Seattle public transit: you’re a usability nightmare

I waited 20 minutes at the bus stop this morning and apparently missed two of the busses I wanted. Why? Because they weren’t labeled with the route number. One simply said “downtown” and the other “ryerson base”. The first one is ambiguous, many buses go downtown then peel off and go elsewhere instead of to my stop. The second tells the rider nothing — it’s not on the posted sign at the stop or the online app OneBusAway. Fucking ridiculous.

That combined with the confusing “do I pay when I get on or when I get off” and “routes change numbers mid-way through their run” nonsense makes the use of Seattle public transportation challenging for the uninitiated (and non tenacious) and impossible for tourists and visitors.

I’m a huge advocate of public transportation, but the Seattle system has massive usability challenges.

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I'm a gay geek living in Seattle, WA.

2 thoughts on “Seattle public transit: you’re a usability nightmare”

  1. I hope you’re giving feedback to them…

    Is there a way to do that? On Monday, I sent email that the bus driver was on the cell phone when we were boarding and earlier in the week she was reading a paperback book while we boarded.

    She was my driver this morning. She didn’t look at all happy, but she wasn’t on the phone or reading either. :-)

    Sorry for your frustrations!


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