Yesterday, Metro dropped a couple of very substantive posts over on the Metro Future Blog: one about post-service-change feedback from riders in West Seattle, and one regarding a proposal to tweak service on the I-90 corridor to address overcrowding; there will be a separate post on the latter. You should read the post, and the PDF report, and the ridership table in their entirety; there’s lots of great information in there. Here are my initial takeaways:
- We’re going to get printed RapidRide schedules in February. Thank heavens.
- RapidRide C & D are victims of their own success — and inadequacies. Mostly, people are complaining about crowding and unreliability, which (I think) are consequences of inadequate frequencies, inadequate or incomplete capital improvements, and pent-up demand (particularly in urban villages), for anything remotely resembling high-quality transit. Imagine how many more riders we’d have if downtown had ORCA readers.
- In all other respects, the restructure worked. In spite of the totally underwhelming delivery and reception of the C Line, ridership overall went up, and it went up the most in areas where most rationalization was done — particularly the California/Fauntleroy corridor, where an indecipherable tangle of routes (54, 54X, 22, 116) have now become C and the 116.
- Bellyaching… Public reaction, in this survey and in online forums, has been almost uniformly negative; and online (away from this blog), often included thundering denunciations which asserted gross incompetence or malfeasance on the part of Metro, accompanied by cast-iron predictions that ridership had cratered. Turns out, these people didn’t know what they were talking about, and judging by the comments on the Metro Future Blog, they still don’t… but they won’t let that stop them from sounding off!
- …and the tyranny of the status quo. Sadly, these people get to vote, and to deluge their Council Members with complaints; and this is why we’re not going to get any changes whatsoever with the introduction of RapidRide E, and why virtually no changes were made in Magnolia or Queen Anne, even though there’s no good reason we couldn’t achieve similarly higher ridership and improved mobility in those neighborhoods.
- Please no more half-baked RapidRide launches. Don’t launch the E Line ’til it’s good and ready.
Thanks to Metro for collecting and publishing all this information in such an accessible and readable form.