Riding the Bus with My Sister

Riding the Bus with My Sister

by

Rachel Simon

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Rick Character Analysis

Rick is the attractive, sophisticated bus driver whom Beth repeatedly tries to set up on a date with Rachel. Eventually, she succeeds: Rick and Rachel go on a series of dates, and while Rachel doesn’t feel ready to date anyone else after her breakup with Sam, she and Rick become close friends. He praises her for her open-mindedness, generosity, and empathy, which he argues make her “more human” than other people. Rick also helps plan Beth’s makeover, and at the very end of her year, Rachel decides to drive around the city with Rick instead of riding the bus one last time with Beth. While they never start a romantic relationship of their own, Rick helps Rachel build back her confidence by showing her that she’s courageous enough to open herself up to someone else and ultimately find love.

Rick Quotes in Riding the Bus with My Sister

The Riding the Bus with My Sister quotes below are all either spoken by Rick or refer to Rick. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Disability, Access, and Self-Determination Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grand Central Publishing edition of Riding the Bus with My Sister published in 2013.
18. July: The Optimist Quotes

Beth has sought out mentors in places where others might not look, and, moreover, taken the time, and endured the pain, to weed out those drivers who are decent and kind and reflective from those who are indifferent or hostile. The ones I’m meeting are, I realize as I quickly do the math, only about a sixth of the whole bus company. That took Beth a huge amount of trial and error—and, yes, determination. I shake my head, amazed at how much I’d somehow missed, and then, with a surge of optimism, wonder if one out of six people in any profession or community would also be exceptionally thoughtful. How could I really know? Have I ever spent this much time exploring the worldviews of my colleagues at school or the bookstore? Do I have a clue about whether my neighbors feel committed to the Golden Rule?

Related Characters: Rachel Simon (speaker), Beth , Bailey, Claude, Tim, Jacob, Estella, Rodolpho, Rick
Page Number: 195
Explanation and Analysis:
36. January: Beyond the Limits of the Sky Quotes

There is just enough sun left for me to make out a silvery bus, moving like a fish, winding between the curbs. Maybe a bus where my sister sits. […] To the east, there’s another, and another, and another. Each one its own private history class, or luncheonette, or quilting bee, or schoolroom, or comedy theater—yet each one linked, one person at a time, to all the others. Because I can see, as Rick points it out, how they glide along, stopping for riders—riders who might have been on that run last year and are now over here, and riders from over here who might be transferring to a bus over there—and how the journeys seem separate, yet are constantly and inextricably joined together. I step back and take in all the buses coasting and turning and stopping and going—the enormous web of the world.

Related Characters: Rachel Simon (speaker), Beth , Rick, Tim
Page Number: 333-334
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Riding the Bus with My Sister LitChart as a printable PDF.
Riding the Bus with My Sister PDF

Rick Character Timeline in Riding the Bus with My Sister

The timeline below shows where the character Rick appears in Riding the Bus with My Sister. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
13. May: Matchmaker
Love and Family Theme Icon
One night, Rachel calls a driver named Rick to interview him for an article about Beth and the buses. He’s charming, unpretentious, and... (full context)
19. July: Break Shot
Love and Family Theme Icon
Growth, Change, and Morality Theme Icon
Beth keeps writing Rachel letters about Rick, the bus driver who asked her to dinner. One day, at last, they take his... (full context)
26. September: Surgery
Disability, Access, and Self-Determination Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Community vs. Individualism Theme Icon
...follow the doctor’s orders. Jacob spends the whole day with her and Rachel. Rodolpho and Rick visit, and after Rachel goes home, Beth finishes her post-op treatment at Jacob’s house. Olivia... (full context)
28. October: The Hunk
Disability, Access, and Self-Determination Theme Icon
Growth, Change, and Morality Theme Icon
...up with Olivia. Rachel remembers that Beth is doing the same thing with her and Rick. Beth prattles on about Mountain Dew, her conflicts with the driver Albert, and the drivers’... (full context)
29. October: The Price of Being Human
Love and Family Theme Icon
Community vs. Individualism Theme Icon
Growth, Change, and Morality Theme Icon
For their first date, Rick takes Rachel out to a golf course on a rainy Sunday. It’s closed, but Rick... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Growth, Change, and Morality Theme Icon
Rick and Rachel stop on a bridge over a stream and discuss romance, family, and the... (full context)
31. November: The Girlfriend
Love and Family Theme Icon
Community vs. Individualism Theme Icon
...problems, like failing marriages, career choices, and going back to school. Meanwhile, Rachel keeps seeing Rick. They trust each other and love spending time together, but Rachel doesn’t want to take... (full context)
33. December: Swans and Witches
Disability, Access, and Self-Determination Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Growth, Change, and Morality Theme Icon
Rachel takes Beth for a makeover, a holiday gift from Bailey and Rick, at “the most patient—and purple—salon in town.” Bailey hopes that it will lift Beth’s self-esteem,... (full context)
36. January: Beyond the Limits of the Sky
Love and Family Theme Icon
Community vs. Individualism Theme Icon
Growth, Change, and Morality Theme Icon
Then, Rachel gets into her own car and drives to Rick’s house. He’s home, and he’s delighted to see her. They drive around the city and... (full context)
37. A Year and a Half Later: The Miracle Maker
Love and Family Theme Icon
Growth, Change, and Morality Theme Icon
...of all, Rachel herself has changed: through her companionship with Beth and her friendship with Rick, she discovered the courage to start dating again. This May afternoon is special because it’s... (full context)