David covered the goodies in Sound Transit’s 2016 Draft Service Implementation Plan on Tuesday. Most of the big changes, including opening the new light rail stations, the additional daily Sounder runs, the new ST Express route 541, and long-term construction re-routes on routes 555, 556, and 560 still have to be approved by the ST Board.
Smaller additions of trips to ST Express routes can be approved administratively, as long as the service level does not change by more than 25%. This happens to allow the 15 additional route 545 trips to be added in 2016 without a need for Board action.
Chapter 5 of the Draft SIP explains the process for adding new trips, and lists the unfunded “immediate needs” for additional trips. The wish list and explanation are below the fold.
510: Add 2 early SB (southbound) and 2 mid-afternoon NB weekday trips.
511: Add 6 morning SB and 5 afternoon NB trips.
512: Add 4 NB PM trips.
Also add 4 mid-day SB and 4 afternoon NB Sunday trips.
522: Add 4 SB AM and 5 NB PM trips, in addition to the three trips being added in 2016.
532: Add 3 morning SB trips.
535: Add 4 morning SB trips.
540: Add 3 morning WB trips.
545: Add 10 more weekday trips, in addition to the fifteen scheduled to be added in 2016.
(The trips to be added in 2016 are not broken down by direction in the SIP.)
On Saturdays, add 2 mid-day and 1 late-afternoon WB trip, and 3 evening EB trips.
Also add 1 WB mid-day trip on Sundays.
550: Add 10 WB and 10 EB trips throughout the day.
Also add 1 EB Saturday morning trip.
Also add 4 afternoon/evening WB and 4 late-afternoon/evening EB trips on Sundays.
554: Add 6 WB morning trips and 6 afternoon/evening EB trips.
555: Add 2 WB morning trips and 3 EB mid-to-late afternoon trips.
556: Add 1 WB morning trip.
560: Add 1 EB Saturday morning trip.
574: Add 1 very early NB trip, 2 mid-afternoon SB trips, and 1 very late SB trip.
Also add 1 very early Saturday NB trip.
577: Add 1 early NB trip.
578: Extend all Saturday 577 trips to operate as 578 trips.
590: Add 1 PM peak NB trip
594: Add 2 mid-day NB and 2 evening SB trips on Saturdays
The process for adding new trips now largely follows the 2014 Service Standards and Performance Measures.
Two indicators are used to determine when overloads require action: (1) when the load factor (ratio of passengers to seats) regularly exceeds the maximum load factor prescribed for that vehicle at least three times a week, or at least twice a month on Saturdays or Sundays; and (2) when passengers have to stand more than 30 minutes (medium priority) or 45 minutes (high priority) at least three days a week, or at least twice a month on Saturdays or Sundays.
The trips on the wish list are what ST staff projects would eliminate current violations of these two indicators.
As resources become available in each sub-area, ST is able to administratively add the high priority trips with sufficient time before a service change. Once the high-priority trips in a sub-area are handled, ST can start administratively adding the medium priority trips, with sufficient time before a service change.