Eastside Transportation Town Hall Recap

Bellevue Transportation Town Hall

Representatives from various Eastside city governments were on hand Wednesday night for a “transportation town hall” at Bellevue City Hall.  I had thought it would be focused on Metro cuts, and, indeed, the Transit Riders Union was out in force.  However it turned out to be a broader effort, designed to drum up support for the various transportation bills floating around in Olympia.  I didn’t stay for the whole thing, since it seemed to consist of softball questions about the need for more revenue.

Fred Jarrett (King County), Jane Hague (King County), Rod Dembowski (King County), Don Gerend (Sammamish), Jennifer Robertson (Bellevue), David Baker (Kenmore) and Bruce Basett (Mercer Island) were on the panel, and several other elected officials were in the audience as well.

All panelists supported a local option for Metro funding.  Big props to Hague and Dembowski for keeping the focus on buses.  Cheers to Jarrett and Baker for emphasizing the importance of road maintenance.  Jeers to Robertson for pushing I-405 expansion.

I wish there’d been more of a dialogue about the tradeoffs between highway expansion and the maintenance backlog.  If we’re closing one bridge per year in King County, as Jarrett claimed, should we really be adding lane-miles to I-405? Sadly, the question went unanswered.  Or at least no one answered it before I had to leave to catch my bus.

I did, however, get to see some renderings of the new and improved Downtown Bothell, which includes some pretty fantastic pedestrian-oriented redevelopment projects.

Were you there? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

Selected 592 Trips Headed to Olympia

Thanks to a State Regional Mobility Grant to Intercity Transit, six round trips of ST Route 592 will continue to the (Downtown) Olympia Transit Center with an additional stop at the Hawks Prairie P&R in Lacey. According to Meg Kester of Intercity Transit, this is a peak-direction-only service. The northbound trips will depart every half hour between 4:12 and 6:42am, arriving in Seattle between 6:10 and 8:46. The southbound trips will leave Seattle between 3:03 and 5:33pm and arrive between 5:23 and 7:53pm. (See the full timetable here.) Service starts September 30, assuming the ST board approves it in July.

IT will also establish the Route 609 “Olympia Express” between Lakewood and Tumwater via Olympia, providing bidirectional peak-hour service. The timetable for the 10 round trips is here.

Kester added that the $530,000 grant is covering 80% of the two-year cost of the service, with IT picking up the rest. She added that IT is “hopeful” that there will be a renewal in two years. You can comment on this service change here.

We Are the 201%

Senior RRFP
Photo: Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services

King County Metro’s Low Income Fare Options Advisory Committee met for the last time in person Wednesday. They are still wordsmithing the document that will be transmitted to the County Executive and the County Council, but plan to have that finalized document sent by July 1st.

The committee will be recommending 200% of the federal poverty level as the breakpoint for qualifying for a low-income fare, mostly because several federal programs use that threshold, and the documentation from those other programs would enable Metro to stay out of the business of income determination. (For those unfamiliar with the federal poverty level, it is based on a combination of income and family size.)

The committee still wants Metro to do some direct income determination for riders who are either ineligible or uninterested in those other programs for reasons unrelated to income, but did not appear to have a plan for how to limit income determination to just those who fall in that category. Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond expressed discomfort with the idea of putting Metro in that position.

The committee appears ready to recommend the farebox as one of the more immediate sources of revenue to fund a low-income fare program. Indeed, they could not agree to recommend any other source. But they also don’t want Metro to become the primary funder, much less the sole funder. Still, the committee seems willing to move forward with a program funded solely be farebox revenue if no other revenue sources can be found. The idea of the farebox approach is that as fares increase, a portion of each increase would go to funding the low-income fare program. Metro could raise fares more steeply than originally planned, raising more money to save more service while offsetting the increase for those least able to afford it with a robust low-income fare program.

Kate Joncas, representing the Downtown Seattle Association, raised a troubling question: How does someone who earns 205% of the federal poverty level feel about having his or her fare substantially increased in order to fund a discount for someone earning 197% of the federal poverty level. Nobody on the committee had a good answer. After the jump, I’ll try to give a good answer, from the vantage point of someone earning over 201% of the federal poverty level.

Continue reading “We Are the 201%”

Seattle Adding Service on Nine Core Routes

Route 49 in the U-District
Route 49 in the U-District

Much of the yesterday’s excitement was about what the city plans to do with unused money from the Spokane Street Viaduct project, a Bridging the Gap project which came in under budget, but there was another, similar announcement regarding a separate pot of transit-only BTG money:

Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond today announced the City of Seattle is buying more than 5,000 hours of added service per year through early 2016 on nine high ridership bus routes in Seattle. Using $750,000 in savings from the voter-approved Bridging the Gap Levy, the City of Seattle is able to help Metro increase evening and weekend frequency on high-ridership routes from 30 to 15 minutes or from 60 to 30 minutes.

“This one-time savings will help us make transit a better option for more people,” said McGinn. “But there isn’t any more money where that came from. I stand with mayors from across King County and Washington State to urge our legislature to pass the local transportation funding package we proposed to them in February, which includes revenue options that will help prevent a devastating 17% cut to Metro bus service.”

“It’s great to be able to add this service at a time of ridership growth,” Desmond said. “Every bit counts, but solutions are still needed to sustain service for all of Metro’s riders.” As temporary funding expires and reserves are exhausted, Metro faces a $75 million annual shortfall.

The routes benefiting from this temporary boost in service are the 5, 10, 21, 40, 41, 48, 49 and 120. Presumably the hope for when this money runs out in two years is either that Metro will be on a firmer financial footing, and able to fund these trips by itself, or that another BTG package will be authorized by Seattle voters. A separate, permanent 5,000 hour boost in service will come from Metro, paid for by Transit Now. As I understand it, each jurisdiction that has made significant investments in transit speed and reliability for a RapidRide route gets a bonus of that size, which they are allowed to spend on core routes of their choice. SDOT has evidently chosen to spend it on the E Line, which will need all the help it can get.

As the news release notes, the quantity of service hours purchased here is not enormous, certainly not compared to Metro’s structural budget shortfall. 5,000 is hours is not adequate to launch a new service, or a major expansion in frequency on an old service, but it’s enough to pay for a handful of new trips per day on a handful of routes. As part of the Urban Village Transit Network plan, SDOT has a policy goal of achieving, on weekdays, 18 hours of 30-minute service, and 12 hours of 15-minute service on UVTN routes; SDOT is using this money to fill gaps in the schedules of Seattle’s highest ridership routes, to bring them closer to that goal.

More after the jump. Continue reading “Seattle Adding Service on Nine Core Routes”

Metro Chooses New Flyer for New Trolleybuses

ETB Route 70
ETB Route 70

Great news from Metro yesterday: the agency has selected a builder for its next big batch of trolleybuses, and the 60′ coaches will have three doors. From the news release:

King County Metro Transit announced today it will replace its aging trolley fleet with new all-electric New Flyer coaches that will take about one-third less energy to power. Metro is second only to San Francisco in having the largest electric trolley fleet in the nation.

Metro plans to initially purchase up to 141 trolley buses – about 10 percent of its entire fleet – under a contract with New Flyer totaling up to $164 million. Future bus purchases will be dependent on fleet needs and whether Metro is able to avoid service reductions in the coming years.

“Electric trolleys have a lot of fans, and I’m one of them,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “They’re quiet, they run clean, they’re part of our transit heritage, and studies confirm they’re the best for moving riders in our very hilly and dense urban environment.”


The trolleys also will be able to operate off-wire on battery power for short distances – a feature that will allow the bus to reliably reroute around collisions without calling for a Metro push truck. It also will reduce the need to substitute diesel buses when construction affects routes along electric bus corridors.

The new buses will have low floors for easier and faster boarding and exiting. They include an updated system to secure wheelchairs, and the 60 foot buses will have three doors, air conditioning and the ability to kneel the full length of the bus.

The selection of New Flyer Industries is not a particular surprise: NFI is the dominant seller of transit buses in the US, and (I believe) the only domestic manufacturer with an off-the-shelf trolleybus propulsion system. While I’ve heard off-the-record that three-doors and RapidRide-style interiors (less seating, more standing room and wider aisles) were favored for 60′ coaches, official confirmation that those coaches will have three doors — a feature whose importance is hard to overstate — is a relief. I have a question in about interior layout, and also about air conditioning, which the wording of this press release seems to suggest may only be featured on 60′ coaches.

The new trolleybuses will start to arrive in 2015, and they can’t come soon enough for me. The Breda articulated trolleybuses are 23 years old already, and they look, sound and smell every day of it. I’m convinced that a certain amount of American anti-bus prejudice, particularly in the west, arises quite reasonably from the fact that so many transit agencies operate so many terribly-designed bus routes with awful rolling stock; whereas rail systems tend to be newer, and mostly built out in straight lines with low-floor vehicles and sensible stop spacing, so they don’t provide the experience of sluggishness and decrepitude that is the unfortunate hallmark of many bus routes. Both aspects of this experience are completely fixable, and they have to be fixed if we’re to stand a chance of moving the needle on transit ridership and Greenhouse Gas emissions.

UPDATE: After the jump, renderings of the new buses. Also, all models (40′ and 60′) will have A/C. Continue reading “Metro Chooses New Flyer for New Trolleybuses”

Copper Theft Suspects Identified

Photo by the Author

Last May STB reported on an extensive successful theft of copper wire from the Link guideway between Rainier Beach and Tukwila. King 5 is now reporting that two suspects are in custody have been identified:

Prosecutors say DNA left on Gatorade bottles lead them to two men suspected in the largest known metal theft in Washington state.

Donald Howard Turpin, 54, and Lee Russell Skelly, 44, are accused of stealing 4.3 miles of copper wiring from the Sound Transit Light Rail System between November 2010 through August of 2011.
“Stealing miles of copper wire must be hard work, because it was the defendants’ Gatorade bottles left at the scene which ultimately was their undoing,” said King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg.

Prosecutors say the two men allegedly committed the theft by entering maintenance hatches in a tunnel that runs below the light rail between the SeaTac and Rainer Beach Rail Stations. They would enter at night and remove the copper wire. They allegedly dropped the wire through air vents and then drove along the line, picking up the cut wire at various locations.

Evidence gathered by King County Sheriff’s Detectives shows that the men allegedly took the wire to various scrap metal recycling businesses in King County and sold the metal. Turpin had a state issued business license which would allow him to scrap the metal with little if any scrutiny by the buyers.

Both men are charged with Burglary Second Degree and Trafficking in Stolen Property First Degree. Turpin is also charged with Theft First Degree with a special sentencing aggravator.

If convicted as charged, the sentence range for Turpin is 63 to 84 months in prison. Skelly faces up to one year in jail.

UPDATE: The original version of this article erroneously claimed the suspects were in custody. According to KOMO, Turpin is at large and wanted on a $50,000 warrant, while Skelly is scheduled to appear in court on June 27. We regret the error.

Council Likely Accelerating SLU-UW, Delaying Ship Canal Crossing

Today we have news from City Council that they’re willing to agree to the Mayor’s proposal to accelerate the UW-SLU High Capacity Transit (HCT) Study, the precursor to extending the streetcar (or potentially BRT, hence the study) to UW, from 2014 to this year. Note that this accleration also comes with a ton of other safety and repaving projects.

In context, right now design is under way for the downtown streetcar connector. The Seattle Times keeps calling this a “third streetcar line”, but as usual from them, that’s nonsense – it’s really taking our two streetcar lines and turning them into one! With a single line in place for one-seat rides from Amtrak, Pioneer Square, the ferry terminal (and future new waterfront), and Pike Place Market to South Lake Union, planning to extend that line to UW makes a lot of sense to me – and to the city council. As Publicola notes in their very inaccurate story*, council proposes a modification to the SLU-UW study – they want the study to consider short term improvements, especially on Eastlake Ave., in addition to HCT.

On the other side of the coin, councilmembers aren’t agreeing to fund the ship canal crossing study immediately. This would consider all the options between Fremont and Ballard: access for streetcar and light rail as well as safe bicycle and pedestrian routes, ranging from a new bridge, to a new tunnel, to reconfiguration of existing bridges, and combinations of options.

However, council staff tells me that council members realize that the ship canal crossing study is necessary for Bridging the Gap and Sound Transit 3. I’m hearing it may be funded in the 2014 budget, so it will still be complete early enough for the expected Bridging the Gap renewal in 2015.

Wednesday morning is a great opportunity to both thank council members for the UW-SLU study acceleration as well as make clear our support for the ship canal crossing. Please consider joining us in city council chambers at 9:00 am (to sign up for 9:30 am comments), at Seattle City Hall600 4th Ave. These things are practically STB meetups – I’ll be there at 8:30, and you can expect to meet several other regulars!

* There are a lot of issues with Publicola’s story. First, the headline states that the light rail study is scuttled, which is very incorrect (UPDATE: fixed that one). It also references the ship canal crossing study as a “new bridge”, when that’s only one of several options that could come from the work. It says the UW-SLU study is “scaled back”, when it’s actually being added to and accelerated. As noted in the piece, Publicola opposes SLU-UW rail.

Get Ready for Better Access to Sound Transit Stations

Sound Transit did something really cool at their last board meeting. They updated their System Access Policy. Woo-hoo!

Seriously, though, this is kind of a big deal.  For the first decade or so of its existence, Sound Transit has muddled through without much of a formal policy about how to provide access to trains and buses. This is in part because the City of Seattle discourages parking lots at light rail stations*, and in part because land wasn’t really at a premium in many of the suburban stations where ST operates. So there hasn’t really been much to think about.**

But as Link expands outside the city limits and Sounder ridership grows, the agency needed a more formal way to think about how to balance the goals of providing access, maximizing ridership and responsible development.  The recent debates about parking at Northgate,  Mercer Island and Edmonds show how difficult such a balance can be to achieve.

Which brings us to the new policy. Currently, the agency has been building free parking lots at certain stations and not really enforcing whether or not the cars in those lots were transit riders.  Going forward, the agency will adopt a more comprehensive approach to station access, including:

  • Enforcement of transit-only parking at the stations
  • Potential parking fees (which would require specific board approval)
  • Consideration of pedestrian, bicycle, and transit access
  • Consideration of the total cost of ownership of its facilities

All good stuff. You can dig deep on the relevant documents here and here (.pdf). You should also check out Richard Conlin’s excellent blog post on the subject:

Current Sound Transit policy has emphasized providing free and open parking at stations with limited enforcement. Parking is a significant investment, is constrained in urban areas and has limited compatibility with dense development around stations. Providing free parking also encourages riders to use the private automobile to access light rail. While the private automobile has a role in accessing transit stations, particularly for those who are not well served by alternatives or have physical limitations, the Board agreed that this role must be only part of an access strategy, and that access investments should be developed based on how they meet ridership and community goals.

Obviously there will still be messy debates over the particulars of access to each station, but a formal policy from Sound Transit on the issue is a necessary first step.

*Tukwila / International Boulevard Station, one of two Link stations outside the city limits, has a parking lot. SeaTac Station is a unique case. 

** Though perhaps a more thoughtful access policy would have resulted in better intermodal connections at Mt. Baker?

Congress Seeks to Make Fair Tax Treatment of Transit Permanent


There is an annual political struggle in Washington, D.C. to keep the tax deduction for employer transit benefits at the same level as the deduction for parking benefits. Before 2008 it was (perversely) about half the size, and for most of the time since it’s been at the same level thanks to series of temporary Congressional acts. Most recently, the January “fiscal cliff” deal equalized transit and parking maximum benefits at $230 per month through the end of this year.

Fortunately, Congress may act to make the equalization permanent (now at $245/month) through the “Commuter Parity Act”:

The Commuter Parity Act would help make the transit benefit on par with what drivers receive in pre-tax parking benefits for the long term, according to transit advocates…

The bill was introduced in the House by Reps. Michael G. Grimm (R-N.Y), James P. McGovern (D-Mass.), Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced it in the Senate.

It’s not surprising that New York congressmen would lead this, as their commuter rail riders can easily pay this in a month. Here in Washington, it’s ferry commuters and a few ST long-haulers that would benefit. I think there’s a strong public policy case to equalize them by bringing the parking benefit down rather than the transit one up, but the important thing is that we not explicitly encourage people driving to work any more than we already do.

The bill is H.R. 2288. In the Senate it is known as the “Commuter Benefits Equity Act” (S. 1116). The bills are in the Ways and Means and Finance Committees, respectively.

ST Updates Link Station Data Report


Sound Transit spokesperson Bruce Gray has informed us that a compilation error caused some of the station level data we released earlier to be incorrect.  In Service Change 19 (June 9, 2012 to September 28, 2012) the information from page one did not match that from page four.  I’ve uploaded the corrected data here and updated the original post and my spreadsheet.  While on the subject of station data, I’d like to draw your attention to some analysis done by John Niles at his Public Interest Transportation Forum.  Link’s high seasonal variation is almost entirely due to fluxuations at Westlake, SeaTac and Stadium Stations.  John’s interesting graphs below the fold:

Continue reading “ST Updates Link Station Data Report”

Transit in the Construction Zone


A few weekends ago, I forgot to check the construction and traffic alerts before getting in my car and got stuck in one hell of a traffic jam on Aurora Ave N, headed south toward downtown Seattle from Greenwood. Highway 99 was closed from Valley through the Battery Street Tunnel yet I, unaware of what was going on, failed to plan and drove right into an complete standstill, made worse by the difficulty of exiting the road south of the exit to Dexter.

Maybe such a failure of planning is to be expected for some portion of normal drivers. But when I came home and checked how the bus routes on Aurora were being rerouted I was surprised to see they were staying on 99 all the way down to Valley! That’s several trips per hour, on routes that use Aurora for its speed, moving few people very slowly. Watching King County Metro and the state and city transportation departments fail as badly to plan as I did was hard to take.

When severe congestion makes transit severely unreliable, people who absolutely must get where they’re going are more likely to drive, making the congestion even worse. People considering optional trips are more likely to stay home, causing economic impacts in the area and generally frustrating people’s desires, making them less happy. Mass transit has the ability to use road space very efficiently, to provide more trips with less congestion. But people have to be willing to take it; there has to be an incentive.

This is, of course, the reason we’ve added bus lanes on Aurora and parts of 520, and will be adding more. It’s the reason we need to add bi-directional bus lanes on I-5 all through Seattle, and on the route the West Seattle buses will take after the Viaduct comes down. And it’s the reason we need bus lanes through construction zones.

That weekend there was a hard bottleneck at Aurora and Valley and only a limited number of vehicles could get through. But if we had maintained a bus lane all the way through the bottleneck we could have made the most of that limited number of vehicles. We didn’t. It was miserable. And we aren’t, by any current plans, going to maintain bus lanes through the long-term bottleneck caused by Mercer West construction, and that will be miserable, too.

Continue reading “Transit in the Construction Zone”

Transportation Funding Town Hall Rescheduled for June 19

Metro had scheduled a town hall for last Thursday, June 6, to discuss funding sources and potential cuts.  But I guess Metro got wise to the fact that everybody and his uncle was having an open house that night, so they wisely rescheduled for June 19 at Bellevue City Hall.  That’s good news for folks who want to make sure their voice is heard:

5:30-6:30 p.m. – open house and comment period (concourse)
6:30-8 p.m. – moderated town hall (council chambers)

Bellevue City Hall
450 110th Ave NE

More here.

News Roundup: Fancy New Trains


This is an open thread.

Mercer Island Station Open House Report Clarifications

A few minor changes to details in the Mercer Island Station Open House Report have been made, to wit:

1: Paul Cornish is a project manager in civil engineering at Sound Transit.

2: While East Link construction will begin in 2015, Mercer Island Station construction begins in 2016, when the center lanes of I-90 are scheduled to be closed.

3: Hewitt and his firm are handling the design for the station at this point.

4: Paul Bennett is also the name of a Sound Transit engineer, so the post was edited to avoid confusion.

Finally, an extra sentence concerning the acoustic walls was added.

Curtis King Wants Sales Tax for Transit, Not MVETs

Senator Curtis King (Yakima)

Yesterday, Senate Transportation Committee Chair Curtis King unveiled his own transportation proposal to compete with the bill that’s currently being tossed around in the House.  The House bill, HB 1954, would allow King County to raise a 1.5% MVET– 60% for Metro, 40% for roads– but only by voter approval.  The gripe of many on this blog is that the provisions for transit are welded to a massively disproportional allocation to new roads, which has put many transit advocates in a quandary.

Any silver lining that exists in the House bill is vanquished by the Senate proposal, which contains no state money for transit, pedestrians, or cyclists.  And instead of allowing the more sustainable and progressive MVET to fund local transit, Sen. King is proposing to raise the sales tax ceiling from 0.9% to 1.2%.  In a perfect world, the 0.3% increase is probably enough to plug Metro’s budget hole of $60 million/year.  That perfect world, however, would have to be immune to recessions and have no poor people in it.

The reality, of course, is that shifting primarily to sales tax for revenue is partly the reason why we got into this mess in the first place.  Social justice advocates should also cringe at the proposal, which effectively increases the tax burden on the poor.   As the Senate transportation package is coming from a staunch transit opponent, I see little reason for transit advocates to take this proposal seriously.

Suing Our Way to Better Transit

In Wisconsin, they’re enlisting the judicial branch in service of improving transit:

A federal judge in Wisconsin has allowed a lawsuit against a major urban freeway project to proceed, agreeing with community groups that low-income residents could suffer “irreparable harm” if the project moves forward. The groups contend that the project advantages wealthier auto commuters at the expense of poorer transit riders , and the judge found that the plaintiffs have a likelihood of success on the merits.

The plaintiffs argue that transit-dependent city residents need access to jobs in the suburbs served by the project, that the project will accelerate development in suburban locations, and that the project will have detrimental effects on air quality. The project’s EIS provides evidence of substantial transit service between the core urban area on the eastern end of the project and suburban Waukesha County, the western terminus of the project. However with the exception of one route, this service is structured to provide peak travel-direction service for suburban residents accessing jobs in the city and does not provide reverse access.

Our local politicians’ behavior on this issue is increasingly schizophrenic.  On the one hand, they’re setting ambitious targets to reduce our carbon impact, while on the other, they embark on expensive carbon-inducing highway expansions. Getting more transit via litigation is incredibly inefficient, but it might be a way to “heighten the contradictions,” so to speak.

To be sure, Olympia did not invent this schizophrenia. They inherited it from the voters. The voters are the ones who support reducing carbon emissions, but are unwilling to incur any costs to do so.  The fault, as Cassius says to Brutus, lies not within our stars, but within ourselves.

(via Human Transit)

Metro Looks to Hire New Chief Service Planner

From the King County Jobs posting:

Job Title: Transit Supervisor – Service Planning
Opening Date/Time: Thu. 06/06/13 12:00 AM Pacific Time
Closing Date/Time: Mon. 06/24/13 4:30 PM Pacific Time
Salary: $96,250.34 – $116,359.36 Annually
Job Type: Career Service, Full Time, 40 hrs/week

As supervisor of the Service Planning group in the Transit Division’s Service Development Section, this position manages, supervises and directs short range transit service planning and prepares service change recommendations consistent with the policy direction in King County Metro Transit’s Strategic Plan for Public Transportation and associated service guidelines. This position supervises a skilled staff of eight transportation planners who perform this work.

This is a highly visible position that represents transportation plans and planning guidelines to a wide variety of audiences and decision-makers. With its peer workgroup supervisors who manage strategic and long-range planning, route facilities, transit systems and traffic engineering, market development and bus scheduling, this position is responsible for planning effective transit services and increasing usage of the public transportation system. Work is performed independently under the general supervision of the Service Development Manager.

People at Metro tell me that this public posting is not merely pro forma: the agency is looking to hire either internally or externally for this position. The person who takes it will likely oversee at least two major changes to the King County Metro system: either the 17% “doomsday” cuts, or a modest systemwide increase in service, depending on whether and when new revenue is forthcoming in the next couple of years; the opening of University Link in 2016; and the opening of North Link in 2021.

From my observations, Metro’s planning staff, if left to their own devices, would build the kind of transit network most STB authors and readers would love to see, prioritizing frequency on core routes over coverage, while management is primarily concerned with keeping the King County Council happy, which translates into something quite different. The chief planner seems to operate as the interface between planning staff and management, so this role can be intense when major changes are in the offing.

While the Council controls the broad strokes of policy, I’ve seen first-hand the beneficial effects that the right staff person in the right place can have on transit planning, and this is one of the most important staff positions out there. If you have professional contacts who might be qualified for this role, please forward this opening to them and encourage them to apply.

This vacancy arises from the transition of the previous planning supervisor, David Hull, to be the head of Accessible Services. I’d like to publicly thank David for his copious hard work on last year’s RapidRide C/D restructure, and for answering so many of my difficult questions via email and in person over the last couple of years.

April 2013 ST Ridership Report


Sound Transit’s April 2013 ridership report is out and shows continued year-on-year gains for all services.

April’s Central Link Weekday/Saturday/Sunday boardings were 27,019/19,515/14,643, changes of +11.1%, -5.7%, and +4.4% respectively over April 2012. Sounder’s weekday boardings were up 6.0% (despite mudslides on the North Line). Total Tacoma Link ridership was up 2.2% but weekday ridership declined 0.4%. Weekday ST Express ridership was up 11.0%.

April was the fourth month in a row where Central Link Weekday ridership increase 10% or more year over year and the eleventh month of the last thirteen.

My Link charts below the fold.

Continue reading “April 2013 ST Ridership Report”