Ask a Bus Driver

The following is from TRU’s awesome newsletter, the Transit Reader.  Do you have a question only a bus driver can answer?  Send it to, and maybe it’ll be featured in an upcoming issue!  Also, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like some paper copies of the Transit Reader to hand out to fellow riders on your bus. Email or call 206-651-4282.

By Sam Smith

Hello Metro riders! My name is Sam Smith, and I’ve been a Metro driver since early 2013. I hear all sorts of questions from passengers, friends, and fellow TRU members on a range of topics related to my job. This column is going to be dedicated to answering some of those questions. Anything you want to know – Why do the poles come off the wires so often? Where do you use the bathroom? Where do you pick up the bus? – just ask! Send questions to

Because this is my first column and I don’t have any questions, I’m going to answer a question that I have heard many variations on:  Why did the driver not stop for me?

Continue reading

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County Council Increases Funding for Reduced Fare Tickets

Success! On Monday, November 10, the King County Council responded to pressure from TRU and a score of human service organizations whose members or clients rely on the underfunded Reduced Fare Bus Ticket program for their basic transportation needs.

The council unanimously passed legislation sponsored by Councilmembers Dave Upthegrove and Larry Gossett, increasing funding for this program by around 33% in 2015 and subsequent years. You can read Ordinance 2014-0445 here. Some of this new funding will merely compensate for the planned March 2015 fare increase, but most of it will translate to a real gain in the number of tickets available.

Thanks to everyone who joined in this effort!  Our united voices got the job done.

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We Won! Now, it’s time to push for progressive transit funding

Seattle Transportation Proposition 1 is passing by a wide margin, with nearly 60% in favor! For the first time in years, Seattle will be able to add significant bus service.  This is a victory, but our work is far from done. After years of increasing ridership and service cuts, not to mention increasing fares, Prop 1 is necessary but not enough. Seattle voters have shown our willingness to swallow more regressive taxes to fund our basic infrastructure. Now it’s time for businesses to contribute to the transit system that gets their workers to work and allows the wheels of commerce to turn.

Please use the form below to email City Councilmembers urging them to pass the progressive transit funding measures proposed earlier this year by Councilmembers Sawant and Licata: an Employee Hours Tax on business and a commercial parking fee increase. This revenue can be used to expand Night Owl Service and make much-needed capital improvements to our transit system.  Feel free to edit and personalize the following letter as you wish:

Petition for Progressive Transit Funding

Dear Councilmembers:



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Halloween Action for Transit!

Join Transit Riders and Drivers for a Halloween picket to say No Bus Cuts, No Fare Hikes, and No Labor Concessions!

Speakout Flyer

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The new Transit Reader is out!

The latest issue of the Transit Reader, TRU’s official newsletter, is out! Can you distribute copies on your buses or leave some at your neighborhood coffee shops or library branch? Come out to the march on 10/21 or another event to pick up a stack, or email & we’ll figure out how to get some to you.


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March & Rally for Transit and an Affordable Seattle!

On Tuesday, October 21, join TRU for a Prop 1 Get-Out-The-Vote March in downtown Seattle. Meet at 4:00 PM at Westlake Park. We’ll march in a loop around the 3rd Ave corridor and be back at Westlake Park by 5:15 in time for a rally:

RALLY for an Affordable Seattle
Speakers and music start at 5:30 PM
Free Community Meal at 7:00 PM
Overnight sleep-out, mats and blankets provided
Breakfast at 7:00 PM, followed by a march to the Governing Board meeting of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County. Continue reading

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A Sound Transit Low Income Fare? Take Action!

Sound Transit is considering following Metro’s lead in offering a reduced fare for low income riders.  They are considering several options.  Please submit public comment through October 23 and attend their Open House on October 16 and Public Hearing on October 29.  

The Transit Riders Union is pleased that Sound Transit is considering a lower fare for its low income riders. This will make public transit more accessible to thousands of riders. However, we do not believe that this program should be paid for by raising fares for other riders. Continue reading

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