I’m not sure if anyone cared enough to dive into the details of yesterday’s subarea equity post, or if the writing was clear enough to follow, but there was a mistake that doesn’t really change the key point. Check out the revised post to see what’s changed.

Perhaps a graphical way of looking at this is better. There are three basic kinds of cuts: those that Metro classifies as “efficiencies” (square pattern), which are either non-service hours or extremely unproductive trips; cuts that are offset with new service for RapidRide or SR520 (shaded), or cuts that represent pure pain (solid color).

The question here is what genuinely counts as a cut. In the conception of Butler (and the Metro staff), service that is reduced but replaced by a like amount of service elsewhere in the same area (shaded) counts as a cut. By that measure the East has a disproportionately large cut and the West gets off relatively easy.

Alternately, if you just look at the “pure pain” cuts or “pure pain” plus efficiencies, the West area cuts are almost exactly in proportion, while East absorbs some of the South’s share of cuts.

6 Replies to “More on Subarea Cuts”

  1. I’m surprised that there can be such huge scheduling efficiencies in the West subarea. “Efficiency” (along with “cutting government waste”) always seems like a euphemism for “you can’t actually save programs and keep tax rates the same at the same time.” Hopefully they’ll do the scheduling efficiencies in a way that doesn’t screw up equal spacing of buses like what happened to the 71/72/73, as someone mentioned at the Jarrett Walker presentation.

  2. The above explanation(Thanks Martin), is extremely difficult for the average person to comprehend. I suspect even transit nerds are baffled by the logic behind the accounting maneuvers.
    That’s why I think Brent’s idea about letting each sub area spend their ‘subsidy’ dollars pretty much how they want to makes a lot of sense. If revenue falls off or gains in their area, let them adjust accordingly. It really cuts to the meat of decision making. “You want little shuttles and darts running nearly empty all day long”, then go for it. Seattle could care less, as long as it doesn’t effect them.
    “Get great ridership with a grid system” and your farebox revenue soars, allowing you to spend your subsidy dollars elsewhere.
    It’s simple to understand, easy to explain to the public, and couldn’t fairer.
    I’d love to see another crunch of the numbers using Brent’s logic.
    Could STB ask a freindly cmmte member to bring this up? (TCC?)

  3. Are you talking about me, or another Brent?

    I don’t remember proposing sub-area sovereignty, nor would I have any idea who the sovereigns would be under such a system. When all is said and done, the sovereigns are the county council (and, to a lesser extent, the Seattle City Council, for the city-subsidized routes).

    Short of a discussion of re-doing the grid (which I don’t see the citizen committee taking up), a route-by-route analysis scouring for potential savings is in order. The committee simply came up with criteria to evaluate current service. These criteria may or may not prove useful in the real-world route-by-route evaluation. I’m honestly not hopeful that huge revolutionary changes will come out of this committee process. If Fred’s comments are any hint, it seems like just a pointless turf war (i.e. Add more service here! Cut in that part of the county!)

    Plus, their focus is on routes. Nobody is discussing whether other resources (park & rides, transit centers, and, oh yes, Sounder and Link) are being utilized to their best (or equitably, FWIW). Is each park&ride serving, or are there a few that are better surplused?

    Anyhoo, Mike S, I’m not sure just what it is you suggest be brought up to the citizen committee.

    1. My apologies. Brett posted the idea under ‘Fun with Numbers’, and I read it as you. Sorry.

  4. Has anyone actually gotten access to ORCA data yet. In particular, do we have some numbers on how many people are transfering between various pairings of routes? That might be a clue on where to improve service and get some clever savings.

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