In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Monthly Archives: May 2007
This month’s Golden Transfer goes to Howard Zinn–yes that Howard Zinn. I have no idea if the man rides public transportation (though he certainly strikes me as a bus nerd), but he sure knows how to write a comprehensive history. On this morning’s 48 ride, I was reading the most famous of his 20 books, A People’s History of the United States (Yes, I know I started it back in November, but life events required me to take a break, OK?) and was so completely …
You find this on your ultrasound appointment form:
Middle-school girl, to her friend: “That sign says Metro buses are fueled with veggie oil, but they’re lyin’, because if they [buses] were [fueled with vegetable oil], it would smell like French fries in here.
Friend: “How do you know?”
MSG: “Oscar told me. Plus, I saw it on Pimp My Ride.”
Like most bus chicks, I’ve seen my share of PDAs. But never, in all my years riding Metro, have I seen anything like what Last Days Hot Tipper Dale witnessed on the 43 earlier this month. (Warning: The content of this column isn’t exactly family friendly–though I’m guessing most seasoned bus chicks can handle it. If you no like, blame my friend Tama, who sent it to me.)
A multimodal bus foul:
Wiping the post-bike-to-the-bus-stop sweat from one’s brow with one’s bare hands and then repeatedly flinging said sweat toward the front of the bus, nearly missing several other passengers and the driver.
A good way to avoid committing this one: packing a towel or rag in one’s pannier/bus chick bag.
On occasion (I’m guessing because I tend to have strong opinions in this area), people come to me with questions about bus etiquette. One I receive quite frequently and wish I had an answer to:
If there are a lot of people waiting at a stop, how do you decide the boarding order when the bus arrives? After all, not everyone has the same beliefs about who deserves deference, and (as drivers can attest) politeness isn’t common among folks in a hurry to get where they’re going. It makes sense to have some sort of neutral, bus-boarding system.
A few days ago, my coworkers had an e-mail discussion about the new “no texting while driving” law that will take effect in 2008.
Here’s an example of the comments:
“The law makes sense, but I don’t know how I’m going to live without texting in the car.”
As a frequent pedestrian (and thus, a frequent victim of distracted drivers), I have to admit I was a little thrown–not really because people actually do this (OK, a little because people actually do this) but because they freely admit to it, as if it’s as common as driving five mph …
Overheard by Ben on Capitol Hill:
Driver: “Next stop is 16th Avenue East, the closest stop to my brother-in-law’s house.”
Bus Nerd, ready to ride:
Yesterday, the County Kingpin announced a contract to purchase up to 500 buses, enough to provide that new service*–and then some.
The first 22 articulated hybrids will arrive next spring, with another planned order for 100 buses in 2009 to provide new Rapid Ride service on five routes.
The contract, structured similar to those used in the aviation industry, will give Metro the flexibility to order different types of buses and components specifically designed for different uses whether it is hybrid-electric, regular diesel-powered or European-style coaches fashioned for future bus rapid transit routes. General Motors and Cummins will …