The Washingon Post rode with this Denver bus driver on a route through the mouth of hell

Originally published at: The Washingon Post rode with this Denver bus driver on a route through the mouth of hell | Boing Boing

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The whole article is worth a read, even though it’s depressing. Denver, unfortunately, is not unique in this regard; a lot of American mass transit systems are this way. Underfunded or non-existent social services combined with criminalisation of social problems and increasing privatisation of formerly public spaces means that mentally ill people and drug addicts end up riding on the bus or subway all day and making life miserable for the drivers and for passengers who are just trying to get to work or school (see also public libraries. which could be the subject of a similar day-in-the-life article).

We could have nice things like clean, safe, frequent mass transit in the U.S. but there are powerful people and institutions heavily invested in making sure of the opposite.


Yikes. That is a bleak article. The US is very much an empire in decline; the cracks are getting too big to ignore.


The number 15 East Colfax bus has been notorious for decades. I remember having to take it to school during the school bus strike in the early 80’s. I also worked part time during high school (Go East High Angels!) at a little shop on Colfax and Monaco and would transfer from the 105 at Havana St onto the 15L in the wee hours of the morning every Saturday - just about the same time all the bars were letting out. THAT was interesting times!

As an 80’s latchkey kid, if I couldn’t get to where I was going on my bike, my RTD bus pass was my ticket to freedom. I knew the system like the back of my hand.


I haven’t lived in Denver for 30 years. When I read the headline my first thought was “#15 on Colfax, right?”


A lot of Denver’s homeless have been intenionally pushed into the Colfax corridor. it is the last spot in Denver to see gentrification, and the neighborhoods along Colfax have had very little political power for years and years. This is not an accident - those neighborhoods were primarliy minority. Meanwhile, three blocks north or south of Colfax everything in the poorer neighborhoods is being scraped and “redeveloped” and sold to young white people for 750,000$

Sadly, I can’t read the article because it is paywalled.


Just imagine, if Gandalf had ridden Colfax instead of Shadowfax, he’d have arrived at Helm’s Deep, covered in bruises and spit, smelling of piss, and late.


In reflecting about my own experience growing up and what I’d want for my kids I was thinking of this. As a parent, suburbs are great safe spaces. I don’t experience the city the same way I did before kids, anyway. But as a young adult and teenager, you’re restricted by your bike or your parent’s willingness to drive you to get anywhere. As a parent, you have to take them. In a decently sized city with safe public transit kids have a lot more autonomy.


No need to read. I’m headed to work right now. I’ll be driving a transit bus around portland Oregon until midnight. Might check it out on my break, to compare to my day


All the best :+1: :bus:


It might work to open the link in a new private (Firefox) or Incognito (Chrome) window.

I subscribe and can gift articles.

Here it is, for free.


Man that was bleak. As with other here, I used to ride that bus fairly regularly. It was never shiny, but it wasn’t this bad.


Add blocker, i read it and i am in the uk, did not mention a pay a pay wall.

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O can i pick your brains, i am off to Portland in July, on holiday from the uk, we are doing SF and there, is there any where we should really avoid? i know we should stay away from the tenderloin in SF.


The sign isn’t for work. It’s a prop for his pick-up line. He might also use it as an obstacle if the girl gets up and tries to go to another seat.

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Portland isn’t really dangerous, but it’s an odd choice of destination if you’re coming from the other side of the world—it’s just not that special

Don’t wander around downtown, you might like the Hawthorne neighborhood better, or the Sandy River in Troutdale, or maybe Astoria or Seaside on the coast … really the farther you get from Portland the more forests and stuff there are, people don’t come to Oregon to see a city


The 15 is my local bus, and while I’m not surprised by the elements of this article, it’s not representative of an average bus ride, just the lowlights from an entire day. Mind, I also have the privilege of being a large white man and most of my rides have been in Aurora rather than Denver, but still, it’s not what most people will see (well, aside from the open cans of beer, that’s something I see far too much).


Thanks, we will be doing some hiking up there, and felt 12 nights in sanfran was too long, also the no sale tax was factor.


they ( portland ) do have a city rose garden that’s probably pretty nice right about now.