In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Monthly Archives: May 2008
This month’s Golden Transfer goes to the Contra Costa County [California] Public Library, a library system that’s doing its part to encourage public transit use among readers–and reading among public transit users.
Earlier this week, as part of the new, rather unfortunately named, “Library-a-Go-Go” program, the CCCL installed a vending-style book-lending machine (the first of its kind in the nation) at the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station.
[The machine] will hold some 400 books that can be checked out for free by anyone with a valid Contra Costa County library …
My friend Monique, although hardly a minor, is a BCiT in her own right. In March, she moved from transit-unfriendly Houston to Boston to accept a year-long contract position that advanced her career and satisfied her taste for adventure. Since it’s not a permanent job, and since she owns a home in Houston, she’s subletting a cool apartment in South Boston and getting around by bus, train, foot, and, very occasionally, Zipcar. (Boston, as some of you might know, is the home of Zipcar.)
Transit-based living agrees with Monique. She loves her walkable neighborhood and the freedom …
Riding the bus with Chicklet gets more fun every month. These days, instead of sleeping the rides away, she stares at people, returns smiles, looks out the window, and sometimes even tries to pull the bell. (She’s very advanced for her age, you know. Most BCiT‘s don’t go for the bell until they’re at least a year.)
She still rides in a front-pack carrier (good for keeping us close and my hands free), though we’re not using the same one we used for the first six months of her life. That carrier (a borrowed Baby Bjorn) was …
BCiT, n: Bus chick in training. A young person, usually under the age of 12, who is learning the bus-riding ropes. A BCiT always rides with an experienced bus chick while she masters basic bus survival skills, such as when to ring the bell, how and when to pay, and appropriate bus behavior–and then more advanced skills, including schedule-reading, trip-planning, and street safety. If she shows promise, she is permitted to ride without a mentor, and, eventually, initiated into the sisterhood of full-fledged bus chicks.
Bus crush, n:
1. Feelings of overwhelming admiration–occasionally, though not necessarily, of a romantic nature–for a fellow passenger; excessive interest in, or curiosity about, a fellow passenger.
2. The object of such admiration or interest.
My biggest bus crush was (and still is) Bus Nerd, but I have minor bus crushes–on women, men, young, old, passengers, drivers–all the time. There was the mother-daughter team that used to ride my morning 48 to Montlake Elementary. The mother: in her early thirties; pretty; with flawless chocolate skin, a simple, pulled-back hairstyle, and a great fashion sense. Her daughter: an …
I’m not the only one who takes bus vacations.
From today’s Seattle Times:
Riding Metro’s Route 255 from Kirkland, I’d begun my “travel-by-bus vacation,” an experiment inspired by Rick Steves, Edmonds’ budget-travel guru, whose guidebooks extol using public transportation in European cities to save money, see the sights and meet locals along the way. It works there; it could work here.
After one trip, I was hooked. The journeys were as interesting as the destinations. Routes wound through neighborhoods I’d have never found on my own. It was continuous sightseeing.
Even paying full adult fare, the trips were …
Detroit bloggers love buses, too.
From O Street on The Detroit Free Press site:
I met him in grade school, a big yellow something, and we’ve been involved with each other in some variation — public transportation, Greyhound, shuttle — ever since.
It’s an on-again, off-again relationship, depending on the circumstances of my chaotic life.
Oneita the Blogger loves to sit in the back of the bus and make observations. There is much to discover on the stress-free trips, many conversations to listen in on and to initiate. Great blogging material. I get lost in my reading and …
From animal week to music week…
A band headed to a gig*on a westbound 55:
The same band, at the Alaska Junction stop:
*As it happens, they were performing at Sustainable West Seattle. Fitting, no?
An eastbound morning commuter at Montlake Freeway Station:
Del Rey would be proud.
A couple of weeks ago, I spent a sunny Saturday afternoon at Green My Ride, that alternative transportation fair in Phinney I told you about. It was a great event, and not just because there were two different booths selling cookies the size of my face. It was well-planned, informative, and fun, with tons of information and encouragement to help people change their transportation habits.
My favorite part of the fair was the Environmental Jeopardy (pun intended, I assume) game at the Seattle Parks booth. Bill from the Piper’s Creek Watershed Project played host, presiding diplomatically over …
Given the recent discussion about cell phone conversations on the bus, I thought I’d share this PSA, spotted earlier today on an eastbound 27:
I realize I’m probably in the minority on this, but I don’t find anything inherently wrong with cell-phone talking in transit. After all, you can’t expect silence on the bus. Folks are talking to each other, babies are crying, the driver is calling out stops over the PA …