Roses Are Red, Buses Are…

The Nashville MTA has been undergoing some major changes lately, mostly cosmetic, although that’s still a pretty major undertaking. A new coat of paint still costs money. They’ve renovated the downtown bus depot–and even getting a bus depot back in 2008 was a big thing. Before that the main place to catch buses downtown was a row of shelters stretched out over a couple of blocks and if it rained you might be stuck outside. Anyway the Nashville MTA doesn’t even call itself the Nashville MTA anymore. It’s now We Go which seems kind of presumptuous because lots of people go.

The biggest change though is a set of new buses that are purple. Why purple? I don’t know, but I like it. I also wonder how long they’ll stay purple. Most Nashville buses, as in every city, are basically giant moving billboards. Some are completely covered with a single ad–even the windows. Most of them are advertising a couple of local law firms also known for their cheesy commercials and I’m not including any pictures of those because they’re not paying me to put their ad here, but that’s another story.

 

The inside of the buses are clean and shiny and new, which isn’t surprising. What is surprising are the seats. They’ve replaced the traditional burgundy upholstery with slick blue plastic.

Full frontal.

Full backal.

I’m no style critic but don’t purple and blue clash? Why not make the seats purple too, or maybe a nice contrasting orange? In more practical terms, though, I understand the plastic is less likely to hide stains of questionable provenance than the old carpet, but it also means my ass slides forward about five inches every time the bus judders to a stop. They’ve made all these changes and never thought seat belts might be a good idea.

11 Comments

  1. Red

    I have learned to dislike upholstery. Don’t get me wrong, in this hot climate I don’t prefer to stick to my seat, but I do prefer a clean seat, and when you live where everyone sweats all over everything, I will take plastic any day!

    …Although I agree with you on color. They must have gotten a price break.

    Reply
    1. grace

      Kind of Ironic that seatbelts, which are supposed to save lives are considered weapons on buses? At least that was the argument we got when trying to put them on school buses.

      Reply
      1. Tom

        Is that why, Grace? I often wondered why buses were exempt from the laws!

        Reply
        1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

          I’ve always thought buses were exempt from the seatbelt laws because of cost. Although that reminds me of a guy I knew who said he stopped wearing a seatbelt when they passed a law mandating it. I thought, yeah, go ahead and get yourself killed when you come to a sudden stop! That’ll show big government!

          Reply
      2. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

        Seatbelts being called potential weapons on buses is an argument I’ve never heard before. The argument I’ve always heard against seatbelts is that putting them in would be too expensive, which is kind of harsh–“Sorry, kids, we don’t want to spend money on your safety!” And I once had textbooks thrown at me on a bus. Believe me, a three-pound book is a much deadlier weapon than a seatbelt.

        Reply
    2. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I never really thought about the disadvantages of upholstery–or for that matter the one advantage, that it helps you stay in place–until they got rid of it, but, yeah, I can see why a bus seat is better without it. Tennessee may have more temperature variation than Vietnam but in the summer the temperatures here get into the triple digits and stay there a while. Also a lot of people ignore the rule against eating or drinking on the bus and I’m sure there have been plenty of spills too.

      Reply
  2. Tom

    I don’t think I’ve ever used the phrase “those are some hot-looking buses!” before but here we are, looking at some hot-looking buses. Is this a great country or what?

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I don’t think anyone has ever used the phrase “those are some hot-looking buses!” before, but I’m sure whoever designed the new buses would appreciate hearing it. And I really do dig the purple design which, sadly, is bound to be covered up by cheesy ads.

      Reply
      1. Tom

        I’m a trendsetter!

        Reply
  3. Ann Koplow

    I’m less blue after I read your posts, Chris. Thanks, as always.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I appreciate the purple prose of this comment.

      Reply

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