An Open Letter to the 48 Bus

Dear 48 Bus,

Let me start this by telling you that despite all your flaws, you’re a pretty cool bus. You’re the longest route in the whole Metro system–some even call you the “Tiger Woods of the system–a long drive with a short putt to the beach.” Cute! And I know, it must be hard for you, trudging from Loyal Heights to Rainier Beach all day long. I know! But 48, things just aren’t working out between us.

After all you have some flaws. The biggest, of course, is your schedule. Or should I say, schedule? What schedule? Sure, you run every 15 minutes–supposedly. But it’s a total crapshoot as to when you’ll actually come. And that Tiger Woods thing? That’s just when people are being nice. Behind your back, it’s the forty-late. You know it’s true. You run anywhere from five minutes early to over a half hour late, and that kind of unpredictability is just hard to take sometimes. I’m looking for a bus I can depend on, settle down with, you know? The 11 is like that. Why can’t you be more like the 11, patiently waiting outside my house every morning? I know, you come from a different world, but…still.

Then there’s the fact that you’re always crowded and noisy. Okay, I won’t lie, I love that about you, so long as I can find a seat. Sure, I could catch the 43 instead (and admittedly, I do, if it comes first–I’m sorry, I didn’t want you to find out this way), but you bubble with energy, filled with people from across the city speaking a variety of languages. You know how sometimes on an empty, silent bus, you’re practically afraid to turn a page because people will stare you down for making any noise? Not you, 48. You’re always warm and down-to-earth, and I really appreciate that.

Also, the 43 is often one of those old white buses that’s crazy squeaky, and you’re always a shiny green bendy bus. You know how I love the bendy bus.

But today, today was the final straw. First I missed you by second–sure, that was my fault, I’m not blaming you. I texted Mybus, and you were next coming in about fifteen minutes (basically on schedule, except that it was actually the 9am bus running 15 minutes late), so I just walked down a couple of stops. When you finally came, I was thrilled to see you. It’s a little cold still in the mornings, 48 bus, and the other two people at my stop looked chilly too. But then, the unthinkable happened. As I smiled happily and inches toward the curb, did you stop? No. You just zoomed right past, right down Montlake and away from me.

Sure, maybe you were full. I mean, you didn’t look full to me but–okay, this is no time to pick a fight. But 48 bus, I just can’t take it anymore. That really hurt. So you and me–we’re over. It’s just going to be me and the 43 from now on. I know this must hurt, but 48 bus? It’s not you, it’s me. Actually, it’s pretty much just you, but whatever.


P.S. See you at 3pm.

7 Comments so far

  1. jamier (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 3:31 pm


  2. Marilyn (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 4:04 pm

    So true!

  3. King Jumpsuit (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 10:35 pm

    Oh, how I appreciate this post. I too have waited for the 48, pondering how bus schedules can be so meaningless, wondering if there was an important metaphor waiting to be discovered. I have gone so far as to exchange numerous emails with Metro planners regarding the wisdom of having a route that runs from the RBE to wherever in the Ballard hinterlands the 48 ends up. I have watched the full buses pass me by; I have wondered at the triple-48 bus train. And now, in my post-UW life, I have moved to Magnolia, only to discover that Metro has created a 48 doppelganger – two, in fact – in my 24 and 33, which really are the 13*, continuing to and returning from Burien, Highline, and God knows what points south. Metro! My nemesis! Metro! My secret lover! Metro! Light of my life, fire of my commute. My sin, my soul.

  4. seattle notary (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 3:35 pm

    ohh, how i loathe you bus system….

  5. Bus Chick (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 5:31 pm

    I know, I’m late commenting–but then, I’m a regular 48 rider, which means my schedule’s all off kilter. (I think I’ll go comment on three blogs in a row after I finish this.)

    I think I was on the 48 that passed you. Seriously. The worst part is, that bus wasn’t really full (unlike the 48 I was on this morning, on which people resorted to sitting on the laps of fellow riders when standing room ran out); it was just full of folks who don’t understand how to move back. The driver wouldn’t tell them to move, and I was not being a good enough bus citizen to make the suggestion myself. (Hey, even a bus chick can have an off day.) Next time, I will, though. I’ll even save you half my seat.

  6. Evan (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 8:13 am

    I’m jealous. I WISH I could catch one of the seemingly endless stream of 43 buses that pass me each day at montlake while I wait with anticipation for whichever of my two 48-buses-playing-leapfrog arrives first.

    But, alas… I live too far south and I actually need, NEED a 48. I count my blessings I don’t live south of Columbia City or I might have a breakdown!

  7. Jillian (unregistered) on April 23rd, 2007 @ 11:30 am

    Oh yes, our DEAR 48. Sadly, I have been on the bus when the driver has not stopped for those waiting at the bus stop. But in this case, it wasn’t that the bus was full, or even appeared full due to the spectacle of everyone crowding at the front (I so hate that). No, rather, it is because the bus driver was possessed (perhaps by the same devil that had hold of the #2 bus driver in the Bus Chick’s blog). There is a particular driver on the 48 who sometimes just doesn’t feel like stopping for people. Lovely.

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