Monthly Archives: August 2006

August Golden Transfer

Golden TransferThis month’s Golden Transfer goes to Warren Yee, volunteer coordinator for Metro Employees Historic Vehicle Association (aka MEHVA), an all-volunteer organization of current and retired Metro employees “dedicated to the preservation of Seattle and King County’s transit heritage through the restoration and operation of vintage transit vehicles as a working, living museum.”

Warren and his team of volunteers don’t just maintain the historic buses; they also donate their time to drive them–for MEHVA-sponsored tours, and occasionally, for private events.

Saturday before last, despite a scheduling mix-up …

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Beyond Trip Planner, part II

Most of you know that I think Seattle has a great bus system. Buses here work for me because:

1) I have spent time learning the routes I use regularly, and
2) I do advance research to figure out how to get places I’ve never been before.

Buses here don’t necessarily work for:

1) Tourists.
2) People like Jonathan Kauffman, Seattle Weekly writer and newbie Seattleite. (Brad from First Hill, a former newbie Seattleite, sent me this essay Jonathan wrote about Seattle’s buses.)

Jonathan thinks Metro should have a comprehensive system map that is easily available at major …

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A regional fare system? Now we’re talkin’!

Metro, Sound Transit and the other major Puget Sound transit agencies (Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Everett Transit, Kitsap Transit, and Washington State Ferries) are testing a smart-card-based, agency-agnostic, electronic fare system. Hallelujah!

Smart card users can purchase passes on their card or store funds in an electronic purse (“e-purse”) for use in traveling across systems that have different fares.

After my recent fare-related incident on the 550, I’m hoping it will let you do both: buy a pass for your regular commute and keep money in your “e-purse” for when you take a higher-fare trip.

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No love for Bus Chick’s mountain?

The good news:

It will soon be possible to visit national parks without driving a car.

Federal officials awarded grants Monday totaling almost $20 million to reduce traffic in national parks and public lands by providing alternative transit, including trains, shuttle buses and bicycle trails.

Congestion is a growing problem in the nation’s national parks and public lands, which have 700 million visitors annually, Simpson said.

“By and large those visitors currently have only one way of getting in and around our national treasures: by car,” he said.

The goal of the Alternative Transportation in the Parks and …

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Speaking of young men…

If, before you board the 48, the driver asks, “Are you allowed on the buses again?” and then, seconds after she lets you on, follows with, “You can’t bring gasoline on the bus,” it might be time to brush up on Metro’s code of conduct.

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Who says waiting for the bus is boring?

I shared a wait with these guys at the 43 (et al) stop at Pike and 4th. Our friend in the stripes (the apparent love child of Radio Raheem and Antoine Marryweather) and his two sidekicks (probably in diapers around the time boom boxes hit their heyday), kept me entertained, dancing and lip synching to J-Lo’s “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” (and other selections I did not previously associate with 80s-style boom boxes or men under 22) until my bus arrived.

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And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming

Right before my hiatus, someone sent me an interesting article about the real cost of gas. I finally made time to read it today. Here’s an excerpt:

Milton Copulos, an economist with the National Defense Council Foundation, a right-of-center Washington think tank, spent 18 months poring over hundreds of thousands of pages of government documents, toiling to fix a price tag on America’s addiction to global crude….

The actual cost of gasoline refined from imported oil, according to Copulos? Eight dollars a gallon, he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last spring… When he isolated hidden costs …

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Introducing…Mrs. and Mr. Bus Chick

The wedding festivities are over and done with, and Busnerd (aka Mr. Bus Chick) and I are taking a lot of naps. Whew! Getting married is exhausting. We are grateful for Flexcar (used my membership quite a bit in the past 10 days), but I am happy to be back in my normal bus groove.

For those who asked: We did have a “wedding bus.” We rented an old-school Seattle Transit bus from MEHVA (Metro Employees Historic Vehicle Association) to transport guests from the ceremony to the reception. The bus also picked up out-of-towners at a downtown hotel. …

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Off gettin’ hitched

Bus Chick's gettin' hitched (designed by Zach Taylor)
If you’re a person who actually likes “how we met” stories, you can read Bus Nerd’s and mine in my latest Real Change column.

I know it will be hard not to have anything bus-related to read for an entire week, so the rest of you can talk among yourselves. I’m hoping to return to lots of fabulous and thought-provoking comments.

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On busing and belief

A few months ago, inspired by the success of my amazingly brilliant friend Harold, I submitted an essay to NPR’s This I Believe series. I wrote about my decision to live without a car, and even though NPR wasn’t feelin’ the piece (or maybe they just take a really, really long time to read submissions), I thoroughly enjoyed the exercise. It helped me realize how much riding the bus reflects my sense of who I am.

Here is the conclusion of the essay:

I believe in sitting next to my neighbors, in “How you doing today?” and …

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