Monday, September 14, 2009

Trains, buses, and some more yelling

In the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel this morning, I saw two trains go past, one in each direction, as well as one #194 bus going south. I was in the Pioneer Square Station, waiting for my #150 bus to Tukwila. The first train to go by was northbound during the peak commute, and about 1/4 of the seats were occupied as it pulled into the station. The second was southbound, and there might have been 15-20 people on the whole train -- I counted 4 in the last vehicle, of whom one looked like an employee. A minute later, a King County Metro #194 bus came by, on which 1/3 to 1/2 of the seats were occupied, roughly 30 people. Now, noting that the light rail train and the #194 bus were both heading for the airport, and the #194 bus would get there at least five minutes sooner even if the light rail line to the airport were complete, which it isn't yet -- despite starting a couple minutes later -- it's easy to see how people would choose the bus over the train in this situation.

Granted, the final destination of the bus isn't the airport; it goes on from there to Federal Way. But on previous trips from downtown to the airport on this bus, basically everyone got off at the airport. But still, perhaps 50% more people this morning were taking the #194 bus to the airport while I watched than were heading towards the airport (and who might be getting off earlier) on light rail.

There was a little yelling on my #150 bus once it came. A guy sitting across from me made the mistake of looking towards the back of the bus, and a woman there started yelling at him: "Don't look at me, bitch! I don't need no ugly ***** *** looking at me!"

So he stopped looking at her. And she stopped yelling. He seemed upset by it, commented to the fellow sitting next to him, who was reading, about it. That fellow tapped the side of his head. "Crazy," he said, "Don't let it bother you."

I snuck a peek backwards as I was just about to get off. There was one woman back there who looked like she might've been the one who'd been yelling. She had wide eyes that moved around a lot. She looked back at me, not aggressively. And then I was leaving to dismount my bike and ride the rest of the way to my office.

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