Monthly Archives: October 2006

Teaching a bus chick to fish

I recently contacted Jim (as in, “public transportation adventure” Jim) to find out if he knew how to get to Gleneden Beach, Oregon by bus, train, or any combination of the two (more on this later). Within a single business day, he sent me two possible itineraries. He also sent some resources that will help me plan my own public transportation adventures in the future:

• A list of Washington public transit systems, by region (from WSDOT)
• A list of US public transit systems, by state (from the American Public Transit Association)

Thanks, Jim! Now if only I could find a national trip planner…

And while you’re at it…

Sign up for Slate’s Green Challenge.

Much of the discussion around climate change involves national and international policy–should the United States sign the Kyoto Treaty or increase auto efficiency standards? But even without major political or legislative changes, there’s a lot that concerned individuals can do to make the problem better. To that end, we’ve created the Slate Green Challenge–a straightforward program to evaluate and reduce your carbon emissions between now and the end of the year.

First, you’ll take a quiz to assess your annual emissions. Next, Slate and will put you on an eight-week “carbon diet”–the goal being to reduce your contribution to global warming by at least 20%.

I’m down to participate. Who’s with me? I hear we’re still allowed to eat (locally produced) ice cream.

Monday business

Since Mondays are no fun anyway…

Please take a moment to influence these critically important transportation decisions:

1) RTID road investments
Action: Complete RTID survey
Deadline: October 27th

2) 520 bridge replacement alternatives
Action: Comment on the draft environmental impact statement
Deadline: October 31

If we want to ensure that public transportation is a priority in this region, we (as transit riders and advocates) must make our voices heard before all the plans are final. Let ’em know, folks!

Speaking of the 26…

From our second ride:

Twentysomething dude #1: “So, did you call Lisa?”
TD #2: “Yeah, I called her.”
TD #1: “She’s a cute girl, huh?”
TD #2: “She’s alright. She’s got some cute friends.”
TD #3: “So you’ll be calling again.”

26+26 (or, Friday night in Fremont)

Last night we rode the 26 up to Fremont to watch my friend Coby‘s band, The Goats, play at the Dubliner. The show was excellent, and it’s a good thing, since it took a bit of doing for us to get there.

Fremont is not a common destination for me, so I didn’t pay much attention to Metro’s reroute announcements when the bridge construction started back in May. I should have.

By the time we realized we had missed our stop (which, it turns out, is currently closed), we were almost at 65th–and, I might add, the only people left on the bus. We had to take another 26 back to 40th & Aurora, and then (thank God Bus Nerd installed Pocket Streets on his phone) navigate our way through the fun maze of crooked intersections, extra-long crosswalks, and pedestrian underpasses to our destination–thankfully, in time for the show.

Coby (aka ‘Bus Chick’s favorite rock star’) is also a full-time bus rider.

Coby’s performance was worth all the effort (and then some), but I definitely (re)learned a few lessons:

1) On routes you don’t ride regularly, never assume you’ll “recognize” your stop–especially if you’re going somewhere at night. Find out the exact location in advance.
2) Until Metro provides a system map that includes all the street names, carry a city map in your bus chick bag–or make sure it’s installed on one of your electronic devices.
3) In case you forget to follow rules 1 and 2: A well-prepared bus nerd can come in handy in a pinch.

A mile (and more) in a bus chick’s shoes

We bus chicks tend to (quite literally) walk our behinds off. While all this walking might be good for our bodies, it’s not so good for our footwear. After all, there are only so many times a girl can replace the heels on her favorite pair of boots.

Recently, I mentioned this problem to my friend Arif, a fellow bus rider who also happens to have one of the most amazing collections of shoes I have ever seen. Arif walks almost as much as I do, but his shoes always look like he just took them out of the box. His secret? Well, there’s the fact that he has enough pairs to limit repeating (a tactic this bus chick envies but does not condone). And then there’s the secret that his shoe-loving daddy passed down: taps. Arif puts rubber taps on all his shoes. They prevent the heel from wearing down, are fairly easy to replace, and because they’re rubber, have the added benefit of muffling sound.

I can’t wait to try some on those boots.

Speaking of unprofessional…

This behavior–reported in the Kansas City Star–is definitely grounds for an Out of Service. (Yes, I finally decided on a name for the “other award.”)

MINNEAPOLIS – A city bus driver who complained about a gay-themed ad got official permission not to drive any bus that carries that ad, according to an internal memo confirmed Tuesday by Metro Transit.

Here’s a question: What does this driver do about gay passengers?

Just wondering…

Eastbound 4, 4 PM

A cell phone conversation:

“So by this time, I’m cussing the woman out, and she says, ‘Ma’am, I’d prefer you didn’t use that kind of language. Can we try to keep it professional?’ So I said, ‘Y’all are the ones who f-ed up my account. How professional is that?'”