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It’s International Bus Driver Appreciation Day!

Today, we salute the people who get behind the wheel every day — rain, shine or snow — to move vast numbers of our city’s population around. Every packed bus is a traffic jam removed from the streets, but the whole system depends on the daily work and patience of bus drivers. From Seattle Transit Blog:

Whether you only commute by bus, or run all your everyday errands on transit, we encourage you to show your appreciation through any way you can… Even though it may be “Bus” Driver Appreciation Day, it certainly doesn’t hurt to say a quick thanks to train or streetcar operators if you manage to catch of glimpse of them (as long as you’re not disrupting them in the cab).

Huge numbers of Seattle’s population gets around by transit: 19.5 percent, according to Census data. For comparison, only 11.5 percent of people in Portland use transit. If you want to talk about devastating traffic, imagine if Seattle transit use went down to even Portland numbers. THAT would be beyond gridlock.

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So give big waves and thank yous to bus drivers, whether you’re riding inside or in front of their buses.

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4 responses to “It’s International Bus Driver Appreciation Day!”

  1. Here is an idea I’ve floated before: When a bus driver does a good job of passing you while you’re biking, like I hope I do every day on Eastlake, get that coach number and submit a commendation here. Be sure to describe why you felt the pass was done safely. Hopefully the bus gave you more than 3′ of space and patiently waited until there was enough room to get around you without just stopping in front of you. Letting us know that you appreciate the effort will go a long way to humanizing cyclists amongst the drivers.

    In a lot of cases, especially when we are picking up a lot of passengers, the best thing to do is to *not* pass you and just be patient for a while. Once the cyclist gets far enough ahead, we’ll never catch up if we’re on a busy route. It’s more difficult for you to notice since we’re behind you but if you do, a commendation will reinforce good behavior. Commendations also get posted on the wall at the base for all of us to read and are placed in our permanent file.

    Trust me, if you send in positive reinforcement, it gets noticed by everybody.

    1. Melinda

      I’ve totally done that about drivers on Dexter! And I don’t know if it was just a coincidence or what, but after I sent in a commendation about a driver being particularly thoughtful/nice, I felt like more of the buses that went by were at a safe distance and not cutting in front of me suddenly to get to a stop.

    2. Jeremy

      Eastlake southbound is actually quite nice right now: heavy bicycle traffic has created a line of potholes where the vehicular tires usually run. This forces the vehicles towards the middle of the road, creating a nice buffer between the vehicles and The Door Zone.

  2. pamela hathaway

    i am treated patiently and safely by drivers ALL THE TIME. Most notably at a light where we both turn left from 6th to airport way in the international district. I’m always amazed at how careful they are to give me tons of space and pace themselves to my speed. Wonderful idea to send in commendations. Thank you i WILL DO THAT.

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