Sound Transit doesn’t have a lot of extra cash lying around right now, but should that change, surplus subarea funds might be used to construct an infill station — that is, an additional station on an existing line. There are 5 such stations that come up now and then. What follows is a highly speculative review of each of these; note that all of these have the drawback of increasing travel times by a minute or two. Click on each station name to see a Google map of the approximate location.
1. MLK & Graham St. – This station would plug the biggest gap in the Rainier Valley segment and place virtually everyone within a half mile of a station, potentially allowing cutbacks in Metro service in this corridor. It would also serve a minor retail district, middle school, and in the long run probably allow MLK to become a solid line of dense development instead of islands around stations.
2. Boeing Access Road – Long mentioned and long lamented, BAR station actually has fairly low ridership estimates, as there’s almost nothing to walk to. Additionally, potential building heights are unimpressive because it’s at the foot of a runway. However, BAR is the only place for an intermodal Sounder/Link/Bus transfer point aside from King St; the connection would facilitate connections from the Green River Valley to the airport, provide a bypass of the Rainier Valley for Link riders from Federal Way, and possibly allow the truncation of bus service along I-5.
3. S. 133rd St. A station here would also break up the huge stop-less stretch between Rainier Beach and TIB. It provides a superior transfer point to get I-5 buses like the 150 off the freeway before they enter town. However, there is no Sounder connection. Since it’s in Tukwila, this station would have to be paid for by South King funds, which might otherwise be used to extend the line another stop.
4. Broad Street Sounder. A station on the Belltown end of downtown would improve anemic ridership on North Sounder by providing better connections to jobs in Seattle Center, SLU, and Belltown. It’s not entirely clear that the logistics of terminating South Sounder here work out, but if they did that would be an additional bonus. One drawback is that fixing the street grid could be messy and expensive.
5. Ballard Sounder would bring Sound Transit service to an otherwise ignored quadrant of the City. It would provide a traffic-independent means downtown and boost ridership on North Sounder. However, the tracks run well away from the population and business centers, hurting ridership. Furthermore, this station would credibly require North King operating funds to contribute to North Sounder operations, which is a either a feature or a bug depending on what else is going on.
159 Replies to “Infill Stations”
I am all for the Graham Street Station. I think it’s much needed. It always seems strange to pass that location by on the train.
Before building additional stations in South Seattle we should let the existing ones show their success. Building park and rides, starting with Rainier Beach, would be a great way to build the base of support for light rail – and help the overall commercial and residential development of commercially zoned areas (no rezones)along MLK.
BTW, they don’t call it ‘Gram’ street for nothin…. :-)
Why would we delay? We know the sooner we build, the sooner the area improves.
Wow, Douglas, that was a really rude comment about the neighborhood surrounding Graham Street.
I agree with you, Matt, but there’s always going to be someone trying to be witty. His comment didn’t sit well with me. Now, to the point of the article. Definitely Graham. The distance between Othello and the next station (can’t recall at the moment) is quite far.
I’m sure there’s going to be a decline in ridership in this area when it’s dark before 5 and when the weather is nastier than it’s been. I took a shuttle from SeaTac instead of the train because I would have to get off at Othello at 10 PM on a Saturday night. All along MLK there were groups of the saggin pants set and I didn’t see any security. Until this stretch of road can be made safe, I’ll bet there are others who feel as I.
BTW, they don’t call him ‘Douglas’ for nothin…:-)
They should put a light rail station at the convention center.
Westlake is two blocks from the convention center…
Westlake is actually 5 blocks from the convention center and it’s a uphill walk, which makes it perceptually more daunting. For comparison, University Street Station is 4 blocks from Westlake, Pioneer Square station is 6 blocks from University (and they are shorter blocks), and the ID station is 5 blocks from Pioneer Square. Having stations about 5 blocks apart is standard spacing in the CBD. Convention place also provides an ideal transfer point to a potential bus / trolly line on Boran Ave that could serve First Hill far better than the current streetcar alignment does.
So, as I live a few blocks from Westlake, I have to clarify.
If I come out at the Nordstrom end of Westlake, I walk 1/2 block to 6th, 1 block to 7th, 1 block to Pike, and perhaps 1/2 block to the convention center entrance. There is no way that’s five blocks – at the MOST it’s three, and it’s really more like two.
When the Westlake Hub project is more complete (unfunded, though), there will even be a street-level exit from the tunnel on the Coldwater Creek side.
A station at Convention Place would be just like any freeway alignment station – it would have a steep uphill climb to any Capitol Hill destinations, and 30%-ish of the potential walking area would be taken by the freeway or the Convention Place station area. It wouldn’t rate in terms of ridership.
Why ISN’T it stopping at Convention Place? It’s a transit center after all.
I swear we either have the dumbest planners in this area… or we love to waste tax dollars on projects that don’t last very long.
So, all the buses coming in there will force people to stay on for an additional stop to access light rail?
And folks on the bottom of Cap Hill should walk uphill for more blocks to access the station?
Or create some parking spaces for vanpools and turn it into a transit park & ride.
Convention Place is at the same elevation as the express lanes. Link needs to go under the express lanes. I guess they could have built a Link station under the current Convention Place, but that would have been expensive.
“Why ISN’T it stopping at Convention Place? It’s a transit center after all.”
Convention Place Station’s proximity to I-5 prohibits building a tunnel from there to Capitol Hill. Using the Pine Street stub tunnel for construction staging for the Capitol Hill tunnel also allows them to keep Convention Place Station open while construction is going on.
“So, all the buses coming in there will force people to stay on for an additional stop to access light rail?”
Buses won’t be using the tunnel after University Link opens, so that’s a non-issue. And most of the buses that use CPS to access the tunnel will be replaced by Link.
Ridership for Convention Place was estimated at 5500 daily boardings in 2015 in the North Link DEIS. Mind you this was for an alignment with no real Capitol Hill station.
While this isn’t great compared to say Westlake or UW stations it is very respectable ridership. I suspect the ridership might actually be a bit higher than that due to the better Capitol Hill station location.
The ridership with the capitol hill station would likely be lower – most of those 5500 would likely be coming from or going to the Hill, and many would use the station we’re building.
I do think that it would be a good future infill station. I disagree that most of the riders would be coming from Capitol Hill, maybe they’d be coming from Pike/Pine near the freeway, but mostly they’d be coming from all of the office buildings and condo towers around there. And once they get around to capping I-5 that area will be nicer and will get even more development than it has now. As was said above, five blocks is standard station spacing downtown, and if you put the station right next to the freeway, it’s about five blocks. Although, are the tracks slanted at that point to get the tunnel under the freeway? If so, I guess that station couldn’t happen.
Zed, I want to clarify. I know we were promised bus expulsion by 2016, but I’ve been informed by SDOT that it may not be until Northgate opens. Nothing is 100% set in stone, though.
Now, with fewer hrefs:
Another Clarification: the actual Washington State Convention and Trade Center entrance is at 7th and Pike, a comfortable few-block walk from any of the Westlake Station exits, not to mention nearly every downtown hotel.
On the other hand Convention Place Station is at 9th and Pine–a full three blocks from the WSCTC entrance! The location of the station is all about access to the I-5 express lanes. The surrounding blocks are actually one of the most bombed-out parking-covered areas of downtown. Few if any of the routes that currently use the Convention Place Station (41,71-74,194,etc.) will exist by the time Link gets to Northgate. That said, an easy transfer from a highway express bus to Link would be great.
Oh, and it’s “Boren”, Carson Boren.
Much of the recent high-rise construction in downtown has been near the Convention Place Station, in the area between 7th and Boren. Many of these buildings are a long walk from Westlake Station.
I understand why Link doesn’t currently stop at Convention Place, but I hope that after the Convention Place bus station is no longer used (2021) a new Convention Place Station can be built along the Link alignment. The existing bus station could be used for staging construction.
I liked the idea pitched here a while ago for the current Convention Place bus station to be used as a streetcar barn/stop in the future. That’d be perfect if it tied into a new Link stop.
The new highrises (1521, Escala, 1918 8th, Cosmo, Aspira, etc.) are closer to Westlake Ave and no farther from Westlake Station than Convention Place. The only exception built I can think of is Olive8, which is closer to Convention Place by 1 block. There were proposals (AVA and a couple on Howell) closer to Convention Place that never got off the ground.
Met Park is definitely a lot closer to Convention Place but I don’t think it warrants a station by itself. There was the “Eastlake alignment” proposal with a stop at Eastlake and Thomas but I’m just not imagining the ridership being there for a whole additional line. Maybe if they do build those projects and others to fill in the Denny Triangle parking lots.
Olive 8, the Olivian, 1918 8th, 818 Stewart, and Aspira are all much closer to Convention Place than Westlake. AVA, the Greyhound block project, and others will all be right next to there too
It’s true that they’re 1-3 blocks closer (depending on building), if you’d like to walk past parking lots into an open-air station. I did it in the summer when I had meetings at Met Park or Seattle Children’s Research Institute (1900 9th).
I still argue that the express lane access is the only reason for Convention Place Station, though. 1-3 blocks is not too far to walk, and walking through the already built-out area toward Westlake is much nicer than the parking lots!
If Link had a stop under Pine next to the existing bus station, the parking lots would be gone in no time. You know that.
I wonder what is going to happen to the current Convention Center Station when buses eventually get kicked out of the tunnel. Probably just torn up, I guess.
There are plenty of areas of the region that light rail won’t reach in 2020. Convention Place Station has great access to I-5 express lanes so I imagine it will remain in heavy use.
Rumor has it there might be a possibility for an infill station along the current stub tunnel. Beyond that I expect that like when the tunnel was closed it will be used as a holding and layover area. Hopefully long-term some development can happen on the site as well though I think turning it into something like the Transbay Terminal or the PATH Bus Stations at the GW Bridge or Lincoln Tunnel would be cool.
Actually, having Convention Place bus station be the replacement Greyhound bus station since development is planned for its current location next door would be perfect.
I think the plan is to move the intercity buses to King Street Station, but I could be wrong.
Has anyone heard more on this? When the King Street/ID stations were being rejiggerd, they asked Greyhound if it wanted to participate in a multimodal station there, and Greyhound said no. The bus station has continued to decay since then. My car-driving friend took the bus to Bellingham this summer and commented on how dilapitated it was, especially compared to the stations in Bellingham and Portland (which are both multimodal).
Heck, Mt Vernon has a much nicer Greyhound Station than Seattle!
I feel like I heard something about that, yeah. I suppose it would be better to have all our intercity transportation stuff in the same place.
I think the plan to replace the terminal with a 52 story tower evaporated with the economy. replacing CPS with a combination Metro layover, and intermodal (LINK, ST Regional Express, and Greyhound) terminal may not be a bad idea at all. you could sell the air rights to a private devloper to help offset some of the cost of the project. Obviously you would want several levels dedicated to buses (Lower level(s) for Layover parking) surface level deck for Local service layover/terminal, upper level for Regional Express/Intercity terminal/Layover, than whever the private devloper wants to put ontop.
Metro will still need a place to lay over all the buses that will continue to come from the East side, south Seattle, and South King County even after Link extends north and east. There are routes that won’t be replaced by Link like the 101, 106, 150, etc. that lay over at CPS, having a consolidated layover location for buses remains valuable even if buses aren’t in the tunnel.
I second this. All of these stations have some merit but the Graham street serves a nice balance of my personal needs and public needs. South Seattle currently feels like you’re in the suburbs and not in Seattle anymore (at least that’s how it feels to me), and adding density and transit to MLK is a great way to start making it feel of a piece with the rest of the city.
I agree. The corridor concept, with medium density spread out along a linear corridor is also much more politically palatable than islands of super-density with big gaps of low density, auto-dependent sprawl between them, at least in that part of Seattle. The nodal concept works great for Bel-red and north seattle, but not Southeast. That’s actually one of the great advantages of light rail, it can be a high-speed subway with wide stop spacing facilitating high-density nodal development on one part of the line, and a more streetcar-like, surface based system with closer stops facilitating medium density corridor development along another part. Different types of TOD for different tastes.
I disagree, we should have a Graham stop, but that should be the extent of SE Seattle infill stations. Having about a mile between each stop is fine down there. It does make higher-density nodes, but seeing as everywhere along the street is within a half-mile of a station, the whole street does become higher density.
I voted before I read the posting. Can I change it? :)
it’s really too bad tukwila didn’t allow for the link alignment along 99 instead of I-5. That area would have been so well-served by transit and really been an excellent opportunity for TOD.
Your singing my song, Squints. During the NEPA process, I had Tukwila officials steadfastly telling me they could never allow the SR99/International Blvd alignment because of it’s effects on emergency response times by police and fire in that corridor. I always believe that was a red herring as they continued to push on the Southcenter routing. That said, I voted for the S. 133rd Station in this pole, because it would break up the long stationless stretch in the Duwamish area and with a Highline Hospital campus in the area would have some built in ridership to the area.
Broad Street Sounder for sure.
It eliminates a slow bus transfer for people that take the Sounder from the north and work in LQA/Seattle Center/Belltown (like myself) – just like litlnemo’s comment above, it’s seems strange to pass that location by on a train.
Also, it could usher in the addition of Sounder special event service for Seattle Center events (it’s four blocks uphill from a Broad Street station). The number of people attending the Bite, Folklife, Bumbershoot, etc. is worthy of some special event service (albeit south Sounder would need to make the trip to BSS for Seattle Center events, and then head back to the yard).
And even though it’s a pipe dream, I figured that there would be some mention of University Street intermodal in this post! Especially with a Second Avenue subway, that would be quite an infill station.
There’s already a University St. station, so I’m not sure what you mean. Anyhow, I left new underground stations out of it because that’s a whole new level of expense and really shouldn’t be compared to these.
University Street Sounder station with connections to the DSTT; I swear I’ve seen graphics of this in the past…
Yes – from the Discovery Institute. If we could get money for a project like that, it would still be better spent on improving King Street and trackwork. You could take more time off the trips we have today than you’d save by eliminating the rail-to-rail transfer.
Pedestrian tunnel from the Waterfront to Seattle U, via DSTT, Rainier Square, and First Hill – move all Cap Hill buses to a Seattle U Hub and remove from downtown – and drop the First Hill Streetcar!
Douglas are you talking about moving walkways like in The Foundation on Trantor?
Yes yes I’m a huge nerd and read the entire series when I was a kid.
What kind of human being would want to walk underground from the waterfront to Seattle U? Do we want to have no connection to our cityscape and nature?
I love the idea (well, except that a Seattle U hub for buses would be weird), but wouldn’t a pedestrian tunnel interfere with the light rail tunnel under I-5?
If you want to spend the money on pedestrian tunnels, far better an overhead glass pedestrian tunnel — a human habitrail network.
Transparent glass so pedestrians can see the city, and to provide better security for people walking in the tunnel. (Look at the history of muggings in a pedestrian tunnel as short as the I-90 bicycle tunnel — in an underground tunnel, you’re only visible to people sharing the tunnel with you.)
I’ve never understood Seattle’s opposition to pedestrian sky bridges. Hundreds of feet of sheer walls are OK, but a slender glass pedestrian walk shades the street too much?
John – As a former geology student, I should remind you that nature doesn’t end at the bottom of the atmosphere… there’s a heck of a lot of natural stuff beneath our feet! They would just need a way to build an un-lined tunnel in the glacial sediments around here, though.
I’m all about high quality E/W routes. E/W service in the city sucks. I honestly almost never even consider taking the bus. I just get on my bike or drive if the weather is bad.
It would be interesting to see a Broad street station integrated with an higher quality 8 route. The 8 is quickly becoming a hugely important city center ring bus. In many ways it is like the 44 and 48, but closer in.
If the 8 had sub 10 minute headways queue jumps, real time info, etc I think it could become a very important route that would serve a lot of transfer riders. Especially once the cap hill station opens. The biggest problem is that Denny has horrible traffic because of everyone trying to get onto I-5 SB. Given some investment John could become a nice little bus only corridor connection all of the northern center city neighborhoods.
I agree that the #8 is a really important route that needs to operate more frequently. They have added a few trips through a TransitNow partnership, which hopefully will be expanded in the future (the only TransitNow money going to new service during the budget crisis will be RapidRide and partnerships). However, John is not really an option for a faster 8 because it doesn’t cross Aurora. Denny is really the only option so the best thing would be bus-only or BAT lanes on Denny. I don’t know what the feasability of this is but it would be nice. Denny as a whole needs some major renovation to become more pedestrian friendly as South Lake Union develops.
I remember reading that if the tunnel is built, the street grid may be reconnected at John and Thomas. So perhaps this could be an option at some point in the future.
Trains wouldn’t be good for those type of events. For the events listed, you would need all day service.
At the type of service Sounder can provide today, it works well for events that have a definite beginning and definite end. It does not work well when people can come and go at anytime.
True, so let’s get all day service!
Ah, way ahead of me.
Still – let’s say this station would be $200 million. With the same money, we could speed up all trips by several minutes through Tacoma-Seattle, giving us the same net benefit but for more people.
Scheduling of the Sounder could use some analysis – currently trainsets, and crew, are only used for one trip a day. Scheduling for through service (Tacoma-Everett direct) and double trip shifts should be accomplished at very little additional cost – save for what BN (oops, Warren Buffet) extract.
Yeah, but unfortunately the trainsets don’t match up – Sounder north only uses four car trains, and south will soon be up to eight car trains, so you’d lose all of that efficiency gains if you tried to exchange cars mid-day, and be running a lot of empty cars unnecessarily north.
How about this: an early four car trip from Lakewood to Everett, perhaps skipping some south line stops, it then reverses and becomes a normal north line tirp. Continue the last train from Everett southward as a reverse-peak trip and then back to KSS as a late morning off-peak trip.
A similar scheme in the afternoon could run a through train on the shoulders of peak time.
The only problem with through trains is a mudslide on the Northline would affect both the north and south schedules. I think it’s best to keep them separate.
I think $200 million also buys Link to S. 200th or a number of the proposed infill stations.
Oh man that would be awesome.
And oh so expensive. You think the deep-bore tunnel is expensive, this would probably blow it out of the water.
True, but in like 30 years when we’ve run out of other transit things to do, let’s quad-track the BNSF tunnel and build this station.
Anyone remember where the DBT proposal turns under Downtown?
Could such an idea be further expanded to allow for a transit stop of some sort in the Tunnel directly underneath a station for Sounder?
Deep Bore Tunnel
That would be so cool!
And a broad street station via Cascadia
Quite awesome – especially that new waterfront streetcar!
No! If we’re bringing the waterfront streetcar back, it’s gotta be heritage vehicles!
As much as I like the Melbourne cars, from what I understand they need a complete rebuild at this point. There is also little chance of getting additional W-class cars as they can’t currently be exported from Australia. While this was done in the name of preserving the old W-class it may actually result in less cars being preserved because museums and private collectors in Australia can only take on so many vehicles. I suppose we could add some PCC cars to the line if either the Melbourne cars can’t be rebuilt or more cars are needed due to expansion (say to Amgen and the Pier 91 cruise terminal).
I’m with you, Alex.
San Francisco just got a W5S class, first one in the US that i know of from Melbourne.
Cool. Funny that they have a little DMU there, looks like the SMART ones.
Wow, I didn’t know the Discovery Institute did anything that wasn’t schlock religion wrapped in pseudo-science.
The Cascadia Center is their regional transportation policy think-tank. They fortunately keep the faux-scientific religious stuff out of that side of the organization
Yeah, but wait till they build a pedestrian tunnel at a transfer point and we get the Discovery Institute’s version of Mexico City’s Tunnel of Science.
Yeah, they’ll show a timeline of the entire 6,000 year history of the earth. At least it’ll save money, no?
I think a new passenger rail station in the center of downtown (i.e., this University concept or near the Pike Place Market) should be seriously considered vs. a Broad Street Station. To keep speeds high, most passenger and commuter rail systems have only 1 or 2 centrally-located stops in the center of town. Passenger walk, taxi or take local transit to their destinations. If we have two downtown stops, they should be located to maximize the employment within 1/4 mile. So which stop (Broad or University) has more employees within a 1/4 mile?
This University station concept would be highly expensive, but it could be rolled into the unavoidable future upgrade/rehab of our 100-year old downtown rail tunnel. With HSR and Sounder placing greater demands on the tunnel, eventually we will need to modernize and upgrade it to bring it up to current codes.
Huge problem: that BNSF SD-60 in the illustration. Can you imagine being in a three levels deep tunnel waiting for a scoot and having three of these monsters roll by pulling 20 articulated container cars?
Can you say alveolar spasm?
I will give the Cascadians credit for “Ventilation Ducts (proposed)” in the concept. At least they’re aware of the potential.
I’d still ask Susan and her friends if they’ve ever ridden the Builder through the Cascade Tunnel. If so, what did it smell like? How did your eyes feel? Did you cough?
Amtrak has done everything it possibly can to prevent the incursion of diesel fumes into Superliner cars, because of the Cascade, Moffat and Raton tunnels and Sierra snowsheds through which they pass. Imagine how much worse it will be standing on an unsheltered platform. Oy-vey!
Do we have cost estimates and ridership predictions for any of these stations?
I asked Sound Transit if they could give me ballpark figures, and they said no.
That’s too bad. I know ST2 mentions the possibility of infill stations for sounder north at Broad Street and Ballard, “if funds become available,” but I couldn’t find anything describing how much extra money would actually be necessary to make these happen (and I did a decent amount of looking).
The Ballard station almost certainly would require a park and ride – and given the current light rail planning effort considering a light rail link would be timely.
Most important on this subject is the opinion of people who actually live in Ballard!
If it’s all the way down by the locks, I’d have to hop a 44 to get to/from the station from where I live (15th & Market). I can’t imagine using light rail a whole lot if in order to get to it I had to rely on one of the slowest and most unreliable buses in the city. That transfer would eat up any time savings over the 15.
Just to clarify, we are talking about Sounder commuter rail, not light rail. Sounder runs on the train tracks so it would have to be out by the locks and would be inaccessible as you say to most people. Future light rail, as proposed by Mike McGinn and others, would most likely run up 15th ave nw and would be much more convenient. What I’m personally hoping for is a light rail line through downtown, lower queen anne, interbay, and ballard combined with a streetcar from South Lake Union along Westlake, through Fremont and finally to Ballard. Suddenly Ballard would be really well-connected!
Thanks for the clarification. But, what would be the target rider base? Ballard commuters who would drive to a P&R, then to Everett or Downtown Seattle? Or Everett-to-Ballard commuters who would transfer to a bus at the station? I can’t imagine there’d be much demand for that.
Andreas, I would overall agree, but hope springs eternal that a new mayor and a reinvigorated Conlin might well start talking more about transit priority and transit-only lanes and other speed improvements for existing Metro routes.
I still don’t see a Ballard Sounder station as a priority over other things, though.
I live in Ballard, and I think a Sounder stop there is a terrible idea and a huge waste of money. The location would be out near the Locks, which is very far from most people who live in Ballard, and very far from the commercial district.
A Ballard Sounder station would ostensibly exist as a commuting option for people who live in Ballard and work downtown. So, let’s look at what that commute would actually entail for people in that situation:
To reach downtown, most Ballard residents utilize one of four bus lines that run south through Ballard and then to downtown Seattle. From east to west, these busses are: the 28 (on 8th Ave. NW), the 15 (on 15th Ave. NW), the 18 (on 24th Ave. NW), and the 17 (on 32nd Ave. NW). Additionally, the 44 runs east/west along Market Street to the Ballard Locks.
With the exception of those who live along the #17 route (which passes close to the Locks), most people in Ballard would need to take their regular southbound bus to Market Street and then transfer to the #44 headed west just to reach the Sounder station. Including the transfer to the Sounder itself – which only makes 4 southbound trips each day – the majority of Ballardites would have a three-seat trip to get downtown.
Then, once people from Ballard arrive downtown via Sounder, there is only one place for them to get off the train, which is at King Street Station. That means that most people would have to make yet another transfer (resulting in a FOUR-seat commute) to get to their jobs elsewhere in the downtown core. Then they would have to repeat this entire process to get home (assuming they want to go home at one of the 4 times that the train is leaving King Street).
Currently, most people in Ballard can get downtown directly on the 28, 15, 18 or 17 without ANY transfers, and then got off the bus at the stop closest to their work. Who would ever choose a three-transfer commute over a zero-transfer commute? Not me. Such a trip would be: FAR slower, less comfortable, less convenient, and more expensive. What a great idea!
Commuter rail works for people coming into the city from the suburbs. It is worse than redundant for people who already live in the city and have a good bus connection between their neighborhood and downtown (a connection that will only improve in the next few years with the RapidRide line).
In summary, a Sounder Station in Ballard would be just about the worst use of North King sub-area funds I could imagine.
I agree, it is a pretty poor idea. A much better option is light rail to ballard from downtown through interbay and up 15th. Hopefully we will be able to vote on something like that in a few years.
Also, the routes you mention. 17, 18, 15, and 28. While they offer frequent, direct service, and they run late. They all have Express service during peak hours. Ballard Residents get home very quickly on these Express buses and quicker than Sounder on the Locals too. Remember that these commuters would have to take a bus from work in Downtown to King Street (which is in the wrong direction). By the time they get to the train, you would be halfway home on the bus. Plus all Express trips start downtown, unlike some of the through-routed Local trips, so they are generally on-time. Plus these route utilize BAT lanes (except 28X…it’s via Aurora and N46th) to the Ballard Bridge and even if it’s opens its no more than a 5 minute delay. Ballard doesn’t need a Sounder Station.
I’m a little confused. Is this something Sound Transit is actually consdering, or is it just a “what if” scenario?
BAR and Graham St. were part of the original Sound Move package. Broad St. and Ballard are “maybes” for ST2. So I didn’t just make these up.
The 133rd station is based on some feedback from Metro types last time I blogged about BAR.
All that said, there certainly isn’t any coherent plan to build any of these, because tax revenues have cratered. But if the money did materialize, these are pretty much the options they’d have.
Ah! Thank you.
If an infill station is built, would the whole line have to be shut down during construction?
Just slower speeds through construction zones for the trains.
These are all low priority but S 133rd is the best of the bunch. It irks me that the 150 runs parallel to Link with no transfer point, and extending the 150 to Gateway Drive would eliminate the long walk from the Interurban P&R to the Gateway office park.
The main problem in Rainier is there aren’t many places to walk to, either from the stations or from an apartment near the stations. I would rather invest in making the valley more walkable than in a Graham station, though that could come later.
“BAR is the only place for an intermodal Sounder/Link/Bus transfer point aside from King St; the connection would facilitate connections from the Green River Valley to the airport, provide a bypass of the Rainier Valley for Link riders from Federal Way, and possibly allow the truncation of bus service along I-5.”
Sounder/Link transfers would be minimal. Sounder runs a few times a day. Even getting to hourly service is a long shot. Which buses could be truncated? The 150 again? I’d want concrete evidence that a significant number of buses would be truncated to justify a station. (Or perhaps, that Boeing would run a shuttle to the station, which they’re not doing from the Renton plant to the Renton TC.)
Sounder / Link transfers would be more realistic if Sounder had Caltrain-like headways.
I agree that the current Sounder schedule is not very conducive to bypassing the Rainier Valley…
At BAR you could truncate any bus coming up I-5. It’s really a question of the will of Metro and ST to save money by forcing a transfer and upsetting people that lose a one-seat ride.
A lot of people seem to think a direct bypass of the Valley is a good long-term project; a much cheaper alternative is to build a Sounder transfer, where you’d cover most of the people. Midday frequency isn’t really relevant to most commuters.
I think you could do that with a station at 133rd also.
I doubt any of the buses that are already on the freeway will be truncated. South Link is probably too slow for that, unlike north Link. But buses that are about to get on the freeway could go to Link instead. As far as I know, that’s only the 150. It already takes a ridiculous hour to go from downtown to Kent, so it’s hard to imagine Link would be slower than that.
“The main problem in Rainier is there aren’t many places to walk to, either from the stations or from an apartment near the stations. I would rather invest in making the valley more walkable than in a Graham station, though that could come later.”
Adding a station helps make the valley more walkable in the long run. Also, there are quite a few places to walk to at Graham — restaurants, Asian grocery stores, etc. There’s a Vietnamese restaurant near there that we like, and we were sad to see how far it is from any of the Link stations. Technically still walkable, but not fun on a cold, dark, and rainy winter evening.
In general, though, I’m one of those who believes there will be more walkable destinations as a response to the light rail stations, just not overnight.
There’s a spot along the Link line that parallels I-5 before the line turns west to Tukwila. Was there a station planned for that area? In looking at the right-of-way, it always seemed to me that ST had thoughts of a station there.
That’s the 133rd street station people have been talking about?
I think Ballard Sounder station should be more north next to Golden Gardens Park where city property will be available to build a multi-level parking garage.
It is a cryin’ shame that save for KSS, there are no Sounder stations within the city limits. Years ago–I mean before the first Sounder ever ran–I attended some meetings in Ballard about the possibility of a local station. It was provisional then and no monies were ever found so this group of officials and citizens eventually stopped meeting. If I remember, there was much opposition from neighborhood groups lest the streets be overrun with outsiders parking (one of those special zones would have helped allay those fears). I always thought the best place for a station would be at Golden Gardens park, where there is a large parking lot which is never used. We were told that the Seattle Parks department would never allow a station there (why, I don’t exactly know). No neighbors to complain, plenty of parking, straight track. A connector bus would run along NW 85th Street and drop a load of passengers off at the station. I live nearby. I can dream, can’t I?
Golden Gardens park, where there is a large parking lot which is never used.
Most every time I’ve been to GG, the whole lot has been packed. On summer weekends, they even have teenage park employees hanging out at the entrance to turn cars away. Granted, that use wouldn’t conflict with most commuting, but it would be hell on, say, a Seahawks or Sounders game day.
And Andy’s idea of a multi-level parking garage being built at GG just makes me shudder.
I was talking about the upper lot on the east side of the tracks.
Overall I think Graham and Broad are the only two options that make any sense in the near term. Graham probably makes the most sense if the goal is to add riders and reduce bus service. Broad would certainly help Sounder North but I think some sort of bus shuttle would be needed to complement the station.
BAR doesn’t make sense until link expands further south and Sounder adds frequencies. Neither system currently has the ridership to make an expensive station essentially for transfers only financially feasible.
In Ballard, the tracks are way too far from the population center to be of any use. Also, 4 trains won’t stack up very well against the existing bus service, and especially RapidRide. Almost as important as a fast ride is a high frequency, and I doubt many people will get excited about a train that comes 4x a day.
I also agree that a P&R makes sense at Rainier Beach. Easy freeway access and development potential is somewhat limited due to nearby powerlines. I also think ST should buy up the old post office parking lot near Lander station and charge say $5/day for parking. I understand that in an ideal world everyone would walk/bus to the train, but it just isn’t feasible today. We’re making a huge investment in light rail and we need to encourage as many people to use it as possible, even if they have to drive their car to get there.
I definitely agree about the post office garage
Is the Post Office one really “old”? Every time I’m in SoDo there seems to be a lot of postal employees driving postal trucks in and out of that thing…
It’s old only in the sense that the main mail sorting facility isn’t in SoDo anymore. The garage used to be more heavily utilized than it is now.
I bet the Sounder would beat the tar out of RapidRide. Its 12 minutes from Ballard (14 from Golden Gardens) to King Street Station. That time should be getting better soon with recent track improvements though Interbay. Built the station, and they’ll make the 5 minute drive to the lot and hop on the Sounder. We’re also forgetting its bus vs. trains and people will choose the train (like the SLUT and Link numbers have shown us). It honestly seems like a seriously missed opportunity.
There has been talk of Sound Transit buying that lot, but they would covert it into a ST-employee parking lot.
If it ran every 10-15 minutes, I would agree with you. But when you’re subject to only a few trains per day at BNSF’s mercy, you’re never going to be as competitive.
Plus, we’re not trying to build something from scratch here – we’re only talking about building a platform for a service mode that already exists. The expensive part is already taken care of, so now we’re just going after low-hanging fruit with a (hopefully) cheap marginal cost. The Edmonds Sounder station cost $12.9 million, and Mukilteo cost $11.1, according to http://www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans/Project-List/Mukilteo-Station-Phase-II.xml and http://www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans/Project-List/Edmonds-Station.xml (although this is just the price of upgrading them from temporary to permanent stations). We could ballpark $20 million for each of Ballard and Broad street – that’s pretty cheap in the scheme of things.
Although, maybe I’m just a fan of adding to Sounder North so there’s enough ridership to justify increasing it from more than just 4 round trips a day.
Yes, the Sounder would beat RapidRide 4 times each day, if you are starting from the Sounder station.
I think the BAR station is given short shrift if it is considered to only be useful for the purposes of transfers to sounder. BAR would be an excellent place to provide feeder bus transfers for service covering Boulevard Park, Riverton, and job centers in north Tukwila, Boeing and even South Park. Despite coming quite close to some of these areas, Metro has generally not connected them to LINK as the nearest station is at Rainier Beach. Where Metro has connected these areas, its out of the 154th station and requires out-of-direction travel.
Additionally, and I might be wrong here, but I thought that Boeing Access had at one point been planned as a park and ride station. If we were to ever want a close-in P&R, this is an ideal location: it’s 100% industrial, it intercepts the freeway, it would pull people from some portions of skyway and neighbourhoods west of the Duwamish with less than perfect transit coverage.
One last thing: the guideway was specifically built to allow the BAR station. If you simply look at a map, there were faster, more direct, and probably cheaper ways of connecting MLK to the I-5/599 junction (simply along I-5 for example). Since we’ve slowed down the trains and spend the extra dough to make the two right angle turns on Boeing Access Road, I think its ultimately a good return on an investment already made to build the station.
“Additionally, and I might be wrong here, but I thought that Boeing Access had at one point been planned as a park and ride station. If we were to ever want a close-in P&R, this is an ideal location: it’s 100% industrial, it intercepts the freeway, it would pull people from some portions of skyway and neighbourhoods west of the Duwamish with less than perfect transit coverage.”
I agree. If there’s a good place for a P&R, it’s Boeing Access Road. I am skeptical about one at Rainier Beach. And as I’ve mentioned before, I really don’t want to see one near the other South Seattle stations. That is not the sort of development that makes neighborhoods pedestrian-friendly.
If we can find funds to beef up the east-west buses as was originally intended, it would dampen the clamor for park n rides.
If I was thinking only with my heart, I would make a plug for all of these, but with my head only, I would have to go for a tie between the Graham Street Station, the Broad and Ballard stations and for the Boeing Access Road Link/Sounder/Amtrak station.
Taking each one in turn:
Link definitely needs one more station in the Rainier Valley as the gaps between some of the stations are very long – I notice it each time I use the line and as Martin said, any transit-oriented development is likely to happen only in pockets rather than the length of MLK.
Broad Street and Ballard Stations I can pretty much link together as improvements to Sounder North and potentially as termini for Sounder South (certainly Broad Street). There is clearly an untapped potential market for both stations.
Perhaps the most intriguing of all the stations under review has to be the Boeing Access Road station if only because of its potential not just for Link users but also for both Sounder and Amtrak. For Link, it bridges an enormous gap between The Rainier Beach and Tukwila Stations, but for Sounder, it raises the possibility for Sounder south trains stopping en-route to and from Seattle and for Sounder north trains terminating there as a way to link Boeing in Everett with its plants along East Marginal Way. Admittedly, it would have to fund shuttles from the BAR stop for its employees, and for an admittedly transit shy company, that might be hard to do, but if Microsoft can do it, I am sure Boeing can as well. It is after all, always lamenting about poor transit options in the region. Finally of course, Amtrak Cascade trains could stop at what would be a multi-modal station and tie travelers into Link to and from SeaTac Airport and to and from Seattle via the Rainier valley.
So bottom line, all of these stations have equal merit for this writer to plug for, but if I was to hazard a guess, I would say, that the easiest option politically for Sound Transit would be to add an additional stop in the Rainier Valley. The cheapest would probably be to just slap down a makeshift platform in Broad or Ballard. The most expensive and most protracted would be the Boeing Access Road stop because of its need to tie up agreements with both Amtrak and the ever difficult BNSF – though perhaps Warren Buffet might be more amenable to deal with.
Graham is the priority – not only for transportation reasons, but for racial and social justice reasons. The people of the Rainier Valley, and particularly along MLK, have put up with a lot from ST. First construction for years, and now they have the only at-grade section of the line running through their neighborhood, with clanking bells and screeching trains all day long. Yes, this is a major city, and noise is to be expected. And yes, light rail is quieter than lots of other things that make noise in the city. However, many people who actually live right on MLK, or just a few blocks to either side, are close enough to be bothered by this noise, yet are not within reasonable walking distance of a Link stop. That is ridiculous and embarrassing.
The Rainier Valley is one of the lowest income areas of the city, with the highest population of people of color and immigrants. Whether the lack of accessibility to Link is related to this demography or merely coincidental, it should be seen as an outrage.
Light rail should be accessible to the people who live along the line, especially in a neighborhood with such high transit ridership as the RV. In the case of Central Link along MLK, there need to be more stations. One at Graham, and why not one somewhere between Othello and Rainier Beach – probably at Kenyon.
Portland’s Yellow Line is well done on Interstate Avenue. The trains keep moving, generally out-pace car traffic, and stop about every 6-8 blocks.
Ayayay, Link is a regional transit line, not a local line. If you add all these stops, it defeats its primary purpose, which is linking neighborhood centers. There are two neighborhood centers in Rainier: Columbia City and Rainier Beach. I would have skipped Othello station and combined Columbia City/Mt Baker into one. But the Rainier/MLK transfer point was too far from Columbia City for that, and Othello is arguably a growth station for a future neighborhood. Still, that’s 7 stations between downtown to 154th, as opposed to 4 stations between downtown and Northgate. That means north Link will work better than south Link as a regional connector. Adding stations will just make it worse for people traveling to/from south of the airport.
Perhaps a Boeing Access Road station — with lots of transfers and parking and a Boeing shuttle, and TOD if feasable — will make sense someday. It was built as a “deferred” station in the Link plan; that’s why there’s space for a station. I imagine they already have preliminary agreements with BNSF about a potential Sounder station and transfering, should that ever occur.
“A regional transit line, not a local line” that travels at 35mph? It’s neat to pretend that Link is some sort of express transit line, but the reality is that it goes pretty slow for most of the route. The extra 3 minutes you add to the trip by putting in two more stops along MLK are well worth it considering the added ridership and accessibility – and reduction in redundant bus service – that would come along with them.
3 minutes x 2 (round trip) x 5 (Mon-Fri) = 30 minutes a week. That’s a library run, or 2 hours a month, or half a work-week per year.
If you make two round trips 7 days a week, which an active carless person might, that’s 3 x 4 x 7 = 84 minutes a week (1.4 hours), 6 hours a month, or 72 hours a year (1.8 work-weeks).
That’s why ST/Amtrak is putting all this work into a 10-minute Point Defiance bypass. Because ten minutes here, ten minutes there, soon you’re talking about real time.
“Still, that’s 7 stations between downtown to 154th, as opposed to 4 stations between downtown and Northgate. That means north Link will work better than south Link as a regional connector. ”
It means north Link is going to be way less useful for those of us in Seattle who want to use it to get around. (Don’t say “just take the bus.” Because we all know that for a lot of people, if the choice is a sleek, relatively speedy train vs. a slow caught-in-traffic bus, most people choose the train — and if they can’t do that, it’s straight for the car, baby!) Remember that even people coming from further out in the region are not necessarily just going downtown. Stops are needed both where people live and where they may need or want to go.
I would say that we could use another few stations in north Link, honestly. But north Link is clearly a different beast from the Link we have in SE Seattle.
I think North Link really does go where people want to go. UW, the center of the U District, the second largest urban center in the state, Roosevelt, a mostly residential neighborhood but with lots of growth opportunities, and Northgate for the huge mall and new urban center growing around it. Between UW and Northgate it stops an average of about once a mile, which seems just fine to me. It goes where people live and where they need or want to go, and will serve tens of thousands of riders per day. Where do you think it should stop where it doesn’t stop now?
There is about a two mile gap between Roosevelt and Northgate. Of course, it’s true there’s not really much of anything along there but single-family housing. There’s a small group of neighborhood businesses on 5th just north of 80th, I think, but it would take some major changes to densify that area… still, I don’t like seeing stations that are so far apart that people living exactly in the middle aren’t going to be likely to walk it. (I also think a station would be nice at North Capitol Hill for University Link.) But, yeah, you do have a point.
(If I were king of Seattle I’d find a way to put a station near 80th, which would be semi-walkable from Aurora and south Lake City Way, and useful for Blanchet students and folks. But it is true that there isn’t really much of anything there, and I don’t think there would be room or desire for any sort of park and ride there, either.)
Living in SE Seattle now, and seeing how we are able to use Link for hopping all over the place and getting there quickly, makes me wish more neighborhoods could have that same convenience — that’s all. But North Seattle is pretty much screwed for having places to walk to — it was built up recently enough that much of it seems to be a classic example of the flaws of 20th century zoning. In my very opinionated opinion as a Lake City almost-native. :) (Moved to that neighborhood when I was 2.)
I don’t think the station placements for North Link are all that bad. For one thing the distance between Northgate and the Ship Canal isn’t really all that far (about 3 miles) so 4 stations is actually a lot. For another there really isn’t much between 65th and Northgate where the neighbors would be happy with adding the density necessary to make a station work.
The three possibilities I see would be 75th to serve the business district there, though for optimal station placement the routing would have to be changed to allow a station near Roosevelt. The other two are at 80th & I-5 and 92nd & I-5. Litlnemo already pointed out the problems with a station at 80th and while a station at 92nd could serve NSCC it would be fairly close to the Northgate station and have all the same problems of being built in a single family neighborhood next to a freeway that a station at 80th would have.
The issue with North Link is ridership and capacity. With the planned stations you’ve basically got full trains at maximum frequency in 2030. Add more stations and you’re overloaded.
On the South end it’s a completely different story.
There’s just no way I can believe North Link will be maxed out by 2030. 3 min headways with 800 people per train is 32,000 people an hour. No way we’re pushing a half million people down that line every day in 20 years. Might we have peak capacity issues a few hours each day, sure. Nothin’ new about that. It’s the same issue we have with freeways today. But that’s no reason to not try and maximize usage the rest of the day.
I agree that we shouldn’t further degrade speed with more stations in the RV. I’ve questioned the need for so many stations here before. But, this is the first small section so station density had to be over done to generate enough ridership. Stations aren’t going to go away and maybe density will occur around those stations so it makes sense. If we get to that point then there will probably be an express bypass built. But for now just let ridership build from the stations we have and extend the line to increase it.
I don’t mean to suggest they’ll be packed in the middle of the day, no. It’s also true that being overloaded is a nice problem to have. But the question is whether or not it makes sense to go through the large expense of building another underground station when we really don’t have the capacity to support it and there isn’t a must-have destination involved.
If it is financially and technically feasible I’d say adding a station in the stub tunnel next to Convention Place makes sense. Because of the station location it would add some midday riders and could couple with a Transbay Terminal or Port Authority Terminal like express bus holding/layover/station facility on the current Convention Place station site.
Otherwise I don’t really think there need to be any additional stations on North Link between Capitol Hill and Northgate. Streetcars or decent frequent bus service can address most of the remaining station access issues along the Northside line.
A 15th Ave/North Capitol Hill station makes sense if you look just at population densities and a street map. But if I remember correctly, the track is well below the ground and on a significant grade there, making an infill station very expensive.
I don’t see any obvious gaps in the plan or great places to add more stations. But if there was an opportunity to provide “all day ridership” or “reverse commute” then it would be worth looking into. I agree that overload would be a “good problem” but honestly don’t see it from the north or south for many years to come. I wouldn’t shy away from stations or expansion that drives up overall ridership simply because of a peak capacity issue for a couple of short periods during the day. If we have that “problem” it’s going to exist with or without the additions to Link so the more people that have access the easier it’s going to be dealing with alternatives.
“Still, that’s 7 stations between downtown to 154th, as opposed to 4 stations between downtown and Northgate. That means north Link will work better than south Link as a regional connector. Adding stations will just make it worse for people traveling to/from south of the airport.”
There’s 12.5 miles from ID to 154th, and 7 miles from Westlake to Northgate on Link. That station spacing is almost exactly the same.
A large chunk of those miles on Central Link are the stationless miles in between Rainier Beach and Tukwila, which skews the results a bit, I suppose.
Yeah, I think that a pretty great way to plan a line would be to figure out the endpoints and the best route, and then to space the stations at precise and regular intervals. Goodbye, Othello Station! Hello, Six Roblees Station!
I think we all know that South Link will be at best a tepid success until a direct express bypass between BAR and SODO is built. I honestly expect that peak hour transit ridership to and from far southwest King County will decline when people are forced onto Link by the cancellation of the Federal Way expresses.
That is not to say that the line along MLK should not have been built. The line won’t reach Federal Way until ST3. Even when it does evening and weekend service should still be concentrated on the line with the highest density, even if the ride is a few minutes longer. But for people with a twenty-two mile daily commute, the belly east adding five stations will be a problem.
I think Graham is a good stop – once a bypass is built so trains from south of the airport have an express option.
First of all, the “lack of accessibility” that you talk about isn’t a coincidence and it isn’t due to demography; it’s due to the fact that that’s about the average station spacing for the rest of Seattle except downtown. They should put a station at Graham, but even now Graham is only about two-thirds of a mile from Othello. Portland’s Yellow Line is all right, but it’s not how we should build our light rail. Having stops every 6-8 blocks slows it down a lot, so it gets less riders. Our system, with stops about every mile, will end up in the long run getting far more riders than MAX because it goes fast enough to compete with traffic.
Were any of these ever in any EIS documents? You might be able to pull numbers from there. Also some of the old scoping documents might have some rough estimates.
Boeing Access Road, in addition to a Link stop, would be well-suited for a small transit hub. Link station, buses, perhaps some park & ride capacity too.
What about a South Seattle Sounder station, Airport Way somewhere near 13th Ave S? Serves Georgetown, Boeing Field, and the 106, 131, 134.
Georgetown is only 5mi from KSS. I don’t feel like you get enough benefit in ridership on heavy rail to justify the stop time. Despite Georgetown being “up-and-coming”, industrial noise (argo yard, I-5) and height limitations (Boeing Field) will keep it from exploding residentially from TOD like is possible in RV.
If sounder and link met at BAR, you would get additional benefits like the transfer to Seatac. BAR would also be the only link station you’ll see between the Duwamish and Beacon Hill south of SODO station for a while, maybe ever. You won’t get much TOD in an industrial area, the zoning is intentional to keep it that way. Industry would probably be easy to get behind a P&R here since on-street parking is drying up as the streets get rebuilt from downtown south and it would fit the nature of the zoning well.
Re: Boeing Access: Ridership figures could change if ST decides to add an express line from Downtown to Sea-Tac via Boeing Field. Would also be a natural transfer point for a line past Southcenter and down the Kent Valley.
In June, I made a linear diagram of Central Link that shows all the stations correctly spaced apart to scale along with the target year of opening and right-of-way type.
I updated it to add the Graham St Station and a 1 km (roughly = 10 mins of brisk walking) grid to help with telling distances. Boeing Access Road and 133rd in Tukwila are already on there.
In the case of Beacon Hill/Mt. Baker, they are close together but there is that very very steep hill in between. :) And you can’t easily walk directly from, say, Beacon Hill Station to SODO — you have to go a roundabout way because of the freeway. So distances can be a bit deceiving there. But this is an awesome map anyway! Thanks!
That makes me sad there couldn’t be a North Capitol Hill Station. I believe one of the old Forward Thrust plans proposed such a thing?
It was in the original ST plans, near Broadway and Roy, but funding and the need to move the alignment to the Montlake Cut did it in. I was bummed when they cut the station because I lived at 10th and Aloha at the time. If any neighborhood in Seattle could use two stations, it’s Capitol Hill.
An extension of the Streetcar will be way cheaper than a second underground station would have been and I think serve the neighborhood better. It certainly helps the streetcar ridership.
That’s true, but when the station was dropped the streetcar wasn’t even a glimmer in its daddy’s eyes.
For purely selfish reasons, I’d like to see both BAR and 133rd stations. I was, frankly, blown away that BAR was skipped with Sounder, and doubly so when no Link stop was put in there.
I’ve grumbled about it in the past, but there’s a five mile (I think that’s what it was) stretch of Link between Tukwila and Rainier Beach with no stops, and it goes through a fairly busy business district. That would be OK if there were feeder buses in those areas, but the transit in that gap is spotty at best, if you work between 7:30am and 5:30pm. If you’re stuck with a shift outside of that, you can count on a fair bit of walking and waiting. These stations may not cut the walking (in my case either would add to it), but it would certainly reduce wait times at the station.
For 133rd, though, Tukwila would have to invest in some road work to put in sidewalks and better lighting for those who will have to walk to the station from the west…it’s not a fun walk in that area.
The point of light rail/light metro is to link neighborhood centers (urban villages), downtown, and major destinations (stadiums, malls, fairgrounds). If you’re lucky you live in a neighborhood center, and you just walk to the train and take it to your destination, which is probably another neighborhood center or destination place. If you’re going to somebody’s house, you take a shuttle bus at the end. If you live outside a neighborhood center, you take a shuttle bus to the station.
That provides the most efficient service for the largest number of people, because most people are going to a business (which are located near the stations) or transferring at a station. If you’re going a long distance (north Seattle to Kent), you take at most two shuttle buses at the ends of the trip. You don’t want to be bogged down with local stops in front of every housing development: that defeats the purpose of light rail. Let them take a short shuttle bus from Graham to Columbia City, and then they’ll enjoy fast service to Lynnwood or Marymoor or wherever they’re going. They don’t want to stop at every superblock in Bellevue either. People who advocate “more stations, more stations” are missing this. Light rail/subways function like freeways. You don’t have exits every block on freeways because then it wouldn’t be a freeway.
What’s missing is more local service (buses/trolleybuses/streetcars) to get people to the stations. Maybe park n rides too :(. Then you have an effective express+local system.
As Link starts to grow, won’t the buslines it replace be turned into feeder buses?
Or would that make too much sense?
It depends. Often a Link line doesn’t directly replace a bus. Also, if the stops are too far apart you still need service covering the spaces between.
Well, yeah, they might not directly replace a line, but they are going to be sucking up alot of riders, so the lines will have to be readjusted. Or at least I would hope they would be. Same would be true for Streetcars I would think.
This line isn’t build yet, but looking at South Link plans, the gap between South Federal Way and Fife/Port of Tacoma is huge. How about put in a Milton station?
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