37 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: I Got Me Aystah Card”

  1. While planning a trip to Vancouver BC, I was looking at what they are doing with their card. It’s a C$6 card, but the card price is used as a credit for the card to go into deficit.

  2. Good article in the Seattle Times today. The State rewards people who don’t pay their past due tolls and fines, and punishes people who do pay them. The lesson I’ve learned when it comes to toll and traffic fines is it’s always better to not pay.

    1. Ha! Spot on Sam! Excellent work! Keep it up! Your the best!

      All i need now is some Mark Dublin and my STB sunday will be complete!

    2. I’m glad Sam reads the Seattle Times every day, and not just the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and all the major Asian and European newspapers in their original languages. I understand he’s learning Spanish now to keep up on Latin America news, and to take over Jimmy Carter’s role as a citizen diplomat now that Carter can no longer do it.

  3. I am currently pondering whether or not to join the Citizens Advisory Committee of my local transit agency. My main concern is if I’m going to make that level of time commitment, are committees like these places for genuine input.

    Does anybody else here participate in such committees?

    1. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I was on a dog-and-pony-show board once, and our final report was programmed by the council’s choice of membership. I was part of a group that submitted a minority report. We were lightly pressured to not submit that minority report.

      I’ve watched other boards where the expert input of board members was new information that got incorporated into the work product. Most of the new information, though, came from staff and public comments.

      I’d say participate. But you don’t have to join.

      1. Based on my involvement experience in discussions with a pre-determined and -digested agenda, I think any minority report needs to include not only a statement to the Press, but a promise to the Media that the attendees on the public comment list will include at least one speaker wearing a bikini in a cage. No promises necessary about either gender or species.

        But your main implement will be a quiet, succinct, non-publicized summary of your minority report accompanied by a roster of voters who support your demands. And a list of sponsors too busy running corporations to attend. Thanks to Citizens United, none of them have to be real, since it’s Unconstitutional to check.

        Would also be good if cage occupant could present comments while shaking and biting the bars, snarling and screeching, and showing correct clinical signs of rabies (check with UW. No, not the president’s office.) Both East African and US urban habitats have creatures of this exact description whose report generally swiftly becomes the majority one at every meeting where they show up.

        On that subject, guys, what’s time and place of Thursday’s session?

        Thanks, Mark

    2. Do you enjoy sausage?

      My experience was well worth it.
      Even if I didn’t feel anything went the way I thought it should, I at least gained an understanding of the politics, and a knowledge of how things worked technically well enough to be a useful resource to the general public. (I was NOT the person to complain about traffic around at a party. Any conversation was prefaced by me with “Are You SURE you want to talk about this?”, because I kept them out of the party for at least an hour)

      In fact, I still use that experience almost daily for when I’m confronted with explaing a ‘why?’.

      My wife NEVER complains to me. She knows better.

      Go for it !! Yes it’s worth it.

    3. It’s like anything else in a democracy. YOU won’t get your way all the time, but you will be an influence, and you will gain invaluable connections.

    4. It could be good, or not. It depends a lot on who else is involved and how it is managed. The only way to know for certain is to participate for a while, and then if it isn’t working not seek to participate again once your term is expired.

  4. Is anyone else going to the KING5 taping of the transportation forum this thursday? If so, email me! zachlubarsky (at) outlook dot com.

    1. I am going as well since I’m still out of a job with a BSCE then will be going to a benefit for the Transportation Choices Coalition.

  5. Think it was just before I started driving for Metro in, like, 1981, Reggae got really big in Seattle. Cultural misunderstandings, though.

    Especially in Kingston-town, where not only did de sun not shine daily on de mountain-top, but you couldn’t even see it all winter. And mapquest was useless for de Government Yard in Trenchtown.

    And de rum probably was ok any time of year, but doubt any resident worked all night on a drink of it.

    But worst bewilderment was that guys usually went to True Value in their pickup trucks, so you hardly ever saw anybody walking down SR104 to the Edmonds ferry with just one ratchet wrench their waist.

    But still not as bad as today’s shameful Hollywood distortion about another Caribbean island. Not only do zombies not eat people. Their chief recommendation as agricultural labor is they don’t eat anything. They also cut sugar cane all night without even one drink of rum.

    But best of all from an industry point of view: there’s no Haitian French equivalent to the name “Cesar Chavez.” So only realistic zombie-movie title would be: “The Dead Don’t Unionize!” So looking forward to its debut at the Ark Royal, five minutes walk from Columbia City LINK station.

    Note from Lonely Planet: “Throughout the island there are bus stops at most road intersections along routes, but you can usually flag down a bus anywhere except in major cities. When you want to get off, shout ‘One stop!’ The conductor will usually echo your request with, ‘Let off!’

    Maybe aboard sardine-packed Route 41 NB 5PM at Westlake, that would work better than “Back Door!”


    1. Damn! Thought it was only my short-term memory whose memory banks are full and I have to delete something. Couple of runs I’d give a lot to delete.

      “Ark Lodge” should be easy one. Quick walk from the Empire Cafe, where de espresso is fine any time of year.

      But one true-life zombie horror haunts this subarea. My guess is that the evil plantation owner that Bela Lugosi played in “The White Zombie” got hired into Atlantic maintenance around 2005. But not totally negative. Seattle could grab back the movie industry from Vancouver BC with “Night of the Rolling Dead” .

      Would be good sequel to that Demi Moore movie which had Demi and Michael (whose dad Kirk was probably really pissed that any boy of his kept taking roles where he got victimized all the time) getting off the 302 on their way to Colman Dock from Pioneer Square Station.

      Though maybe Metro’s attorneys demanded that for Metro’s reputation, route number had to be changed to that movie portrayed nothing about Seattle and its transit system either living or half dead.


  6. Seattle Times: Man gets 30 months in fatal Lake Washington boat crash. It was suggested by some that partial blame lay with the owner of the sailboat which was hit, for not having his boat lights on at night. So do all of you think that a sailboat on the water at night with it’s lights off can be partially responsible for a boating accident?

    And don’t worry, this isn’t a Vision Zero allegory. I’m not trying to trap or trick you into admitting that pedestrians who wear dark clothing at night are partially to blame for anything.

    1. HaHa! Yeah Sam, great stuff! I’m still waiting for you and mark to write together on page two! High comedy!

      1. fil, and Sam,

        Haven’t seen the police accident report, but there’s something missing. I’m fairly sure that, like a vehicle on a street or highway, the law requires that everything on the water at night have running lights.

        Though the court could also have legitimately concluded that if the man at the wheel of the boat had not been both drunk and seriously overspeed, the collision could have been averted, or at least less serious.

        However, this incident brings up something in the past that demonstrated equal stupidity, but thankfully caused no death or injury. Or need to repair and repaint the front of a bus- which incidentally, in those days had beautiful reflective stripes the color of Grant’s Scottish Ale.

        Because fashion was going through a period where for Metro officials, black was the new orange, or maybe reflective chartreuse.

        So in the black, light-sucking winter darkness peculiar to Seattle, Metro officials were walking around in their own funeral shrouds. Even a fashionable reflecting collar pin seemed to be gauche.

        Once again, could have been an absence of cultural perspective. In a flamboyant Latin place like Italy, the average urban night is, like everyplace else on Earth, much brighter than Seattle, so at least the officials would show up in silhouette.

        Or conversely, if the official was also a Capo Don in the Mafia- it’s not not only in Seattle that people wonder exactly how Breda ever gets a contract- he not only travels mostly in an armored limousine, but also presents a more difficult target if his bodyguards just shove him someplace dark.

        True, a white tie turns the blackest shirt into a bullseye. But in those years, it could have been a point of honor in Don Vito’s world to get turned into a parmesan cheese grater rather than to be mistaken for a Metro official.

        Mark, but also Sam’s fault.

  7. I really like the new butt-rests that are installled instead of benches at some bus stops such as Campus Parkway and Third and Pike. I wish there could be more of these — they take up much less sidewalk space and are less likely to be occupied by people not waiting for the bus. Does anyone know?

    1. Well, there’s something like that at the Pine & Bellevue stop. The benches at Campus Parkway are still there; at least the ones I use. I think some of the shelters have benches and some don’t; I don’t know if they took any out or just added lean-bars. Non-riders is not a problem at Campus Parkway that I’ve seen. Non-riders are remarkably place-bound, at University Way & 45th and 50th. There are shelters with benches just two blocks away in all directions but they don’t hang out there. They must walk by them every day and know that they exist, but they don’t go there. 3rd & Pine is another of those place-bound places where they concentrate. They seem to be stuck to that place no matter how much the businesses and bus routes change around them. The city is now trying to push them out, or at least make open sight-lines so they’re fully visible. We’ll see if it makes any difference. To me the whole safety makover at 3rd & Pine looks like a bunch of nothing: the sidewalk looks practically the same as it did, so what are the improvements?

    2. The big problem with them is that they are not at all useful for someone over, oh say, 5′ 8″? I’m 6′ and I have to squat in order for my butt to touch the rest. Or I have to have my legs sticking out a foot and a half into the sidewalk.

      I’d much rather just have a few more poles I can lean my shoulder against. But after enough of that, my shoulder and collar-bone start to hurt… So I guess I should just stand.

  8. When are trolleybus operators running the new trolleys allowed to use the battery?

    I ask because I was on new trolley doing a 3/First Hill run. The poles came off the wire right at the left on 21st & Jefferson, just before “terminal,” so the trolley stopped in the middle of the intersection. The operator let me off (I was the last person onboard) and as I left he was getting ready to redo the poles. I asked about the battery and he said he was only allowed to use them for a big emergency like a traffic accident.

    That seems odd to me. Why have the capability if it can only be used sparingly? Prevent battery wear?

    1. I think in that situation, the operator made the right call. The battery power is really only necessary when you *can’t* use the overhead power — such as construction or traffic accident that causes a reroute. If the bus just came off the wires, battery power doesn’t really gain you anything. You still have to reattach to the lines, so you might as well do it now. Now, maybe since he was in the middle of the intersection it would have been beneficial to pull through the intersection on battery and reattach. But, having seen a bus detach and reattach automatically, it would probably have been quicker to just fix the pole.

      Actually, unless battery tech has changed a lot (which it likely has), I would suspect it’s better to cycle the batteries every now and then with some usage rather than keep them permanently charged.

  9. Does anybody know when the promised September service improvements funded by Prop 1 are supposed to happen? It’s now September, but I haven’t heard a specific date yet?

    1. It’s with the September service change, so probably the 26th. The past three changes have been Sept 27, 28, and 29. I couldn’t find a definitive date for the next one on Metro’s site but the past ones are online.

      1. The current schedules expire on the 25th, so the new schedules should start September 26.

        I am eagerly awaiting that date.

  10. Does anybody know when the promised September service improvements funded by Prop 1 are supposed to happen? It’s now September, but I haven’t heard a specific date yet?_

  11. I’ve ridden the new trolleybuses twice now, the 36 and 10 I think, and saw a 1. They’re the UW purple and gold, so that should lessen the non-need to recolor Link’s lines. The roof extends a foot above the windows, which looks funny.

    The best thing is, they get quiet like the 1980s trolleys!!!!! When the generator cycles off, the sound goes down to a very faint fan, and you can hear the whine when the motor moves the wheels. The in-between trolleybuses have a loud fan running continuously which I hate. I suppose you can only hear them quiet when the HVAC is turned off.

    The door is right in the middle and easy to get to from both halves, like other exit-rear cities. They’re double-swing doors with prominent yellow signs saying to press the center edges to exit. It’s a bit difficult to find the right way to press to make them open, so that will take some getting used to.

    The seats are a combination of 2×2, sideways bench, and sideways 1×1. Since it’s low-floor, most of the bus couldn’t accomodate forward single seats, and the sideways single seats are mounted away from the edge. Earlier people complained that 2×2 seating will perpetuate the narrow ailes that make it difficult to walk to the doors, but there’s really only one or two rows of 2×2 seats at a time, so the bottlenecks are small. And the bus wasn’t full, or at least the mid-day 10 isn’t. However, when the articulated trolleybuses come it may be a bigger issue, if they have more rows of 2×2 seats together.

    The bell pull is slightly different: it says “STOP REQUESTED” in the destination display rather than a light above, and it doesn’t ring (or at least mine didn’t) so I had to pull a couple times before I noticed the stop requested display. There are signs between the windows saying to pull the cord for a stop.

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