RapidRide on display at Westlake, by Oran.

For anyone hanging around Westlake last Thursday, you might have noticed a shiny new RapidRide bus on display. The coach was being showcased as part of Earth Day festivities.  Metro has also informed us that more coaches will be on display in various locations around the region during the summer.  Where and when hasn’t been finalized yet. A few STBers added several pictures of the display coach on our Flickr pool.

We’ve also received a timeline for the opening of the A-Line this fall as well as rough dates for the remaining five lines.  The original opening date was supposed to be during the February service change, but budget cuts have pushed that back to October, which we originally reported at the beginning of the year:

  • A Line – Pacific Hwy S. – Oct 2, 2010
  • B Line – Bellevue/Redmond – fall 2011
  • C Line – W. Seattle – 2011 (service adds only), 2012 (fully branded)
  • D Line – Ballard/Uptown – 2012
  • E Line – Aurora Ave N – 2013
  • F Line – Burien, Tukwila, Renton — 2013

“The A-Line will have 10 minute service during peak hours on weekdays and 15 minute service during off-peak hours (including weekends),” Rochelle Ogershok, a spokesperson for Metro Transit, told us in an email.  “Evening and overnight schedules will offer more limited service.   This A-Line schedule will more than double the current frequency of the Route 174.”

86 Replies to “RapidRide Timeline and Display Coach”

  1. One wonders why the E line won’t open till 2013 (assuming there are no funding problems) when Community Transit already is running BRT oon Snohomish County’s southern portion of SR99.

    1. Probably lack of money is the biggest reason.
      Here’s a thought. As a way of saying ‘thanks for your patience’ to N.Seattle residents waiting for Link Rail to occur, why not cut back on S.Link headways by say 20%, until ridership catches up with current service levels? Use the extra $9.1 million/year to fund the E-segment, until either LRT reaches Northgate, or S.Link starts to need the capacity back.
      Note: Airport Link is averaging 45 riders per revenue hour in 2010 [6.3m riders in 2010 / 138,288 service hours scheduled], or about 60% of projected demand. A 20% cut would hardly be noticed, while BRT on Aurora would be a welcome signal that ST is all about moving people in the most efficient way possible.

      1. A 20% cut would end up strongly discouraging people from riding, as one of the main pluses of Link is its close headways. People in North Seattle will get light rail in a few years, and when they do, it will be great. Also, ST and Metro are completely separate agencies so I’m not sure how it would work anyways to put Link money towards RapidRide.

      2. If headways is the issue, then how about running single-car “trains” in off-peak hours at the same headways? That would save a lot of money.

        The only time LInk cars have anything close to 137 people in them in off-peak hours is when Franklin High gets out and a bunch of kids board trains at Mt Baker station around 2:30. This could be considered a “special event” when Link cars are supposed to accomodate 200 passengers per car, so even for that, one-car “trains” should suffice.

        The way Central Link is operating right now is a real waste of money and energy. The trains are never close to being filled to capacity.

      3. Norman, what you don’t realize is that a two car train doesn’t use as much energy as you think it does, AND the cost of labor and electricity of taking the train back to the OMF to decouple it would be greater than any electricity savings.

      4. You know this for a fact, or just guessing?

        The cost of operating each Link car is not just the electricity. It is also wear-and-tear from the miles put on the cars and rails and the added maintenance and repairs those miles necessitate.

        How much time and labor could it really take to decouple a Link train? There are only 2 cars in each train! This takes more than a few minutes?

        They could have single cars waiting in the yard as the peak hours end. Take a 2-car train out of service and replace it with a single car. Decouple the train that came out of service, and you have 2 more single cars waiting to go when the next 2-car train comes out of service.

        Since the midday “off-peak” period runs from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm, I would think that close to 6.5 hours of running single cars would save a lot more money than the extra couple hours or so of labor in decoupling, then coupling the cars at the beginning and end of that off-peak period.

        I am quite sure I have read about other light rail systems which run 2-car trains during parts of each day, and single cars during other parts of the day. I don’t really believe that this is not feasible, or that it would not save money.

        At any rate, do you agree that running 2-car trains around mostly empty is really inefficient?

      5. I’m not sure what Norman is looking at as I drive my car south on MLK in the morning headed for I-5 south. I encounter at least 3 LINK trains between 7:00 and 7:15 and they are usually full and in fact, have standing room only now. The southbound trains appear to be picking up as well.

        Please don’t make off hand comments when you aren’t looking at reality and seeing the actual situation as I am each and every day.

      6. Michael

        You missed the whole point that Morman is making. Yeah, the trains maybe have people standing but light rail cars are more prone have people standing. So are they really full or do they appear full. Second, Morman is not talking about the peak times. If cut them down to one train on off peaks, you could probably save over 600 miles of usage and I am sure that is way conservative on the weekdays and way more on the weekends. At a mere 600 miles 7 days a week in reduction of usage you would save over 200,000 miles annually.

      7. Well, we don’t have to guess. ST is giving ridership estimates. The most recent is about 18,000 boardings per weekday. There are about 250 Link train trips per day, or 500 Link car trips per day. So, 18,000 divided by 500 Link cars gives about 36 boardings per car. Each Link car has 74 seats, and room for about 63 standing passengers for a total capacity of 137 per car. If the average is 36 boardings per day over a full day, then how many Link cars are actually “full” each day?

      8. So would cuts on Metro. That’s the whole point. Link’s 45 riders/revenue hour, at $330/per hour, compares poorly against MT358 averaging 75 riders/rev.hr, or the MT41 at 104, or the top listed route, MT15 at 110.
        Why not put the operating dollars where they will do the most good. ST had no trouble taking over the MT550 from Metro. Why not the 358, link up with Swift, order the coaches, build the stations, and move a bunch of bodies in a year or two.
        Consider it the mother of all PR stunts!

      9. But what I’m saying is that right now, Link just opened, and we need to try to encourage more passengers to take it, not discourage them from taking it. The 41 will be replaced with Link in ten years, and the 358 and 15 will be replaced by RapidRide in a couple years.

      10. To try to rope this back into a more on-topic discussion:

        Is there any sort of chance for a service partnership with either Sound Transit or the City of Seattle to speed up the implementation of Rapid Ride lines C, D, and E?

        Getting the C and D lines up and running will help with traffic mitigation during whatever construction for the viaduct replacement happens. It also proves the route for potential rail in the corridor and provides some mitigation while the rail line is built (assuming there is a ballot measure and it passes). Of course one issue when contemplating potential future rail in the C and D corridors is to not spend too much on fixed infrastructure for the RapidRide lines as it will be somewhat mooted by an eventual rail line. Though presumably any transit lanes could be used either for rail transit or would still be useful to the other buses in the corridor. The investment in signal priority similarly would help the other bus transit and may make implementing signal priority for any surface rail easier.

        As for the E line it would be nice to see something to connect to Swift sooner rather than later. In the case of the E line you could probably do the necessary upgrades incrementally and add the various rapid ride elements as the money is available.

      11. Agreed Chris. The topic is “RapidRide Timeline…”. Finding creative ways to speed up the E line is what I was proposing. Residents of N.Seattle have been more than patient waiting for Link to arrive. Diverting some Link operating funds from Airport Link to the North end seems like a fair proposal, until Link ridership grows, or Metro gets their financial house in order. Revenue Neutral and more riders. That goes to the heart of what this blog is about. Providing better transit in Seattle.

      12. The E Line has too many stops to be an ST Express route. Maybe if there were only five or six stops between downtown and Aurora Village…

      13. As a regular 358 rider, I would settle for just a real express route on Aurora. There is no reason why folks commuting to 130th should have to stop three times next to Green Lake, again at 70th, again at 80th, again at 85th, again at 90th, etc. One stop at 46th, one at 85th, one at 105th, and one at 130th would do the trick (there is already fairly good express bus service during commuting hours if you live at 145th or further north, since you can catch a bus that pops on the freeway). Change a few runs during rush hour on weekdays and you substantially improve that commute. You don’t need all the bells and whistles of BRT to make that commute WAY better, and it would cost practically nothing because you’d be replacing current runs rather than adding new ones. I’m excited about E Line eventually getting up and running, but frankly, I think they could almost as much good by just tweaking the 358, at substantial cost savings, without having to wait 3 more years.

      14. “Here’s a thought. As a way of saying ‘thanks for your patience’ to N.Seattle residents waiting for Link Rail to occur, why not cut back on S.Link headways by say 20%, ”

        You mean, “As a way of saying ‘screw you’ to SE Seattle residents,” I think.

        Seriously, this would do no good. Cutting back on headways is going in entirely the wrong direction. Cutting back on headways in SE Seattle in favor of N Seattle not only makes Central Link less useful and attractive to riders, but it continues the pattern of neglecting SE in favor of neighborhoods further north that SE residents are pretty sensitive about. (Link was the rare improvement to come to SE Seattle first. And there are still a lot of people out there who, whether they admit it or not, think our part of town didn’t deserve it.)

  2. Why can’t we get express bus service from Kent?

    It’s one of the area’s most used public transit throughfares.

    Sounder is fantastic but it only runs 3 hours a day in and 3 out.

    The corridor is used night and day and the 150 is interminable.

    O, Please, Powers That Be, Put Kent in Your Good Graces That we too May Ride, Rapidly!

      1. As others have commented, after the Sounder and express buses stop running at 8:30am inbound, the 150 is left. It takes about 30 minutes to get the 10 miles from Kent Station to Tukwila because it winds its way through every nook and cranny of Southcenter.

        Someone mentioned the 180. I took that once to the airport. I guess I could then take the LINK from there. The 180 schedule is vastly confusing:


        It seems like it takes 22 minutes to get from Kent Station to Airport LINK.

        SeaTac to University takes 34 minutes


        So a total trip time of 56 minutes.

        A few minutes more than the 150 not including transfer and wait times.

      2. Have you asked if it is possible to have more runs on Sounder?

        I’d sure love to be able to take Sounder mid-day.

    1. Kent is conspicuously left out of the rapid transit network. The 150 takes a full hour, and the express buses run only in the peak direction.

      At minimum, the evening 180 should be extended to SeaTac station. Better yet would be BRT from Kent to Link, moving south as the line gets extended until the Kent-Des Moines station opens.

      1. Are you suggesting a BRT line with stops every half mile or so, or an express route from Airport Station to Kent Station (during non-Sounder hours)?

      2. It would probably have to be express keep the Seattle-Kent time under 1 hour, given that Link already takes up 40 minutes. But I’m more concerned with the frequency than the number of stops. Frequent buses would bring Kent fully into south King County rapid transit. Infrequent buses would just perpetuate the system we have now where Kent is a hard-to-get-to point in another direction from everything else.

        I wouldn’t differentiate between Sounder- and non-Sounder hours. That would force people to go different ways depending on what time it was.

      3. The wait+travel time on a Kent-SeaTac express plus Link could end up being faster than the wait+travel time on the 150 *if* runs on the 150 were scavenged to be put on the Kent-SeaTac express. I suspect that approach would not go over too well.

      4. Service intergration with TIB and Sea-Tac is poor in my opinion. IMO, all the routes that served the old airport drive stops should have either terminated at TIB (574, 156) or passed through (180). The biggest problem with TIB is lack of layover space. in several instances one has to make an extra transfer to get to TIB where there really shouldent be considering the distances.

      5. I’m feeling like the transit center should have been at SeaTac station. That’s the natural dividing point for the 124 and 174, and it would end the problem that some buses transfer at TIB and some at SeaTac, so you have to go a mile on Link or the 174 if your bus goes to the one you don’t want.

      6. The thing is by the time the bus gets to a LINK station, the only leg of the journey left is jumping on I-5 and heading towards the city — the fastest part of the trip and much faster than a 30 minute LINK ride winding through all of Seattle.

        A RapidRide or ST bus that goes Kent-Tukwila-Seattle all day long makes total sense to me and based on my years of ridership, night and day, would get lots of customers.

      7. Kent is served by express service all day on weekdays – as long as you are going to Renton, Bellevue or Overlake.

  3. The good thing about RapidRide is not its “bus rapid transit” qualities, because it doesn’t have many. Really, all high-ridership routes should get the upgrades that come with RapidRide, such as great frequency and branding. Of course, off-board fare payment and limited stop service aren’t really happening…

    1. Metro is spacing out the stops a little bit better route by route. We can’t expect stop spacing like SWIFT has, since they keep the CT 101 to provide local service between their SWIFT stops, which tend to be over a mile apart. I want better spacing, but not to force doubling up a local crawler with each BRT line.

      If Metro can take on more routes at once for the spacing-out treatment, I wish they would.

      Have patience on the payment system. SWIFT is only using off-board payment. RapidRide A will have all-door tapping, so Metro will get a chance to see if this approach works before universalizing all-door tapping. Of course, all-door tapping also means more Metro police will have to be hired, which won’t be cheap.

      On the ROW criterion, I’d be curious to know how much Metro (or any other government entity) spent on turning the outer lanes on Pacific Highway into bus lanes.

      Frequency may be a long wait, everywhere. Although the demand is there given how many full buses there are all over, revenue is tight and going south. We need to be fighting for more revenue sources.

      Stop-spacing should be revenue-positive, so I hope that happens all over the system fast.

      1. Maybe Ballard and West Seattle can do with a combined route, but Aurora needs both rapid and local. It takes an hour to get from 45th or 85th to Lynnwood. There should be at least one good route north to Snohomish County and south to Pierce County.

      2. In a word: Link.

        No BRT route(s) is/are going to be faster over that amount of distance. 45th and 85th will have frequent connections to Link, with most of the transfer time being getting down the elevator.

        Fast forward down the middle of I-5, since that seems to be the planned corridor, FBOW.

        CT will by then be able to have frequent east-west neighborhood routes crossing Link and serving all major destinations.

        If you think SWIFT can compete with LINK’s speed, ride SWIFT the entire length some time. In the same amount of time starting from Everett Station, you could be sitting at beautiful Aurora Village TC, or getting off the train at Qwest Field.

  4. I would still like an answer to my question about what happens to regular Metro service in those places where B Line duplicates regular bus service. Metro says:

    “This new service, called RapidRide, is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2011. It will operate between the Bellevue Transit Center and the new downtown Redmond Transit Center via Crossroads and Overlake. RapidRide will travelon major arterials – NE Eighth Street, 156th Avenue NE, NE 40th Street, and 148th Avenue NE, replacing Metro routes 230 and 253 on these streets.”

    The B Line duplicates most of the route 253, so will the route 253 be eliminated?

    Map of B Line: http://metro.kingcounty.gov/up/sc/plans/2008/012008-belred-rr-map.html

    1. I don’t know if a decision has been made about the B Line, but the 174 will be discontinued after the A Line opens.

    2. I can’t answer your question directly but metro views rapidride as replacing existing service not adding on top existing service.

  5. Sam- from my understanding, when RR is implemented, any complimentary “local” bus service will be discontinued. This is why RR will have three levels of stops ranging from the station-style stops similar to Swift to a simple bus stop sign. So, we will likely see the elimination of the routes 174 for RR A and 358 for RR E (sorry, but I am not familiar with the other areas to make any comparison).

    1. 174 will be eliminated after RapidRide A Line opens. I don’t think full routing decisions have been made for the other routes.

  6. Evening and overnight schedules will offer more limited service.

    Am I the only one who finds this embarrassing? We’re calling this service “RapidRide”, and yet we can’t even offer 15 minute frequency in the evening?

  7. Pssst …. Aleks …. even Link reduces frequency as afternoon turns into evening.

    People, get over the RapidRide name, already. It’s trivial. “But what’s rapid about it???” It’s just a name. Link doesn’t link-up anything. BART doesn’t serve the entire bay area. Calm down. Take a deep breath. It’s just a name.

    1. Yes but Link runs every 10 minutes until 10pm, and every 15 minutes after. That’s what RapidRide needs to do. Adding a few buses at peak hour and calling it RapidRide is sleight of hand. RapidRide should run at least every 15 minutes full time. That’s the minimum standard for frequent service. There are many potential riders who would ride at 10-minute headways but won’t at 30-minute headways because it means looking up the schedules, waiting, and waiting again when they transfer. That’s why transit is so hopping in Vancouver and San Francisco, and Chicago: people know a bus/train will come every 5 or 10 minutes, or 20 minutes at the worst.

      RapidRide is also hampered by trying to serve both local and limited-stop service simultaneously. Swift has it right: limited-stop BRT, and a shadow local bus.

      1. “Adding a few buses at peak hour and calling it RapidRide is sleight of hand. RapidRide should run at least every 15 minutes full time.”

        Agreed. There is a big difference between reliable 15 minute headways and 30 minute headways.

      2. I havent rode swift yet, but i have to wonder if you need a shadow local bus running every 20 minutes ontop of your BRT running every ten, if there isnt some problems with your BRT (i.e. stops not in the right locations).

        Also, one would think from the publics perspective it dosent look very good to have a SWIFT followed by a 101 than another SWIFT parading down the highway. Especally when you have to cut whole days of service to keep funding this operation.

      3. Limited-stop service like Swift has two purposes. One, it makes long-distance trips shorter. Two, it makes you extremely lucky if your origin and destination are Swift stops. That happens naturally to some extent because transfer points, major businesses, and TOD and lucky residences are at Swift stops. But with the wide stop spacing, you need a local bus if your destination is between Swift stops, otherwise you’d have to walk a long distance, and some people can’t.

        It’s clearer to see on the NYC subway. The express trains skip some stops, or run nonstop through a 40-block section. The express and locals run on opposite sides of the same platform, and often you can walk straight out of your train across the platform to a train of the other type. Naturally, people whose origin and destination are express stops use only the express trains, but those who have to go to a local stop use a combination of the two. If you eliminate the local train, people would have to walk to the local stops. That’s why the 101 is still running.

    2. Not only is it called RapidRide, but it’s also marketed as Bus Rapid Transit, and yet it’s not rapid.

    3. Despite my snarky post, I don’t particularly care about the name. What I find absurd is that we’re creating a new brand, supposedly to highlight our premier bus service, and yet it’s not even as good as some of our other bus lines, let alone anything which could fairly be called rapid transit.

      As other commenters have said, 15 minutes is the absolute minimum to attract any spontaneous users. Below that and you’re in the realm of schedules and planned trips. Metro itself says that “buses will come so often you won’t need a schedule”, but if frequencies are longer than 15 minutes, that clearly isn’t true.

  8. Any idea why rollout on putting these buses into service is taking so long?

    Should it really take 3 more years to put 6 routes into service?

    1. Maybe because KCMetro is too damned afraid to cut anyone’s one seat ride and consolidate some routes to free up hours for “Rapid”Ride?
      After 70 years of minimal changes in routes within the city, perhaps it is time for a major re-think, consolidation, bus stop elimination, off bus fare collection at major nodes and a major infusion of fare inspectors?!?!?

      1. With ORCA you can do that. Install readers at all the doors. Although for cash fares you almost need a magnetic transfer system to be fully fare (both to record the transfer in a format that dosent lye, and as proof of reciept of full fare). The Good thing about computers is that they dont lye. The bad thing about computers is that they dont lye.

    2. Money. Waiting for new buses. Public process. ITS design and construction. Don’t want to introduce it to west Seattle during viaduct construction. Etc.

  9. These 6 new lines will be great once they begin. However one thing very important is that they incorporate the new RapidRide lines into the one huge network that includes ST, KCM, CT and PT. People are going to be transferring between lines and agencies and they need to have seamless transfers. Where these lines terminate, I will like to see good signage leading to other buses that, say, will take them to downtown Seattle or Bellevue (or whatever). Transferring between modes and agencies are important to guiding people easily and effortlessly. This is the only way we can get people to ride transit and come back.

    On this same line…I am really hoping that the ST website revamp will result in something closer to Vancouver’s TransLink or Portland’s Tri-Met websites. I’m not sure if we need separate mode icons for local bus, commuter bus and BRT. However they need to ensure one icon that is all inclusive of bus modes and agencies (local, commuter and BRT), one for light rail, for streetcar, another for commuter rail and one for ferry.

  10. I like the fact that Metro is having Metro Police (rather than minimally-trained, subcontracted, “fare enforcement officers”) do the fare checking. With a little co-ordination, ST could take advantage of the Metro Police working this beat to take over Link security.

    I’d love for Executive Constantine to take credit for hiring more police officers to make this happen.

    I hope they can also police the 124 as well. That line needs more consideration for the safety of passengers and operators.

    1. Sound Transit has its own police force that I believe is a division of the King county sheriff’s office. I have actually seen them arrest someone at a bus stop on 3rd ave in downtown.

      1. Yes, ST Police is part of King County Sheriff’s Fept., just as Metro Transit Police.

    2. Of course, I hope that they have the Metro police ride the buses with the passengers to check for fares. I was just hearing about the ridiculous fare-checking routine for the new BRT line in the Bronx, in which a transit police car pulls up behind the bus and they stop the bus for five minutes while the police check everyone’s fare.

      1. I read somewhere that PD would board the coach at a stop, and it implied that the officer would ride with the bus as it continued on its route.

    1. That is what prompted this post in the first place. Someone will be on it as soon as possible.

  11. Any rumors of this, (or any better transit) coming to Lake City? We seem to be Metro’s ugly step-child out in this end of the city.

    When the quickest alternative to SOVs in traveling the 11 miles downtown and back is via pedaling, something needs fixing other than my flat.

    1. The ST 522 provides pretty good service between Downtown and Lake City. Between 6th & Union and 125th & Lake City Way travel times on the 522 are about the same as they would be in an SOV. There isn’t much that can be done to make that segment of the route faster as it makes no stops between Downtown and Lake City. BAT lanes on Lake City Way might help some as would signal priority but I doubt there would be any huge gains.

      1. Thanks, Stefan. 522 is a pretty decent option, though usually pretty packed by the time it makes it to 130th at rush hour (Ditto for the Pike stop), and I work in “Cascade” which makes it a bit of a slog from stop to work. It’s also pretty infrequent.

        As far so Metro, the 41 works as it stops on my end of town and is empty, but is ultra local to Northgate, and I can beat it with my bike. The other Metro options 72X, 75(transfer) are interminably slow.

        The Center Lane of LCW just screams for a train. Not many crossings for a good section of it, and not too hilly. Connect it to the future Roosevelt Station and you could have a reasonably cheap alternative that you could run all the way up to a monster Bothell Park and ride, if anyone gave more than a passing thought about the NE.

      2. That’d be awesome, although in the heart of Lake City at 125th they would have to put it in a few-block-long tunnel because the street narrows, and north of 130th or so it should be elevated all the way to Woodinville.
        In the meantime, BRT from Roosevelt Station to Woodinville with stops every half-mile or mile would be very nice.

      3. maybe go elevated through Lake City. There is a median where you could drop stanchions.

        The irony of running rail past all those failing car dealerships would be too good to pass up.

      4. A bunch of them are closing, I have a feeling that the Lake City Auto Row is going to be the next big development site in Seattle. Bill Pierre Towers?

      5. One thing can make the 522 faster: More Frequency!

        For years, the 522 has been SRO in the main commuting direction throughout peak travel time.

        Still, I think there is lots of TOD along the route that deserves a stop, well before 125th. If even just two stops were added, I don’t think it would add more than a couple minutes to travel time. However, since the bus is always beyond fire capacity, those stops would be pointless.

        The 522 needs more service long before Roosevelt Station comes open, and even then, there will be resistance to turning it into a two-seat ride to get to either downtown or the U. However, combining the 372 and 522 into one route, so that headway is halved, will be most welcome, and the 372 is less sardine-packed than the 522. I think a RapidRide line along Hwy 522 will be packed to the gills even with 10-minute headway when Roosevelt Station is opened.

      6. I ride the 522 every single day and it is a big stretch to say it’s packed. I usually ride past 9am, though, so maybe I’m missing something.

      7. The 522 is great when it doesn’t go by the stop 5 minutes early and then the next one is 10 minutes late. This happens frequently mid-day. Or when the last bus that goes back to your house doesn’t run one night. Walking from 130th to 145th is not physically hard for me but you don’t really need to know how creepy it is; i average getting propositioned about twice and i’m no fashion plate.

    2. It sure would be nice if lake city could get light rail. I am sure that it would generate lots of new development since pretty much all of the land adjacent to Lake city way is zoned 40ft or higher and in some spots extents several blocks deep. But at a bare minimum it would be nice if we could get a route that serves lake city way say 145th, 130, 120th, 115th and 80th ave stop, which is only served by the 306, and 312, and possibly a 137th/140th stop since I noticed that there is a rather large building going in there.

  12. Hopefully, this is somewhat on topic, but has anyone noticed that the new 6000 series also has the flashing yellow strobe? I thought that these were restricted to being used only in the tunnel? Is this going to be a new standard for upcoming Metro buses?

    1. Are you referring to the strobe on the mirror? If so, I would imagine that it helps people from being bonked on the head by the mirrors (even on the street) so I would imagine that they felt it would be a good, low-cost item to prevent painful situations.

    2. Strobes in the tunnel are white. This yellow one might be a turn signal indicator; perhaps it is more amber when activated, but I’m just guessing here.

      1. I’ve always wondered what that light is for. It is very annoying when they have it going, but it seems like it’s kind of random.

      2. It’s used if you are broken down in the tube segment of the tunnel, or some other reason you are stuck there like downed wire. Works good, if you are around a corner, like the tube segments between Westlake and Univ. St Station. We are instucted to use them, for that purpose only. The strobe is bright enough, that it reflects off the walls of the tube, and can alert the next bus not to enter the tube section. Some drivers however use it when stopped at a red light, but shouldn’t be used then.

      3. Is that the one that comes on when the driver lifts off the accelerator (as in, I might be getting ready to slow down, be aware)?

      4. The Breda Tunnel buses had one too. Very bright when lit.
        It’s to avoid a rear end collision IF you break down in the tunnel tubes. Any other time the driver just forgot to turn it off. Or use it to get some As#hole off your bumber on the freeway. Kink of like the old wheel sanders.
        Get to close, and get a face full of kitty litter!

    3. I have noticed the yellow strobe lights. On a recent weekend, I was riding a DE60LF on route MT 44, after dark, and the strobe was flashing as I approached the bus to board. This was near 45th & Brooklyn Ave NE (outside the DSTT, obviously).

  13. Does anyone else think it’s odd that the RapidRide display was at Westlake? Are they also displaying at TIBS?

    Also, will it have sponsored stops like the trolley?

  14. I try to keep my anger at Metro at least a bit in check — it’s bad for the digestion — but I just looked at those Flikr photos of the interior, and you know what…


    Sure, the bus looks sleek and elegant on the exterior, festooned with cool mirrors and cameras to monitor the doors, but on the inside it’s EXACTLY THE SAME!

    Same rows of plush, super wide seats, nearly all in the same places.
    Same skinny, impassable aisles.
    Same total lack of standing/maneuvering room if it fills up.
    Same dumb wheelchair configuration with the same folding seats.
    All guaranteed to slow boarding and exiting as much as humanly possible (especially if they renege on multi-door boarding).
    Not to mention the same 15-minute headways and 30-minute headways after 10:00.
    Forget reliability and forget rapid.
    Hooray for we-pay-higher-fares-than-any-transit-system-in-the-country-to-support-this-incompetence!

  15. They look like crap. Why can’t we have buses that look like the European ones..especially the Mercedes?

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