Category Archives: transit culture

Remembering why I ride

“What’s the Flux?” is a six-month, grant-funded project by KBCS radio that examines commuting in the Puget Sound region from a human level. I was fortunate enough to participate in the project; my interviews with reporter Yuko Kodama were broadcast earlier this month.

Ordinarily, I don’t like doing radio interviews. Time is limited, or the focus is political (which can feel more like a race to make your point than an actual dialog), or the host asks all the wrong questions. But this interview was a lot of fun. I talked with …

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On buses and boundaries

Earlier this month, I wrote a short piece for Seattle’s Child about how Bus Nerd and I teach our kids to interact with strangers. Here’s a taste.

[We] don’t discourage our kids from talking to “strangers.” Like most parents, we have taught them never to go with a person they don’t know. But we also encourage and model safe and positive interactions, including making eye contact and greeting people, engaging in conversation, and helping those who need it.

We teach our kids how to recognize signs that someone is not safe to …

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Art + buses + community = life (part II)

My former coworker, Kate, bus (and bike) mama extraordinaire, moved from Tacoma to St. Louis over the summer. Kate and her crew are so far enjoying the transit life in a city that offers service after 7 PM (ahem) and have wasted no time integrating themselves into their new community.

Last Saturday, they attended a birthday party for the Gateway Arch and painted a bus.

Bus painting in STL

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Power to the people

On Saturday, Bus Nerd and I went to see The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution at Northwest Film Forum. I learned many things from this film, one of which is that founding chair Bobby Seale was the best political candidate of all time.

During his 1973 campaign for mayor of Oakland, the man took his message directly to the people, Panther style.

Bobby Seale, campaigning on a bus (source: NPR)

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Art + buses + community = life

If anything could cheer me right now, it is this goodness from the Twin Cities. (Thanks for sharing, Allison!)

Bus Poster - Ricard Levins Morales

CuriousCity TC is a project of Minneapolis artist Ricardo Levins Morales to put thought-provoking questions and images on Twin Cities (Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN) city buses.

New posters will be installed on dozens of metro buses once a month from June through …

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On busing and birthday parties (or, My brief encounter with a bus goddess)

One of the things I’ve come to accept about myself is that I have very few actual skills. I don’t know how to make stuff or fix stuff. (Shoot, I can barely troubleshoot a clogged toilet or hang a picture straight.) I can’t sing or draw or play an instrument. I can’t run or jump or catch. I fancy myself an “activist” but have essentially zero talent for leading people, or organizing, or motivating.

Friends, here is an exhaustive* list of the things I’m good at.

1) Writing
2) Babies
3) Riding the bus

Whether or not I …

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My kind of bus driver appreciation

Since today is all about appreciating drivers, I want to tell you guys about an idea that I’ve had for many years but have never been organized (or brave) enough to act on.

You know those firefighter calendars? The ones that feature smokin’ hot first responders lounging around the fire house conveniently missing most of their gear? Yeah, those.

We need one for bus drivers. Seriously. I mean, we’ve all seen at least one driver (or six) we we’d like to “appreciate” up close, right?

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How to pass the time at a bus stop, part VIII

Count cows.

Counting cows on 3rd Avenue

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Rebelling by bus

As I think I might have mentioned, we need a revolution in how we get around in this country, and we need it yesterday. Instead of doing something about it, our elected officials, including those who claim to understand the urgency, are doubling down on car infrastructure, ensuring that our children and grandchildren will continue to face limited, dangerous, unhealthy, and toxic transportation choices far into the future.

While we hold our collective breath waiting for the people in power to do the right thing (and also, because the air is polluted!), we ordinary, everyday folks have the ability …

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On busing and bad language (or, the “s” word, according to Chicklet)

As I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions (here and here and here and here), my fellow bus riders are a creative bunch. One of the many areas through which they express their creative energy is cursing. If there were a world cursing competition, it would be held in the back of a bus. Or at a stop.

As I’ve also mentioned, the two mini bus riders with whom I travel most frequently are big talkers. And imitators.

I think you see where I’m going with this.

I am prepared to (and in fact regularly …

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