Photo by caseyrs77

What we’ve missed:

  • Metro’s Regional Transit Task Force has recommended scrapping 40/40/20 — a policy that allocates new bus service disproportionately away from Seattle toward generally less efficient suburban service — reports PubliCola.
  • Seattle car tabs will cost $20 more beginning next May. The funds will be dedicated to transportation projects.
  • The Obama administration has released more funds for high-speed rail. $27 million will go to King Street and Tukwila Stations. Will future money be appropriated under a GOP Congress?
  • Have you noticed that Verizon is sponsoring some ads on our site? This weekend’s Verizon Urban Challenge is a real life puzzle/explorer game — sort of like The Amazing Race. Apparently, a few of the elements in the game acknowledge Seattle’s public transit system. A two-person team can win up to $3,000 and some new phones.
  • “Some unfortunate soul peed and pooped on the train, and it was not a little accident.”
  • The ATU (bus operators union) and county likely to end up in arbitration — a process that’ll likely favor union interests compared to a process without arbitration. The ATU is one of two county labor groups who has so far refused to give up a raise for next year.
  • Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl gave money to Patty Murray’s re-election campaign. Have you mailed in your ballot yet?
  • Buy a used Metro bus for less than $10k. (h/t cookieguru.)
  • The New York Times has an excellent photo gallery that covers the last century of New York City subways.
  • A Ferris wheel is planned for the waterfront.
  • The Market Urbanism blog is worth subscribing to.

This is an open thread.

35 Replies to “News Roundup: Scrapping 40/40/20”

    1. The new HSR money will go to completing Phase II of the King Street Station re-hab project, building a train station at Tukwila, installing a real time train arrival/departure information system at SeaTac airport (for the new Tukwila Station) and extending/upgrading the Mt. Vernon siding.

      1. Oregon got planning money for their HSR system between Portland and Eugene and to design upgrades to Portland’s Union Station (station improvements, ADA compliance and track improvements).

      2. Where will this new Tukwila station be? Same location as the current Amtrak stop, or somewhere else?

      3. I don’t see the use in a real time train arrival/departure information system at SeaTac Airport. There isn’t an easy way to get between the station and the airport. It would be easier and faster to take Link to King Street.

      4. unless and until they add a branch off of the Tukwilla station that goes to south Center, and Tukwilla amtrack/Sounder station, I agree that the realtime departure clock for Amtrack at Seatac is questionable.
        now if the feds are ponying up for hat extension ;)

      5. Is it me or does that pedestrian bridge over tracks in the renderings of the Tukwila train station seem like over kill in height?

      6. Trains need a higher clearance that highways, about 20′ above the tracks. And the tracks are on an embankment there, so that raises it even more. They had some earlier versions of the station that had an undercrossing of the tracks. That seems like it would be preferable.

  1. I hope MEHVA keeps a 35-footer. One from each body style would be nice for the historical fleet.

    1. I like that it says “Mileage: Please call”. They do know the ^ symbol can be used for exponential notation if there isn’t enough room on the page, right?

    2. MEHVA just voted today to keep a 40 ft Gillig. We just don’t have enough storage space to keep a 30, 35 and 40 ft versions.

      1. MEHVA is doing a great job. My question is given limited space, why choose the largest vs the smallest example? I’m guessing it’s capacity for future tours but I don’t know. It’s always hard to preserve things now that are scrap and guess what’s going to be “vintage” in the future.

      2. Aww, I was hoping for a 30-footer. They are so cute, and they were way better than any Van Conversion that might have taken their place.

      3. I was hoping it was a trolley bus for sale. It would be cool to cruise around town in one of those. Plus I would never have to buy gas.

      4. Trying to post a link about grid connected vehicles. Don’t know why it’s getting passed to the spam detector?

      5. Something the spam filter has against the Seattle Post Globe? I guess just try Google “The next transport revolution: A trolley wire on every street?”, an article by Jarrett Walker of the Human Transit blog.

  2. Verizon is in the news today. They were fined 25 Million by the FCC for bogus customer charges.

    I guess for some people, this is an example of the over reaching hand of the government regulators, interfering with the wonderful free market system. (For me it an example of crooks getting caught doing their misdeeds.)

    1. In a similar vein, somebody wrote an article a few weeks ago about how the Wonderful Free Market System (TM) was responsible for the rescue of the miners in Chile. It occurred to me that, as this mine was rather well known for violating Chilean mining safety regulations, the WFMS was the one who got them trapped in the first place. Free Market Capitalism: sometimes we can get you out of the holes we put you in!

    2. Verizon exists because of a grant by the US government of spectrum, which is doled out mostly without auctions to incumbent providers. Nevermind the argument that anything that’s not open spectrum (which is essentially what we do with the 900 MHz spectrum with wifi and cordless phones) isn’t libertarian. Not a very good example of a free market.

  3. 40/40/20: Good riddance to bad policy!

    I think 40/40/20 owns a pretty big chunk of the blame for making Seattle’s in-city, non-peak transit as poor as it is. Scrap it now!!

    1. Ditch 40/40/20 the policy and assign all service hours based on sub area equity… but I somehow doubt you would be in favor of that since the eastside subsidizes Seattle.

      1. Care to cite a shred of evidence for that?

        Perhaps — perhaps! — you’re right if you’re defining sub-area equity only in terms of sales-tax collections.

        But farebox recovery is so much higher on productive in-city service that it more than negates that argument. And it would be even higher if Seattle service were permitted to get good enough to draw more urbanites out of their cars during non-commute hours.

  4. What’s interesting about the $20 tabs is how many people focus on the portion of the budget being spent on road diets and bicycle lanes. And not on things like the Waterfront Tunnel, or potholes, or the South Street bridge replacement.

    When the Seattle Times talks about bicycles it hits a nerve that causes people’s blood pressure to rise and lash out.

  5. RE the Urban Challenge

    I’ve done two of the previous Urban Challenges and while my knowledge of Seattle’s transit system helped me immensely in completing the course in a respectable time, a good runner will smoke anyone using the bus system unless they are extremely lucky.

    That being said, it was a BLAST!

  6. 40/40/20

    I’d like to see Metro out of places like Kent entirely and have us create our own “Townist Driven Transportation System”.

    Towns like Kent can better manage their own needs.

    We would love to keep our property taxes here in Kent and get King County urbists off our backs.

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