Your Weirdest CATA Bus Stories

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The CATA bus system is a lifesaver on snow-covered mornings or during a trek back home after a night out. But with so many students taking advantage of these quick routes, strange occurrences are pretty common.

We asked for your weirdest CATA bus stories, and you definitely delivered.

The Navel No-No

“After a night out, I was making my journey back to East Halls on the Whoop. I was standing there minding my own business when some kid leans over and sticks his finger into my bellybutton. Yep, you read that correctly…my bellybutton. Safe to say crop tops will not be my first choice of ‘going out’ apparel anymore.”

Cutting It Close

“Once when I was taking the Red Link to my internship at Innovation Park, a guy got on and just started CLIPPING HIS TOENAILS. Not even fingernails. Full on, spread across three seats clipping his toes. I’m fairly certain he didn’t collect or dispose of the clippings either….almost threw up watching it.”

A Kirk With Too Many Questions

“I’m not a student but I have this friend. I’ll call him Kirk. So several 40-something couples got together for dinner at Spats and the KISS concert…so by the time we hoped on the Loop to go to the BJC, Kirk was well-lubricated. And the bus was packed…so Kirk proceeds to start asking students very loudly, trivia questions about KISS. And of course he’s [giving]them a bunch of shit when they don’t know the answers…then he gets yelled at by the bus driver for being too loud. And when we reach the BJC and are getting off the bus, one of the students yells “Go drink some water old man!” Classic. And I’m sure quite weird for the Loop passengers on a Tuesday night.”

The Hit-And-Run

“One time I was on the White Loop and the driver straight-up hit a mail truck. He took off the side mirror and didn’t look back. The CATA dude was in a hit-and-run, and he did not give a shit.”

The Mid-Shift Quitter

“It was State Patty’s weekend 2015, and my roommate and I were enjoying a nice cruise on the Blue Loop heading downtown. All was well — we seemed to beat the rush of typical CATA riders on a Saturday night, and we were settled into our seats.

Someone toward the back of the bus pulled the yellow “stop requested” cord maybe two times. Well, the bus driver was not thrilled, as he turned the bus off, got out of his seat, faced the crowd, and screamed with mighty force, “WHOEVER KEEPS PULLING THE CORD NEEDS TO KNOCK IT OFF.” Now, the 15-or-so of us were like, what the hell? Meanwhile the bus driver continues to throw a fit… someone from the back of the bus screamed, “HES GOT A GUN” which was fun! No, he did not have a gun, but the fear was palpable, people. Another brave soul from the back of the bus said, “Just chill out, bro.” The driver was displeased, shouting back, “I’M NOT YOUR BRO.”

Now, the driver, stirred by his own random and unnecessary outrage, storms off the bus. Now, remember we are at the BJC. We are considerably farther from downtown than if we had just walked. So we are abandoned on the blue loop by our crazy bus driver. People started to walk off one by one, assuming the bus driver was not coming back. My roommate and I decided to get off as well, thinking that we did not want this man to drive us anywhere, anytime.”

Penn State should be forever grateful to patient CATA drivers, as they put up with a lot of crazy students on a regular basis. However, this driver seemed to have enough crazy for the day.

Mom Or Student?

“When visiting my daughter at Penn State, the CATA buses always fascinated me. The roar, the destination flashing on the front, the crowds waiting at the bus stops. One night, I asked her if we could ride the Blue Loop, just for the experience. We hopped on, and I slid into a window seat. Looking around at the students, listening to the chatter of conversations, smelling the fragrance of young adults, I was transformed into one of them.  My mind wandered as I considered where the bus was taking me, and imagining what opportunities lay ahead for all of us on this warm State College evening.  I glanced out the window and saw a car beside the bus. The window rolled down and a passenger shouted “Look! It’s a MOM!”  Wow — cover blown. But for a precious moment in time, I was full of anticipation, and just one of the students, on the bus.”

The Class Critic

“In my senior year at Penn State, I was assigned by a technical writing teacher to ride the CATA buses, make notes about needed improvements, and write a report about it. I don’t remember all that I put in my report, but after riding the buses, my notes went something like this:

Suggestions for CATA bus improvements:

1. Fire driver on Bus #5.

2. Replace engine, tires, seats, headlights, interior lights, and PA system on Bus #6.

3. Shoot driver on Bus #7.

4. Set fire to Bus #8.

Although these suggestions come without explanations, “see stories above” is probably explanation enough.”

Photo By: Dana Lipshutz
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About Author

Janelle Rothacker

Currently a junior studying Kinesiology, Janelle is proud to call upstate NY (the real part, not the 30 minutes north of the city part) home. She's an avid runner and enjoys everything and anything sports. She also has a love of pancakes, avoids the HUB like the plague during the in between classes rush, and can quote the majority of Friends episodes from memory. If you want to hear all the embarrassing things she does daily, or want to contact her, follow her on twitter at @janellerothack or email her at [email protected]

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