In the Bus Bag
Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison, by Shaka Senghor
Monthly Archives: September 2006
On this, the last day of summer (known to some as the end of the bus chick high season), I came across a minor bus/truck fender bender in Pioneer Square. Luckily, the bus was headed to base, so no passengers were displaced–unless, that is, I got there after the riders had already been booted. If they were, I’m sure it only made them stronger. You haven’t earned your true bus chick stripes until you’ve been kicked off a “disabled” bus in the rain.
Busnerd saw this fancy, digital sign on the 48 today:
Apparently, it shows the date and time until someone rings the bell to get off, at which point it alternates between the regular “stop requested” text and the date and time. Nice.
I’m hoping these signs will one day be capable of displaying other useful information: the bus’s status (whether or not it’s on schedule, for example) and the status of common transfer routes. And hey, for extra revenue, Metro could sell messages (birthday wishes, marriage …
Last week, Laura from Eastlake sent me this note:
You often talk about Smooth Jazz and I must admit that I have been jealous. I would LOVE for the ride home to be to some music. So I thought I would send you a quick email to tell you about a great driver I had the other day coming home. It was on Wednesday night on the 70 at about 6pm. The bus driver sang a song to the entire bus about “humoring your bus driver so he doesn’t leave you at your stop while waiting.” It was really funny, …
Why busing beats driving, according to my Gail:
1) You don’t have to wait for a light to put on your makeup!
2) You don’t get accused of causing accidents just because your cell phone rings or you have to kill a bee!
3) If someone scratches the bus you don’t have to lose a day’s work getting quotes! Likewise,
4) If your fellow passenger throws up – no one has to fight over who’s going to clean it up!
5) On rainy days you don’t have to carry extra mats for the floor!
6) You don’t burn …
Last night, I met my brother Jeremy (aka Saulty) at The Apartment after work. On my walk from the bus stop, a man stopped me and asked, in very broken English, how to get to the airport. I don’t know if the man had highly sensitive buschick-dar or is just very lucky, but either way, he came to the right place.
I walked him to the 194 stop on 2nd & Pike and in the process learned:
• He is from Turkey.
• He spent the summer working in a cannery in Alaska.
• He wanted to …
Despite the large number of fabulous, active, interesting people who choose to be car-free, it is still considered an “alternative” lifestyle. We bus- and bike-dependent types are viewed as outside the mainstream: martyrs; angry, political types with something to prove; or die-hard environmentalists participating in “sustainability experiments.” Here’s the thing, though: Some people choose not to own cars out of good, old-fashioned, American self-interest.
I wrote an essay on the personal-benefit aspects of car-free living for this month’s issue of Seattle magazine. And then, a couple of weeks ago, I found an entire book on the subject. …
A cell phone conversation:
“You owe child support? How much you pay?” [pause] “900 a month? For one kid?” [pause] “Damn. That makes me feel a little better. I only pay 600.”
Recently, I’ve started to consider expanding my transportation options. No disrespect to the bus, which has served me well for many years and will remain my primary mode of transportation, but there are times when I want more control over when and how quickly I get somewhere. To that end, on Monday, I took a beginning commuter class through Cascade Bicycle Club’s Education Foundation. (Well, it wasn’t an official class; I spent a couple of hours getting schooled by their extremely knowledgeable commuting specialist, Chris Cameron.)
On Saturday, on the 48, I sat behind a man transporting case of a certain poultry-inspired brand of bourbon. That stuff ain’t cheap. Perhaps he’d recently visited the coin-counting machine at his credit union.
For some reason I have yet to understand, Bus Nerd has entirely too much change. Everywhere he goes, change follows. It is in his pants pockets, in his coat pockets, in his busnerd bag. If you’re ever short bus fare, search the cushions of a couch he has recently sat on; you’re sure to find at least a couple of trips’ worth. And don’t get me started on his (former) bedroom. His spare-change jar filled up at least a year ago, subsequently overflowing onto his nightstand and into …