News Roundup: Mayors

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    • Charles says

      Yes well, certainly wouldn’t play on TV here. But great commercial. But the ironic part was the last line of the song… If it takes “forever.”

      • Matt the Engineer says

        Yeah, I caught that too. I suppose it beats the Violent Femmes “Waiting for The Bus”.

      • Matt the Engineer says

        Yes. Much of Europe allows quite a bit more flesh in their advertisements. I remember a huge billboard ad of a toples woman shooting a bow and arrow over a highway near Rome. Seemed to me like a safety issue.

      • Andrew Smith says

        Yes, an ad with a topless woman is one thing, an ad like that from a state-run-organisation is another.

        But Norway is Norway.

      • Matt the Engineer says

        Meh. Sex happens. I’m more concerned about all of the gun violence and killing in the PG rated Tintin I naively rented to watch with my 3 year old.

      • Andrew Smith says

        Yeah, I’ve been trying to convince my wife that sex just “happens” but she’s unconvinced (bah dum chish). Jokes aside.

        In Tintin, the captain’s a nasty drunk, too, right? I thought the whole thing really odd.

      • Matt the Engineer says

        Yeah, “Parental Guidance” turned into *distract my son every 5 minutes* turned into *this is a kids’ movie*? The animation style seemed to be aimed at children, as was the marketing.

      • Nathanael says

        Tintin (the comic) was targeted at kids… in the 1930s and 1940s. Not really young kids; I’d guess kids 8 and up, if I were to guess.

        Anyway, kids weren’t exactly being protected from guns or violence during that period. Tintin should probably be seen as a period piece.

      • Cheesewheels says

        I used to read the books (comics, I suppose, but they were really thick) as a kid. Never really occurred to me that they were violent, at least not any more so than other entertainments of the day. The new movie is true to the spirit of the original stories. It’s kind of Indiana Jones-ish. Maybe should warrant a PG-13 rating, but I don’t think there’s anything objectionable about it.

        IRT the advertisement: ( . Y . )

      • Matt the Engineer says

        I’m just pointing out that guns, murder, violence, and alcohol abuse are fine for the open airwaves around here, but when it comes to skin we jump to protect the children. The Europeans seem to see things a bit differently. Unlike Tintin, this ad wasn’t specifically produced for or marketed to children.

  1. Ryan on Summit says

    I think the short bus shuttles will completely fail to serve most tourists. Once again we are showing how unaccommodating we can be to visitors.

    • Matt the Engineer says

      Sounds like about as bad an idea as the 99. At a frequency of 20 minutes, they’re clearly only providing this for the disabled. Everyone else will walk.

    • Mike Orr says

      Tourists have money for bus fares. They just need a simpler fare structure and daily/weekly passes. The RFA was mainly for shoppers travelling between the stores, businesspeople going to lunch, and the poor going to appointments. A 20-minute bus does not meet all downtown circulation needs, but those who can’t afford to pay can avoid walking up the hills. Businesspeople going to lunch can decide whether to schedule their break to coincide with the bus, or take another bus. Many of them have monthly passes, so the free factor won’t matter to them.

      • Lloyd says

        Agreed – the money is NOT the issue for many tourists, both foreign and domestic – we need readily available passes, visible signs to the DSTT and readable, understandable maps and timetables everywhere in downtown.

      • Kevin R says

        I’m pretty happy with the smaller van solution. It provides service for the people who truly need it while having every one who can pay do so. I would agree this makes the need for a tourist pass more urgent.

      • Carl says

        The shuttle is likely to be a complete failure for anyone who is not disabled. An able bodied person can walk from one end of downtown to the other in 20 minutes.

        I’m not convinced that eliminating the RFA will produce any savings or increased revenue for Metro whatsoever. First, they are giving up $400,000 in revenue – and someone is going to spending $400,000 running wasteful poorly utilized service.

        Second, when it says that the RFA costs $2.2 million in foregone revenue, who is to say whether that is at all accurate (how many people might be able to use a transfer during its 2-hour window, or have passes) or whether people will elect to walk instead of riding. It’s not improbable that many will find $2.25 a bit steep to ride 1 mile, and walk instead.

        If they are going to eliminate the RFA, then eliminate it. Don’t pour $400,000 down the drain for something that’s useless.

      • Carl says

        I would rather see the $400,000 spent to improve bus frequencies that everyone can use, and then to give tickets for free rides to agencies providing services for the needy/disabled.

    • Mike Orr says

      Actually, the free shuttles could help in a couple other ways. Because they go only a mile or two from end to end, people won’t be able to get on downtown and ride to the city limits and then reveal they have no money, or ride around all day. If the bus makes a complete circuit in twenty minutes, anyone who stays on the bus for several revolutions will be very obvious. That is, if the bus goes in a continuous loop. If it has a traditional terminus, then the driver may boot everybody off at the last stop — which as I said is only a mile or two from the first stop.

    • SMP Belltown says

      Apparently, when the Ride Free Area started in 1973, it replaced a “dime shuttle”. Does anyone know what the basic fare was for the other Seattle bus services (beyond the downtown core) at that time? I’d guess it was at least 25¢ or so.

      Although the elimination of the RFA might be an effective stick for Metro to use in an effort to increase ORCA sales, I’d expect some folks will (probably with some justification) squawk that even before the RFA started, taking casual trips from one part of downtown Seattle to another didn’t cost all that much.

  2. Mark Dublin says

    Count me in, Ben. 50 years after the World’s Fair, it’s about time for Seattle to start thinking once again like a major city that’s part of a promising region.

    And Councilman Phillips, you needn’t buy the suburbs any dramamine. Longest part of this afternoon’s trip to Lynnwood will be my Route 17 ride Downtown to catch the 511- shorter and more comfortable than the 44.

    If I end up driving the car instead over schedule problems, it won’t be for lack of good city transit. Many if not most of us have working lives that don’t even see subarea boundaries- which really were obsolete the day the Bubble-ator opened.

    Mark Dublin

  3. Mickymse says

    RE: PT 496

    “Wait. We didn’t actually think you were going to take away all of our bus service… just the routes we don’t want to pay taxes for.”

    • Charles says

      You see that cake? Ya, you can’t have any of that. That’s for paying customers…

    • Nathanael says

      Bonney Lake and Sumner are allowed to pay tax money from their general fund to run a bus, right? I suggest they do so.

      • Charles says

        Maybe they should run their own bus service and discover what it really takes to do that and then maybe they would be a bit more appreciative of what PT provided their area.

    • Bernie says

      How do they come up with pricing for this stuff? The Port ended up paying a little over $2 million dollars a mile. Kirkland bought 5.75 miles for $5 million. ST pays 13.8 million for 1.1 miles! Sure it’s in DT Bellevue but it’s not like you can do anything like build an office tower with the property because of the rail banking restrictions.

      Here’s a better round-up of the major players:

      Port of Seattle to pay BNSF $81M for Eastside rail line

      With the knowledge that a major water main serving the entire eastside will need is coming will it be installed through the section where ST is putting down rail before East Link is built?

      • says

        “The 37-mile easement was also part of the purchase package offered by the Port of Seattle.”

        That’s the key phrase here, I imagine. Am I missing something?

      • Bernie says

        I really have no idea how they put a value on this stuff. I noticed that I’d screwed up the link to the Time’s story so here it is:
        Port of Seattle to pay BNSF $81M for Eastside rail line
        If you add up all the numbers it comes out close to the $81M the Port paid but why do the utilities have to pay $25M just for an underground easement and ST gets a surface easement plus 1.1 miles of dirt. And if ST has an easement for the entire route why do they need to actually buy any of it? Redmond pays $9M for 3.5 miles and Kirkland gets $5.75 miles for $5M?

      • Nathanael says

        It’s not clear to me exactly what Sound Transit got. It seems like a complicated package.

        “purchase of 1.1 miles of former BNSF track in Bellevue for construction of East Link light rail, as well as easements for future access to 37 miles of the Eastside rail corridor.”

        “In addition to the 37-mile easement, Sound Transit also received rights to access the portion of the rail corridor located within Redmond’s city limits, allowing for future construction of a light rail extension between the city’s Overlake and downtown areas.”

        Seems pretty complicated. It looks like ST gets easements for everything they want for East Link plus the speculative East Side rail line. I don’t know why they had to buy 1.1 miles outright — perhaps none of the cities / counties wanted to own the fee title to that part.

    • says

      So, can they mark the crossing at NE 8th as “EXEMPT” already? All coaches that cross there have to stop for it, despite the fact that it’s obviously not in use.

      The consequences of blowing a RailRoad stop are so dire that most of us won’t risk it. Kirkland too, please!

      • Bernie says

        Yeah, I was on RR B last night and it stopped at 116th, where nobody got on or off because it’s located in such a pedestrian hostile place and then pulls a couple of feet forward and stops to check for the ghost train. Sure were a lot of people on the bus for 8PM on a Wednesday so looks like it’s getting well used.

      • aw says

        At least you don’t need to stop for the former crossing of the Redmond spur on NE 90th anymore. I wonder if the easement includes the entire Redmond spur, or just the downtown portion. Since I don’t think it’s close to 37 miles from Renton to Woodinville, I suppose it’s all included.

  4. Anthony says

    Interesting piece on the parking shortage at both Edmonds and Mukilteo. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen chaos ensue in the Edmonds lot after we arrive. Just Monday I witnessed one of the closest almost crashes I’ve ever seen.

    Regarding Earling’s appt. to the board, too bad he’s associated with Reardon now. I wish him luck.

    • Eric H says

      I don’t remember the article mentioning if there’s a charge for parking at those stations. But based on how the situation was described, I assume there’s not.

  5. Jeremy says

    Ahh, urban highways. “It is not a coincidence that the creation of the national superhighway network coincided with one of the most impressive eras of economic expansion in American history.”

    By splurging on a one-time find of too-good-to-be-true liquid fuels, much as the Spanish Empire did for precious metals from the New World. Troubled by pesky EROEI declines and think we can run full tilt on new energy? Sustained, a mere 2.3% energy growth per year will emit enough thermal waste to boil water on the surface of the Earth in about 400 years. Purported efficiency gains to save the day? The Jevons Paradox and diminishing returns rain out that parade in a doubling or two.

    Urban highways? A destructive, short-sighted tilt up a thermodynamic incline. But short term? The year-end books never looked better. Slash-and-build suburbs for all!

  6. Mike Orr says

    ‘“Another big piece is the alignment of light rail in Snohomish County,” he said. “We’re interested in getting them to put in a stop around 220th Street for connections to Edmonds by bus.”’

    Interesting. So they’re pushing for a 220th station for the same reason people in Seattle are pushing for 130th: to allow for an east-west bus to the surrounding neighborhoods.

    I don’t know enough about Snohomish County to say whether this would be significantly better than the same bus on 196th or 236th/228th/Edmonds Way. (Assuming some slight improvements in the road grid, such as 228th on the east side of 99 where it’s blocked.)

    • Cheesewheels says

      I’m not sure why they couldn’t route people from Edmonds station to the Lynnwood TC for northbound, and the MLT freeway station for southbound. In any case, 220th seems like it’s unnecessarily close to 236th.

  7. Bernie says

    Corner stores may become legal again in Seattle.

    The link to the Strangler article was broken but a google search turned up an article at Sightline.

    Seattle Central Community College… is located just a few minutes walk from downtown and it’s served by multiple bus lines, as well as a forthcoming streetcar and light rail station. Not surprisingly, its existing parking facilities are under-subscribed. Yet it cannot expand its classroom space without also building costly new parking structures.

    Well, I don’t know how fast Eric de Place walks but it would be more than a “few” minutes for me; more like half an hour. But what I was most amazed by was the under-subscibed parking. So, a trip to the SCC website:

    Student Rates

    All parking rates indicated are quarterly rates.
    DAYTIME (ALL-DAY) PARKING RATE (lottery winners only)
    Flat rate $125.00

    Seems like Sightline has drifted off to Fantasy Island.

    • says

      It depends on where “downtown” you are referring to. I frequently walk to/from that area from Convention Place Station in 10-15 minutes (down vs uphill) but that is obviously at the edge of “downtown”…

      • Bernie says

        You’re pretty quick, especially up hill! I picked Benaroya Hall and it’s 1.1 miles. It’s .8 miles to the Convention Center. According to Google it’s a 19 minute walk with the warning:

        Walking directions are in beta.
        Use caution – This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths.

        It lists Public Transit at 17 minutes so unless you can hop right right on a bus going your way it is faster to walk. Of course when U Link opens it will only be a few minutes walk to the station ;-)

  8. Shawn says

    I like the Seattle Subway idea, but just turning the money over to Sound Transit would be a mistake. It can’t do anything quickly (or inexpensively).

    Anyone have a current estimate of the tax costs to secure the ~$8.5 billion bonds ST plans on selling? Hopefully it’s still south of $100 billion . . ..

    • Aleks says

      In this day and age, it’s simply not possible to build anything as cheaply or inexpensively as we used to. Even the oft-cited Canada Line, which was intentionally built to a lower spec than the first two lines, was still pretty darn expensive.

      As transportation authorities go, ST is the most competent and well-managed in the region, both fundamentally and practically. It’s the only agency for which elected officials do not have veto power over technical decisions. Any new organization would undoubtedly be directly accountable to the Seattle City Council, and that sucks. And any new organization would also have to relearn everything ST already knows about building subways.

      If we raise the money to build a subway and give it to ST, it will happen. If we try to do it ourselves, we will get another monorail — or lack thereof. (No offense, Lack Thereof, but one of you is enough. ;])

    • Zed says

      It’s pretty easy to calculate the interest paid on 30 year bonds. And no, it doesn’t come any where near $100 billion.

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      Shawn, the overhead of creating a new transit agency *alone* would cost more than giving Sound Transit funding. Sound Transit isn’t any slower than anyone else – big projects are just big and complex. Look at how late Windows usually is – it’s at about the same scale.

  9. Lack Thereof says

    That last link about zoning echos something we were talking about in an earlier comment thread.

    In a rational world, areas with high land values (and thus high demand, assuming a properly functioning market) would be the first to get upzones. Areas with lower land values would be the last.

    In reality, high-value areas get their low-density zoning preserved indefinitely, as an attempt by the landowners to preserve neighborhood character.

  10. says

    Emeryville, California Gets New Hydrogen Fueling Station

    Emeryville, California which is just north of Oakland, has received a very special gift this week – a new hydrogen fueling station. The station which was built by the Linde Group was delivered to AC Transit, a municipal bus company that operates in the Emeryville, Oakland and Berkeley, California areas.

    http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/blog2/index.php/hydrogenbuses/emeryville-california-gets-new-hydrogen-fueling-station/

  11. Bernie says

    Can someone point me to the page on the Metro website that explains the transfer policy? All I find under fares is:

    Transfers
    Metro paper transfers are valid on only Metro buses. If you are paying cash and use more than one transit system you must pay a fare each time you board a different bus.

    Nothing saying Orca will transfer to/from ST, nothing on duration they’re good for, Owl service, etc. Nothing jumps out under Tickets and Passes either. And of course RR is on a completely separate page, meaning you’d have to know about it instead of on the How to Ride Metro page. The Sound Transit site is just as bad; nothing I could find about transfer policy. I’m sure it’s there in some wonky document library but this stuff shouldn’t be that hard to find.

      • Bernie says

        Still nothing that tells you what the transfer time is for a paper transfer. And somebody paying cash, like from out of town, isn’t going to go snoop through the Orca info to find it.

    • Bernie says

      More hints under Trip Planner Tips:

      On Metro only, ask for a transfer even when your itinerary is only on one bus if it starts outside of downtown Seattle, continues through downtown, and ends on the other side of downtown. On trips like this, you pay when you board and pass through the Ride Free Area.

      And even what to do on a Boeing Custom bus, if you can make any sense of it:

      If you transfer from Metro routes to a Boeing Custom Bus, pay the minimum cash fare due on the first bus. Your transfer is valid only on another Metro bus for the amount you paid toward the Custom Bus fare. If you pay more than the one-zone fare, ask that the transfer be punched for two zones.

    • Nathanael says

      Americans don’t walk because many roads have high speed limits and there are no sidewalks on them, for STARTERS. I really don’t think Americans will walk until those are fixed regardless of what else you do…. if it’s not safe to walk, people will avoid walking.

      The articles seem to agree, and are mostly condemning governmental attitudes which think it makes sense to build fast roads with no sidewalks.

    • Kyle S. says

      New York doesn’t prohibit eating on the subway; in fact, they have vendors in some stations. (I believe 53rd/Lex on the F is one of them, but don’t quote me on it.)

      • Norman says

        What makes transit even less attractive than it already is, is when people are eating on transit buses or trains. Some of the smells are disgusting. Then you get the food and condiments (ketchup, e.g.) spilled on the seats and the floors. Really improves the entire transit experience.

        Of course, apparently in NYC, food comes in handy when you are trying to break up a fight on a subway car.

      • Andrew Smith says

        What makes transit even less attractive than it already is, is when people are eating on transit buses or trains. Some of the smells are disgusting. Then you get the food and condiments (ketchup, e.g.) spilled on the seats and the floors. Really improves the entire transit experience.

        With you on this one, Norman. A large segment of the population never learned to chew with their mouths closed or that discreetness is politeness. If the world revolves around you, then anywhere and everywhere is your dining room, your kitchen, your bedroom. your bathroom, your toilet…

      • Brendan M. says

        I agree, eating on the bus/train is a rude and inconsiderate act! I wish operators were more stringent about enforcing rules, but oftentimes they have their hands full or simply don’t notice. Sometimes all you can do is talk to people directly and hope they don’t respond with violence or mental instability.

      • Groan says

        Seeing that operators can’t even collect fares, they are supposed to engage patrons about muffins?

      • says

        I only know Chicago’s Metra and the Bay Area’s Caltrain, but all the commuter rail systems I’ve used in the US allow both food and alcohol. Few people would consider Metra, at least, an unattractive system.

  12. Norman says

    RE The Stranger Story on The Seattle Subway: Ben Schiendelman is the new Grant Cogswell.

    Let’s just hope Ben Schiendelman doesn’t manage to waste $200 billion of tax dollars like Cogswell did.

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      I’m honored to be the new Grant Cogswell. :)
      If $200 billion of tax dollars go to Sound Transit toward building Seattle a transit system, with all the performance auditing that Sound Transit goes through, it’ll build us some transit!

      • Cheesewheels says

        That’s a LOT of money. 40 times the WA state annual budget. Enough to buy 100 B2 Spirit bombers. More than 3 times Bill Gates’ net worth. Enough to erase 1/4 of credit card debt in the US.

  13. Norman says

    From The Stranger article: “Metro buses stop every few blocks, they get stuck in traffic, they’re infrequent, they’re slow—and people avoid using transit that’s infrequent and slow.”

    And that’s why the routes between Ballard and downtown and W. Seattle and downtown are regularly crammed full of commuters in the am and pm peak directions? Nobody rides buses anymore — they’re too crowded! (As Yogi would say.) Obviously, people are NOT “avoiding” taking the bus in Seattle.

    Of course, for a fraction of the money it would cost to build a subway, Metro could add buses to popular routes. This would:

    a) Increase frequency
    b) Take cars off the roads, reducing traffic congestion
    c) Eliminate many stops, making trips faster

    Which addresses every one of the Strangers’ criticisms of buses.

    You know, sort of like the RapidRide bus routes that are being implemented over the next couple of years for a fraction of the cost of Link light rail.

    • Nathanael says

      Or, you know, on really busy routes, it’s impossible to add frequency because you just can’t push any more buses through the traffic.

      Unless you want to convert road lanes to bus lanes. Ready? Have you started a “car lane to bus lane conversion” movement yet?

      • Norman says

        On what bus routes in Seattle would it be impossible to add frequency? On any of the routes where Schiendelman wants to build a subway? Like Ballard to downtown or W. Seattle to downtown? It is not possible to add fequency on those routes? lol

        You are joking, right?

      • Mike Orr says

        The hill from Ballard to Phinney Ridge is three lanes and there’s no space to widen it. When the 71/72/73 comes downtown from Eastlake to Stewart, sometimes it takes 30 minutes just to go a half mile from John Street to 9th Avenue because the traffic is so thick. The 75 gets stuck in traffic around Northgate. Buses can’t get through congestion without HOV lanes and signal priority. Ironically, taxpayers are more willing to build rail lines than to convert two lanes on these streets to bus lanes. (And on the Phinney Ridge Hill, you really can’t convert two lanes to bus lanes because that would leave just one lane for cars going uphill, and nothing for cars going downhill.)

    • Charles says

      No matter how many buses you add to a line, it will still take you 30 minutes to get from downtown Ballard to downtown Seattle. The same trip by subway could take less than 12 minutes. That is a huge difference for people and indeed faster than driving and parking.

      Trains can leave every 3 minutes making the trip virtually effortless. You simply can’t do that with bus infrastructure.

  14. Nathanael says

    The tunnels are 3 months ahead of schedule? That is really good news.

    The tunnels are generally the last of the really unpredictable parts of the schedule (well, signalling can be a pain too). Although Sound Transit is not planning to accelerate the schedule, it might be able to.

  15. says

    I was at the U Village QFC late the other night and I saw a small informal sign (something made in Word or whatever and printed on a piece of paper — nothing fancy) on the service desk that said that several of the services offered there were closed for the night. One of them was… ORCA. Just a mention on this small sign.

    “They sell ORCA cards here?” I thought. I looked around for any other indication. And there was nothing. No big sign with an ORCA logo. No posters touting the benefits of ORCA. Nothing. Just this little note that read that lottery tickets and ORCA sales would reopen in the morning.

    Is it really so hard to promote the darn things so people KNOW they can get them there? (I didn’t know you could…)

    • Bernie says

      I noticed the other day at the QFC in Totem Lake they had a sign at the customer service desk saying that you could add value to your Orca card there. It didn’t say specifically that you could buy a new card though. I’ll ask next time I’m in.

    • Cheesewheels says

      Most QFCs got Orca TRUs last year. They’ve done a horrible job advertising it. Everyone knows about Safeways, but not the QFCs. IIRC, one of the Cap Hill stores doesn’t have one though.

      • says

        Does everyone know about the Safeways? I’d be surprised, actually.

        All of these places need to have some sort of visual outreach to people about this. IIRC, in London, the various shops that will top-up your Oyster card all had visible signs on the front doors or windows.

      • Brent says

        Most riders don’t even seem to know that ORCA cards are available at Ticket Vending Machines. Who would have thought, since it isn’t called a Card Vending Machine or ORCA Vending Machine.

        Remember those hour-long lines at Westlake of oblivious first-time ORCA purchasers?

      • Bernie says

        oblivious first-time ORCA purchasers

        How many times should you need to purchase an ORCA card? I would like to think once, making everyone a first time buyer.

  16. Brendan M. says

    Over the past several months, I’ve witnessed several track changes for Sounder trains at Kent and Auburn. (I don’t ride but once a week.) Usually one of the station agents will announce the track changes over the loudspeaker, but such announcements are less frequent (sometimes entirely absent) than they used to be. Are track switches so routine as to be the new “normal”? And I’m guessing the matter is up to BNSF, not ST. Anyone have any ideas? I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect auditory or visual information as to which side my train will be on.

    • Nathanael says

      Track choice needs to be announced. I believe BNSF routes the trains to different tracks in whatever order seems to keep the traffic flowing fastest, probably determined by which side various trains have to exit on at Tacoma or in Seattle. So there should be no surprise that there are track changes.

      But the track selection MUST be announced, that’s just basic customer service. Complain about that?

    • Mike Orr says

      When I transferred trains in Oakland CA on a recent trip, there were three tracks, with walkways across the first track to the second. The third track was apparently nonstop because I didn’t see a platform. The Coast Starlight arrived on the first track and I had a 55-minute wait for the Capitols. (I should have gone to San Jose and taken the light rail back north to Great America, which would have been cheaper and faster, but those are the things you learn about when travelling.) There were real-time departure signs but they said nothing about which track the Capitols would be on. I was afraid the train would come and go before I could get to the right platform. I asked a conductor who was on the platform, and she just said, “I don’t know which track it will be on, it depends on what the signalman says when it arrives. If it comes on the second track, we’ll tell you to go to that track.” The train spent half an hour unloading and loading passengers. Then she got on the train (I guess she had been on it), and just before she left, she got a radio message and said through the open door, “Passengers for the 9:45 Capitols to San Jose, walk around this train to the second track.” So we did, and the train came. But if anybody was out of earshot of her voice or wasn’t paying attention, they wouldn’t have heard the message.

      Coming back from Great America, there was a single track for both directions. But there wasn’t any sign saying so. So I got there 45 minutes early in case I had to suddenly walk to another platform. The ACE (Altamont Commuter Express) came first, and a surprising number of people got on. The Capitols was scheduled 10 minutes later. I asked a passenger who was getting on the train, “Does the northbound Capitols stop at this platform?” She said yes. So I was half reassured, and waited. Sure enough it came and stopped there. I just wish the signs had been more specific.

      The southbound Capitols train was spiffy like Sounder, and the whole trip felt like Sounder. The northbound Capitols was an older train, not exactly dingy but partway there. In Oakland I had a 90-minute layover, which turned into a 3-hour layover because the Starlight was truly Starlate.

  17. says

    Overheard at a bus stop. How one guy rides RapidRide for $5 a month. He set his ORCA up as an e-purse. When he rides he doesn’t tap-in, thereby it doesn’t deduct money from his card. He said fare enforcement officers board his bus about once every two weeks. If he sees them up ahead at the bus stop, he gets up, taps-in on the bus, and sits back down, before they get on the bus.

    • Charles says

      It’s always interesting how some people are so fixated on other people’s scams. So, what should KCMetro do about this? Higher more fare enforcement officers? What’s the cost benefit of that? Give bus drivers police powers and guns?

      Oh, and is this morally different than Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital firm betting against whole countries debt obligations in a currency hedge?

    • Matt the Engineer says

      That’s awful. I’ve played with the idea of gondolas crossing the Sound. But even with light little gondolas (compared with the cars, trucks, and concrete of a bridge), you’d need almost definately need to build towers on 600+ foot underwater bases. The Columbia Tower is 660 feet tall. Think of a tower taller than that, made of concrete. Now build it underwater instead. Now do that several times. And you don’t get a penny of rent.

      • Matt the Engineer says

        (oops – Columbia Tower is 932 feet. but 660′ is still a significant portion of that)

      • Gordon Werner says

        can you just imagine how many neighborhoods would have been destroyed to make room for all those bridges?

  18. Cheesewheels says

    Noooo! No mitigation for the RFA please! Let’s not compromise on our best hope in years to clean up downtown.

  19. says

    CT has become virtually worthless. Today the 112 came 10 minutes early. I missed it because we were still walking toward the stop – it was empty and probably remained that way it’s whole trip. Rarely do people wait more than 10 minutes for a bus and the next one was coming 1 hour later.

    On my outbound trip the tripplanner told me to take the 113 which turns into the 112 at Ash Way P&R and I could stay on the same bus. The 112 was scheduled to leave as soon as the 113 arrived (obviously). The 113 did NOT turn into the 112 and the next 112 was 20 minutes turning my consistantly23 minute ride into a 43 minute ride.

    The 196 is consistently late and gets later as the day goes on. By 5 pm it’s 20 minutes late on 30 minute headways.

    The 113 schedule in the book is off by 6 minutes so you can’t pay any attention to it unless you want to do the math in your head.

    I’ve gotten to where I don’t trust any of their documentation including the schedules on the signs.

    • jim says

      CT changed the 113 times by 10 or so minutes last month, they posted the info on website and at all the stops of the 113. Seems they forgot about the ferry connection at Muk. The 196 is late because they did not give it enough runtime to complete the route and no turnaround time, so it gets more late as the day goes on. They made some changes this week not sure if it will help. They still have no stop for the 196 near the transit center or fred meyer.

      The 112 you saw was probably not 10 minutes early, it was probably very late, and next one was dropped, they have a lack of drivers right now because they laid off to many. They havae been dropping a lot of trips lately.

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