City “You’re Going to West Seattle.”
posted by August 20 at 12:47 PMon
Want to shit, pee, throw up, sell drugs, have sex, or carry bags of trash on a Metro bus? No problem.
Want to get off the bus?
Sorry, that’s against Metro regulations.
Last week, Josh and I were headed for the FlexCar spot in the Uwajimaya parking lot. We were riding the 11 Metro bus (bus no. 3625) and the driver was stopped in a long line of cars on Second and Columbia. I’m not familiar with the 11 route, and the driver’s announcement that this was the last stop downtown was inaudible in the back of the bus. Seeing that the bus was approaching the Alaskan Way Viaduct on-ramp, we asked to be let off the (stopped, right next to the curb) bus. The driver’s response? “No.”
We were incredulous. I mean, sure, if we were in the middle of the road, or in motion, or blocking other traffic—or if there had been another stop in the actual city of Seattle—I could understand the strict adherence to Metro rules. But at a dead stop, at a red light, at a curb, miles away from the next stop? Ridiculous. “Come on, we didn’t hear the announcement. The speaker’s broken. Please, just let us off.” “No. You’re going to West Seattle.” “Seriously. Please. Just open the door.” “No. You could get hit.” “You’re stopped and on the curb. What are we going to get hit by—a pedestrian?” Cue class-baiting: “Maybe you don’t need your job, but I like my job. I have a little baby at home. I’m not letting you off.”
Which is how we ended up in West Seattle, stuck under a freeway on-ramp, waiting half an hour for a bus back into the city—and, incidentally, missing the first part of the David Della-Tim Burgess debate.
Hey, Metro? Maybe you ought to focus a little more on the stuff that makes riding the bus really unpleasant before you encourage your drivers to robotically enforce inflexible rules that, too often, don’t benefit anybody.