Commuting Balance

Today was the first day of my new commute. I now have the option of a one-seat, no transfer, light rail commute.

My commute is an act of balancing the options. The 47 bus stops within a couple of (flat) blocks from my apartment building. I have to transfer halfway through the commute. The light rail station is 5 or 6 blocks up the hill, but doesn’t require a transfer.

This morning, I opted for the short walk with a transfer. Apparently, most of my fellow commuters had the same idea. It was the usual crowd at the bus stop, and the usual crowd exiting at Westlake Station.

Link was back to 2-car trains this morning. A northbound train and a southbound train arrived at Westlake Station at the same time. There was something odd-looking about the southbound train, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. Something was just slightly out of the norm. As I stepped into the train, it occurred to me: For the first time, I was seeing a southbound train arriving at Westlake with passengers already in it.

As we arrived at the next stop, University Street Station, a northbound train was arriving at the same time. I had never seen two northbound trains so close together.

Of course, it was fun to see northbound trains displaying “University of Washington Station” in their destination signs.

For my commute home, the choice is clearer. I’d rather walk 5 or 6 blocks down the hill than stand at that unpleasant stop at 4th & Pike. (If I need to pick up something Downtown on my way home, the transfer will still be an option.)

The wait for a northbound train was a little longer than I was expecting this evening. This was due to a 5-bus jam at Pioneer Square Station, with three more buses after that. The wait wasn’t too bad however.

It was a 2-car train again, and it was full as it arrived in Pioneer Square station. There were a few empty seats, but a lot of people standing. (Some people just prefer to stand.)

There were huge turnovers at University Street and Westlake stations – as many people exiting as boarding, it seemed. The train I was in was still full as we left Westlake for Capitol Hill. I was pleased to see it, but not really surprised.

That is a very nice feeling, after the train makes that turn past Westlake, and it starts accelerating – and keeps accelerating until just before Capitol Hill Station.

A bus offers more scenery than the light rail tunnel. There’s another balance to consider.

It’s tough to compare the time this new commute takes, as opposed to the old one, because I worked overtime this evening, plus I detoured over to the Capitol Hill Library to pick up a hold for Phillip.

One thought on “Commuting Balance

  1. Dude! You are burning up the Internet with your blog posts! But I always love hearing about your adventures especially because you are so pragmatic about the pros and cons of different routes. You are not a whiner like me! Wah, wah, the bus is late, etc., that’s my rant.

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