There are few things a bus rider can depend on in Georgetown. John Williams is one of them. He’s been driving Route 132 between the Southend and North Seattle since 1991. Give John an address and he’ll give you a bus route. In this land filled with uncovered bus stops, giant puddles, canyon-sized potholes, semis, drawbridges, trains and irritated commuters, patience is necessary. “My attitude determines my altitude,” says John.
John’s advice to a first time rider:
- Research your route before getting on the bus, you can’t always rely on customer service if you get lost; if you do get lost then ask a bus operator.
- Sit in the front, where you can be seen and heard.
- Riding a bike? Make eye contact or notify driver before putting your bike on the rack. When leaving, remind the driver that you are going to retrieve your bike so the operator won’t run you over.
- From every neighborhood, you can get to the Duwamish.
Route 132 changes to Route 24, providing bus service between Highline Community College and Magnolia. That’s a really long route. With delays caused by bridges, trains and semis, John often doesn’t have time for his five minute break at the end of his route. He just keeps on, announcing stops and kindly greeting every single passenger who boards. At the end of the day, John commutes home by bus or Light Rail.
Sitting with John it’s easy to see what makes him so popular: He never stops smiling. He’s informative, personable and eager to help. He exercises the belief that you must treat the rugged street person the same as the man in a business suit.