Maintaining StopInfo: Rider Contributions Matter

This is a guest post.

February marked one year since the launch of OneBusAway’s StopInfo feature, a web-based collection of information about bus stops that was created to help visually-impaired transit riders locate stops. While the basic data about bus stops in the application came from King County Metro, the rest is contributed by transit riders in the community using the OneBusAway iOS app or the website. StopInfo will also be incorporated into the next release of OneBusAway Android.

Shows a person entering information about a bus stop as she stands waiting for the bus.

   A transit rider adds information about a stop to StopInfo while she waits. (Photo belongs to me.)

Over the past year, transit riders have submitted information for over 1000 unique bus stops in the Seattle area, and the numbers are still climbing. But as with any contribution-based project where the information collected is subject to change over time, maintaining a stable level of contributions is crucial toward long-term adoption and success. That’s why my research team at the University of Washington has been focused on learning what motivates people to contribute, and adding in features that support these values and motives. For example, an initial study discovered that sense of community was important to many contributors, and therefore are working on a feature that allows contributors to respond to direct requests for information from other community members.

If you’d like to give your own input on what might matter to you when contributing information, or suggest potential new features for StopInfo, we have created a form for feedback here. It takes about 20 minutes to complete, and also includes a chance to win a $50 gift card of your choice. Feel free to pass it on to other transit riders (near or far) as well!

We’ve appreciated all of the help that Seattle Transit Blog readers have offered us in the past, and want to ensure that this project remains a community-driven effort. As we’ve started to see recently, speaking out in support of better information tools can benefit developers, transit agencies, and Seattle-area riders alike.

This is a guest post.

Update on Metro’s TVM Trial

Ticket machine at 3rd & Pine.

Ticket machine at 3rd & Pine. Illustration SDOT. (The TVM is actually installed elsewhere).

A while ago, King County Metro installed a TVM in the Westlake area, as part of a trial project. I asked Metro for an update, and spokeswoman Metro Rochelle Ogershock kindly sent me this response:

The six-month pilot began in December and will continue through May. At the conclusion of the pilot, we’ll assess elements such as equipment performance, usage, potential benefits to bus schedules and how this TVM might fit with the overall redesign of Third Ave. before deciding whether to continue or expand the program. We also plan to periodically survey users to find out how useful they think the machine is. We estimate about ten percent of riders who board at this stop currently use cash to pay their fare.

Since the TVM was installed three months ago, approximately 400 tickets have been purchased. We have also noticed quite a few incomplete transactions, which suggest riders have been trying the machine out to see how it works. As time goes on, we would expect the ratio of completed transactions to cancelled transactions to increase.

Most people who have been buying tickets from the TVM have been using their credit or debit card to purchase their ticket (69%). This may indicate that the machine is attracting people who don’t have exact change for the bus, which can be a barrier to riding.

Based on some early surveying of usage, it appears that many who catch the bus at that location are not familiar with the machine and how it works. Those people who are familiar with the TVM find it convenient and easy to use.

As Metro and SDOT continue to work on the overall redesign of Third Ave, the use of TVMs will be need to be assessed before we know if or how they might fit in with the longer-term vision. The 30 percent design phase should be completed this fall. Also, the city’s outdoor advertising initiative will potentially introduce new street furniture and transit-supportive features. Once we know how the city proceeds late this year, we will be able to create a comprehensive approach for guiding future transit and pedestrian improvements.

You can look over the Third Ave. Transit Corridor Improvement site for more detail.

So, on the one hand, I’m very glad that Metro and SDOT are attempting to get away from on-board cash payment, especially in downtown Seattle. Metro deserves praise for running this pilot. On the other hand, 400 tickets over three months is about 4-5 tickets per day, which, given the passenger volumes at northbound 3rd & Pine, is pretty underwhelming. I hope Metro manages to find some way to get more purchases from this machine, and that the hitherto-low level of activity isn’t taken as prejudicial to the concept of off-board payment, which is essential to the long-term scalability of buses in downtown Seattle.

One obvious optimization that occurs to me, is to install a second machine at (or move this one to) the northbound RapidRide stop on Pike. Passengers who use the machine at this location will actually get the full benefit of off-board payment, which is the ability to board RapidRide at any door. Doubtless STB commenters will have other ideas.

The Empire Builder Gets Back on Track

Chuck Taylor (Flickr)

Chuck Taylor (Flickr)

On Saturday I was bicycling in Monroe early in the morning and heard a train horn sound and the crossing gates come down. I thought surely it was freight, as the Empire Builder had developed such a reputation for notorious lateness that I wouldn’t have expected it through there until noon. But alas, there it was, on time and humming along adjacent to Hwy 2. Remembering the unexpected dip in gas prices we’ve experienced this year, I thought I’d check in on the train’s on-time performance. Has the Bakken’s bust been the Builder’s boon?

Indeed, it has.  For now at least, it appears that Amtrak has seen a welcome reprieve from the 12-hour delays and terrible headlines of the recent past. In February, the train arrived early into Seattle 17 times, and was late more than 30 minutes only 4 times. Day to day variability is still unacceptably high, of course, but the word ‘success’ when it comes to Amtrak often means ‘doing the best you can within your myriad constraints’, and by that score things are definitely looking up on the Hi-Line.

Empire Builder Recovery

Murray Unveils “Move Seattle”

Priority Projects

Priority Projects

Among the critiques Candidate Murray made of Seattle’s series of transportation master plans (Transit, Pedestrian, Bike, and Freight) was that the projects in those plans were neither properly integrated nor prioritized. Yesterday he unveiled a vision, called “Move Seattle,” intended to address those two concerns.

As one might imagine, there’s way too much stuff, for too many modes, to capture everything here. However, here are some of the 10-year transit objectives listed in the document:

  • Provide 72% of Seattle residents with 10-minute all-day transit service within a 10-minute walk of their homes.
  • Provide RapidRide levels of investment and service on 7 new corridors (for a total of 10 overall).
  • Increase transit service and improve our streets to make transit more reliable
  • Provide real-time travel information to the public.

And some three-year goals:

  • Develop an iconic Seattle transit map to make Seattle’s transit system easier to understand.
  • Expand Transit Screen displays to 20 buildings to improve access to transportation information.
  • Partner to design and launch a real-time multimodal travel and wayfinding app.
  • Implement “Always on Time” bus routes by focusing transit capital improvements on the routes that serve most Seattle residents.
  • Ensure that 75% of Seattle households are within a 10-minute walk of bus routes with service every 15 minutes or better.
  • Install red bus-only lanes and transit priority improvements at pinch points and implement targeted enforcement to ensure bus-only lanes operate effectively.
  • Upgrade bus stops and stations by implementing a street furniture program and adding real-time information signs and better lighting to busy bus stops.
  • Begin construction of bus rapid transit on Madison Street.
  • Begin construction of the Center City Streetcar Connector and the Broadway Extension on Capitol Hill.
  • Explore opportunities to require new development to provide transit passes and other travel options as a condition of development approval.
  • Launch a “Car Light Living” program to promote alternatives to owning a personal vehicle when moving to Seattle.
  • Partner with King County Metro or other transit service providers to pilot automated transit vehicles and expand the use of battery-powered buses to reduce carbon emissions.

[Read more…]

Car2Go Expands Service Area and Adds 250 Cars

Old coverage area (left) vs New coverage area (right)

Old coverage area (left) vs New coverage area (right)

Just six weeks after the Seattle City Council took up expanded car sharing in the city, Car2Go has announced an additional 250 cars and an expanded service area that finally brings service to the entire City of Seattle. From the press release:

“Since our launch in 2012, car2go’s unique point-to-point service has seen rapid adoption among Seattleites, making it the highest membership base in the U.S. with over 63,000 members and nearly 2,000,000 trips to date,” said Michael Hoitink, Location Manager for car2go Seattle. “Our immense growth has been a true testament that car2go is on a very sound footing as a successful player in the mobility market, and we look forward to continuing our path in better serving our valued members in Seattle each and every day.”

Beginning today, car2go will provide an additional 250 smart fortwo car2go edition vehicles for shared use in Seattle, increasing the total fleet size to 750 vehicles within an expanded 83 square mile Home Area, where members can pick up and drop off a car2go. car2go allows members to use the service by the minute, 24 hours a day, seven days a week – without committing to a specific return time or dedicated location.

750 brings Car2Go to the limit enacted by the city council. While other rideshare services have expressed interest in the Seattle market, for now Car2Go is the main game. The 50% boost in capacity should make it a bit easier to grab one in your particular neck of the woods.

U-Link Restructure Proposals Coming This Week

Capitol Hill Station in June 2014 (photo by the author)

Capitol Hill Station in June 2014 (photo by the author)

Later this week, Metro and Sound Transit will release their initial restructure plans for the opening of University Link next March. Broadly speaking, there will be two alternatives that will be taken to the public. The first will be an aggressive restructure and consolidation that markedly increases frequency and reduces network complexity, while the second will be a conservative restructure with only minor changes. The two alternatives seem designed for maximum contrast marking the poles of a wide range of possibilities, and undoubtedly the final product will be a mix of the two.

We have seen initial drafts of the plans and I have been serving on the Sounding Board, but Metro is still working on the plans and we expect there to be some minor changes prior to release, so we are holding off on writing for now. Once the plans go public, expect a series of 5 posts from STB staff, including:

  • 1 . Overview, or a broad analysis of the entire restructure from a network perspective.
  • 2. Northeast Seattle proposals
  • 3. SR-520 proposals
  • 4. Capitol Hill proposals
  • 5. Center City proposals, including proposed changes to tunnel operations, South Lake Union peak service, and more.

Also included in these posts will be a new mockup of the proposals using Oran’s Frequent Network Map, which will do an excellent job of quantifying the benefits and drawbacks of the proposals to the all-day transit network.

Stay tuned.

SDOT Will Finally Make Rainier Safer

This is a guest post.

The 7 & Mount Rainier

Photo by Oran

Walking up Rainier Ave. S toward the Columbia School for a community meeting on SDOT’s latest Rainier Avenue safety proposal last Thursday night, I was struck once again by what a dangerous and inconvenient street Rainier is for pretty much anyone who isn’t driving a car. Once upon a time I biked to work on Rainier almost daily, a practice that prompted City Council member and fellow cyclist Sally Clark to write a blog post, titled “Hey, Erica,” suggesting three circuitous but very helpful safer routes from Columbia City to downtown. In 2008, the council quietly shelved a proposal to reduce Rainier from four or five lanes to three, including a turning lane, at a time when the street had nearly 30 times as many crashes, per rider, as the Burke-Gilman Trail. (In 2006, the city’s updated bike master plan acknowledged that “improvement [was] needed” on Rainier, but proposed no actual improvements.)

Screen shot 2015-03-01 at 7.41.11 PM

Photo via SDOT

 

After years of Band-Aid upgrades to nonmotorized street users’ safety – a pedestrian-activated crossing here, a safety-promoting yard sign there – it looks like the city is getting serious about safety on at least a portion of this fast-moving, accident-prone urban highway.

On Thursday, as part of Mayor Ed Murray’s “Vision Zero” transportation strategy (the zero refers to traffic deaths and serious injuries), SDOT staff presented three scenarios for reducing speeds and improving safety on Rainier. Notably, all three included rechannelization, or a “road diet.” Perhaps it’s a testament to Murray’s coalition-centric leadership style, or a reflection of his predecessor Mike McGinn’s more contentious reputation. Perhaps it’s changing attitudes and the shift away from driving alone. Whatever the reason, what was once unthinkable (a road diet? On Rainier?) is now Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C. After years of indecision from SDOT, it finally appears there’s no turning back.

[Read more…]

This is a guest post.

LIFT Off Sunday!

banner4

Author’s Note: Some links have been added since publication, as websites have been updated.

At long last, the ORCA LIFT program goes into effect Sunday, March 1. Those who obtained a low-income ORCA card, also known as the LIFT card, will start to enjoy $1.50 trips on King County Metro buses regardless of time of day or crossing zone lines, $1.50 trips on the South Lake Union Streetcar, and $1.50 trips on Link Light Rail regardless of distance traveled. Getting that rate requires using the ORCA LIFT card, but comes with a 2-hour transfer on the value of the trip. Or, LIFT holders can get a monthly pass for $54 for unlimited rides on these three services.

The King County Water Taxi is also implementing a low-income fare of $3 on the West Seattle route and $3.75 on the Vashon route. (The webpage needs to be updated.)

Kitsap Transit‘s low-income fare remains $1 on both buses and ferries. The Kitsap and King County low-income ORCA are interchangeable for purposes of all the low-income fares.

ORCA LIFT cards will be charged the regular adult fare on all other services.

Thank you to King County Metro Transit, the Seattle Department of Transportation, Sound Transit, Kitsap Transit, and Public Health – King County for helping to get the farebox out of the way of low-income riders and out of the way of the buses.

Here is a full list of fares for all categories of payers for the various public transit services that accept ORCA as of March 1.

We aren’t planning on having a group ride, since those are traditionally for new services, but we hope to have a meet-up very soon.

Please post your experiences with the new LIFT card, and help us work out any bugs.

Improving Train/Bus Transfer Timing

Bunched buses from the 71/72/73 trunk route, photo by Oran

Bunched buses from the 71/72/73 trunk route,
photo by Oran

Next year, in March, several bus routes may be restructured to serve UW Station and Capitol Hill Station, with more frequent all-day service. It is nice to know that there will be another bus for your route coming every 15 minutes. But for riders transferring from Link trains arriving every 10 minutes off-peak, 15-minute frequency may create problems.

With such a service pattern, every other bus may be crowded, and every other bus relatively empty. On long routes (like route 372), the emptier bus may slowly but surely catch up with the full bus, leading to a pattern where two buses pull up back-to-back, every half hour, at the other terminus. This commonplace phenomenon is known as “bus bunching“.

It may make more sense for minimizing wait time at stations, stabilizing headway, and enabling operators to get their scheduled rest breaks, to keep these routes on either 10-minute-headway or 20-minute-headway, depending on ridership demand for that time of day.

Practical reliability may trump theoretical legibility.

Op-Ed: NE 130th Street Station will Provide Access to Underserved Communities

by JANINE BLAELOCH (Coordinator, Lake City Greenways and Vice-Chair, Lake City Neighborhood Alliance), SANDY MOTZER (Chair, Lake City Neighborhood Alliance and Chair, Lake City Emergency Communication Hub) with support from STB EDITORIAL BOARD

Sound Transit is expected to make a decision in April 2015 regarding light rail station locations in the Northgate to Lynnwood extension, and a NE 130th Street/I-5 station remains under consideration. As Lake City residents working to make our community healthier and more accessible for people traveling in all modes, we are urging Sound Transit to include a NE 130th Street station among the stations that will open in 2023.

The Lake City Hub Urban Village is the third densest urban village in Seattle.  It has one of the lowest median household incomes and home ownership rates in Seattle while also having one of the largest increases in percentage of persons of color in the city.*

The proposed NE 130th Street station would be a critical link to light rail for the Lake City community, which consists of many residential neighborhoods and a fast-densifying Hub Urban Village. In the near future, Lake City will be growing and changing dramatically, as the Pierre family car lots undergo redevelopment. And let us not forget our neighbors to the west in Bitter Lake, who are underserved by public transportation–they, too, would benefit from a station at NE 130th.

The 130th/125th corridor has far more room for additional capacity than Northgate Way or NE 145th Street and offers faster travel between the heart of Lake City and the station.  A new bus route could easily and efficiently serve the community with quick access to light rail without the delays and congestion on NE 145th and Northgate Way.

A NE 130th station:

  • Would bring fast and dependable light rail access to two of the densest and most underserved communities in North Seattle: Lake City and Bitter Lake.
  • Would promote more walking and biking to light rail.  Many commuters in the walkshed of a NE 130th station would easily be able to walk to light rail at NE 130th when they would otherwise need to drive or take a bus to the Northgate or NE 145th stations.
  • Would reduce pressure on demand for building expensive parking garages at both the Northgate and NE 145th stations.
  • Would increase ridership on LINK light rail. At least 3,200 riders daily are projected to board at a 130th Street station from the nearby neighborhoods by foot, bike or transit.
  • Would be relatively inexpensive compared with other stations.

While we still have time to make these decisions, we should plan wisely and maximize the benefits light rail will bring to all of our communities. A NE 130th station makes great sense, and deserves to be part of the light rail plan.

*For all of these facts, see pages 51 and 52 of this DPD document.

News Roundup: 90%

Ravenna Blog Photo

Roosevelt Station Box (Ravenna Blog)

This is an open thread.

New Real-time Transit Data from Sound Transit, Metro

This is a guest post.

Sound Transit and Metro announced this week that they are making new real-time data feeds available to developers, covering vehicles from King County Metro, Sound Transit, Pierce Transit and Intercity Transit. While the eyes of the typical transit rider may glaze over at the mere mention of “real-time data feeds”, data like this powers applications, including OneBusAway and others, that are increasingly critical to navigating our transit systems.

Sound Transit has specifically made GTFS-realtime feeds, containing real-time vehicle position and delay information, available on their Developer Resources portal. GTFS-realtime is a common data format increasingly used by transit agencies across the nation and around the world to share real-time transit information with developers. Common formats are critical because they make it easier for developers to write a great tool once and bring it to multiple transit systems. The end result is better tools and more choices for transit riders.

In fact, someone might be working on that next killer app as we speak. Between events like last Saturday’s Seattle Open Data Day 2015 and the City of Seattle’s upcoming Hack The Commute event in March, there is a lot of energy around open transportation data in Seattle these days. While some of us may never be satisfied (as I whisper Link Light Rail real-time!), I commend Sound Transit for their efforts in making new data available to developers. Data is critical for riders and this is a huge step in the right direction.

This is a guest post.

Just 31% of Downtown Workers Drive Alone

DSTT Under Construction in 1987 (King County Photo)

This morning at the State of Downtown Economic Forum, the Downtown Seattle Association and Commute Seattle released an updated study of Downtown* commuting trends, with exciting results for transit advocates (our previous coverage here). Just 31% of Downtown Seattle workers now drive alone to work, a new historic low. These results continue the positive trends from prior surveys, down from an estimated 50% in 2000, 35% in 2010, and 34% in 2012.

Of course, these are proportions rather than volumes, so in a growth context a lower drive-alone rate does not necessarily mean less traffic, just as eating a proportionally smaller slice of a larger pie doesn’t mean you consumed fewer calories.  Our region’s traffic woes are real and in need of attention, but nonetheless these results show that Downtown is at least keeping up with what’s needed for job growth to continue without being choked off by gridlock and unreliable transit. The results are also a ringing endorsement of the benefits of transit and density, with 45% of Downtown commuters now choosing transit, and 15% opting for non-motorized trips (walking, bicycling, or teleworking).

Modal Split Snip

Within the high-level data there are also some interesting trends. The traditional Downtown core, with  rivers of peak-hour transit service and the most expensive parking, has a truly impressive drive-alone rate of just 22%, whereas faster-growing neighborhoods such as South Lake Union are more than double that (46%). Clearly, transit service has not kept up with job growth in Downtown’s periphery, and this is an issue that should be urgently addressed.

Company size also appears to be a major factor, which is no surprise considering the prevalence of employer paid ORCA cards in the Seattle area. Yet interestingly, medium sized companies (20-99 employees) showed the greatest positive growth, nearly matching the achievements of the largest companies despite being exempt from regulatory requirements such as the Commute Trip Reduction law. Yet the smallest companies (1-20 employees) are still largely left out, with a relatively high drive-alone rate of 41%.

 

Intermodal Growth

 

The report comes at a time when downtowns across the country are adding jobs faster than their suburbs.

* For the purposes of the DSA and Commute Seattle, “Downtown” includes everything from Elliott Bay to Broadway, and Galer to Royal Brougham. The survey didn’t include Sodo.)

Commute Seattle’s media release is below the jump:

[Read more…]

Curtis King on ST3

Here’s Senate Transportation Chair Curtis King (R-Yakima) explaining how he came up with $11 billion in new tax authorization for Sound Transit (over 15 years) instead of the $15 billion ST asked for (at 18:20 if the Youtube link doesn’t work correctly).

Well the theory was they asked for 15. From my limited knowledge, people usually ask for more than they want. In various discussions we heard some lower numbers from time to time. I would say that what we put forth exceeded some of the lower numbers we heard. We thought it was a balance between the 15 that they wanted and some of these lower numbers.

I found this interesting for several reasons. One is that it’s a solid illustration of the Overton Window, and can only encourage future requests to ascend to the stratosphere.

If one accepts the principle that Olympia must parsimoniously mete out local taxing authority, which I don’t, his reply makes a lot of sense given a lot of Sound Transit’s messaging. ST officials have frequently suggested the mix of taxes allowed “flexibility,” rather that indicating the actual level of need. Maybe that’s true, or maybe it’s not, but that’s impossible to really know since ST hasn’t released any sort of official analysis that would show what is achievable with any level of authority. In any case it’s clear that Sen. King cares not for Sound Transit’s taxing flexibility.

That doesn’t make $11 billion any less arbitrary, nor does it do anything for the potential riders whose projects won’t get built at a lower level of funding. But if Republicans that actually represent the ST district don’t care enough to raise a stink about it, then I’m not surprised that Sen. King doesn’t either.

H/T to Avgeek Joe.

Vision Zero Won’t Slow Down Link

ST 112 northbound along MLK - Seattle, WA

Because I have a one-track mind, my immediate reaction to the Vision Zero list was fear that lower speed limits on MLK would slow down the Link trains there, where traffic signals currently enforce the 35mph limit.

Luckily, that’s not the case. Sound Transit spokesman Bruce Gray says “We have no plans to change our operating speeds along MLK,” and SDOT representative Rick Sheridan says “We do not anticipate any changes to the operating speed for light rail.”

I think this is the right call. Our regional transit spine needs to be fast. Professional drivers operating in an intricately designed signaling system need not have the same safeguards as ordinary people with uneven levels of distraction. Most importantly, fast transit gets people out of cars, and that will save more lives than slowing down trains.

ST3 Authorization Will Get Out of House Committee

Reuven Carlyle

Last week, House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan (D-Covington) told the Times that transportation was on the back burner ($) until the legislature handled the education funding shortfall. In a session where even Republicans are on board with a large new Sound Transit tax authorization, and with deadlines for non-budget bills to escape committee fast approaching, I found this quite worrisome. Additional transit projects are too important to lose because of brinksmanship over an unrelated issue.

With HB 1180 – the pure ST authorization bill – still in the Finance Committee and this Friday a deadline for non-budget bills to leave committee, I asked Finance Chair Reuven Carlyle (D-Ballard) what was going to happen. And rest assured that he has our back:

We expect that SHB 1180 is exempt from the fiscal committee cutoff and we will have confirmation on Monday [today] of that ruling.  If it is ruled otherwise by counsel, I assure you that I will move a version of the bill out of Finance prior to the deadline on Friday.  The Majority Leader’s statement was more about timing and the focus on McCleary and transportation than the mechanics of committee deadlines.  We will not allow, in any way, the bill to fail based on committee deadlines. I am working closely with Reps. Fey, Farrell, Walkinshaw, Clibborn and others to maintain the progress.

He really couldn’t have made that reply any clearer.

Speaker Chopp’s office has not yet replied to my email.

Vision Zero: Transit is Part of the Solution

2012 Collision Data

Collision Contributing Circumstances (City of Seattle, 2012 Seattle Traffic Report Section 7)

Last week, Mayor Murray launched the City of Seattle Vision Zero Plan, adding Seattle to a fast-growing list of US cities that have committed to reducing preventable road fatalities to zero. The plan, which was covered here, here and here outlines a variety of near-term actions the City will take to eliminate road deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

The City’s plan, which builds upon Washington State’s Target Zero program, was modeled after Sweden’s Vision Zero programs which began in the 1990s. While Washington State’s road fatality rates are roughly twice those of Sweden, the state has made good progress, with fatality rates dropping by 40% since 2000.

Seattle’s Vision Zero Plan is an excellent starting point. It identifies high-value, near-term actions the City can take now to improve road safety, especially for pedestrians and cyclists, who are the most vulnerable road users. Unfortunately, the level of detail identified by the plan for road improvements didn’t carry over into strategies and actions for reducing impaired driving.

This is important because in 2012, the most recent year that city data was available, impaired driving was identified as a contributing factor in 4 fatal collisions, 16 serious injury collisions and 178 possible or evident injury collisions on Seattle streets. To put these numbers in perspective, speed (speeding and exceeding safe speed) was associated with 8 fatal collisions, 21 serious injury collisions and 219 possible or evident injury collisions during the same time period.  [Read more…]

Senate Transportation Budget Advances, Including ST3

[8:30pm 22 Feb: See correction below]

As Dan Ryan reported a week ago, the leadership of the Senate Transportation Committee struck a deal for their transportation budget. The proposals were formalized in the form of Senate Bills 5987-5989, and had a public hearing this past Wednesday. SB 5987 is the transportation funding bill, and contains authorization for a vote on a Sound Transit 3 capital and service improvement package. (See video above.)

On Thursday, the committee voted on a series of amendments to SB 5987. (See video below, with the portion on SB 5987 starting at 44:45, and lasting about 50 minutes.) Four minor amendments passed. They then voted the bill out of committee, with a few Democrats including Pramila Jayapal (Seattle) and Cyrus Habib (Kirkland) casting symbolic No votes. (The signature sheet with the vote tally was not available online at the time of publication.) The bill, as amended, moves to the Senate Rules Committee, waiting to be scheduled for a Senate floor vote.

[Read more…]