Top 10 Read and Commented Posts of 2015

UW Station at night
Sparking new Sound Transit station. Photo by Joe Wolf.

2015 has been a terrific year for us at STB.  We made Zach Shaner (previously a longtime staff writer) our first-ever paid part-time reporter, and the move has tremendously improved our range of coverage.  We added two fantastic volunteer writers to our team, Seattle’s Erica C. Barnett and Kirkland’s Dan Ryan.  You, our readership, have grown in number–and continued to provide one of the most substantive and interesting comment sections to be found anywhere on the internet.  We’ve had plenty of news to cover, between University Link restructures, Move Seattle, landmark legislative elections, increases to Metro bus service, and Sound Transit’s preparations for next year’s big vote.

Even in such a news-packed year, one topic clearly dominated the conversation: Sound Transit 3.  In order, these are our most-read and most-commented posts of 2015.

Most Read

1.  A Transportation Solution for Today and Tomorrow, by guest poster Seattle Subway (July 14).  This is an exhortation to Sound Transit to think big for ST3, in terms of both dollars and years.  It appears to have worked, with ST expanding its preliminary 15-year time horizon to 25 or even 30 years in some scenarios put forth in the latest ST3 planning materials.

2. Dear Mercer Island: Public Space is for Public Use (Sept. 29).  Zach’s on-the-scene report covering Mercer Islanders’ numerous requests for special treatment by Sound Transit — in exchange for locating the south Eastside’s best transit facility in a non-residential area of the island — struck a huge nerve.  The report was cited in several local news outlets, and sparked a fascinating debate regionwide.

3. Seattle Subway’s Recommendations for the Sound Transit 3 Survey, by Seattle Subway (June 8).  This feedback was reflected in a number of Sound Transit’s proposed options for ST3.

4. ST3 – Once in a Lifetime, by Seattle Subway (Dec. 1).  Following up on the #1 post above, this post introduced Seattle Subway’s “STComplete” vision for a large ST3 proposal, with lines connecting essentially every transit-favorable community in the region.

5. Westside Seattle Transit Tunnel, by Seattle Subway (Feb. 18).  This February post presented Seattle Subway’s vision for a two-headed downtown tunnel serving both Uptown and South Lake Union.  Sound Transit ultimately did propose a second downtown tunnel as a core element of their ST3 vision, although the concept is somewhat different.

6. Sound Transit’s Conceptual Study: Should You Be Worried? (Apr. 24)  Martin’s careful look at Sound Transit’s tentative, suburban-heavy batch of initial ST3 concepts triggered an outpouring of angst and of support for bigger, bolder, more urban projects.  The agency’s later ST3 concepts turned out to be much closer to what we and many of our readers would like to see.

7. New Metro Buses Coming, by guest poster Ricky Courtney (June 22).  A quick update on Metro’s fleet plans, as the agency scrambled to convert options and get more buses quickly in light of Seattle Prop 1 and a strong economy.

8. Seattle’s ST3 Input (July 28).  Martin’s exposition, updated by another, later post, of SDOT’s input into ST3 station locations, focusing particularly on the Uptown-Ballard line.

9. Seattle Should Demand High-Quality Rail (Aug. 18), by Seattle Subway.  Following up on Martin’s post above, Seattle Subway also covered SDOT’s input.  The group continued to argue for a two-headed WSTT and, less controversially, complete grade separation.

10. The Full $15 Billion (June 29).  In this post Martin celebrated the successful inclusion of the full amount of requested taxing authority for ST3 in the state Legislature’s final transportation bill.

Most Commented

Continue reading “Top 10 Read and Commented Posts of 2015”

Snohomish County Rounds out 2015 with a Healthier Transit System

First-generation Double Tall on route 415 on a cold November night

2015 has come and flown past at the speed of a Sounder train and brought with it many great things for transit riders, especially for those of us north of the King-Snohomish county line. Community Transit has hit several milestones this year, including the successful restoration of Sunday service and victory in the November general election. Let’s take a look back at some highlights from 2015, which I had excitedly looked forward to last December.

February: New transit center for the north end

At the very north end of the northernmost all-day frequent bus route pair in the Seattle metro area lies a loosely-connected string of big-box stores, strip malls and suburban housing developments known as “Smokey Point”. A new transit center opened there on February 16, replacing an earlier and much smaller facility, and notably excludes public parking unlike many other similar facilities in the county. Buses from across the northern parts of the county, including the cities of Arlington, Darrington and Stanwood, feed into local routes 201 and 202 (running at 20-minute frequencies) at the new transit center, enabling a smoother and covered transfer to points southwards, such as Everett and Lynnwood. Community Transit sees the facility as the northern terminus of the Swift system in the not-too-distant future, which could encourage some kind of transit-oriented development in the hinterlands of northern Snohomish County.

March: Interim CEO Emmett Heath is handed the reins

Long-time Community Transit CEO Joyce Eleanore announced her retirement in July of last year, leaving a vacancy in the job she held for the past 20 years. The search for a new CEO ended in March with the hiring of then-interim CEO Emmett Heath, who had previously served as the agency’s Administration Director for 10 years.

April and May: Real-time bus website launches and Google Maps integrated

Continue reading “Snohomish County Rounds out 2015 with a Healthier Transit System”

Extended New Year’s Eve Service

Space Needle fireworksSound Transit has announced the closing times for Link Light Rail and Tacoma Link for getting home from New Year’s Eve festivities.

  • Link Light Rail’s last train out of SeaTac Airport Station will depart at 12:10 a.m., a half hour earlier than on a typical weekday.
  • Link Light Rail’s last train out of Westlake Station will depart at 1:13 a.m., a half hour later than usual.
  • Tacoma Link’s last streetcar will depart Tacoma Dome Station at 12:36 a.m., two and a half hours later than usual.

Additionally, the Seattle Center Monorail will run until 1 a.m., with a fire-department-required break from 11:15 p.m. to 12:20 a.m. If you want to ride the monorail, remember to bring cash, as it still hasn’t joined the ORCA pod.

A year-long ridership study is expected to begin early next year, funded jointly by SDOT and the Seattle Center. Since the point of the ridership study is to protect the profits for the Seattle Center and Seattle Monorail Services (not accounting for the City’s role in paying for all the maintenance), hopefully the study will consider how many more people would spend more money at the Seattle Center if riding the monorail involved a free transfer from the public transit system, and what impact a nearby Ballard Link Station would have on existing monorail ridership, especially when taking Ballard Link would be a free transfer for many.

Holiday schedule changes for transit throughout the region were covered earlier this month.

ST3: Link to Tacoma

This is part of a series of posts looking at Sound Transit’s candidate projects for ST3.

Tacoma Link.png

At every opportunity, STB has pushed to run Link on SR 99 instead of I-5.   SR 99 offers a better walkshed from the station, more transit-oriented development (TOD) potential, and better interfaces with local bus routes.  All of the things that are associated with all-day frequent service.

Alas, we lost all those battles in Shoreline, Lynnwood, and Des Moines, where local politicians and business interests were determined to keep light rail away from as many existing business as possible.

Once again I-5 and SR 99 are pitted against one another in Sound Transit’s proposal for light rail along the Southern section of the spine from Federal Way to Tacoma.  Unlike the situation further North, however, SR 99 and I-5 are very close to one another, and as you approach Tacoma they essentially become the same road.  As a result the tradeoff is not nearly as stark as in Snohomish County or even South King, and the I-5 alignment may actually be superior.  Here’s why.

Continue reading “ST3: Link to Tacoma”

We Need More Options Across the Mountains

ZigZagZac (Flickr)
Spokane Intermodal Center – ZiggZagZac (Flickr)

After WSDOT closed both Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Passes on Christmas Eve due to ten feet (3 meters) of snow, I watched on social media as my friends trying to head east for a Spokane Christmas either despondently stayed home or pressed on by driving to Spokane via Portland. 

With bus service also shut down and flights packed, the Seattle Times coverage of the closures noted that one Amtrak ticket across the Cascades was available at the time of publication, a $750 bedroom on the Empire Builder. Which is a shame, because Amtrak’s Empire Builder ran flawlessly through the storms.

We need more and better options across the Cascades, not just redundancy during rare road closures, but plausible and convenient options that knit the state together without requiring a personal car. 

Consider a simple trip to Spokane. By my rough estimates, personal vehicles account for 89% of average weekday trips across the chokepoint of the major passes, with Snoqualmie (15,000) and Stevens Pass (2,000) averaging 17,000 vehicles per day (of course, only a fraction are headed to Spokane, but it’s a rough proxy). An order of magnitude smaller, the 15 daily flights between Seattle-Spokane on Alaska and Delta provide another 1,700 seats. Nearly a further order of magnitude smaller, 4 daily buses provide 200 seats, and the Empire Builder averages just 73 daily Spokane passengers from all stations between Seattle/Portland and Chicago. 

Are we stuck with cars for the vast majority and niche options for the rest? Though WSDOT has shown a significant interest in intercity bus service, its initial lines have been rural lifeline service connecting Spokane-Kettle Falls, Seattle-Port Angeles, Omak-Ellensburg, and Pasco-Walla Walla. But perhaps nowhere is WSDOT’s involvement in public transportation more appropriate than with intercity bus and train service.

So where should we start? What kinds of services would you like to see? In the short term, I’d love WSDOT to either subsidize additional frequencies on Northwest Trailways or Greyhound, or better yet entice Bolt Bus to offer nonstop Seattle-Spokane service. Medium to long term, we need state-operated rail services untied to Amtrak’s oscillating fates. The list of projects needed would be long, including a crown-cut tunnel and new welded rail over Stampede Pass, capacity improvements over Stevens Pass, and maybe new rail from Ellensburg to Lind. But no matter the specifics or mode, we need to live in a state where traveling between our major cities is easier than, “Good luck, I hope you have chains and all-wheel drive.”

I-732 Moving Ahead, Conservatives Passing Up A Good Deal

“AirPollutionSource”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

I-732 is a statewide initiative planned for next fall that would impose a statewide carbon tax and use the proceeds to reduce the sales tax by 1 point, essentially eliminate the B&O tax on manufacturing, and provide a tax credit for low-income households. Many liberal groups, including Governor Inslee, would instead like to use the money on climate programs and other political priorities, and are backing an alternative, much less mature, initiative that does that.

If you believe that climate change is an emergency, as I do, you shouldn’t allow your political beliefs about size of government distract you from supporting both initiatives. Neither will solve the world’s problems alone, but every little bit helps: for any amount of warming, a little less warming will have somewhat less dire consequences. It also serves as a model proving that carbon taxes won’t destroy the economy, and collective action always requires contributions that in isolation don’t solve the problem. More to the point of Seattle Transit Blog, taxes on fossil fuels naturally capture their externalities and encourage less energy-intensive modes of living and transport.

I chided progressives for slamming I-732, partly because of the above, and partly because I thought I-732 had a more realistic chance of appealing to the median voter. Perhaps it does, but part of the implied mechanism is that conservative groups would recognize a tax cut when they see it, and the business community would fulfill their fiduciary duty to shareholders rather than express class solidarity with the fossil fuel industry. But (ha ha) of course they didn’t:
Continue reading “I-732 Moving Ahead, Conservatives Passing Up A Good Deal”

Suggestions for U Link’s Station Screens

Information screen in test mode at UW Station

The two new U Link stations will introduce a new way of delivering information to passengers but the design needs to be more user-friendly. Unlike the LED signs at Link stations today, the new stations use flat panel screens. When I went by UW Station last month, I was not impressed with the test screens I saw. Sound Transit told me and a few other concerned people on Twitter stating that the screens I saw were not the final look. While I await their final design, I would like to critique the test screen and suggest improvements.

The test screen’s layout is divided in three parts: an area for images like a distorted Sound Transit logo; an area for showing train arrival times; and an area below the two spanning the width of the screen showing the familiar text seen on signs at other Link stations, “Welcome to [station name] / Sound Transit Link Light Rail / [current time]”.

The biggest problem with the design is it attempts to cram too much information on a single screen, resulting in text much smaller than the signs they replaced. The most important information on the screen, the train times, is given a third of the space with very small text that is difficult to read from a distance or while walking. Two-thirds of the screen is dedicated to irrelevant information like the Sound Transit logo and the welcome message. Such information belongs on permanent station signage, not a dynamic screen like this.

By breaking that information into multiple screens each focused on a single message, readability would be greatly improved. An example of this are LA Metro’s station information displays. Prior to their redesign a few years ago, LA’s signs tried to do what ST did with a three section layout. There was a running ticker in the bottom for service alerts, a large area for more alerts, graphical marketing & public service announcements, and a small column to the left for next train times.

LA Metro's screen before (apologies for the poor quality)
LA Metro’s screen before (apologies for the poor quality)
LA Metro's screen after
LA Metro’s screen after

The new design gives each element its own screen for a few seconds at a time. This allows the layout of each screen to be tailored for the message. Service alerts are given a bright yellow and bold text to call attention. Eye catching, full-screen graphics can be used for marketing and public service announcements. Train times can be shown in large text that can be seen from afar. Even the date and time has its own screen. Each screen can be given a different weight so some screens stay up longer or show more frequently than others or in the case of an emergency, normal programming can be overridden to give important messages.

The other design aspect I like about LA’s screens is they fit in with the LA Metro look. The typography, colors, and symbology match those used in Metro’s branding and wayfinding system to make it a consistent experience across all mediums, static and dynamic. While the approach shown is not the only way to design a passenger information screen it is clearly better than the test screens I saw.

News Roundup: Merry Christmas

Very Seattle, Very Black & White

This is an open thread.

Track 2: More Transit-Oriented Caroling

As we settle into wintry gloom, here is another set of cheery tunes: “70s they have passed us by”, to the tune of “Angels we have heard on high” about how we cannot wait for the new LINK stations to open, and “Here we come a-Walkering”, urbanist facts made pellucid by Jarrett Walker, Donald Shoup, et al., to the tune of “Here we come a-wassailing.”

To the tune of ‘Angels we have heard on high’:

70s they have passed us by
loaded to infinity
by fine folks who need a ride
to the university

can’t wait ’til you o—pen;
we could use you open now.

I am stuck in Pioneer Square
trying to get to Broadway
Sitting on a forty-nine
will take nearly all day

can’t wait ’til you o—pen;
we could use you open now.

To the tune of ‘Here we come a wassailing’

Continue reading “Track 2: More Transit-Oriented Caroling”

2016 City Council Committee Assignments

Last Week Heidi Groover described the 2016 committee assignments under incoming Council President Bruce Harrell. These committees are the figures that do the most to shape legislation in their subject areas. Of most interest to STB readers are Sustainability and Transportation, which manages Seattle’s bus service purchases, Move Seattle implementation, and Seattle’s rights of way; Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability, which handles zoning; and the new “Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods, and Finance,” whose exact relationship to PLUS is not yet clear . Each committee has a chair, vice-chair, member, and alternate, listed respectively below.

Sustainability and Transportation (formerly “Transportation”):

Old: Tom Rasmussen, Mike O’Brien, Jean Godden, Nick Licata.

New: Mike O’Brien, Rob Johnson, Kshama Sawant, Lisa Herbold.

My Take: A big improvement. Jean Godden acted like the former Times columnist she was, skeptical of transportation taxes and anything that reduced the primacy of car access. Licata and Rasmussen are both big bus fans, skeptical of rail, and cranky about different things; Rasmussen turned out to be more obstructionist, but both were on-side when the big decisions came down. All three were, of course, Deep Bore Tunnel supporters.

We expect Rob Johnson , former head of TCC and longtime friend of the blog, to be an absolute rock star. Sawant and (likely) Herbold share Licata’s agitation over regressive taxes, but recognize that it’s better than no revenue at all. We expect them both to not be huge improvements, but mildly less representative of old Seattle and therefore of easy and cheap driving, everywhere, any time.

So the whole committee gets considerably younger (which likely changes their outlook in a positive way) and adds one bona fide rock star.

Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability

Old: Mike O’Brien, Tim Burgess, Nick Licata, Sally Clark/John Okamoto

New PLUS: Rob Johnson, Mike O’Brien, Lisa Herbold, Lorena Gonzalez

New “Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods, and Finance” Committee: Burgess, Herbold, Johnson, O’Brien.

My Take: This is hard to read because there are two committees that cover the biggest fault line in Seattle’s progressive politics: between upzoning and affordable housing incentives.* So perhaps it’s best to view this as Licata being (in more ways than one) replaced by Herbold, Tim Burgess with Rob Johnson (one great urbanist to another), and then the Clark/Okamoto seat filled by a Burgess/Gonzalez platoon. People perceive Gonzalez as a Murray ally and she endorsed HALA without reservation, which is good. And of course the two committee chairs are the two I’d pick for land use stuff. So at the margins there ought to be a bit of an improvement.

This isn’t a set of committee members that will intentionally blow up HALA, but it could try to chip away at some of the pro-growth developer provisions at bit. In particular I can see the PLUS committee finding excuses to softpedal upzones.

* Setting aside the other fault line between pro-growth people and NIMBYs, where every returning member and Herbold have seen fit to side against upzones on occasion.

Changes to Metro’s Strategic Plan and Service Guidelines

A route identified for investment by the Service Guidelines. Photo by Joe A. Kunzler.
A route targeted for investment under the Service Guidelines. Photo by Joe A. Kunzler.

Last week, County Executive Dow Constantine transmitted an ordinance to the King County Council containing proposed changes to Metro’s Strategic Plan and Service Guidelines.  These are a big deal for King County bus riders; they will shape how Metro service evolves over the next decade or so.  There is a lot to digest in the documents.  We have spent the usual quality time reviewing them, and I spoke last week with Metro Deputy General Manager Victor Obeso and Supervisor of Strategic Planning Chris O’Claire about some of the most important proposals.

We have covered the history of the Service Guidelines and Strategic Plan on a few occasions.  In short, their 2011 adoption by the King County Council replaced an ad hoc planning process often driven by individual Councilmembers’ wishes with public, verifiable criteria for planning service additions, reductions, and restructures.  Executive Constantine rightly wrote in his transmittal letter that the Guidelines helped “make the transit system more efficient and better focused on the county’s most important public transportation needs.”  The Plan and Guidelines represent exactly the type of political guidance that the Council and Executive should be providing to Metro’s professional staff.  This sort of guidance is entirely different from interference with micro-level planning decisions.  It’s essential to ensure that the Metro system reflects the values and preferences of King County’s voters and taxpayers and remains accountable.

A bit more about the process underlying the recommendations is after the jump.  First, the major headline recommendations:

Revise the categories of routes used for Service Guidelines analysis.  Currently, routes are divided into two categories: “serves Seattle core” and “does not serve Seattle core.”  All routes that touch downtown, the U-District, SLU, Ballard, or certain other dense neighborhoods are in “serves Seattle core,” regardless of whether they are core all-day routes, suburban peak expresses, or infrequent coverage routes.  The proposal would scrap these two categories and replace them with “urban,” “suburban,” and “alternative service” categories, based on the areas the routes primarily serve.

Provide special protection for peak-only services.  Service Guidelines Task Force members felt that Metro’s September 2014 cuts, and proposed further cuts that did not occur, exacted too heavy a toll on peak-only services.  The proposed changes would protect peak-only services that enjoy either a travel time or ridership advantage over all-day alternatives from the first round of future reductions.

Revise criteria used in corridor analysis.  There are a number of different changes included in this bucket, with the most significant being 1) a change in the definition of “low-income” used in setting target service levels from 100% to 200% of the federal poverty level (for a family of three $20,090 annually), and 2) inclusion of park-and-rides together with other types of ridership generators.  Metro’s Ms. O’Claire estimated that all of the corridor-analysis changes would significantly increase the amount of new service recommended under the Guidelines, by approximately 250,000 hours over today’s recommendation of 471,650 additional hours.

More below the jump.

Continue reading “Changes to Metro’s Strategic Plan and Service Guidelines”

Track 1: Transit-Oriented Caroling

‘Tis the season for songs of cheer, and no reason that some shouldn’t be about public transit! May these songs bring readers cheer and light as they wait for the coming of their coach.

Please feel free to add your own — you know you’ve been thinking “Oh ST3, Oh ST3…” for the last week.

‘East-West Run Our Bridges’
To the tune of ‘Adeste Fideles’, as duet:

1 + 2: East west run our bridges
Floating when not sinking
1: Ride with me, so we can use the
HOV lanes

Continue reading “Track 1: Transit-Oriented Caroling”

RapidRide+: The Corridors

Last week I described the overall goals for the RapidRide program. Today I’ll look at all the corridors themselves.  Keep in mind that everything described here comes from the Transit Master Plan addendum and represents early-stage ideas.  This will all be refined through community input as these routes are designed and implemented over the next seven years.  Overall, though, the 2015 addendum includes more aggressive use of exclusive lanes than the original 2011 TMP.  There is also mention of center-running bus lanes on every route, raising the possibility of buses with left-hand doors.  It’s quite possible that within 10 years the majority RapidRide routes could require left-door buses.

First, though, a brief taxonomy of bus lanes, for those who might need a refresher.

  • Center-running bus lanes are preferable: buses can’t get stuck in traffic or blocked by right-turning cars. the downside is that they require median bus stops (typically on wider streets) and often require special buses with left-side doors. They also mean taking lanes from cars and are so the most controversial and expensive.  The TMP generally refers to these as “transit lanes.” They are orange in the maps below.
  • Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes are bus only-lanes that cars can enter to make turns into side streets or businesses. They are yellow in the maps below.
  • Peak-only BAT lanes may allow parking outside of rush hour, or may only operate into downtown.  This can be problematic for reverse-peak trips.  Thankfully these are kept to a minimum.  They are magenta in the maps below.
  • General Purpose lanes, sometimes referred to as “mixed traffic”, are used by all modes.  Buses can still benefit with bus bulbs, which allow the bus to stop without moving out of the lane (SDOT is planning bus bulbs for all RapidRide+ corridors).  They are black in the maps below.

In general, more exclusive the lane, the faster the bus can go.  Now, on to the corridors…

Continue reading “RapidRide+: The Corridors”

Madison BRT Comes into Focus

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 9.57.37 PM.png

SDOT dropped the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for Madison BRT on Friday.  The outreach phase, which included surveys and public comment,  showed that the public valued transit reliability and pedestrian safety.  Speed of autos and parking were low on the list, so good on everyone who showed up and commented.

There’s nothing too surprising in the report for those who’ve been paying attention. This tracks with what we’ve heard in the open houses.  More dedicated lanes East of 18th would have been useful. Alas, it was not to be. Parking spaces will remain East of 22nd (despite ample parking underneath Safeway and presumably the other new developments as well).

Here are the highlights:

  • A western terminal at 1st Avenue, shared with the Center City Connector
  • Eastbound operation on Spring between 1st Avenue and 9th Avenue
  • Stations near I-5 at both 5th Avenue and 8th Avenue
  • Center-running transit-only lanes from 9th Avenue to 15th Avenue
  • An eastern terminal at Martin Luther King, Jr. Way

BAT lanes will be provided from 15th to 18th.

The LPA will be submitted to council in 2016.  Design will happen in 2016 and 2017, and, pending federal grant funding, the line will open in 2019.

Metro to Move Route 10 in March

Route 10 change map
Metro’s map. The revision is no longer “potential” — it’s coming in March.

Metro announced today that, as part of the U-Link restructure scheduled for March 2016, it will change route 10 to use John St and Olive Wy, rather than Pine St, between 15th Ave E and Bellevue Ave E.  The change comes in response to concerns that the previous final restructure plan, as modified by Metro after turns at 19th Ave and Madison St proved unworkable, did not provide enough connectivity to Capitol Hill Station and removed service between the dense Summit neighborhood and downtown.

We advocated for the change, but were hardly alone.  Lots of people independently suggested it, and it played prominently in many different discussions of the restructure.  While it’s not perfect — it compromises north-south connectivity within Capitol Hill and may result in some overcrowding on route 11 — the change will improve connections to Link and preserve service for the many downtown riders in Summit.  Metro should be commended for its flexibility in implementing this change at the very last minute.

Holiday Service Reductions Start Monday

Bellevue Botanical Gardens Holiday Lights, a brisk walk from route 271
Bellevue Botanical Gardens Holiday Lights,
a brisk walk from route 271

It is that time of year again, to pay attention to the special holiday week schedules at King County Metro, along with holiday and holiday eve service reductions on other agencies around the region.

King County Metro will run a UW Reductions schedule, cancelling designated trips on routes 31, 32, 48, 65, 67, 68, 75, 167, 197, 271, 277, 331, 372, and 373 Monday through Wednesday of Christmas Week.

Christmas Eve and Monday, December 28 through New Year’s Eve, Metro will continue running a UW Reductions schedule, along with a Reduced Weekday schedule, cancelling routes 114, 192, 201, 237, 304, 308, 316, 330, 355, Group Health Express, and 930, and cancelling designated trips on routes 31, 32, 48, 65, 67, 68, 75, 101, 102, 105, 106, 107, 111, 116, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125, 128, 143, 150, 153, 157, 158, 159, 167, 168, 169, 177, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 186, 187, 190, 197, 212, 214, 218, 219, 232, 242, 244, 249, 252, 255, 269, 271, 277, 303, 311, 312, 331, 342, 372, 373, 907, and 931.

Service levels for the various transit agencies around the region for Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day are below the fold.
Continue reading “Holiday Service Reductions Start Monday”

An Introduction to RapidRide+

Existing and Proposed RapidRide
Existing and Proposed RapidRide

For a city that prides itself on its green reputation, it may surprise you to learn that only 1 in 4 Seattle households lives near frequent transit, where the bus or train comes every 10 minutes or less.  That’s not King County, mind you…. that’s within the city limits.  If we’re going to get more people out of their cars, we’ll need to put more frequent transit service closer to where people live.

Fortunately, Seattle DOT has a plan to do just that.  With money from last fall’s Let’s Move Seattle levy along with 2014’s Prop. 1, SDOT envisions a world where 72% of Seattle households are within walking distance of 10-minute transit service by 2025, almost triple the number today.

A key piece of that agenda is expanding the city’s RapidRide network, which Move Seattle called “RapidRide+.”  What is RapidRide+?  How is it better than today’s RapidRide? And how will it put frequent transit near the front doors of 3 in 4 Seattle residents?  Today we’ll look at the system all-up, and then tomorrow we’ll look at the individual corridors.

Continue reading “An Introduction to RapidRide+”

News Roundup: Neighborhood Veto

Seattle Transit Bus and Light Rail Tunnel at Westlake Center downtown Seattle underground.

This is an open thread.