Monthly Archives: July 2007

They weren’t THAT scary

Remember that empty lot I told you about a few months ago? The one I walk through to get from the 545 stop to my office? (Yes, I still walk through it; my fear of geese was quickly overcome by my need for convenience.) Geese aren’t the only animals that live there. The part of the lot that’s not paved is a sort of swampy wetland, with tall grass and a good half acre of deciduous trees, and it’s home to rabbits, frogs, and lots of (less intimidating) species of birds. During the wet times of year, the ditch …

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Category: car culture | Tagged

To charge or not to charge (or, “Pay as you leave, pay as you enter, or pay… never?”)

At a time when high fuel costs are causing many transit agencies to consider fare increases, a couple of agencies in rural Washington are making fare-free policies work. From a recent article by Larry Lange:

[Island Transit] is one of only two transit agencies in the state that don’t charge for rides, and one of only a handful nationwide that don’t. Others tried no-fare buses, but returned to charging customers.

No-fare service attracts more riders and can eliminate payment disputes, speed up bus travel and get cars off the road, eliminating pollution and appealing to those seeking green living.

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Category: issues | Tagged , , ,

How to pass the time at a bus stop, part I

Try playing the mandolin:

Mandolin at the 48 stop

The picture’s less-than-ideal, as we had a camera phone and were standing on the other side of the street, but our bus-stop musician appeared to be having quite an enjoyable time.

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Category: spotted!, transit culture | Tagged

Eastbound 4, 10:45 PM

A twentysomething woman and her kindergarten-age daughter follow a twentysomething man onto the bus. They sit in the forward-facing seats across from his, daughter near the window, mother near the aisle, facing the object of her pursuit.

Twentysomething woman, speaking loudly enough for everyone on the bus to hear: “I just don’t understand it. Guys are always trying to talk to me. Pretty much everyone wants to be with me, and I turn them down just to see the looks on their faces. Now I’m giving you the opportunity, and you don’t want it.”

The twentysomething man sits silently, looking …

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Category: overheard | Tagged

More on car-free travel

According the American Public Transportation Association, lots of folks who travel to major U.S. cities this summer will use public transit to get around those cities. From a recent press release:

In its Green Travel Forecast, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) estimates that 90 million American adults will travel to large American cities this summer. On average, one out of three people surveyed said they will tour green by using public transportation (34 percent)… A ranking of the top ten city destinations and their transit use among visitors follows:

• New York City (48%)
• Washington, DC …

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Category: reasons to ride | Tagged ,

June Golden Transfer

Golden TransferThis month’s Golden Transfer goes to Geme “Pat” Calman, Metro’s Operator of the Year for 2006. Unfortunately, I missed the party this year, but here’s what I know about Pat:

He’s from San Francisco, and back in the day, he worked as a grip man on the cable cars. He’s been driving for Metro since 1980. Since 2000, he’s worked as a “report operator”:

Report operators are on constant stand-by waiting to fill any unexpected hole in the bus driving schedule caused by another driver’s illness or …

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Category: people | Tagged ,