Chat GPT Has Some Answers for Transit Riders

I asked a few things, and Chat GPT had some interesting answers.

QuestionWhat are some good foods to bring on the bus when commuting?

GPT Answer “When choosing foods to bring on the bus while commuting, it’s important to consider how the food will hold up during your trip. Here are some good options:

  • Portable, non-perishable snacks like trail mix, granola bars, or dried fruit
  • A sandwich or wrap made with hearty bread or a tortilla to prevent it from getting soggy
  • Fresh fruits or vegetables that are easy to eat and won’t make a mess, such as apples, carrots, or cherry tomatoes
  • Single-serving packages of crackers or chips
  • Bottled water or a reusable water bottle

It’s also a good idea to avoid foods that are messy, smelly, or likely to spoil quickly, as they may not be well-received by your fellow passengers.”

QuestionOn cold weather days, with ice and snow, what are considerations to take into account when taking the bus?

GPT Answer “When taking the bus in cold weather, there are a few important things to consider to stay safe and comfortable:

  • Dress in layers to stay warm. Wear a base layer of moisture-wicking fabric to keep your skin dry, a middle layer for insulation, and a outer layer that is wind- and water-resistant.
  • Wear warm socks, gloves, and a hat to protect your extremities from the cold.
  • Keep your phone, keys, and other important items in a bag or pocket that is easy to access while wearing gloves.
  • Watch for ice and snow on the ground, and take extra care when walking to and from the bus stop.
  • Be prepared for delays, as inclement weather can sometimes cause buses to run behind schedule.
  • If you’re feeling cold on the bus, try to move to a seat near the front where the heat may be stronger.”

QuestionWhy are light rail transit options superior to bus transit options?

GPT Answers “Light rail transit (LRT) is generally considered to be superior to bus transit for a few reasons. First, LRT vehicles are larger and can carry more passengers, which can make them more efficient for transporting large numbers of people. Second, LRT systems are typically more reliable and have a fixed route, which can make them more convenient for passengers. Third, LRT systems are often more energy-efficient and have lower operating costs than bus systems. Finally, LRT systems can have a positive impact on the surrounding community, as they can encourage transit-oriented development and help to reduce traffic congestion.”

QuestionWhy are bus transit options superior to light rail transit options?

GPT Answer “While light rail transit (LRT) has many benefits, there are also some situations where bus transit may be superior. One advantage of buses is that they are more flexible and can easily be rerouted to serve changing travel patterns or unexpected events. Buses are also generally less expensive to implement and operate than LRT systems, which can make them a more cost-effective option for some communities. Additionally, buses can access areas that may be difficult for LRT vehicles to reach, such as narrow streets or steep hills. Finally, buses are often more accessible than LRT systems, as they can be equipped with ramps or lifts for passengers who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids.”

Our entire transit questions and arguments will be replaced by the machines in the very near future!

Everett Transit Maps as of 2022

Systems map page is here. Images of the maps are below, click for larger image. For even larger images, check out the PDF document below the images.

Traveling Trackball, AKA “GSD Better!”

Recently I purchased a trackball and a hardshell case for that trackball, which I then wrote a review of over yonder “A Review of the MX Ergo Advanced Wireless“. The hardshell case primarily because I displace a lot during the course of the day. Whether traveling far away from home or just within the city in which I live (i.e. Seattle these days, but in the past Portland, Memphis, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Krakow, etc) it’s been very important to have computer gear that holds up well to these movements during the day. Here is a video that details the trackball, hardshell case, and some of the different places I’ve used it since purchase. Below the video I elaborate on two of the scenarios I use these devices.

Trackball Travels

Coffee Shop Cycling Displacements

Often during the day, at least a non-pandemic day, I work coffee shop to coffee shop. Meeting other coders, working alone, or having meetings in person in coffee shops. As I move from coffee shop to coffee shop, sometimes I use transit (bus/train/tram/streetcar/etc) but more often I bike from shop to shop. During these displacements computer gear can get banged up heavily. That’s where the hardshell case for the trackball is hugely important!

Here are some detailed “product” shots from Amazon/co2CREA, and the link itself to the product if you want to pick it up.

While cycling all sorts of things can happen. I could biff it (i.e. *wreck*) on my pack (i.e. messenger bag, or backpack) and things are safe from direct impact in there, but can still be squished. I could toss my bag down or set it somewhere and it gets kicked, hit, or falls. The number of impact scenarios are numerous. But it doesn’t stop there while out cycling, since most of my packs are waterproof it’s nice to have individual elements packed in water resistant packages for when I pull them out of their pack. You get the idea, there’s a lot of potential oops scenarios, and for maximum gear lifespan it’s best to keep them safe.

Railroading Baggage Pannier Packing Style

Alright, using panniers for bike and train combo trips is another one of my specialties. I take a lot of train trips. Sometimes I ride coach, sometimes I get a roomette or bedroom, and on some trains I may end up standing. Whatever the case, traveling means luggage of some sort and luggage gets banged around. Again I’ve got my packs, but also in this scenario I routinely use my panniers. The combination is great as the survivability of devices – Apple Laptop + hardshell case for pointing device plus tough packs with panniers holding the remainder of things means surviving insane things like train wrecks (i.e. my experience of the train wreck of 501), or just regular travel trips like my trips to San Francisco for QCon, or my trip to Olympia, Washington to speak at a users’ group.

In summary, if you want to enjoy the bikey life combo powered with the rail life and keep your gear intact, it’s a good idea to pick up a hardshell case.

Hawthorne Bus Island Fix

Where a bus island needs to be on Hawthorne, desperately.

Hop Fastpass, Getting to the Party

Even though Trimet is seriously late to the party (by almost a decade or more in some ways) with the Hop Fastness, let’s talk about why this is actually a good thing for the area. First, the issues with this form of payment.

Almost every major city in on the west coast has had a card payment system of this type for years now. They however didn’t just magically turn their payment systems on and install things to swipe them on and have them work. Oh no, there are long and storied tales of corruption, delay, and massive failure before they all became successful.

Here’s a few things to read up on ORCA, that’ll give you the lowdown on the many issues the Seattle area transit services fought through.

…and for some serious stories, a little searching and you’ll find a whole host of catastrophe associated with Clipper Card implementation in the Seattle area.

Even Yelp has threads on the matter of Clipper Cards!!!

Here’s the Wikipedia article on Clipper Card.

Los Angeles also has a card, but that’s enough of that. You get the idea, simply put there has been massive issues implementing and getting these interagency cards enabled. Fortunately they’ve done all the research and fought the battles. So hopefully when the Hop Fastpass is put into service Trimet will have a well oiled service offering come online. If Trimet does run into a few minor bumps, just keep in mind the colossal issues the other agencies on the west coast have had!

When I read the recent post on the Trimet Blog I do get excited about the simplified approach to paying fare. In all seriousness, this is the ideal way to handle payments. The card just keeps a certain amount on it, there’s a daily limit, and it just automatically rings up some more funds if it runs low. That way you don’t have to ever fiddle with transfers, reloading cards, fiddling with a phone that has a dying battery, or carrying around a paper ticket that expires! This can really save everybody a ton of time.

There are many other things that this card will enable, and I am looking forward to it. May my sleuthing become even easier and everybody’s fare paying become seamless! 😉