Category Archives: bus chick tested

Carfree Sundays, part I

Today, 14th Avenue East was closed (to cars, that is), from Republican to the park. I didn’t make it over there until close to 4, when it was pouring down rain and (even though the event wasn’t scheduled to end until 6), the Cascade Bicycle Club representatives were closing down their tent.

Seattle's first carfree Sunday
14th Ave E with no cars and–thanks to the rain–no people

Despite the uncooperative weather (hey–I’m sure the plants appreciated the drink), CBC’s commuting specialist, Chris Cameron, seemed pretty bullish. Apparently, folks were …

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Transit envy

Last Friday, Bus Nerd, Chicklet, and I headed to Portland (on the train!) to participate in the Towards Carfree Cities conference. (Actually, I was going to participate in the conference, and Nerd and Chicklet were going to hang around Portland. Minor detail.) It turned out to be a bad day to attend the conference (most of the good events happened earlier in the week) but a good day to learn more about getting around Portland. (Disclaimer: I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve been to Portland–and on one hand the number of times I’ve been …

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Speaking of bus chicks in training…

Riding the bus with Chicklet gets more fun every month. These days, instead of sleeping the rides away, she stares at people, returns smiles, looks out the window, and sometimes even tries to pull the bell. (She’s very advanced for her age, you know. Most BCiT‘s don’t go for the bell until they’re at least a year.)

She still rides in a front-pack carrier (good for keeping us close and my hands free), though we’re not using the same one we used for the first six months of her life. That carrier (a borrowed Baby Bjorn) was …

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And about that Connector ride…

Last Thursday, I tried riding the Connector, Microsoft’s private commuter bus. The Connector doesn’t stop in my neighborhood (I have to catch a Metro bus or walk a very long way to get to one of the stops), and it’s pretty easy to get to Redmond on the public bus from where I live, so I’m not necessarily the best person to evaluate it. Still, I wanted to try it at least once, just to see what it was like.

To ride the Connector, you have to make a reservation online. You can either make a recurring reservation (if …

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A bus chick’s version of a good day

This morning, I stopped by the County Courthouse to see some demos of the partially wrapped buses. (The Council tabled the vote on whether to allow the partial wraps, so these demos were made available to help the members come to a decision. Members of the Transit Advisory Committee and the Accessible Services Advisory Committee were also invited to take a look.)

The partial wraps leave 15″ clear on every bus window. This looks different on different buses, depending on the size of the windows and the height of the seats. (I apologize in advance for the …

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Speaking of bus drivers…

Yesterday I attended the first day of a two-week class for bus drivers who are converting from part time to full time. (The part-time class, during which they actually learn to drive a bus, is six-weeks.) It was cool to learn a little bit about how Metro operates from the inside, and it was really cool to spend the day with 24 bus drivers.

What I learned (the condensed version):

• You have to be a part-time driver before you can be a full-time driver. Part-time drivers have set hours and tend to be assigned to the straightforward (and relatively …

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Detroit visit: a recap

I’ve been to Detroit a total of four times–each time accompanied by Bus Nerd. Except for the second trip, when we stayed downtown and practiced getting around solely by bus, our visits have involved a fair amount of car use. His parents, though bus chick sympathizers, are not bus riders themselves, and since we usually go there to visit them, we roll how they roll. And then there’s the fact that Detroit is the most transit-poor major city I have ever visited.

In Seattle, folks tend to be surprised if you use the bus as your primary form of …

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Flexin’ for the weekend

TahomaOne of my favorite places on this earth is Mount Rainier, otherwise known as Tahoma, “mother of waters.” It is majestic and beautiful and timeless and humbling and peaceful and powerful and one of the reasons I have chosen to live a public-transit-based life. Every year around the 4th of July, Bus Nerd and I head to the mountain for an overnight camping/hiking adventure. Yes, folks, bus chicks can survive in the wild.

Unfortunately, the bus doesn’t go to Mount Rainier (believe me, I checked–even looked into hitching a …

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