The PI endorsed the surface and transit option … well the study of it at least. In this op-ed piece, the paper “strong encourages” the council to “approve the $8 million study”. They also seem to support amendments to the proposal that would keep improvements that would lead to replacement from being started.

They also sort of come out against the streetcar, saying that its usefulness is suspect and that funding it will get in the way of expanding bus service in the city. I agree that the city can’t afford to lose any bus improvements, but the street car could become part of a larger network of cars that will cross the city and improve mobility dramatically. San Francisco’s Muni cars are a huge part of it’s transportation system, though I have to concede in some places they resemble Link more than the streetcars Seattle is building.

King-5 had a piece about how transit ridership is up. All the major transportation agencies in the region have seen year-over-year increases of about 8-10%.

Metro Transit

– Boardings were up 8.9 percent in April 2007 compared to April 2006, translating to about 30,000 more weekday riders.

Pierce Transit

– Boardings were up 8.7 percent in April 2007 compared to April 2006.

Sound Transit

– Bus boardings were up 10 percent overall in April 2007 compared to April 2006.

– Sounder commuter train boardings were up 27 percent in the same period.

Community Transit – … double digit increases in April 2007 compared to April 2006. That’s similar to the jump from the same time last year.

Apparently, gas prices, traffic fatigue and new employment is the cause. But as more people take transit, the demand for more transit will grow, and the political movement behind building more will grow.

Finally USA today discussed the 100 million more people who will live in America by 2040 (a couple million of which will live in the Seattle region), and how transit projects are being approved all over the country.

One Reply to “Transit News Roundup”

  1. I read the PI article, I admit that I was a little upset at the streetcar portion. I believe that section is nothing but a bunch of politics. P.S. wanted the streetcar, why did he want it then speaks against it? I am confused. He is a flip flopper. I think the streetcar system will be nice once it is up and running. We need to get the backbone of something started and then we can worry about connecting the streetcars. For example, I have got to believe that it would be possible to run the SLU to Chinatown via 5th? Although it would be a nightmare for traffic. There I have linked 2 systems already! Difficult I can imagine, I do understand some things are easier said than done. Then you can add to the U district for fun as well. Any word on the waterfront vintage car? I haven’t heard about that for a while. I heard they were going to run that out to Amgen/Interbay at one point in my life?
    As for the increase in ridership, I definitely think that we run our buses well! Always room for improvement of course, but with the rise in gas prices that would force anyone into a bus. Without looking at any numbers, I could have predicted that. All my regular routes have become more populated. This is great news, hopefully they will keep riding. Problems people have with the system would work themselves out if people keep riding and complaining when things need fixed.

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