Transit Schedules

There was a guy at the 3rd Avenue bus stop this evening calling out, “Is anybody here waiting for the 3 or 4 bus? Has anybody seen a three or four go by?”

I’d heard that type of question before, in other places, from other people, at other times. I think it’s a fascinating way of tracking the wait time for a bus. I wondered what the guy would have done if someone had told him a 3 had gone by a few minutes ago.

(The 3 and 4 are interesting Metro routes. They are technically two different routes, but follow one route most of the way, only differing at the very ends. They’re even listed on the same schedule. It’s a workhorse route, running every 10 minutes or less, and always full. So, the answer to that guy’s question should have been: There’s one coming around the corner.)

Link light rail stations have a display telling you the number of minutes until the next train. It’s not always accurate. Sometimes, it’s wildly inaccurate. When Phillip and I went to see Jurassic World, the display at Capitol Hill Station said something like 28 minutes until the next train. (Link runs every 6-10 minutes.) The train arrived 3 minutes later.

It would be nice if the Link displays were more accurate, but I don’t see it as a major issue. Knowing when the next train is coming is nice, but what’s really the point? If I go down to the platform and learn that the next train is due in 6 minutes, what would I do differently if it was due in 2 minutes?

So, why do I have the OneBusAway app on my phone? Because it comes in handy for decision-making. Is it a nice day? How tired am I? Do I want to wait 20 minutes for a 47 bus, or would I rather catch a 10 bus in 4 minutes, and have a longer walk?

I’ve observed people, at bus stops and in medical clinics, who seem to measure time by comfort level. They don’t know what time it is right now. They don’t know when the bus is scheduled, or remember when their doctor’s appointment is, so that stand at the bus stop, or sit in the lobby, and when it feels like they’ve been waiting a long time, that’s the indication that the bus is late, or their doctor is behind schedule.

Maybe that guy on 3rd Avenue was just feeling uncomfortable.

Jeans, A Tunnel, A Hot Dog, And Another Tunnel

Phillip is in Everett this weekend, sitting with Kelly’s dog while Kelly and her mom are out of town. He left work early on Friday, and is due back some time tomorrow. He invited me to go up with him. He invited me to hop on a bus or train and join him. I declined both invitations, for the only reason that I was craving some solitude.

I came home to an empty apartment Friday evening. I thought about going out somewhere (I can find solitude in crowds) but ultimately decided I was too tired. I stayed in, cooked myself some dinner, read, and played on the computer.

The alarm woke me up early this morning. I forgot to turn it off last night. I decided to get up and brew some coffee.

I read. I played some Sims 4. I showered. I read. I played some Life is Strange. I read. I played some City: Skylines. I played some Sims 4 and some Life is Strange. I read. Then I got dressed and headed out the door.


Life is Strange in small town Oregon

Metro has been busy sending me text alerts all week about bus reroutes and delays because of scheduled events Downtown. So, I walked up the hill to Capitol Hill Station. (If you want to get around, go underground.)

On my way up the hill, I dropped Round Ireland With a Fridge off at the Capitol Hill Library.

Capitol Hill Station was packed with Sounders fans. (That was one of the events Metro warned me about.)

I exited at Westlake Station, and walked across the street to The Gap, where I bought some jeans. This was the only part of my day that was planned. Jeans are acceptable attire in my office, as long as they’re in good repair. I had to retire some jeans recently, as they were no longer acceptable for the office. The jeans I have left, bought secondhand, may need retiring soon. So it was time for a fresh round.

The salesman at The Gap was instantly my best friend, and I was the coolest guy in Seattle, just for being there. (Have I ever mentioned that “obsequious” is one of my favorite words?) As he was ringing up my jeans, he asked me what I had planned for the day. “First, I’m buying some jeans,” I answered, “Then I’m going to have a hot dog. Beyond that, I don’t know.”

“Really? There are hot dogs around here?” (It turned out that his half-hour lunch started in a few minutes.)

I directed him to Dog in the Park, in Westlake Park, where I was actually heading after paying for the jeans.

I had a Chicago Dog and a Coke at Dog in the Park. There was a marijuana rally going on behind me, which I couldn’t avoid overhearing. The speaker was explaining that marijuana is decriminalized in Seattle, but it’s still not legal. He explained the difference to the attendees.

I was glad I didn’t run into The Gap Salesman at Dog in the Park.

When I finished my Chicago Dog, I had an impulse to go to the Central Library. So I started walking up 5th Avenue.

When I approached The 5th Ave Theater, I decided to see where the other end of my favorite pedestrian tunnel is, with construction going on at Rainier Tower. I went down the entrance to the food court (which was closed) and turned left.

The tunnel ended abruptly, as I expected. An arrow taped to the wall directed me to the stairs to 5th Avenue. Another arrow directed me to the elevator to 5th Avenue. I followed the stairs.

I followed the twisty path up stairs after stairs. Arrows taped to the wall told me which way to turn, even when I had no other choice. Obviously, they had put a service and/or emergency stairway into use as a temporary construction detour.

I came to an intersection where an arrow pointing left directed me to 5th Avenue, and an arrow pointing right directed me to the deliveries dock. Ahead was the construction office. I turned left.

After all those turns, and all those arrows, and all those stairs, I emerged onto 5th Avenue – directly across the street from the stairs to the food court. Now I know. A security guard gave me a startled look. I must have been the only person today to take those stairs.

I hung out in the library for a while. I looked for a book that was on my “For Later” shelf, but it had been checked out.

Then I walked down to 3rd Avenue, and into University Street Station. I rode Link to Capitol Hill Station.

I had meant to stop into Phoenix for Free Comic Day, but I forgot. Oh well, Phillip missed it, too.