Riding OC without AC

It’s hotter in my car than it is on a city bus with no air conditioning.

That’s the verdict after riding the 94 from Fallowfield to the Rideau Centre Tuesday afternoon.

Armed with a thermometer, the needle was at 32C when I boarded.

All the windows were open, and about 25 people were on board.

That number doubled after stopping at Baseline, and filled up steadily.

A cool breeze filled the bus.

Some people read, others listened to music.

A few complained about the heat.

Two women shared a bottle of water.

“This is my third one today,” one said, motioning toward her beverage.

A bead of sweat trickled down her face from under her ballcap.

“I can’t wait to get on a bus with air (conditioning).”

She passed the water to her friend, telling her to wait until the bus stops before taking a gulp.

The friend, whose face is flushed, tries to wait then takes a sip.

She doesn’t seem to mind when water spills onto her shirt.

Several men wore T-shirts and shorts.

A guy sitting in front of me wasn’t so lucky.

Just looking at him sporting khakis, a green long-sleeve dress shirt, socks, and shoes made me sweat.

The bus rolls along.

Lincoln Fields, Dominion, Westboro, Bayview, Lebreton.

As each person got on, it seemed to get hotter.

About 24 minutes later, I’m downtown.

The thermometer says it’s only gone up two degrees on the bus from 32C to 34C.

On the way back to Barrhaven, I take the 94 again.

This time, it’s got A/C.

Again, the needle says 32C when I board.

It’s rush hour and after a few stops there’s standing room only from the front to the middle of the bus.

Even though there’s way more people, it doesn’t feel stifling.

And luckily, there was no guy standing next to me with his armpit in my face.

The ride takes 38 minutes.

I wait by the back door and check the thermometer again.

It’s two degrees cooler, at 30C.

After 20 minutes in my car, leather seats and all, it’s at 33C.

Ten minutes later, I pull into the parking lot at work.

The needle is at 37C and the back of my dress is soaked.

Thank god it’s black.


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