Tag Archives: 70

Creative commuting (or, more snow talk)

Yesterday, Bus Nerd and I finally accepted that weather/transportation conditions were not going to improve on our timeline and decided to make our way downtown, despite the limited-to-nonexistent bus service and ridiculously treacherous sidewalks in our neighborhood.

The 48 was the only one of our six regular buses that was even running (they don’t call it Metro’s Heavyweight for nothin’), and the 48 doesn’t go anywhere near downtown. We were not deterred. Our options were:

1. Take the 48 south to Rainier & McClellan and transfer to the 7.
2. Take the 48 north to Montlake and transfer to a westbound 545 or 255.
3. Walk down Jackson to the ID and transfer to a 7, 36, or 42. (Our neighbor, Casey, who works in Renton, has been walking down Jackson to catch the 101, so we knew it was doable.)

We opted for option 3. My experience Saturday left me a little skittish about bus crowding/getting passed up, so I liked the idea of being close enough to downtown to walk the rest of the way. Which is what we ended up doing.

Despite the challenges of maneuvering Chicklet’s light, bus-friendly stroller on the snowy/slushy/icy sidewalks, it wasn’t that bad. I was glad to be moving my behind for the first time in several days, and we actually made it all the way downtown before we even saw a 7, which was packed, Mumbai style.

We opted to walk (well, aside from a 70 ride to 3rd & Jackson) home, too. I was so not trying to be a part of the 17 zillion-person standoff on Third Avenue, prepared to fight just to cram myself in like a sardine and creep down a snowy street to another (cold!) bus stop and repeat the process. I’ll spare you the gory details of the journey home (after dark, on halfway melted sidewalks, with a snowsuited-up chicklet who was totally over it and then some) and just say that we were glad when we finally made it to our warm home.

In the walkway, we ran into our neighbor, Julieta, who was returning from a two-and-a-half hour trip home from her job in SoDo: packed ride on the 21 north to Union > long wait > packed ride on the 42 south to McLellan > long wait > packed ride 48 north to home.

I think she’s considering walking tonight.

A bus chick’s version of a good day

This morning, I stopped by the County Courthouse to see some demos of the partially wrapped buses. (The Council tabled the vote on whether to allow the partial wraps, so these demos were made available to help the members come to a decision. Members of the Transit Advisory Committee and the Accessible Services Advisory Committee were also invited to take a look.)

The partial wraps leave 15″ clear on every bus window. This looks different on different buses, depending on the size of the windows and the height of the seats. (I apologize in advance for the quality of these pictures; I have yet to replace my broken camera.)

Here’s what a partially wrapped trolley looks like:

Demo of a partially wrapped trolley

Note: There aren’t any real ads designed for this template yet, so the folks at Metro just removed some of the vinyl from an existing ad.

Here’s a New Flyer 40-footer:

Demo of a partially wrapped 40 footer

In this case, instead of altering an existing wrap, they covered the parts of the windows that would be obscured by the ad.

Here’s the view from inside the trolley:

View from inside a partially wrapped trolley

And from the other side:

View from inside a partially wrapped trolley

Anyone recognize the man in the red circle? Yes indeed, Busfather was there as the official driver of the 40-footer. He got to hang out for a couple of hours while the bigwigs (and regular folks like me) checked things out. Not a bad gig for a sunny Monday.

Anirudh, aka Bus Hero, who also happens to be one of my fellow TAC members, was also there.

Anirudh on the trolley:

Anirudh on the partially wrapped trolley

So was my councilmember, Larry Gossett:

Larry Gossett on the partially wrapped trolley

Y’all already know how I feel about bus revenue: I’m inclined to endure a little obscured vision every once in a while if it means more service. The good news is, the partially wrapped buses don’t obscure your vision. I could see out of all the windows, even when I hunched down to make myself shorter. (Of course, I’m not sure how a child riding alone or a person in a wheelchair would do. I’ll leave the latter to the folks at the Accessible Services Advisory Committee.)

Bottom line: We (OK, I) likey. Councilmembers, please vote “yes.”

After the bus viewing, a lovely lunch at the Gates Foundation with my friend Char (which involved a slowish ride on the 70), and a quick trip to the Real Change office, I happened upon Smooth Jazz while crossing the street on my way to catch the 27. (He was driving a bus back to the base, apparently, after finishing his shift.) I waved before I had a chance to remember that he doesn’t actually know me, and he waved back. Turns out, he does know me (and how could he not–I’ve been on his bus about 30,000 times in the past year). He said he hadn’t seen me in a while and had been wondering what I’d been up to. This, of course, made me feel very important and fabulous.

Called up the homies and Im askin yall
Which court, are yall playin basketball?
Get me on the court and Im trouble
Last week messed around and got a triple double
Freaking brothers everyway like m.j.
I cant believe, today was a good day