In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Monthly Archives: March 2007
A few weeks ago, my employer sponsored Bus to Work Day at Overlake Transit Center. It was a fun Friday distraction, with representation from transit agencies and commute specialists, free food (including chocolate-chip cupcakes!), and a prize drawing. I entered the drawing and then promptly forgot about it–that is, until Wednesday, when I found out that I’d won a brand new, shiny, red folding bicycle.
One of the (many) reasons I rarely ride a bike is because there is no outdoor bike storage where I live. (The hand-me-down mountain bike that Bus Nerd hooked me up with is …
The 174, known to some as the 194′s ugly steproute, is the 358′s southern cousin.
Note that each of these cousin routes has, on average, far more trife than the 7 (for that matter, than the 7 and the 550 combined). In fact, I can’t think of another route that comes close to their level.
Here are a few fun submissions from Kim in Shoreline. (I edited Kim’s definitions some, but I think that mine are true to her original intentions. Hopefully, Kim will correct them if they aren’t.)
Bus buddy: A person you often run into on (and probably know from) the bus. When you run into this person, you sit with him or her and usually enjoy a pleasant conversation, but the friendship rarely extends beyond transit. (See also: bus family)
Imaginary friend: The apparently invisible person sitting next to that bus rider who insists on sitting in the outside seat …
Tonight, I ran into one of my favorite classmates (and I use that term loosely, since I only attended one day out of ten) from the February bus driver class. Alan Brooks, the Seattle OG who told me about the transfer-eating passenger on the 255, drove my evening 545.
Alan is cool people, friendly and funny and helpful, which will make him one of those drivers people remember and like. Alan is also quite insightful. Case in point: On our ride, he mentioned that he’d driven the 550 earlier in the day. He called the oft-running the route …
The Chicago-based company, which began operating in a number of Midwestern cities last year, plans to launch the new service April 2 in Pittsburgh; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Columbus, Ohio; Kansas City, Mo., and Louisville, Ky. It already offers service between Chicago and Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Toledo.
“We’re really trying to get people out of their car,” Dale Moser, president and chief operating officer of Coach USA, the domestic subsidiary of Scotland-based Stagecoach Group PLC, which runs Megabus. “We think that’s the real big advantage.”
Tonight, on my 48 home from Montlake, there was a middle-aged man in the seat slightly behind me and to my right. He was on the phone with a loved one, telling the person in a strained voice not to worry, that he would make it home.
After he hung up, he began moaning softly, then loudly, and when I turned back to look at him, there were tears streaming down his face. He opened a can of something to drink (from my angle, I couldn’t see what it was) and continued to moan and cry.
The bus was …
To get to my office from the bus stop (or to the bus stop from my office), I have to walk a decent distance. By the correct path (which involves using the actual sidewalks the city of Redmond provides for pedestrians), it’s probably close to three quarters of a mile. But I don’t take the correct path. Like all the other 545 riders who work in my building, I take a shortcut through an empty lot that is partially paved–and partially not. This works great–except in winter, when it gets dark at 4:30, and the street-lightless evening walk requires the …
A couple of months ago, Bus Nerd sent me his initial list of criteria for an ideal transit system. I’m just now getting around to reading it (hey–he doesn’t read my e-mail either), and I likes. Most of his suggestions are intentionally mode-agnostic, which I especially like. At this stage, there’s no sense getting distracted by the how.
1. It would be optimized for high-density areas – every part of a high-density area would be within a 5 minute walk of a transit stop.
2. High frequency visits at each stop – every 5 minutes in high-density areas, every …
Looks like it’s time for some major renovations at the Market:
City politicians hope to ask voters in November 2008 to approve a tax increase for the Market and the Seattle Center. City officials don’t yet have an estimate for the project.
“It’s recognized nationally and internationally as the heart and soul of the city,” Mayor Greg Nickels said Monday. “So it’s time, I think, for another generation to renew that commitment, renovate the physical (infrastructure) that keeps it running and put a new coat of paint on it.”
The Market also is exploring ways to ease crowding, …
Poetry on Buses is back. This year’s theme is “Dreams.”
4Culture and King County Metro present Poetry on Buses 2007. We are seeking poetry written by residents of King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish Counties. The theme for Poetry on Buses 2007 is Dreams. Selected poems will be displayed on interior bus placards, published in a book and featured at a poetry reading in November 2007. Selected poets will also receive an honorarium of $125 for use of the poems on the bus.