Back in the 1980s, I went to art school, and I along with all of the other illustration majors were required to take a minor course in photography. We had to shoot the photos as well as process the negatives and make the prints. I don’t recall what the particulars of the class assignments were although I can tell from looking at the negatives which were the assignments and which ones were shot just to finish off a roll. The shots to finish a roll are a lot more interesting. While my fellow students mostly resided and shot their photographs in the vibrant metropolis of Philadelphia, I lived and did most of my shooting in and around Westville, NJ.
My ride to art school was the G, J, S or W bus that I caught at the corner of Broadway and Olive Street. It went up Broadway in Westville and then continued up Broadway in Gloucester City and up through Camden until it turned off for the Ben Franklin Bridge. When I first started taking the bus in 1981, Market Street in Philadelphia was under construction so the bus would travel along Arch Street which was pretty seamy at the time. I was deposited on Arch off of Broad in between a couple of adult book stores which seemed to be Philly’s sole thriving business at the time.
New Jersey Transit buses were a little worse for wear at the time as you can tell from the photo at the top of the page. They got me where I was going but sometimes it was without heat or air conditioning. Sometimes commuters would be treated to the heady aroma of bus exhaust. At least the windows opened so no one was doomed to suffocation.
On the bright side, the bus drivers did make change. I’m not sure if this is still the case.
I think now it’s all fare cards, I don’t think you can pay cash for a ride…