41 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Public Outreach”

  1. Sounds EXACTLY like the State of Washington DOT talking about the downtown tunnel, the 520 bridge replacement or the Columbia River Crossing (with help from Oregon DOT).
    When will they ever learn?

    1. Woah, wait a second there Charlie, I think you need to put down the pipe. When has any STB blogger lobbied for wider streets, faster speeds, and a worse pedistrian environment?

      1. Even if we agree, there will be others that take the roads uber alles position. As demonstrated in the House Republican’s CR.

    1. The people who use roads pay for them.

      Unlike transit. The people who use transit only pay a fraction of the operating cost of the transit.

      1. Repeating that over and over again in the face of evidence being presented to you over and over again makes you look an idiot and/or a troll.

      2. Am I right to understand that “open thread” does not mean throw out all of the blog’s rules?

      3. Actually, the opposite is true: continually repeating that highways are subsidized does not make it true.

        Take just two errors from the original post.

        1) The highway fund has recently received transfers from the general fund, to pay back transfers from the highway fund into the general fund from years before. When you pay back money you took from the highway fund, that is not a “subsidy.”

        2) For the last 20 years, 20% of money in the highway fund has been spent on transit — not on highways. The article, of course, makes no mention of this. Money from the highway fund which is spent on transit is not spent on roads. Can you understand this, or is that too complicated for you?

        So, once again, people who keep parroting that stupid line that the highways are subsidized by the general fund are either [ad hom]

  2. TSA to examine security at about 100 large surface transportation agencies

    “The BASE reviews, which will occur at agencies that provide bus, rail transit, long-distance rail and other less common forms of transportation (such as cable cars, inclined railways, funiculars and automated guideway systems), will gather data about the effectiveness of current federal government security initiatives.”


      1. A quote from one of my favorite TED videos:

        “The Department of Homeland Security is the Department of Agriculture for the 21st Century.”

    1. The sad thing is that a bunch of money will be spent and reports written to tell us all what we already know. TSA will do little, if anything, to improve security on our surface transportation systems. Scrapping that whole mess and using the funds to bolster the best efforts of the local law enforcement, the FBI, and CIA to identify real security issues would go much further. None of those agencies are perfect but creating a whole new bureaucracy isn’t going to help matters and will only make the information sharing problem worse.

    1. In this case, it’s not the standard that’s the problem, but the application of it to an inappropriate situation that is.

      In any case, these animations are funny once or twice. I think I’m now tired of them.

    1. As it was said in that post, if you don’t tap, the money from the pass doesn’t get distributed appropriately. Also, the author got away with a warning; he didn’t get a fine. It may seem harsh, but it’s the rules.

      1. What about in my case – as I stated in the previous (reverse commute) thread?

        I have an RRFP ORCA with a $2.50 pass loaded, board an MCI, and the driver just doesn’t want to take my pass up to the ORCA reader and tap it and bring it back to me? Should I be fined since it’s not my fault my pass wasn’t registered on said bus.

        ST & PT: hopefully someone is reading this and reminding drivers to do such. It’s only a problem on the MCIs (and it doesn’t happen often, but considering how everyone is bleeding for money…)

      2. No, in your case, I think you would have a valid complaint. “Forgetting” to tap is not the same.

      3. Jessica, hit’em and hit’em hard with an ADA complaint backed up by the threat of a lawsuit.

        Nothing changes unless the upper middle management types get feedback.

      4. This is just one more way that riders are the collateral damage in the revenue collection war between Sound Transit and Metro.

        I actually would get a better deal if I just used e-purse instead of a monthly pass. However, I get the monthly pass to insure that my fare on Link is always covered, even if I forget to tap. If the monthly pass does not serve that function, and I get threatened with a $124 fine, then I will go back to just e-purse, take fewer rides on the train, and ST will be looking at about $50 in lost monthly revenue.

        ST, take the high road in the fare revenue collection war. If inspectors catch an untapped monthly pass, let the inspectors “tap” it, with designation “tapped by inspector”, or something like that.

        Oh, and if Metro refuses to have buses serve UW Station, then let the 540, 542, and 556 serve the station, and Metro will lose huge amounts of fare revenue. But leave the passengers who buy a monthly pass in good faith out of your and Metro’s revenue war.

      5. Jessica,

        It may not impact you as a rider, but hypothetically, a rider could be challenged by an FEO onboard a bus, or in the tunnel upon exit. The fact that an operator refused to let you tap your ORCA could later be used against you.

        Please take this up with ST!

      6. @Erik: She can’t tap her card on the MCIs. The wheelchair lift is in the center of the bus and she physically can not access the ORCA reader.

        It’s not a case of the driver refusing to let her tap her card, it’s a case of the driver refusing (for whatever reason) to bring her card to the front of the bus, tap it at the reader, and bring it back to her.

  3. Have we got any case history on how many people have actually been fined for “failure to tap” ORCA cards, even though they’d paid for a monthly pass?

    Mark Dublin

  4. Good to Go:
    Does anyone know what the cost of collecting the fares will be on 520, against the total fares being paid? And is this number in-line with other automatic tolling operations around the nation. As this is the newest, it should be the most efficient, right?
    The transponders should be cheap and efficient, but the photo enforcement, and follow up letters should be quite an expensive operation, but I can’t find anything on the WSDOT site to that effect.

    1. The photo enforcement and bill-by-mail toll rates will be higher, ostensibly to cover the added cost of the billing process. It remains to be seen if it will, actually, cover the added cost.

      If a vehicle only racks up 1 toll per billing cycle, that increased toll rate probably won’t cover the added cost of bill-by-mail. If a vehicle is used for a daily commute across the bridge, and has 50 tolls per billing cycle, then the increased toll will more than cover the cost of bill-by-mail (and will subsidize the 1-per-month user).

      The average photo-toll user will be somewhere in the middle.

      It will probably take a few toll adjustments to get close to the break-even point, after we’ve got a few years of tolling data built up to analyze. I assume they’re using G2G adoption data from the Tacoma Narrows bridge to determine the proper price increase.

    1. I think I read somewhere that parking revenue is earmarked to be used for bonding some of the waterfront improvements?

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