UCSD Purchases Fleet of Invisible Buses


Written by: Amit Roth

“I finally learned what the inside of a black hole looks like,” said Katherine Cambpell. “I was rather disappointed to find out it was just a bus.”
Photo by Amit Roth

Students at UC San Diego have complained about missing buses at both Gilman Drive bus stops. They point to MTS-reported ETAs reaching zero, then restarting from 15 minutes again without a bus in sight. This has resulted in increased tardiness and absences for off-campus students and slight inconveniences for on-campus students. Last week, The Office of the Chancellor released an email that read: “UCSD is proud to partner with MTS and the US military as we unveil our line of ultra-camouflaged campus shuttles. Our invisible buses offer style and will go unnoticed by traffic, perfect to reach these new destinations available to you.” The invisible bus lines connect campus and locations like the nearest H-Mart, the Los Angeles International Airport, and Palomar Mountain, “for the students who love camping so much.”

Katherine Cambpell, a fourth-year student, shared her experience riding an invisible bus. “It was a Kafkaesque daymare. I was waiting for any one of the six buses that go between campus and UTC, when all of a sudden, a hand appeared from the ether and pulled me from this world into another. I, of course, thanked the driver, but as I continued to a seat, the terrors revealed themselves. The world outside the windows was pitch, fluid, undulating, clawing. The leather seat adhered to my skin and breathed softly. The bus poles were fireman’s poles leading to cavities upon cavities below. Realms below… these buses can’t be driving on our roads, space itself would not allow it. And the people… they couldn’t respond to my pleas! They just shifted uncomfortably and said they were getting off soon. All that, and I was still deposited a block away from H-Mart and nine from UTC.”

The novelty of the invisible buses appeared to wear off as delays caused the bus schedule to drift. Third-year UC Berkeley student and civil engineering minor Sid Tran complained about the delays on the UCSD subreddit. “With my semester over I came to inspect a smaller school’s transport system. It’s nice and all that they have enough invisible buses to run every 10 minutes, but they all arrived equally late by an hour. Something about adding a new stop every two and a half stops, every bus cycle. But recently, the delays have been up to 20 hours! I effectively take yesterday’s bus. No wonder people feel so behind this quarter.”

In response to criticisms of the new transit system, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla released a statement to explain the situation. “Our invisible buses do not all have 20-hour delays. They alternate, with every other bus being four hours early. While I can’t comment on the unique make of the invisible buses, passengers are injured less often than on the Blue Line trolley. Even pedestrians are safe, as there’s no risk that they won’t see the bus coming. The invisible buses aren’t actually invisible. They’re designed so that only the intelligent can see them, which college degree-less under­grads would naturally have trouble with. I see them all the time, and if you really want to know, they’re a beautiful shade of green or
blue. Sure.”

Amit is a cog in this machine. But doesn't everything run on optic cables or something?

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