Not too many years ago, the bus I took most often was the 48, also known as “Forty-late,” “Dr. 48” and “the Tiger Woods* of the system.” I rode it south to Judkins Park (NAAM), Columbia City (dentist/homegirl), and Rainier Beach (friend visits), north to 23rd & Union (church, beauty shop), Montlake (545 transfer), the U District (pseudo-intellectual/artistic coffee joints, various readings and events), and Green Lake (Friday play dates).
They don’t call it Metro’s heavyweight for nothin’.
Of course, a few things have changed since then. The two biggest: the 48 stopped running south of Mount Baker Transit Center when Link opened, and I stopped commuting to the Eastside. A few other minor (but relevant) changes: my beautician moved to a shop near 15th & John, and we changed health insurance providers.
And then there’s the fact that the route I’ve had a crush on for years, the amazing 8, (finally!) started running on evenings and weekends in my neighborhood. I am not exaggerating when I say that this seemingly minor service addition has changed my life.
These days, 7 out of 10 of my bus trips are on the 8. Unlike the 48, it still goes all the way to Rainier Beach, so I can take it for southbound trips (and avoid the inconvenient transfer to Link at Mount Baker Transit Center). I also take it to Madison Valley for various errands (mostly kiddie resale shopping and home and garden stuff); to Miller Community Center for toddler playtime; to 15th & John for doctor visits, haircuts, trips to the framer, and a few of my favored (as in, “August Wilson drank here”) coffee shops; to Broadway(ish) & John for Dick’s fixes, Elliott Bay Book Co., Value Village, and Cal Anderson Park. We take it to Seattle Center for visits to PSC, PNB, the Children’s Museum, Children’s Theater, The Rep, etc., etc, etc.
And I’m not finished.
We recently hired a part-time babysitter who I’m absolutely thrilled about—and not just because her help will mean I can actually complete work during normal business hours. She’s a talented musician and performer/generally cool person who also happens to be a bus chick (coincidence? I think not!). Guess which route she’ll be riding for her rendezvous with Chicklet and Busling? Uh huh.
If it weren’t for somewhat spotty performance–it’s common for one bus to be several minutes early (!) and the next to be 15 minutes late–I’d be in love.
Now all I need is a good nickname.
* These days, the nickname has slightly different connotations, but I think it still applies.