Today was Friday in the U District. I decided to ride the 43 rather than ride in with Phillip to his office. There was no particular reason for that decision. I walked over to Olive at a more or less random time. OneBusAway told me a 43 was due in 2 minutes, and it was right.
There is no real benefit to checking OneBusAway when I’m waiting for a particular, frequently run bus. It will get there when it gets there. I suppose there’s some comfort in having a sense of how long the wait will be. Mostly, checking OneBusAway is a habit for me.
The 43 was surprisingly uncrowded all the way to the U District. It was a little sad, actually, to see all those empty seats on a 60-foot bus. But I remembered how full the 43 typically is on these morning runs, and I felt better about it.
Before I left my U District desk, I checked OneBusAway. A 43 was due in 8 minutes, and a 25 was due in 10 minutes. That was perfect. This is where OneBusAway is the most beneficial. I’d prefer to take the 25 to Downtown, but I’ll take the 43 if the wait is going to be too long.
The 43 came and went.
I very nearly missed the 25. I looked up from my book, and there it was. I didn’t notice it arriving.
In contrast to this morning’s 43, the 25 was surprisingly crowded. I think it made every stop in Montlake.
I’m finally remembering the best stop to exit the 25 when we get Downtown, and in two weeks, the 25 will be peak-hours only and I won’t be riding it back from the U District.
At the end of the day, I caught a 3 bus on 3rd Avenue. This is one stop at which I never bother with OneBusAway. I catch anything heading north, and the wait is never more than a few minutes, or, like today, a bus is there when I arrive.
The 3 and 4 buses tend to be high energy, for some reason. Today was no exception. There were full-volume conversations going on everywhere inside the bus – some spanning multiple seats. The kid in front of me could neither sit still nor use his indoor voice. I’m not complaining. It’s just an observation about the personalities of bus routes.
The driver of the 3 bus seemed to be crazy. A guy at the stop asked if this bus goes to Pike Street. The driver replied, “Pike. Pine. Pike. Pine.” He told the driver of a car making an illegal left turn that he can’t do that – not loud enough for the driver to hear him, but loud enough that he obviously thought the driver could hear him.
I had a 2 minute wait for the 47 on Pike Street. A 49 and a 10 arrived at the same time as the 47. After taking a seat, I looked out of the window. The bus stop had gone from jam-packed to empty. It was apparently the right combination of buses.
It was a good bus-riding day.