- Alternative I preserves the current system, but running much less frequently.
- Alternative II restores Sunday service, at the price of even deeper frequency cuts to the existing network.
- The third alternative is the most interesting one: no Sunday service, but a total restructure of the route network to emphasize a few frequent corridors. Commuters into Seattle would generally have to transfer into a dramatically reduced number of Seattle-bound routes from new peak-only feeders.
The third option invokes a lot of the themes I like to emphasize: more direct routes, focus on key corridors, and a more gridded system. My first instinct to endorse Alternative III wholeheartedly. However, the key to a network that forces transfers is that the component routes have to be frequent. As far as I can tell, nothing but Swift will ever run more often that every 30 minutes, which I don’t think is frequent enough for this kind of thing.
If budget relief is on the horizon, then Alternative III is the best baseline from which to grow a better system, one based on the excellent long-range plan they published earlier this year. But if CT is going to be stuck in a rut of providing basic service for a while, then the answer is not clear to me.