The Thirty-Six

Phillip had a NorWesCon meeting today, followed by their holiday party and gift exchange. I was invited to the party. Once again, Phillip gave me the choice of meeting him there by car or light rail. I, of course, chose light rail.

I was in the mood for something different for today’s trip to SeaTac – something different from my usual 47/Link/RapidRide A combination. I’d been thinking about it all week. I thought about taking the 60 from Broadway to Beacon Hill Station – but I’d done that before. I wanted something new – not necessarily better, or faster, but just a change of scenery. Eventually, I discovered route 36. It’s a route I was previously unfamiliar with.

The 47 was 12 minutes late this afternoon, and still hadn’t arrived. So I gave up and walked to Olive to catch a 43. When I got up to Summit, I saw that some sort of blockage (traffic accident?) at Summit and Mercer had stopped the 47 I’d been waiting for.

When the 43 got to that mass of cars and people around Westlake, I realized that taking the 60 might have a wiser choice, since it is the holiday season. But no matter, I was not in a hurry.

I exited the 43 at Third Avenue. A 36 was just leaving the stop. I waited for the next one. This amazing route runs every ten minutes on Saturdays.

It’s been too long since I’ve chosen a crazy, inefficient way to get somewhere, just for the sake of a transit joyride.

I’m kind of in love with route 36 now.

I boarded the 36, southbound, at 3rd and Pine. I was the first passenger on the bus. We followed Third all the way through Downtown. Then we turned west on Jackson Street, through the International District. Then it was south on 12th, up and over Beacon Hill, following a straight line down Beacon Avenue as far as Myrtle Street, until terminating at Othello Station. I was the last passenger off the bus.

At Othello Station, I caught Link light and rode as far as Tukwila International Boulevard Station. From there, I caught a RapidRide A to the party.

The 60-foot articulated bus on the 36 was never full, but it was well used. There were people boarding and exiting all along the route.

Route 36 stops at all of the tunnel stations along 3rd Avenue. It stops at International District/Chinatown Station, Beacon Hill Station, and Othello Station. It stops near the Central Library, the International District Library, the Beacon Hill Library, and the New Holly Library. It stops at Jackson Park, and the VA Hospital, and a whole lot of neighborhoods.

The 36 is an amazingly useful, frequent,  and efficient route, as well as a fun route fun to sightsee on. I’m surprised that Metro hasn’t eliminated it.

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