2011 Was a Long Time Ago.  Photo from Wings777/Flickr - ST Link 122A
2011 Was a Long Time Ago. Photo from Wings777/Flickr – ST Link 122A

Along with local revenue, Central Link was built using money from the Federal Government.  As part of the $500 million Full Funding Agreement with Sound Transit the Federal Transit Administration required a Before & After Study.  The study compared transit ridership in the the corridor from the fall of 2011 (two years after the opening of the line) to the fall of 2008 (one year before the opening of the line) and to agency projections.  The initial report was submitted to the Federal Transit Administration in July of 2012.  The Federal Transit Administration responded with some desired changes.  A Before & After study was a recent addition to Federal Transit Administration grant requirements, so this was uncharted territory for Sound Transit.  According to Sound Transit Spokesperson Bruce Gray:

The changes came from FTA feedback asking for a more “apples to apples” comparison of predicted ridership vs. actual.  The earlier draft used ridership estimates for the project as planned from NE 45th Street to S. 200th for the earliest project planning milestones, and from Westlake to Tukwila International Blvd. for the FFGA [Full Funding Grant Agreement] milestone.  The latest draft reflects the ridership ST would have predicted using the same information that was available at the time of those milestones for the project from downtown to SeaTac/Airport.

Last spring Sound Transit sent the final report to the Federal Transit Administration.  The earlier draft of the Before & After Study is here, the final draft here.  The latest report is well worth a read.  More below the fold.

The meat of the report changed little between versions.  In the fall of 2011 Central Link was not meeting its projections.  There were multiple reasons but the largest was without a doubt the Great Recession.  There were 80,000 less jobs downtown in 2011 than originally forecast by PSRC, the basis of Sound Transit’s ridership projections.  Other factors mentioned: the slow adoption of new transit service in Beacon Hill and the Rainier Valley Corridor, slow ORCA Card adoption, poor integration with existing transit service, travel time reliability issues in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, larger headways, and fare differences, especially the Ride Free Zone.

Some of those have been resolved but others are an ongoing process.  As the most recent update notes, Link’s ridership is now growing faster than projected.  Instead of the 2-3% ‘mature’ rate expected in 2011, Link was and is still growing by double digits.  In fact ridership is growing faster now than it was a year ago!

Which brings me to my conclusion.  With all the great data collected and interesting analysis performed*, I was left disappointed at the lost potential.  For the time and hard work that was put into this report it’s just a shame that it had to be produced so quickly after the opening of the line.  Most of the report is near useless for drawing any meaningful conclusions, it was just written too soon.  I’d love to see all this analysis done on data taken from fall of 2015 instead of 2011.

*Check out the ‘linked transit trips’ work done on the corridor (pg 14 of the document, 18 of the pdf).  That’s a cool little metric!

58 Replies to “Link: Before & After”

  1. I’ve seen it said several times that truncating the 101 and 150 were part of the ridership assumptions somewhere along the way in Link planning. Such a proposal is nowhere to be found in these reports. Does anyone recall seeing such a proposal from official sources?

    1. Truncate it where?

      By the time it’s done doing its local milk run stops, it’s ready to become an express and take 10 minutes to downtown.

      You’re not going to replace that with another 35 minutes of LINK are you?

      At best, what we need are more Sounders runs…all day…all night…all weekend.

      1. The 150 is NOT 10 minutes to downtown from when it becomes an express. If traffic is light, it’s 10 minutes from the last stop in Tukwila to the SODO busway/Spokane stop. From there, it’s at least another 10-15 minutes to downtown, depending on where within downtown you want to go.

    2. That was all before my time, but I don’t recall seeing actual routes listed. My reading is just that ST thought Metro would ‘do more.’

      Metro on the other hand says they couldn’t do more b/c they weren’t sure about about prices and transfers.

      It’s kinda biting us on the butt now as ST isn’t including bus truncations/reroutes in their Lynnwood studies.

    3. Two years ago I came upon Link planning documents (EIS?) that I intended to write a post about but since I never wrote about it I might as well post this image of a map of one of the conceptual bus networks they came up with. I do not remember where this came from or what were the assumptions were.


      1. The assumptions appear to be that RBS would be the terminus of numerous milk runs and that people would then willingly transfer for a 26 minute Link ride to downtown.

      2. That document appears to be an ST preliminary planning document, with Southcenter still on the table as an LRT route. So, there exists at least one document in which ST pondered the possibility of truncating a number of routes (including the 101 and 102) at Rainier Beach Station. It certainly doesn’t fall into the category of “broken promise to voters” by any stretch of the imagination.

    4. ST can’t order Metro to do something. ST would have put it in an official report only if Metro had said definitely it was going to do it. With Metro now acting like it never heard of the idea — or more accurately, that it has mused over it but is not ready to do it anytime soon — it’s highly unlikely that Metro decided to do this when ST1 was planned and then somehow forgot.The only time I’ve heard it suggested is by transit fans.

      And what the truncating-is-the-only-way people need to understand is, it’s a judgment call whether these corridors are close enough to Link to warrant truncation. There are reasonable arguments on both sides of that. And since Metro is the one making that decision, it’s reasonable for it to choose either way. These are gateway routes to different parts of the county, and the south county is so wide and so populous that it argubaly deserves more than one trunk. The 150 clearly has the best ridership in the whole south county, and it’s already taking people 1 1/2 hours to get from east Kent to downtown without making it longer. That could only happen in an off-peak exchange for twice the frequency — or a cut where Metro can’t afford to run the route as-is any longer. The 101 is weaker because ridership has not stepped up to the plate: Renton got this great all-day express and now it’s barely using it. I don’t understand what’s wrong with Renton, but there’s a greater argument for cutting the cord there.

      1. For purposes of this post, I was mostly looking for ST’s planning assumptions, and anything tantamount to a promise. Thanks, Oran!

  2. Conspicuously absent from the various bus charts is ST’s own 574 (which took over a portion of the old 194 route). It is certainly a source of linked trips at Airport Station, albeit way behind the linked trips from the A Line.

    1. The 574 is supposed to be a faster way to get to the airport than the A-line. The problem is, the higher speeds are compensated for by lower frequency. In practice, if you are waiting at Federal Way TC and see the A-line come first, unless you have OneBusAway to tell you that the 574 is really coming right behind it, you are probably better off simply hopping on the A-line. Remember, the 574 has to travel through unpredictable Tacoma traffic before it gets to Federal Way, so I would take any scheduled 574 passages through Federal Way with a grain of salt.

      1. The RTA signs at Federal Way TC have served me well when deciding a way to get back to Seattle any time I’ve visited that suburb. With the slight re-routing for the 574 southbound around the airport, it will be interesting to see if anyone is even attempting to take the 574 south from Airport Station (although a load factor of nearly 1.0 are taking it south from the south terminal airport stop).

        That said, I’m hoping a restructure of the 574 when Angle Lake Station opens will boost ridership (and along with it, frequency) on the 574, and that Kent will get a relatively quick direct connection to Angle Lake Station, whether it be via Metro or ST Express. Without those quickened connections, Angle Lake Station has little more to offer than a parking garage and a short walk to a bike/hike trail. Indeed, 216th has a lot more to offer than 200th, and if giving Des Moines a 216th Station gets them to go along with keeping Link on Pac Hwy, I’m down with that, especially if both 216th and CWU-Des Moines Station become more than park&ride stations.

        The parking garage may be the only thing causing ridership at Angle Lake Station to collapse to nil once more stations open further south. To put it another way, it is a jobs program created by the political inertia of the original plan to build a station south of the airport as part of the original line, and to build it cheaply by finding the spot closest to the airport that allowed for buses to connect from the south. And then the process moved Link over to MLK, but the location of the next station south of the airport didn’t get a re-look. It was a political inertia event that will cost taxpayers a mere tens of millions of dollars in capital costs, and an extra 40 seconds in travel time getting downtown in perpetuity, for no particular reason.

        The salvageable utility of Angle Lake Station is the possibility of not building any more parking garages next to the stations until at least Redondo Heights Station.

      2. It’s hard to see how a bus from Kent to Angle Lake station would work. Going north it would have to get almost to SeaTac station to cross the freeway, so it might as well continue to SeaTac station. That’s 20 minutes by the way, which cancels out any advantage over the 150, and it’s already going as fast as it can. From the south, it would have a long stretch on Military Road, which is low-density single family. It’s hard to see a new route doing that when the 180 is doing the same thing a bit north — and it would still probably take 20 minutes anyway.

      3. Mike,

        There is an exit from I-5 to Military Rd just south of where it crosses over I-5. Going south, there is a direct on-ramp.

        Oran’s link shows the 192 all the way on Military Rd S, west of I-5, to the proposed station at 200th St. Did the 192 used to run that way? The link also shows the “N” Line taking I-5 and then getting off I-5 at 200th.

        I’m hoping we can have a BRT-ish route to Olympia in the next few years, so transit advocates can actually have a presence there. The question in my mind is whether it makes the most sense to have the 574 extend and become that route, to have the Olympia route cut off at Tacoma Dome Station, or to run it all the way to downtown Seattle, basically extending the 594 and removing the Commerce/Market St crawl that duplicates Tacoma Link. Having the Olympia route cut off at SR 512 P&R would be an exercise in re-inventing the flat tire.

  3. It’s a very interesting report. The back-projections for “Airport Line” ridership were kind of questionable in any case. I think the post-University Link “Before and After”, comparing to the original projections for the full University-Airport line, will be more interesting.

    It’s interesting to note that operations costs were high due to “security” requirements from the federal government. We need less security, guys.

    1. Didn’t they also step up security in the DSTT after an incident or two? Granted the tunnel security is a shared cost with Metro, so ST would only have to pay a portion. I see way too many security guards wandering around the underground stations – usually 2-3 in the DSTT stations and 1 at Beacon Hill. Then again, some people probably think there aren’t enough.

    2. No, I think the security is at the right level – and I use the light rail a few times a year. All it takes is one evil person with a bomb to totally change many lives – remember 7/7/2005 and 3/11/2003.

      Sorry if that bothers some, but we do live in such a world. Just because even Republicans can swoon over Seattle with Blue Angels & Seahawks and Sound Transit doesn’t mean everybody on Planet Earth does. Okay?

      1. Terrorist attacks represent an infinitesimally small number of deaths and injuries in the world. The London bombings killed 52 people and injured 700 more. In contrast, as an example, over a million people die every year from malaria. That’s over 50 times as many people as died in the London bombings, every single day.

        Even in the US, over 100 people die in car crashes every day. That’s two of the London bombings, every single day.

        I’m actually glad that the DSTT has full-time security guards standing watch. It increases the perception of safety, which almost definitely increases ridership.

        But if we’re interested in saving lives, we need to recognize that terrorist attacks are one of the least probable ways to die. In terms of money spent per life saved, we’re well past the point of diminishing returns.

      2. “Do you honestly believe the presence of Securitas will prevent bombings? If so, you’re deluding yourself.”

        This. “More security” seems to be mostly theater and intimidation of citizens, nothing to do with actually making things more safe.

    3. What a waste of ink by the FTA. A million spent on this could have bought 8,000 bus hours. It’s over two years dated, and basically says it happened too soon to mean anything.
      So the grant was effectively only $499m.
      And ULink is not a New Start, so no report is due from that, I believe.

      1. U LInk is a New Starts project to the tune of $813 million in a construction grant, and a Before and After report is still required under Federal Regulations. The requirement goes back over a decade, and still stands according to http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/MAP-21_Fact_Sheet_-_Fixed_Guideway_Capital_Investment_Grants.pdf .

        Thanks to STB for smoking out a revised draft of Sound Transit’s efforts to document Central Link Initial Segment + Airport in a revised Before and After report. Getting the earlier draft out in view in the summer of 2012 was like pulling teeth. The State Auditor got it before me despite my PDA requests, and publicized findings in it.

        Before and After studies on Federal New Starts projects are a requirement imposed by Congress, and an annual letter report from FTA to Congress is required every August, supposedly. However, those reports to Congress are not visible since the beginning of the Obama Administration, as seen in the FTA Library list at http://www.fta.dot.gov/newsroom/library_13703.html .

      2. Thanks for the post AW to get a glimpse of how other transit systems increase ridership, spend money, and gage results.
        Seattle could learn from others success stories, but prefers to remain sealed in it’s comfy “EchoChamber” of denial.

      3. Seriously, how many thousands of doom-and-gloom words did we get from Mic over the years about this report?

  4. What the heck?

    Is Seattle Transit Blog gonna post their recommendations for the election after the election is over???

    I guess that is one way to pick the winners.


    1. They will be posted tomorrow. This post was written a week ago, just scheduled for today.

  5. While I am a complete advocate for better transit (and absolutely not an anti-transit troll), I am still very concerned about the extremely high cost to ridership ratio of Link Light Rail. The initial segment of Link cost $2.4 billion, and with the 32,000 riders it is getting currently, this results in approximately $75,000 per weekday boarding. This is extremely high compared to most North American cities–as shown by the following comparison to rail lines recently opened or under construction.

    *Vancouver Canada Line: $2.1 billion, 136,000 riders as of June 2011 = c. $15,000/weekday boarding

    *Vancouver Evergreen Line (opening 2016): $1.4 billion, 70,000 riders (2021 projection) = c. $20,000/weekday boarding

    *Calgary’s West LRT (most recent line): $1.5 billion, 35,000 riders projected (I believe that this proejection has been exceeded) = c. $43,000/weekday rider. Even this line has been criticized for its high cost/ridership ratio: http://tinyurl.com/b7dqd4j

    *Phoenix LRT: $1.4 billion, 46,000 riders (Q4 2012) = c. $30,000/weekday rider

    *Houston Main St LRT: $325 million, 36,000 riders (2012) = c. $9,000/weekday rider

    *Minneapolis Green Line LRT (opening 2014): $920 milion, 42,000 riders (2030) = c. $22,000/weekday rider

    (Most figures are from Wikipedia and estimated: if you have better numbers feel free to post them)

    Note that the last three are street-level light rail so the cost isn’t comparable to Link Light Rail, but still it seems like we should have been able to get more riders with the amount of money we spent… Part of this is probably due to land use, and another part on poor bus connections, but hopefully these can be fixed. Also, we ought to learn from our mistakes here in order for future extensions to be more effective.

    1. Josh, I’m not an expert on those other lines, but I would suggest the key word in your post is “initial”. As the system is built out and more and more segments come online, and more and more people use an ever-expanding network, I think it’s reasonable to expect Link’s ratio to adjust accordingly.

    2. It seems like some of these are unfair comparisons. For any lines opening in the future, can you really trust the final costs and ridership estimates? You’re also using different time spans between opening and the projected or actual ridership.

      Canada Line obviously has a huge ridership with a comparable cost to Link. Does it benefit from network effects that don’t apply to the first light rail line in Seattle?

      I have a feeling that ridership growth when Link is extended to UW will get us to a better per-boarding cost.

      1. The Canada Line benefits from being designed and executed as functioning urban transit, which Sound Transit seems to have a perverse desire to see Link not do.

      2. The Canada Line benefits from network effects in a general sense in that there is a large transit using population willing to use a new service, but there are no direct network effects because the Canada Line doesn’t actually intersect with the other lines. The Vancouver-Airport-Richmond corridor which the Canada Line covers is probably the third strongest transit corridor. The strongest is the Expo Line with about 200,000 weekday riders, and then the Broadway-Lougheed corridor which is only partially covered by the Millennium Line at 70,000 weekday riders and partly covered by bus lines at about 70,000 weekday riders. When the line is completed along the whole corridor, this will be at 200,000 weekday riders very quickly – actually might be stronger than the Expo Line. (No firm plans to do this, but I think that it must be done. Those buses are completely packed.) These numbers compared to Link’s have always made me wonder whether the Link corridor makes sense.

      3. Canada is a different regulatory environment, and its cities and provinces decisively support TOD to the level of 20-story residential towers which are unthinkable here. Phoenix, Houston, Minneapolis: do any of these have as much grade-separation as Link? That’s what drives up the cost, but it also drives up the quality because the train isn’t crawling slowly or stopping at intersections.

      4. I’ve been on the Canada Line and Vancouver’s original SkyTrain line. I don’t recall it being that much effort to transfer between them.

      5. That the Canada Line and Expo Line meet only on the furthest periphery of downtown means that very few trips find advantages in using both of them.

        Almost any imaginable two-dimensional trip across the city grid, or between inner suburbs, will be better taken on one train and one bus. Headed from Richmond to Commercial Drive? Take the Canada Line and the 99 B-Line. From Surrey to Punjabi Market? Expo Line to the 49 bus (10-minute headway) or even to a Main Street bus (some backtracking, shorter bus leg, 7.5-minute headway). But you’d never go all the way to Waterfront.

        You might — might — take both trains if headed from Pacific Central Station to somewhere in the Canada Line’s catchment area with bulky luggage. But there are few other circumstances for which heading all the way into downtown makes sense.


        Mike, those are called “excuses”. And while regulatory and political difficulties certainly affect costs, they are not wholly responsible for whether or not a result is a success or a disappointment.

        We all agree that grade-separation is ideal, and we all know that it is expensive. The question is, when viewed as a whole, are you building something that will be useful enough to justify the extraordinary costs?

        If you spend billions to give access to mere thousands, then you’re doing it wrong, and you need to seriously rethink your strategy rather than tripling down on all of your past mistakes!

      6. That the Millenium line loops backward on itself is also ridiculous, and something I’ve never seen in another network. It may have been intended to boost frequency in east Van and Metrotown and New West, but i wonder how people in Braid and Renfrew feel about having to go east to go west, or transfer at Commercial Drive to the same line going the opposite direction.

      7. The connecting train comes every two or three minutes. The result is seemless travel in three possible directions. That’s how they feel.

        I would think this would be a non-issue to someone who routinely advocates urbanity-hostile stop spacing that would require you to wait for a fucking bus just to reach a destination in the same direction and directly above.

        Also, guess you’ve never heard or London’s Circle Line. Or the Yamanote.

      8. Also, and more to the point of the thread:
        Skytrain = whopping success
        Anti-urban Link = a tiny fraction thereof

        So, there’s that.

    3. As stated in the post Link is still experiencing significant growth, over 10% year over year. Also as stated there have been significant… speed bumps so far.

      One thing not mentioned in the report is that I imagine not many rail lines start off serving some of their poorest areas first.

      For all of these reasons I don’t we’ll get an accurate picture of Link’s success for years to come.

      1. … when it’s too late to plan anything better.
        At that point you just shrug, and react to the situation with some betterments along the way.

    4. My phrasing was kind of lumpen, and I was going to clarify before posting, but d.p. has said it better. I’m not sure that there really is a direct network effect for the Canada and Expo lines because switching between them wouldn’t happen very often. You can make a transfer downtown with a one block walk – and I don’t complain about that because having a direct underground route would be more trouble than its worth – but there are limited trips where it makes sense to do this. Mostly there are more direct trips on buses, particularly the 99.

      The original plan for the Millennium Line was to have it extend at least partly down Broadway, but it was cut down to something like a minimum operating segment as a first phase to save money. The resulting shorter line and the Millennium and Expo interlining is confusing, and it seems silly to have the line loop around under itself, but really the line operates as separate segments. First, along Lougheed, and then looping south to connect Coquitlam with New Westminster. I was very skeptical that this shortened first phase made sense, but strangely even the odd parts of this line get used. I have used the Braid station on several occasions even though it doesn’t seem like an auspicious location on the map. The Millennium Line will become much more logical and much, much more heavily used when it is extended all along Broadway and after the interlining with the Expo Line stops. (This interlining will have to stop at some point because the Expo Line will have to run at full frequency into Surrey to handle demand.)

      1. It doesn’t take an extra half hour because no one would travel the whole loop. (It is also not really a loop. The lines are vertically separated at Broadway, the original Expo alignment is elevated and the Millennium line is in an old railway cut.) If you want to travel downtown from any station on the Millennium Line, you can take trains in either direction. However, if you go towards VCC, you will have to transfer at Broadway to go downtown. So at Lougheed, you take a train west, then transfer at Broadway to a train heading into downtown. Because of the interlining, this could actually be a Millennium Line train that is heading downtown. But if you are at Braid, it probably makes sense to take a train heading south to New Westminster and then northwest to downtown. This is a somewhat longer distance but avoids the transfer at Broadway. So the whole thing makes more sense than is obvious from a map.

        But it would make more sense if this was built as originally planned. Originally the line was to have been T shaped with an east west line along Broadway Lougheed from Arbutus to Lougheed Town Centre and then a second one from New Westminster up to Lougheed Town Centre and then on to Coquitlam Town Centre. But this was expensive to build all at once, so it was truncated to a minimum operating segment, and that needed to be one that connected to the old alignment at New West so the trainsets could use the original maintenance centre. (The lines cross eachother at Broadway, but there is a large vertical separation that would have required a special connection if the trainsets were to transfer between alignments there.) The Evergreen Line now under construction is really just completing the eastern portion of the originally planned line, and the Broadway UBC discussion is about completing the Broadway part of the Millennium Line and extending that all the way to UBC.

        The nomenclature also makes it confusing. Because of the interlining, there are Millennium and Expo trains on the old Expo alignment, but I really just think of the whole Expo alignment from downtown to Surrey as being the Expo Line and only the newly built alignment as the Millennium Line. And the think the ridership statistics follow this so that Expo Line ridership is boardings at the old Expo Line stations and Millennium ridership is boardings on the newer Millennium Line stations.

        When the Evergreen Line is completed, the interlining will change. The current Millennium trains will leave downtown on the old Expo alignment, separate onto the Millennium alignment at New West and then terminate at Lougheed Town Centre. The Evergreen Line trains will leave Douglas College, travel west to Lougheed Town Centre, join the Millennium alignment and travel to VCC. So most of the current Millennium alignment will essentially become part of the Evergreen Line. (I think that this is the current plan. It has flipped around a bit.)

  6. There are some pretty amazing changes in bus ridership between 2008 and 2011.

    *The 14S lost almost half its ridership–that’s hard to explain. Any ideas?

    *Ridership from the Burien P&R routes (121, 122, 123, 131, 132, 134) also took a large drop. Ridership dropped about 29% but revenue hours increased by 7%. Maybe riders chose to drive to Tukwila and catch Link?

    The 34/39 combo lost almost half its ridership, too. It also had a significant cut in revenue hours–midday service reduced to 45 minute headways– and a change in terminal (Rainier Beach to Othello). Ridership on the 50 appears to be significantly higher than ridership on the 34/39, however.

    Total ridership from Renton on routes 101, 102 & 106 seems to have held up pretty well (down about 5%), but there was a significant increase in revenue hours and there isn’t any information about ridership on route 107.

    Overall, the FTA is right: it’s hard to compare before-and-after ridership because so many of the routes were changed and 2011 probably was too soon to accurately gauge trends. But the numbers do show that total ridership on the surveyed routes dropped by 13,480 daily riders compared to Link’s average daily ridership (fall 2011) of 23,400 passengers. So that’s an overall increase of about 10,000 daily rides.

  7. The 14S lost almost half its ridership–that’s hard to explain. Any ideas?

    Having lived in it’s walkshed during that time period, I have some ideas.
    *Fundamental changes to CD bus service. The frequent, all-day 8 replaced the locally-hated turnback 8 (a.k.a the bus that always strands you at Group Health Instead of taking you home), with a new reliable 1-seat ride to Capitol Hill and Queen Anne from 23rd and Jackson
    *A lot of 23rd and Jackson riders who used to make downtown transfers started riding the 8 buses per hour to Mount Baker instead. I was one of these riders, commuting from the CD to SODO via 48+Link, whereas before I was doing 14+150.
    *Gentrification on the corridor. The 14 is an unpleasant, slow, crowded, poorly climate-controlled bus even today, and the new white collar population moving in to the CD absolutely refuses to ride it, preferring to bicycle, taxi, or just plain drive (one of the easiest neighborhoods in the city to drive Downtown from).

  8. [Ad hom] Most of you didn’t address the main point of the post. I’ve seen this before in posts. You often comment about unrelated topics that have nothing to do with the gist of the piece. Try to focus on what the blogger is saying, then reply to that. But don’t use the post as an excuse to get something off your chest or babble about some tangentially related topic.

  9. Here’s a thought provoking article in the Trib on tolling along the S.Link Corridor, allthough rail is not mentioned in the article. Somehow, our local mindset is that roads and rail are not “”Linked””(pardon the pun).
    If the State and PSRC has it’s way, most major arterials and freeways will be tolled in some fashion from HOT lanes to All Lanes in the future. This would be a huge game changer for travel behavior, but seems to fall on deaf ears when looking at our corridors using the long range set of binoculars.
    In the final analysis, we should be looking at the cost of mobility for average families, and make decisions based on that criteria. My guess is that most people would be better off with a network of both bus/rail facilities in the region, rather than a single-grossly expensive- Bart II look-a-like system being built.
    Opps, I better duck my head back into the safety of the “EchoChamber”, lest it get cut off.

    1. But a network of both bus/rail facilities in the region is exactly what Sound Transit is building.

      1. Not Exactly, (ref: Bus rail Integration per d.p., mic, others – ad nauseum).
        Buses coming within a block of a rail line with no way to get from one to the other is not, repeat, NOT a network of convenient, simple, frequent transfer opportunities most hours of the day, from one mode to the other, using a common fare media, and NO penalty for transferring (which is more efficient $$ for the agencies involved).
        Yes, Seattle is building a rail line. Yes, Seattle has bus routes.
        Technically, you win.

      2. Dateline 2017, STB post on ULink Ridership:
        asdf responds to mic’s post on anemic ridership levels if less than half that forecast for U-Link’s first year of operation.
        ‘Yes, ridership is down, but that is because all the N. end and 520 buses are not truncated at Husky Stadium by Metro, but just wait until 2021 when the Northgate segment opens. Then you’ll see ridership go through the roof’.
        … this wait is killing me!

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