chris/CO149 (co149) wrote,

Bus report--another bad bus day for Metro

Saturday Combo 10
10/3VT coach 4142. Squealing brakes. Those should have been fixed by now, guys

3/4VT coach 4131. Well, the brakes didn't squeal at least. Unfortunately on my first trip down from Queen Anne the compressor relay fritzed. So the air compressor stopped working. So, I ran out of air. Luckily the warning buzzer starts up well before the point where the brakes lock up. But I'm left stuck in traffic on Taylor Ave N, just north of Valley St, heading southbound.

I call for help and direct traffic for a while. A supervisor shows up, says "It's not safe to drive this bus!" (uh huh) and helps direct traffic until a mechanic shows up. Two police cars and one parking enforcement cushman drive by. They wave and smile and keep going.

The mechanic jiggles the relay and says that maybe it's fixed, but keep an eye on it. He doesn't carry spares of that part.

By this time, I'm too late to do anything about my second Madrona trip, So i deadhead back downtown and turn around at the #70 terminal at 3 S/S Main St. I head north for Queen Anne again, only about 4 minutes late. And closely followed by a number 4 bus whom I think should be in front of me.

(This was a bad day for 3/4 in general. I guess the switch at Queen Anne Ave N/Boston St was bad for a long time. I had no trouble, but 3/4 buses were getting all clumped up and deadheading around trying to get unclumped. Clumping is common during the week where service runs 7-10 minutes apart and the buses are always overloaded even then. But much rarer on Saturdays with 15-minute service and more reasonable loads. Did I mention the other broken bus at 5 N/Roy St? And the supervisor had just come from helping out at a bus with a passenger in diabetic shock just a few blocks away. Yeesh!)

Anyway. I'm heading for my Queen Anne terminal when the damned relay cuts out. I pull over and stop, put my remaining passenger on that #4 behind me and pull my poles. I reboot the bus a couple of times, and the relay unsticks. I call the control center to recommend my relief pull out with a new coach, which happens. Sort of. More on that in a minute.

I go to the QA terminal, then back out to Madrona, then head back in. I think I'm the only 3/4 running on time. I get a call saying that my relief will wait for me at 3/Union to collect my passengers.

At 12/E Jefferson, I see my air pressure waning again and stop before the buzzer hits. I explain to the passengers that I'm running out of air, and I won't be able to stop going down First Hill unless I stop here and see if I can get the compressor going again. This is a little white lie, but it flies. I call the control center, and start recycling the coach to see if I can clear it. Yes, I do, and I proceed. Control center finally gets back to me at about 3/Cherry, not sure which 3-number-4 I am, the VT or the Relief run.

I'm running late, and the relief driver doesn't wait at 3/Union for me. Oops. The coordinator catches him, though, and he waits for me at 3/Virginia. I transfer passengers and head back to the base. Traffic wasn't too bad considering the Seahawks game.

40 minutes overtime.

3/4 Route Map

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