Monthly Archives: May 2009

Speaking of suburbs…

Watch this:

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Category: multi-modal | Tagged ,

Car-free living: not just for city folk

VAUBAN, Germany — Residents of this upscale community are suburban pioneers, going where few soccer moms or commuting executives have ever gone before: they have given up their cars.

Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park — large garages at the edge of …

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Speaking of strollers…

For a variety of reasons, Bus Nerd and I are not especially big on baby gear. Most of what we do have we either borrowed from friends or purchased used. So it is particularly ironic that the one piece of baby gear we bought brand, spanking new–and paid a small fortune for, I might add–is the one we almost never use: Chicklet’s car seat.

Like all parents, we wanted our kid’s seat to be safe, and we were concerned about buying a used one. (When an environmentalist tells you it’s not a good idea, it gives you …

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Anatomy of a bus mom

Front-pack carrier and lightweight stroller*?

Bus mom with Ergo


Stories for the ride?

Bus mom reading stories


Extra time for hugs?

Bus mom waiting for 48


* I rarely travel with a stroller, but the day I rode with this woman I had mine. (Chicklet and I were heading to Green Lake for a walk.) Just like me, this bus mom had her baby in an Ergo carrier, and just like me, she had her lightweight stroller (the exact same brand, in fact) …

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Eastbound 4, 10:40 PM (returning from the Amtrak station)

A very drunk man is holding court in the back of the bus. “Happy Mother’s Day, family,” he says to (sleeping) Chicklet, Nerd, and me as we make our way to our seats. He proceeds to say the same to everyone within earshot, including a young teenage girl who is holding hands with her boyfriend in the adjacent seat.

Drunk man’s friend: “Who all you going to say that to, man?”

Drunk man: “Everybody. To the young ladies, I say ‘Happy Mother’s Day to be.’” Some folks say to me, ‘Oh, I’m not a mother; I missed my opportunity,’ …

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A bus-chick-friendly holiday

The Bus Fam has just (as in, 30 minutes ago) returned from another car-free mini-vacation to Vancouver. (More on the trip sometime next week.) The Friday train up there was sold out, so we had to take Amtrak’s overflow bus (so not the same). We did get to ride the train home today, which was especially cool, since it happens to be National Train Day.

A poster for National Train Day at King Street Station
A poster at King Street Station

Not a bad day to travel for a family …

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

On transit geeks and aging

My beloved Bus Nerd celebrated a birthday on Wednesday. He’s not old enough for a midlife crisis yet, but it did get us to thinking:

How, exactly, does a bus nerd of a certain age attempt to recapture his youth? Yes, he can chase after younger bus chicks or get hair plugs, but what’s a middle-aged bus nerd’s equivalent of a red sports car?

Any thoughts? I’d like to be prepared.

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Category: transit culture | Tagged

Catching up, part II

• Metro gave a preview of the new Rapid Ride buses on Tuesday.

A KC Metro Rapid Ride bus(Photo credit:

Sexy, no? The interiors aren’t bad, either.

And the agency had some more good news*:

…acting FTA Administrator Matt Welbes announced his agency is immediately releasing $13.8 million dollars to help fund the acquisition of new articulated hybrid-electric coaches and other system improvements to support Metro’s first RapidRide line. The funding will help pay for 16 new buses, various station and shelter enhancements and real-time information systems for the “A Line” serving …

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Catching up

After 21 post-free days–the longest hiatus I’ve taken from this blog in the three (plus) years I’ve been writing it–I return (project: complete, Chicklet: healthy and enjoying her bus rides more than ever), determined to reestablish a more regular posting schedule in May.

I’ve had about a zillion bus adventures since I last checked in–far too many to write about. The good news is, there will be many zillions more.

On to the transit news of note:

I trust you all noticed that Metro’s website has new and improved home page. It’s the beginning of a long-overdue update/upgrade …

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Category: seattle stuff, transit technology | Tagged ,