As always, West Seattle Blog is there first with the most:

Somewhat regrettably, thanks to the fresh service change and the presence of Metro Director of Service Development Victor Obeso as lightning rod, the meeting was less a wide-ranging discussion of our transportation future than a public comment session on RapidRide’s teething troubles, and especially the situation in Arbor Heights, a neighborhood reduced to skeletal service during the day and none at all in the evening.

But anyway, these two hours are great if you want to get into the West Seattle transit weeds.

88 Replies to “Transportation Panel Video”

  1. I watched this last night and I was disappointed that it devolved into a complaint fest from Arbor Heights. That’s not to diminish their concerns, but I wish more topics could have been covered. The 5 minute speeches by everyone at the start was worth listening to, though. You could probably skip the last hour and not miss much.
    I especially liked Martin’s comment about finding a revenue neutral way to fix the problems in Arbor Heights. Demanding more buses just isn’t going to get anywhere these days.

    1. If that’s what Martin said, he’s taking exactly the wrong approach to this. Transit advocates must never accept existing revenue constraints. That’s a losing game as it ensures we never escape a downward spiral of cuts and sapped public confidence.

      Metro has a serious political problem on its hands in West Seattle, a neighborhood that routinely votes in large numbers. Their service changes are for West Seattle a service reduction, which people now understand, and it’s made them furious. For any countywide vote to augment Metro funding and service to pass it needs strong support in the city of Seattle, and that means a big yes vote in West Seattle. Because Metro screwed West Seattle with these changes, they’ve lost political support and won’t get votes out there for a long-term funding source unless they’re able to promise that funding will in part be used to restore service they just cut.

      This is the core problem that the transit wonks have never really accepted: their preferred solutions are not politically viable. We still live in a democracy and we should be finding sensible ways to meet people’s transit needs, rather than forcing them to accept ideas and changes that don’t actually help give them the kind of transit they want.

      1. What political reality? That when the city proposed more money for buses the people voted it down? And you are completely ignoring the economic reality of transit. You simply CAN’T give everyone all the service they want.

        Yes Metro dropped the ball a bit in West Seattle. But the neighborhoods need to take some responsibility for themselves. They were given the choice of reduced one seat rides to DT or more frequent transfer routes. They chose reduced one seat rides to DT.

      2. The point of their complaints seemed to be that they wanted some
        mitigation now. That’s not going to happen if it costs more money because there isn’t any.

        I’m all for advocating for new revenues to support transit, but that’s a long term goal which will not help Arbor Heights any time soon.

      3. d.p., I said they vote in large numbers. I didn’t say they always voted the way we’d have liked. One reason Prop 1 went down was many West Seattle voters did not see any clear benefit from the proposal.

      4. Fair enough.

        While I don’t think that W.S. has either the density or the demonstrated transit demand to justify the expensive rail they claim to want, I fully agree with your assessment that “their service changes are a service reduction, which people now understand, and it’s made them furious” and think that their fury is justified.

        And that’s the problem with Martin’s repeated insistence that we’re just complaining about “RapidRide’s teething troubles”.

        The plan involved willful underservice and corners cut wherever they could. The plan failed to provide the level of service required to become a legitimate trunk, while still axing neighboring routes under the pretense of RapidRide being trunk-quality. The plan did away with schedules, then cut real-time info and reliability-maintenance features willy-nilly, rendering the insufficient headways, newly-forced transfers, and lack of schedule even more foul.

        When a baby has “teething troubles”, it will eventually grow its teeth. RapidRide has no teeth to grow!

      5. When a baby has “teething troubles”, it will eventually grow its teeth. RapidRide has no teeth to grow!

        So you don’t think RR C could be made to work with higher frequency and actual operation of the advertised advanced features?

        I’m not sure I see a reason why not. Right now, the route is failing because it’s overburdened and not working as advertised.

      6. I do RR would work better at higher frequencies and with actual BRT features.

        I don’t think Metro will ever, ever, ever make that happen.

        The world is replete with examples of new transit lines whose popularity wildly exceeded expectations, and whose providers very quickly expanded service and worked to implemente improvements and even expansions! L.A.’s Orange Line and MetroRapid network come to mind, of course, but on other continents entire subway networks have been fast-tracked as a response to an unexpectedly successful starter line!

        Metro doesn’t do that! When ridership on a Seattle bus service is overtaxed, Metro likes to sit back, kick its feet up, and ballyhoo its increased “productivity metrics” on that service. Never mind if the service at present is miserable, or if lots and lots of additional choice demand could be tapped by improving the service further. Metro just doesn’t do “upgrade”!!

      7. I am consistently disappointed in the amount of doublespeak that Metro engages in, trying to still convince W Seattle they now have improved service. I think the point about having a real political problem is astute. Seattle has voted for almost all transit ballot measures I can recall for the last 15 or so years. We voted for Monorail perhaps as many as 4 times before we voted against it due to mismanagement. The only other one I can think of that was a no, was the 2011 Prop 1 which was very arbitrary and poorly thought out.
        Since we are talking about Arbor Heights to some degree, you can see that indeed, the 2008 ST measure was not popular there. People don’t vote on what a built out system will be in 30 years, they vote along the lines of “what have you done for me lately”. At the time of the 2008 vote, ST was reducing or had reduced the very useful 560 service that went straight to the airport.
        This time, by killing off not only Arbor Heights, but Delridge, North Admiral, Alki, Beach Drive, and Alaska Junction connectivity, Metro will find those supportive “yes” votes are harder to come by. Metro had better start looking for those votes in North Bend.
        Readers of this board know the difference between government service providers and have some sophisticated understanding about why Metro needs to make Sammammish happy before they make Arbor Heights happy. Most of the customers of the transportation system don’t make such a distinction, and we can expect a backlash at the ballot box, particularly if something like Bridging the Gap 2 were to be offered next year.

      8. Metro doesn’t do that!

        Are you sure?

        Within the last 5-7 years, Metro has taken the following lines from 30- to 15-minute service in response to overcrowding (or, in the case of the Eastside routes, because they have more money over there than they know what to do with):

        RR A (compared to previous 174)
        31 (by extending the 74, more recently called the 30)
        41 (midday)
        44 (nights)
        54 (prior to RR C)
        60 (to 20 minutes)
        73 (thus increasing overall frequency on the expresses from 6 to 8/hour)
        120 (compared to old 20/135, and then later also on Saturdays)
        164/168 (in their combined near East Hill corridor)
        234/235 (in their combined 116th/Lake Wa Blvd corridor)
        255 (to KTC)
        271 (to Eastgate)
        345/346 (to 130th, compared to old 302/317)
        347/348 (to North City, compared to old 315/377)
        372/522 corridor, with an assist from ST

      9. Those semi-improvements had little to do with Metro being demand-responsive.

        Those were explicitly laid out as among the “core services” to receive funds from the 2006 TransitNow vote. Of course, only the first 1/6 or so of the TransitNow frequency improvements ever happened — and all occurred while 40/40/20 was still in effect — so they never actually did much to create an improved “network” or to make getting around any easier.

        And they were explicitly tied to a funding source that “dried up” (even though we continue to pay that extra sales tax); Metro had and continues to have no plan for maintaining usable service quality (much less focused demand-responsive improvements) without emergency cash infusion after emergency cash infusion.

        Short version: No, your list is not an indication that Metro is agile in its response to unmet demand.

      10. p.s. I don’t know precisely how L.A. funded its impressively quick ramping up of successful MetroRapid service. Perhaps they cut legacy labyrinthine one-seats with little notice. Perhaps they looked hard for other operational efficiencies to mine. Perhaps they dipped into the rainy-day fund, realizing the risk of leaving all of Los Angeles’s newfound choice transit riders hanging.

        The point is that they saw the need, and so found a way to rise to the occasion. Purchased more buses. Drew up more Rapid routes. Put them into service. Fast!

        King County Metro will never do that. Our agency needs a top-to-bottom overhaul.

      11. First, not all those improvements came from Transit Now. Several of them predate it.

        Second, do you think Metro chose the Transit Now improvements by throwing at a dart board? They based their selections on demand. Sure, there was some political finagling involved in the outer areas, particularly the Eastside. But in Seattle no finagling was necessary, because there are plenty of oversubscribed routes in all areas to choose from.

        Today, RR C/D and the 120 have to be the first priority in the Seattle subarea for improvement. The only other routes running so full are trolley routes which have separate issues (mainly layover-related) with adding frequency.

      12. You’re missing my point.

        KC Metro takes literally years to consider, scrounge for, and implement even the most minor of improvements. Who cares how “demand responsive” their selections are when the response time is so pathetic.

        Los Angeles implemented the first MetroRapid lines in 2002. Wilshire was so successful that in almost no time they had it running every 3-5 minutes at peak and ever 7-10 minutes the rest of the day. By 2009 they had expanded into this.

        Waiting six years for KC Metro to get its act together and ramp up service to where it should have been in the first place is simply not acceptable!

      13. As to LA, Rapid was in part, iirc, a demonstration project with federal involvement and funding, although I don’t have the numbers in front of me. The 700-series Metro Rapid lines also largely displaced the 300-series “limited” routes, which to my knowledge no longer run on any of the Metro Rapid corridors (at implementation I think there were a few anomalies). Even today, even on the Wilshire route (let alone the others), not all stops have the expanded shelters and of course MetroRapid did not include any off-bus payment.

        Just responding in general (this is my first post here), comparing LA’s Orange Line to anything is dangerous – in actuality, it is about the closest that a bus can get to LRT, running in a disused rail line and only crossing actual traffic at intersections, with intermingling only at the very beginning and very end of the route. It’s easier to think of the Orange Line as something akin to the Metro Bus Tunnel (without a roof!), and it would be similarly straightforward to upgrade the Orange Line to LRT – add track and overhead power (the biggest expense), harden some crossings, lengthen some platforms, add a few inches to platform height and you’re there. In fact, I think that’s probably the quiet long-term plan, or at least hope, to convert the Orange Line to LRT, because the busses were literally far above capacity on literally day one.

        (not yet a Seattle resident, have not yet been to Seattle, will be the latter next week and the former probably next year)

      14. I was referring to Los Angeles’s ability to ramp up service levels on short notice as needed.

        While some MetroRapid lines still lack adequate frequency to be considered “frequent transit”, the dozen or so highest-demand lines (as well as the Orange Line) have seen their frequencies boosted repeatedly and drastically to respond to L.A.’s pent-up demand for mass transit that actually works!

        As you will no doubt discover, King County Metro cannot respond their way out of a paper bag!

        (The RapidRide program, by the way, also depended heavily on federal funds, with results so inadequate that the feds should demand their money back.)

      15. d.p.,

        I didn’t say anything about what “you” have complained about with respect to RapidRide. In the video, I complain about RapidRide.

        The complaints at the meeting centered around insufficient capacity and OneBusAway troubles. Those are clearly short-term problems that will disappear with time.

      16. I am consistently disappointed in the amount of doublespeak that Metro engages in, trying to still convince W Seattle they now have improved service. D.p.: doesn’t matter! Metro is more incompetent than any system in the world!

        What would you prefer! “There’s a bunch of service cuts coming and ITS REALLY GOING
        TO SUCK ASS!!!??

      17. insufficient capacity …Those are clearly short-term problems that will disappear with time.

        Not really, Martin. They’ve added one or two extra rush-hour buses as a patch, but they have no intention of bringing the mid-day/evening/late night frequency to the levels that we both agree would make RapidRide a successful core service, and which they should have guaranteed from the get-go.

        That isn’t stopping them from trying to convince residents that RapidRide is a great leap forward for connection-based travel, which it most certainly is not.

        As I wrote elsewhere on this thread, if Metro had even the faintest track record of rapidly responding to holes and deficiencies in their network, I would be more like to accept the present issues as “teething troubles”. But the true problems of RapidRide are structural, and not something that a single extra rush-hour vehicle or even fixing OneBusAway data can actually overcome. Like the West Seattle residents, I don’t appreciate being told that the yellow liquid pouring off the pylon is rain.

    2. Transit advocates damn well better come to accept “existing revenue constraints”. The alternative is . . .?

      1. Really Will? The only choice when it comes to transit even increasing funding or a death spiral? That’s a false choice.

        To argue that the *only* way to improve our transit system is increase funding is in my opinion both incorrect and completely unrealistic. Added funding is absolutely important but when Metro is spending $600+ million on a year on existing service making sure that service is doing the most it can has to be a part of the solution.

  2. As usual, the neighborhood complaining the loudest is the neighborhood whose riders ride the least.

    Before Metro cut the 21 it was very rare for any 21 trip except a peak-hour express to pick up more than one or two riders in the Arbor Heights loop. Going through completely empty was routine.

    1. Never happen. Tragedy of the Commons,

      Tell them. To these folks, a minor inconvenience is the Apocalypse.

      1. More importantly, as was pointed out earlier… there was a choice to have a one-seat ride to Downtown and reduced service or maintain service and get better connectivity but have to transfer to go Downtown.

        The folks who got involved made their choice, and now they’re upset about it.

        Well, you’ve got to either live with your choice or get involved and not let others make decisions for you.

      2. There’s a guy threatening a “revolution” against Metro in the comments thread over there now. At length. Yeah, like that’ll get you bus service.

      3. I wish him luck. Hell – I’ll join. But this idea that King County Metro is some monolithic, unaccountable and completely incompetent entity will die a hard proud death. Compared to other municipal providers of public transportation, Metro is a practical quilting bee.

      4. A transit agency needs to be a benevolent — and knowledgeable — dictator. At least to some degree. It’s the only way to get service to actually align.

        Quilting bees provide crappy transit service.

  3. My takeaway so far: Everyone who is interested in preserving and improving transit at the city, county and regional levels needs to write their state government representatives *immediately* to ask them to give transit agencies the revenue tools they need to maintain existing service and make the capital investments required to make transit awesome.

    Then you need to write your city representatives to ensure they provide transit improved right of way (exclusive where necessary) and other features that help surface transit move.

    Then you need to write your US representatives to make sure they establish an infrastructure fund of some kind that provides low/no interest loans to DOTs/Transit Agencies so they can make infrastructure investments *now*.

      1. D.p.: doesn’t matter! Metro is more incompetent than any system in the world! Bus drivers are idiots! RANT! FOAM! RANT!

      2. Metro has raised fares four times by 80% in the past five years. Another fare increase is scheduled for 2014

  4. I apologize to anyone who feels disappointed by the Arbor Heights discussion dominance. I was hoping with my petition to bring people out, but I didn’t want to take all the focus away from the other service changes that have impacted West Seattle transit riders.

    I was glad that the Alki and North Admiral neighborhoods were able to have representation as well as riders of the 133.

    I think that a large discussion of Rapid Ride should have been expected. The moderator stated that the meeting was planned for October since it would be right after the shakeup.

    As for Arbor Heights, I hope to keep up the discussion with my neighbors and Metro to find a solution that is as revenue neutral as possible while still providing some service to the AH loop, because that is the issue – not the reduction but the complete elimination of many peoples sole method of transportation. And its not just us, all of the West Seattle perimeter neighborhoods got whacked – along with neighborhoods all over Seattle.

    I really don’t want for neighborhoods to start fighting each other over service. I would hope that Seattle can come together in solidarity to make sure all residents have at least some form of transit available to them.

    Brett has it right – please contact your Representatives to better fund transit, mass public transit has to be our future.

    1. Jon, thank you for the call out. I understand your plight and that the political process has resulted in less service for you and your neighbors.

      But let me be clear: Just because I think we need more tax dollars and political will focused on transit doesnt mean I support running service on very low ridership routes. Because our transit agency is county-wide and reports to the county council, it has evolved into a system that covers most of the county poorly instead of certain high ridership areas well. No matter how much we ask our government to make transit a priority, we can only dedicate a certain portion of our tax dollars to transit. Transit service is and always will be a limited resource. Limited resources are often fought over.

      I don’t know your personal situation, whether or not driving or biking is an option, whether you ride the bus everywhere or just to commute, whether you’ve lived there for 30 years or 3, whether you live there by choice or not. All I can do is put myself in your shoes and make some assumptions along the way. And if I were in your shoes, and I was transit dependent and could afford to relocate myself and my family, I would look at moving closer to frequent all day transit. Maybe this isn’t an option for you or others.

      Maybe you moved to Arbor Heights because it was a good balance of just frequent enough transit and cost and quality of living. Or maybe you tried to help the environment and your finances by selling the car and going transit only. But things are changing. The paradigm where we sprinkle 30 or 60 minute service all over the county, over-serving a lot of areas and under-serving core urban areas needs to come to an end. Metro’s budget woes and other factors (renewed interest in urban living) are forcing this shift.

    2. I would hope that Seattle can come together in solidarity to make sure all residents have at least some form of transit available to them.

      The problem is that such a goal is extremely expensive. It results in buses with one or two people aboard — like the Arbor Heights portion of the previous 21, or like the old all-day 37 — running to all sorts of small and relatively well-off neighborhoods where very few people actually use the service. Honestly, I think it’s a much more responsible use of tax dollars to put those service hours where lots of riders will make good use of them. Right now, in West Seattle, that means adding frequency to RR C and the 120 so no one is passed up; backfilling a bit of the service that Admiral and Alki lost, particularly shoulder-period trips on the 56X; and reinstating Sunday service on the 125.

      If that leaves longtime residents (particularly seniors) without mobility, that is a real problem. But we need to look at alternative service options for them, rather than paying through the nose for empty buses. In the case of Arbor Heights, it seems to me that a taxi scrip program is something that could make a lot of difference, because people do not need to go far to reach frequent service.

      1. As an Arbor Heights resident, I hope the focus shifts to alternate service methods instead of just ‘bring back my bus’. It was about a 15 minute round trip for the 21 to serve the Arbor Heights loop. Twice an hour for, what, 20 hours? Probably about 10 service hours a day for a handful of riders. There has to be a better way to serve neighborhoods like mine.

      1. This point is crucial – it would be interesting to see what kind of a transit system would evolve if Metro and Sound Transit only served areas that voted to support transit.

        I’m a West Seattle resident, and I agree that the last few weeks have been a little rough with all the changes. However, transit agencies with limited funding from unsustainable sources (it’s a side discussion, but funding transit solely from sales tax is a large reason we’re in this mess) only have so many choices. With limited funding, any agency should focus on serving as many people as possible. Look at it from the other side – people have long complained when governments waste precious resources on small populations, like the proverbial “Bridge to Nowhere”. Metro is now focusing on becoming leaner and more efficient, and we lambast them from the other side. You can’t have it both ways.

        One other comment Jon – perhaps Arbor Heights should have done more to get in front of these changes and demonstrate a pro-transit front in advance of this service change. Metro collected input from citizens for nearly a year in advance of these changes and altered their plans considerably in light of customer concerns and feedback. Clearly, the pre-change feedback from Arbor Heights was not substantial or lacked a consistent theme. From the maps above, it appears as though you don’t even have the support of the majority of your community. Stacking a public meeting with a number of cherry-picked supporters is one thing, but can you get your entire neighborhood to support transit?

      2. To Ryan,
        I did not stack a public meeting with cherry picked supporters. I only knew one other AH resident that showed up (other than my wife).

      3. That’s good to know, though clearly there was some active effort to get people to go, and it’s good that people are engaged with the process. However, this still doesn’t negate the other parts of my post – can you justify why Metro should maintain all-day ridership to an area which, other than this recent public meeting, has continually indicated they don’t want it based on both votes AND ridership? Peak hour service is still provided – while it may be less than ideal for what you want, look at the bigger funding picture.

      4. It would be more interesting to see how we voted for Transit Now in 2006, which would have actually clearly done something for us. The benefits from ST Prop 1 to West Seattle, let alone Arbor Heights, are pretty abstract. And Seattle Prop 1 in 2011 was so poorly done that I barely voted for it myself.

      5. “This point is crucial – it would be interesting to see what kind of a transit system would evolve if Metro and Sound Transit only served areas that voted to support transit.”

        So, the Google Fiber approach? Or, you might say, the approach that Pierce Transit has ended up following de facto?

        I suspect many areas that have voted against transit narrowly in the past would vote for it if they were told “vote for this or you’ll lose service”.

    3. Jon, it’s hard to feel sorry for you. There are many folks in West Seattle who are quite happy with the service change and see it as an improvement. Delridge, for example, is getting a brand new route and better connectivity to other neighborhoods. We are also seeing the results of 5+ years of lobbying Metro, SDOT, and City Council to see the improvements we specifically asked for.

      We’re seeing these results because we’ve put in the time, educated electeds and staff, and shown up at public meetings.

      Did you and your wife, and the 90 people on your petition, show up at meetings to give Metro’s planners feedback, or call or write? There was coverage by the West Seattle Blog, notices on buses, and coverage by community groups.

      It was suggested that Arbor Heights could preserve service by cutting off the other end of the route, and not maintaining a one-seat ride to Downtown. Your neighbors who showed up at the meetings refused to give up the one-seat ride. That means you get less service.

      The same was true of folks in Alki who wanted to keep a few runs of the 56 to Downtown, and are now ocmplaining that the 50 doesn’t run often enough. And the folks up in Highland Park (okay, in fairness, we might blame to college for this) who demanded that the 125 continue all the way Downtown and are now upset that service was cut back.

      There is no secret that many of us who read this blog are trying to change the way bus service runs in this town. It can’t continue to be only a commuter-focused, Downtown-centric system in the Seattle area if we’re going to create dense, walkable, urban neighborhoods.

      1. “It can’t continue to be only a commuter-focused, Downtown-centric system in the Seattle area if we’re going to create dense, walkable, urban neighborhoods”

        Since when is Metro’s mission to “create dense, walkable, urban neighborhoods”? Metro’s slogan is “We’ll get you there”. There mission statement is below.

        “Provide the best possible public transportation services and improve regional mobility and quality of life in King County.”

      2. A “one-seat ride” is a route that goes downtown.

        Metro is under orders from the county council to cut unproductive service, and focus on adding service where it is needed most. Of course, the county council sometimes makes political exceptions, like keeping the 42 for eight more months (which, like the old Arbor Heights tail, has far more supporters than riders).

      3. To add to what Brent said, usually when we talk about “one-seat ride” we mean a route that uses a lot of resources to carry relatively few commuters all the way downtown, rather than taking them to a high-volume, (ideally) faster trunk line. A good example was the old 34 bus which took people all the way from Seward Park to downtown via Rainier rather than putting them on Link.

      4. So “two seat” rides, are when you need to take a transfer? One seat would more accurately be called “direct” service to downtown, or elsewhere. Direct service vs transfer service.

      5. One-seat rides are often quite indirect — think about someone riding the 37 from 49th Ave. SW, or riding the 40 or 16 downtown from NSCC. Both examples have vastly more direct options with an additional step (the 40/16 by taking it the other way and transferring to the 41, the 37 by walking up to the Junction). “Direct” makes some one-seat rides sound better than they are.

    4. Jon,

      It was a pleasure to talk with you and you’re totally justified in raising your concerns in a forum like that. No need to apologize.

      I just wish more people there were interested in discussing broader issues, beyond personal anecdotes of getting back in their cars.

      1. Well, there’s the big thing from someone big enough to admit that small voices matter too. Good work, Martin.

  5. Transit users are all the same: they all want excellent service; and they all want somebody else to pay for it.

      1. Fares have doubled in the last five years, Beavis.

        Somehow, I doubt that your blinding awesomeness has doubled.

      1. But your neighbors aren’t willing to pay fares for it. Even 67% subsidized bus service was only scantily used.

        In my neighborhood of Delridge, Metro buses running 10/15 minute frequencies all day are packed/standing room only. I expect that future service changes will increase runs on the C and the 120, not restore service that had 0 to 5 riders per trip.

        To address your concern, however, I think Metro will need to begin DART-style flexible service for many low density Seattle neighborhoods, such as Arbor Heights, Magnolia, etc. Baby boomers are aging-in-place in their car-dependent neighborhoods, and will need door-to-door transport service in increasing quantities over the next few decades. We will need to sort out exactly how that works, hopefully something less expensive per rider than ACCESS, more like a Community van.

      2. “Flexible” service means service for which it is impossible to predict how long you have to stand around waiting for it and impossible to predict how long the ride is going to take, once the bus finally does show up. Which means you’d better not use a flexible service to connect to anything infrequent, unless you include a ton of buffer time in your schedule.

        A scheduled service, even an infrequent one, you can at least plan to catch a bus at 11:00 that arrives at your destination at 11:20. A “flexible” service, even when you’re on the bus, you have no idea how close you are to your destination until you actually get there, because you have no idea what sort of crazy deviations it’s going to do.

        I’ve used “flexible” shuttles a couple of times for airport trips. If you’re lucky, you can be the first one to be dropped off and get a quick ride. If you’re not lucky, you can be zig-zagging around for nearly 3 hours before you finally get home. After one such trip, I stopped using the shuttle service to get home from the airport, in favor of the regular old fixed-route transit system. It still took nearly two hours to get home, with 2 transfers. But the two hours was very predictable and I had some degree of control over the route. And it also helped that the bus fare was less than a 10th the cost of the shuttle service.

    1. By “transit users,” don’t you mean “people?”

      I think the DBT and 520 projects are also pretty good examples.

      1. 520 and the DBT are being paid for with gas taxes and tolls. Nobody who does not own and drive a motor vehicle will have to pay for those projects. Transit fares will not pay anything for either of those projects.

        And the DBT is not for motorists — it is for people who hate the viaduct and want to “beautify” the waterfront. So, the DBT is not a highway project — it is a “waterfront improvement” project.

        The DBT should be paid for by the people who use the waterfront, since they are the ones who want it and they are the ones who feel that they will “benefit” from it.

      2. You just proved my point. Motorists (and general taxpayers; general funds are also being used) are paying for the project. Other people, such as downtown landowners and the Montlake and Medina NIMBYs, expect to get the benefits for free. This is not unique to transit.

      3. Both projects have federal transporatation funds, which are no longer 100% user fees.

        If DBT wasn’t for motorists, we could just tear the thing down and not do anything. Evidently someone thinks vehicles still need to move through downtown.

  6. For those of you who are new to STB and wondering why there isn’t a post about the really big local transportation story that’s been in the news the last couple of days … Why all the empty seats on Sounder North? …. some may say how STB normally handles a negative Sound Transit story is they initially ignore it, then post about a few days later with a tiny one line blurb in the news roundup. Some have observed that when there’s a positive story about Sound Transit in the news, STB is quick to do a full post about it.

    1. Stb had a great conversation te day the report was release and before Seattle times posted their piece.

  7. Nobody mentioned the 560 restructure. I think ST found a happy medium by getting rid of the portion of the route that duplicates the C Line, and thereby be able to have all day service to the new Westwood Village de facto transfer center. I don’t see why that restructure should have to wait until next fall. If makes so much sense that it ought to be done with the next pick.

    1. When is the next pick? It’s too bad they didn’t coordinate this change with Metro’s big West Seattle change. Also… are there hot TOD plans in Westwood Village, ’cause damn.

      1. RE: Westwood… no kidding! Westwood is the place to be if you want to live in West Seattle without a car. I was at Rite Aid waiting for a flu shot on the first day of the service change and it seemed like it was non-stop buses going through that intersection. Between the C, 21, and 120, there should be a bus coming or going downtown every few minutes. Unfortunately, they don’t all use the same stops.

      2. I think if you were going downtown you’d wait for a 120 before getting on a 21 or C… but Westwood is the single spot where you have the most connectivity in West Seattle, even more than the Junction. Let’s get some housing built on top of those big boxes, stat.

      3. “I think if you were going downtown you’d wait for a 120 before getting on a 21 or C…”

        Cue d.p. complaining about the embarrassment of RapidRide ad nauseam (“so BOTH RR lines are getting beat to downtown by other buses!”).

      4. Let’s get that huge parking lot in the middle reorganized too. It looks like the shops along the edge are paying homage to the great parking lot. A garage in one corner would do nicely, and would open up vast real estate for housing and more shops. How about a few big-box stores stacked on top of each other like Northgate North?

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