Photo by Atomic Taco
Photo by Atomic Taco

53 Replies to “News Roundup”

  1. I wish the smelly code was enforced. I commute on the 71-74s and there have been a couple of times atrocious smelling people have gotten on board. Passengers had to open windows to prevent gagging.

  2. Community transit ceo has announced to the employees that she will be making big cuts to service next year, and cutting jobs as well. This comes as we are gearing up for service increases and Swift introduction! Swift spending has sucked up a large amount of money, and while nice, the whole service could have been done using existing fleet of bus. Many routes may be cut and others “suspended”.

    1. CT is also starting to use fare enforcers, they never much cared if anyone paid before (on local routes).

    2. I’m really upset to hear CT is threatening to cut service. I just moved from Kent to Lynnwood last week and one of the reasons I felt better about moving to Sno County was an article I saw earlier this year (I believe from the CEO) saying that not only was CT in decent financial shape but they were adding 20 jobs this year. Obviously that won’t carry over into next year. I guess that’s par for the course these days though.

  3. I love how the “no smelly odor” is a misdemeanor. Wonder if anybody has actually gotten a fine or been arrested for being to stinky?

    As for full enforcement, while on link today I noticed they now have a “all passengers must pay the fare before entering the train” or something to that effect. I also noticed there is now graffiti on the back seats, which to me means people are moving in to their new transit system :-)

  4. And to double post. It is amazing how much scum of the earth posts on the forums at the Seattle Times. It has very truly tarnished that newspapers reputation in my eyes. Seriously. The best I can describe it is “scum of the earth”. Maybe even worse. And to make it worse, their moderation system makes it easy for them to all pat each other on the back and discourage any rational conversation.

    If anybody works at the Seattle Times reads here, your comment system is killing what is left of your readership. I used to read your newspaper online all the time until I noticed the comment system. Now I rarely visit your website at all. By allowing that trash to post, you are tacitly endorsing their views. You don’t even have to delete it, just interact on the forums and inject some reason. They will all scurry like the human flys they are. It is as simple as that. You cannot ignore them and hope they will go away. Right now they have free right of your forums and it is killing your online presence.

    Sorry to go a bit off topic, but any article about the light rail on the Seattle Times is infested with human trash posting the most vile comments I’ve read outside of the free republic.

      1. There is a difference between censoring and moderating. Treating their comments section more like letters to the editor would make them far more compelling to read. Since they are mostly rants by crazies I just turn them off.

    1. Agreed, a lot of the commenters in the big city dailies are pretty unpleasant people. Let’s remember, first, that a lot of that used to go directly to the editors, in the form of letters-to-the-editor. That’s what they had to put up with for the past 60 years.

      Secondly, that’s life in the US. The comments sections work for you as well as against you, if you take the time to comment.

      It may be that there is more comment moderation going on than I am aware of, but it was not so long ago that a lot of national blogs had a much higher proportion of trolls. Like it or not, these people are our neighbors, and the comments sections are the lowest stress way to contradict them or present a better alternative.

      1. I hope they aren’t my neighbors :-) But you make good points–these nutcases were probably the grandpa simpsons who wrote letters to the editor every week. Wow. I’d buy that completely!

        The comments sections work for you as well as against you, if you take the time to comment.

        I would, but I don’t like the system. They use the same kind of “thumb up / thumb down” that youtube or digg does and they get the same results–a cesspool of nuts slapping each other on the back.

        I’m a bit of a usability nerd and I’ve got a lot of experience with the behavior of online communities and I can say that those kinds of additive moderation systems are the worst. They reward all the wrong kinds of things and encourage a trend toward groupthink. The best kinds of moderation systems are those used by places like dailykos or slashdot–where the ability to rate things down is limited to a handful of trusted users. Anybody can moderate things up and reward thoughtful posts, but the minute you give the masses the ability to rate stuff down they will downrate anything they disagree with. Nobody likes getting rated down, so most will eventually stop trying to post intelligent comments that just happen to go against the general values of the group–hence a spiral toward groupthink and stagnation. In short, the best thing Seattle Times could do is look at something that works–dailykos or slashdot and liberally copy them.

        But I’m way off topic now :-)

        To get back on topic, I’m wondering if the wobbles between Ranier Beach and Tukwila are “normal” or something that needs a bit of work.

  5. I like the second part of Metro’s rule #9: “possessing and drinking an alcoholic beverage is not prohibited in the tunnel facilities if authorized as part of a scheduled special event for which all required permits have been obtained and when said facilities are not in use for transit purposes.”

    You can rent out the bus tunnel for parties? Sweet. I nominate this for the next meet-up.

    I noticed Honolulu’s rule against being intoxicated. Isn’t the whole point of a public transportation system to get a safe ride home from the bars? Well, maybe not the whole point. But it’s a useful feature.

  6. I mostly see guards on Link, not the police. So what if the person who didn’t pay to ride Link says they don’t have any ID on them, does the guard just write them a ticket to whatever name the non-payer invents?

    1. If they are anything like store security guards, they hold the person until the police show up and transfer them to their custody.

    2. You’re not required to carry ID in the United States, but you are required to identify yourself truthfully to law enforcement. I would guess that you would also be required to identify yourself truthfully to government-employed security, and that lying would open a whole new can of worms for you.

      1. You are most certainly not required to identify yourself truthfully to law enforcement whenever an officer asks you for identification. In 24 states, you are required to identify yourself when simply detained, and presumably in all localities you are required to identify yourself when under arrest; but when simply being questioned, and even when being detained in any of the localities without stop-and-identify laws (such as WA), you are not required to provide your identity to police.

        Moreover, I’m pretty sure security guards are security guards no matter who employs them. You probably shouldn’t lie about your identity, but if you’re not obliged to tell a bona fide police officer your name unless you’re under arrest, there’s no reason to think you would be required to identify yourself to a mere security guard. Nonetheless, security guards, like any other private citizens, can place you under a citizen’s arrest until the fuzz shows up. So you should probably play friendly. But by all means, ask if you’re free to go and if they say yes, skedaddle.

      2. Sorry, I meant to say when arrested, and therefore also when the security guards detain or try to detain you. There’s got to be something illegal about lying to a transit official, whether that law would stand up in court or not if challenged.

  7. I thought someone graffitied a Link that was sitting on the elevated tracks in Tukwila back before testing even began – didn’t ST drag it there as sort of an advertisement, only to have it hugely tagged? Did I just make that up?

      1. Unfortunately? The tag in that picture was pretty sweet; looks like NYC in the 80s. Maybe ST can give the taggers access to the window-wrap materials.

      2. While not wanting Link to be abused, the subway cars in NYC in the 80s looked pretty sweet. However, they remain a symbol of everything NYC in the 80s: crack, the South Bronx, nascent hip hop, crime, and poverty.

      3. There is no such thing as a sweet tag. It is wrong. No one who has ever delt with vandals would say that tagging is sweet. (Yes taggers are nothing but vandals. They are not artists, they are nothing but punks.)

  8. Some more transit news from around the country:

    Portland gets ready to open its green line extension September 12:

    Dallas also gets ready to open its green line extension two days later on Sept. 14:

    I glanced over the comments and noticed that there aren’t that many anti-rail comments as on the Seattle Times or local news stations like KING. Why is it that Seattle attracts all these anti-transit folk?

    1. We have bad traffic and a good bus system… maybe the drivers are jealous of people who get to read or sleep during their commute.

    2. Maybe it’s because both are new lines of an already existing system, and those cities already know the benefits first hand

  9. Apropos of Honolulu transit, TheBus used to have big yellow signs that drivers could simply point to that said, next to “No food” and “No drink”, “Do not speak to driver”.

    Drivers having conversations with crazies sitting six feet behind them seems as dangerous to me as drivers on cell phones, and I’d love it if Metro would establish a no-talking-to-the-operator rule.

    1. I hate to say this but I have seen several old folks whose only interaction with other people in a day seems to be with their Metro driver…

    2. I’m pretty good about gently redirecting people away from conversation using body language. For the folks that don’t get it, I’ll just apologize for ignoring them and inform them that I need to concentrate on my driving.

      Many drivers want Metro to install a driver’s cage for security purposes. I’m not a big fan of this idea but you would eliminate most talking with the driver by installing these cages. Also the low-floor buses that are our future do not have the infamous “therapy seat” where the really talkative people sit and chat up the driver.

      1. That’s an awful idea… I’ve occasionally had some very good conversations with Metro drivers. And some longtime drivers have good relations with regular riders.

        Why would we want to discourage that? We don’t think bus drivers are capable of indicating their unwillingness to engage in a conversation?

        What do y’all do when the lonely (or crazy) bus rider sits down on the seat next to you and starts chatting?

  10. Good for Pat McCarthy for pulling her endorsement in the Tacoma mayor’s race. And bad on the Tacoma News Tribune which in its editorial page blog today comments that mayoral candidate Jim Merritt is playing the whole Sound Transit berm issue “brilliantly.” WTF? There is nothing brilliant about this issue for a mayoral candidate. There are only about 100 people in Tacoma that give a crap about this at all.

  11. Note the author and the medium – let’s find out over the next few days what was “really” said.

    1. I guess you’ll find out now whether there’s actual political support for the 1st Avenue Streetcar or not…

  12. I have a question one of your folks might be able to answer: I get a Metro one zone peak pass every month through my employer. If I want to ride link to the airport, how do I pay the bridge fare? Or do I just have to bite the bullet and buy a ticket?

    1. Go to the ticket vending machine, select your station then select pass upgrade and click your pass’s value, then it will charge you the difference.

      1. As a follow-up: If your pass in this example is an ORCA card, do you also need to tap your orca in addition to getting the ticket for the difference? Or do you simply show your Orca to the inspector – this seems unclear and I have yet to read anything from Orca or the service providers that would clarify this.

      2. If your pass is associated with an Orca card, and you also have a stored value e-purse, bypass the TVM and just tap on and off. The difference between the pass value and the Link fare will be deducted from the e-purse.

      3. That’s how it has worked the couple of times I’ve ridden to/from Tukwilla (I have a $2 pass on my ORCA)

  13. Has the graffiti and other tagging been reported to Sound Transit – they need to nip this in the bud before it becomes a plague?

    1. It will always happen. As long as they clean it up quickly so it doesn’t degrade to the levels you see on the 7’s and 70’x they will be doing okay. Look on the bright side–it means that the thing is getting used by more than just tourists and people who are just checking it out :-)

  14. I would like to see not only the no smelly odors rule enforced more I would like to see the whole code enforced more. I am tired of being threatened when i politely ask someone to please use headphones.

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