Category Archives: transit culture

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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Bus riders have sense

Stop sense, n: The ability to detect when one’s transit destination is approaching without looking out the window or at the digital display at the front of the vehicle; a subconscious awareness of the location of one’s transit stop.

Not to brag (ahem), but I have a highly developed stop sense. When I was nine, I would automatically wake up from bus naps about a block before it was time for me to ring the bell. These days, I can feel my stop approaching no matter where I’m looking or how many children I’m managing.

But yesterday, I started …

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

Frisbee!

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Eastbound 4, 4:15 PM

Bus braiding:

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Calling all bus poets! (again)

After a six(?) year hiatus, Poetry on Buses is back. I want to be mad about this (Cut buses but restore poems? Really?), but I’m (not so) secretly excited. I loved the program in the 2000s and expect I will again. Plus, it’s is funded by 4Culture, not Metro.

This year’s theme is “Writing Home”–maybe since, with no buses, none of us will be riding home. (Sorry–can’t seem to shake the stank.) On with the details.

Live in King County, WA and …

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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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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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Eastbound 14, 5:45 PM

My heart, across the aisle:

Bus Nerd and Busling, reading while riding

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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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On busing and baby sharing

Yesterday, after tiring of the wait for my six-, then eight-, then ten-, then twelve-minute late 27, I resorted to the 4. I was immediately glad I did, despite the fact that the bus was (per usual) extra crowded, and I ended up standing in the no man’s land with poor pole access.

You see, Smooth Jazz was at the wheel.

Riding on Smooth Jazz’s bus always feels a bit like a celebrity sighting for me. (Not surprisingly, many of the people I consider “celebrities” are bus drivers.) As soon as we finished our excruciating creep up …

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