This is an open thread.

79 Replies to “News Roundup: A Little Moldy”

    1. We favor non-profits in many ways, including being able to write off contributions to them.

  1. I hope Murray would clarify transportation policy specifics with respect to studying the possibility of or advocating for light rail for West Seattle. Oh wait now, he can’t get too specific, he’s trying to win an election.

    1. It’s pretty clear to me at this point that he doesn’t have any specific policies in mind, nor is he actually familiar with any local issues at all. He’s just going to wait for various interests to approach him with their desired policies.

      1. I guess all Ed Murray is promoting is ambiguous change? Gee, that never went bad for us before…

    1. That paper kept repeating the assumption that rail was the “faster transit mode” and concludes that American bike-transit users, who don’t seem to prefer trains to buses, don’t show a preference for speed where European ones do. I think that’s probably the wrong conclusion. For most trips the traveler doesn’t make a mode-based choice; the choice is obvious based on the destination. In America it’s more common for the fastest option to be a bus route, or for there to be no rail option anywhere close.

      I bet if they could break down all buses and trains by speed instead of mode they’d find that the American preference is indeed for speed above all else. Surely some people bike to a bus that takes them up a steep hill, and some people bike to a bus that takes them along a street that isn’t especially fast but that they aren’t comfortable riding on, but most people I see bike to a bus that goes faster than they can ride.

      1. A large purpose of biking to the bus is speed, as it avoids an extra round of waiting, a potentially circuitous route (depending on the area). And, when stops are taken into account, a bike has an average speed at least as good as many local bus routes.

  2. I hope Ben Franklin can salvage those Gilligs. Even if they have to replace the entire interior, it’d be one hell of a good deal. Sound Transit hasn’t come anywhere close to using them up; 40′ coaches can’t be used on as many routes today as they could back in ’99, and they haven’t been accumulating all that many miles.

    Plus, unlike Metro’s Gilligs, the ST Gilligs were equipped with A/C, an absolute must for the tri-cities.

    1. Speaking of mold on buses, am I the only one in Seattle who absolutely refuses to ride on the Breda former Tunnel buses anymore because I don’t want the smell of them on my clothes?

      I really can’t believe that neither Local 587 nor anyone with mold allergies hasn’t very publicly turned my former workplaces over to the health authorities.

      Maybe it’s a variation of reason the riding public tolerates “Wraps” all over bus windows (Lord, it’s tempting to automatically write a “C” in front of the “W” on that word!) Reason being that average passenger has fossilized with a little screen six inches from their face and plugs in both ears.

      Very likely somebody in South Lake Union has developed an “app” that sends a wave to the olifactory nerve that makes everything smell like whatever the cool thing is to smell like.
      Or maybe, with the zombie craze, kids think they’re on the set of “World War Z.”

      Really a shame the power package on those things is so strong. Only time lately I ended up on one- had to get home from Market and Ballard to get phone call and the 61 was scheduled in more than ten minutes after the 40- I did get a flash of longing from my driving days that Metro had wired I-90 to Bellevue.

      Could go for conversion process where we save out the propulsion, put the rest of the machine through an electric furnace, and make either a new fleet or a Stryker brigade out of the steel.

      Or sell the damned things to Hollywood for a sequel to the Brad Pitt movie. After the zombies win WWZ, Brad take on their transit system. “Night of the Rolling Dead.”

      Happy Halloween.


      1. They’re being replaced starting next year with New Flyer low floor trolleys. The propulsion systems are old (maybe older than me) and impossible to get parts for now.

    2. According to the article they’ve already fixed the mold problem, at a total cost of $6,000 across 6 coaches. They’re still very pleased with the cost.

      1. They fixed mold in the floors, but there are some (unconfirmed) reports of mold in the seats as well.

    3. The “moldy floor” problem was due in part to the fact they were stored for several months amongst mold spores and moss before traveling across the mountains to the Tri-Cities.

      The mold was concentrated next to the front wheelwell in the driver’s compartment area, and was in the subflooring. My guess is that it’s related to modifications for Pierce’s new CAD/AVL radio system.

      They got patched up and thoroughly sanitized with what’s described as a particularly nasty chemical.

  3. Massive underwater tunnel now links Europe and Asia by rail

    The $4.5 billion Marmaray project plunges about 200 feet under the Bosphorus Strait and stretches about 42 miles. But it wasn’t easy. The project took nine years to complete and ran five years over schedule (discovering the ancient Byzantine port of Theodosius was just one of the setbacks).

    4.5 billion dollars? That’s like a minor transit project in Puget Sound! 42 miles…we could cross Elliot Bay with something that long…or go under the Cascades…or Seattle to Redmond under Lake Washington at a depth of 200ft!

    1. The tunnel portion of the project is actually only 8.5 miles long, and the underwater segment is less than a mile. The rest of the 42 miles is aboveground.

      But still, that’s Federal Way to Lynnwood (or Puyallup to Woodinville, if you prefer) for 4.5 billion. Quite a deal.

    2. The tunnel is not 42 miles long. The central portion (IIRC, about 6 miles) is in a tunnel, the outer portions of the line are reused suburban railways (a la RER, Crossrail, etc), and they are not yet finished with the refurbishment.

    3. ” The project took nine years to complete and ran five years over schedule… ” (the link)


      “The Bosphorus (Istanbul Strait) is crossed by a 1.4-kilometre-long (0.87 mi) earthquake-proofed immersed tube, … The sections have been placed down to 60 metres (197 ft) below sea level: 55 metres (180 ft) of water and 4.6 metres (15 ft) of earth.[7] This underwater tube is accessed by bored tunnels from Kazlıçeşme on the European side and Ayrılıkçeşmesi on the Asian side of Istanbul. It represents the world’s deepest undersea immersed tube tunnel. Fire-resistant concrete developed in Norway was crucial for the safety of the project.” (wikipedia)

      1. If Spokane gets a new freeway, we should get an equivalent state funded block of money earmarked for light rail.

      2. One of the more amusing aspects of 395 is WSDOT’s branding of the freeway as an “intermodal corridor” because it includes a bike path and “room for future light rail or other transit” (or something to that effect). That’s like saying you’ll serve a three-course meal giving someone an empty plate “with room for the dessert”.

      3. Actually, there are a lot more people out Mead way than there ever used go be. But it is still more sparse than most places, although Kaiser appears to be selling off some of their property.

  4. Had a relative coming in from SeaTac on one of the trains effected by the Beacon Hill tunnel smoke. He says they were told to get off the train somewhere along MLK and given no assistance or info on how to continue their trip into downtown.

    1. Did they not institute a bus bridge? The article makes it sound like they didn’t, but just expected people to ride existing Metro service… of which there isn’t any direct replacement.

    2. Doesn’t surprise me at all. Almost everything ST does is like watching amateur hour. It’s almost like they watch what other cities do and take notes to ensure they do something completely different.

    3. There’s usually a route 97 shadow when Link is blocked for a period of time. This incident may have been too sudden and short-lived to rev it up.

  5. “I can tell you, that the more people in Eastern Washington who vote for a transportation package, the more dollars there will be invested in Eastern Washington,” Inslee said.

    On top of the generic transportation stupidity expected from a generic state politician, Inslee throws in this nugget: vote with me and get the pork. What a guy. Is anyone considering an entertaining protest run for governor in 2016?

    1. Basically he’s saying if you don’t vote for more taxes, you won’t get more tax funded investment. He’s just spelling it out for them – they can’t expect more free money from the Seattle metro area.

  6. A social justice concern about tolling I-90 flows naturally from the idea that the basic access to places provided by basic roads is a public service or a public good that should be offered free. Most freeways are more about express travel than basic access; often enough they even hamper local access. But where freeways are the only roads across bodies of water, they serve a basic access function, and therefore ought to be considered public services. People from Mercer Island, even if they’re generally wealthy, are concerned when their basic access on and off the island is tolled primarily because it’s used as an express commuting route by others. And also they’re looking out for their own interests, because everyone does that.

    I don’t think that’s an entirely unreasonable way of looking at things, and through that lens you might consider tolling I-5 (which is almost never a necessary route for basic access within this region) before I-90, or the inland parts of I-90 and 520 instead of the bridges. There are other compelling reasons to toll roads necessary for access instead of express bypasses. For one, nobody wants their roads serving local access needs clogged with toll-dodging through drivers, and tolling the essential parts of the roads ensures this doesn’t happen. That fear might be overblown; I’m from the west suburbs of Chicago (home of the Reagan, North-South, and Tri-State Tollways), and I’ve never heard anyone suggest those tolls should be lifted to relieve Butterfield, 83, and 53 of traffic.

    1. The basic access concern for islanders is legitimate, and can be alleviated by tolling only the Seattle side of the I-90 bridge. Free access off the island would still be available on the Bellevue side.

      The bridge, not the inland part of I-90, is the scarce resource that needs tolling.

      1. Absolutely. The “scarce resource” thing is another compelling reason to toll the bridge instead of other stuff; also, bridges are more expensive to build, maintain, and operate, and it’s logical to pass some of these costs onto their users. There are lots of different ways to look at it and tolling bridges always seems to prevail.

        I think tolls on I-5 and 405 would be good ideas generally… maybe in the future.

      2. The toll on SR520 has significantly increased congestion not just on the I-90 floating bridge, but it has also increased congestion on I-405 through Bellevue and I-5 through DT Seattle. Now people who are not even using I-90 or SR520 are being negatively impacted.

        Tolling I-90 would restore balance to the cross-lake commute, and reduce congestion on 3 separate Interstates along 3 separate travel corridors. It is the right thing to do generally, and to the extent that tolls would reduce peak travel as people time shift or switch to transit, it is the right thing to do all around.

        And the same applies for I-5 when they put the toll on the DBT – toll them both. It’s the right thing to do.

        However, I would toll just one side of I-90 and leave MI a “free” exit off the island. That should be more than sufficient.

      3. The best way is to toll coming off the island, in both directions. That way, they will only be tolled in one direction, but they can’t avoid the tolling completely unless the stay on their island or finally decide to take public transportation.

      4. Cinesea,

        You certainly could toll both directions leaving MI, but this would effectively mean that someone commuting from MI to Seattle would pay half the toll that some commuting from Factoria to Seattle would pay. I think such a tolling scheme where MI residents pay half of what everyone else pays is blatantly unfair and unjustifiable.

        If Factoria residents are expected to pay the full toll, then MI residents should too. It’s a matter of social justice.

      5. As Cinsea said. Toll eastbound at the Seattle end, and westbound at the Bellevue end. People who live or work on Mercer Island will get an automatic 50% discount on all their round trips. That’s actually appropriate because they’re generating only half the congestion and road wear of through drivers.

        If they need some kind of rebate beyond that, it can be limited to 3 years, or some kind of special-account thing for low-wage workers.

      6. And don’t toll one side only. It’s unfair to privilege either Mercer Island – Seattle trips or Mercer Island – Bellevue trips across the board.

        If they did make one side free, logically it should be the Bellevue side because Islanders are suburban and are more likely going to Eastside destinations where it’s culturally similar and parking is free. Also because when they do go to Seattle, they’re more likely to take the bus than when they’re going to the Eastside, because y’know there’s that downtown parking cost and there’s lots of transit from downtown to Seattle Center.

      7. An argument for tolling only the Seattle side is that the floating bridges are more expensive, more fragile and have higher operating costs than the East Channel Bridge. Besides, Mercer Islanders are Eastsiders, even if they don’t want to admit it.

      8. Mike,

        It is absolutely ridiculous. A MI resident crossing the floating bridge causes exactly the same amount of congestion and wear and tear as does a Factoria resident who crosses the exaxt same bridge. To claim it is only half is to deny reality and basic physics..

      9. I’m considering all of the Murrow, Hadley and East Channel bridges as a single functional unit. Somebody making a round trip to the island is equivalent to somebody making a one-way trip through the island, because the islander is leaving half of the bridgework untouched. And the East Channel Bridge is not floating.

        If you really want to toll the floating bridges, that’s the same thing as tolling the Seattle side of the island and leaving the Bellevue side free. That would permanently impact islanders who drive to Seattle frequently but not islanders who drive to the Eastside frequently. I don’t see much justification for penalizing some islanders over others, not when “the Mercer Island Bridge” has been widely considered a single unit for decades, including when they moved to the island..

      10. Mike,

        A MI resident performing a RT crossing on the I-90 floating bridge touches “all the concrete” in exactly the same manner as someone performing a RT crossing on the SR520 Bridge. The SR520 commuter pays the fare in both directions, so of course someone performing the same crossing on I-90 should too. And there is no reason why a MI resident should pay half the fare for the exact same crossing that a Factoria resident pays the full fare.

        Take the toll system on the SR520 Bridge as the model for I-90 tolls. On SR520 the floating bridge is tolled but the Portage Bay Bridge is not. NO effort is made to trap any given neighborhood and force them into a situation where they can’t avoid the toll somehow, and NO neighborhood is privileged over any other in the amount of toll they pay. The toll is structured to charge for lake crossings and not to selectively privilege or penalize any one neighborhood.

        The same should be true of the tolling system on I-90. Anyone crossing the lake should pay the full toll regardless of where they enter or exit I-90. Put the toll system on the floating segment and leave the East Channel Bridge untolled. Thus a MI resident crossing the lake would pay the same toll as a Factoria resident crossing the lake, and MI resident would still have “free” travel options off the island the same way as all the neighborhoods along SR520 do. Thus no additional penalty for MI residents, and no additional privileges.

        But hey, we can avoid this discussion completely and just skip tolling any of the bridges on I-90. Put the tolling system in the Mt Baker tunnel instead and call it good. Does it really make a difference?

      11. Was there EVER a plan to toll both the floating bridge and the East Channel Bridge? I would think not.

        But it does make for great media to say that you will be “stranded” in your own town.

    2. Residents of Vashon, Anderson, Guemes, San Juan, Orcas, Lummi, Lopez and Shaw Islands are intrigued by your theory and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

      1. Those are all rural, a longer distance from the mainland, and ferries have high operating expenses. Vashon was offered a bridge and turned it down to prevent growth. Both Vashon and the San Juans turned down more frequent ferries for the same reason. I don’t even know where Anderson, Guemes, and Lummi islands are; do they even have ferry service? Finally, the ferries have always charged a toll, but the Mercer island bridge has always been free until now.

      2. Those are all rural, a longer distance from the mainland, and ferries have high operating expenses. Vashon was offered a bridge and turned it down to prevent growth. Both Vashon and the San Juans turned down more frequent ferries for the same reason.

        All true. But I don’t know how the policy choices made by those island’s collective residents cut against the social justice argument. If the position is that basic access to islands with public roads should be free, even if that requires a subsidy, I guess I don’t see the obvious moral difference between bridges and ferries.

        I don’t even know where Anderson, Guemes, and Lummi islands are; do they even have ferry service?

        Yes! Anderson is just south of McNeil Island in South Puget Sound, Guemes is technically part of Anacortes and just a few miles North of the city, and Lummi is NW of Bellingham. Are all small population (all under 1000 I think; more in summer) islands with very few services and no bridges that are only accessible by ferry. The ferries aren’t run by WSF but by Pierce, Skagit, and Whatcom counties respectively. (I should also have mentioned Ketron, an island served by the Anderson Island Ferry on 3-4 runs a day, despite having a population of 24. I’ve always wondered what the per trip subsidy is for that service).

        Finally, the ferries have always charged a toll, but the Mercer island bridge has always been free until now.

        This is a plausibly relevant for a number of arguments, but I don’t see how its relevant for the social justice argument Al made. It just means we’ve been violating the demands of social justice all along, which hardly stands as a justification for continuing to do it.

      3. I don’t accept the social justice argument that all islands should have free basic access. The ferries have charged tolls ever since the only inhabitants were natives and people with their own boats. The whole point of a rural island is that most people don’t commute: they work on the island and only go to the mainland occasionally. This is the “basic access”, and because it’s occasional it’s not a burden even with a toll. And again, they moved to the island knowing it had a tolled ferry.

        Mercer Island, in contrast, is in the middle of the metropolis and has traditionally had free access. I’ve read that the main reason the bridge crosses the island is that it was “in the way” of the straightest line between downtown and Snoqualmie Pass. So the bridge is not really a concession to Mercer Islanders or a strategy to populate the island, but something that would have been there whether anybody lived on the island or not.

      4. I don’t accept the social justice argument that all islands should have free basic access.

        To be clear, I don’t either, because I don’t really buy the social justice for basic access argument in the abstract terms Al was presenting it. If there’s a social justice concern about access it should be contingent on the specific circumstances of the situation. And in the case of MI the argument just doesn’t wash–an extremely wealthy island with remarkable ease of access to Seattle/Bellevue that they’ve never paid anywhere near what we might consider a fair share (and soon an expensive link station they’ll hardly use). This is why Al is forced to make a very abstract version of the social justice argument–the facts of the case don’t support it. In reality, it’s MI residents saying “the building/maintenance of cross-lake transport should be paid for by people much poorer than us, who use it less than we do.” And as to free access until now, that’s all the more reason to support tolling them. They’ve been getting a free ride for a very long time (and contributing to congestion through zoning, keeping as much commercial as possible out of their fair city and increasing the necessity of more trips). “They didn’t pay before” as a successful social justice argument would seem to imply that any increase in user fees is a problem for social justice.

      5. They should pay something, probably not as much as through travelers, and maybe with a gradually-increasing phase-in.

        On the other hand, if the toll won’t start for a couple years, maybe the lead-time itself could be an adequate mitigation. “A toll is coming, if you don’t want to pay it you have X years to move off the island.”

    3. I don’t know Al, people who move to other islands in the Puget Sound have to pay for basic access (Ferries). Why is Mercer Island entitled to free basic access? If their complaint is that they wouldn’t have moved there if they knew it would be tolled, give residents a 3 year pass for free (or a rebate, or something).

      1. To be clear, I don’t think that any arguments about tolling or not are absolute. The state reflects the ongoing cost of maintaining the ferry service in ferry costs and would not be wrong to reflect the ongoing cost of bridge maintenance in those costs. Arguments about basic access are much stronger over short distances, and the floating bridge is certainly not that.

      2. Arguments about basic access are much stronger over short distances

        If you’re referring to your “social justice demands that other people subsidize access” argument earlier, it’s not all clear why this would be the case.

      3. Local access is a very basic public service, and that’s a matter of efficiency as much as social justice. A large group like the state probably doesn’t get into this, but city governments do. Local streets have fairly diffuse benefits (especially streets with lots of different land uses, but when the local street network is nicely connected the whole thing has general benefits), and it makes sense to fund them with general tax revenues, not user fees, just like it makes sense to fund education, police, and fire departments this way.

        With this in mind, it also makes sense to design them for the benefit of everyone: for people crossing an arterial road as well as those traveling along it, for example. Big highway departments often do the opposite of this. In Washington a lot of people believe gas tax and toll revenue should be used exclusively for “highway purposes”, for the benefit of drivers. And how have many big highways been designed? Without sidewalks, without good crossing facilities, without thoughtful transit integration, without keeping the local street network intact. By through-drivers, for through-drivers, a gallon a vote. Even when, as on I-90, a trail is built in parallel, its design screams, “SECONDARY FEATURE,” in every way. If we want our government to truly work for the public good, sometimes (not always — not when it comes to taxation and broad priorities, but certainly when it comes to design) we have to stop trying to count who’s subsidizing whom and instead try to envision what we really want.

      4. I think everyone agrees there should be some basic access everywhere. That’s why all taxpayers subsidize the ferries and the state highways. The controversies come when some county or another wants to build what others consider to be an excessively wide and expensive freeway, not for basic access to a town center, but to enable some low-density neighborhoods to drive 55 mph without congestion, because they wouldn’t be caught dead riding a bus.

    4. Fact. The top 10% of tax payers paid over 70% of the total amount collected in federal income taxes in 2010. Many people who live on Mercer Island are in that 10%. Instead of asking them to pay even more, why not simply thank them for all they are doing for our country?

      1. Fact. The top 10% of tax payers hold over 80% of the nation’s assets.

        Seems to me that’s thanks enough.

      2. Income and tax inequalities aside, at what point does tolling simply become another regressive tax stacked on top of the one of the most regressive tax structures in the nation? Assuming $7 roundtrip peak tolls, that works out to $2555/year to cross over I-90 daily, which for someone making $80k+ is almost negligible (similar to driving an Audi or BMW and filling up with premium), but for the social worker making $25k or UW student indebted in loans, can be a make or break figure in terms of making rent (oh, that just went up 6% this year), food, clothing, etc. I know tolling is supposed to reduce congestion, but is that congestion reduction simply due to economically forcing young and poor people to stay home or take the bus (which if they are going to the certain areas on the eastside, might not even be possible). I know my relatives up in Newcastle (combined income of $450k) support the tolls, because they don’t care how much they are and will make no changes to their driving habits since it won’t affect their budget in the slightest.

      3. How regressive would tolling I-90 actually be? The answer to that question lies with the demographics of users. And, of course, it raises the value of commuting by transit (both by changing the cost differential and decreasing congestion, allowing buses to be faster/more reliable) which might push some poor people in that direction. It’s hard to see what would motivate a poor college student from the eastside to UW as it stands; between the UPass subsidy and the high cost/hassle of parking.

        But the larger point is this: in order to think about how regressive tolling is, we need to do more than simply observe that poor people pay the same as rich people. We need to look at who actually drives over the bridge, and who would be likely to continue to drive over the bridge after the tolls are instituted, and how the needed revenue would otherwise be raised (which, in this state, might be considerably more regressive). You can’t just assert this tax is regressive in theory, you have to show your work.

  7. One minor issue that I’ve always had with many timetables for peak-only routes is that they don’t provide any information for alternative non-peak service (if it exists). This might make someone think, for example, that it’s not possible to get from UW to Redmond after 6:09pm because that’s when the last 542 ran (I knew someone who actually thought this). Some examples of this:

    *542 from UW to Redmond: there should be a note on both online and paper timetables saying something like “For service between the U-District and Overlake or Redmond when the 542 does not run, please board bus lines 43, 48, or 271 on 15th Ave or Pacific St, and connect to bus line 545 at Montlake Freeway Station. For service from Green Lake to Overlake or Redmond, please take the 48 eastbound to Montlake Freeway Station and connect to line 545.”

    *CT 855 from UW to Lynnwood (and other CT commuter routes): “When the 855 is not running, please board the 44 on Pacific St or 15th Ave and connect to line 512 at I-5/45th.”

    *114 from DT to Renton Highlands/Newcastle/Newport Heights: “When the 114 is not running, please take Sound Transit 554 from 2nd Ave in Downtown Seattle and make a connection to line 240 at Eastgate. Alternatively, for service to the Renton Highlands, take line 101 from the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to Renton TC and connect to line 240.

    *70 to Eastlake: “When the 70 is not running, please take lines 71, 72, or 73 (local) from the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel or The Ave in the U-District.”

    Ok, the style of these notes should be made more consistent :P but I haven’t figured out why the agencies haven’t done this yet. I know people who have thought that they had to leave UW at 6:00 or 7:00pm and couldn’t participate in activities after that because they thought that there wasn’t a way to get back home afterwards.

    1. Do these kids not use some mapping service’s route-finder? To me it’s so very quaint that they’re consulting time-tables at all instead of going to a mapping service directly.

      In any case, keep on being their transit-shepherd. All-in-all, I’m heartened by the number of UW kids who venture off campus.

      1. Many of the people I’m referencing mainly know only the route(s) they use for regular commuting and look at the schedule for that route–they’re probably familiar with the fact that the last bus is at 6 or 7 or whatever. If someone already thinks that the trip is impossible by transit, chances are that they won’t waste the time to input it into a trip planner, even if the trip is possible. It’s just nice to assure riders that they can make the given trip until midnight and on weekends.

      2. No, odds are they aren’t using the trip-planner. Odds are, they used the trip-planner for their first trip, and the trip-planner recommended a peak-only/daytime-only one-seat express. Then, the first time on the bus they grabbed a paper schedule from the holder, and used that paper schedule for all future trip planning.

        In my experience, that is how most newcomers interact with our transit system.

      3. Sorry. i don’t mean the Metro trip planner, which (last time I used it) was a bit clunky. I just mean google / bing maps and was trying to be non-partisan and ended up being confusing.

        Usually, when I want to do something, I search for the place I want to go, plot it on the map, and ask the map for directions. It usually gives driving directions first, and then I change the mode to transit. Then I go to the place and do the thing.

        I know it’s not true, but the only way the thinking of these newcomers / folks described makes sense to me is if they assumed that parts of the network they don’t use, cease to exist. Maybe there’s a less far-fetched form of reasoning that someone could help me understand.

      4. My first job up here was in Snohomish County, and Community Transit wasn’t on Google Maps (I think it still isn’t). I really don’t remember how I first figured out my transit itinerary (or even that Community Transit existed), though I do remember that I used to carry around a full CT schedule book before I got a smartphone. I would have found off-hour suggestions on schedule pages useful if they were applicable to me. It happens they wouldn’t have been — the local route by my office ran as late as my connection back to Seattle anyway.

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