Friday, January 22, 2010


I started my bike/bus commute today thinking I would try for my first Seattle Transit "Quat Trick", riding a bus, light rail, Sounder, and my bike on different legs of a single two-way commute. But my morning #355 King County Metro bus was 10 minutes late, and now that Sound Transit no longer accepts King County Metro transfer slips as payment, I was looking at trying out one of the new ORCA cards my lovely wife bought for us last month, and I didn't really want to do that in a situation where I wasn't certain that it would work correctly, and where I would have no backup way to pay.

Turns out that at the International District station of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, where I would have the choice of transferring to a #150 bus or a Central Link light rail train to Tukwila, the bus came first, so I went ahead and took it. No Quat Trick today for me.

I can't say I'm too fond of paying separate fares for a bus and then a light rail train over my usual method of paying once for a bus and then having a second bus accept my transfer slip as payment, on top of the slow light rail leg adding 10 minutes to my total commute. Paying twice as much for a slower ride is not exactly a bargain, I think most would agree.

The Olympic mountains were gorgeous from the window of my #150 bus
as we passed Boeing Field, by the way, with only a cluster of snowy summits visible, all glowing a pale yellow-orange. I wished I had a camera. Heck, I wished I was a photographer.

On my return trip as I boarded a #150 bus headed back to downtown from the Tukwila Park and Ride, I had another chance to try out one of our new ORCA cards, which my wife had preloaded with $5 when she bought them. And if that didn't work, I could always pay cash. So I used the card, and it turned out to be easy. The driver even said that I wouldn't need a transfer slip, all I had to do was wave (he said "tap") my card at my second bus' card reader and it wouldn't deduct additional funds if I did so within two hours.

It took a few tries before that second bus' card reader would accept my card, though.

Boy did I feel out of shape today.