21 Aug 2014
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VIDEO: Ever Taken the Sing-Along Bus?

Mass transit is often a grim affair, but earlier this week, one Metro Transit bus broke out in song.

Metro Transit and its drivers are often the grimmest of civil servants.

Stoically, if not humorlessly, they put up with customers who are rude, rowdy, or just plain drunk. Drivers cut in front of them, or box them in and prevent their topped bus from pulling out into traffic. It's no surprise that they don't have a strong reputation for joviality. 

But every now and then, as in the YouTube video above, you meet a driver with a spring in their step. It's not clear which bus the videographer is riding, but it appears to be traveling northbound on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis (the CVS store at 1110 Hennepin is visible out the bus windows at the 0:24 mark). The several passengers on the late-night trip are belting out "Shake, Rattle, and Roll," while the driver performs backing vocals on her intercom. The video was first discovered by Star-Tribune reporter Eric Roper, who tweeted it Friday morning.

Last winter, on a particularly cold and damp evening, I was sitting, packed like a sardine into the Number 18 bus. A tortoise could have outpaced us as we crept through rush hour traffic on Nicollet Avenue. Nearly every one on the bus slumped in their seats or at their poles, melancholy oozing out of our crowded bodies with every breath. 

Suddenly, an older woman's voice filed our ears, crooning "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Glum lips spread out into grins all over the bus as our eyes turned towards our singing driver. When she was done, the entire bus erupted in applause that lasted a solid city block. If a bus ride can be beautiful, that trip definitely qualifies. 

What was your favorite trip on a Metro Transit bus? Tell us about in the comments!

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