Tag Archives: carfree travel

Car-free “vacation”: Yakima

This summer, I was invited to a statewide public transportation conference in Yakima, hosted, oddly enough, by WSDOT. Since my participation was limited to one panel discussion, and since the Bus Fam almost never has an occasion to visit the south-central part of our state, I decided to bring the entire crew along for a mini vacation.

I learned from Ryan, the facilitator of my panel, that there is an airporter from Seattle to Yakima—incidentally, run by the same company that operates the bus we took to Anacortes in 2007. Upon further investigation, I …

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Bus Dad: Portland lover, “transportation expert”

My dad‘s family has been in Seattle since the early 30′s. My grandparents originally settled in a home mere blocks from where I live now. Dad was born at Harborview, grew up in Seattle and its environs, and raised his family here. And yet, I get most of my (considerable) Seattle love from my mother, a Northwesterner by marriage.

Truth be told, my dad is a bit of a Seattle hater.

To be fair, his hateration is less about the place, which he reveres, and more about the culture. Let him tell it, it’s lack of leadership …

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Transit envy, part II

Last weekend, Chicklet, Nerd, and I got our Vancity bus (and Skytrain!) on and loved every minute of it. We rode lots of shiny new trolleys, eavesdropped on Canadian conversations, and walked our tails off.*

As promised, the highlights:

Creative digital displays:

Sorry bus
Polite Canadian bus drivers apologize when they can’t pick you up.
Bus root for Canucks
Guess this one didn’t work out so well.

These messages alternate with the standard stuff: the route number, “out of …

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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 , ,

But don’t take it from me, part II

I’m not the only one who takes bus vacations.

From today’s Seattle Times:

Riding Metro’s Route 255 from Kirkland, I’d begun my “travel-by-bus vacation,” an experiment inspired by Rick Steves, Edmonds’ budget-travel guru, whose guidebooks extol using public transportation in European cities to save money, see the sights and meet locals along the way. It works there; it could work here.

After one trip, I was hooked. The journeys were as interesting as the destinations. Routes wound through neighborhoods I’d have never found on my own. It was continuous sightseeing.

Even paying full adult fare, the trips were …

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Just in time for spring…

One of the most common reasons Seattle people give for not getting rid of their cars is that they need to drive to get out of the city*. It’s one thing to give up driving to and from work and for the odd errand, but it’s hard for Northwesterners to imagine a life without hiking, camping, skiing**, snowshoeing, or just getting closer to some of the beautiful scenery that surrounds us. Fellow transit types, I have good news. I have just been introduced to my new favorite Web site (OK, so it’s not my all-time favorite, but I’m prone to …

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More on car-free travel

According the American Public Transportation Association, lots of folks who travel to major U.S. cities this summer will use public transit to get around those cities. From a recent press release:

In its Green Travel Forecast, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) estimates that 90 million American adults will travel to large American cities this summer. On average, one out of three people surveyed said they will tour green by using public transportation (34 percent)… A ranking of the top ten city destinations and their transit use among visitors follows:

• New York City (48%)
• Washington, DC …

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Car-free vacation: Friday Harbor/Victoria

Last week, Bus Nerd and I took a little vacation, the majority of which we spent in one of my favorite places on Earth, Friday Harbor, Washington. We also spent one night in Victoria, BC.

It was a perfect trip, spent reading, resting, and enjoying the beautiful views. Here’s how we managed it, sans voiture:

Friday Harbor:

1. We took the 27 from our house to 3rd & Pike, the closest stop to the Convention Center.

2. We took a shuttle (operated by Bellair Charters) from the Convention Center to the Anacortes ferry dock. (Note that we could …

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Pittsburgh to Chicago for $1?

Yep–on Megabus. Saw this article last week:

The Chicago-based company, which began operating in a number of Midwestern cities last year, plans to launch the new service April 2 in Pittsburgh; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Columbus, Ohio; Kansas City, Mo., and Louisville, Ky. It already offers service between Chicago and Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Toledo.

“We’re really trying to get people out of their car,” Dale Moser, president and chief operating officer of Coach USA, the domestic subsidiary of Scotland-based Stagecoach Group PLC, which runs Megabus. “We think that’s the real big advantage.”

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Car-free vacation: Vancouver

This weekend, Adam and I took the train to Vancouver for a short vacation. We were in the city for only two days, and though we used TransLink (Vancouver’s public transportation system) quite a bit during those two days, we didn’t have enough time to get a feel for what it’s really like.

For what it’s worth, here’s my quick and dirty assessment:

What I liked:
• The fare system: One ticket buys you passage on all the TransLink services (the SkyTrain, the buses, and the SeaBus). Tickets are available at convenience and grocery stores, …

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