Westbound 14, 8:30 AM

“I liked the way we smoked back in the day, as opposed to now; I liked sneaking it.”

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

Frisbee!

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The bus life with “big” kids

One of the values Bus Nerd and I bring to parenting is a strong belief in keeping it simple. We try not to overschedule our kids because we fundamentally disagree with the idea that good parenting = schlepping your offspring from one organized activity to the next. On the contrary: We want to build a life that affords time for unstructured play, time with neighbors and extended family, and time to take on responsibilities at home.

Not having a car reinforces this way of living. It is possible (and very common) for driving parents to sign their kids up for …

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Eastbound 4, 4:15 PM

Bus braiding:

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Calling all bus poets! (again)

After a six(?) year hiatus, Poetry on Buses is back. I want to be mad about this (Cut buses but restore poems? Really?), but I’m (not so) secretly excited. I loved the program in the 2000s and expect I will again. Plus, it’s is funded by 4Culture, not Metro.

This year’s theme is “Writing Home”–maybe since, with no buses, none of us will be riding home. (Sorry–can’t seem to shake the stank.) On with the details.

Live in King County, WA and …

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Multimodal Monday: Baby Busling on a bike

Rollin’ to the pool for swimming lessons:

He loves that little bike so much, he’s getting me exciting about cycling. Look out, Bike Month!

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No buses, no peace

Two days into the reality that King County’s transit system is about to return to 1997 levels of service, I find myself too overwhelmed to say anything coherent on the subject.

Since election night, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking–about how 60 years of social engineering, influenced by a handful of greedy corporations, can create a transportation system that requires people to be able bodied, within a certain age range, and capable of spending many thousands of dollars per year just to have basic mobility.

I’ve been thinking about how a transit agency can be …

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The transfer trade

Transfer trade, n: The system of exchanging bus tickets, paper transfers, and bus passes for money or other items of value.

One thing I love about public transit is the mini economy that develops among riders. There’s always something for sale on buses and at stops: watches, flowers, cigarettes, tickets, candy. And, of course, transfers.

Though much more common before Orca cards became the norm for payment, the transfer trade is alive and well in Seattle. So are the many related practices. Some examples: “passing …

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Multimodal Monday: Monorail

Chicklet’s on spring break and so spent the week at camp at Seattle Center. We usually ride the 8 to that part of town, but this week, we decided to mix it up.

I remember when riding our city’s crusty, nearly useless tourist train made me smile just as big.

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We’re still here

Since the last time I posted (in August—ahem), the Bus Fam has been through a few transitions.

For one thing, Chicklet started kindergarten (!), moving us to yet another stage in our bus lives: parenting a school-age kid.

At some point, I will share more extensive thoughts about our experiences so far. For now, I’ll say we are extremely fortunate that there is an amazing preschool on site at Chicklet’s elementary school. Having one drop-off is helpful to all parents; it is the holy grail for bus parents.

We live too close to the school to qualify for a yellow …

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