Monthly Archives: April 2007

Tax reform

From Rodney in Denver:

I’ve been thinking of ways to get more people to use mass transit. I thought making transit passes tax deductible would be a good idea… I’m curious what your thoughts are on this idea?

Well Rodney, having just finished my own taxes, I think it’s a pretty darn good one. There’s a deduction for people who buy hybrids; there’s mileage credit for folks who drive for business purposes; there’s even a sales tax deduction for major purchases (like cars and boats). Why no love for transit types?

I think the trick is in the implementation. A …

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Category: reasons to ride | Tagged

This week in transit: bus-related news

Metro’s oldest driver is 80. He drives the 2.

Linda Thielke, spokeswoman for Metro, said Minard “has a pretty good driving record, with only minor accidents, really minor, like losing a side mirror.”

That’s more than I can say for the guy who drove my inbound 17 on Thursday night. That driver, who was nowhere near 80, was happy to share the details of his tickets and a recent accident (the reason he “doesn’t have to worry about working overtime”) with the passenger sitting in the seat adjacent to his. As if his erratic driving wasn’t reason enough …

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Category: media | Tagged , ,

Time to step it up!

Tomorrow, Saturday, April 14th, folks across this fair land will participate in Step it Up, 2007, “a day of community events across the U.S. where citizens will demand political action on climate change.”

From Grist‘s invitation:

Uncle Sam says...

Who: You, and everyone you know
What: Rallies, parties, parades, sit-ins, hikes, climbs, dives, and much more
When: Saturday, April 14, 2007
Where: More than 1,000 spots around the U.S.
Why: Because it’s getting hot in here

Here in Seattle, the main event is an all-city march that …

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Category: events | Tagged ,

Eastbound 4, 10:40 PM

A young woman, to a male friend: “I got two new diagnoses, on top of the three I already have: OCD and agoraphobia.”

Male friend: “Really? But you seem so normal.”

Young woman: “That’s the problem; most crazies do.”

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Category: overheard | Tagged

27+17=bus-friendly music

Tonight, my friend Coby is performing at Conor Byrne in Ballard. (He’s opening for Ali Marcus, who’s celebrating the release of her most recent CD.) Coby’s show starts at 8, and the first song in his set is going to be about–I’ll give you moment to take a guess–the bus!

Bus Chick's favorite rock star


And he was already my favorite rock star–OK, except for Prince.

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Category: living the life, transit culture | Tagged , , ,

If Seattle got cheaper, the planet might get cooler

Yesterday, BeyondChron had an interesting piece about the connection between climate change and affordable housing. Some excerpts:

Despite the media focusing largely on climate change strategies like ethanol and composting, combating sprawl appears to be one of the efforts offering the most bang for the buck. For starters, cars produce almost a third of the carbon emitted in America. Allowing people to live close to their jobs, grocery stores, parks and schools means dramatically shortened commute times and significantly reduced carbon emissions.

In addition, increasing density means taking advantage of public infrastructure already in place. Rather than extending sewer, …

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Category: issues | Tagged , ,

Busing, bumpers, buttons, backpacks, and beliefs

Waiting in line to board my bus home this evening, I stood behind a guy with a backpack covered in buttons. Some examples of the messages:

“Consume less. Share more.”
“Be nice to mice: Don’t test on them.”
“I’m not a lesbian, but I hate men.”

The first two were pretty straightforward. I have no idea what the third was supposed to mean, but it kept my mind occupied until it was my turn to get on. Which led me to this conclusion: Backpack buttons are a bus rider’s equivalent to bumper stickers.

Bumper stickers, you see, serve …

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Category: car culture, transit culture | Tagged , ,

Flexcar plans to double its fleet

I missed the big press conference on Friday (dang day job!), but KOMO didn’t. Check out this report.

Facts of note:

• The average shared car removes 15 private cars from the road.
• The average Flexcar user spends $85 per month (I spend significantly less) on car use, while the average private car costs $700 a month.
• Flexcar, which started (and is based) in Seattle, now has a presence in 10 cities, including Portland, San Francisco, and L.A.

Did I mention they have Mini Coopers?

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Category: reasons to ride | Tagged ,

Some updates to those glossary entries

It seems that some “bus friends” are friendlier than others. From Dan in Bellevue*:

Thought I should mention that a “bus buddy” is not the same as a “bus friend” as I found out a couple years ago. I had gotten on a bus on a rainy day riding through south Seattle (the 174 I think) and had on my black bicycle rain pants. A guy who I presumed was mentally challenged got on and sat down in the seat in front of me. He glanced over his shoulder a few times, and eventually asked me if I would …

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Category: transit culture | Tagged ,

Maybe Busfather meditates

On my way home tonight, I rode on the bus of a driver who had clearly had enough. One too many times, someone had flashed him an expired transfer, or put the wrong amount of change in the fare box, or just walked on by without paying at all. Tonight, he wasn’t having it. Twice between Union and Cherry, the (not small) driver stood, got in a non-paying passenger’s face, and screamed these exact words:


(Note that I was on the 48, a route that doesn’t come for 30+ minutes …

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Category: people | Tagged , ,