Students heading home on the 51B toward Rockridge BART on Tuesday about 4 p.m. saw something strange near College Avenue and Derby Street. According to these students, another 51B bus was parked at the stop, lights flickering and no one apparently inside. The bus driver in the working 51B commented on how strange it was.
“I wasn’t aware that the driver before me would abandon their bus at a stop. It was a big inconvenience. College Avenue is so narrow — it took me ages to get around the parked bus!” the driver told us.
After reporting the bus, AC Transit administrators went to the scene to check it out, only to find that it was gone.
“We just assumed the bus driver who was taking over the shift was late, so we left it alone. We had no idea the bus driver who picked up his shift had been late by 40 years!” said an AC Transit administrator.
Students who got on this rogue 51B claimed to not notice anything strange at first. A few mentioned wondering about the flickering lights, but dismissed any questions they had.
“It’s the 51B — I’ve learned to not expect a lot,” claimed one rider. “The NextBus app told me the bus was 15 minutes away, but the bus actually came in nine. I decided to accept the flickering lights, since the driver was actually making great time.”
Passengers on the bus started to really notice something was up when the bus started going through the cars in front of it. Junior Amy Strada said if she hadn’t pulled herself out of her stress-trance stare out the window, she wouldn’t have realized that the bus had passed through a truck.
“I was terrified! I braced myself for a collision, but none came! I went up to the front of the bus to see if the driver was OK, only to find a wheel steering on its own!” Strada said.
Some passengers noticed a flickering image of a man in an old-fashioned bus driver’s uniform driving the bus as they tapped their Clipper cards. In the past day, more information has come to light on this bus driver. In 1978, bus driver Andrew C. Traffic died in his home, only five minutes before leaving for his last shift with the AC Transit before retiring. According to students who have befriended him on their bus rides to class and home, he came back to finish the job.
“A.C. is such a cool dude — or should I say ghost? He’s always early to the stops and does this cool thing where he makes the lights flicker for kicks. I love that guy!” said one passenger.
AC Transit officials have not come to a decision on how they’ll handle this situation. They are currently in the process of trying to find a real-world equivalent to the fictional “Ghostbusters,” but are not having any luck. For now, A.C. Traffic will continue driving the 51B until he decides to return to rest, or a ghost force takes him away.