Want the low-income fare? Support the sales-tax/car-tab increase.

Fresh off of its unanimous approval for the creation of a Transportation Benefit District needed for the sales-tax and car-tab increase that is expected to be on the ballot in April, the King County Council will have a hearing on Tuesday, February 18 at 1:30 p.m. on Metro’s fare change proposal.

The proposed low-income fare has been a pet project of the Seattle Transit Riders Union, and has received a lot of support from this blog’s staff. Editor-in-Chief Martin Duke called for a low-income ORCA long before TRU existed.

Answering the call to incentivize ORCA use by making cash fares more expensive than electronic fares, Metro is proposing to make the low-income fare only available electronically. That important element of the program will end up helping fund the program through travel-time efficiencies. It will also give non-low-income riders whose rides will have just gotten faster a reason to like the program, and thereby help the program survive.

But now, TRU and the Seattle Human Services Coalition are calling for the low-income fare to be reduced to $1. In principle, I’d love to see that. In practice, such an outcome would require the youth fare to also be rolled back to $1 (from its current $1.25) in order to avoid making the line for the low-income ORCA a lot longer and creating significant additional administrative burden in perpetuity.

Reducing service in order to fund the low-income fare helps nobody, which is why the implementation of the low-income fare should be contingent upon the passage of the sales-tax/car-tab increase.

Even if the low-income fare and the tax package aren’t explicity linked, the financial reality is that if the tax package fails, the county council will have to scrap the low-income fare program in order to preserve more service.

Everyone who wants to see the low-income fare program become a reality needs to get behind the tax package.

Thank you to all of the County Councilmembers for taking the lead in saving Metro bus service!

News Roundup: The Tokyo Model

Post-Parade Crush (Photo by the Author)
Post-Parade Crush (Photo by the Author)

This is an open thread.

What Could $800 Million Do?

Bertha is broken. Seals around the machine’s main bearing are damaged, meaning muck is inside the bearing, causing heat and damage. At minimum, it will take several months to repair the seals, and possibly replace the bearing. Governor Inslee has even been asked whether it’s “time to pull the plug”. I propose a thought experiment – if we were to cut our losses and stop now, carefully avoiding the sunk cost fallacy, what could the money left over do to meet our mobility needs in the corridor?

First, let’s consider the high risk of failure. There’s been no indication so far as to the cause of the seal damage, or whether it might happen again. This matches WSDOT’s unwillingness to discuss risk or plan adequate contingency, as we’ve seen throughout the project.

An anonymous source on the project has told us that despite comments by WSDOT, the repair will not be possible from behind the machine, only from the surface. If true, and without a clear plan for preventing the problem again, this raises a serious question – what happens if this happens again under a building, and at greater depth?

Let’s say that to avoid this eventuality, we stopped now. The state has spent about $2 billion of their $2.8 billion limit, assuming no overruns (cough). The Port of Seattle funding, separately, is intended for viaduct teardown and surface street construction. So what would that $800 million, assuming we could spend it on anything, get us?

  1. Reconnecting the street grid in South Lake Union. Part of the reason people have to use the viaduct in the first place is that Denny and Mercer are such a mess. Allowing that traffic to load balance across several more streets would make the entire grid more performant, at about 20,000 daily inbound/outbound trips to the 99 corridor. That’s $50 million.
  2. The Center City Connector. Increasing transit ridership downtown reduces demand on north-south streets, adding 30,000 daily trips. That’s ~$110 million, but is eligible for $30 million in federal funds.
  3. RapidRide bus priority projects. The Transit Master Plan identifies a lot of small capital improvements to give RapidRide priority, and there’s a good Metro analysis of what could improve RR. Altogether, the C and D lines could pick up 15,000 new riders for only about $10 million, $5 million of which could be federal.

Continue reading “What Could $800 Million Do?”

Frequent Transit Map Updated

Updated map

The Seattle Frequent Transit Map has been updated to reflect the Metro service changes taking effect this Saturday, February 15. The biggest service change is replacement of Route 358 with the RapidRide E Line that adds a new line to the evening frequent service map. There are minor design tweaks aiming to improve the clarity of route intersections. Thanks to Aleks for the suggestions.

Get the map here and enjoy! (8.5″ x 11″ 2 page PDF)

Affordable Family-Sized Housing

As we’ve said repeatedly on this blog, if Seattle is going to be the kind of city where a substantial middle class can thrive, it’s going to need more housing. A lot more.  A new report last week from the Seattle Planning Commission underscores the need for affordable “family-sized” housing in particular: just 3% of all affordable houses in Seattle have 3 bedrooms.  The lack of of such units is something I’ve long found puzzling.

The Planning Commission’s report suggests a number of ways to increase the number of affordable single-family houses, from tax incentives to new forms of housing.  Erica Barnett summarized the key points.   Most of the ideas involve creating various incentives or exemptions in the code to encourage the creation of 2-3 BR units in the city, or better coordination with Seattle Schools and other entities to foster affordable neighborhoods for families.  I’m particularly fond of the idea of “allowing a broader mix of housing in single-family neighborhoods with frequent, reliable transit.”

The real meat of the report, though, is an overall recommendation to up-zone Seattle’s single-family neighborhoods.  This is controversial, but important.  Discussions of where new development should go tend to be narrowly constrained to a few urban villages, while the vast majority of Seattle – something like 2/3 of the land – is considered off-limits (the yellow stuff in the map at right). So we argue about whether to allow 5 stories or 6 in a narrow sliver of Capitol Hill, meanwhile acres and acres of the city’s neighborhoods remain locked at absurdly low density levels.

To add insult to injury, as single family houses get more expensive, they become even more out of reach to larger families, resulting in a spiral whereby only small, wealthy families can afford them, thereby decreasing density even further. Gone are the days when the large houses on Capitol Hill housed families with 14 kids! Today, on the rare occasion when a plot of land in a single-family zone does become available for redevelopment, the land is so valuable that the only logical thing for a developer to do is build a huge, expensive house on it and sell it for upwards of a million dollars. Meanwhile, there’s a demonstrated demand for smaller housing – people want to live smaller, but their options are limited.

Up-zoning the single family zone at all will be politically difficult. Some have argued that the recent switch to district elections will make it even harder. The head of the SEIU, for example, called the ballot measure the “Craftsman homeowner-empowerment act.” But if we’re going to truly make Seattle affordable for families, there’s really no alternative. 

The Future isn’t Going Away

The Future of Ridesharing? Image from thepiratebay.se

Two weeks ago STB explained why trying to effectively push out TNCs from the city is a bad idea for the consumer, the environment, the city as a whole.  It will ultimately backfire as well.

In a few short months the majority of Washington citizens will be able to buy legal pot from a WSLCB certified retail outlet.  After half a century of failed prohibition the demand for pot proved too great.  We decided that it was better to legalize marijuana and put it under government control and regulation.  The Market won.

I haven’t bought a physical album in over six years.  It’s not that I stopped spending money on music. Between subscription services and digital albums I probably spent more money in the last year than any other year in my life.  It’s just that the old paradigm didn’t work and the new (digital media) is inexpensive, convenient and easy.  The Technology won.

In Resolution 31174, did not the city council unanimously vote to support marijuana legalization because they wisely recognized that the demand was so high that prohibition clearly couldn’t work? Is Seattle not one of the largest tech hubs in the world?  Then how can the city council not see the inevitable results of pushing TNCs out of Seattle?

The Market is here.  TNCs have exploded for a reason.  People are VERY happy with the services, and unhappy with Taxis.

According to a recent city survey, nearly half of respondents ranked taxi response times as “very poor,” “poor,” or “neutral.” In contrast, nearly 95 percent of ridesharing clients ranked drivers’ response times as “very good” or “good.” Overall, the study concluded, “For an industry catering to the general public, these responses signify an inability of the service provider to attract and maintain their institutional market.”

The Technology is here.  Combine location based classifieds like Antengo, with ranking and review tech like Yelp, and with mobile payment options like Square or even Paypal, and you have all the tools you need to find a ride, check out the driver and passenger, and pay quickly, conveniently and easily.  In a city like Seattle, swarming with programmers who like to create apps just for fun, it’s only a matter of time before a completely decentralized system arises, with no company behind it for the city to sue or regulate.  This is even more obvious when you consider the popularity of these services among the techies of Seattle.

Currently, because TNC are large corporations, there are enforceable standards.  Drive these corporations out of the marketplace, and ridesharing will become peer-to-peer, diffuse, less transparent, and less safe. Both drivers and consumers get a worse deal (less efficient market, fewer protections), and regulators lose all practical possibility of control.

I realize elected officials aren’t particularly fond of being told they can’t do something.  No one works for election to office to not do things.  However, now that Seattleites have witnessed first hand how quick, convenient, safe, and hassle free getting a ride can be, they simply aren’t going to accept the horrible taxi service forced on them before.  The genie is not going back in the bottle.  In the end, pushing the TNCs out of the marketplace in order to protect the entrenched taxi model will be as effective as shutting down Napster to protect the entrenched music distribution model.  Good luck with that, Seattle!

Help Sound Transit Simplify Fare Enforcement

With University Link coming online in about two years, Sound Transit’s fare enforcement needs are about to increase considerably. Sound Transit has asked the legislature for a simple bill to save them (and you) money enforcing fares, and it could use our support.

Today, law enforcement has access to a system that allows them to issue citations on the spot. Sound Transit fare enforcement officers (FEOs) can’t do that.

Right now, when an FEO on Link finds someone who hasn’t paid, they first photograph the person’s ID. At the end of a shift, each FEO has to spend almost three hours doing the paperwork to send all the data they collected to a district court. Finally, the court processes them and attempts service on the people identified. This is a mess – it wastes hours every day, and the rate of returned service is very high.

Sound Transit wants to streamline this process. If FEOs have the tools to issue citations at the time of enforcement and avoid the court process, the agency thinks it won’t have to hire any more FEOs for University Link.

Sound Transit first requested permission from the state patrol to use the same system as law enforcement, but were told that fare enforcement would have to *be* law enforcement to use it.

Eventually, the district court requested a simple bill to save both governments money and create a standard citation for Sound Transit fare enforcement to issue in the field. The House bill (HB 2111) passed with bipartisan support, as it not only helps Sound Transit but also increases farebox recovery and generally makes government a little more efficient. Now the Senate companion, SB 5961, is stalled in Transportation, where an apparent failure of two district courts to communicate with each other led to incorrect testimony in opposition. Seriously.

This is a worthwhile way to save us all a little money. What we’re asking is that you call your Senator and say “please ask your friends on Senate Transportation to move SB 5961 ASAP.” Because this is embarrassing.

What Seattle Can Learn From New Jersey’s Superbowl


Attending the Superbowl was never my plan, but when tickets that I could afford came my way I found myself saying “Why not me?”  I went, and the rest is history.

The New York/New Jersey metro area is massive, with multiple transportation options that would make any transit wonk beam with pride — feet, bike, notorious cabs, car services, busses, light rail, and heavy rail.  All proportionally allocated serving not just daily commuters, but also special events.  New York/New Jersey is so huge, hosting a major event like the Superbowl dominates one avenue, but walk two blocks away and you wouldn’t know 50,000 people are partying behind you in the streets.

To get attendees to the site the word was put out: take the train or a fan bus, no cabs, no walk-ups, no tailgating. The NJ rail network is sturdy and capable, but confusing at the best of times.  There is no one-seat ride from Manhattan and most of Jersey, and while the transfer is doable it isn’t glamorous.  Attendees were funneled into Secaucus where they were screened before transferring to a line to the stadium.  Queues backed up through the station to the platforms, leaving arriving trains unable to unload. People waited for hours, fights broke out, it was less than awesome.

Advanced tickets on chartered fan busses that left from several Manhattan locations were made available, and quickly sold out.  These one-seat rides were arranged by the Port Authority, staffed by volunteers and licensed drivers.  NYC police escorted these busses through traffic and into the Holland Tunnel where they rode lanes dedicated for the event to the stadium.  Average time from mid-town to the stadium was under 1 hour.

So how, with all of this infrastructure and planning, could thousands of people be left stranded for hours on platforms?  The sweltering heat inside stations (we dressed for an Ice Bowl) caused some to panic and be overcome, requiring medical attention.  How could you not, with ticket in hand, simply walk to an entry gate and expect to get in?  Those to tried were turned away to a station to pay for a bus ride to the parking lot.  How could busses, with dedicated lanes, be the only sane transportation option?
Continue reading “What Seattle Can Learn From New Jersey’s Superbowl”

Metro and ST Service Changes: Feb. 15

Metro Route 64
Metro Route 64, about to get better. Photo by zargoman.

With characteristic last-minute flair (no doubt intensified by this week’s festive Seahawks craziness), Metro posted information about the February service change late yesterday.  New schedules take effect Saturday, February 15, one week from tomorrow.  The big news, such as it is:

  • RapidRide E Line, replacing Route 358
  • Extension of Routes 64 and 65 to serve Jackson Park
  • No more VA Hospital loop on Routes 50 and 60
  • Stops downtown for Routes 17 and 18 will change

Sound Transit also posted a bulletin and new schedules this morning, and our own Brent White has diligently combed through the schedules to provide more detail on the very minor ST Express and Sounder changes.  Thank you, Brent!

Details for both Metro and Sound Transit below the jump.

Continue reading “Metro and ST Service Changes: Feb. 15”

Preliminary Parade Numbers


A joint regional transit agency news release provides the first, rough estimates of transit’s contribution to the estimated 700,000 who showed up for the Seahawks’ parade. The numbers, especially bus numbers, are largely guesstimates, but here are some ridership highlights:

  • Link had over 75,000 boardings, over double the average weekday and well over the previous record of 51,000 on opening Saturday in 2009, when rides were free and certain transit nerds boarded again and again.
  • Sounder had about 20,000 boardings in the morning and “a similar number” in the afternoon.
  • Combined CT and ST bus service into Seattle totaled 22,500 boardings, 5,000 above the average; there were a record 55,000 boardings in Snohomish County.
  • PT estimates that there were 6,500-8,500 more boardings than normal at the Tacoma Dome between 7am and noon.
  • The West Seattle Water Taxi carried 4,600, compared to a January average of 416. Vashon foot ferries were up 20% to 928.

Across all agencies, there were more vehicles, more trips, and (in the case of Sound Transit) longer trains.

In all, a memorable day for transit. All transportation modes were overwhelmed beyond their capacity. Things might have been much worse had it not been for crowds of riders in good cheer, orderly, and forgiving of systems well beyond their design limits. Moreover, agencies showed uncommon agility in mobilizing for Wednesday on short notice, and the efforts of foot soldiers controlling crowds at Westlake station and other places were nothing short of heroic.

Continue reading “Preliminary Parade Numbers”

News Roundup: Nice Work

Friends of Transit, Washington Rail Vision Map

As a city’s transportation system pushed to its limit recovers …

This is an open thread.

Seahawks Victory Parade Open Thread

No AnnRecord setting crowds today.  Expect delays and crowding on all buses serving downtown and crowding on Link. Remember tracking tools like OneBusAway do not work when buses are on reroutes. You can follow the mayhem at Metro, Sound Transit, Community Transit, and Pierce Transit. Latest from ST:

Posted: February 5 – 9:07 am

Weds, Feb. 5.  All Sound Transit Express bus service in downtown Seattle is experiencing significant delays.  Sounder is experiencing extremely high ridership and does not have the capacity to board passengers at all stations.  Riders are advised to take a later train when more seats may be available or consider other options such as Link or carpooling.  Link is also experiencing heavy crowding, however trains will be coming every seven and half minutes throughout the day. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding of the huge demand for transit services to today’s Seahawks Parade.

Go Seahawks!

[UPDATE 13:47]  The South Sounder #1509 (4:12 pm departure) will turn around at Tacoma instead of continuing on to Lakewood.  It will deadhead back to Seattle to make an extra Lakewood trip departing King Street Station at 6:30 pm.

Continue reading “Seahawks Victory Parade Open Thread”

Getting to the Seahawks Parade


(UPDATE: Metro provided some late additions to the list of reroutes since we first created this post, affecting Routes 2, 3, 4, and 13.)

With 300,000 people expected ($) to descend upon 4th Avenue for Wednesday’s parade, driving to the parade will clearly be a nightmare. Walking is always best for events like these, but bicycling and transit are good choices too. If you bicycle, please be courteous and dismount when approaching large crowds.

Transit will get you there safely, but route detours are extensive. We’ll provide a summary here, but it’s best to check Metro‘s or Sound Transit‘s reroute pages for up to date info.

In general, services will operate normally until approximately 10 a.m., after which buses will neither travel along nor cross 4th Avenue, and service will be reduced on 3rd Avenue as well. To travel within downtown, the transit tunnel will be open.  Tunnel bus routes will operate normally and Link will remain at its rush-hour frequency (7.5 minutes) throughout the day. The following general detours will be in place:


  • Routes 1, 2 (Queen Anne), 3/4 (Queen Anne) and 13 will have a temporary terminal at 3rd and Virginia.  Those routes will not go further south.
  • Route 2 (Madrona) will have a temporary terminal at 5th and Spring, and will not serve 3rd Avenue. 
  • Late Update: Routes 3/4 (Queen Anne) will miss most of their routes.  They will use Queen Anne Avenue between Queen Anne and downtown, missing all stops along Boston St, Taylor Ave N, and 5th Ave N.  Route 4 will not serve the Nob Hill loop.  Inbound passengers on east Queen Anne should use routes 5 and 16 on Aurora.  Outbound passengers will have to walk from Queen Anne Avenue.
  • Routes 3 and 4 (First Hill/Madrona/Judkins Park) will be rerouted to avoid crossing 4th by using 5th, Terrace and Yesler in both directions.  Buses will not serve all of 3rd.  Outbound buses will serve only the following two stops downtown: 3rd/Marion and northbound 5th at James.
  • Aurora, Dexter, and Westlake routes (5, 16, 26, 28, 40, 358) will serve Lower Queen Anne in both directions, skipping South Lake Union, to avoid crossing 4th Avenue in Belltown.
  • Jackson St routes (7, 14, 36) will terminate in the International District.
  • Route 8 will not serve Lower Queen Anne, but will terminate at 9th/John after serving Denny/Dexter.
  • Pike-Pine routes (10, 11, 43, 47, 49) will not serve downtown west of  7th Avenue, but will live-loop back to Capitol Hill.
  • Route 12 will basically become the First Hill Streetcar for a day, using Broadway, Boren, 12th, and Jackson to terminate in the International District.
  • 4th Avenue South and Airport Way routes (21, 40, 124, 131, 132) will serve 3rd Avenue, but will use Yesler/Terrace/5th in both directions to avoid Pioneer Square and 4th/Jackson.  4th Avenue South routes return to 4th at Royal Brougham.
  • Routes 25 and 66 will have a temporary terminal at Convention Place Station.  Passengers should transfer to Link or tunnel buses to continue to or from downtown.
  • Route 70 will terminate at 6th/Virginia, not serving 3rd Avenue.
  • RapidRide C and D Lines, and Routes 24, 27, 33, 120, and 125, should be unaffected by the event aside from likely delays due to congestion.

Sound Transit

  • Route 512 will live loop southbound on 5th, picking up northbound passengers as it drops off southbound passengers.
  • Outbound routes 522 and 545 will skip most of downtown by using I-5.  Each will only have one outbound stop downtown: the 522 will have a temporary stop at 6th and Pike (across 6th from the regular stop), and the 545 will make its regular stop at 8th and Olive. Inbound, things are much simpler. Route 522 will use 5th Avenue, and inbound Route 545 is unaffected.
  • Routes 554, 577, 578, 590, and 594 will terminate at Stadium Station.  Passengers should use Link or tunnel buses to continue to or from downtown.
  • Link will run every 7.5 minutes all day.
  • North Sounder will add cars on the last two morning trains and first two afternoon trains.
  • South Sounder will have one additional trip, departing Tacoma at 8:30am and arriving in Seattle at 9:30am. The return trip will leave King Street at 2:30pm.

Community Transit’s commuter routes are unaffected.

If you’re coming from further afield, Amtrak Cascades 513 is completely sold out, as is BoltBus from Vancouver and Bellingham. As of this posting, limited seats remain on the 8:30am bus from Portland and the 5:30am Amtrak Thruway bus from Vancouver.

Stay safe and have fun, everyone.

Critiquing Metro’s Day-Pass Trial

Last week, in response to Martin’s questions about tunnel operations, Metro staff slipped in this quiet bombshell:

Metro continues to take actions to expand ORCA use throughout the system and reduce cash payments. [This includes…] working with our regional transit partners to implement a regional ORCA day-pass demonstration beginning in April.

A multi-agency ORCA-based day-pass is probably the most requested fare product in the Puget Sound region, and for good reason. Today, interagency transfers are free with ORCA but (mostly) not with cash fare. An ORCA-based day-pass, if priced right, holds out the concurrent possibilities of improved comprehensibility for visitors, and good value for residents who plan to make several trips in a day. For people like me, who want buses to not suck, it’s another weapon in the war against time-consuming on-board cash payment, and easily-abused paper transfers.

The devil, however, is in the details, which Metro staff supplied to us last week.

As you saw, the ORCA agency partners are planning a six-month pilot/demo of a regional day pass later this year, hopefully beginning sometime this spring.

The day pass demonstration will target visitors using hotels and convention centers. But, because the regional day pass will be available at all our current sales outlets, anyone could load the product on their card. At the conclusion of the demo, the ORCA partners will assess how well the card was received and determine the future of the program depending on what we learn.

Q: What agencies will or could be included?
A: All ORCA agencies except WSF

Q: How much will it cost?
A: $9 sales price, $4 per trip value. Riders would use E-purse to supplement higher fares based on how much they plan to travel.

Q: What modes and fare zones will it cover?
A: Good for any trip up to the $4 per trip value.

Q: Is it a daily cap or a fare product you have to buy?
A: It is a pass product loaded on the card. Once tapped it is valid for that service day. Service days is 3 a.m. – 2:59 a.m.

Q: Will it be issued on a disposable ORCA or just added to the existing $5 ORCA?
A: Existing card. We do not have disposable card stock in the system

Discussion after the jump. Continue reading “Critiquing Metro’s Day-Pass Trial”

Chicago Transit Bridges Gap Between Contactless Transit Passes and Private Cards


The Chicago Transit Authority rolled out it’s new Ventra Card last October, becoming the first transit agency in the US to offer a fare payment card that can hold both passes and cash value, and that can be used as a debit card for non-transit transactions.

With Chicago’s transition to contactless open payment technology, CTA becomes the second US transit agency to allow open payment, joining the Utah Transit Authority in accepting payment from private debit and credit cards that have contactless technology, when boarding a bus or paying at a train turnstile.

For either Ventra or your private card, you would need to set up separate transit and debit accounts on the card, but once the transit account is set up, your private contactless card can hold passes, just like Ventra.

The transition has not been without hiccups. CTA has been holding off payments to the vendor, Cubic, Inc., until Cubic meets its contractual performance requirements. Cubic has been meeting the requirements in January, and will start receiving its contractual payments upon two consecutive months of meeting the performance standards.

Just three months after rollout, over 75% of rides are being paid for with Ventra. Here are some possible reasons why:

· The cash bus fare is $2.25. The electronic bus fare is $2. For reduced-fare riders, the fare is $1.10 cash or $1 electronically.
· There is a $5 fee to get the Ventra card, but it comes with $5 cash value loaded once you register the card within 90 days.
· CTA has 1-, 3-, 7-, and 30-day passes, all available through electronic media.
· Ventra can be used to pay for multiple riders.

CTA also offers Ventra Tickets, for single rides and 1-day passes.

Have a Safe Super Bowl Sunday!


With most of the bars in town showing the Super Bowl today, and scarcely a mention of any family-friendly party venues, today is a really good day to not get behind the wheel.

A short list of restaurants and bars showing the Super Bowl and billed as “Kid-Friendly” is available here.

The Seattle Center is offering a no-alcohol place to view the Super Bowl for free, in the Armory / Center House Main Floor. But there are no plans for big screens, if that is what you are seeking.

If you know of other transit-friendly/family-friendly establishments showing the Super Bowl, please list them in the comments below. Any cab companies or for-hire driver services, or any other free or discounted service to get people home today, can also promote their specials in the comments below.

If you plan to watch the game somewhere other than at home, and plan to drink, plan not to drive. Please and thanks.

Update: The big screen in the Microsoft Auditorium at the Seattle Central Library will show the Super Bowl for free. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. The Bothell branch of King County Libraries will also show it for free.

Hyperloop Turns Out to be Used Exactly as Predicted

On California High Speed Rail Blog, Robert Cruickshank (who also writes guest posts here) writes about a California ballot initiative to replace HSR with… hyperloop.

In August, I made the prediction that the hyperloop proposal, which appeared at a pivotal moment in CA’s HSR project, would be in effect attack on HSR: “The hyperloop idea will peel off some of CAHSR’s support, putting HSR at more risk…”

Generally, publicly sourced alternatives to any infrastructure project are a strategy to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt (or FUD). We see this whenever light rail comes to the ballot – a group of otherwise anti-transit activists will propose bus rapid transit that we don’t seem to hear about either before or after the rail campaign.

My hope is that this pattern helps transit supporters identify this behavior when it happens and helps us prevent this type of attack on transit from getting traction in the future.