D.C. songwriter longs for Metro’s 42 bus

February 27, 2012

The catchy song is probably one that many Metro riders can relate to, having waited and waited for buses only to find them packed when one finally comes.

Mount Pleasant singer-songwriter Rene Moffatt launched “Route 42” Monday with a video and Web site the42bus.com— that would immortalize those frustrating delays.

How long do I wait before it’s been too long

And when do I start walkin’


Rene Moffatt is a DC-based singer/songwriter with a debut album out, shown near Dupont Circle. (John McDonnell/THE WASHINGTON POST)

And all alone, my baby calls she’s waited for too long

But at the moment I start talkin’

Here comes that 42

The one that brings me back to you

Moffatt, 32, works as a freelance Web designer and plays gigs at clubs and coffeehouses. He said he wrote the song, a track on his recently recorded debut album, after spending nearly five years commuting on the Route 42 bus to his former job at Fleishman-Hillard, a public relations and marketing firm, near Farragut Square.

At times, the bus would be late. Other times, a Route 42 bus would arrive too crowded for him to board, and he’d have to wait for the next one. Sometimes, he said, “it was right on time.”

“Everyone’s got a love-hate relationship” with Metro, Moffatt said Monday. But “it is part of our lives, so we might as well make the best of it in any way we can.”

The 42 runs from Mount Pleasant through Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle to McPherson Square, Metro Center and Gallery Place. In the video, Moffatt leaves an office, headed to Farragut Square to catch the bus for a blind date.

One bus, two bus, three bus, four

Can’t seem to find those open doors

At this rate how am I gonna get anywhere

But here one comes and I’m gettin’ nervous

I squint my eyes and it’s outta service

I don’t know what I did to deserve this game of

solitaire

Moffatt said he mainly depends on Metro’s buses and trains to get around town. The Texas native has lived in the D.C. area for six years. The video cuts between the story line and images of Moffatt singing and playing guitar, accompanied by a bass player, at Dupont Circle.

How long do I wait before it’s been too long

And when do I start walkin’

And all alone, my baby calls she’s waited for too long

But at the moment I start talkin

Here comes that 42

The one that brings me back to you

Moffatt isn’t the first musician inspired by Metro. In 2010, a Virginia musician began writing songs about the 86 stations in the Metrorail system. And musicians can often be found playing at stops, sometimes for money and others just to entertain. In a 2007 Washington Post experiment, violinist Joshua Bell played at L’Enfant Plaza and was mostly ignored.

On Monday, Moffatt sent a link to his online music video to Dan Stessel, Metro’s chief spokesman.

“Mr. Moffatt continues a great tradition of Metro songs, and we’re really flattered to be his inspiration,” Stessel wrote in an e-mail to The Post. “It looks like he might benefit from NextBus,” Metro software for electronic devices that’s supposed to tell riders when the next bus is coming.

That doesn’t help with the other problem dramatized in the video. Moffatt finally catches a bus and gets a seat next to a woman obnoxiously chatting on a cellphone. She turns out to be his blind date.

And my sanity is bein’

tested

Constantly with every stop requested

Pull that cord and you might not make it home

Dana Hedgpeth is the Washington Post’s lead reporter in covering the Metro rail and bus systems in the D.C. region and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) that runs them.
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