According to Sound Transit’s Rider Alerts:

Posted: July 5 – 12:09 pm

  • On Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7, from 6 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. each day, Link trains may have minor delays between Rainier Beach and Tukwila International Blvd stations due to track maintenance.

This is a correction to the July 3rd Rider Alert posted on ST’s website and put out over text (it was incorrectly put under Sounder Alerts, so you might have missed it).

Posted: July 3 – 2:11 pm

  • On Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7, from 6 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. each day, Link trains may have minor delays between Rainier Beach and Tukwila International Blvd stations due to track maintenance.
  • On Sunday, from 6 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., the northbound platform at Tukwila International Blvd Station will be closed. To ride Link trains in both directions, please use the southbound platform. Link staff will be available to help.

It also differs from the [incorrect and since removed] platform announcement I heard Friday morning which was along the lines of:

On Saturday July 6th and Sunday July 7th Central Link Light Rail will be operating every 20 minutes due to track maintenance.

And also from the incorrect announcement posted for ST employees Friday at the OMF:

Notice posted at Link OMF when I signed in for work today indicates elevated track inspection on July 6 and 7 requiring single track operation and 25 minute service most of both days.

As someone who has lived in four other states and half a dozen other cities I have to say that without a doubt Seattle has the most responsive governments I have ever dealt with. It’s not even close. I’m talking orders of magnitude better. Within an hour of me reporting the inconsistencies between the platform message and the rider alert ST Spokesperson Bruce Gray had not only responded to my email but the announcements had been fixed. That said, putting out the correct information in the first place should be pretty simple. A quick reaction is no substitute for getting it right the first time.

14 Replies to “Weekend Service: Clearing the Air”

  1. To me, there’s a big difference between saying trains may experience minor delays over the weekend, and saying there will be a reduction in service to every 20 or 25 minutes. The former suggests regular service, but your train may have to sit at a station for a few extra seconds. If most of the trips will be reduced to every 20 to 25 minutes, they should not say trains “may” have minor delays.

  2. A responsive government would provide a schedule when service is supposed to be every 10-15 minutes but instead is going to operate only every 20-25 minutes.

    I bet that internally they are using a schedule for the operators. But they think riders are too stupid to be able to read one, and their time isn’t worth anything.

  3. Don’t project ST’s responsiveness onto other entities, the fixing of the information in one place onto the fixing of the information in all places, or the quick fix here onto all situations.

    These electronic announcements were fixable. Have the station announcements been fixed? I didn’t hear them at all when I was riding yesterday. Oh, and, um, what is the correct information? Will any platforms be closed? What headway should we expect?

    Compare this to the embarassment and headache of the big oops in the Metro printed schedules:

    “The Sunday schedule shown in this timetable will be operated on the following holidays. No hay servicio en estas rutas los fines de semana o los siguientes feriados:”

    I believe this error is in the schedule of many or all 7-day routes. The headache to Customer Service fielding lots of complaints about this obvious mis-paste that seems to have been done universally could have been avoided by making the pdfs availalble online to the public before going to print. Indeed, the numerous errors in printed schedules recently point to giving the public a week to proofread upcoming new schedules before they go to print. I believe ST has fixed a few errors by putting out the pdfs of their new schedule books, and receiving public feedback, before going to print.

    Moving “South Park” from “3rd & Main” to “8th Ave S & S Kenyon St” could have been fixed in a couple days, instead of taking 8 months. But thanks to Metro for eventually getting it fixed.

    1. The most recent service announcement is the correct one:
      Posted: July 5 – 12:09 pm
      On Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7, from 6 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. each day, Link trains may have minor delays between Rainier Beach and Tukwila International Blvd stations due to track maintenance.

      And I can honestly say that EVERY entity I have dealt with has been very responsive. Sound Transit, Metro, the City. I’m not saying they remedy every complaint but you at least get a response, and usually a fix. Try reaching out to local governments in other areas and you won’t even get the response (at least not where I’ve lived).

    2. I have to concur with Matthew, at least based on my limited experience. Try making a complaint like this to WMATA in DC and they will literally laugh at you. The agencies in New York and Boston will just ignore you.

      Does that mean they communicate perfectly? Oh my goodness no. Anyone who’s ever tried to rely on posted Metro rider alerts is well aware of that. They are just significantly more responsive than counterparts elsewhere.

  4. I caught Link from SeaTac late this morning- I got on the train a few minutes after 11. I had seen/heard the announcements on previous days, so I was prepared for some delays. The train left SeaTac at about 11:25, and was nearly packed.

    Aside from the delays and slowdowns owing to maintenance, TSP seemed to be close to nonfunctional, so by the time we got to Mount Baker station, we were about 12-13 minutes further behind schedule.

    Approaching Beacon Hill, the train driver made an announcement asking people to arrange themselves in the aisles so that as many people as possible could board. Some people may have been left behind at Beacon Hill station- the platform was relatively crowded, but I was in the front car, so I couldn’t see if everyone got on or not. One guy who’d gotten on with his bike at one of the Rainer Valley stations commented that’d he’d let a couple of full trains pass him before getting on this one.

    Thankfully, everyone on the train was in a relatively good mood, except for one guy who was apparently late for work. The people I talked to- one local and two groups of tourists- didn’t seem aware that that there was planned maintenance causing the reduced frequency/slowdows/crowding.

    Real-time arrival information would be great for days like this (or any day, really).

  5. I disagree with much of this post. The only people that see any decent responsiveness from Metro or ST is the STB bloggers. The rest of us are blatantly ignored.

    As for the Link maintenance… why on earth are we doing this during the busiest time of the year?

    We really need real time arrival information for reasons like this. We live in a tech heavy community and a little work on ST’s part to install any sort of tracking equipment and make that data available would turn up gobs of 3rd party solutions.

    As for the delays… we should refrain from using the word “minor” when it actually means trains every 25 minutes. That is a 10 to 15 minute delay as far as I am concerned. Minor would mean a minute or two.

    1. Even before I was a blogger I found the governments out here very responsive (one of the reasons I love this area and moved back).

      But if you think we’ve got more pull feel free to email me at Matthew dot James dot Johnson at Gmail and I’ll try and get you an answer.

      1. Kinda OT but I’ve often wondered if it isn’t a chicken v egg situation. Does local government in the South (lived in AL, FL, GA, and NC) suck so bad b/c people down there hate the government and don’t get involved/properly fund it. Or do people down there hate the government and don’t get involved/properly fund the it b/c the governments suck so bad?

      2. Matthew, in the South government sucks because of a history of institutional racism. I could explain the way this forced government to suck, but it’s a long story. Part of it amounts to racist white people refusing to allow government to function because if it functioned *it might help black people*.

        This also explains governments in a *lot* of other parts of the country. Now, why government in New York City and Boston is nonresponsive or sucks, that is a more interesting question. There isn’t an obvious “we want to make sure those people don’t get anything” going on.

    2. The Sounders and Mariners are out of town. We’re in the eye of the storm between major events. Weekdays are not an option. This is the only good time for ST to do extra Link maintenance this summer.

      I agree that 25-minute headway is not a “minor” delay. So, advertise waits of “up to 25 minutes”. The guy who was late to work could have done the math and taken the 36.

      1. But should you really have to be a wonk on the STB to figure out how to use transit in King County? I’ve been working at it for a while and still discovering things that Trip Planner or Google don’t even clue you in to. For example I found I could take a 234 from S. Kirk TC and catch a 255 I’d just missed in Kirkland about 20% of the time. But, if I didn’t catch the 255 at Kirkland TC I didn’t know I could stay on the bus and catch a 244 peak direction only on 124th Street. But that trick only works when I want to be at work at 8:30AM and fails by a cycle of the light (damn far side stops!) if I’m try to get to work at 8:00AM. And forget about taking the bus if you want to get to work at 9:00AM; you’ll get there at 9:30AM no matter what. Mostly I think people just give up and say, with some justification, transit sucks.

  6. Nice image if we can only move the station to Columbia City (Rainer) where there are businesses to visit.

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