If you live in Seattle, you no longer have any excuse to not ride the bus. Check out www.busmonster.com, a hybrid of Google Maps and Metro’s Trip Planner that lets you see in real-time where the bus you want to take is on any particular route. You can look up the closest stops to your location and see the routes on their way.

Best of all, it will send you an email 5 minutes (or however many minutes you like) before your bus is due to arrive at your stop. Madly chasing bus drivers down the street just officially became part of my past.

Bus Monster is not only a cool and convenient tool, it’s the kind of creative thinking that can help convince car commuters to ride the bus. I know San Francisco has “my next bus” pop-up alerts and gps information at some stops-are there any other rider-friendly services we should know about in Cascadia?