Hello STB readers. I realized that I have been posting on Page 2 for a couple months now, but I have never formally introduced myself to the STB community, so in this post I will talk a bit about myself. As some of you may have noticed, I usually post something every Thursday. This will be my last regular post on STB, and I will explain why in this post.
I first moved to Seattle in 2002 when I was really little (I’m 16 now). For many years my family did not have a car, so we depended on public transportation a lot. Because of that, I pretty much memorized the entire bus system in Seattle, at least within the city limits. I also payed a lot of attention to the type of bus I was on. I really liked the Breda trolleys because they gave a kind of “retro” feel that none of the other buses could give (except the MAN trolleys, but those were gone by 2007). I also liked the 30ft Gillig buses because those were extremely rare within the city limits. If there was anything I hated about the bus system then, it was the through-route system and the Ride Free Area, the latter of which is gone now. Though it may have been nice to not have to pay to take a bus within Downtown, it was awful to sometimes have to pay as I left the bus, especially because there were many people paying at the same time while a whole bunch of people were getting on the bus. I still hate the through-route system, though I understand Metro uses it to save service hours and layover space.
During my 10 years in Seattle I had always lived in Wallingford. At first I lived in an apartment between Stone Way and Aurora (which I can’t even remember), but later on I moved to a house east of Stone Way. The buses I took the most were the 16, 26, 30/31, 44, 48, 49, 70, 71/72/73, 15, and 8. When Link opened I took it to places in Southeast Seattle such as Kubota Gardens.
I have always been a big fan of nature. My favorite parks in Seattle were Carkeek Park and Kubota Gardens. I do not like crowded places, so I never really spent much time in Downtown unless I needed to. My favorite neighborhoods in Seattle are Wallingford, Fremont, and Capitol Hill because they have a lot of trees. My favorite part of the entire city is the path in Fremont along the canal. I used to ride my bike there a lot. I spent a lot of time in Wallingford, Fremont, Ballard, Capitol Hill, and U District.
As a southeast asian, I really like all kinds of asian food. This meant I had to go to the International District to buy ingredients. Though it may have been easy to get from Wallingford to the ID, it was more difficult to get back home due to the infrequent buses going to Wallingford. In fact, I found it more convenient to take the 71/72/73 expresses and transfer to the 30/31 in U District rather than to take the 7/14/36 and wait for the 16 or 26 on 3rd Ave. Now it should be easier with the frequent 62.
I moved to Chicago in 2012 (right before RapidRide C and D opened), and I soon memorized the bus system there too. I kind of forgot about the Seattle system. I live in Hyde Park, so I usually take the Metra train to Downtown Chicago. I find it convenient, but the train runs way too infrequently (hourly). I would say that Chicago has the most grid-like bus system I have ever seen, and I have found it very convenient. At some point I started writing a document full of suggestions on how to improve the Chicago public transportation system. I never really shared it with anyone other than a couple friends, but I still edit it nowadays. If you guys want me to post my Chicago suggestions on Page 2, tell me so in the comments.
In 2016 I visited Seattle. I was shocked by how much the bus system had changed. I looked online and noticed that there were 3 major restructures during the 4 years I was gone: September 2012, September 2014, and March 2016. I stayed near the U District during that visit, and I noticed that the only route in North Seattle that did not change in terms of routing was the 44 (now I realize there are a couple routes really far north that haven’t changed, but I never really pay attention to those). As much as I miss some of the old routes, I think the transit system in Seattle has improved a lot since the time I was there. I also like the development in South Lake Union; it used to be a whole bunch of random warehouses, but now there are nice buildings in that area.
I then started writing an improvement suggestions document for Seattle. I started sharing my ideas on Page 2 in March 2017. Since then, I have also modified my document according to what people comment on my posts. I have not found anything similar to STB for Chicago, but if such a thing exists, please tell me.
I will probably take a break from posting on Page 2 now since I have basically written every single idea I had on my Seattle document, and now I want to start posting a bit about Chicago. I might come back every now and then with a post. If there is no such thing as a Chicago Transit Blog, please give me advice on how I can start one.