Link + Bike, by Atomic Taco
"Link + Bike", by Atomic Taco

Two nice pieces of reporting from the Stranger today:

The Link bike rack doesn’t appear to work so well in practice:

They really did seem like the first bikes that had ever been hung there: Whoever had designed them had evidently never tried putting a bike in it. The handlebars jutted so far into the aisle it was difficult getting around them, and as soon as the train started moving they swung dangerously at standing passengers. Several of the guys who had designed the visual displays in all the stations were standing nearby talking, and one of them was preoccupied by the poorly designed bike rack and kept talking about how he would reconfigure it. “I think you have to lose one of those seats,” he said, pointing to a pair of seats across the aisle from the rack.

Dominic Holden reports Metro is not collecting as many 5 million fares a year (out of 400 million rides), but he isn’t all that concerned about it.  The figure is highly questionable, as many commenters on Slog have pointed out.

27 Replies to “12 Hours”

  1. It really bugs me that the vehicles have “express” programmed into the reader board. There isn’t any place or capacity for express trains.

    11 HOURS AND 50 MINUTES!!!!!!!

  2. Speaking of bikes, does Metro still have the rule about only being able to load/unload bikes at either ID or Convention Place Stations? And if so are they going to change the rule so that cyclists can transfer at Westlake, or will cyclists only be able to transfer at the ID? I always take my bike off at the ID, so I haven’t thought about it in a while.

    1. Bikes can be loaded at any station at any time during the tunnel. Same with every other stop, save for the RFA (Ride Free Area) during peak hours (6-9, 15-18)

      1. It is almost certainly something you can get away with, since I see people loading/unloading bikes at university station fairly often.

      2. Because it’s perfectly acceptable. If it wasn’t, those annoying orange vests would come up and harass you.

  3. That’s one of my favorite photos!

    Speaking of Link opening tomorrow, I got chased out of every station that I was at today. None of them had signs blocking any part of the stations off. I stayed on the sidewalks and was still harassed by security. They even tried to chase me off the sidewalk on a street parallel to Beacon Hill. I was told that I wasn’t allowed to be there because it was a construction site. I pointed out the construction site was more than 25 feet away and that the sidewalk was not closed. Apparently she was lazy and didn’t want to continue following me when I refused to turn around.
    And then there was the time that the contractor yelled at me from 30 feet away at Mount Baker. He didn’t seem to understand what I meant when I said I was with “nobody”. Just because I have a MiniDV camera, tripod, and DSLR does not mean I’m with the media. That’s not to mention the issues I had at SODO. Sorry to get off topic and rant…

    Did anyone on the preview train look to the west as you left Stadium on the southbound run? That was me.

    5 million? Well I don’t know. But it’s not uncommon for operators to waive people on. From their viewpoint, their paycheck doesn’t change with the amount of passengers they transport, so their incentive to enforce fares is, well, I can’t find the right word for it.
    But, as Metro’s policy points out, the operator is a peace keeper, not an enforcer. The operator can refuse the passenger entry if they don’t have valid fare, or they can call a coordinator to send the police. That’ll be a bit different with Link and RapidRide.

    1. I was looking east while leaving Stadium Station so I missed you.

      You got chased out? I was just up at Beacon Hill before lunch and took some shots into and through the elevators and shots of people planting trees. No one stopped me. I was standing near the bus stop. On the preview ride, I saw normal citizens walking on the Othello Station platform as we passed by.

    2. yep, during the preview run I noticed a few people filtering into the stations and looking around before being chased off. At one station this lady with 2 kids in tow came charging up to the train and then looked really befuddled when the doors wouldn’t open for her. Tomorrow lady, tomorrow.


      I’m leaving town today so I won’t be here for the open. I wish everyone a good ride. I look forward to reading your reports when I get back to somewhere with internet access.

  4. sorry if i sound repetitive but if one doesnt have a ticket where would one advise going tomorrow morning? i hear a lot saying westlake is the place to be at least to start. im trying to decide whether to go to mt baker watch the cutting then zip over by bus to westlake probably arriving around 9:00 or going straight to westlake and skipping the cutting. just wondering why am i the only one interested in seeing the ribbon being cut. am i just weird?

    1. Pioneer Square Station. Its the farthest station from other intermodal facilities. ST has been projecting the fewest people getting on there.

      1. The lines will be out the sidewalk at Westlake. From what I hear, they won’t be allowing anyone on the platform except for the small quota that will board each train.

    2. For today I’m guessing SODO will probably see the fewest riders in the entire system. As Mike said Pioneer Square should be the least busy of the Downtown Stations as the area around it is a bit of a ghost town outside of business hours. Between SODO and Tukwilla I’m not sure which station will have the smallest crowds … probably Rainier Beach or Othello but that is just a guess. Of course Westlake, Tukwilla, and Mt. Baker will all be mob scenes.

  5. Gonna need some serious amounts of coffee. I decided just to stay up since I’m gonna have to leave home shortly after 6.

    1. Good morning everyone! Time to go catch a train!! Our decades long wait is over – see you-all at a Link station today!

  6. Just a few more hours! Today will be the day people in this region begin to think differently about transit. Our battles for a more transit-friendly city will be a little easier to fight from here on out.

    …I hope.

  7. Good morning everyone! I have my family + some Microsofties here heading down to Westlake

    1. Jessica, you’re running late!! You kept promising us you’d be in line at 5.

  8. I’m up, I’m up!

    What’s all this “Link” business, anyhow? I thought we were waiting in line for Night Ranger tickets.


  9. Also, now we have many forms of transit in the Puget Sound:
    -Cars (it counts)
    -Rapid Streetcar
    -Commuter Rail
    -Car Ferries
    -Passenger-only Ferries
    -Funicular (well, okay, they’re all private, but hey)
    -Light Rail!!

    Next-up: BRT!

  10. Just had breakfast; ready to roll!

    I’ll be very easy to spot: dirty blond hair, dark sunglasses even indoors (my eyes were damaged some years ago and don’t play nice with light), big power-wheelchair w/ table (and usually a laptop sitting on the table).

    I’ll report back when I ride. How does the wheelchair seating area work? Is it like a bus where I have to be tied down or like the SLUT/Tacoma Link where I just roll to the area and park? Either way is fine with me

    1. Roll on, go to the designated area, and set your brake. There are no bus style tie-downs.

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