These are step-by-step tips on zones, turns, wire and a lot more, with personal commentary by yours truly! We do one full loop. All sections assume you have a 60-foot trolley and are driving the connected 7/49 at night. More information in Pt I; this is me, not Metro or Training. They aren't rules, but suggestions and recommendations that have worked for me for twelve-plus years.
- Pt I: 7S, from Jackson to Henderson
- Pt II: 7N, from Henderson to Pike (includes Third Avenue NB)
- Pt III: 49N, from Pike to 47th
- Pt IV: 49S, from 47th to Jackson (includes Third Avenue SB)
The 7 isn't hard because of driving. It's challenging because of its clientele.
- Tips on Fights
- Tips on Sleepers
- For New Bus Drivers: Thoughts, Tips, and Stories – A little bit about everything– race, homelessness, defusing people, tone of voice and more.
Take care of your body. It's easier than you think, and your mind will feel benefit.
- A Love Letter for My Colleagues: Exercises and Stretches for Operators
- What I've Learned From Other Bus Drivers (covers health, driving maneuvers, passenger interaction and more)
Let's be our best selves, and learn from the best in each other. Some thoughts on what I love about my sisters and brothers behind the wheel.
Dealing with Fear
We're living in a paranoiac's dream right now, and the newsmedia is having a field day playing with our anxieties. Here's a reality check while you're on the job or preparing for going out there.
I'll end by repeating what I write at the end of Driving, Pt IV, above:
And now it's time to go to Rainier. Maybe you're excited; maybe you're nervous. That's okay. Maybe you're tired. Maybe you just got yelled at.
But you've made it through this before.
And because of that, you'll make it through this time too. My trainer Gil told us more than once: This system exists to serve, specifically, the very old people, the students, the poor, the homeless, the disabled people. They are your main customers and you should be grateful to them, because they are why you have a job.
Look at all those faces who didn't yell at you, who are so easy to forget. The hundreds who were nice, or just neutral. The maids, moms, babysitters, gas station attendants, secretaries, orderlies, those who are lost and those who are found... The people with hidden lives, unknown lives, who live with as much richness, madness, peace, uncertainty, dreaming, and questioning as you do. Right now, you are here for them. These are your people.
Let's take them down the street.