I finally had a chance to watch the video from the last ST board meeting, where they discussed options for the next ballot measure. There’s a bunch more information one gets by doing so:

  • The planners emphasized at the beginning that the presentation contained “more than we can afford”, and is meant as a menu of options to choose from.
  • The “BRT” is intended to utilize HOV lanes, but also expected to involve headways of no more than 15 minutes, and may include electronic signs and off-bus payment.
  • As I didn’t state clearly enough before, peak-hour buses will go straight into Seattle, but off-peak ones may dump them off at the rail termini.
  • 4 Sounder trains on the north line is all they really ever plan to do, because of the relatively low ridership.
  • One option to resolve the park-and-ride dilemma is to build satellite parking, which apparently has been successful in Sumner and Puyallup. Pierce County Exec John Ladenburg suggested charging for parking (yay!) and public-private partnerships to build garages.
  • The diesel multiple units (DMUs) suggested for Eastside commuter rail are 1-2 car, self-propelled mini-trains. The planners sound really down about the potential ridership on this line. Ladenburg is interested in running DMUs to supplement Sounder service in Pierce County.
  • Ladenburg and Tacoma City Councilmember Julie Anderson are really nostalgic for ST2 and would like to find a way to bring it back. Can’t say I blame them.
  • The University Link Federal funding agreement is more at risk than Carless In Seattle believes due to the threat from SB 6772.

Good stuff.

7 Replies to “More from the ST Board Meeting”

  1. A small change might be coming but it’s all a rumor. I e-mailed ST to see if there was any truth to this at all.

    There was a note on the possibility of ST purchasing 10 Colorado Railcar Double Decker DMU’s which would replace the current cars and locomotives used on the Everett runs.

    The normal cars and locomotives will move to the Seattle – Tacoma/Lakewood service

  2. If they do by the Colorado Railcar’s I hope they get a good warranty to go with them as they have been extremely trouble prone including one burning up in Miami.

  3. The more and more I visit the Eastside the more and more I think it won’t support mass transit very well. Quite frankly most of it is low density suburbia, with poor walkability.. So in general it doesn’t bode well for transit in my mind..

  4. nick, you’re right, except for the Seattle-Bellevue-Redmond corridor.

    Remember that all that walkability comes *after* transit, historically.

  5. I got an email back from ST a few minutes before 6pm yesterday (Tuesday) which is probably the fastest turn around time yet but they are not looking at the Colorado Railcar DMU’s until they become more reliable in Tri-Rail Commuter Rail and Tri-Met WES Commuter rail. They are talking with Siemens to see if an FRA compliant Desiro Classic can be built and with Bombardier on a new concept that is soon to be introduced in Australia that could be viable for the North American market.

    She also mentioned that the fuel savings on the Tri-Rail DMU Aero model as of late with raising fuel costs have saved them a huge amount of fuel and maintenance costs. The fire was caused by a bad alternator on the number 2 engine.

  6. I see fuel being one big advantage, but another being if you get the higher-capacity trains, you could have smaller foot-print stations, which could let sounder make stops in Ballard or Broad street.

    Pretty good idea.

  7. nickb,

    What do you mean the Eastside won’t support mass transit? Do you mean rail? Buses are considered mass transit. Also, I think density is only a part of the argument. I have lived in places with really low density and exceptional transit! I am not really hearing the density issue. I would say Kemper Freemans prowess to Bellevue may hinder rail transit to the Eastside more than density.

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