Friday, February 27, 2009

A little push

You never know who you'll meet on the Seattle Metro.

Last night, I was riding the bus home from work when we stopped for a substantially longer pause than the normal red light. I didn't think about it until the friendly, older-looking driver got out of his seat and walked down the aisle to announce that there was an accident ahead and we'd have to wait for a push truck.

I wondered what a push truck was but rationalized that maybe this man was just confused and meant to say 'tow' truck-referring to the cars involved in the accident. In a matter of minutes, however, his adjective was proven correct as a small white truck with flashing yellow lights pulled up behind our bus-not in front where the accident was located.

I always knew that there are Metro buses that run on electricity, but I never considered what might happen if one needed to be rerouted (like in the case of an accident blocking an intersection in Belltown). Sure enough, I heard two men unhooking the cables that connected us to the power lines above the street. I was curious, and the bus was nearly empty, so I moved to the back to watch the action.

For nearly three blocks, our push truck, bumped us along the street. Like a little kid I was bouncing around in the back of the bus watching the truck maneuver us around corners and up slight inclines. Once we were back on our normal route, the bus stopped and the men got out to hook us back up. They must have been entertained by my interest in their career because one wrote me an 'I love you' message on the back window (see photo).

The Metro just moved right along like nothing had happened and amazingly no one on that bus seemed to care that we'd just been pushed like a train car in the middle of downtown Seattle. Maybe it was late, but I was really interested in this process so I moved back to the front to inquire.

Laury Minard, 82, has been driving Seattle Metro buses for 24 years (I googled him after I found out his dedication to Seattle Metro). He just happened to be my driver and was willing to entertain my questions about Roy (our push truck technician), the push truck process, and his experience as a driver. Sure, it was a short conversation but here is my favorite part:

Laury- "They roll pretty easy."
Me (shocked)- "Yes, but it's a bus! We're so much heavier than that truck!"
Laury- "Well, you and I couldn't get out and push."

We chatted for another stop or two about his career with Seattle Metro and how neat it is to meet new people on the bus.

It sure is, Laury, thanks for the great commute!


Anonymous said...

I can just picture you giggling as you bumped around in the back of the bus :) What fun. Just shows you that you can learn from almost all experiences.


Lara Kretler said...

This is the best story! Way to take a negative (delay in your commute) and make it a positive. This is why we love Sarah. :)