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Fierce in Seattle: Too Much, Magic Bus


a blogumn by Kelli Bielema


It's the destination, not the journey...

A decade in L.A. without possession of a motor vehicle is a thought that would send most Angelenos barreling off the Ventura Highway. There are a few options to travel using the local Metro system, but it is unreliable at best. As if traffic isn’t bad enough for cars, imagine a big ass bus in the middle of it. The subway system goes nowhere essential other than the Staples Center or Universal Studios, so good luck on that 90 minute bus-cum-train-cum-bus trip to LAX. I could never do it. Like, ever.

By no means is Seattle the bastion of expeditious travel, but the Metro bus system is generally simple to navigate and there are a number of ways to get to any destination in the city and the ‘burbs. There are express and local routes, ride free zones in the downtown area and many employers provide subsidies to their
staff members. I know quite a few residents who don’t own a car as it’s not necessary with such consistent
service. But I will say the service is sometimes without its smile or even without its service. Some of those
moments are after the jump…

Smells. Among them I’ve sniffed: urine, pizza, cigarette smoke, Dior J’adore, dog, salami, root beer, regular beer. This morning it was an incredibly fragrant flatulent fellow stinkin’ up my ride. I could have been wrong about him farting, as he may have actually shit his britches.

Idiots. Bus riding would be so much more pleasant if I were the only passenger aboard. Loud cell phone talkers, headphones blaring in the seat next to me, elbows poking me, bags hitting me in the face, super chatty dumb asses who didn’t realize the bus was an Express and want to get off now! Then there’s
that special reserve shithead who has been riding for the last 30 minutes, gets to the exit and just suddenly digs into his pockets for his fare. What a bunch of idiots.

Freaks. In the ride free area in Downtown Seattle, it’s an embarrassment of riches as I’ve won the nutbag lottery! Seattle has a growing homeless population, and not all of them are off the charts bananas, and I don’t want to seem insensitive, but…did you ever notice how most street people sound like
Beetlejuice? And then when they talk to one another…ah, the sweet cacophony of crazies.

Shorties. When the Express bus comes, you are thrilled that you are going to get home 8 minutes earlier than the local route. Then you notice it’s a short bus, not the stretch number with the accordion
middle that is really best suited for an express commute during rush hour. . Duffle bags in your face, groans from your seat neighbors, the odors clogging your skull. Crammed like smelly, idiotic freaks

While I like to claim I am so green (and promise to stop using the word “green” to describe my environmental consciousness) and ride the bus to save on fossil fuels & miscellany, I really just don’t want to pay $15 a day or $250 a month to park my car downtown. And no, I am not going to bike it because I kinda don’t wanna die and walking from my neighborhood to my office would take the better part of 2 hours. Until then, I will swipe my FlexPass and thank my driver for getting me home safely and in a mostly timely fashion. Even if I had to smell
cat litter hero sub to get there.