67 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Secrets of the London Tube”

  1. Is it standard practice for egregiously (> 10 min at any time point, or some other threshold) late buses to file late reports? E.g. Traffic due to incident on route, repeated use of ramp, previous run was late, pack of 25 cash paying tourist schoolgirls got on…

    It seems like this sort of qualitative information could guide reliability changes; if made publicly available, it could improve rider satisfaction by increasing transparency.

    1. With a route like the 48, it’s often a bunch of small delays adding up. A few minutes late getting out of the gate, a missed light here, a change fumbler there – before you know it, the bus has passed the 10-minutes-late threshold. There’s also the fact that once a bus is running a little bit behind schedule, every stop has more people waiting to get on, which causes the bus to continuously get further and further behind, until it eventually gets passed by the bus behind it.

      If a route is scheduled to run every 10 minutes, even a two-minute delay is enough to jump-start the bunching process. That is why signal priority on core routes is so important, even if it’s early enough on the route for the bus to superficially appear mostly empty.

    2. I wonder how many drivers who find their buses constantly behind schedule file incident reports. I seem to recall that we were paid to file these reports. If nothing else, doing so would deny deniability to those who plan routes and write schedules.

      It really seemed to me that printed schedules issued to the public were flat and willful lies- on an important subject that Metro knew full well about, but had neither the means to prevent, nor the courage to admit. That I had to answer for.

      Without reserved lanes or signal pre-empt, it’s impossible to keep a route of any length on time. There’s absolutely no question that transit’s worst obstacle is nothing but the amount of car traffic in its way.

      There’s one simple and I think cost-free measure that would save a lot of time off-peak- and especially at night or on Sundays: put arterial lights to flash yellow, and cross-street lights to flash red.

      As a passenger, there’s nothing more infuriating than having to sweat a connection because the time my bus sits still with nearest cross-traffic ten miles away. Also think that over time, a lot of both money and wear on engines and brakes would be saved.

      If SDOT won’t do it, transit line crews ought to do it themselves. And dare the city in front of TV cameras to publicly put those useless delays back.


      1. I’m wondering if perennially late buses can be helped. I’m talking as an example the KC Metro route 8. Is there really anything you can do to bring it into schedule or is it a case of causes being insurmountable?

      2. At the very least, intersections like Brooklyn Ave. and Campus Parkway should be converted from a traffic light to a 4-way stop. The amount of time buses spend waiting at a light that gets so little cross-traffic is maddening.

        That said, I have seen many, many instances, where buses have fallen 10 minutes or more behind schedule, even with relatively light volumes of car traffic on the roads.

      3. I actually emailed SDOT about converting Brooklyn Ave and Campus Parkway to a 4-way stop, but never heard back.

    3. I don’t know what the paperwork end of things looks like, but for what it is worth TriMet dispatchers will call a driver and ask what is going on when a bus gets too late. I only know from the driver end of the conversation with things like “The Hawthorne Bridge went up.”

      Today I hear a lot less of this as I think the new computer displays handle some of this by allowing the driver to select a delay reason at the touch of a button.

    4. Haha, 10 minutes is nothing. Some routes would be filing ten reports a day with that standard. The 8 is pretty impossible to fix: Denny Way is the nexus of the two highest-used street grids, and a freeway entrance approach, and doesn’t have room for widening. Somebody (asdf?) suggested closing the half-block around Denny & Yale so that cars wouldn’t line up on Denny for southbound I-5. Maybe that would solve half the problem.

      The 71/72/73 is late because of unpredictable traffic on I-5, 45th from I-5 to Roosevelt, the Stewart/Denny exit, crawling Eastlake, the University Bridge, and the tons of on/offs in the U-District.

      The 48 is late because of Montlake.

      I don’t know why the 131/132 are almost always late. There don’t seem to be any particular bottlenecks. There’s the Fremont Bridge (since they’re through-routed with the 26/28), but I don’t see how that can cause the consistent lateness all the time.

      1. The Montlake bridge is just one of many sources of delay for the 48. I’ve observed the 48 fall 10 minutes or more behind schedule from Golden Gardens to the U-district, in spite of leaving its terminal at Golden Gardens on time. Usually, there is not one single source of delay responsible; rather, it’s more like a missed light here, a passenger who needs the lift there; a change fumbler here; taken individually, each incident seems like nothing, but over the course of a long route like the 48, they absolutely do add up.

        Part of the problem might be that the 48 might come from the fact that there are so many near-side stops against intersections with long light cycles (85th/Aurora, 85th/Wallingford, 80th/Wallingford, 65th/Roosevelt, to name a few). Any time a single person wants to get on or off at any of these stops, the usual pattern is 1) wait for the light to turn green and the cars in front to start moving, 2) pull up to the stop, 3) wait for passenger to board, 4) wait another cycle for the light to turn green again (usually the light turns red, right when the bus starts moving).

        When you design a system where a single passenger getting on or off the bus delays the bus by a full two minutes, the result is a system that is full of delays.

  2. London has been around for at least 2000 years, and now has a population of 8 million people. The subway opened in 1863. I think passengers would have considered “Steam Punk” technology “a bit of a giggle”. Probably the very few people who’d ever heard of zombies- which everybody who did know about them knew they were in Haiti and typical of French places. And had nothing to do with cast iron dirigibles.

    In the 1880’s, a man in the Irish theater named Bram Stoker wrote “Dracula”- a book a lot scarier than any of its later movie versions. To readers, the steam trains to Vienna, which is on the way to Transylvania, were like jetliners now. The nobleman whom the main character was based on, really did things nobody would dare put in a movie now- which in the Balkans in those days was just “street cred.”

    In the book, the real horror of the character was that he was going to move to England, where in those days people were equally scared that people from France, even those who were not zombies, would do the same.

    In about 1885, the English developed a boring machine that was the prototype for all its descendants, and started digging toward France. It probably would have made it, maybe faster than a certain contemporary one will reach Battery Street.

    Except that a whole shift would have shortly drowned very soon. The engineers had no way to keep the machine in the layer of chalk that was the only stratum that would hold the bore. It was hard enough in 1988. Read “The Chunnel”, by Drew Featherston.

    So it probably saved a lot of workers’ lives when the British military ordered the work on the first attempt shut down- for fear of having hordes of Frenchmen come pouring out of the tube to dump the beer of the living and make everybody drink wine. In fact it would have saved a lot more lives to have had the tunnel when the Germans hit Dunkirk.

    Its existence might have prevented World War II.

    Reading British history, one predictable thing for this country or any other is that over 2,000 years there’ll be worse things than Dracula (Monty Python has a lot of funny sketches about events nobody at the time laughed about except the winners.) But the round roofs on those tube cars are really great.


    1. Good grief, Mark! You got any idea what it’s like to get up and read something like this? This is what happens to your brain when you don’t get your drug use out of the way when you’re in college!

      Still, highly recommend the book on the Channel tunnel. May not excuse current Big Bertha disaster, but truthfully explains why it’s a miracle the machine can even find Battery Street. Under some conditions, like airborne salt water,light doesn’t even travel in a straight line.

      Also a great contemporary cartoon of the British Navy futilely scanning the waves for invaders, while hordes of guys with long mustaches, knives in their teeth, and I think street organs and monkeys, come pouring out of the Chunnel into England.

      (Put a sock in it) Mark

    2. Zombies are really an add-on scar to steampunk, and I think their main relationship is that they happened to be popular at the same time. Most steampunk does not involve zombies. It’s basically a look at either (1) what if modern technology had existed in Victorian culture or (2) what if WWI and WWII and modernism and the pessimism against progress (nuclear winter, environmental catastrophe, totalitarianism, etc) hadn’t happened?

      You may be interested in “Pavane” by Keith Roberts. It’s only vaguely steampunk because the Victorian present (1968) is barely recognizable: it never develops because the Catholic Church dominates English society and suppresses the Industrial Revolution and the growth of cities. Steam technology exists but stagnated at an early stage. The first story “The Lady Margaret” is about a worker on an isolated rural coal-steam freight train. The second story “The Signaller” is about an apprentice in a semaphore-tower network (flags transmitting line-of-sight messages as a kind of mechanical telegraph). It’s slow reading in places; I didn’t get through it but you might find parts of it interesting.

      The semaphore network was so realisic I wondered if it actually existed before the telegraph era. I searched around but couldn’t find any evidence of it. So it may have been wholly made up, but that in itself is a remarkable achievement.

      1. Oh, man, here I thought I had the market cornered on things out of the (lengthening) past that nobody under sixty had ever heard of! I must have found “The Lady Margaret” at least fifty years ago.

        I think I’d even seen real-life pictures of trains of wagons being pulled by the monster locomotives of tractors that gave birth to John Deere’s. Though gotta say, cast iron works better for tractors than for zeppelins. Might as well make them out of (Vaudeville off-stage hook ready..) well, you know.

        And who needed zombies! A line of Popes included a legendary one named Orlandlo who ate oysters while Rome burned down, and a more recent one named Gisevius whose theories arbitrarily classified, say Normans with names like Colin de la Haye as different species, let alone nationalities, from Englishmen.

        Won’t give away what finally happened to Colin. But as a result of trying to hijack a load of whatever steam tractors pulled belonging to his English buddy’s Dad, Colin’s final exit would have been a movie scene Scorsese could never have handled. If only Keith had quit when he was ahead!

        Only writer with same justifiably dark sense of England is Robert Aickman, whose stories occasionally have trains in them. As with a lot of good horror, whatever the scary thing is can never really be classified- like zombies. In one of the worst- it’s the stuffed inhabitants of a second hand doll house.

        Reading an Aickman story leaves the reader feeling like he’s trying to digest an oversized order of slightly overdone Bubble and Squeak in a room where the windows won’t open, and a there’s a moldy axminster on the floor. Atmosphere that produced these two writers is probably biggest culprit for British imperialism: desperation to get away from England!

        But Old Albion has been saved in nick of time by- KEBABS AND CURRY! Bubble and Squeak and Toad in the Hole are probably illegal by now.


      2. If it makes you feel any better, I only discovered it this year in a history of fantasy works, which was itself dated (1980).

  3. What’s with the eastbound trolley wire on Pine in front of the Paramount, when is that used? Obviously now it runs as a couplet of Pine & Pike but is/was there a plan to have the buses run two-way on Pine more?

    1. Turnaround for WB buses when 4th Ave is blocked and EB buses when when Pike is blocked

    2. I meant to say the connection between Pine & Pike through the convention ctr is for short turns when there are parades et al.

      EB wire is as I said. Think I can count the fingers on one hand the number of times I’ve taken a bus that uses that wire to bypass Pike.

      1. I get the short turn by the convention center when further west is blocked (which was most evenings this past week), but I’m wondering specifically about the two-way wire on Pine by the Paramount Theater (as opposed to the regular route where it stays on Pike to Bellevue).

      2. Gordon missed the boat with his answers.

        First, the eastbound Pine wire question. At one point (in the 80s until the mid 90s) the eastbound Pine wire was used by routes 7 and 10. These routes continued straight across the intersection at Bellevue and Pine. Meanwhile, the 14 and 43, which went northbound on Bellevue, continued up Pike Street to Bellevue (the pattern all Capitol Hill buses take now).

        Note that there is not a switch for buses to turn left from eastbound Pine to northbound Bellevue, so the 43 cannot use this wire as a blockage detour today.

        A few years ago, before SDOT installed the left turn arrow from Pike to Bellevue, I was in favor of moving the 10 and 49 BACK to Pine and splitting the service pattern. There were too many coaches trying to make that unprotected left turn onto Bellevue and there would frequently be two or three backed up at that light. In the absence of an arrow, splitting the patter and using existing wire seemed to be the best option. SDOT installed an arrow within the last three years, resolving the issue.

        Regarding the other wire through the convention center (on 7th Ave) – this wire was used for regular service for many years through the 1990s. When Pine Street was closed and made into a pedestrian plaza at Westlake Ctr, inbound Capitol Hill service routed via 7th Ave to Union Street. The 7 and 14 turned south onto 3rd from Union, and the 10 and 43 continued down Union to 1st Ave.

        This wire to Union is rarely used (Black Friday is one day when it is used, annually). On both the 7th Ave and the opposing 8th Ave wire switches exist for a bus to turnback in the direction it came from (Inbound from Capitol Hill on Pine can use 7th to turnback for Capitol Hill – Outbound from downtown on Pike can use 8th to turnback to downtown on Pine).

        Hopefully this is a more comprehensive explanation for you.

      3. I’m I explained what they use it for today. Don’t think that is “missing the boat” so to speak

      4. The original question asked if there was/is a plan for two way service on Pine Street.

        Note the use of “was.”

        There was a plan for two way service on Pine Street. It was more than a plan, it was reality.

      5. Also, I misread my overhead map earlier.

        There is a switch to go from eastbound Pine to northbound Bellevue for the 43 and the Summit bus to use.

        My mistake.

      6. Thanks K H and Gordon. Makes sense although separating them does make less of a trunk line corridor with a bus on average every, I don’t know, 4 minutes during rush hour. Two-way on Pine by the Paramount would be an easier transfer from the DSTT to surface buses headed to Capitol Hill (though that’s less of an issue when Link opens). Boren traffic creates so many delays for the Pike-Pine buses from just traffic back ups on Boren itself, long lights for Boren traffic and also from cars turning onto Boren, the buses really should operate those traffic signals.

      7. Hey!
        The clocks at Westlake and Pioneer Square have been working for several months now (at least!)
        Maybe whoever fixed those is hard at work with the fountain at CPS!

        Two way trolley service on Pine was a vestige of the DSTT before competing interests put a stop to it. (remember the transit only part of Pine though Westlake during tunnel construction?)

        Yours truly had a letter to the editor actually published in the Seattle Times describing how necessary transit was through the corridor and how critical Pine Street was and is to our electric transit network when those same interests wanted automobiles to have the supreme priority that they continue to enjoy to this day!

        Compromises won out.

    3. An even better question is why trolley-wire runs a block southbound on Second before turning and coming to an end in the air eastbound on James? Answer is that the Downtown Seattle Transit Project intended single-seat trolley service from the Colman Dock walkway on First up the the courthouse.

      Another version of the 20-years’ stopped clocks in the Tunnel, and the permanent conversion of the really nice waterfall fountain at CPS to a vertical garbage dump because the pump failed. Wonder if it would help for any tax increase to include mandatory refund to taxpayers of the cost of unused equipment?

      At compound interest.


      1. Also the burned out lights at Westlake and the non working station clocks at Westlake and Pioneer Square.

        I seem to recall when Metro was still independent that all of the tunnel stations were well maintained. Standards appear to have slipped with the King County takeover. Hopefully Sound transit does a better job once they fully take over the DSTT.

      2. That’s funny, I’m always amazed every morning on the way to work at how well maintained, clean and patrolled the DSTT stations are, especially given the almost lawless conditions on the streets above the stations. The tunnel is 25 years old and still in very good condition plus I think the stations are much nicer design-wise than any of the stations being built today.

      3. All of the tunnel stations are nice. I do think though that comparatively Convention Place station is the least interesting of the bunch. My personal favorite station is Pioneer Square. It reminds me of a real railway station.

    1. As exciting as the low-income ORCA is, including no card fee, everyone involved in that project knows that the problem isn’t solved for no-income riders, i.e. those who can’t afford to load up even a free low-income ORCA for a reduced fare.

      Congratulations to the Transit Riders Union for getting the free ticket allotment increased by 33%. Note that the county isn’t actually spending an extra 33%, since these are just tickets to let people who had nothing to pay get a seat/space that was probably otherwise going to be empty, unless they were riding a crushloaded van on a route that subsequently got a service investment.

      The administrative nightmare of filling out paperwork for each ticket given out persists. Hopefully, the cost of the program could be reduced if the agencies could load up value for multiple tickets, or even a monthly pass, for those who have no income but have gone through the effort of getting the appropriate ORCA, registered to their name. Hopefully, the days of charging the agencies for ORCA (forcing the distribution of paper tickets) will end soon.

  4. I think this blog should do a better job of not demonizing “change fumblers” since these people are either poor, not regular transit riders, or tourists.

    I would argue these people should be encouraged to ride transit more and not scapegoated for any reason. Any rancor you may have regarding slow boarding should be directed at Metro.

    1. Google “Aspergers’ Syndrome”. Whose existence the Psychiatric Association denies, despite STB’s spewing evidence, One symptom is an angry over-attachment to the workings of transit, especially its mechanisms. The Queen Anne counterbalance would have been an excellent example in its day.

      But wonder if most vocal change-fumbler-haters aren’t the same people most willing to hold a coach for fifteen minutes to be sure transit gets paid to the penny. However, this one is the system’s fault. Nobody could keep a donut shop in business making it hard to pay. Of stay alive five minutes if they were dealing drugs.


    2. Write to Metro and propose they do what?

      That’s the crux of the matter. What can be done to reduce the amount of it that goes on.

    3. People who fumble change are largely doing so because of backward incentives, such as the $5 cost of getting an ORCA, the lack of reward for infrequent riders to use ORCA, and the immortality of paper transfers.

      I think we’ve beaten Metro to death over these simple fixes.

      1. You know, Brent, you’ve finally solved the mystery of why our system can’t do something as simple as issuing the day pass that so many other systems have done for thirty years.

        We transit advocates who thought we were helping improve the system were in fact, without realizing it, picking up to-by-fours, and delusionally mistaking Metro people for mules, and ourselves for 19th century farmers.

        That’s why we also kept saying we were “just trying to get their attention.” So: maybe what’s needed is to surreptitiously slip bridles onto the dazed officials, with a pole holding a gourmet baguette sandwich on the end which we can pull in closer and closer the more rapidly the subject moves toward common sense.

        Durn! Why didn’t we catch wise quicker? Musta been kicked in the head by a horse! Or distracted by a new purple trolleybus whose paint job also spooks horses.


      2. Are you sure you meant to-by-four? Or is this another of those homophones that people can’t seem to grok? :)

      3. They should have and encourage day passes and sell them in a lot of places. They are easy to use for people unfamiliar with the system. Passes also incentive transit use, once you’ve paid the cost of the pass you want to use it as much as possible. TriMet has day passes as the cost of two trips which benefits low income riders too.

  5. Does anyone have a source from Sound Transit about deploying extra Central Link trains from Stadium Station during sporting events? I’m writing the Wikipedia article on the station and need a source for the extra service.

    Thanks in advance.

  6. In my opinion, the biggest hurdle to eliminating paper transfers is making it easier to buy and reload an ORCA card.

    As it stands right now you either have to find a TVM (rare outside of downtown Seattle) or the random retailers who can add money to it.

    The answer is smarter fareboxes. Passengers should be able to walk onto a bus with $20, stick it into a farebox and load it onto their card. Also drivers should be sell ORCA cards on the spot to passengers.

    Metro’s current fareboxes are aging, anyone know when they might be looking to replace them?

    1. I would be quite happy just to be able to do this over the web, without the 48 hour delay.

      1. I would like that too.

        Problem is that the way the system is setup, that’s impossible. The buses don’t have a way to communicate to the system in real-time.

        It also doesn’t solve the whole equity problem (not everyone has internet access, although I feel the number of people is quickly dwindling).

      2. I guess I don’t see an equity issue, since loading the card over the web is already allowed.

        How about some sort of network enabled device at King Street Station and the airport that would allow people to tap their card just to upload web added values? Seems like that might be fairly useful.

      3. Glenn, such devices exist. They’re called TVMs and stationary ORCA validators. The ORCA readers on the buses are different because they use a data file of ORCA IDs and stored value that is loaded into them at the start of the day. If you tap on a network connected device, the stored value is loaded onto your card. It can then later be read by a reader on a bus.

        It works okay for visitors into the city if they first tap at Sea-Tac or KSS, but not for regular users in the area if their first trip is on a bus.

      4. Thanks!

        Where is the one at King Street? It would be nice to be able to get off a Cascades train and upload the value to the card, and not have to worry about how long ago I added the value to the card. Then I could just get on the bus without worrying.

      5. There are ORCA validators at the entrances to the Sounder platform. IIUC, you can tap a second time to cancel. I’m not remembering now where the TVMs for Sounder are, but you could walk over to 5th S and use the TVMs for Link. Just use it to check your e-purse balance.

    2. If someone can put $20 on an ORCA at the farebox, they would also be able to put $2.75 on, which would only add more seconds to the change fumbling.

    3. Having ORCA reloading machines on every bus, separate from the farebox area, would be interesting. That would be the best time to get someone who just got a triple-beep warning him of low value, or who just had to pay a cash surcharge, to take action. The number of buses is roughly one tenth the number of stops. I don’t know what such non-card-vending machines would cost. Ideally, it would take both credit/debit and cash.

      But also deploy them downtown, since the PM peak outgoing buses would be too packed to get to the machine.

      Taking this one step further, if someone wants to pay with cash, wave him back to the machine, and quietly alert the nearest transit deputy to come get him if he doesn’t pay.

      1. If you’re suggesting that the driver be the one to do the catching, waving, and alerting, the the bus will cease to be moving and the system will rapidly begin doing the opposite of paying for itself.

        The fact that LINK fare inspectors hardly ever board trains in the DSTT- in addition to train drivers being completely isolated from both fare process and passengers- indicates that off-board collection and knowledgeable judicious inspection save the money that distracted drivers cost the system.

        By simply making all Tunnel platforms “Proof if Payment” areas, inspectors both roving and positioned at platform entrance and exit points can keep inspection far enough from the vehicle and its driver to be out of the way.

        As I’ve mentioned before from experience, a driver who’s become aware of an egregious cheat can fill out- and be paid for- an incident report describing thief and time of theft. Since police can now pull camera footage, large percent of trouble would either not happen, or “go down” at a place of the system’s choosing- well out of transit’s way.

        Meantime, San Francisco seems to be doing very well by placing a card reader at every door of every single vehicle in the system- much better than putting mechanical fare collection- with all of its potential for delay- aboard buses.


      2. On the GVB (trams) in Amsterdam there are readers at every door on the trams and you tap on and tap off when leaving the tram. This replaced the “strippencart” system that was used for many years (which I found personally confusing.)

      3. The Houston buses have machines toward the back up the bus anyone can dump in some cash get the value added to their equivalent of an Orca card. It’s completely separate from the farebox and, does not hold up the bus at all. If they can do, there is no reason why Seattle can’t do it too.

      4. Maybe it’s just me but the Houston Metro re-load machine looks awfully clunky to me.

    4. Not a bad idea, Ricky, except that the requirement that every boarding passenger pass the farebox by itself slows down service. On the Tunnel buses, front door only boarding turns two door bus that should have had three into a one door bus. At the worst possible time.

      And also, even questions about fares- and everything else- can cause serious delays. Best to do like San Francisco- driver makes change and issues transit when requested. But fare inspection sees to it that it’s the passenger’s responsibility to have bought a pass somewhere, and not the driver’s responsibility to issue one.

      A very large, if not hundred percent amount of the reason for on board fare payment is that twenty years after we were promised an integrated system the “separate agencies” still insist on getting their share of the money to the penny- rather than, for instance, both using passenger-counters and doing the dividing by formula.

      It’s “Penny-not-very wise and Dollar-dumb as a doorknob”. But above all, I’d like to get an answer to something really puzzling. LINK, ORCA, and ST Express all wear the same colors. Why can’t they take each others’ tickets- until ORCA is “built out?”


    1. Once upon a time, the Steel Bridge had lights that went on and lit up the bridge as the train crossed the bridge. I haven’t seen them in many years though. Of course, I haven’t lived in Portland for a couple of years, either.

  7. Life was so simple when I had my $99 annual senior pass, now abolished. I always pay now with 3 quarters, very quick, don’t inconvenience anyone. Don’t use Orca card as i have too many questions. After first card pass and a transfer pass on another bus, when is the 2 hrs up? Love paper transfers, no confusion as to when 2 hrs is up.

    1. I appreciate you always having your fare ready (as probably does everyone else on the bus, if it is as fast as tapping ORCA). Sadly, your anecdote is the exception, according to Metro’s data.

      BTW, How do you tell when your 2 hours is up? With all the angles at which drivers tear the slip, I don’t know how they read them.

      1. With paper transfers generally you have two hours though I think officially it’s 90 minutes. I see drivers periodically adjust the “tear” line on their transfers but I’m sure they don’t adjust them all the time. Their main job is to operate the bus I would think. They’re not fare enforcers as well.

      2. One thing I want ORCA to copy SF’s Clipper is to show the transfer expiration time when I tap to transfer.

    2. When you’re running to catch the bus, having your fare ready before you board is virtually impossible.

  8. I was riding the 84 last night and we pulled in to the 3rd/Pine 5-minute wait at exactly 3:25am but were told to wait (by the base radio) until almost 3:40 before we could leave. Is this a usual thing? Every bus that entered that area–I saw 82, 83, and 84, plus C and E lines, and a 124–pulled over and stopped.

    (Anecdotally, ever since September, the ridership of the 84 has changed. Now people get on and off at varying points, I saw only one person “pay by story” instead of tapping or inserting cash, and at one point last night the bus was half full.)

  9. I have a report on the 3rd / pine ticket vending machine! I left my orca card in my vest and wore a different jacket in the evening.

    tl;dr: I am ridiculously lucky that I had $2.25 in cash, because that machine does not take Amex. Otherwise it would’ve been a $20 bus ride or fare evasion.

    The good bits: Correspondence between onscreen icons and buttons was easy. Buttons were responsive. Screen was easy to read, at least in the dark.

    Bad bits: Isn’t explicit about not accepting Amex (or maybe it’s just mine). Takes a long, long time to load the first screen, and it takes a long time each time (I tried three times before realizing I had enough cash).

  10. “We transit advocates who thought we were helping improve the system were in fact, without realizing it, picking up to-by-fours, and delusionally mistaking Metro people for mules, and ourselves for 19th century farmers.

    Durn! Why didn’t we catch wise quicker? Musta been kicked in the head by a horse! Or distracted by a new purple trolleybus whose paint job also spooks horses.”

    The real trouble, Mr. Singer, is that so much time has gone by since horses really were widely used for motive power that references to the damage they could inflict don’t carry much effect.

    The fact is that in addition to creating serious street-cleaning problems, these animals were extremely dangerous, and both killed and seriously injured a much higher percentage of the population, especially the working one, than cars do.

    Getting “kicked in the head by a horse” was a common “jab” at someone’s intelligence, but everybody knew the reality wasn’t funny at all. For instance, the injury produced a lifelong inability to spell.

    For instance, when a victim meant to say “two”, he often said “to”, or even worse, “too.” Or would think that hitting public officials with a board would be nothing more than a chummy way of attracting their attention. Which in certain cities, it was.

    Whereas in fact, they would also show exact symptoms of being kicked in the head by a horse, since in places like Five Points, New York City in the 1830’s, Irish gangs like the Dead Rabbits would nail a horse shore to the ends of their fighting-boards as a way of signing their work.

    However, in contemporary gang turf like South Lake Union, same effect is gained by hacking into someone’s computer so severely that results start to bring them FaceBook ridicule saying that whoever was responsible for a certain result had essentially made the world banking system go GROK!!! like Don Martin by using “too” when he meant “tout de suite!” while demanding French Press.

    Or- was actually a mule in a human suit.


  11. From the Secret Shoreline Facebook page:

    There will be another Light Rail discussion this Thursday:
    Sound Transit will build two light rail stations in Shoreline, at NE 185th and 145th Streets, along the east side of Interstate 5, with service expected to commence in 2023. The City of Shoreline is now studying how neighborhoods adjacent to stations may redevelop over time. This raises a lot of questions for homeowners who may be impacted by rezoning and other changes. The 145th Street Station Citizen Committee (145SCC) will host a panel discussion covering potential implications of development around the stations, particularly with regard to property taxes and real estate. Panelists will include representatives of the King County Assessor’s Office, Windermere Real Estate, and other development professionals. The discussion will be held on Thursday, December 11, 2014 in the Council Chambers at City Hall, from 7:00-8:30 p.m.

    Contact: Email 145SCC@gmail.com with any questions.

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