RapidRide Signage Samples. Why Not Link? (RapidRide Blog)

This is an open thread.

100 Replies to “News Roundup: RapidRide Art”

  1. Really, really wish there were luggage racks for light rail. I’ve been getting increasingly irritated with not being able to have a seat because someone’s suitcases are there.

    Also irritated with having to have my teenager present to buy a youth Orca card. I had to make a special trip to Westlake, and then had to have her there with her ID. Annoying.

    /grumpy

    1. Personally, I’d be more annoyed with the people who feel their baggage takes precedent over people. they won’t use baggage racks even if they had them. (having read on the Internet that they are magnets for luggage thieves)

      1. Running Link to the airport would do precious little good if people couldn’t take their bags with them.

      2. Thank you, Captain Obvious. The point was that passengers should move their bags to accommodate their fellow passengers. The loutish types who can’t grasp that concept are the same ones who would be too afraid to use a luggage rack.

      3. I’ve found that even large pieces of luggage fit perfectly under the seats, so I don’t know why so many people insist on putting their luggage on the seats next to them, in the aisles, or in the wheelchair areas on crowded trains.

    2. No need to have your teenager present to buy an Orca card — I bought three by mail using the standard order form, just need to include evidence of age/ID for each of the kids so they cards can be programmed to convert to adult. I just mailed in a copy of my car insurance declarations, which show all the kids as non-drivers in the household and includes birth dates. (The younger kids don’t have any formal I.D. yet.)

    1. This is a train wreck waiting to happen. Apparently innovation ends with the Chinese. Thank goodness China is blowing a crap load of money on research of an already failed idea so we don’t have to.

      1. It won’t be a train wreck! They’ll have lights that flash when you get too close. What could possibly go wrong? ;-)

  2. Cabbie Carpool with the Click of a Button: Weeels Application Brings Brooklynites Together, to Share Cabs

    Mahfouda and Pasternack are the creators of Weeels, a social transit application for smart phones that helps users order livery cabs at pre-negotiated prices, locate others who are traveling in the same direction and coordinate cab shares. Weeels is designed to provide users with a level of personal agency and control over their transportation experience New Yorkers have never had before, and help them save time, energy and money. The application is free to download, and at the end of this week, will be available for and compatible with all smart phones.

    http://www.greenpointnews.com/news/cabbie-carpool-with-the-click-of-a-button-weeels-application-brings-brooklynites-together-to-share-cabs

    1. That’s in part because there are no Taxicabs in Brooklyn. Well, not that I have found. Oh, once in a while you see one, if you need one badly, you have to call a black car.

  3. Transit Gets Social in New Taxi Concepts

    New York City has been running a “Taxi of Tomorrow” contest, soliciting designs for a new vehicle. According to the Times’ City Room blog yesterday, one feature suggested by multiple entrants has been conversation-style seating—three seats facing forward and one facing back in one example.

    http://www.weeels.org/blog/?p=325

    1. Basically, it will be a 3G WiFi hotspot. The train will have a 3G transmitter/receiver that communicates with someones wireless network. It will also be a WiFi Hotspot that divvies up that connection to anyone with a WiFi connection.

      It will work, but it’s not a very good solution really. You’re talking about a connection speed of less than 10Mb/s being shared by everyone who connects.

      1. Yes, with the right hardware/software. But then you have to *pay* for several connections, so who knows what Amtrak is actually doing.

      2. for Web browsing and mail that isn’t bad. What would you have them do differently? 3G spectrum space is finite. And not free.

    1. Wow, you can really see Lake Mead (or whatever attached water body) shrink on the right as Las Vegas grows. I know there are a lot of other factors at work but that doesn’t bode well for the future.

      1. Yep: There are other cities that are highly dependent on the water in the Colorado river that are going to have severe difficulties if they don’t start generating power from non fossil fuel and use some of the power to desalinate sea water for drinking.

  4. We need to kill high speed rail NOW. This has to be one of the worst misuses of taxpayers money. I fully support spending more cash on the existing infrastructure instead. Those are viable solutions, not a multi-billion, possibly trillion dollar line that won’t serve small communities and will increase the tax burden even more.

    Work to improve the Cascades, Starlight, those are needed, not a project that private corporations are salivating over public money being used that they are just waiting to take advantage of.

    1. The most we could possibly improve our existing rail lines are to 110 or 120 mph, and even that would be extremely difficult to do because of the interlining with freight. A new national HSR network will likely cost hundreds of billions of dollars, but so did our current rail network, the interstate highway system, and our air travel infrastructure. HSR will not serve small communities to the extent that our current rail system does, true, but the overwhelming majority of Americans live in metropolitan areas large enough to warrant an HSR stop should a line come through. HSR’s speed between major metropolitan areas will draw huge numbers of people who would otherwise drive or fly to rail, getting more ridership than regular Amtrak ever will.

      1. I highly doubt that HSR will draw the numbers you are saying it will. China just temporarily suspended some of its higher speed trains because the benefits over its first class operations were negligible comparatively.

        The cost at a minimum would be hundreds of billions PER line, think of the engineering challenges of building a line from here to San Francisco, or Denver to SF. At 110 mph running out west, people would be more than pleased with efforts like that. At that speed it would be an hour and half to Portland. Since the freeway is only getting more congested it would gain even more popularity. A true HSR line would cost dramatically more and the price of a ticket would be astronomical. Myself as a taxpayer am not willing to subsidize that.

        Plus, HSR isn’t going to draw huge numbers of people when they still can fly at 500 mph plus. It just seems like that when it comes to peoples own passions, they ignore the true costs, but give them a case of a overinflated defense contract and all of a sudden they get upset and spout about how the cost is to much to justify.

      2. Sorry for the late reply, Alex. It took me awhile just to find this are again since I didn’t subscribe to the feed.

        I checked out the AVE as you suggested. Some of it seems pretty cool, but one thing I noticed is that their HSR in many areas isn’t really that much faster(the slower runs max out at 155) than the 110-120 limit we were discussing, plus their’s the same criticism about excessive cost vs. the return of time saved.

        Understandably Spain has its own set of problems, the different gauges certainly complicate their situation! Good thing we are all on the same gauge here.

        I am sticking to my argument now of stay with what’s in place and upgrade. I just can’t buy the argument that throngs of people will all of a sudden flock to high speed rail, I would only believe it if the cost of a ticket were substantially lower than flying. As an example we(me and my GF) recently took a long trip on Amtrak. Fargo-Chicago-Colorado-California-Oregon and finally back to Seattle. One leg encompassed a 39 hour train ride out of 48. We lost many days being able to sit out (or ride are bikes) because we chose the train. I don’t regret it, but I did rethink my position of not flying if I could help it. The time saved is definitely something I missed out on.

        Thanks for the great advice though, I sure liked learning about the AVE, and if we get to go Croatia next year, maybe we’ll hit Spain just to try it out. The only problem I have with that area of the world I hear is the amount of smokers, especially Italy. My sister traveled there last year and loved the rail network, but said a heck of alot of people smoke, Yuck.

      3. Cascades is in the particular situation of having narrow right-of-way, and is worth investing in. But on the other hand, new-build is appropriate for some of the longer segments.

        It’s ferociously expensive to build an all-new route through cities. As a result most high-speed rail systems use the old tracks and the old downtown stations for cities.

        On the other hand, it’s often cheaper and more effective to build new track on new alignment through the countryside. Hence most high-speed rail systems… well, you get the picture. CA needs its exclusive passenger line from (south of) SF to (north of) LA.

        So far the incremental upgrades to Cascades have largely been in the city segments, the parts where you can’t build a fresh new line without spending a forture. Amazingly, they’ve managed to wangle an almost-passenger-only route through Tacoma out of the process, which is very clever.

        By the time they manage to finish all these urban and suburban upgrades, it will be time to consider whether to build a fresh alignment through the countryside between Tacoma and Vancouver, WA. And it may be cheaper and more efficient than incremental upgrades. But incremental upgrades will still have been better in Portland, Vancouver, WA, and around Tacoma and Seattle.

        Your comparison to the current SLOWPOKE Amtrak long-distance trains is just… confused; you make the point for why we need separated high-speed lines in the countryside! The whole *reason* you need new, fast, separated-from-freight alignments is so that that trip doesn’t take 39 hours. With a new high-speed alignment through the countryside, it could easily take 20 or less.

      4. HSR isn’t likely to connect cities like San Francisco and Denver, which have long distances with considerable terrain. Some day, maybe though it can connect places like Los Angeles and San Francisco which are closer, making HSR competitive with flying, and don’t have the Rocky Mountains to cross.

  5. Considering all the stupid ways in which our government can blow Trillions of dollars (war, bailout banks, subsidized drug companies), a few billion in slightly misguided infrastructure spending seems like a pittance.

    1. Why waste the money at all? Especially since its going to come from China. The last thing we need is a misguided infrastructure spending program! That will surely put the nail in the coffin for Amtrak.

      I do understand your point though.

      1. They also can’t go around or take a different route when one up ahead has hit a pickup truck.

        Just sayin’.

    1. I’m a bit confused by your description. You said the bus left Renton at 11:07am, but according to the article you linked to, “The fire was first reported at 6:45 a.m., and the bus was towed away by 10:30 a.m.”

      1. I suppose the real Norman is laughing because not everyone caught the satire. (And no, I don’t know who posted this comment as “Norman”.)

      2. I second this proposition. Let me throw out an unrelated idea or tangent and laugh about it because no one else gets it even though it doesn’t make any sense!!! Yes! I win. No, guys, I win. See? I win.

      3. So put up a thread where that particular comment rule is suspended. Not Norman demands it!

      4. Only if all the Normans are allowed to debate with all the other handles Norman uses around town: Copernicus (ST), Grover (Publicola), McMurphy(PI), and Charles (STB, until another Charles started posting and Norman got all confused about how the internet works), for starters. A virtual round-table could be a riot.

      5. I’m amazed at how much the real Norman rides Link, which he thinks could be better done by buses. He actually rides it often enough to be in the Accident of the Summer.

  6. There’s room on that board for “174 TUKWILA LINK ST·7min” and “166 DES MOINES HIGH·XXmin”. Why use non-standard abbreviation when there’s room for the standard one? And why give the time that a bus arrives, rather than the number of minutes until it arrives? I realize this is just a mockup, but it doesn’t bode well.

  7. From the Mercer Island article:

    In consideration of increased traffic and South-ender’s need to reach the [Mercer Island light rail] station, [City Manager Rich] Conrad proposed a van-pool experiment to [King County Executive Dow] Constantine as a way to pave the way for a permanent fixed-route option for South-end Islanders to quickly and easily travel to the park and ride, and, eventually to the new light rail station.

    “We’d do it ourselves if we could afford it,” he said.

    I apologize in advance for pulling a Norman here by offering bluster without data to back it up, but I have a tough time believing that Mercer Island, one of the most exclusive addresses in the area, doesn’t have a sufficient tax base to form and fund a van-pool to operate from one end of the island to the other. Really?

    1. My favorite quote from the article:

      “If this thing is going to work, it’s parking, parking, parking,”

    2. My favorite quote from the article:

      “If this thing is going to work, it’s parking, parking, parking,”

      Interesting because they could have made the existing lot bigger and at a much lower cost per stall if M.I. hadn’t insisted on only a two level structure with the lower level below grade. Now they’re complaining about off islanders filling the lot until it overflows to S. Bellevue and then further up stream. As for vanpools, cut the 201, 203 and 204 and fund them with that. At least with a vanpool if nobody uses it it doesn’t cost any money. The vans will get put to use elsewhere.

  8. Actually, the Washington state rail projects funded via the $8 billion High Speed Rail funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 are going towards improving Amtrak’s Cascades service. So, as relates to rail service in Washington state, I don’t understand Anthony’s comment against HSR, but in favor of Cascades. That is in fact what the HSR will do in Washington state’s rail corridor. See, WSDOT site for more info: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Funding/stimulus/passengerrail.htm.

  9. Steve, I didn’t mean Washington State, but overall HSR is a bad idea in my opinion. My point was to drive home the continued need to fund the Cascades and other Amtrak trains already in existence. There have been great gains here, but I can tell you that many people riding Amtrak are expecting a true “bullet train” to be built, its mind boggling.

    To me a dedicated HSR line is just way to costly, whereas a third mainline from Seattle to Portland that is in some aspects is given priority to passenger ops. is a much more suitable way to go. There shouldn’t be a need to use HSR as a funding tool, imho. Just give passenger trains their suitable funding is all I’m asking for.

    1. Currently there is enough demand for transport between Portland and Seattle that Horizon Air and several others operate flights at half hour intervals from early morning to late evening. There are also intercity bus and shuttle bus service operating frequently between the cities, and an I-5 freeway corridor already quite congested in automobile traffic. The current Cascades service at three and half hours is nowhere near comparable to these other options, and despite that is quite popular. With incremental improvements, Amtrak might actually be able to operate the Talgo train sets that already are used on the Cascades line at closer to their 110 MPH capability (currently speed limited to 79 MPH due to the freight regulations). Even at that still low speed of rail travel, the Cascades line would already compare much more favorably to often congested freeway travel (whether by car, bus or shuttle), and for many would be more desirable than air travel. So, IMO, just improving to that point should prove a success. You’re right, the HSR label is a misnomer as applied to Washington state, but not a reason to panic that the funding would go to waste.
      As far as funding improved passenger rail messing up freight rail, the Cascades service operates on track owned by a freight rail company BNSF between Portland/Seattle. I’m guessing the track improvements being proposed benefit their operations enough that they’ve been willing to agree to a perpetual track lease of expanding Cascades passenger service from 4 to 6 round trips per day (which is included in the current funded project). I expect BNSF wouldn’t do that if they thought it would cost them now or in their future business plan.

      1. Now if the FRA would only start cutting checks and handing out that stimulus money instead of insisting on more environmental assessments.

  10. First they build a Hydrogen Highway for the 2012 Olympics, and now those limeys build a network of Bicycle Superhighways.

    London Opens Bike “Superhighways”
    http://www.good.is/post/london-opens-bike-superhighways/

    Each is five feet wide, has two lanes so as to accommodate traffic in both directions, and is painted bright blue to “represent freedom.” One stretches 8.5 miles from the southern suburb of Merton to the city center. The other runs into town from Barking, in eastern London. Eventually, 12 of these commuter routes will radiate out from the center of London like spokes.

    1. it would be interesting if the “cheapest” way (toll wise) to get across the lake would be transit?

      1. It easily could be. According to this tolling presentation[PDF] on pages 10 – 12, the average toll if both 520 and 90 are tolled beginning in 2010 would be between $1.00 and $2.95 (avg. $1.70). With only 520 tolled, the one-way cost could be as high as $5.35 in the PM commute.

      1. Building the pontoons is one thing (hope they can store them in Grays Harbor) but they shouldn’t start constructing in Lake Washington if they don’t have funding to complete the Seattle end of it. It would be a clusterf&*k if they built a 6-lane bridge across the lake and it hooked up to the existing infrastructure at Foster Island and charge tolls for the privilege.

      2. Carl, WSDOT is going to start charging tolls in about 7-8 months for the privilege of using the existing bridge.

        Having a 6-lane bridge connect to the existing infrastructure in Seattle really isn’t any different than having the the 5 lanes between I-405 and the water connect to the 4-lane bridge that is out there today.

        May as well build what they can as soon as they can, especially while contractors are still hungry.

      3. That’s going to work lovely for transit, like the HOV lanes on 405 are so useful, too. So should buses be parked where the center HOV lanes end and then merge across, or just stay in the right lane like the 560 often does?

    2. “The state can build the floating section but cannot yet afford to complete the Seattle landings from Foster Island to Interstate 5, the most politically and economically tricky segment.”

      Talk about a bridge to nowhere! ;)

      1. Well, WSDOT is quick to point out that a floating bridge should be considered a marine vessel and the definition of a boat is a hole in the water your throw money into.

    1. Well according to that report, including reserve, Central Link light Rail was built at $136.9 million under budget. But do you think some naysayers will give Sound Transit any credit for that?

      1. I’ll give them props once they build my Boeing Access Road station, so I can use the train to get to work.. grrr

      2. Dave L,

        Just bike it from Rainier Beach. I had to get to the Museum of Flight the other day, and this destroys all the alternatives.

        But yeah, BAR would be nice.

      3. I would love it if they could build a Graham/Orcas Street/MLK Way Station with some of that extra money.

      4. I do actually ride my bike from Rainier Beach when the weather is nice, but that Boeing Access Road overpass over the train tracks and I5 is pretty scary. With how many employers are right there near 99/E.Marginal, it really seems that a station near there would be a really good idea. I know it was originally deferred because they couldn’t build the Sounder transfer point that they were hoping for, but even still, its a very popular destination with a lot of workers within a mile or so.

      5. You’re spot on here. Have a park and ride at the junction with the freeway and a station stop is an excellent idea. I don’t know why this hadn’t occurred to me before! I drive this almost every day, btw.

  11. SDOT announces second Dexter Ave N open house, August 19th 5:30-7:30 at the Swedish Cultural Center. To wit:

    The revised plan includes:

    * Repaving Dexter from Roy Street to the Fremont Bridge.
    * Removing the two-way left turn lane in areas where it’s infrequently used.
    * Providing a left turn lane at intersections with high turn movements.
    * Retaining one travel lane in each direction. Travel lanes will be wider than they are currently.
    * Constructing raised bus islands at in-lane transit stops.
    * Providing a six-foot bike lane in each direction between the travel lane and the parking lane.
    * Painting a two to three foot buffer zone between the bike lane and the travel lane.

    We expect the new configuration to result in motor vehicle speeds that are more in line with the speed limit (30mph), improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists, faster and more reliable transit operations, and wider travel lanes to provide adequate space for motor vehicles. The proposal will also reduce conflicts between bikes and buses by installing the bike lane between the curb and the transit island at most locations where there is a bus stop.

    The only major change that I can see from the first proposal is to the cycle tracks. At the first open house, most of the cyclists (myself included) seemed strongly opposed to the cycle-tracks since they were placed between the parking lane and the curb (which decreased car-bike visibility) and weren’t wide enough to allow safe passing. The extra-wide lanes between the vehicle and parking lanes plus the painted buffer in the revised proposal sound much better and will hopefully do the trick of increasing use through improved safety (both real & perceived) while maintaining cyclist visibility.

    1. Wider streets = faster speeds. When they say “We expect the new configuration to result in motor vehicle speeds that are more in line with the speed limit (30mph)” are cars there not going fast enough?

      Something doesn’t sound right.

      1. Currently the 85th percentile speed is over 40 mph. They expect the changes to slow traffic, not make it faster. They’re widening the vehicle lanes slightly (the current ones are rather narrow), and greatly widening the bike facilities (which will allow cars to safely pass bikes and bikes to safely pass each other, and which will get bikes out of the door zone), but they’re not widening the street. The in-line bus islands should also slow the mostly-SOV traffic but speed up bus transit.

      2. Absent some other modification or iron fisted enforcement, I don’t see how you widen the lanes and get slower traffic. The proposed design for Dexter shows 11 foot lanes – A standard freeway lane is 12 although I-90 will have 2 11 foot lanes once they shoehorn in an additional lane for HOV. Dexter would be fine at 10 foot lanes – That’s still an improvement over many of the 9 foot lanes that I have to maneuver an 8.5 foot wide bus in.

        Either way the changes sound like an improvement. Anything that gets me out of the door zone is good in my book. Utilizing the wasted turn lane space is also a good plan.

      3. According to the diagram from the old proposal, the current lane widths are 11′ SB and 10.5′ NB. So when they say “travel lanes will be wider”, it appears they just mean that extra 6 inches. Certainly that won’t make things better, but I doubt it’ll make them worse.

  12. I’ve noticed that the new-style Metro sign at stop #11354 (45th & Brooklyn Ave NE, westbound) has the word “express” printed in small type underneath the number “44.” I’m used to seeing “local & express” where the local and express versions of a route share the same stop, but I can’t imagine why the word “express” is used here since no express version of the 44 exists. Thoughts?

    1. Noticed that yesterday, but it’s not a new sign. You’re referring to the one in front of the Key Bank, right?

      1. Yes, in front of the bank. I guess I’m wrong about the sign being new (or of the new style), but having “express” there still puzzles me.

    2. I saw “express” printed under the 252 at Kingsgate P&R even though the 252, a freeway peak-only route, has never been referred to as an express route.

      What you saw is probably the half-new style sign. They look almost exactly like the old signs in the black frames but the yellow BUS stripe is replaced by the new red, teal, safety yellow pattern, white bus on black square logo and the stop number is printed.

  13. Bike agenda spins cities toward U.N. control, (Colorado GOP Gubernatorial Candidate) Maes warns

    Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes is warning voters that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s policies, particularly his efforts to boost bike riding, are “converting Denver into a United Nations community.”

    “This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed,” Maes told about 50 supporters who showed up at a campaign rally last week in Centennial.

    Maes said in a later interview that he once thought the mayor’s efforts to promote cycling and other environmental initiatives were harmless and well-meaning. Now he realizes “that’s exactly the attitude they want you to have.”

    “This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms,” Maes said.

    More of this lunacy at:

    http://www.denverpost.com/election2010/ci_15673894

    1. Oh it’s not lunacy! Bicycle advocates do want to destroy the American way of life of driving everywhere. Yes it’s true! We want people to stop drinking high fructose corn syrup and get out of their cars and ride a bicycle. The first mandate is that all fat people must ride bicycles! The second is all dumb people must go to school.. it will totally threaten their freedom to be fat dumb and stupid!! buhahahahahah!

  14. OK, please forgive me if this has been talked about in other posts. I did look around but didn’t quite find anything.

    I’m curious about the design of the Rapid Ride system. It seems to have a lot of stops for a BRT system. Is it really considered a BRT? I was under the impression that a BRT was limited stops, signal priority and priority lanes. It doesn’t appear that Rapid-Ride conforms to any of those standards. Am I missing something?

    I also seem to recall reading that Line A will replace the 174. Wouldn’t it make sense to have the 174 as a circulator beetween Rapid Ride stops which then could be fewer in number and thus transport people end to end faster?

    Has there been a discussion of a comparison between Rapid Ride and Swift?

    1. Yes, search for “RapidRide”, “Swift” and “BRT”.

      BRT has never been precisely defined. A bus line with a dedicated HOV lane, grade separation or good signal priority, 1+ mile stop spacing, and minimum 15-minute frequency is clearly BRT. Below that, there’s a question of how much signal priority is sufficient, or whether frequent buses without a HOV lane qualify as BRT.

      Swift and RapidRide were originally advertised as both BRT and equivalent to each other. But the implementations have diverged. Swift has cut travel time in half and has wide stop spacing. A shadow bus, the 101, serves the in-between stations. Both routes have the highest ridership in CT and have made 99 more transit-friendly. So whether or not it’s really BRT, it’s effective. (And the frequency goes down to 30 minutes evenings.)

      Metro wasn’t clear on RapidRide’s details at the beginning, but it’s obvious now that it’s just a reconfiguration of existing routes without shadow buses or much, if any, increased frequency. So it retains some minor stops that Swift would eliminate. That really stretches the definition of BRT, and Metro seems to have distanced itself from calling it BRT.

      I look at RapidRide as an incomplete improvement, a starting point for a frequent bus network. Maybe it will serve to channel new service hours to it, and to add other RapidRide lines. And maybe it can be converted to more of a Swift style later. One thing that will become necessary with Link is short frequent shuttles, like Lake City to Northgate and Kent to Link. Perhaps these can be called RapidRide.

      1. Thanks for the summary. It is rather disappointing that they would do all this planning, and spend this kind of money and not design it as a true BRT when the route could easily be managed as such.

        I also really hope that the various transit agencies in the region really look at what each other is doing and liberally take the best practices from each other. It seems that CT got it pretty close to right with their Swift implementation. Particularly the integration of bicycles, their ticket vending and off board toll collection. Even their shelters look good.

        The important thing is that the route is reconfigurable so if Metro wants to listen to these kinds of suggestions maybe they can implement them.

      2. “I also really hope that the various transit agencies in the region really look at what each other is doing”

        That’s what we can do. We can tell Metro we like Swift. I think Metro has heard the complaints about RapidRide; that’s why they’re not calling it BRT anymore or saying it’s “the same as Swift”. I’m sure they would add service if they could afford to. I don’t know whether the lack of a shadow bus is a philosophical position or a financial problem.

        I’m mystified as to what Metro’s original vision for RapidRide was. Did they really think off-board payment was more important than frequency and a shadow bus? But there’s no fixing it now given Metro’s budget hole. We’ll just have to remind them to improve it over the long term.

  15. I was fare-checked twice yesterday on Link, around 6:30pm going down and 7:30pm coming back. I don’t know if they’ve stepped up the checks or it was random, because I hadn’t ridden Link for a month. Yes, Norman rides Link more often than I do! (I would ride it more but it’s too far from my home-work routine.)

    I was impressed by the professionalism of the Securitas people. Fully polite and friendly. Sometimes apologizing for the inconvenience. One guy behind me didn’t have a ticket, he said it looked like the machine took only credit cards and he didn’t have a credit card. The guard asked for his name and ID. The guy said he didn’t have an ID. The guard said a few times, “I need to see your ID,” and took him off the train, where he continued saying, “I need to see your ID.” I could just see him thinking, “I’d rather be bashing your head in but I have to be polite.” Then the train left and I didn’t hear the rest of it.

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