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Busline Blog: Telegraph at Sunrise

on March 13, 2009

When I first started riding the bus in the very early morning, I had an idea that I’d be the only person riding. The streets in Oakland are silent in the gray dawn. I pictured climbing a lonely bus, sitting by the window and watching the sun come up.

I realized how wrong I was as soon as I mounted the steps at 6am one morning last fall. The bus was packed. Nurses, carpenters, school workers, standing-room only. Still mostly silent but for the rustle of bodies, but there too are the regular friendly greetings from one friend to another as they rode to their stops.

There’s still a quiet outside, though, that lingers through the hours. The sidewalks deserted, the sun still smoldering over the tops of the hills to the east. Before 8am a long line of people stretches down the block by 20th St., waiting for the immigration services building to open, a woman hugging her husband and swaying while they wait.


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