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Sketched Jan. 5, 2016

My bus was full again this morning. On the bright side, standing in the front afforded me a great view as we travelled southbound on Interstate 5. When we approached the Ship Canal Bridge, I quickly scribbled the traffic and the skyline, including the Insignia towers and the Space Needle. It’s a skyline in constant change as more skycrapers are being built.

Following yesterday’s post, a number of commuters emailed me or left comments on my Facebook Page. Thank you all for sharing your stories!

The most troubling response came from someone who plans to leave town to avoid commuter hell. Pamela Honegger said her travel time used to be 50 minutes just a year ago, but now it takes her 90 minutes in the morning and two hours in the afternoon to go from Kent to downtown Seattle. “My hometown disgusts me now. I’m getting out,” she wrote.

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Erin Birkenkopf’s commute time from Mukilteo to downtown Seattle has also increased dramatically in recent times, from one hour to an hour and a half. But she copes with it by putting on headphones tuned to a white noise generator and sleeping for “90 blissful minutes.” “I love my morning naps,” she said.

Matthew Miller said he could sympathize with me. His Metro route 120 from West Seattle is standing-room only every morning and every afternoon, he wrote.

Mary Heusner, who commutes daily from Northeast Seattle to the University of Washington, said the buses are often filled beyond capacity. “Students get on the buses to go onto campus and easily 50-75 students are waiting to take a one-stop ride up the hill from their apartments near University Village.” She also added that civility has diminished as ridership has gone up. “Riders have to be told to move for the disabled, elderly, and parents with children. Sometimes they won’t even do it, they don’t understand.”

Heusner had positive words for Metro, though. “I still think that Metro does a great job,” she wrote. “But the city *is* more crowded and we’re feeling it.”