Tag Archives: Spotted!

How to make a bus chick angry

It took me a full minute to get around this considerately parked vehicle, which I encountered on my way from the 48 stop at 23rd & Spring. When I got to the other side, I spent another minute trying to figure out how someone with a wheelchair would have managed it.

Bad car!

Perhaps it was too much trouble to pull forward a few feet into that empty driveway…

A ride-free cheat sheet

Yesterday, I saw this at the stop on Pike & 3rd:


Since you probably can’t see for yourself, thanks to my sorry picture (hey–the bus was coming) and the PI’s file-size limits (compression is not a blogger’s friend), it’s a map of the Ride-Free zone. It shows which buses go down all of the major downtown streets, and there are arrows that indicate which direction each street runs.

We likey!

About those system maps…

Bus Nerd noticed this at the southbound Montlake stop the other day.

System map at bus stop
Metro’s system map, posted on the back side of a stop timetable.

As I said back in August, it’s good for showing which routes go to specific neighborhoods, but because it doesn’t include most streets, I can’t imagine how it would be used practically–without supplementation by Trip Planner or a rider information specialist, that is. For comparison, check out San Fran’s and Vancouver’s system maps. Both are real street maps that also include bus routes. (Also, in both cities, it’s fairly easy to find paper versions of the maps. I don’t know where to find them here.)

For signs at neighborhood stops like the one at Montlake, I’m envisioning the big system map in the background, with the neighborhood in some sort of magnified call-out, a la Google Transit:

Google Transit call-out
The bus-stop map could include all the streets and routes in the neighborhood.

Busfather: alone at the top

Mr. Fabre (aka Busfather) on a northbound 48

For the first few months of John Fabre’s reign as Operator of the Year, he shared the title with last year’s OOY, David Alexander (something about a late announcement in 2005). This month, the title became John’s alone, and as a result, you can finally see his picture on buses. OK, so maybe I was the only one looking for it, but still.


On this, the last day of summer (known to some as the end of the bus chick high season), I came across a minor bus/truck fender bender in Pioneer Square. Luckily, the bus was headed to base, so no passengers were displaced–unless, that is, I got there after the riders had already been booted. If they were, I’m sure it only made them stronger. You haven’t earned your true bus chick stripes until you’ve been kicked off a “disabled” bus in the rain.

Cutting off a big, bad, articulated bus on a rainy morning? Very bad move.

Wednesday sighting

Busnerd saw this fancy, digital sign on the 48 today:

New 'stop requested' sign

Apparently, it shows the date and time until someone rings the bell to get off, at which point it alternates between the regular “stop requested” text and the date and time. Nice.

I’m hoping these signs will one day be capable of displaying other useful information: the bus’s status (whether or not it’s on schedule, for example) and the status of common transfer routes. And hey, for extra revenue, Metro could sell messages (birthday wishes, marriage proposals, etc.) like they do at basketball games.