Author Archives: BusChick

No buses, no peace

Two days into the reality that King County’s transit system is about to return to 1997 levels of service, I find myself too overwhelmed to say anything coherent on the subject.

Since election night, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking–about how 60 years of social engineering, influenced by a handful of greedy corporations, can create a transportation system that requires people to be able bodied, within a certain age range, and capable of spending many thousands of dollars per year just to have basic mobility.

I’ve been thinking about how a transit agency can be …

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Category: issues | Tagged

The transfer trade

Transfer trade, n: The system of exchanging bus tickets, paper transfers, and bus passes for money or other items of value.

One thing I love about public transit is the mini economy that develops among riders. There’s always something for sale on buses and at stops: watches, flowers, cigarettes, tickets, candy. And, of course, transfers.

Though much more common before Orca cards became the norm for payment, the transfer trade is alive and well in Seattle. So are the many related practices. Some examples: “passing …

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Category: transit culture | Tagged ,

Multimodal Monday: Monorail

Chicklet’s on spring break and so spent the week at camp at Seattle Center. We usually ride the 8 to that part of town, but this week, we decided to mix it up.

I remember when riding our city’s crusty, nearly useless tourist train made me smile just as big.

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Category: living the life, multi-modal | Tagged ,

We’re still here

Since the last time I posted (in August—ahem), the Bus Fam has been through a few transitions.

For one thing, Chicklet started kindergarten (!), moving us to yet another stage in our bus lives: parenting a school-age kid.

At some point, I will share more extensive thoughts about our experiences so far. For now, I’ll say we are extremely fortunate that there is an amazing preschool on site at Chicklet’s elementary school. Having one drop-off is helpful to all parents; it is the holy grail for bus parents.

We live too close to the school to qualify for a yellow …

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Category: living the life | Tagged , , , ,

If I could marry a project…

It would be this one. Sit on It Detroit is everything.

Detroit lacks seating at bus stops. More than half of the bus stops in the city are without benches. Sit On It is an effort to fill this void by creating benches out of reclaimed wood from abandoned houses and businesses within the city.

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Category: cool stuff, transit culture | Tagged , , ,

Thanks for the ride

It is hard to put into words how much our bus family appreciates the hard-working men and women who get us where we’re going safely, day after day. Our prayers are with Mr. Deloy Dupuis, the 64 year-old 27 driver who was shot in the face while doing his job yesterday morning. We also pray for the family of the shooter, Martin Duckworth, who was killed by police shortly after the incident—and for an end to the senseless gun violence that plagues our nation.

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Category: issues, seattle stuff | Tagged , , ,

Eastbound 14, 5:45 PM

My heart, across the aisle:

Bus Nerd and Busling, reading while riding

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Category: reasons to ride, spotted!, transit culture | Tagged , , ,

Courage

As I mentioned a few months ago, one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read in years is The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, by Jeanne Theoharis. I underlined so much of the text that the parts that are not underlined now stand out, but one passage in Chapter Five made a special impression. I think of it almost daily, and it has profoundly influenced the standard I set for myself as a person who claims to care about justice.

A community of black people and a smattering of white allies looked that old order, that terror, …

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KC Metro’s finest, part VI

There are few Metro press releases I look forward to more than the Operator of the Year announcement (OK, there are few Metro press releases I look forward to other than the Operator of the Year announcement. But still.) That is why I was surprised when, this afternoon, one of my coworkers casually mentioned the latest recipient as if he were old news. Folks, I am late (with this, as with everything these days), but in case you haven’t already heard…

2012 Operator of the Year

The …

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Category: people, reasons to ride, transit culture | Tagged , ,

Eastbound 4, 12:30 PM

A sixtyish man is sitting in front of me, looking out the window as we creep up James. We pass a handful of people standing on the sidewalk near the jail. Among them is a black priest.

The man snorts in disbelief. “Why would a black person take a vow a poverty? We’re born poor!”

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Category: overheard | Tagged ,