I’ve already posted this as a comment at Seattle Transit Blog, but it was fun to make so I thought I’d share here as well.
My commute is less than 3 miles long. The 2x would take me directly from my work to my home, but is infrequent, packed, and slow. Here is my actual commute, in the form of a pseudo-BASIC program, which will almost always get me home faster.
1 hop on the 11, 15, 18, 15X, or 18X 2 if either of the X’s, transfer at Denny to 15, 18, 1, 2, 8, or 13 3 if 1, 15, 18, or 8 get off at Seattle Center and walk to the Met 4 transfer to 2, 2X, or 13 5 else if 15 or 18 get off at Seattle Center and walk to the Met, GOTO #4 6 else if 11, hop off near 3rd and Pine and walk to the bus stop there 7 transfer to 1, 2, 2X, 3, 4, or 13 8 if 1, get off at Seattle Center and walk to the Met, GOTO #4 9 else if 4, ride to what used to be Blockbuster, walk home 10 else if 3, ride to Starbucks at the top of the hill, walk a bit further home 11 else, ride home 12 end
This took me a few months of commuting to figure out, and I have all of the bugs worked out. But what if I needed to go somewhere other than home? I’d have to take their version of an inefficient “one seat” route – if one even exists. Why is our bus system this way? Because bus planners probably think we all value a one-seat ride. But one-seat rides make for terribly inefficient, complicated systems that doesn’t serve anyone well except commuters (and even then, only if you consider “serve well” to mean a one-seat ride).
Using a transfer-based bus system is not only more efficient, but easier to understand. It would be something like: I take the 1st Ave line to the Counterbalance line. Done. Not only that, but the 1st Ave line could be a very frequent trunk line.