130 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: The Big Apple”

  1. Stuff the train!

    Up in Vancouver, Translink and the local food bank had an event to collect food and gifts.

    Passengers can also ‘hand off’ donations to BCRTC volunteers aboard the ‘Moving Forward, Giving Back’ train (image above) which will be picking up donations during non-peak service throughout the day. The train’s capacity is 40,000 lbs which could help feed 31 families for 1 year! So get on board Dec. 2nd and ‘Help Us Stuff a Train for the Food Bank.’

    What if Starbucks sponsored a train stuffed with coffee beans? This is the amount of coffee consumed in Seattle for xx days.

    1. Or SBUX could fill them with water and do a “this is how much water is daily inbued with unfilterable caffeine in the watershed”. Oh wait, they wouldn’t want to pay for that, probably…


  2. For my next wikiproject, I have decided to try and update this page:

    Couldn’t find much up to date info initially but Brian gave me links that I’m going through.

    If anyone one’s got some links to give me, or wants to add it on their own feel free. The more info we have out there, and the easier to access and understand it the better.

    1. Try ‘AMTRAK CASCADES’ in Wikipedia. It’s pretty comprehensive but could use some work on improvements needed for High Speed Rail status.

      Also, ‘All Aboard Washington’, has some pretty good links to the passenger train advocate community.

      WSDOT ‘Mid Range Plan’, and ‘Long Range Plan’ for the corridor is pretty thourough.
      All above can be googled.

      1. Thanks Mike. I’m currently going through all that info, but am having a hard time finding what I am looking for. Could just be hiding in the hundreds of pages of documents I’m going though, but you’d think ‘the plan’ would be a bit easier to track down. I’ve got all sorts of info on the effects each level would have, but very little on the actual work to be done. Oh well… hopefully with more reading I can find that out.

  3. I saw a caravan of four or five old Metro and Seattle Transit buses (marked “Seattle Transit System”) driving Bridge Way N to Stone Way N to N 40th St at about 7:25 last night. Anyone know what it was?

    1. Probably the Christmas light tour for Metro employees. They usually do that the week following the public tour.

    2. Metro has a facility near that area. Field facilities maintenance just moved out of the facility at Northlake & Densmore a couple weeks ago and into one somewhere on Stone Ave N (not Stone Way N).

  4. does anyone know how many Rapid Ride buses Metro has received? from LINK yesterday it looked like there were quite a few parked at the base.

    1. As of October 25 I have personally verified 6000, 6001*, 6002, 6003, and 6004. I could not see the number on 6001 but based on its proximity to the others and its number I’d assume that’s its number. The prototype (6000) and those were the only 4 that I saw, but that was back in October and things may have changed.

      1. there are at least 10 if not more at the bus base that LINK passes by on the bumpy-section of track

      2. It looked closer to RR 15 busses hanging out when I went out to Sea-Tac on Saturday. 6001 was just outside a maintenence bay. If you see the back of one of the RapidRide coaches, it’s quite hard to miss the fleet number. They must be four times larger than usual.

      1. I suppose it’ll be either May 30 or June 6, whichever one Metro picks for the late Spring service revision. Unless they have it start halfway through a service period

    1. I highly doubt U-Link will stay on our countdown for the next six years. As soon as the opening dates are announced for all RapidRide lines and the S. 200th extension, they’ll be up there.

      1. How about a countdown to the last day of service for the 194? I realize many will mourn the loss of the 194, but in this time of scarce resources I’m looking forward to that day. Most of those passengers will move over to Link which will leverage the regional investment in light rail. That’s a day worth marking.

      2. Or put a more positive spin on it: a countdown to the amount of time when the 577 and 578 become real routes! Direct service to FWTC–the only reason I ever used and the reason why I loathed the 194.

      3. As much as I loved the 194, I’m taking a liking to Link even more. I’ll second a vote for a Countdown to the End of the 194.

        While I’m thinking of the 194, wasn’t there a plan to run a shadow bus (Route 195 I believe)?

  5. Hi everyone! I was wondering if there are any former Waterfront Streetcar operators out there? A few of us are trying to put together a group to get this great resource restarted and we think that someone talking about the operations would be a great way to start this effort. Let me know.


  6. I just realised how much better the trip planner on commtran.org is than KC Metro. You can use it for Metro buses, ST, Pierce, etc. Seriously, it’s way better than anyone else’s. Why don’t the others just link to community transit’s planner? Metro’s website is such unbelievable crap.

      1. They sure do give the same results, but when my family came out here for Central Link opening, I sent them PDF “printouts” using Community Transit’s planner for the reasons barman posted

    1. One feature that I wished the trip planner had is instead of two or three itineraries using different routings, perhaps it could give an earlier or later trip. Sometimes when I type in that I want to leave at 2:00 PM, it won’t give me the trip at 1:58 PM.

    2. I find the Google Maps planner better than any of these, personally. The ability to set up easy keyword searches makes it even better. Here’s one that that will go from the Space Needle to whatever address or location you pick:


      I have one of these set up for home (which I call something like “gmth”) and one for work (gmtw). It makes mapping a route to new places a snap.

      1. Google maps transit planner also doesn’t deal well with distance for walking. The planner doesn’t offer different lengths.

      2. You can do that to some extent with Metro’s planner by using origloc and/or destloc. No way that I know of, though, to automatically have to jump to the results page, or to set the default walking distance, etc.

    3. I don’t think Metro’s is too bad, but Community Transit’s is so easy to use and to read. It looks really cool too. Community Transit seems to do everything awesomely, especially for a suburban transit agency. Swift, DoubleTall, awesome website, etc.

  7. I went to the SeaTac/Airport station to check out “the day after” and then was harassed by a security guard (not police) who obviously was bored and had nothing to do. I was taking photos of the artwork on the platform and he asked me what are the pictures for? I told him ‘personal use’. I started to take video of a departing train and them he came back to tell me to leave because I was loitering and this facility was only for passengers. While he might be technically correct, I don’t understand what’s his problem is with people taking pictures? I hang around Tukwila Intl Blvd like that multiple times for months and was never told off like this before.

      1. You know what, when I get more info and/or if I get harassed by security again, I’m going to turn this issue into a post.

        I feel insulted and pissed off. This nonsense has got to end.

      2. Nonsense? If he doesn’t ask you about your photo-taking and loitering, the terrorists win.

        Like terrorists and evil doers trying to infringe on his freedom, like his bill-of-rights amendments…
        Like first amendment rights to protect against abridging free speech/free press, and freedom to peaceably assemble (even if your association has a membership of one)…
        The 4th amendment right to be secure in your persons and effects…
        The 5th amendment right that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…
        The 9th amendment that grants protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights…

        Yeah; we wouldn’t want any evil doers trying to take those precious things away from regular citizens.
        Oh. Oh wait….

        / end snark
        IN case this helps your letter, Oran:
        in 1958, Justice William O Douglas put it nicely:
        The right to travel is a part of the ‘liberty’ of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment. If that “liberty” is to be regulated, it must be pursuant to the law-making functions of the Congress. . . . . Freedom of movement across frontiers in either direction, and inside frontiers as well, was a part of our heritage. Travel abroad, like travel within the country, . . . may be as close to the heart of the individual as the choice of what he eats, or wears, or reads. Freedom of movement is basic in our scheme of values.

        On a circular logic fueled, related-to-the-Original-Post note, does anyone here know: is MTA/NYPD/ NYC subway still doing random search and seizures or did the NYCLU/ACLU finally shut them down?

      3. It’s ridiculous because the press was just there yesterday (and two days before) and took tons of photos and videos, disseminated to the masses around the world. Somehow the rules are different for an individual minding his own business and not causing any disruption to any transit operations nor putting himself or anyone else in danger.

        The only time I want to hear “terrorists win” is in a game of Counter-Strike.

      4. Hi Oran —

        It’s sort of funny because you’re practically a public figure, to anybody who hangs around transit stations in Seattle. Hopefully the security folks are “on the street” often enough that in the near future, they recognize you and just wave.
        Whether you feed a regional blog like STB or write for a national newspaper, these encounters happen all the time, regardless of anyone’s constitution, law or policy.
        And because you look at the detailed workings of the train systems, instead of snapping generic “tourist” photos, that further draws suspicion. Good luck….

        — Mike Lindblom, Seattle Times.

      5. I had a similar experience at Beacon Hill. I hadn’t ever gotten off there, and I had a little time to kill so I decided to check out the station. I hadn’t been off the train for 45 seconds when I was stopped by a security guard who asked what I was doing. Really weird. I wasn’t even taking pictures. Hell, even if I had been planning on it I wouldn’t have had time to take my camera out.

    1. Was the security guard with Sea-Tac (Port of Seattle police)? Perhaps they have different training than ST’s private security or contracted Sheriff’s deputies.

      Also, more generally, security forces tend to be suspicious of people taking many pictures of an area, because you could be taking them as part of casing the place for a burglary. Did you take a picture of any expensive equipment?

      1. SeaTac/Airport station is not POSPD’s responsibility. I wasn’t with Oran so I can’t say for sure, but I’d assume it was one of the guys on the left of this photo . Some of them work for Sound Transit, and I think some of them are contractors.

      2. No, it’s Sound Transit security on the platform of the station. Not port police, not ST police, not TSA or homeland security.

        Expensive equipment? Well, I took photos of a 50-ton light rail vehicle worth $4 million, a shiny art installation suspended from the ceiling, the luggage cart rental, and a few signs.

      1. That’s not a legal document, it’s just a list of guidelines. If it referenced some WACs or RCWs that’d be different.

      2. They don’t have a policy. I’ll forward you the e-mail, but the gist of it:

        [a security course] considers photographers as suspicious, and ST does not allow photography if it is suspicious

      3. Taking photos of an art installation is suspicious?

        Anything can be claimed as suspicious. It’s too vague. And don’t even get into the issue of racial profiling. Even anti-loitering laws have been struck down as unconstitutional.

        Whoever wrote the NTI transit security policy didn’t think this through and is obviously not a transit person.

      4. Yes but it is a list of guidelines rather solidly based on Federal and State Constitutional case law.

        Something can be in law or administrative code and still not be Constitutional. Unfortunately I suspect there isn’t anything terribly specific regarding photography in the RCW, WAC, USC, or CFR.

        Even specific WAC or RCW citations aren’t going to slow down some jobsworth who is getting off on the power trip the badge and uniform gives them. Many security guard types will back off when challenged but some will just call the real cops on you. It is up to you to decide how far you want to take things at that point. That goes double if the person challenging you is a sworn law enforcement officer of some sort or another.

        When I was hassled a few years by a bunch of Homeland Security goons when taking pictures of the old Federal Office building on First and Madison I backed off and left as I decided I had better things to do with the rest of my day than attempt to educate them on photography rights. They claimed the Patriot act prohibited taking pictures of any Federal Property. This is utter BS, but again I didn’t want to spend the rest of the day arguing the point with them (or worse spending a few days in jail).

      5. I took a few photos in a train station in London and next thing I knew had 3 cops surround me, flash their badges and question me for ten minutes. I had to show them my photos so they could see what I was taking pictures of and deem them ok. They thought I was photographing the CCTV cameras in the station. Then again in London its hard to take a photo of something without a CCTV camera in it.

      6. This whole “photographers must be TERRORISTS!!!!1!1`1“” meme has got to stop. Seriously.

        I didn’t get hassled when I was in the UK last year taking pictures, but that was because what I had heard about it had a chilling effect on my photography already. I only took one train station photo on the whole trip, because I was terrified of being reported, or having my camera card confiscated. And there were other places where I just didn’t take photos I wanted to take because of the well-publicized anti-photography attitude there.

        Seriously, if terrorists want to attack trains/buses/Federal buildings/whatever, photographs aren’t necessary to plan the attack, and, additionally, if they want to take “terrorist photos” they can use a hidden camera, not a bloody obvious tourist point-and-shoot or SLR. This idea that photography is a terrorism risk needs to be quashed.

    2. These bozos are just looking for something to validate their existence. I regularly carry my bike up the stairs at IDS. When they see me walking my bike past the elevator they assume I’m headed towards the escalator, where bikes are not allowed. They typically move in and try to head me off, even before verifying that I’m indeed headed towards the escalator. The two who have actually spoken with me, vs. just following me and watching, definitely had an attitude.

      I don’t mind having security around vs. police. I just wish they were better trained – if ST has to pay more to retain higher quality security, that’s fine. Get rid of the ones that hang around and talk to their buddies and focus those resources on the highest quality remaining employees. If this is done, the overall security of the tunnel will be improved.

      1. Yeah, I tried to carry my bike up the stairs at Pioneer Square and a security guy stopped me and said that wasn’t allowed. When I came back with an official document stating that I can, he then said “the stairs and floor are wet, we don’t want you to slip and hurt yourself.” Well, it that’s what you really meant then say “the stairs are slippery and wet, you should use the elevators” not “it is not allowed” and acting like a jerk.

    3. He is called a “Jobsworth” and is not to be tolerated.

      I usually suggest that they consider buying a one-way ticket to FNJ where their kind is welcome.

      But do this after you get their full name (ask them to spell it) and badge number. (This often results in their demonstrating what gutless cowards they really are).

      Remember the scene in Schindler’s List where Ben Kingsley character has been put on a camp-bound train by the Germans and said train is about to leave the station? Behave exactly like Liam Neeson did and always carry a notepad and pen with you.

      And in your complaint letter consider asking the agency’s legal and PR departments how they’d like a First Amendment Lawsuit on their hands.

      P.S. Consider getting one of these: http://www.handhelditems.com/digital-camera-p-38753.html

    4. I have had similar issues on photo expeditions several cities, including Chicago and Pittsburgh. In Pittsburgh (2007) despite a printed copy of policy (can’t find the current one, but I had one at the time) I was ordered out of a subway station and only just managed not to have my memory card confiscated (which would have been a major trajedy, I was in the middle of a monthlong trip and had 2 weeks of pictures on that 4GB card!). My complaint letter went unanswered.

      In Chicago this past May I had taken a 30-minute El ride for the sole purpose of visiting Howard station, a major terminus with 5 platforms, an adjacent storage yard and some really cool interlockings, not to mention all kinds of train activity. But before I could spend 2 minutes taking pictures a CTA employee stopped me. I had a copy of the policy on my phone but he refused to look at it. He continued to harass me as I wrote down his badge number and returned to the platform level (I was on an overpass of sorts). CTA’s reply to my complaint was quick, polite, and promised “corrective action” against the employee.

    5. I went out to the airport Tuesday about 1415 just to take pictures w/o the crowds, was there more than 30 minutes, took about 4 dozen pictures. The same security goon walked by me twice and never squeaked. Maybe things have changed already? Hopefully, yes. Train out had lots of travelers heading to the airport, very quiet coming back into Seattle, w/ a slow order at South 133rd w/ 3 workers on the ROW just after 1500.

      1. Lloyd,

        If security left you to take your photos without harassing you – why call them a “goon”?

        Ya know – those folks are regular people. They have lives, kids, parents, families, and like the rest of us are out there trying to earn a living.

        Here’s hoping they have more respect for you.

      2. They are goons because they ALWAYS are the ones instigating the interaction with rude and disrespectful behavior

        Slang Dictionary
        goon [gun]

        1. n.
        a stupid person; a fool. : Todd is a silly goon, but he’s a lot of fun at parties.
        2. n.
        a hooligan; a thug or bodyguard. (Underworld.) : Call off your goons!

        Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
        Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw Hill.

        ST hires them as a “bodyguard” because somehow ST cannot afford to hire real trained peace officers, or cannot firgure out how to get the WSP to patrol their facilities for free like WSP does for WashDOT and WSF.

        With all the camera around the LINK system, one truly wonders what purpose the hired untrained security goons have since they do not assist customers and don’t seem to patrol the stations.

      3. WSP patrols the ferries because they are a State highway. If you’re sitting in your car in the lot waiting for a boat and drinking a beer the WSP will site you for drinking and driving because that lot is considered State highway.

      4. Erik,

        They are goons because they ALWAYS are the ones instigating the interaction with rude and disrespectful behavior

        Sounds like you have a chip on your shoulder.

        It is apparent that you have an issue with rude and disrespectful behavior – if for no other reason than you choose to label all ST security as “goons”.

        Frankly – it doesn’t sound like you DESERVE their respectful treatment, so here’s hoping you receive what you dish out.

        Like I said – those folks are regular folks trying to earn a living. They have partners, friends, families, kids and lives. What exactly do YOU do for a living that makes you so much better than them, by the way?

        What is your profession, and who is your employer so that we might draw our own conclusions about your own character? That would be fun.

        If you have some feedback for ST (seriously), you should contact them and tell them about your experiences – positive or negative. Maybe they’ll make changes? Call them up or e-mail them referring to ST station security as “goons” and I hope they simply hang up on you.

  8. I heard that Metro got its shipment of redesigned teal 2009 DE60LFs – hopefully that means the blue ones are coming soon.

    So are these new DE60LFs ever going to be distributed throughout the bases, or is South Base going to be greedy and keep all the new buses to that base? I haven’t had the chance to ride the new buses that often because I don’t usually ride Tukwila area routes.

    I’m betting once Metro gets the new Orion VIIs, all of South Bases’ Gilligs are going to be dumped on Ryerson.

    1. South Base does a heck of a lot more than just “Tukwila area routes”. 101, 102, 150 and 194 are the tunnel routes that are out of South Base.

      I’m pretty sure Metro has not ordered any DE60LFR’s yet. Or if by “redesigned” you mean with batteries distributed in the front and rear along with other minor tweaks, then yes, those were delivered much earlier this year. These are numbered 6835-6850 and most are green.

      Nothing higher than 6850 has hit the road in revenue service in the past month (excluding ST-owned coaches).

      Sound Transit ordered 13 60 foot hybrids earlier this year under KCM’s contract with New Flyer. It doesn’t say whether or not they’re DE60LF’s or DE60LFR’s, but since the contract was signed prior to 2009, I’d assume they’re the non-restyled ones. These 13 are scheduled to be delivered in early 2010; probably before the February shakeup because they were ordered to be able to be able to provide more service as promised under ST2.

      Also, New Flyer stopped offering the non-restyled models earlier this year. You now either get restyled or nothing.

      1. I was talking about the redistributed battery models with the HVAC units mounted on both front and trailer, not the LFR.

        But still, is there a reason why the new models are in service to only that base?

      2. I have no idea why South got the newest hybrids. Could be that they needed artics and rather than shuffling buses around they just got everything from the new order. I can say that most of the 6800’s are used on tunnel routes though, which is important since these are hybrids and have the Hush mode.

        If it makes you feel any better, East Base has the newest equipment right now. I’ll be posting pics on Flickr later tonight.

      3. Correct that to “most often” used on tunnel routes. All buses rotate through multiple routes, i.e. you might have a D60HF on the 5 today, the 15 tomorrow, and the 197 the next. The only exception where coaches are assigned to a route is the 99 where they prefer 3246, 3247, 3248, or 3249 because they’re “Waterfront Streetcar” wrapped (and have slightly different text programmed in for the destination signs). Occasionally they’ll throw something else on the 99.

    2. One thing about the new 60′ low floors…they SUCK because the windows don’t open. One more example of Metro caring more about its own budget needs than about the needs of its customers. I shudder to imagine being stuck on one of those next to an insanitary (i.e., poop in pants) individual. Less foreboding but still obnoxious is the specter of riding on a nice warm spring day with the heater cranked up, or a similar day with the a/c cranked… What is Metro thinking???

      1. The new ones are GREAT because the windows don’t open! Too many people open the windows when it gets hot out, and if the windows are open, the A/C that we paid extra to get is worthless.

        However, that’s not to say that it wouldn’t be nice to have. A/C can’t be used in the tunnel, and after a layover in the sun opening the windows for a few minutes will drop the temperature a bit faster than A/C. It’s also nice in the winter when stinky people ride. It’s horrible any time in the tunnel as opening the windows creates too much noise pollution.

        So yeah, there are pros and cons. I’m not sure how much the option adds or removes to the price of the bus, but I can’t imagine it being too much.

      2. “If it makes you feel any better, East Base has the newest equipment right now. I’ll be posting pics on Flickr later tonight.”

        Hopefully that means we finally get a few of those buses on the University (71, 72, 73 and 74) routes!

        Unfortunately, they seem to have a lot of homeless passengers, so the window issue might be a problem….

      3. I like being able to open the windows in colder weather. The low-floor artics, in particular, seem unusually hot inside, so sometimes I open a window, then close it again before I get off. It’s not as though people remove multiple layers of clothing as they get on the bus, yet the heaters always feel like they’re cranked up to 11.

      4. The low floors actually have climate control. It’s an imperfect system, as opening and closing doors have the heat going on and off, and the adjustment is over the driver’s left shoulder and unreachable from a sitting position for the most part. Still better than the older buses which basically have two settings – “On” and “Off”.

    3. It’s my understanding that South Base receives new coaches before they are distributed to other bases. The vans arriving at East now were at South base several months ago. To my knowledge, there are no van routes based out of South so this would validate my understanding…

      FYI: Coaches are periodically rotated between the bases to even out the wear and tear. When south received the 6800 series coaches last year, we were really short on Hybrids at East – to the point where I was running one or two inbound 550 trips on the surface each week because they didn’t have a hybrid for me. Shortly after this became a regular occurrence though a bunch of 2600 series Hybrids were rotated to East from South which solved the shortage.

      East also “dumped” several 950x diesel ST coaches onto South when the State Patrol was rumored to have asked Metro to get them off of 520 since they are so slow to accelerate. Maybe getting the 6800’s was payback – who knows??? I’ll take older 2600’s vs. lower numbered 9500 coaches any day of the week – they’re horrible. (They originally were procured and operated by Community Transit)

      1. Are the 9500 D60LFs really that bad? I remember they first started arriving in 2000, so I wouldn’t think they’d be that outdated…

      2. Exactly what I was going to say. I’m almost positive that South does all the new vehicle inspections. All but one of the new vans that are in service now I saw in the boneyard at South Base (that one that is in service that I didn’t see may have been between other vehicles so I couldn’t see it from outside the fence).

        The van routes are: 200, 201, 203, 204, 213, 219, 249, 251, 921, and 929. All of those are East Base routes.

  9. (re: the video in this post) Wow. That looks like a lot of setup for a video with such terrible sound and acting.

  10. wow that city harvest ad is awesome. was that cgi or did they really fill the times square shuttle with tons of apples? seems like that would be a waste of food if its real.

    also, was anyone from here chasing the eastbound snow train to leavenworth yesterday? there were a few buffs who made it to leavenworth to photograph the train a few minutes before we pulled out to wenatchee. i would like to see their pictures/videos.

      1. Haha, I had known about that one, but I had heard it called Santa-Con before. They do a weekend: Friday night in Seattle and Saturday night in Portland. I went to Portland a few years ago and went to a McMenamin’s full of Santas; that’s how I found out. It was weird.

  11. @Tim – it’s CGI

    The past week or so I’ve been seeing a bus going down Broadway with no route number, all it says is (I think) “Broadway to International District.” I don’t remember ever seeing this bus before? what’s the deal? Did I just never notice it before?

    1. It’s usually Route 43 or 49 buses (signed Intl Dist/Broadway) that terminate on Capitol Hill/Broadway and they are going back to base via Broadway to avoid downtown traffic. So if you board a 43 or 49 to Capitol Hill or Broadway at the UW, expect it to go that route.

      They also do the opposite direction from 5th & Jackson up Broadway. It’ll be signed “To Route 43 (49) via Broadway”.

    2. No such code.

      You may have seen:

      “Int’l Dist”


      “Atlantic Base via Broadway”


      “Central Base via Broadway”

      These signed buses are still in-service, but at the end of their run on the way back to base, alerting passengers at stops between their last time point and base that the bus is still in service, and where they’re going.

      1. yeah it may have just said “Int’l Dist”

        I don’t think it’s an out of service bus though, because I got on it once thinking it was the 49 and didn’t realize that it wasn’t the 49 until it’d didn’t turn down Pine. It was stopping at all the stops and everything. I’ve seen it a couple of times since then.

      2. Also, all buses are in service unless they say:

        – Out of Service
        – Test Coach / No Passengers
        – Training Coach / No Passengers

        “To Terminal” buses are in service. You may ride, but the operator will not make stops to pick people up.

      3. No way. I see “to terminal” buses all the time on third and there’s no way one would ever stop for me. It’d be nice to have your own personal express shuttle though.

      4. They don’t stop to pick up, but if you board during a revenue route you are allowed to stay on afterwards. You need to ask the operator to do so though. Also, they’ll kick you off before they pull into the base if you’re riding a base route.

      5. A couple times I have stayed on the bus after the end and they let me out closer to my destination along their route.

      6. I’ve had “To Terminal” buses stop for me when it’s raining … guess it depends on the driver

      7. . . or the route, I’m sure.

        We’re not required to stop for passengers en route to terminal, and it can be time-prohibitive to do so as we’re given a very strict amount of time to get from base to our starting point. If a driver leaves a few minutes early or otherwise has time padding going for them – this may happen, but it shouldn’t be expected.

        You *do* have to get off of a bus headed to base at the last stop before base – taking a passenger into base (knowingly or unknowingly) can result in a Personnel Report (PR) being issued, and is considered a pretty big (bad) deal, particularly at bases like North Base where there’s not a stop nearby for the errant passenger to grab an outgoing bus at.

  12. Why do inbound buses from the Eastside stop at the back bay in tunnel stations? Since they’re just dropping off passengers, it doesn’t seem necessary to have it stop at any particular bay, and frequently they block the outbound buses behind them.

    1. That’s what is on the run cards so that’s what we do – not sure why Metro doesn’t have a policy to just pull up as far as possible when you are dropping off. That said, if I know there are buses behind me, I pull all the way up. When I do this though, I do get some confused looks so I frequently have to explain what I’m doing.

    2. I hate that. My bus gets held up all the time because one or more inbound busses stops at the back bay for no logical reason except that’s what they are assigned to. I don’t know why all inbound busses aren’t assigned to the front bay.

  13. OK, This is a dumb question. I’m not “groking” the whole pass system thing. Could someone please explain how it works? (I don’t live in the area presently but will be visiting soon) I notice that there are numerous amounts from .50 cents to a few dollars. What are you buying with these choices? Are these “unlimited” rides per month?

    1. It’s not a dumb question. A lot of people are confused about the mess of various fares set by various transit agencies in the region.

      Those amounts, ranging from 75¢ to $4.75, are the face value of the pass. Multiply that by 36 to get the retail price of the pass. They are good for unlimited rides whose fare is equal to or less than that face value in a month. You pay the difference with cash or E-purse if the required fare is higher than your pass face value.

      The pass is loaded on to an ORCA card, which is free until after Jan 31, 2010, then it’ll cost $5 just to get the card.

      Say you ride Metro off-peak every day, the fare is $2.00, so you get a $2.00 monthly regional pass for the price of $72. Since the face value is $2.00, it is also good on Link light rail (not end-to-end which is $2.50), Community Transit local ($1.50), Pierce Transit local ($1.75), Sound Transit 1-zone ($1.50), Everett Transit (75¢), and Kitsap Transit ($2.00). If you use a service where the fare is higher, you pay the difference. Like an extra 75¢ for Metro two-zone peak or 50¢ more to ride Link end to end.

      I would recommend a monthly pass only if you will be riding transit at least 36 times within a calendar month to break even.

      1. Charles, if you’re just visiting for a few days you can buy a round-trip ticket on Link and it will work as a day pass for Link light rail and all of the local buses. It’s not as convenient as a real day pass that many cities have, but it’s cheaper than paying for every ride if you are going to be using transit a lot.

      2. Sadly that only works until Jan 1st. After then ORCA is the only way to do inter-agency transfers.

      3. We do need an unlimited use Visitor day pass.

        No muss, no fuss, no zones (i.e. it’s worth $4.75). Sell it everywhere.

        I ask everyone in general: how much would you pay for it?

      4. I seem to remember once C-Tran had a $6 GO Anywhere pass that was valid on anything C-Tran (except Portland Express) and anything Tri-Met, but the catch was that you could only buy it on a C-Tran bus.

      5. Muni has a $10 day pass. I just got a youth monthly pass though, because it’s $15. Man I wish it was that much here!

  14. Does anyone know if Sound transit plans to use the Mountlake Terrace freeway station for light rail in the future and if so are the building it to handle light rail?

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