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I know you can't go to a bus stop in the middle of the day and expect the bus to just be there, but I'd been standing at Menard and Addison for 20 minutes when, at a quarter to 12, an eastbound 152 arrived. I took one of its many empty seats. We drove to the next stop, Central, where the driver got off the bus and lit a cigarette. "Shift change," he said. "Next driver should be along any minute." He smoked, waved traffic around the bus, and walked purposefully to the other corners of the intersection, as if looking for his replacement. After five minutes or so, a southbound bus pulled up across the street and a man in a blue CTA uniform hustled into the driver's seat on our bus. "Of course he's late," a passenger said to no one in particular. "He took the bus."

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