Prototype shelter.

This week will feature the installation of new RapidRide shelters along the new Pacific Hwy South A Line.  Like Swift, the shelters will be branded differently than normal shelters.  You can check out pictures from the RapidRide blog, which also has other miscellaneous info for the new line.

From the blog:

Metro is installing the first RapidRide shelter frames this week on the A Line corridor, which is also sporting RapidRide banners from light poles to let people know about the new service. Still to come as the launch date draws near: more shelter frames, ORCA fare card readers, real-time arrival signs–and glass in the shelter frames!

The A Line is scheduled to commence service on October 2, 2010 during the fall service change.

25 Replies to “RapidRide Begins Shelter Installation on A Line”

  1. I’m glad that the shelters seems to built as single installable components. That way it’ll be easier to reuse them in other places when they discontinue line A once they finish the South Link.

    1. or when the Rapid Ride experiment fails, budgets are cut, and we realize it is still a bus with no dedicated ROW.

      1. The corridor for RapidRide A has HOV lanes almost the entire way… not dedicated, but close (especially compared to B, C, or F that have little or no HOV, BAT, or bus lanes).

    2. Actually, a local bus will still be needed after Link. If the south county residents approve of the A’s stop spacing (because they’re going to lose a bunch of stops next month), it might as well just keep running as the local bus. If they don’t approve of the A’s stop spacing, it’s going to be an issue long before Link gets extended, and either stops will be re-added or they won’t. Link will just take the role of Swift (the semi-express service Pacific Highway doesn’t get with RapidRide).

      1. Yeah I agree. I’ve started to look at RapidRide not as kind of bad attempt at rapid transit, but rather very high-quality local transit. The elements of RapidRide should be present on all bus routes: stop spacing closer to 1/4 mile most of the time, high quality shelters, realtime information, all-door boarding (at some stops, should be at all of them), frequent service, etc. Link will be our rapid transit, but we can slowly start making all of our longer-distance high-ridership bus routes be RapidRide.

      2. I’ve started to look at RapidRide not as kind of bad attempt at rapid transit, but rather very high-quality local transit.

        Too bad then that they call it “RapidRide” and claim that it “It combines the efficiency and appeal of light rail with the flexibility and low cost of buses,” which of course is total bullshit.

        But it’s nice to know that instead of totally off-board fare payment they spent the money on fancy-looking new buses painted like the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile. I’m sure that was the right choice.

      3. True story: as I was writing this, “Slow Ride” came up on my Pandora station. It’s the RapidRide theme song!

      4. I know! God they are so dumb, putting the word rapid in RapidRide. What’s so rapid about it? It makes me so mad they call it that.

        Gotta go masturbate to my bedroom train poster now. Bye.

  2. Does anyone know anything about the C line’s routing into downtown? Short term/long term? It will be my route into downtown, replacing Route 54, which is a nice speedy route for me right now.

    However, there’s all the Highway 99 work about to happen, which makes my inner pessimist anticipate a C route that ends in a very slow crawl through Pioneer Square to the DSTT.

    On the other hand, I see the new off-ramp to 4th Ave S from the Spokane St Viaduct, and wonder why they wouldn’t create a bus lane on that ramp and all the way up 4th Ave S to Jackson. Or perhaps it could just go up the Busway. And then my inner pessimist says: Oh yeah, because they’re really not all that serious about RapidRide.

    I suppose they could also create a nice dedicated bus lane down 1st Ave S to the new on-ramps for the route back to WS, but…see above. And if they even tried I suppose we’d never hear the end of apocalyptic complaints about removing a lane of parking.

    Sigh. Does anyone see a glass half-full out there?

    1. Which “they” is they? Seattle would need to create the bus lane – re-purpose an existing lane – on either 1st S or 4th S. Metro can’t do that.

      1. I suppose, when using indefinite pronouns about government bodies, I should really use “we,” as in, “we the people.” If I say enough about what “we” will do, perhaps some of it will come true.

  3. I like how the shelters are on wheels, so they can be moved easily, if people don’t like the locations where they put them.

    (joke)

  4. Does anyone know how much faster the A-line will be over the 174? Say between TIBS and FWTC.

    1. I’ve been meaning to get the RapidRide schedule up. I’ll try to do that later tonight; right now I’m laying on the floor with a laptop which is not the easiest place to do a ton of copying/pasting. Watch the Flickr pool…

      1. I found the run cards on the ATU 587 site. Rapid A is MT-671
        It looks like RapidRide is going to be slower than the 174 by a couple of minutes, on average. (ref:FT, Run 671-03 compared to current 174 schedule)
        IF that’s the case, what happened to RAPID? I must be reading that wrong.

  5. Just looking over the RR-A line schedule and noticed that it runs 24 hours, with a bus every half-hour until 1 AM and then about once an hour until 4:15.

    This is great … except Link, where RR is designed to take people, doesn’t. It stops running at 1 (and that’s “last train reaches the far-end station by 1”, not “you’re guaranteed to catch the last train if you’re at a station before 1”).

    Also, RR will have WiFi. That’s awesome and a real draw IMO.

    …Except, again, Link doesn’t.

    The expectation of RR-A is that people will get on the RR, take it to Tuk, and then get on the Link. This means they will have two very different experiences along their trip. Clearly there is not a lot of coordination here between RR and Link, and that’s of course because RR is Metro and Link is ST.

    Sigh. Can we just let ST subsume MT, CT, and PT so we can have an organized, cohesive metro transit network?

    1. I don’t know that the expectation for RR A is that people will come from Link rather than the 124. The whole location of the TIB transit center is strange: why not put it at the airport so that a major destination, transfer point, and P&R would all be in the same place? Instead, the A is redundant with Link for a mile, and people arriving at TIB from another route have to transfer to get to the airport.

      I would ride Link for a mile, and I would ride Link to SeaTac rather than TIB to transfer to the A, but I’m not sure ppl who aren’t serious rail fans would think that way.

      Running Link 24 hours would raise track maintenance issues, as well as night shift pay and noise (if that’s still a problem for Link). It could be done but it would take money, and finishing the ST2 extensions is more important. (You’d still have to interrupt service whenever the tracks need repair, which can be done now in the off-hours. NYC has express tracks so they can reroute the trains during repairs, but we don’t have express tracks.)

      1. ST doesn’t need to run Link 24/7 to meet up with RapidRide. It just needs to run a graveyard shadow route. Or, extend the RapidRide route to become the shadow route + during non-Link hours.

      2. Does it “need to”? The 124 takes people to downtown. The 7 takes them to Rainier. So the nighttime gaps are Rainier-Tukwila and SODO-Beacon-Rainier. I can see people saying it’s too expensive to run a limited-stop bus in the dead of the night. There would be clamors for a Graham stop, but then it wouldn’t be identical to Link anymore and people would get confused.

        How does the Link shadow bus get from SODO to Beacon to Mt Baker? Does it go down to Columbian Way and backtrack? Or does it skip SODO and go on Holgate?

    2. There is an awesome amount of waste and inconvenience in how the South King County commuter routes are done. About their only use is to go to downtown Seattle during morning peak, and leave downtown Seattle during evening peak. There is no reverse directional service, so nearly half the bus hours involved in the commuter routes are deadhead.

      For routes that going in the other direction could enable one to get to Kent or Auburn Station, this has to be particularly aggravating.

      I’ve been running some math with the idea of having an eveing commuter route out of Rainier Beach Station (since that is where there would be the quickest transfer) to Kent/Des Moines P&R, Starlake P&R, Federal Way TC, Federal Way P&R, South Federal Way P&R, and Twin Lakes P&R. Throw together the resources of the 177, 178, 179, 196, and 577, and run the route at 7.5 minutes headway, and the service hours could be cut by about 2/3. The wait+travel time to each destination would be almost as fast as the 1-seat ride.

      If the combined ridership of these routes would overwhelm the 7.5 minute headway bus, then split the destinations and have two buses, still with a huge savings.

      About seven other commuter routes could be truncated to terminate at these P&Rs, and enable back-and-forth service. People could actually ride the bus plus Link back *into* downtown to go to evening events, instead of being stranded until the morning commute.

      Cutting back on 577 service would help free up some funds for 200th St Station.

      There is so much savings and better service to be realized if Metro abandoned the south commuter route setup and installed 2-way BRT in its place.

      RapidRide, if it qualifies for the title, should be able to make a couple of the cummuter routes in the Redondo Beach area moot, and provide 2-way access that is not currently there at a decent speed.

      1. Would Rainier Beach really be faster than TIB? The Rainier-TIB Link segment is ideal for a train because it goes nonstop at top speed, uses less nonrenewable energy than buses, and it’s running full-time in any case. Is most of the travel-time difference due to going up the escalators?

        In any case, Rainier Beach is a residential neighborhood without a lot of room for layover buses, so I expect the city would resist and say they should terminate at the transit center, because that’s what the transit center was designed for.

  6. It’s interesting to watch one transit company make exactly the same mistakes as the other. The Rapidride will more than likely do exactly the same thing as the Swift – nothing. There was a route called the 100 from Aurora village Transit Center to Downtown Everett that stopped at all stops but only ran part of the day. Now we have the swift that runs the same route, stops at 1/3 of the stops, forces itself to stop at the other 1/3 even if nobody wants on/off, has stops that don’t coincide with the other non-swift stops, forces you on average to walk 1/2 of a mile to catch it, isn’t faster than the bus it replaces, forces cash customers to buy a ticket that’s then not allowed on any other buses except for the Swift and costed 34 Million dollars to build. Adding buses to the 100 route was all that was necessary.

    To add insult to injury they’re trying to force 101 riders onto the Swift to show it’s a winner by removing the 101 stops on the same route. Now you have a choice – stand in the rain or ride the Swift. Just today I went to highway 99 and was standing at the 101 stop when the Swift pulled up, I ran down the street and got on the Swift but the nearest Swift stop was several long blocks from where I wanted off (and I had to make a transfer) so I ended up getting off the Swift and waiting for the 101 to come along behind it to go to where I wanted.

    Way to go CT. I hope Metro has more brains…

    1. Swift is excellent. It speeds up trips across the county significantly. No, the 100 couldn’t have done that without skipping stops, and then it would have been Swift. The 100 was barely usably slow before, especially if you’re going a long distance like from north Seattle to Lynnwood or Everett.

      I noticed the Swift stops are next to the local bus stops rather than right at them. I assume that helps the speed when it’s busy.

      I do think they should have put two-way stops at 200th and 196th, rather than northbound at 200th and southbound at 196th. Those are the two highest-traffic stops in Lynnwood, so they deserve special treatment.

      Regarding the stops south of 200th, some of them seem ridiculous, like where it stops at a car dealership with nothing but car dealerships around. But there’s no better place for a stop in that area; it’s not Swift’s fault that there’s nothing pedestrian-friendly around.

      As for tickets, just get an ORCA card and get over it. :) I’m sorry if they cost $5 and there aren’t a lot of places you can buy one, that’s dumb of the transit agencies, but we have to move forward not backward.

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