18 February 2016

How one little problem can cause a giant one

So there I was on the bus heading to work and my bus happened to be in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.

When it breaks down.

At first it was just moving slowly - like 5 mph slowly - and then it just grinds to a halt between stops. Of course you know what comes next, right? Everything behind my bus has nowhere to go so it's a massive chain reaction.

I was at the front of the bus so could hear the supervisors and mechanics on the radio talking to the driver. At first they were making suggestions for how to troubleshoot this problem but when the bus didn't move they quickly switched to telling all the other northbound buses to stop before they entered the tunnel and they told all the northbound Link Light Rail trains to stop and let everyone off before they entered the tunnel. Every. Single. One.

Because there was another bus behind mine Metro couldn't drive a wrecker in the tunnel from behind so they had to enter at the north end and back it down to our bus. It was cool! The problem with our bus was electrical and so in addition to the engine and transmission not working properly the interior lights were off. Then way up ahead you could see the flashing lights of the wrecker.