Burning through cash

In these times of budget crisis, our City agency is making sweeping cuts to award the savings to other agencies. But we helped one City agency today that is literally burning through cash.

THE EMERGENCY

A bus driver reports smoke coming from the fare taker.

THE ACTION

On scene to nothing showing and about 2 dozen folk on the sidewalk, clearly upset their bus has stopped, smoking or not. The driver does not carry a key to the cash box, understandably, and we’re wondering whether or not to force it open. The smell of the smoke is a mixture of paper and electrical components and has mostly dissipated. There is no way to access the power for the unit so we have the driver power down on one of the hottest days of the year so far.

The supervisor arrives only to tell us, “I don’t have a key, we’ll have to get someone from the main office out here,” and he is on the phone and walks away.

The box is cool to touch and the smell from 5 minutes ago is mostly gone, so the boss made them promise to not restart the bus until after the box was opened.

“2 hours fellas,” the supervisor says and our boss audibly grunts.

If it starts again, call us back.

A few hours later we drove past on the way to another run and saw the driver still sitting on the sidewalk in a thin bit of shade from a nearby tree. I wonder how much was in there.

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