Wow, if the poop stench wasn't bad enough, syringes? That's nasty.
"Ah! The ole number 22, clean reliable public transportation, the chariot of the people, the ride of choice for the poor and very poor alike, sure some folks prefer... "
It could have been worse, they could have sat next to you....
the smell travels with you for the rest of the day.
Combine all that with NEVER running on time. They should PAY ME to ride the fucking bus.
I've started biking to work.
I took the 8 this morning and a guy got on and started walking toward the back, and when the driver asked him for the fare, he was very aggresive and said "I ain't got it." It's because of things like that that some Metro drivers will turn all their anger and frustration on those of us who ARE trying to play by the rules when we are a few cents short. AARGH. I love our bus system, but I can totally understand why people might not want to ride. Some of the crap--even literally!--that bus riders have to deal with is horrid. We need transit cops!!!!
I think somone should invent a bus that burns lecherous bums like that for fuel. We could lessen our dependence on fossil fuels, and make the Metro experience less painful.
I'm no stranger to Bus stories commuting to a swing shift downtown job, but my gist is towards another sort of 'bum'.
Ever wonder why the folks who commute into town, pay beucoup (sp?) bucks for garage parking pay nothing for bus shuttles?
An interesting side story - developer Martin Selig once made a deal to pay for the free ride zone to be expanded near properties he owned in Belltown.
As I recall it was something along the lines of 50k a year for the expansion, no memory of how many square blocks it was.
He never paid, though there was a signed contract - and the expansion continues.
Typical for downtown folks, of all sorts. I'm reminded of comments comparing the idle poor with the idle rich...
P.S. - Perhaps the Queen Anne, International District, and Capitol Hill Community Councils could make the same 'deal'?
Why all the bum haters?
If you live in the city, you know what to expect.
Better yet, just buy a freaking car like normal people and leave your hate for someone who deserves in -- cyclists.
I think selig still owes seattle city light something like 700K for electric bills he has never paid.
So that's where my dime bag fell out. I've been looking for those dregs.
Hmm... this was good effort ecce baro, but I think you may have pushed it a bit too far. Coming down on cyclists at the end tipped it past effective trolling and straight into satire.
Be careful to avoid that in the future or you might become a useful member of the slog.
ok, i am now convinced that ecce homo is not real.
Ha! Dirge is my hero of the day.
Yes, indeed. During the summer months especially metro buses smell something like a cross between a french cheese shop, a neglected urinal and a sewage plant, probably something close to what it would have smelled like standing in the doorway of a Parisian cheeseshop toward the end of the 19th century, with the streets littered with human and equine feces.
to quote my friend sabrina, "what the fuck's a bus?"
Get rid of the ride free zone and make people pay before they get on. If Seattle wants a ride free zone for shoppers they should get their own buses and keep them within the zone.
I'm sorry there are homeless people but Metro shouldn't be their personal Winnebago.
It would be great if Metro had clean and comfortable buses like Community and Sound Transit.
An ex-girlfriend of mine got on her bus and sat in a puddle of piss. So nasty.
Look first everyone!!
I've been working on it. I have some pretty good plans drawn out and will be presenting them to King County Metro on Tuesday.
Not everyone can afford a car in this town so we need to make sure the buses are safe, clean, and reliable.
They need to replace the #7 and #49 with nicer, newer buses. Those things are the workhorses of the system and need to be upgraded. Why upgrade a bus that is only going to get dirtier? Well, let's hope it will cut down on the accumulation of grime.
Metro bus drivers are not required to enforce paying of the fares, supposedly that's a law-enforcement matter. So some do, and some don't.
I have seen a bus driver (a large, male one) refuse entry on the bus of disruptive whacko. He said "I know who you are and we've received many complaints about you. You cannot board the bus." I was so grateful.
Yeah, Ecce is just trolling, to the max. "What's the one thing that will offend people who read this post? Or better yet, two things?" That's what he posts. In chat rooms, you can set it so posts by crappy people don't even show up on your screen. Shame this can't work like that.
So anyhoo, Yes. Agreed with everyone except Ecce at all times, ever. Metro sucks ass hard and must be improved for the sake of humanity and the environment and so on. How about instead of not paying for the bus, we get huge tax breaks for non-car-owning? That would be dope.
The skyline doesn't evidence it, but Seattle is a city. Property crime and unpaid bus fare? Get a grip. Try New York, Boston or even Portland (talk about burnouts) public transit. I've seen men exposing themselves and people attacked with knives.
On the other hand, at least I saw transit cops once in a while in those cities. Considering that people won't jaywalk in Seattle for fear of a ticket, it's pretty clear from the behavior I've seen that no one thinks there is any chance of a cop being on a bus. From the behavior at 3rd and Pike, no one thinks there's any cops there either, what are cops doing in this town besides harassing bar owners and prostitutes? And there's no reason that drivers should pursue an altercation over an unpaid fare if that's what the letter is suggesting.
my point, since you are incapable of understanding it is. If you hate metro, then buy a car.
If not, STFU about it.
If you don't like homeless people then do something about it. Give them more money, help them with addictions, etc. Or better yet, buy em a one way bus ticket to portland.
But please include all those wannabe capital hill and u-dstrict fake punks losers with all the body piercing and bad tattoos and stupid hair colors. "Dude your hair is brown, not pink, and it looks stupid". Those fucking idiots really need to go.
All this bitching but what have any of you done to confront Metro on these issues? Seriously folks, We have to ride the ASSES of Metro on King County to get them to do something about the overall service of Metro. We are great at giving them money to run the system for the rest of the county but Seattle seems to get fucked up the ass all the time. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT!!???
I seriously have not seen any improvement in service in the city of Seattle for Metro since I moved here in 1995. The only thing they have done is buy new busses and new uniforms. But they never seem to clean most of them; especially the ones like the 70 series up the the U-District or the #7 (now #49 and #7). One would think that after years of service Metro would have the brilliant thought to clean more frequently the busses that are notoriously dirty at the least. (even pulling them off route throughout the day if needed).
I have written to Metro and called to complain but no one ever responds. So maybe us Slog readers (many/most of us) who ride the bus need to organize and confront Metro. And if Simms does not like it, we can vote him out of office along with Nickels.
My bus smelled like farts yesterday.
Buses are for losers.
@19: the 49 uses all new buses already.
oh, and the idea that you are entitled to ride for free on the buses until they forbid poor people from riding on them? hateful, selfish, and typical of seattle.
Oh I forgot, Metro Drivers are a perfect example of the hate part of my love/hate relationship with labor unions. No matter how incompentent the driver, the union will always cover the driver's ass.
Cato has point, how about some Stranger sponsored town hall meeting with Metro Transit and that 'green' mayor of ours (green meaning environmentally, not just flush with Indian casino cash from his son and graft from Big Dig benefactors).
It's my understanding that the Metro drivers are trained not to confront un-paying passengers for public safety reasons. That said, we're supposed to have plain-clothes transit police on the buses, and I would think that they would focus on the super-skeezey routes like 2, 5, 10, 15/18/21, 14, 43, the 70's to name a few. It's not doing anyone any good if they're just riding the 550 back and forth to Hellvue.
I'd like to add that I have seen the drivers refuse entry to repeat offenders many times, thank goodness.
You know, when I see a used syringe, I usually pick it up and stick it in a bottle or can and dump it in the trash.
If I see someone doing something obviously illegal, I'll attempt to notify an authority about it or even *gasp* confront the person with a "what are you doing?".
I find it interesting that the OP comes to the conclusion that as some small percentage choose not to pay (and break social and legal conventions), that no-one should. I'm pretty sure if we all adhered to logic like this, we would live in a pretty crappy world.
YES, please Stranger, sponsor or co-sponsor a bus forum. That would be really great. Of course, it would be a 4-hour bitchfest, but maybe some better organizational effort will come out of it, like a Commuter Club or some such thing that could represent bus riders en masse, rather than all the nickeling and diming complaints that Metro gets.
Boylston @ 30:
newsflash: we do live in a pretty crappy world
Do something about it.
Okay Stranger Staff: We have put you out on the floor. You guys have more ties with the power that be to get Metro, the County Executive (the Mayor would be good but Metro is not a city agency, it is County) to have a community town hall to talk about improving Metro's service in SEATTLE. Not the rest of King County but SEATTLE. Can we do this?
Someone bragging about stealing a digital camera from the Re-bar? Damn, if I was on that bus I would have call the police on my cell phone right away. Maybe someone had already filed police report on the stolen camera. Instead of complaining to Last Days, I’d take action. But then again, I ride a bike, to avoid the bus!
I love the bus.
The worst part is that I hear ST is talking about making the LR run on the honor system. Theoretically transit cops are supposed to occasionally check that riders have paid their fare.
Given the regular performance of our transit cops, that means the light rail will be a multi-billion dollar rolling homeless shelter.
Eh. I rode the bus for nine years, and it was a rare occasion that the bus was actually messy. On one occasion there was some vomit. There were occasionally some stinky bums. Once, it was very clear that someone had pissed his pants while sitting.
On the other hand, while being driven in a van, a friend projectile vomited on me from behind. Another time, someone in the front seat put his head out the window and puked while we were going 70 mph on I-5. It coated the window.
Let's face it. We're biological creatures. When we interact, nasty stuff will sometimes happen.
I offended Ecce homo enough he cursed! I win! Hahahahaaha! I trolled the troll!
@ 38, Apparently you have not ridden Metro... lately?
I'd also like to commend other people for ignoring his posts completely. You've shown more restraint and sense than I could muster. Excelsior!
you should try the 76. its full of lily-white businesspeople & smells like lavender sachets.
of course it doesn't go anywhere useful except to 65ht & roosevelt, and my house.
I always hear these stories and realize that my bus expereince is totally different. I ride the 37 from Alki to downtown everyday. My bus is filled with well dressed (mostly wommen) downtown business people going to and from work. People sit quietly and read, listen to their Ipods or stare out the window in quiet contemplation. It is actually a time I look forward to everyday because for me, it is downtime when I have no obligations and can just sit a read or enjoy the beautiful view of the Sound.
The only thing that sucks about the bus for me is that it does not run often enough (and is becoming more and more crowded impacting my quality of bus life) and Mariners Games. I hate the Mariners because it regularly causes me very long delays getting my bus home. Often I wait over an hour for my bus to show up.
Get rid of the ride free zone and make people pay before they get on. If Seattle wants a ride free zone for shoppers they should get their own buses and keep them within the zone.
This brings me to a great example of how we could check off so many boxes at once if we did real bus rapid transit -- rather than just making our conventional bus service more frequent and then slapping a pretty BRT label on it. For BRT routes, give each stop a real loading area. No more ride-free zones, you have to pay to get in the loading area. The charge can still be nominal. Not only does that cut down on the freeloaders but it makes loading that much faster. Of course, with real BRT, you have buses whose passenger compartments are level with the loading platform, so it makes loading another n degrees faster.
OK, so there's still the minor detail, "Do you go honor system?" I was going to ask the same about Sound Transit, but MHD already answered @37.
I think it should be pointed out many routes are clean and not bad; but at the same time those tend to be people commuting to and from work Monday through Friay 8 to 6 pm. If you want the REAL metro experience travel outside that window.
Perhaps the Stranger (that claims to be all about public transit and aniti-car) needs to hold public officials to a simple test: If they want the endorsement of the Stranger they need to get rid of their cars and use bikes/scooters/bus and maybe FlexCar. I am tired of elected officials saying how pro-transit they are and then still hop in their cars to go everyplace in Seattle.
It's amusing how many people whine and complain about people doing illegal things on a bus, yet they have a perfectly good working cell phone on them they could use to phone the Transit Police or 911.
How hard is that?
@40 No, it's been a couple years now. After I became an insurance agent, I had to get a car.
@43: "I hate the Mariners because it regularly causes me very long delays getting my bus home. Often I wait over an hour for my bus to show up."
Here's another case study of how, if we say we want to do BRT, then let's do real BRT. With real BRT, the buses have their own dedicated lanes and, to the extent they have to cross traffic, they get signal priority. So no matter how bad the Mariners or Seahawks traffic, the buses should still run pretty darn close to on-time.
Of course, I'm under no illusion that Ron Sims and King County Metro are in any way motivated to do this unless we hold the proverbial gun to their heads. The question is, how do we do that?
The bum haters should be executed by the state, summary execution with a single bullet to the head.
So should people who associate their cars with success. You're not a winner because you choose to burn money on your fucking cars- I make as much money as anyone else and choose not to waste it on a environmentally unsound waste machine. You assholes can die in the fucking gutter too. Aspirational yuppy shit.
#46 Complaining to Metro does nothing. You get either a busy signal or a voice mail tree. I have never spoken to an actual Metro employee on the complaint line. And complaining to the driver does nothing, other than maybe they kick YOU off the bus for causing trouble.
As far as I know there is no Transit Police nor is there a budget for one.
You can't call 911 unless someone's life is in danger. They don't want the number used for vandalism or property crime because that is low priority to the cops.
#35 As it was a property crime there would be no investigation.
I'm not talking about all you car owners. I'm specifically talking about the wannabe winners who think a car makes them better than a. the homeless, or b. the people who choose to take the bus. It's middle class faux elitists who think they're important and everyone else are subhuman that piss me off, usually people who went to college and managed to not learn anything by going for the money.
Regarding Transit "cops"... Here's what usually happens on those occasions I've been witness to it: the driver calls the command center and then PULLS OVER, disrupting the entire route timing (pissing off millions). She then lies to every passenger on the bus about why we are pulled over, with the exception of the smug white man sitting at the very front of the bus who for some reason is her confidante. We wait. We wait. More waiting. She threatens to call the cops (ah! the irony) on the kid who keeps coming up to the front to ask why we are stopped. Finally the 'cops' come and interview the driver, then board and launch an investigation/confrontation of the offending individual. What has happened, I wonder? Has someone been stabbing an elderly woman with a dirty syringe, or is a knife at someone's throat? What could possibly be happening to create such an annoying delay? The answer filters up to my seat after a few minutes: a kid. Had an unlit cigarette hanging from his mouth. He was black.
Oh my god.
I am a devoted and daily bus rider... But come on, Metro. Priorities! Priorities!
I have been riding buses to and from work downtown for about 15 years. Here's what I have observed: The buses are reliable and clean (and the AC is a blessing), the drivers considerate (even friendly - kudos Jack!) and the cost can't be beat. The elderly, the handicapped and students rely on the buses more than anyone else for their transportation needs. The poor primarily use them as mobile homeless shelters in the free zone. There are many more working commuters using the buses now than there were 2 years ago. The only reliable source of transportation after a snow storm is a bus.
No one at Metro ever addresses the homeless freeloaders, because doing something about them involves stopping the route, delaying the passengers and the driver while someone coerces a law enforcement official to take 5 minutes out from harassing black people to roll over to the bus in question to handle the matter. And by then the offender has usually barged off the bus and far out of sight, off to harass someone else in a society that permits the free reign of these sorts of assholes.
It's too much of a time waster for Metro to actually do something about this, and little reward should they actually try, so they don't.
I'm not from here, and I've never understood the point of the free zone. I do ride the 16 occasionally, and it does seem like the only benefit is to remove the cost of bus fare from a dime bag and save groups of lazy teens from having to walk. Everything here is an exercise in trying to out-PC each other (see the comments to the Indian pow-wow story), but are there any real defenders of this useless subsidiary and, if not, will Metro Transit think about shit-canning it?
It also really depends on where the buses are going/coming from. In my experience, the 49 is the pits. It travels from the ID/Pioneer Square, to 4th & Pine, to Broadway, to the U District. Can that selection of neighborhoods get any worse in terms of unwashed/troublesome passengers?
On the other hand, I've never had a problem on a bus heading to/from West Seattle.
My daily bus ride is generally pleasant and uneventful. Except that one time I had a hangover and it was everything I could do not to spew on my fellow passengers.
#54 A great deal of the homeless people who get on in the ride free zone wind up riding the bus all day, even outside the zone. They know, odds are, that the bus will wind up in the free zone again.
Vegetable lasagna: the ride-free zone is a benefit to everyone INCLUDING PEOPLE WHO NEVER RIDE THE BUS. By not collecting fares downtown, the bus saves several minutes at each stop, which really adds up in a congested downtown.
Also, reinstituting fares downtown without simultaneously mandating collection is pointless. The people who are the problem ride free EVERYWHERE; they wouldn't pay downtown whether there was a fare or not.
Enforcing fares is a driver-safety issue. If you think it's annoying to sit near these people, imagine driving them around ALL DAY LONG. Drivers are simply not equipped to be policemen too.
What would be nice to see is a code of conduct that's enforced. Transit cops arrest farejumpers and other disruptive persons, and they get sentenced to long jail terms, or harrassed out of town.
#60 - Which is exactly why I think that the Ride Free buses should remain downtown. Commuters could ride them the outlying areas to the North (Seattle Center), and South (International District) to transfer to the pay routes. That would mean less bus traffic downtown too.
Finally, I would also make the buses that go to the hospitals on First Hill free to the public as well.
Fnarf, I guess that's sort of an issue, but one week of enforcement here and there would solve it. It's nothing more than a habit that people abuse the free ride. Free zones don't exist in Manhattan, and this isn't an issue.
Finally, the challenge was to suggest ways to improve the service. The best you can do is suggest adding to jail overcrowding with long sentences for ridiculously minor offenses and to harass people?
I feel pretty exhausted after taking the bus, I think because I'm on high alert of my surroundings for the entire ride, trying to make sure I avoid getting splattered by errant bodily fluids or other nastiness I've seen reported by Last Days and Slog about the joys of riding the bus.
I do worry about what might happen if I was so bold as to call 911 about someone who seems dangerous. I'd like to think I would, but it's a confined space, and you can't just exit whenever you want, so I think it is unfair to pick on riders for not calling 911 and placing themselves in potential danger.
If someone is already so crazy to be acting disruptive on a bus, what exactly is going to stop them from turning the full brunt of their craziness on someone who appears to be trying to get them in trouble?
I have been astonished by the number of pitbulls that I have seen on the bus lately. I called metro the other morning to ask what the policy is - why the drivers are letting these dogs on. They are obviously not service dogs.
The dude at the metro transit police said that there is no rule against bringing ANY dog on the bus. They don't check whether a dog is a service dog. These pitbulls are huge dogs that, if provoked by another dog on the bus could cause a dog fight in the middle of a fucking bus!
Metro needs to get the pitbulls off the busses.
in the words of the old song, 'mercy mercy mercy mercy'!
i've been a dedicated bus rider since i moved to our fair city in 1979. i don't own a car, so i rely quite heavily on public transit. and in all those years, i seem to have missed all the terrors you posters have experienced. no fights, no vomiting, and certainly no dog smirmishes. i can't recall ever feeling like my life was in danger. i have, however, felt like killing the people who incessantly yammer into their cell phones, obvlivious to all else around them. while i am not too thrilled about loud teenagers in the back, or the mentally ill musing aloud about UFOs, the CIA, and whatnot, it beats the shallow, brainless yuppie loudly chatting on her razr about her sex life.
and one other thing, folks, especially for those of you who haven't lived in the puget sound area all their lives (like me 'n fnarf).
people out here like to drive cars and live in suburbs BECAUSE WE LIKE LOTS OF ROOM. we like having homes with big yards and no public transport. our ancestors fled places like new york city and philadelphia because of the density and lack of privacy. they went to washington state because it wasn't crowded!
and that's why suburban sprawl is everywhere and people won't get out of their cars and take the bus. we want ROOM.
64: Maybe they should remove you from the bus for being a paranoid freak.
Maybe they should ban you from the bus for being a paranoid freak.
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