Fred Olander

Bus driver

A Metro Transit driver for over three years, Fred Olander drives Seattle’s “core routes,” including downtown and adjoining neighborhoods. Between drivers dating drivers and passengers chatting up passengers, he’s seen more than his share of romance in motion.

How to pick someone up on a bus: Say anything. “Someone sits down next to someone else who’s obviously going to the University of Washington and strike[s] up some random conversation about a professor they’ve probably never had, you know, start[s] trying to find some common ground.”

How actual drivers do it: Same way. Once, when riding a bus, Olander watched a co-worker pick up the driver. “I think they were having a conversation about vegetarian diet, and they seemed like they were getting along . . . and he asked her if she wanted to share a meal, and she agreed.”

How often drivers date each other: Not very. “I wouldn’t say [it happens] commonly, but it’s certainly not unheard of to have bus drivers date each other. And sometimes it works out, and sometimes it ends horribly.”

Why it doesn’t happen more often: And perhaps why opposites attract. “When I get home, I want to hear about how the copy machine broke or how the new temp is terrible. My problems are much more Brooklyn, N.Y. [than Seattle]. To me, an idle threat sounds like ‘Good morning.’ And I want to hear about the totally mundane stuff that everyone else gets that is nothing like anything I see all day long.”