Metro Sporting Event Service is Safe

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Way back in the Bush administration, USDOT issued a rule that prohibit public transit agencies from providing special bus service to games if a private provider bid to provide the same service, regardless of the cost difference between the two.

After a time where that service disappeared, Sen. Patty Murray slipped a clause into the law that exempted Metro in late 2009. Although private providers sued, service continued through 2010 and this year*. Luckily, the P-I reports that a D.C. court has rejected the lawsuit:

In an opinion released Tuesday, the Court of Appeals reversed that ruling, finding that Murray’s legislation was constitutional and that “efforts to provide efficient and affordable transportation to sporting events aligned with legitimate governmental goals,” Murray’s office said in a news release.

*Although the Mariners didn’t cough up the money this year.

About Martin H. Duke

Martin joined the blog in Fall 2007 and became Editor-in-Chief in 2009. He is originally from suburban DC, but has lived in the Greater Seattle area since 1997. He resides with his family in Columbia City and works as a software engineer in Lower Queen Anne.




Comments

  1. Talk about big govmt. What kind of stupid, imposing USDOT rule is that?

    • Nathanael says:

      Now, can the rule be revoked for everyone ELSE? It’s nice that Murray got Seattle excluded from this stupid Republican rule, but how about the rest of the country?

  2. Erik G. says:

    There was also the issue of the ADA service which KCMetro can easily provide with all of their current fleet versus the private contractor having to route a special, seperate-but-equal, vehicle that was not really designed to carry wheelchairs or disabled persons.

  3. reality based commute says:

    I don’t think the Mariners thought they would have many fans this year :)

  4. Michael H. Wilson says:

    Everything about sports is subsidized from the training in school to building the facilities and now transportation and who benefits? It sure as hell isn’t the poor.

    • Cui bono? Commuters who sit in massive traffic jams on I-90 westbound between Bellevue and Seattle on weeknights when there are games.

  5. Anthony says:

    Yeah, if they can run Sounder trains for a football or baseball team I couldn’t care about, and wish they would leave town, they can certainly start trying to run weekend specials or commuter runs on both the north and south lines.

    Basically this amounts to total BS by Sound Transit running this for a large corporation making money. The Seahawks don’t deserve this kind of support, period.

    • If the sports team pays the cost of operating the service, where’s the problem?

      • ST picks up the operating subsidy for the train and considers it advertising. Because these trains are well patronized and have a short layover (relative to commuter trains) they’re pretty cost effective. While there is some benefit to the sports team the major benefit is to the sports fan. It’s quite likely that for many this is the only time they get any value back for the taxes paid in. And as pointed out the secondary benefit to those that are just trying to do daily business on game days.

      • grant mcwilliams says:

        If the event pays for the costs incurred I’m all for it. Actually I’m for it anyway. As a transit rider why would I want to drive to a sporting event when I’d normally take transit to the city? Who cares what my destination is…

    • J. Reddoch says:

      The do run weekend specials. It just happens to be on days when the Mariners and Seahawks play. I don’t believe there is a requirement that you have a ticket to the game to ride the train – you just need a ticket for the train.

  6. Keibun Mori says:

    I have season tickets for the Mariners, and I was very disappointed when the Ms decided to opt out while others continued last year. I’ve also asked the transportation manager of the Mariners to consider supporting additional buses for regular routes such as #41, #550, and #70s to solve the post-game overcrowding issue on regular routes, but the response was pretty negative.

    With this ruling, I think they will restore the special buses to P&R, which does not solve the overcrowding issue on regular routes, so I’ll try to pursue the Mariners to consider my idea in the coming off-season. Do any of you have season tickets and want to cosign the petition letter? If so, please email me at keibunm@uw.edu. Meanwhile, with the attendance picking up with the team’s unexpected playoff bid, the buses will keep getting more and more jammed after the games toward mid-summer…

  7. I really like taking the Sounder to games from Kent Station, so actually I would prefer if SoundTransit could run trains every day and back — weekday or weekend — that a sports event occurs (not just the Seahawks games on weekends).

  8. The problem with specialty bus service is that it is stuck in gridlock. A lot of the specialty stadium shuttles would do better running from Westlake, Rainier Beach, TIBS, the airport, Tukwila Sounder Station, Kent Station, etc.

    Increasing frequency on the 574 at night, at least on game nights, would be a faster option than waiting for a slow and unpredictable 594.

    It frustrates me on weekend night games that I don’t have the 60 as an option to get back to South Park. The 131 and 132 come hourly, run who knows where after the game, and takes forever to get through post-game traffic. I’d give up 131/132 night service if the 60 could run later.

    Move more bus service out of the gridlock.

    • J. Reddoch says:

      I seem to remember seeing a whole bunch of Route 594 trips after a Mariner game while waiting for a 510 or 511 to go north on I-5. They were traveling north on 6th Ave S to begin a trip at the Busway and Royal Brougham. While walking to the stop and waiting for the bus I must have seen two or three within the ten minutes I spent waiting.

  9. We still have to wait to see if the plaintiffs try to take this to the Supreme Court, right?

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