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It’s become fashionable in progressive coastal cities to start planning for the reality of climate change, particularly sea level rise. Locally, Sound Transit says “the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Long-Range Plan update will consider the potential rise in sea level and localized flooding that may occur as a result of climate change based on GIS data currently available.” Although maps of the Seattle Archipelago are an interesting thought exercise, in the foreseeable future rising seas are likely to be much less dramatic. Nevertheless, plausible sea level predictions do have implications for Sound Transit’s long range plan.
Sound Transit 1 and 2 rail lines will suffer little in the next hundred years or so, although the elevated Boeing Access Road section may become a causeway over water or frequent flooding. Although Seattle is fortunate to find most of itself at elevation, Sound Transit 3 and beyond face serious constraints. Hopefully, Seattle will allow thriving, dense neighborhoods to grow around those stations; if those station areas are under immediate threat, the value of the entire alignment is doubtful.
A wildly optimistic estimate as to when light rail might open to Ballard and/or West Seattle is 2030. A map I found that projects what the coastline might look like 50 years after that is at right.
A few immediate observations from this map:
- An approach to West Seattle on or west of 1st Ave S is a little dicey.
- Interbay is a terrible place to create a new neighborhood, suggesting an eastern approach to Ballard is more responsible.
- The idea of a “Rainier Valley Bypass” via E. Marginal Way to speed up South Link trips seems bankrupt, in particular because it would likely come after Sound Transit 3.
- South Sounder looks to be in pretty good shape; coastal North Sounder, not so much.
- The Deep Bore Tunnel is not well-positioned, but its lack of futureproofing extends well beyond the sea level.
On Fridays some friends and I have a semi-regular tradition of grabbing sandwiches from Tat’s (go with either the Italian Grinder or the Tatstrami) and heading over to Waterfall Garden Park to relax and pontificate on what needs to be done to make this city perfect. It’s one of my favorite parks in Seattle, a place I make sure to take visiting friends and family. A great resting point after a long week of work or a day showing off downtown. What makes it so great:
1. I can get to it. I don’t have long for lunch so need a place located where I am. Same thing when showing off the city to people. It needs to be where we are.
2. It’s worth going to. An actual three story waterfall in the middle of the city, with maintained ‘green space’, a glass roof (it’s not always bright and sunny) and in winter, heating. It’s not some barren wind/water swept empty plaza.
3. It’s enjoyable to just be there. The tables and chairs (plus above mentioned setting) make it a great place for people to be. And it’s great to be around people. And yes, maybe this makes me a bad progressive, but there are security and maintenance staff that help make it a pleasant experience.
Where is your urban oasis and what makes it great?
An unfortunate consequence of the relentless simplification in campaigns is the reduction of revenue projections to a single number. Metro had to settle on a representative figure – 17% cuts – to produce a tangible example of what the cuts would look like, which left it open to some unseemly Times editorial board nitpicking and a trivial update from Metro.
In reality, the revenue projections which spawn these service estimates originate with King County’s Office of Economic and Financial Analysis, and like all projections they actually reflect a range of possibilities. According to County Budget Director Dwight Dively, any revenue projection from that office is “at the 65% confidence level. In other words, there is a 65% probability that actual revenue will be at least as much as is forecast. This was a policy adopted by the Forecast Council.”
This isn’t a pro- or anti-Prop. 1 point. Metro’s priority is to preserve current service level, so it’s entirely reasonable (and responsible) that King County would err on the side of caution. In any case, the chances are quite high that revenue will either exceed or fall short of projections, that’s the nature of projections. If Prop 1 fails, the cuts might be above or below 17%, with more weight on the low side. Similarly, if the measure passes Metro might come up a little bit short, but it’s twice as likely that there is some scope to build up a rainy day fund, make long-deferred capital investments to reduce operating costs, or add service on the most overcrowded routes. This is a good “problem” to have.
In any case, this isn’t about “lies” and “promises.” Any agency with highly variable revenues can’t make precise predictions about how much it will be able to spend. The only way to avoid this uncertainty is to join Metro’s lobbying for predictable revenue sources like Motor Vehicle Excise Tax and the Vehicle License Fee that is on the ballot next week.
- Bell Street Park opens. Success likely depends on business and residents actually using the park.
- An agile SDOT installs a two-way cycle track on NE 40th in the U-District as part of the Burke Gilman Trail construction detour.
- Car2Go mixing up how people travel in Seattle. More data needed to fully understand the implications.
- Capitol Hill Champion schedules a meeting with developer.
- Why mixed use buildings, specifically in Capitol Hill, look how they do.
- Senate Majority Coalition Leader Rodney Tom drops out of his re-election bid. Huge news for state democrats.
- Agitation over a U-Distrct Station plaza continues. Martin pretty convincingly argues why this idea lacks merit.
- After two years of planning, Seattle City Council unanimously approves the updated Bicycle Master Plan. A huge win for the 8-80 bicycling crowed, i.e. most of us.
- Metro bus driver threatened with gun, two youth arrested.
- Metro’s “In Motion” program, which targets small, every-day changes in travel behavior is profiled by Atlantic Cities.
- A user experience designer reviews potential replacements for SDOT on-street parking meters.
- Community Transit adding service, revising and renumber existing service.
- How to use the American Community Survey correctly.
- 800 people per square mile is the tipping point between republican and democratic areas. Denser living inherently requires pooled resources and oversight, i.e. government or bodies like HOAs.
- Report finds that people in dense areas are more economically mobile, healthier and live longer. Sounds like the triple bottom line of sustainability to me.
- Seattle needs more sitting places… and it’s getting a few more.
This is an open thread.
In response to Seattle’s new law on taxi-like services — formally legalizing them, placing limits on vehicle numbers, and creating new insurance and safety requirements – The Seattle Times reports Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) are funding a referendum ($) to repeal the law, under the name “Keep Seattle’s Ride Options.”
[The campaign must] collect at least 16,510 signatures by the end of Thursday [April 17th], the day before the regulations are to take effect… If enough signatures are gathered, the city would be immediately blocked from enforcing the new rules and couldn’t enact them unless voters reject the referendum.
It is not yet certain if the rules are even subject to referendum. Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, part of the (correct) Council minority who wanted the safety requirements without the camps, told me unequivocally that he does not support the referendum because “it is important to retain the safety and insurance regulations which the referendum would repeal.”
There was no serious debate about the safety rules, which are there to protect consumers and move to regulatory parity with the taxi industry. The Council has given every indication of being open-minded about revisiting the problematic caps next year. I have more faith in them than a group of companies that are evidently seeking to avoid oversight altogether.
On the other hand, Initiative 111 is focused on repealing the caps, reducing the $50,000 registration fee to $500, and tweaking some of those safety rules. For what it’s worth, that effort is led by Elizabeth Campbell, who has been associated with very problematic initiatives in the past. Initiative 111 wouldn’t delay enforcement of the existing statute in the meantime. But are the tweaks to those regulations a cause for concern?
Tom Rasmussen says he hasn’t “read the language in Initiative 111 and because of that I can’t say that I support it,” but he “would support an initiative that repeals the driver cap but retains effective safety and insurance regulations.” An Uber representative says they’re “not supporting” I-111, preferring the referendum because “we want to give Seattle a chance to get this right.”
Today, Metro released an updated service cuts proposal in very rough draft form, in response to unexpectedly strong economic growth which brought about a modest uptick in sales tax revenue. The updated proposal cuts 50,000 fewer annual hours, heading off 1.4% of the previously estimated 17% cuts. During a briefing which Metro provided to the Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee of the King County Council, Councilmember Rod Dembowski aptly said of the new proposal: “instead of a Category 5 hurricane, we’ve got a Category 4-and-a-half hurricane.”
That seems about right. A 15.7% cut is a lot of pain. Route-level details are below the jump. [Read more...]
I first created my charts and started writing these reports a year and a half ago. Back then I set the upper limit for my growth chart at 16%. At the time it seemed pretty reasonable. In the fall of 2013, the most Link had ever grown from one year to next was 15% and at any time the growth rate would have to level off to the ‘mature rate’ of 2-3%. Well I was wrong. Unlike every other system in North America, Link has somehow not only managed to keep up double digit growth into its 4th year of operation, but Link’s growth is actually accelerating. Last December I had to bump the top of the chart up to 18%, now I have to extend the upper limit to 20%. True, there was a little event back in February that impacted the numbers, but even taking that day out Link was still in double digits. At this pace Link is trending to catch up to its original projections even with the Great Recession severely impacting ridership in the short term.
February’s Central Link Weekday/Saturday/Sunday boardings were 30,250/18,805/14,474, growth of 19.2%, 4.4%, and 11.9% respectively over February 2013. Sounder’s weekday boardings were up 11.2% with ridership increasing on both the North and South lines. Total Tacoma Link ridership was down 7.6% with weekday ridership declining 6.3%. Weekday ST Express ridership was up 7.4%, with most growth occurring on East King and Pierce County routes. Complete February Ridership Summary here>
At 29,609 average daily riders for the last 12 months, Link has already surpassed its projection of 29,600 average daily riders by Dec 31st 2014 (see page 112).
Yes, you read that correctly. By February Link had already met its projected YEARLY ridership growth for 2014.
As mentioned last post, February’s report not only has the pages of cool charts from January’s report but also a short analysis/context blurb for each chart. Well worth checking out. My charts below the fold. [Read more...]
Every so often, a local anti-transit or anti-tax group will write a hit piece against Metro, alleging, for a variety of reasons, that the agency’s financial crisis is made up. These pieces invariably rely on creative graph-making, conflating Metro’s primary tax-funded service with externally-funded contract service (such as that provided to Sound Transit), or making some other obvious error of fact. In this post, I’m going to present Metro’s raw data for sales tax collections and services delivered for the last decade, and explode a couple of myths in the process.
Myth #1: Metro’s revenues have increased each of the last three years. The agency has loads of money!
The chart above will be familiar to anyone who’s taken an interest in Metro’s finances, but seems to elude Metro’s drive-by fiscal critics, who’s data mysteriously always begins in 2010. It’s true that Metro’s sales tax collections have increased each of the last three years, and will increase again this year, but that omits the crucial fact that revenue fell off a cliff between 2008 and 2009, bottoming out in 2010, for a total drop of about $72 million.
Despite this plunge in revenue, the total amount of service Metro provides has dipped only very slightly. Instead, over the last three years, that hole has been filled with a combination of fare hikes and operational cost savings, along with about $344 million of one-time cash transfers, notably including $180 million from axed capital programs and $41 million from operational reserves.
Those measures, taken at the behest of elected officials, whose directive to Metro was to preserve service at all costs, are now exhausted, but an ongoing gap of about $75 million/year remains between what Metro needs to continue offering its current level of service, and what Metro’s sales tax is bringing in. Closing that gap will require either a major cut in the quantity of service Metro delivers, or new revenue, which, along with helping the dire state of County Roads, is what Prop 1 will do.
Myth #2: We keep voting to give Metro more money. Surely the agency must have lots of of it by now.
When it comes to protecting the poor, there is no more trusted news source than Real Change News. Real Change has published an editorial that efficiently lays out why King County Metro is in the financial difficulty it is in, and explains why those who have the interests of King County’s poorer denizens at heart should vote Yes on King County Proposition 1.
Transportation cuts are themselves regressive, depriving poor and disabled people, senior citizens and young people of necessary transportation. Many low-wage earners simply can’t afford a car, and they have no other way to get to jobs, school, medical appointments and other basic needs.
It bears repeating that Metro has no back-up funding plan for the low-income fare program if Proposition 1 loses. Losing that program could cost each potential low-income qualifier up to $864 per year.
Please vote to protect the poor. Please vote Yes, and postmark your ballot by April 22.
Sounder trains will once again serve Sunday afternoon Mariners games for the 2014 season, starting this Sunday when the M’s and the Oakland A’s slug it out for first place in the American League West Division. There will also be Sounder service to the afternoon Memorial Day game against the LA Angels, since commuter service won’t be running that day.
The departure times for weekend Sounder event trains are available here.
The full Mariners season schedule is available here.
Note to baseball fans flying in from out of town: Sounder is not the train you are looking for. What you want is Link Light Rail, which takes you from the airport to downtown Seattle, via Safeco Field. Be sure and buy a train ticket or an ORCA card at the station vending machines, and be prepared to show it to the fare enforcement officers during your train ride.
The full list of scheduled weekend Sounder event service dates for 2014, so far, is available here.
In addition to serving weekend afternoon Mariners and and Sounders games, Sounder and the Emerald Downs Pony Express from Auburn Station will team up to serve Emerald Downs.
Afternoon South Sounder counter-peak runs are at a good time for getting to weeknight games. Sound Transit keeps extra ST Express buses, and super-frequent Central Link trains, on stand-by to get home after the games.
Buses that run by Safeco Field include King County Metro routes 21, 41, 101, 106, 124, 131, 132, and 150; and ST Expresses 522, 545,
577, 578, 590, and 594. Metro 150 will get you back to Kent Station. ST Express 578 will get you back to Auburn Station, Sumner Station, and Puyallup Station. ST Express 594 will get you back to Tacoma Dome Station and Lakewood Station.
Central Link connects to some bus routes that don’t have to slog through the game traffic, and get you back to Sounder stations, including Metro route 180 from Seatac/Airport Station to Kent Station and Auburn Station, and ST Express 574 from Seatac/Airport Station to Tacoma Dome Station. No, the 140 from Tukwila International Boulevard Station to Tukwila Sounder Station doesn’t run late enough, but hopefully the F Line will. (Wouldn’t it be cool if stand-by 180s and 574s were waiting at the Link stations, departing as they filled up?)
BTW, If you want Metro buses to continue to run late enough to take fans home from baseball games, you might want to vote for King County Proposition 1. There may be far more important reasons to vote Yes, but I just wanted to throw that one out, too.
by TIM BOND
[UPDATE: Cellphone waiting lot photo now actually shows the new lot.]
On Wednesday Sound Transit invited media to see the 365 foot long gantry being used to construct the guideway between SeaTac/Airport Station and the future Angle Lake Station. The 400 ton gantry hoists pre-cast concrete segments, each weighing 35-45 tons, in to place. The spans between columns are typically 150 feet long and a crew of 12 can be construct a span in 2-3 days. Approximately 80% of the columns in the 1.6 mile extension have been constructed to date.
The spans shown in the photos here are the two southernmost ones. Angle Lake Station will be a center platform station, so two separate spans come out of the station and merge in to one, which will eventually continue to Kent/Des Moines Road.
In August, construction will begin on the 1,050 stall garage, sited just north of the station.
In a somewhat related story, SeaTac’s Cell Phone Lot moved last week to a location on S 170th between the Airport Expressway. The lot has 200 spaces, up from 130 and trades mediocre tarmac views for a panorama of the Airport Link extension alignment.
More photos below the jump.
About two years ago, I wrote a post comparing the speed and reliability of two transit pathways between downtown Seattle and Harborview Medical Center, James St and Yesler Way, using data from the Metro routes that currently travel on those corridors. That data showed what anyone who’d ridden those buses already knew: the buses on James St, which directly serve Harborview, are packed to overflowing, but crippled by appalling slowness and unreliability for much of the day, partly from being so busy, but primarily from all the cars on James St queuing to access I-5. By contrast, buses on Yesler run fast and like clockwork, partly because they’re less used, but crucially because Yesler is a very lightly-trafficked arterial with no direct highway connections.
Harborview and the surrounding area, which includes numerous other medical facilities, and the Yesler Terrace housing project (soon to be rebuilt at much higher density), comprise a major ridership center just beyond the periphery of downtown, cut off by a huge hill and a freeway. Better connecting that area to downtown should be a priority for Metro and the City of Seattle, and the combination of James’s incurable congestion, and Yesler’s almost equal directness and near-total lack of congestion, suggest that moving trolleybus service from James to Yesler is the smart way to do so.
Moving the James St trolleybus service entails building new trolleybus wire on streets that have never had it previously, as well as operating buses on a couple of short sections of 8th and 9th that have not previously had any regular Metro service, so implementation will require significant study and civil engineering work. This being Seattle, getting anything built will be a multi-year process, but, happily, this process has at last begun: in last year’s budget, the city allocated $150,000 for a study of transit service on Yesler, which will include a conceptual design for trolleybus overhead wire, expected to be complete by the end of the year. No funding is available for engineering or construction, but SDOT hopes the conceptual design will better equip the city to pursue more funding.
More after the jump.
- Extended Tacoma Link hours for the George Strait concert on Saturday.
- Mayor Murray says West Seattle deserves some kind of rapid transit before Sound Transit gets there.
- Architect developing a concept for Seattle’s tallest tower.
- Angst over Bellevue College growth and Eastgate redevelopment.
- New buildings on First Hill.
- Plans for almost 2,000 new units in South Lake Union; not nearly enough.
- The inability of some people to comprehend (or care) that others would like to live differently is astounding.
- Fix design review before expanding its scope.
- A look at minimum density rules.
- One man is trying to standardize the world’s subway maps.
- Prop 1 Endorsements from cities of Shoreline, Sammamish, Kirkland, Federal Way, and Des Moines.
- Everett discusses how light rail will get there.
- Pierce Transit restores Puyallup Fair service, cancels the “custom bus” to Olympia.
- The resulting analysis is sketchy, but it’s interesting that more than 100% of 2013′s increase in U.S. transit ridership came from New York City.
- Tacoma offering small grants for bike-friendly businesses.
- Rainier Valley walk signals will get longer.
- Anger at new development’s effect on affordability is wildly misplaced.
- Architecture students develop visions for Rainier Beach.
- A comparison of the Portland and Seattle approaches to light rail design.
- Pierce Transit fires its public safety chief.
- Dexter Ave. may get 65 more affordable units.
- Seattle Council looking to make small-lot zoning worse.
This is an open thread.
The city of Seattle is a crowded place. Anyone who sits in traffic (in a bus or a car) on I-5, Denny Way, Spring Street, or any of Seattle’s numerous other bottlenecks knows that. People want to be here because there are great jobs and culture, diverse and fascinating people, and lots of fun things to do. To take advantage of those strengths of the city, people put up with the congestion and delays we see every day on city streets.
But people are only willing to wait so long. Eventually, as the wait gets worse and worse, people peel off one by one to live, work and play elsewhere. There is a certain level of congestion and delay beyond which each person is unwilling to go, both because the loss of time begins to cost too much and because quality of life begins to suffer. And you can’t increase the acceptable level of congestion by fiat. How much congestion each person will tolerate is an individual decision. So reducing transportation capacity doesn’t usually increase congestion. Instead, it usually causes people to avoid the area where capacity was reduced.
Having lots of people in the city (whether they live here, work here, or just visit) is most of what generates and keeps jobs in the city. People in the city buy goods and services from local businesses and create innovative new businesses of their own. Without as many people, all those local businesses’ market would shrink, and the city would lose jobs. In other words, each person who decides not to live, work, or play in the city because it’s too congested is costing jobs in the city. To keep and add jobs, we have to keep people coming into, and moving around, the city.
The road network in the city is at capacity. The most dramatic evidence of that: an oversupply of parking exists in downtown Seattle, yet parking-lot operators can’t fill more spots by reducing prices. The reason is that more cars simply can’t get into the city. It’s not a single roadway that is at capacity; it’s many of them, throughout the city, as any bus rider or driver knows. It would take tens of billions of dollars, and result in untold destruction of buildings and city neighborhoods, to expand the road network sufficiently to allow a significant number of additional people to drive into and around the city with the current level of congestion.
Since it’s extremely difficult and destructive to add roadway capacity, and you can’t increase the level of congestion in the road network (or people will just leave), the only remaining way to get more people into and around the city is transit. (Building more housing also helps get them in, but doesn’t help them move around.) And transit, even gold-plated transit, is far cheaper for a given amount of capacity than roads built through the middle of cities. Many more people can move through the same space if each one is not surrounded by 15 feet of steel. That is why all medium-size and large cities — even ones built with far more car capacity than Seattle — heavily subsidize public transit systems, and see transit as vital to economic development and jobs. Transit capacity, in a very concrete way, determines the potential for economic development in any developed city. And actual transit ridership correlates very heavily with actual economic success.
Here in Seattle, Metro has the bulk of public transit ridership. In 2012, Metro carried 115 million passengers in King County, while Sound Transit carried approximately 28 million passengers in the same period, over a much larger service area. (Other public transit agencies serving Seattle carried negligible numbers in comparison.) Both Metro and Sound Transit are essentially at capacity, especially during peak hours, when many of the busiest routes are regularly leaving people behind. We have no other way to replace even a small part of Metro’s capacity. Reduce it by 17 percent, and people — along with the jobs they bring — will leave. They won’t keep jamming themselves into car traffic, because the resulting congestion will be too much for them. Instead, they’ll just go somewhere else, which is the worst outcome for all of us.
Passing Prop. 1 will keep these Metro riders, and the jobs they bring the rest of us, in the city. The sales tax and license fee Prop. 1 imposes, while imperfect, are a small price to pay for that benefit. Please mail your Yes ballot by April 22.
The Link station pictograms are a fairly self-evident accessibility feature, but the origin of these pictograms an almost entirely obscure riff on the concept of constellations, as we reported way back in 2008. Now it’s time to make the pictograms up for all the new stations between Northgate and Angle Lake:
Sound Transit is developing pictograms for future Link light rail stations. A pictogram is an icon that conveys meaning through its pictorial resemblance of a physical object. Pictograms are used on Sound Transit’s Link light rail station signage and way-finding materials. Paired with station names, they help identify stations and the surrounding neighborhood. Pictograms serve as station identification symbols for non-English customers, primarily those that use a non-Roman based alphabet.
Sound Transit would like to begin the process by getting input from you. Please take a moment to share your ideas by completing this questionnaire.
ST reports that it is “phasing out” the constellation program, in favor of simply picking a sensible pictogram.
We’ve heard some odd, and often contradictory, arguments from the No on Proposition 1 campaign. One real head-scratcher is that Metro should have acted more like Pierce Transit and Snohomish Community Transit.
Let’s check in on Community Transit. Here is CT’s 2014-2018 Transit Development Plan. As Martin reported, CT made 160,000 hours of service cuts (37% of service) from 2008 to 2013. The service restoration plan based on sales tax revenue going up only brings back 45% of that service between now and 2019.
The plummeting of annual boardings from 12 million in 2008 to 9,096,544 in 2013 is shown on page 59:
The gist of the Times‘s no on Prop 1 editorial ($) is that King County should not replace the expiring tab fee, but instead avoid cuts through the magic of vaguely-specified cost controls. Suggesting that after years of efficiency-oriented service changes, administrative belt-tightening, and multiple fare increases, the deficit can be willed away by more of the same demands a detailed plan to show the numbers, but the Times betrays its fundamental unseriousness by providing only generic union-bashing and right wing talking points about trimming fat.
Their first vague solution is to “reduce labor costs.” Of course, the County can’t simply do that by fiat; it has to be collectively bargained. Personally, I think it would be great for riders if the Amalgamated Transit Union agreed to further cuts in total pay and benefits beyond what they’ve already conceded, and there likely are fair ways to do that. But the Times doesn’t say what compensation level would be acceptable to call off their jihad on transit. How should pay and benefits go down? How much can Metro reasonably recover? Is it enough to avert cuts? Without answers to these, this point is generic union-bashing.
Their second “solution” is to raise fares. A 25 cent fare increase yields about $6.6m annually. With a $60m annual budget gap, that implies a fare increase of $2.25, to $4.50 off-peak/$4.75 one-zone/$5.25 two-zone, if there were no decrease in ridership. Setting aside entirely the social impact on riders, at those prices Metro will have trouble competing with driving on subsidized highways with subsidized gasoline to subsidized parking spaces, and so it won’t actually plug the revenue gap. By suppressing ridership, it is likely to increase Metro’s cost per rider.
Their third source of savings is that old chesnut, “administration.” What positions should Metro eliminate? Public outreach? Service planning? Transit security? The people who clean bus stops? How many millions will that save? Metro’s administrative staff roster was slashed in the early 2000s as part of the cuts arising from I-695, notably including elimination of more than half of the community relations staff, who solicit customer feedback on service changes, and the entire long-range planning team. Where’s the fat to be cut? Again, the Times has nothing useful to say, it merely regurgitates generic talking points.
If the Times board were serious about increasing efficiency, they might start reading STB, where we’ve spent years figuring out how to reduce cost per rider:
The No on Proposition 1 campaign has stepped in it once again with an op-ed piece that twice cites critical analysis of King County Metro by the Municipal League of King County.
There are two problems with this picture:
(1) The Municipal League gave Metro a glowing review in a report it issued in 2013;
(2) The Municipal League has endorsed King County Proposition 1.
The 2013 report is a useful document regardless of the Proposition 1 campaign, and includes some additional recommendations that will probably enjoy a lot of support among this blog’s readership.
Here is the report’s summary:
1. Performance Measurement and Reporting. Metro has made significant strides in sharing its statistics with the public by posting them on its website http://metro.kingcounty.gov/ under the tab About Metro/Accountability.
2. Service Allocation Policy. The newly adopted Strategic Plan and service guidelines seem to provide a promising framework for allocating service based on route productivity and ridership demand, serving those most dependent on transit, and providing geographic value. [emphasis added by this author]
3. Strategic Plan for Public Transportation. The new Strategic Plan for Public Transportation 2011-2021 is a more forthright and easier to understand plan than the previous plan discussed in our 2008 Municipal League report.
4. Clarity and Transparency. Metro has made significant changes and improvements to its reporting which is included in many forms on the King County Metro website, http://metro.kingcounty.gov/. We do offer additional suggestions for improvement in the discussion below [the full report].
Metro’s transparency stands in stark contrast to an opposition campaign that has set up fake front groups that gratuitously/Orwellianly include the word “transit” in their names, is led by a real organization that has been exposed for fake support for buses, and is taking the words of a prominent watchdog organization out of context to make it look like that group is opposing, rather than supporting, King County Proposition 1.