• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Tuesday, May 22, 2007

    Snapshot of Bus 87

    Yesterday morning I hopped on the 87 bus and headed up to the medical center. Route 87 is the main conduit for students and workers to the two medical schools in the medical center--Baylor and UT-Houston. In addition to the 87, routes 297 and 298 carry professionals to the medical center from the 'burbs, and the light rail carries professionals and students from the southwest. But nothing says student bus like the 87.

    I got on about 9:00am and the bus was packed--standing room only--as usual. So I, being the bored, odd person I am, counted everyone who got off the bus. I can do this because UT-Houston is the "last" stop--it's the last place people need to go in the morning, so I'm always the last person off the bus. Then the 87 starts the return part of it's loop.

    Now, the 87 is an incredibly interesting loop, because it runs from Sunnyside through the southside of the medical center and ends at the medical center proper. Then it backtracks. Sunnyside is predominantly African-American and very poor. South medical center is racially heterogeneous and predominantly students or middle class professionals who work at the medical center. Hence it has two incredibly different population bases that it services. Also interestingly, they don't overlap. Those who use the bus in Sunnyside rarely go to the medical center, and those who live south of the medical center rarely travel to Sunnyside.

    My impromptu count represents a snapshot of the populace that lives south of the medical center--not Sunnyside. The results?

    Total people: 45
    Caucasian: 5
    African-American: 7
    Indian: 12
    Chinese: 21


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