Riding the ‘jitney’ shuttle

Jan 31, 2006 12:05 AM

Two of Black Hawk’s most famous citizens seem to have flown the coop. Eno and Keno, lifetime "roommates," mascots of the Isle of Capri and avian equivalents to Ernie and Burt, may have flown off to jolly old England to pull an Elton.

I found this out while talking with another passenger on the little red shuttle bus. Okay, I made the Eno and Keno rumor up. Their tastefully appointed cage is missing; however, I really don’t think well-fed cockatoos can fly across a room, nevertheless, an ocean.

Anyway, I wanted to share my positive experience with the BH & CC Tramway. What would be known as jitney bus in Atlantic City, transports patrons between the various casinos in both cities. For atmosphere, the graveyard shift even boasted a surly driver who yelled at the oldies radio station when an incessant one-hit wonder song came blaring over the static laden P.A. system. The flashback style public cursing was actually pretty funny”¦like riding with a seen-it-all cantankerous old time New York cab driver.

As a reformed urban planner (seriously, urban planning was my original master’s degree), I realize that the most frustrating experience for a public transport passenger is the wait and its associated anxiety of not knowing when the "chariot of the masses" will arrive.

Although the shuttles arrive every 20 minutes, the waiting posts are still a pretty cold place to stand for any duration.

Thus, there is a transportation innovation I particularly like — a digital countdown reader secured to the wait post noting when the next bus will arrive. Further, as an ex-urban planner, I appreciate that the shuttle service provided by BH & CC Tramway is a legitimate boon to the gaming experience in Black Hawk and Central City that also mitigates some traffic and parking issues.

Once one has been beaten down enough by the slots or the amazingly lucky (for the casino) blackjack tables, it is nice to be able to easily transport oneself to a new locale to either recoup losses”¦or increase them. While the two cities separated by less than a mile are reasonably pedestrian friendly, when cold or inclement weather hits the mountain towns or after one has indulged like a gourmand at the buffet, the transportation service is a welcome amenity.

— David Paster