her head straight lipped, she swallows hard. Two light changes later, the bus passes though, traces further and further down 14th Street, often stopping at its superfluous lights.
One of the students must be from Aberhart, those are the only people that ever get off at this stop.
The only words Susan can hear as the doors close, are from Chris Martin as he sings the nearest university student to sleep.