Thank You, Bus 618

Gerald Washington
3 min readJan 27, 2021


Photo by Roman Fox on Unsplash

Yesterday, I drove around in a neighborhood I grew up in during and a little after my high school years.

It felt surreal going around the area where my ex-stepmom probably still lives to this day, only this time, instead of walking around, I’m in my own car looking at the house and suburban neighborhood that was dramatically different than living in the deep country woods in North Carolina before my dad met my stepmom online and eventually moving in a different dimension in Texas.

After riding around for a few minutes, I finally left the area and headed to my apartment. As I rode back to my area, an old friend was across the street from where I was, this friend turns before me on the same road I needed to turn on too. This friend was bus 618, the bus I rode for seven years before I finally was able to get myself a car at the age of 29.

Ridding behind the bus that helped me for so long when I couldn’t my own transportation felt like things had come full circle (at least for now). It's like the bus was a parent that was proud to see one of its children it helped raise come into its own.

I felt a little emotional and wish I was on the bus again. The experience of waiting on 618 in hot weather or during the wintertime wondering when bus 618 would turn on my street. Then when it did turn on my street, I got excited and got my bus money ready before the bus pulled up in front of me.

The bus fare would be $1.30 without a transfer and $1.45 with a transfer. You get on the bus and wonder what characters would be on there this time. I had seen a lot of colorful characters during my time of riding the bus 618 and others around the city of San Antonio. I remember some of the arguments couples or just two people would have.

I remember a passenger snapping on another passenger for no reason. They yelled at this person and then spit at them before the bus driver told them they had to leave. That was scary because I was sitting not far from the person who had that episode. I think about the many times I took a short nap before and after my workdays on the bus.

There were even times I had to take three buses to get to a potential work destination only for the interviewer to deny me after giving me false hope that I was gonna get hired. I’ve also had to deal with mean drivers on the 618 and other buses. The best thing you can do is be short with them and be on your merry way (even though you want to chew them out).

Yep. So many experiences that I honestly (until now) I took for granted because it felt like I would be riding the bus for life.

Speaking of life, that’s one thing about it. Nothing lasts forever. It may feel like it for a year, maybe a few years, but eventually, something changes whether it’s a good change or bad. That’s why it was a surprise when I went to get my first car at an auction. I didn’t know you could do that. The car was $300. I never thought you could get a car that cheap!

I’m very grateful for the bus experience, it exposes me to different parts of the city and different kinds of people. Plus the countless conversations I had with riders I would never see again. So in closing, thank you to bus 618 and the other buses also.



Gerald Washington

A curious person trying to navigate a complex world. Writing helps a lot with that.