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Friday, September 19, 2008

Liveslogging the “Lunch Bus”

posted by on September 19 at 11:49 AM


ECB and I just boarded Sound Transit’s Lunch Bus which will allegedly take us on a tour of the unbuilt light rail line, which opens next year.

The bus is fricking amazing. Each seat is roomy, has a reading light and CLIMATE CONTROL! It’s like an airplane.

There are about 30 people on the bus and a lot of grey hair. Our excellent tour guide just pointed out “some very large galvanized poles” on the side of the road and an old woman just screeched for him to “speak a little more slowly”.

Most of the people on this bus won’t be alive by the time the light rail is up and running.


Facts about the train: during peak hours (6-9 am/3-6 pm) trains will run every six minutes.

On elevated sections of track, the trains will be moving at about 55mph. At ground level, the trains will go the city speed limit. Theoretically, a train could get a speedi

ST will use fare insectors to audit riders, a system which hasn’t worked out so well for the Sounder train system.

You can also take your bike on the train. Although ST hasn’t figured out where bikes will be stowed during rush hour.

12:13- important update: We’re going to the airport!!!!

12:20- The ST airport station looks awesome but is filled with some terrible public art. There’s a weird lightbulb/teardrop thing hanging from the ceiling. As ECB says: “why can’t public art ever be good?”

2:12- The bus stopped for lunch. Longest lunch ever. I think they had to blend up food for half the crowd.

We’re passing the entrance to the Beacon tunnel. Apparently ST named their giant drill machine the Emerald Mole.

RSS icon Comments


sounds like a sound transit commuter bus. suburbanites get all the nice things.

Posted by jrrrl | September 19, 2008 11:53 AM

Well, duh, who else are we going to give the nice things to? The poor?

Posted by Tiktok | September 19, 2008 12:02 PM

I don't think I've ever been on a Sound Transit bus, but don't they have fabric upholstery? That wouldn't work too well on Metro.

Posted by keshmeshi | September 19, 2008 12:13 PM

I'm sure the bus quality was a shock to you, and especially to Erica, who always complains about the crappy city buses!

Posted by Hernandez | September 19, 2008 12:14 PM

Why not nice busses going point to point express and charging a bit more than Metro -- we could get them on the road quickly -- whether or not we start expanding the light rail?

With reservations and billing via internet.

"Bus" needs a makeover.

Posted by PC | September 19, 2008 12:23 PM

Yeah, public art always sucks. Maybe it's because artists these days suck?

Posted by Greg | September 19, 2008 12:32 PM

the upholstery is plastic. And this bus IS crazy nice.

Posted by jonahsl | September 19, 2008 12:35 PM

Is the bus going to Beacon Hill?

Posted by Greg | September 19, 2008 12:51 PM

I totally agree about the "art" at that station. But I think that the weird molecule-chain-with-inane-phrases that's on the other side of the mezzanine from the teardrop is even worse.

Posted by Hernandez | September 19, 2008 12:54 PM

Individualized climate control?! Don't get me wrong: I love first class travel -- when the traveler pays for it. But this idea that we would take a transit system that the rest of us are subsidizing at a rate of god-knowns-how-much per trip and just decide to pile on a bit more is... mind-boggling.

Posted by David Wright | September 19, 2008 1:57 PM

"fare insectors"?

Posted by max solomon | September 19, 2008 2:07 PM

Unbuilt light rail line? Did you mean unfinished? It looks to me like most of it has been built already.

Also, not all public art is bad. Chicago has some outstanding public art.

Posted by elrider | September 19, 2008 2:11 PM

@10 - The ST commuter buses look like refurbished charter buses. Assuming that they are, that would explain the reading lights and climate control.

Posted by Hernandez | September 19, 2008 2:13 PM

This has got to be the slowest, most discrete liveslog ever.

Posted by Greg | September 19, 2008 4:07 PM

The seats have the ST map stitched (embroidered? Craft nerds, help me out) into them. No lie.

Posted by AJ | September 19, 2008 7:05 PM

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