Let’s face it, folks: The bus has a reputation as a less-than-sexy form of transportation. One of the biggest reasons for this is our culture’s longstanding tradition of associating cars with sex. We are constantly bombarded with images of partially clothed women spread-eagled on hoods (for now, let’s leave aside my many other issues with this type of marketing). People (especially men) buy nice cars to get dates. Couples take romantic drives into the country. Teenagers drive to a view point and “park.”
While I will admit to a definite weakness for candy paint and big wheels (blame it on my years in Houston: What You Know About Switchin’ Lanes on the Wood Grain?), I don’t see anything sexy about crashes, traffic, noise, pollution, overconsumption, or isolation.
The bus, on the other hand, has plenty to recommend it. People who ride frequently tend to have firm glutes from all the extra walking (don’t sleep on those downtown hills). College students ride buses (try the 48, 13, or 3) and so do many of those big, strong fish-throwers at the Market. Back in the day, lucky bus riders in the Bronx rubbed elbows with Jennifer Lopez. Buses are great places to meet people (I should know–I met Bus Nerd on the 545) and, apparently, good places for couples to share quality time. And really, what’s sexier than having a driver?
Because so few people know that riding the bus is sexier than driving, I’ve decided to embark on a campaign to change Metro’s image. Sexy bus chicks and bus boys in Seattle, I’m going to need your help. This summer, let’s follow in the footsteps of our feminist sisters and get some baby-doll/muscle t-shirts with slogans like, “This is What a Bus Rider Looks Like.” Let’s require people to ride the bus to all of the fabulous parties we throw. Let’s get The Stranger to add “sexiest Metro driver” to its annual “Seattle’s Sexiest” issue. Who’s with me?
I’m confident that my campaign will increase ridership, but I’m worried that it might become too successful. I don’t want to start seeing “Bikini Babes on Buses” at my local newsstand.