I’ve never – or rarely – ridden a bus…how do I ride a bus? - Part 2

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Metro Transit serves Shoreline and Lake Forest Park

By Brian Doennebrink

You’ve planned your trip, and you’ve decided that you’re going to get to your bus by walking, bicycling, driving, or ? Here are some tips for each of the first three.

If walking:
  • Dress a bit warmer and ideally in lighter colors for traveling in the dark, as your path may take you to gusty areas. I encounter stiff headwinds on one street that I walk for about one-third of the way to a bus.
  • Consider whether you’ll carry an umbrella, wear a hat, and/or “go Seattle” (no headgear).
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Especially for dark conditions, be alert to any dangerous situations.

If driving:
  • If planning to park at a Park / Ride or Transit Center, most of these facilities fill up quickly, so arrive early.
  • At some facilities, some spaces are reserved for carpools, others for electric vehicles. At most if not facilities, there are spots for the disabled (with permit displayed).
  • Even if you find a spot, your walk may be longer than you expect.
When waiting for a bus:
  • At most Park / Rides or Transit Centers, riders queue up to get onto the bus.
  • Ensure that your route stops there, and that the bus is traveling in the direction that you wish to go. Example: a bus that’s ultimately heading south may be traveling northbound where you would catch it. The bus flag may have a current schedule; if so, it will indicate if that route stops there and when the estimated arrival time is.
  • Don’t assume that the bus will be on time or that it will stop. In downtown Seattle, for instance, buses don’t stop at every stop, they skip stops.
  • If you’re waiting at a stop out in the neighborhood, and particularly if it is dark, a flashlight or a cell phone, as well as lighter clothing, waving a newspaper, etc. can help the driver to see you. In lighter conditions, some movement indicating interest in that bus always helps, such as picking up your stuff and looking at the bus and driver.

Brian Doennebrink's other transportation articles can be found on the front page, first column under Features "Public Transit Choices".


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