Tag Archives: TAC

A mile (and more) in a bus chick’s shoes, part II

I have many, many pairs of shoes. This is not because I buy a lot of shoes. (In fact, I can’t remember the last time I shopped for footwear.) It is because my mother, the most stylish woman I have ever known, bought a lot of shoes, and when she tired of them, she handed them down to me. Many of these shoes I have given away, but some are too beautiful to part with. I wear them a couple of times a year, on special occasions, but most of the time, they sit in my closet, passed up in favor of my old standbys: heeled boots. The boots are professional, presentable, comfortable, and weather resistant. I have a black pair and a brown pair, and they work well with almost anything I decide to wear: jeans, slacks, even a skirt. What more could a bus chick ask for?

Every once in a while, though, on a regular, walking-intensive day, I have a hankerin’ to wear something a little more fun. You dig?

Enter Miranda.

My fellow TAC member, Miranda L., is young, professional, fashion-conscious, and a total bus chick. Last night, on the elevator ride to our monthly meeting, I noticed her shoes: cute, red, heeled Mary Janes–the kind of shoes I regret wearing after about 15 minutes of pavement time. According to Miranda, who’s certainly done her share of pavement time, these Mary Janes are actually comfortable.

Fellow bus chicks, behold:

Miranda, still smiling after a long day of walking
The Mary Janes, close up

I ain’t one to hawk products, but for those who want to know: They’re Aerosoles.

All she needs now is a pair of rubber taps

Ridin’ solo

Today , I rode the bus alone for the first time since Chicklet was born. (Yes, I realize that this makes me a bit pathetic, considering that my child is 12 weeks old. What can I say? She’s cute.) I have left the house without her twice–once for my birthday dinner and once for my friend Donna‘s birthday party–but Bus Nerd was with me on both occasions.

Today, I traveled solo to attend the King County Transit Advisory Committee‘s annual retreat. I wouldn’t necessarily call an extra-long meeting in our regular meeting room a retreat, especially since the room doesn’t have heat on the weekends. But I digress. It was good to commune with my fellow transit geeks without the distraction of a baby (Chicklet attended the last meeting with me), and it was especially good to ride by myself. I didn’t realize how much I missed:

• Running for the bus–not so easy with an 11-pound human strapped to one’s chest.
• Using my bus legs, also not easy (or safe) with a baby strapped on.
Reading! I used the short rides to (27) and from (14) downtown to make progress on Acacia, a novel I started way back at the end of October.

Come March, I’ll return to work and regular solo travels. Then I’ll surely miss these months of bus adventures with my miniature riding partner.

And while you’re providing feedback…

The King County Transit Advisory Committee, of which I am a member, has started working with Metro’s IT staff to find ways to improve the agency’s Web site. In addition to providing our own suggestions for improvements, we’re collecting additional suggestions from the folks we know. So…

Got ideas about how to make Metro’s Web presence more useful to customers? Post them here.

To start the process, the TAC will receive a presentation from a Metro staff member to learn more about how the IT group at Metro works. TAC meetings are open to the public, so if you’re interested attending (note that you won’t be able to provide suggestions for specific improvements during the meeting), here’s the info:

Tuesday, December 11th, 6pm
King Street Center, 8th Floor Conference Center, 201 S Jackson Street

UPDATE: The presentation about the Web site is scheduled to start at 7:20 PM.

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