A Video in Video Trip to Golden Gardens

After moving to Ballard the first time in 2017, I decided I would take a ride down to Golden Gardens Park and use a couple of my GoPro Cameras to capture the ride. Here’s the video in video shot put together with some music.

If you’re curious, I mention the three GoPros, but I’ll elaborate on a few of the other tools I used post-ride. The editing software I used is Screenflow 7, however I’ll admit some future videos plus additional segments I’ll be putting together with Adobe Premier Pro in addition to Screenflow 7. All of this done on the latest MacOS running on one of the latest Mac Book Pro Laptops. If you’ve got any suggestions, questions, or otherwise, let me know in the comments and I’ll answer ASAP. Cheers, and happy trips!

Ballard to Bellevue to Redmond to Seattle to Ballard, Done!

A couple weeks ago Ro and I made a trip to check out the B-Line. The B-Line is the latest BRT type route between Bellevue to Redmond on the east side of Lake Washington (I really don’t want to call it east Seattle, because it isn’t anything like Seattle). We left early in the day boarding the #44 at Ballard & Market Street.

#44, in Diesel Operation (Usually it runs a Trolley Bus)

#44, in Diesel Operation (Usually it runs a Trolley Bus)

The #271 can be seen hiding behind the #49.

The #271 can be seen hiding behind the #49.

From there we rode to the University District and transferred there to the #271.

As we rode the #271 I saw an activity, that when I drove would cause me serious rage and concern over safety. But here on the bus, it was almost endearing to see a fellow rider making good use of their bus riding time. A young lady sat politely in her chair doing some of that fancy make up doing that young ladies do.

An appropriate time to put on makeup.

An appropriate time to put on makeup.

Once we arrived in Bellevue we spent some time to get a bite at Chantanee Thai Restaurant and Bar. After a good meal and some pretty snappy drinks, we headed over to the Bellevue Transit Center to board one of the new B-Line Buses. Behold, before us stood Chad (aka punkrawker of punkrawker4783 videos)! We talked for a bit about the new route. He told me about how part of the line was super busy while the other part was moderately so. After a few minute Ro and I left Chad to go his way and we were off on our way.

B-Line to Redmond

B-Line to Redmond

We boarded the next bus, when it showed as ready. They sit there at the transit center, off with a driver usually standing nearby in preparation for departure. On this day, since it wasn’t a weekday, the frequency was only 15 minutes. This made it really not like BRT. But I wasn’t expecting too much, as BRT is rarely setup the way it is talked about by advocates.

B-Line, Side Shot

B-Line, Side Shot

B-Line to Redmond

B-Line to Redmond

Once aboard we took our seats and enjoyed our departure. We pulled out onto the main street, into traffic, with barely a dedicated lane in site. As expected I thought to myself. But it wasn’t bad. The ride was smooth, as far as buses go, and vastly superior to the ride quality of buses that actually travel most King County Metro Routes. Part of this was the roadway, which is newer than most of the roads in Seattle proper, and part of it was the bus that has better suspension and ride quality.

On our ride we also were entertained by some of the colorful characters of the east side. One guy had a strange cat hat thing on with a girl who, well, simply had odd attire on altogether. But to each their own, it brought a chuckle and props for being different!

Cat Hat

Cat Hat

The east side, I will admit, is a beautiful area with a lot of nature. It is however a massive lifeless suburban sprawl. Everyone has their ticky tacky houses and with cookie cutter restaurants with barely a unique characteristics to the whole place. The only way to tell you’re in the north west is by the trees and natural surroundings here and there, plus the continual spurts of rain every hour or so. Other than that, you might as well be in Texas. The east side, with almost every house, apartment, and building carries an almost triumphant lack of culture and art. But again, this is something I was prepared for. Want art, go downtown to Seattle. Want some grass that you can mow, go to the east side.

The stops along the way, that are dedicated to the B-Line, are pretty neat. They’re just like the A-Line stops for the most part. With the rich red color and simple design.

B-Line Bus Stop

B-Line Bus Stop

I did grab one shot that I thought was just so stereotypical of the east side. The irreverent and disrespectful by their mere existence, H2 Hummer. Not the real Humvee, but no the superficial and fake H2. The thing that only pretends to be a real truck and is by no means even related to a military vehicle in any way other than mockery. The marketing on this sure worked for those of lesser income that have issues with their big truckness of manhood.

East Side Superficialness in Full Effect

East Side Superficialness in Full Effect

When we did get into the small town of Redmond the bus pulled up to the Redmond Transit Center. There we walked to the area that literally has the MOST life of the entire area. The local skate park. Of course, there were some kids there breaking the law while having fun riding their bikes. But as with the respect among young people, everyone was honorably taking their turns at runs on the park. Bicyclists, skooter riders, and skaters alike. It was very chill. Several of the kids were pretty bad ass on those bikes too. I’d hate to see an officer have to enforce the law and bust those kids of biking on the skate park. Something seriously should be done to change those laws – these parks should be available to skaters, skooters, inline skaters, bicyclists, or whatever non-powered fun ridable things someone wants to ride on it.

Here’s a few shots of the dudes riding bikes that were tearing it up good.

Flying High

Flying High

…and another…

Airborne Again

Airborne Again

After a while watching, we grabbed some food and then headed off to the heart of Redmond (which is about 4 square blocks of more ticky tacky, but I won’t go into that). On the way back I grabbed a few more shots of the buses serving the Redmond Transit Center.

Redmond Transit Center - B-Line Buses Queued Up

Redmond Transit Center - B-Line Buses Queued Up

#248 Redmond

#248 Redmond

Bus Stop Sign

Bus Stop Sign

After all that riding, it was time to head back to the cultural heart of this metropolitan area. So we boarded the next #545 bound for Seattle!

Once downtown, with a breath of life back in our souls, we then transferred and rode the trusty #18 back to Ballard.

Ride Complete! 🙂 Cheers!

Cafe Fiore, Route #17 and #48, and a Long Narrative!

I’m sitting here at Cafe Fiore. Watching the clientele come in and out, here at 85th and 32nd. It’s a nice little coffee shop with seating outside on the side walk in the sun. Outside there is the junction of two bus lines; #17 and the #48. Just the other side of the junction is a road that goes downhill through forrest to a Golden Park along the waterfront. This, is an absolutely gorgeous area. Not for me, but absolutely stunning in so many ways.

Considering the ridership of the #17 and #48, many people in this area ride the bus on a regular basis. I gather this from several observations. There is not much density here, as everything for many blocks is single family homes and there are plenty of garages with more than a few cars here and there. However, just from the ridership numbers one can assume that the express busses probably get 80-90% of their patronage from this area, with another 10-20% along the Market Street area. Further, much further down the street between Market Street and 60th there are a lot more apartments, where I assume a large part of that 80-90% come from. Leaving about half or less of that percentage coming from this area… which concludes with about 1-2% of the households in this area riding the bus. Considering the suburban layout of this area, this isn’t all that bad of a number.

One major positive for this area, is this coffee shop garners heavy foot traffic on a day like this. As does the park below near the waterfront. This is encouraging, as people aren’t riding around in their automobiles cluttering up the streets with traffic and wasting fuel. It is a very community oriented neighborhood, very unlike the far flung suburbs of Bellevue, further north in Everett or other outlying suburbs. This is a more traditional style “streetcar suburb”. Considering where the streetcars used to travel, it once was, so it all makes logical sense that it continues to be this way.

The #17 travels along 32nd avenue down and onto Market Street in Ballard. There it cuts a turn down the parallel to Ballard Street (I can never remember this street) and then travels across the 15th Street Bridge. Here is where it gets tricky. The #17 express continues along 15th, which becomes Elliot or Interbay (I hate it when cities give a street multiple names, or it continues along and just has multiple names for different stretches), and then into downtown. The express only runs on weekdays. The regular local route runs along this same stretch until the southern end of the 15th street bridge where it turns and runs along the canal and onto Westlake, then getting into the city. The whole route, of course, with many more local stops. One trip takes a total of about 35 minutes forms end to end, and the other takes about 45-50 minutes end to end.

The #48 travels along 85th, then cuts south somewhere and heads into the University District. I’ve never ridden the entire length, but at some point I intend to, maybe later today. It has good patronage I hear, from conversation, from the college crowd.

Which leads me back to the excitement and thought, that when Seattle finally opens their extra few miles of light rail to the University District they’ll finally see massive ridership increases on a scale they’re not yet imagining. I at least hope, because ridership on everything else that has been built out like this (the current line, the commuter rail, etc) has been appalling compared to other Northwestern Cities like Vancouver, San Francisco, and Portland (in that order matter of fact).

But again, back to the #48, this route acts as a great local route into the University District area. In the future, when the light rail opens, it could provide as a major feeder along with another dozen lines straight to the light rail. I know some transit enthusiasts will scream at me for this, but they could even cancel some early morning frequencies and replace them with express routes straight along this route to the light rail. The express route could then provide faster travel along 85th and along the north south of its route into the University District, doubling as a fast light rail feeder, university express, and more. Combine both the express and regular route and the area will have one of the fastest methods of getting into University and into Downtown Seattle.

Anyway, onwards route #48. This deserves riding, so now that I’ve pondered it, I’m off to give it a ride. So between now (12:30 on Sunday) and the next time stamp I’ll have given the bus a ride. 🙂

#48 Narrative, A Sunday Ride during the “lowest ridership” part of the week!  😉

1:00pm, departing on time with my “English Driver” as he referred to himself. We chatted a bit about the route, when it is busy and when it isn’t, week days vs. week ends, and more. As we moved along it was a pretty standard Seattle Route (beautiful along the way), with standard Seattle Streets (deteriorated and bumpy).

We got to the 24th Street stop and boarded 7 guys, all appearing with bandannas and such, carrying on and having a good time. I couldn’t help but ponder if they had gang associations with their “cali” style appearance. They also had a standard American disregard for simple speaking etiquette, but one can never really expect that except in the morning when the working America is headed into or out of work for the day. In the end, it doesn’t matter to me, I’m not offended but do make the observation.

Total Person Trips so far: 7 (I’ll be excluding myself and adding me at the end of the trip)

At 15th Street I note the numerous Swedish and Norwegian Flags along the Safeway. It is very interesting the pride in the Ballard area in regards to these origins. The patrons on the bus however seemed completely unrelated to those origins in a number of ways. Fortunately, their slight annoyance left with their presence as the de-bussed.

This was good since a small girl with a soccer ball, her mother, an elderly gentleman, and one other boarded at the 15th Street Stop. This makes for a much more comfortable ride for them, since these faux gangsters left (I say faux, since they obviously don’t live in poverty, northern Seattle isn’t exactly poor).

Total Person Trips so far: 11

Just a few streets further we have two elderly asian ladies board, with big smiles on their faces. They were speaking a language that I could not identify in any way. It struck me odd, as I can usually identify languages with a fair amount of accuracy. After a few minutes though, I realized what language they were speaking, which struck me as really odd, German! Yes, these two ladies were speaking German!

Total Person Trips: 13

Another man boarded, another man with his mother boarded, and several got off along the next few blocks.

Total Person Trips: 15

We reached Palatine Avenue North and one could see a number commercial establishments, little dives and grocery stores, basically a small town center of sorts. It appears to be a nice area that has at least a half dozen or more decades of history behind it. Again, another one of those “streetcar suburbs” which becomes very appareling with its character and presence. These suburbs always tend to go in stark contrasts, either beautiful and lively, with character or violent, downtrodden, with character and barely scraping by.

Getting into the core of this town center just a bit we boarded another 5 young people and another fella. This got our person trips up to 21.

While boarding one of the individuals, who was handicap and thus takes a minute or two, we boarded another 2 gentleman, which again bumped us up to 23 before we even pulled away from the stop.

We passed more streets; Dayton, Evanston, Fremont, Linden, and more. Along the way we picked up another 5, all younger people. Giving us a wide age range of people on this bus.

The bus finally arrived at Aurora, the major arterial to downtown where the #358 runs frequently (every 10 minutes? not sure how often but it is often). We moved on thru the light at Aurora with a few more boarded while passing another dozen or so higher density residential areas. The Aurora Corridor always kind of trips me out. It’s busy commercial and then quickly goes from moderate density to practically single home density within 4-5 blocks, with very little walkability, or enjoyable walkability along Aurora. However the residential areas are beautiful with sidewalks, small parks, schools and more.

Total Person Trips: 28

We rode further and I noticed another strange bit, the ladies speaking German behind me where also speaking Chinese now. Wow, my mind was being blown away by these two ladies just chatting away. It was really cool to hear them both switching between languages like that.

We arrived at Green Lake via Wallingford, turning onto the street slowly while dozens of people crossed. Another individual boarded the bus at this intersection stop. We then rolled on with the gorgeous lake view and hundreds of beautiful people jogging, walking, and families enjoying the Green Lake and surrounding park area.

The route was easy going along this segment. The trees stood still with no real wind to speak of, except as the bus passed we caused a slight stir. As we headed into the town center area near Green Lake along the eastern side of the lake, the route cuts onto Ravenna. In the median of Ravenna there are more jogging and bicycling on this gorgeous day. Very few cars are out at all, one of the beautiful things about the northwest. When it is nice out, in areas like this, people actually get out and get going within their communities.

We then cut onto 65th and pass underneath Interstate 5, the blight that it is here. Even though it poses all of the problems to a community and neighborhood that an Interstate does, the city and community has done its part to clean up, and keep clean, underneath the Interstate. Making it as appealing and as negligible an impact as possible. Just a few blocks further the town center area of Green Lake, even though divided by the Interstate, continues on into the University District Area. There we board another 2 people.

Total Person Trips: 30

A short ride further and we board another 3 after a turn onto 15th heading south into the University District core. Passing Cowen and 15th we get another person, a let off one person who travelled a whopping 1 stop with us.

The buildings in this part of town are interesting, with an almost European Elegance to them. Interspersed with College Dormitory style apartments that show a slight wear and tear. The route continues on 15th, heading uphill into the area. Another 1 person boards.

Total Person Trips: 35

We arrive at 50th, which gets us about as close to the core of the University District to make a walk around easily done. The bus clear 47th, 45th, and so on. It appears some of the blocks just skip altogether in this part of the city. Another 1 person boards.

While heading down 15th street through the University District I note that the construction of the bus stops is going well. They look nice, open designs, easier to keep clean and unmarked by the mischievous. It doesn’t appear they’ll be completely enclosed, green style stops as is traditional in Seattle like King County Metro has built them in the past.

A bit further on, another rider boards. The sun shines in brightly as we come down to Pacific Avenue. One of the riders that boarded earlier continues, after more than 10 minutes already, to frantically put on lotion. I suspect, considering her light complexion that she’s preparing to be outside for a while. However I keep noticing since she has this frantic gusto about her efforts to get this lotion on. In a way, it’s sort of comical, and even though she doesn’t realize somewhat awkward for her activity. Others are watching her every few moments, her activity triggering an instinctual response to look and see what the frantic action is about!

I just sit there, straight faced as I always do. We pull along, on Pacific Avenue and then across the canal bridge into the Montlake area. While passing one can see the cranes and walls surrounding the future light rail tunnel stop.

As the bus travels along 24th avenue through Montlake, I see a few funny sites. One is a couch, in typical northwest fashion, sitting on the sidewalk with a big sign that has “free” written across it. Further up the way, in the heat of the this sunny day, I see two standard bearing “Goth” kids walking along a sidewalk with big bags of colorful recyclables. It isn’t haha funny, but curious funny, with a little touch of entertaining.

Our current load of passengers slowly starts to trickle away as we move up the hill while still on 24th. We travel thru some extremely rough spots in the road. This bumpiness, another of my frustrations with buses, is frustrating. Flinging the monitor on my laptop forward. The display almost hits its back against the seat wall in front of me. I can’t help but ponder how much nicer this would be if it were light rail, a streetcar, or something on solid, flanged wheels. I’d even suffice to say a nice Mercedes BRT style bus would do exponentially better. But oh well, life will go on, I’ll straighten my display, and I’ll just suffer the bus life with it’s better livability versus the other options (auto-based dependent nooses, I mean lifestyles, for those that may read this and not know what I speak of).

We arrive at Madison, 23rd, and Denny, and a young girl holds her arms out to her sides, as if forming a cross, and rotates her torso. Apparently exercising or doing middle of the sidewalk yoga. Something of the sort, one more funny bit to note.

During these few stops we trickle away a few more riders and gain another 6 over time.

Total Person Trips: 41

As we move further into the core of downtown Seattle, we pass a Church with patrons lined up outside heading inside. We board a few African Americans, taking pride in their church going activities and wearing very stylish proper Sunday attire. Further on we board more youth, a few more elderly, and a loud mouthed mother. She spurts out commands to her child making half the bus look at her. Being she’s a “loud mother” people just look down and ignore her. Not particularly concerned with her or her disruption. Another person boards, we roll on.

To the right, facing west, the city buildings can be seen from about the 40th floor and up. The First and Capitol Hills and the angle we ride upon them, block the view any lower than that. We head thru an African American dominated part of town into another Asian dominated part of town. The divide, in my opinion unfortunate, is clear from one part of town to another. Hopefully the divide continues to decrease over time as it has been. The horrors of Seattle’s past between these two communities, and the Irish and Asian Communities is something to be left in the past.

Riding a long further one yard has the flames of a super hot barbecue alive with the efforts of the cooks. Several in the yard focusing on attaining those tasty morsels.

The route cuts along a S in the road as we draw nearer the end of the route. It makes me wonder, with the ridership on a Sunday like this evenly spaced in this short end of the route equal to that of the long 85th to the University District end. I had thought earlier that this would be a great route that could act as a feeder into the light rail station, and it absolutely can, but this southern end of the route will probably maintain a pretty significant ridership that may or may not feed into the light rail, but instead just in and around the area. It does however serve to some degree as a feeder into the Baker Station Stop of the existing light rail station. This however brings up another thought, “do the bus routes act very much as feeders to the light rail or is the light rail mostly derived from other sources?”

The bus pulls onto Rainer Avenue, where the loud mother and her mother de-bus, a friendly reminder from one passenger asks them, “is this your stroller” under the front seat. To which the mother’s mother replies, “yes, thank you” as they all line up and de-bus. Always nice, that even the noisy, what appears to be uncourteous individuals, can be respectful and polite. Just because they don’t cover the full gamut of what one might think is or isn’t polite, doesn’t mean that individuals don’t have their redeeming qualities and polite aspects.

We arrived, just a few minutes behind the intended arrival. Pulling into the Baker Transit Center stop at 2:08pm. A great ride, interesting sites, beautiful scenery, and a very wide slice of Seattle’s Population. Asian, African American, Philippine, Mexican, and more. Always great to see transit, where the real melting pot of the United States is.

I got off the bus, while some people asked the driver questions about where they were going. I pulled my bike from the bike rack on the front of the bus. Officially, the trip is complete.

Total Person Trips: 41 <- Anyone know the peak person trips per frequency? I’d love to know what the range is.

End Narrative

I walked across the street to the Baker Transit Center Light Rail Station. Up the escalator and along within 2 minutes was my ride back into town… and this is where I leave this blog entry.

Cheers, happy riding!
Transit Sleuth


PS – The geoposition on this blog entry, which is the address for Zeitgeist Coffee (1 of the best in Seattle) isn’t showing up on the Bing Maps properly. It shows like it is in the stupid stadium, it however is clearly in the old town part of Pioneer Square Area! Not cool Bing Maps, not cool.

An Average Ballard Morning…

I snagged this video a week or so ago while waiting for the #18 Express into downtown Seattle. There are a lot of riders that board in Ballard at the main town center Market & Ballard Street Stop.

I really enjoy living in Ballard, with the connectivity it has. But there are other huge benefits too. For those smart enough to realize living near an Interstate is bad, Ballard is awesome. For those that want livability features like groceries nearby, parks and tree lined streets, community centers and community artwork, restaurants and public houses (i.e. pubs/bars/etc), and of course music with a round for all! Ballard is the pick of the litter!

Just wanted to post this short video, as a simple point of reference that Ballard, has got the whole livability thing going on. The roots of this can be seen in the market street core with just a few days of exploration. So if you’re into the transit, car free lifestyle, Ballard should be one of the places on the top of your list. Cheers!

ALT.NET Day #2 Transit

The second day heading to the conference I rode nothing but transit. I did this for a couple reasons:

  • I wanted to leave a little later and wouldn’t have wanted anyone waiting up for me just so I could be lazy and get a ride.
  • Second, I wanted to get a little coding and blog writing done on my way out. On the bus that’s easy (relatively – I still have my bus ride quality complaint).
  • Model On The Bus

    Model On The Bus

    Third, there are super models on the bus sometimes *.

  • Fourth, as the transit sleuth that I am, I kind of wanted to see how the trip would be since there are a number of required transfers to get out as far as the DigiPen Building/Campus is.

Today’s Trip

I started out with the intent to board the #44, transfer to the #542 in the University District area. Then upon arrival in Redmond transfer to the #930, which I suppose is a short hop “Dart” bus. I’m not really sure how these buses work out on the outer regions of the Seattle area, so thought it would be a great learning experience.

However, the minute I was walking around the corner the the Market and Ballard Street Stop, the #44 came rolling by. It stopped, for a longer time than I would usually suspect. Almost like it was teasing me. I almost started running, but I generally won’t do that. The #44 drove off and I was perplexed. Would I make the next #44, should I take the express into town and transfer to something else? Time for some good ole’ Google Maps routing.

I opened up my Android Phone and got the logistics figured out. My new trip had turned into a strange morass of almost completely different buses. Then I realized two things that struck me as funny. The first was that the re-route had me boarding the #17 Express to downtown and transferring to the #256. But then the remainder of the trip was actually on the same two buses; the #542 and #930. Google Maps had actually found a route that leaves, literally 2 minutes later, that got me caught back up with the #542 – hilarious! I’m not sure why it didn’t suggest this trip anyway.

When I switched to the #542 at Yarrow Point/92nd Ave I had a few observations.

  • Interstate Stops suck. They don’t contribute to community, comfortable trips, and in general they’re dehumanizing. The string of faceless traffic just streams by screaming loudly. A conversation is next to impossible to have. It degrades one to peep in different cars attempting to communicate – which is technically impossible in 99.99% of cases. We’re damned to nothing more than apes, meat sandwiches sitting among the greatest dehumanizing creation the world has ever seen – Interstates (or also known as Superhighways, Autobahns, Autostransa, and by other names). These roads were not designed to have people standing in, around, above, or anywhere near them. Absolutely horrible places.
  • The stop times for the #542 are “Arriving at X” and “Departing at Y”. This however isn’t true. The bus arrives and leaves immediately after embarking or debarking passengers. The idea that there is a layover of some sort is ridiculous. My next task is to determine if this is a Google construct or a King Metro construct of information that’s misleading. Considering the difficult to use information that comes from Metro, I’d hedge my bets there, but I’m not ruling out Google for doing something silly.
Anyway, I finally transferred to the #542 and made it out to Redmond. It wasn’t really clear where the #930 stops so I decided to just walk the rest of the way. It took 45 minutes to get out to Redmond, then 45 minutes to walk from the transit center out to the DigiPen Campus Building. Fortunately it wasn’t raining so the walk was nice, but it was a bit long. It’s unfortunate that the connectivity basically ends in that area, but that’s what society gets when it goes auto-centric and not people focused.
Well, off to another day of brain crunching.

Ok, some people might not have seen the ads all over Seattle on the buses, so let me explain. There was an ad with reasons to take transit, one of the reasons was “see/meet a super model”. Now, you may not meet a super model, but there are many beautiful women that ride the bus. Be sure to do them all a favor and not be creepy and hit on em’. That’s not cool.

Day #2 and Day #3 of the Ballard to Seattle Transit Commute

Yesterday I made the #17 at a spot on 7:53am. The driver was awesome, had a great attitude, and just put smiles on the passengers faces as they boarded. Also he worked diligently informing the boarding passengers that the ORCA card reader was busted, and to keep moving. All the while with a big grin, and a jovial retort. My gal and I did notice he was a bit heavy footed on the gas a break. I did notice as he handled the bus, that it was more out of precision and stupid drivers on the road than him being heavy footed.

People in America drive cars horribly, it is that simple. If you think you drive well, you’re most likely wrong. With automobiles we tend to kill each other at a higher rate than most developed nations too, a stat that I’d rather us not have. But I digress.

Today I boarded the #17 Express again. This time the bus was spot on at 7:47am. Unlike day 1 when I mistakenly thought it should arrive at 7:43am, which only made the bus about 6 minutes late on Monday (thanks Jeff, work on your delivery though, you come off as a complete asshole online, but a teddy bear in real life). As soon as we arrived at the turn on Denny into the Belltown area, we hit some sluggish traffic.

At 8:06am we finally pulled into the Belltown 3rd Street bus corridor. On this street things always seem to move along well. Day 3 commute started well, and with that I’m off to the work day.

Day 1 of the Ballard to Seattle Commute

Today I’m 100% back in the transit commute, so I’ll have plenty more to write these days. It is a short commute, from Ballard to downtown Seattle, but a commute none the less.

I get up pretty much the same time I used to when living at 567 John Street, but instead of walking to work I’m riding the bus.

So this is how the commute went for day number one.

Morning Commute

I managed to get out of the door at 7:30am, and headed for the NW Market Ave and Ballard Street Transit Stop.

This stop is great, with the #17, #18, #44, #46, #75, and #81. The #17 and #18 both have express service in the morning which rocks, pretty much the fastest way to get in and out of downtown. Matter of fact, with some of the priority lanes and such, I actually think the #17 and #18 express routes probably beat driving on many days. The #44 and #46 both travel east to the University District, which of course has a host of things that interest. The #81 provides late night service in and out of downtown (such as 3am service, ya know, for those late night outings for a rock show or such). The #75 goes around a big loop through north Seattle all the way over to the Pontiac Bay on Lake Washington, by Sand Point and Warren G. Magnuson Park, and on down into the University District.

The OneBusAway.org site of course has the arrival times for these buses going into Seattle and the University District and the same routes arriving on their way back into Ballard.

Once arriving at the stop the time for the #17 Express’s Arrival flew right by. 7:42am turned into a 7:53 arrival, which put the arrive downtown at 8:09am late, but amazingly fast. The driver pretty much made heavy use of the gas pedal and lucked out on almost every light into town.

For the departure home, I needed to get back in time for the Comcast Cable Guy’s arrival sometime between – ya know, the whole flippin’ afternoon – so I departed at 11:24am. I got down and around to University & 3rd in time for the 11:31am arrival, that ended up being the 11:35am arrival of the #18 north bound to Ballard. The bus had a handicap pickup, which tacked on another 8 minutes overall to the trip, giving me an arrival time into Ballard of 12:09pm. A little late if the Comcast Guy was arriving on time, but that never happens!

Again, I ended up taking a round trip on the #18 back into town to return the keys to the Taylor 28 Apartment Complex. So at 2:14pm I tried to make the trip back into town, but just missed the bus and caught the next one around ~2:30. This time the trip only took about 28 minutes flat. Making it a bit better than the trip out. I returned the keys and headed back to Ballard. Boarding the #18 back and getting a short 29 minute trip. Overall, not a bad day of commuting, but I sure hope that the 12+ minute late #17 Express isn’t an everyday thing.

I’m not sure if anyone from Ballard reads my blog, but it would be interesting to know of others commutes along the Ballard to Seattle Routes of the #17, #18, #28, #15, or any of the others. I’m curious, will the #18 express average better times? Is the #17 Express the best way to go? Should I just leave 10 minutes earlier and get a few more minutes of reading or coding done on the bus en route to downtown on a regular #18 or #17? Is the #17 along Westlake a bit more scenic in the mornings? All questions to be answered.

Until Day 2 or beyond, cheers!