Featuring a Seattle Transit System bus driver.

(h/t Erik Griswold)

23 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: My Dad’s a Bus Driver!”

  1. An article about train speed and congestion:
    London Underground may be too fast, but the New York subway should maybe be faster?

    It’s a study of how networks operate and claims that since London Underground train speed is so high it makes the areas at the end congested.

    That may be, but imagine the congestion if the trains were slower, so more people drove on routes parallel to the lines.

    1. “Surprisingly enough, the network in New York is much more centralized than the one in London,” Dr Barthelemy said.

      Perhaps because Manhattan Island is surrounded by water?

    2. I find the notion that transit users should have their trips artificially lengthened to avoid inconveniencing suburban motorists to be rather obscene.

      1. Two other thoughts I had:

        Maybe they neglected the impact of feeder buses? Or the feeder bus system is poorly implemented? Or maybe they neglected all the longer distance trains that serve areas further out?

        Maybe if your network is causing this type of congestion, it doesn’t go far enough? I’ve been using TriMet’s orange line for two weeks, and concluded that not going further south was a huge mistake that causes a lot of traffic in areas that are ill prepared to handle it.

  2. Does anyone have any unique ideas for transit or land use that they’d like to share? Are there any creative people here who’ve though-up an original idea having to do with transportation or housing?

    1. More Fuel Cell Transit News from Ballard…

      Ballard inks deal to power Chinese commuter trains with fuel cells

      Ballard plans to develop a new prototype configuration of its FCvelocity fuel cell module to deliver 200 kilowatts of net power for use in powering trams in urban deployments. An initial deployment of eight fuel cell-powered trams is planned by CRRC Sifang and the City of Foshan on the Gaoming Line starting in 2017.


    1. I love the Times’ logic. Vote no because it barely puts a dent in the $2b maintenance backlog, but Seattle voters should instead demand a smaller package?!

    2. When the Megaprojects are being billed to the State or County, the Seattle Times bends over backward to press for urgency. Every line item becomes a “must-have”.

      However, now that Tommy Seattle might have to reach into his own wallet, and pay for his stuff using a property tax levied on him and no one else, suddenly, the “Pulitzer Prize winning” Seattle opinion makers are pinching pennies.

      Let me guess that if this levy were spread around King County, they would be arguing for throwing everything they can grab into the minestrone.

  3. The Times seems especially upset that the proposal doesn’t lock the city into a list of projects for 10 years. Ignoring the fact that the city actually has published a list of projects, along with their scoring methodology[1], why would they even think it’s a good idea to lock $1 billion into a fixed list of projects for 10 years? Our city certainly will change in those years and flexibility is a good thing.

    [1] http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/docs/MoveSeatte-FinalDraft-2-25-Online.pdf#page=44

    1. Always remember that the ST editorial board starts with an anti-tax, anti-urban position and reasons backwards from there. If the list of projects was locked in, they’d probably complain about lack of flexibility.

      1. Besides the perceived Seattle Times agenda, shouldn’t a transportation proposal be more about maintenance and safety and less about pet projects? We should put every penny of the levy to maintenance and safety. The more I learn about transportation package “sausage making” the more I’m aware of how corrupt the process is. The levy has less to do with improving the city and more about politicians serving their campaign sponsors.

      2. What is a special interest? The issue is what the city needs and how much it needs each part. If there’s a project that mostly bicycle voters care about, are their votes illegitimate and they shouldn’t speak up? Which are the pet projects and why aren’t they needed? We need maintenance but we also need infrastructure, and there’s a fifty-year backlog of non-automobile infrastructure. If we only do maintenance we perpetuate that bias.

      3. how corrupt the process is

        What’s the evidence of corruption? Are stakeholders invested in bikelane futures?

        If you’re saying the process doesn’t necessarily generate optimal outcomes or priorities, I suppose I don’t disagree, but that’s not “corruption.”

      4. Basic transportation system maintenance begins with street repaving. Some folks are too quick to dismiss this as merely favoring automobiles, but obviously that’s not so. City streets carry transit buses, bicycles, freight, and other for-hire vehicles, in addition to private cars.

        I’ve taken lots of bus rides where the coach sounded like it was being shaking apart by the decrepit city street. And the few times I’ve tried bicycling in Seattle, the biggest challenge is not the traffic on my routes but having to dodge potholes and broken pavement.

        I’m certainly supporting the Move Seattle levy, but a higher portion for street maintenance would’ve made it better.

    2. What about the fact that general fund transportation spending as a % of the overall budget is actually down?

      The council is not funding enough street maintenance through the general budget, then it claims a “crisis” exists because it spent the money elsewhere. If the transportation share of the general budget remained constant, we’d not need such a large levy.

      It reminds me of the concerns around Seattle’s financial support for Metro. Would Metro simply redirect its spending elsewhere and rely on Seattle’s funding for in-city routes? We didn’t want that. But, SDOT’s budget is being treated the same way. Instead of growing with the city budget, SDOT’s budget is flat. The general fund money has been raided for other priorities, even as leaders acknowledge there are critical maintenance needs.

    1. I tried to find gas prices on the Chevron station they show, but there are none visible. I’m guessing it’s pre-oil embargo.

    2. Early in the video, it showed a street scene with the Seafirst building and the first tower of the, now, Westin Hotel. These were both built in 1969. So early seventies is a good guess.

    3. The video shows a Seattle Transit System bus. Metro began operation on New Years Day 1973. Sesame Street (where the video is taken from) began late 1969. So it must be between 1970-1972

    4. I must have seen that segment for years on Sesame Street, only realizing when I saw it later that, “Hey, that’s in Seattle!”

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