Now that the deep-bore tunnel completion date has been moved back to November 2016, it happens to coincide neatly with the projected opening of University Link. This makes further mockery of the Governor’s promise to tear the viaduct down by 2012. Regardless, let’s compare the vital statistics of University Link and its evil twin:
|Deep-bore Tunnel||University Link|
|Cost||$1.96-$3.1 billion 1||$1.9 billion|
|Length||2 miles||3.15 miles|
|Projected Daily Traffic (2030)||72,000 vehicles||70,000-142,000+ people 2|
|Capacity per hour||8,800 cars 3||48,000 people 4|
|Fare||$0.94-$2.25 5||$2.00 6|
|Overruns paid by||? 7||Sound Transit|
Of course, I’m having a little fun here. University Link is a slam dunk of a project and “worse than U-Link” is hardly a strong criticism. That said, there are probably people out there who favor the road project but not the rail one, which simply doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
1 depending on what you count.
2 70,000 people will get on or off at the two stations; 72,000 more will get on or off between Northgate and Brooklyn. If all of those 72,000 continue to UW station and beyond, the number is 142,000; if none of them do, it’s 70,000; I’d argue it’d be towards the higher end of the range. I couldn’t find ridership numbers for stations north of Northgate, so I haven’t counted thousands of riders more.
3 Using USDOT figures for highway lane capacity if everything goes perfectly. There’s no HOV lane, but you can apply whatever figure you like for people per car (I believe 1.2 is the standard). There are also no plans to put any Metro buses in the tunnel, nor is Metro likely to create a route that bypasses downtown.
4 800 riders per train, 2 minute headways, 2 directions.
5 In 2007 dollars; plus you bring your own car and your own gas.
6 Westlake to UW, using ST’s current fare structure of $1.75 plus 5 cents/mile, rounded to the nearest quarter.
7 “We intend to bring the project in on time and on budget” — the Governor’s spokesperson.