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‘While You Were Sleeping’: Morning commute starts in the middle of the night for some

Bus riders hit streets before sunup

SAN ANTONIO – The clock on a nearby bank building downtown shows it is not yet 5 a.m.

Yet, Angela Moreno, standing on a corner near Travis Street, has been up for hours and is about to board her second bus of the day.

“I usually get up at three and I get ready,” Moreno said. “The reason? I don't have a vehicle right now and I need my drivers license.”

Getting a license and car are both on her priority list.

Right now though, Moreno is trying to regroup and recover financially after an expensive move.

Moreno has plenty of company at her downtown bus stop each morning.

There are dozens of other people boarding buses before daylight in order to get to where they’re going.

Downtown bus stops are full of people whose commute starts long before daybreak.

Nearby at Travis Park, Ricardo Thomas is taking in the sights as he waits for his next bus.

“I just take a little break 'cause I have like an hour before my next bus comes,” he said.

VIA buses, however, don’t go where Thomas is headed.

The Kansas City native is taking a Greyhound bus to Laredo.

Thomas works as a delivery driver, transporting cars that are for sale from one location to another.

His regular route has him passing through San Antonio twice each month during the overnight hours.

“I leave Dallas at 11:45 (p.m.), and that’s an express bus, Thomas said. “But when it gets here, it has a two-hour layover.”

Sitting in that same spot, Thomas often has seen some unusual occurrences.

“I've seen a drunk driver, at one time,” he said. “It ran a light here and went on the side of the building and was turned upside down.”

On this day, things were relatively quiet. Only the sound of idle chatter filled the air.

Some of it was exchanged between two longtime friends, Lionelle Davis and Al Galvan.

The two often meet up at the bus stop, not looking for rides, but to help others on their heavenly way.

“We try to help people learn more about God's will,” Davis said. “We try to give people hope to keep a positive attitude.”

Both identified themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Davis and Galvan said as part of their missionary work, they spend the early mornings chatting with bus passengers about their faith and passing out pamphlets.

“We give it to people to read it,” Galvan said.

Ironically, in the early morning hours that day, one of the booklets he was handing out was entitled, “Awake.”

The two men hope to open other people’s minds at a time of day when their eyes are barely open.


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