Yesterday Portland Transport linked to a re:place Magazine article on becoming an expert transit rider. This got me thinking about some of the things I’ve learned as a TriMet trouper through the years
- Don’t take the MAX to and from events at the Rose Garden or PGE Park if there is a bus option. The trains are ridiculously packed just before and just after games. The Rose Garden is surrounded by transit. Take a bus back downtown. They’re often faster, and almost always less crowded.
- In a similar vein, if you’re heading up to NW Portland take the 17 and 15; they are faster than the street car.
- If your bus goes by a high school or middle school, avoid riding when school is getting out. The kids are obnoxious and loud. I don’t mean this in a “you kids get off my lawn” sense. The kids really are obnoxious and loud and rude. Teenagers are, naturally, beginning to learn social etiquette and boundaries. They have a lot to learn. And your bus trip will be unpleasant if they are on the bus in large numbers.
- Take advantage of routes that overlap or run parallel to other routes. If your regular 4 Fessenden isn’t coming for 10 minutes and you spot a 44, will that take you close enough to where you’re going? If you normally take the 14 to Hawthorne and 12th, it will serve you well to know the 10 Harold stops there too before branching off through Ladd’s Addition. If you’re heading to close-in SE Portland on the 14 or 15, if one doesn’t come you might try taking the other; Belmont and Hawthorne are only separated by a few blocks.
- Take advantage of the diagonal lines, such as the 12 Sandy and 14 Hawthorne/Foster, which can often get you to the same cross streets as other lines that stay on the normal grid.
- Staying on one bus might take longer, but is often more pleasant and reliable than transfers. I used to travel from 65th and SE Woodstock to near 28th and East Burnside. I could have bused (or walked) to 39th to take the 75 down 39th, then transferred to the 20 (or walked) down Burnside, or I could take the 19 Woodstock downtown and stay on it as it became the 19 Glisan. The latter option was usually more pleasant, especially if the weather sucked
- Use 238-RIDE and/or all the other Portland transit tools out there.
Anyone else have tips?
Steve R. says
I got one:
Do not, under any circumstance, make eye contact with the nut job sitting up front trying to chat with the driver.
Sunglasses and ear buds may deter some of the nutters, but don’t count on it. Do not smile. Just keep looking out the window.
FYI, Anyone using a cellphone for anything but the most brief of conversations should be shot.
Man I had a day off a couple months ago and took a bus to my friend’s place, and on the way home the bus went by Cleveland HS, and filled up with kids. I was terrified.
Steve R. – I hear ya’. That’s a whole other post: Coping with the nutjobs on transit.
Lucas – I used to ride the 10 bus by Cleveland too; yup, it can be traumatic! I always longed for summer when I rode that line.
Thanks for the tips.
Anyone have any ideas for public transit from Downtown Vancouver to PGE Park and back again?
Matt – Hmm, I have to admit one local transit topic I know nothing about is CTran.
Most common exchange overheard from cell phone users on the Max:
“Yeah, I’m on the Max.”
Matt – One piece of transit advice, move to Portland. Vancovuer will not do if you regularly have to travel to PDX. 🙂
The multiple bus practice is key to getting the best performance out of TriMet. I often can beat any auto driver on a course of errands any day using the bus system. Gotta love the transit.