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Making a case for riding the bus

KIRO Radio host Andrew Walsh found that as a regular bus rider he had time to read all of the paper before reaching is stop, including his oft-skipped section, sports. Eventually Andrew was so in-the-know about the Mariners he became a die-hard fan. ( Photo/Alyssa Kleven)

Andrew Walsh used to ride the bus every day, and the KIRO Radio host still would but it just doesn’t work with his schedule.

After a bus driver was shot Monday morning, and cops had to turn their guns on a suspect, bus riding – albeit under extreme circumstances – found itself under harsh criticism once again.

In spite of the haters, Andrew contends that he would keep riding the bus if he could.

“I know people think Seattle buses, or any city buses, are going to be filled with a bunch of wackos. I really enjoy riding the bus. I’m not going to say you’re not going to […] see some colorful people on the bus,” added Andrew.

He credits riding King Count Metro Transit with his love of baseball. Before this daily commute to work, he had little to no interest in baseball – or any sport for that matter. But his commute gave him enough time to read The Seattle Times cover to cover every morning. With five minutes left in his ride nearly every time, he’d flip to the last section – the sports section.

By the time baseball season rolled around that year, Andrew was invested in the trades and acquisitions – and all the insider knowledge he could get on the Seattle Mariners.

Still, co-host Mark Rahner called Andrew’s bus riding a “social experiment” and called him a “bus anthropologist” for riding the bus when he didn’t really have to – but Andrew reaffirms he appreciates his time with the paper, and his time not spent driving or parking.

“We’re a one-car family. When you live in the city, you have to deal with things like parking,” Andrew said. “Paying for parking everyday would have been twice as much as paying for the bus ride.”

Either way, bus riders may find themselves agreeing with Andrew. Despite the shooting Monday, it’s not going to deter them from commuting via public transportation. And for the record, while Andrew doesn’t commute by bus every day, just last week he took an express bus from Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to Columbia City – and it took him just as long as a cab ride. He saved a little money too.

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