1. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Taxi and Bus Service in a College Town

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Catrin Lewis, Mar 11, 2014.

    I've looked for this info online but haven't had any luck in finding what I need. So this goes out to those of you who a) were there at the time, and b) weren't too stoned to remember how things were.

    My setting is a decent-sized American college town (pop. 50,000 or so) in the mid-1970s. Do you remember what taxi service was like then? How long would someone have to wait for a cab on a nice Saturday evening in mid-May (not during Graduation)?

    Orrrr . . . did your college town have bus service back then? Did it run on Saturday nights? If so, for how late?

    I've got my MC involved in a fatal argument at the apartment of her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend. Neither of them have cars, she lives at least a mile and a half away, she's wearing shoes that aren't suitable for walking, and I have to get her home, preferably uncrippled. I was intending to have her get there in a taxi (escorted by the boyfriend) if the evening had gone well. But now that it hasn't, I don't want to make her wait too long at the boyfriend's until her cab comes-- too much dead time for me to fill. And I need him to still be in the room with her when she leaves--she's mad, he isn't, just thinks she's making too big a deal of the issue and thinks they should make up-- so she can get off a parting shot.

    So about how long would she have to wait? Or could she reasonably catch a bus on a Saturday evening in such a time and place?

    Thanks!
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    With the exception of NYC, I cannot imagine a town where college students regularly take taxis. They are a bit pricey in most cities.

    Bus service is pretty good in mid-size college towns. And you can have it arrive anytime you want since they are on a regular schedule.
     
  3. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    In this case it's a special occasion. Normally they'd be talking bicycle, on foot, or by bus. Which makes the fight all the more serious. :p
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I can see calling a cab considering the circumstances but you asked about both. Take any small college town and look up the bus and cab services.
     
  5. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    The town where I went to school seems to have no service after 5:30 on weekdays and none at all on weekends, unless you call and arrange it an hour or two ahead of time.

    Back in the '70s, the city bus service (vs. the campus bus) was very limited, and what there was was organized by the Student Senate. I know-- I was involved in the effort myself.

    Who knows. She may end up hitchhiking home. We could still get away with it back then.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    To me, you can write the story in a number of ways and they would all be very credible. Just because one town doesn't have service has no bearing on your fictional town's service.
     
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  7. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    In East Lansing, MI, near me, in the '70s one would have had to call a taxi from one of the two cab companies in Lansing. The wait would have depended on what cabs were immediately available, but I doubt if it would have been less than twenty minutes.

    Today, after some sort of deregulation, there must be a dozen or more taxi companies and East Lansing must have at least thirty cabs driving around or parked in the special areas for them - maybe as many as fifty on weekend evenings. I understand that the standard fare is two dollars per rider to anywhere in town or on campus, so it has become a very popular way to get around. One company includes karaoke in their cabs.
     
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  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if anything, there would most likely have been better/more bus and taxi service back then, since public transportation was more 'in' then... but it will depend on the status of the college to some degree, since if it's a fancy, costly one, the students will be more likely to have their own cars, while in a 'cheapy' local school, parents' budgets wouldn't stretch that far...
     
  9. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I grew up in college towns, my father was a chronic student, and the Bus service is exceptional. Usually running until 11-12, super cheep and with bike racks on the front of the bus.

    Taxi service I only experienced when I went to the city, but I know the cabs in Boulder and Fort Collins run all night on the weekends.

    It really depends on how large the town is. Denver's cab's run all night every night, and we have a whole university, and lots of little colleges too.
     
  10. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just wanted to say thank you all for responding. Taking what you said, I solved the problem by having the cab get called earlier in the scene. Plenty of time for a nice juicy fight in the interval and a semi-reconciliation that the arrival of the taxi cuts off.
     

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