84 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Martin Luther King Jr Attempts to Desegregate Housing in Chicago”

  1. Has there been much talk about a bus restructure with the angle lake station opening? As a student transferring to Green River (Auburn) this could make a difference.

    1. Sound Transit’s plans for restructures are usually found in its annual Service Implementation Plans. Metro tends to start thinking about restructures a year or less before they happen.

      For ST’s SIPs, and restructures contemplated for future years, go to the chapter titled “Preliminary Service Plan”. Since Angle Lake Station is scheduled to open in late 2016, I don’t see a restructure happening until March 2017, as bus restructures need months of lead time.

      The main proposal that has stuck around for Angle Lake Station is to re-route ST Express 574 to serve it on the way to the airport.

      But then, the question will arise, if ST plans to truncate a combined 574/577/594 at Highline Station when that opens in 2023, how will that be any more advantageous than having a combined 574/577/594 serve Angle Lake Station starting next year.

      As for Metro, I’m guessing route 180 will simply be in for a frequency upgrade, and will stay on its current path to serve neighborhoods in SeaTac.

      Are you wanting to get to a destination at Angle Lake Station, or elsewhere?

      1. I was mainly concerned about how much of a mobility improvement the extension would yield in South King. If we integrate the bus network around the new station, great! if we don’t, the $300+m extension would serve as a mere addition to P&R capacity, which would be unfortunate.

      2. Once the 574 goes to Angle Lake Station, you may as well just have it go 1.6 miles further to the airport. Truncating a 20-mile route to save 1.6 miles at the end is not going to buy any significant amount of extra frequency.

        As to having the 574 stop at Angle Lake Station on the way to the airport, I’m not sure what the point is, if the only connecting it enables is switching over to the train to take you to exact same place that the bus is going anyway. If the bus stop is east of 99, it would have no significant effect on travel time, but if the plan is to have the bus deviate into the station parking lot, now you’re talking about several minutes added to the route, waiting for stoplights to cross 99 multiple times. The result is several additional minutes to get to the airport, regardless of whether you stay on the bus or switch to the train.

        Truncating the 574 in Federal Way, once Link goes that far, makes sense. Messing with the 574 route in response to Angle Lake, not so much.

      3. There’s no freeway exit at 200th; only 188th which it’s currently using, and KDM Road. So if it takes 188th it would have to turn south, directly away from the airpoirt, and make everyone’s light rail trip longer. If it takes KDM Road, then it’s presumably slower on 99 to the airport, and if it ends up behind an A bus in the transit lane it will have to stop behind it or go into the GP lane to pass it. So none of these give a good reason to go to Angle Lake.

        As for the 180, it also can’t go straight to Angle Lake Station unless another overpass is built across the freeway. It would have to cross at the same place and go back south to get to it. That would turn airport trips into a 2-seat ride and make Link trips longer. There’s the Angle Lake park n ride, but 180 riders don’t use it so they have no reason to go there.

        A one-station extension does not allow any Metro routes to be truncated so there’s no new service hours, and Metro doesn’t have any extra hours for more frequency. King County Prop 1 failed, and I haven’t heard of a separate Kent measure to increase bus service. So the only Kentians who will benefit from Angle Lake Station are Mr Bailo driving to the P&R.

      4. Actually, there is a freeway exit at S 200th St. Of course, if the 574 exits there, it’d still need to go north on 99 to serve the airport – so I don’t think that’d be a good idea.

      5. The only purpose of Angle Lake Station is overflow parking for TIBS. Sound Transit could choose to not even bother running trains to Angle Lake as long as TIBS still has available parking spaces and no one would notice.

      6. I understand the points made about the pointlessness of a bus restructure at this point, but $383m for merely 1,000 P&R spots is sad…

      7. “The only purpose of Angle Lake Station is overflow parking for TIBS.”

        It’s also a shorter trip for people from the south.

      8. Here is the map of the northbound exit from I-5 onto Military Rd S just south of Military’s crossover of I-5 and turning left to become 200th. Although the distance may be a little longer, it will be faster than the Kent-Des-Moines Mash-up.

        I am agnostic as to where the hours should come from, but I will be disappointed if ST does not take the opportunity to introduce 10-minute all-day headway service between Angle Lake Station, Federal Way P&R, and Tacoma. I fear that 20-minute headway may not even be in the cards. So, a trip to Federal Way or Tacoma may still involve backtracking downtown for many south Seattleites.

        I also very much want all-day 10-minute headway on the A Line, but the suburban voters spoke.

      9. There is already 15-minute service between Link and Federal Way, in the form of the A-line. By the schedule, the A-line is just 10 minutes longer from SeaTac to Federal Way than 574. From south Seattle to Tacoma, one would only need to backtrack as far as SODO to use the 594, not all the way into downtown. Considering the speed advantage of the 594, once it gets on the freeway, it may be faster to just do the backtrack, depending on, of course, how fast and frequent the ride is between home and SODO. FWIW, Google shows Columbia City Station to Tacoma being about 10 minutes faster backtracking to SODO vs. connecting at the airport and riding the 574.

  2. Good morning, my STB buddies to my south. I hope you are well and ready to cheer our Seahawks on.

    Now I don’t mean to start a 20+ comment flame war, but just a polite FYI to all regarding the Future of Flight attendance… just got the 2015 stats.

    “295,501 guests experienced the Boeing Tour (up 9.5%). An additional 20,648 purchased Gallery/Strato Deck tickets” according to the newsletter. Yes, the Future of Flight & Boeing Tour has its own museum & viewing deck that requires Gallery/Strato Deck tickets.

    So basically 316,149 visitors or 870-871 average daily visitors for the 363 days a year they’re open. So many of whom didn’t get to enjoy the Community Transit & Sound Transit the Institute of Flight (formerly Future of Flight Foundation) is involuntarily paying into.

    Likely in a few years a new Mukilteo bus route paid for by CT Prop 1 from Seaway Boeing Station to Future of Flight to Mukilteo Multimodal (WSF/Sound Transit/Community Transit) will roll out. A big day. Thanks to all of you who helped with CT Prop 1.

    Like I said… GO HAWKS.

    1. Out of curiosity, what route sequence would you suggest for King County denizens to get to the museum, and when is the best time?

      Also, how does that museum’s experience compare to that of the MoFli down in Tukwila?

      1. There are too options to get there. One ionvolvs walking on the shoulder of a freeway (Google) and the other involves a 3/4 mile walk on a narrow sidewalk on a busy pedestrian hostile road.

        Which do you want?

      2. Brent, as of now until Boeing Seaway…

        I’d recommend Sound Transit Route 510 to Everett Station, then take Community Transit Swift to 148th street, take a short walk to Community Transit Route 113 stop at Hwy 99 & 148th SW until you get to 84th St. SW. You will disembark and have to plan on a VERY STEEP hike up a hill for half a mile.

        Now when you finally do get to the Future of Flight and Boeing Tour, you can either pay $10 to see some aviation exhibits like a big jet engine, a 3-d printer, a fuselage section, and more. Or pay almost $20 to see the Boeing Tour and watch real jetliners get built too. Some walking required… and after that steep hike, not a good experience.

        Like I said: This is a real issue that isn’t going to go away. Oh and… GO HAWKS.

      3. Thank you Glenn in Portland.

        Last night I was planning an April trip to Portland and McMinnville. Although Yamhill Transit doesn’t serve the Evergreen Aviation Museum, at least the hike from the nearest bus stop is on level ground and on a sidewalk.

        Ironically or appropriately, the distances between the AIRBNB I intend to stay at and Evergreen Aviation Museum are roughly about the same between my hometown and Paine Field. At least you guys got light rail (MAX) and commuter express rail (WES) to get me most of the trip.

      4. In all brutal honesty, I would probably lean towards taking the 512 to South Everett P&R, and calling Uber from there. At about half the cost of an all-day rental car and half the travel time of busing it all the way from Seattle, this feels like a reasonable balance between time and money.

        The 113 has many problems, and the walk at the end is really the least of them. A much bigger deal is that route is slow and circuitous, with connections that are not timed well with the 512. The 512 is also unreliable enough that you’d need to plan on arriving at Lynnwood TC a good 20 minutes, at least, before the 113 is scheduled to leave. But if you do want to bus it all the way, connecting to the 113 at Lynnwood TC is still quicker than going all the way north to Everett and back south again on Swift.

      5. Bus or Amtrak 510 to Everett Station, cab to the museum is by far the least time consuming and safest.

      6. Guys,

        I’ve taken a $25 cab from Everett Station to Future of Flight several times… and it’s almost $12 in taxi fare from Future of Flight to the nearest SWIFT station anyway.

        Now as to circuitous CT Route 113, I think there’s a solution for Mukilteo if it’s cost-effective and Mukilteo City Government is willing to operate it. Namely, “A Mukilteo Streetcar could operate between the under-construction Mukilteo multimodal terminal to serve the ferry, train and buses, as well as the Future of Flight, Historic Flight Foundation a future Mukilteo Park & Ride on the Mukilteo Speedway, and possibly cease at Evergreen Way to link up with Community Transit SWIFT.”

        I then went on to say in the Mukilteo Beacon, “The benefits to a streetcar are clear to me: A photogenic tourist attraction in of itself, an ability to link hotels with quality restaurants and tourist attractions, and a means of discouraging congestion on the Mukilteo Speedway by providing frequent service propelled by clean hydroelectricity. But, then again, transit users, like myself, see the benefits and not the very real costs.”

        Just a thought.

      7. Oh, no, not a streetcrawler trying to climb the hill from the ferry dock! There is a reason streetcars were not considered for Madison. Maybe what you want is a cable car, but those are even slower.

        Just convince CT to provide bus service there. I would go visit the museum and inject some sales tax revenue into the Snohomish County economy if that trip became safe via transit.

      8. Duly noted Brent,

        However I’ve never understood why the climb is an excuse to deny SWIFT & Streetcars. To me as a passenger, it’s just an incline requiring more horsepower. In the case of something powered by electricity, should be easy.

        Not too worried about the Future of Flight now. Just wanted to see if the Mukilteo Speedway and key Mukilteo attractions could have some good standalone service.

      9. Honestly, if you really want the to make transit to the Future of Flight museum an attractive option, nothing short of a dedicated shuttle between the museum and the nearest #512 stop would do the trick (not Swift, as Swift is already too much of a pain to get to coming from Seattle, since Everett Station is too far of a backtrack).

        I wouldn’t count on either Community Transit nor the museum paying for such a shuttle anytime soon, as both agencies have higher priorities to spend their money on.

      10. Honestly, if you really want the to make transit to the Future of Flight museum an attractive option, nothing short of a dedicated shuttle between the museum and the nearest #512 stop would do the trick

        The times I have taken the 113, it has never had that many passengers on the diversion through the neighborhoods. I’m talking somewhere around 5 passengers total, including myself, until the thing crosses Swift at highway 99.

        In my opinion, the whole route structure in the area needs to be reconsidered. The 113 as it currently exists north of highway 99 is really more of a peak period route I would think. Nobody commutes from vast suburban neighborhoods in Mukilteo to vast rural neighborhoods on Whidbey Island. The people who come off the ferry from Whidbey Island will use the 113 somewhat because most of the time it is the only thing there.

        One annoying thing to me was that there was one day I briefly stopped by the Future of Flight Museum. Someone else was driving and we were on our way somewhere else. During the time I was there, just to see what things were like there, three deadheading Everett Transit buses went past – apparently from Mukilteo to somewhere else. So, buses are already going past the Future of Flight Museum. They just don’t do so when they are in service.

        The whole place is just rife with deadheading buses, thanks to a number of peak travel direction only routes. Boeing of course has some, but then so does Mukilteo and a few other places as well. There has to be something better that can be done with all those unused service hours, and there has to be something better that can be done with the north end of the 113.

    2. Last night I was planning an April trip to Portland and McMinnville. Although Yamhill Transit doesn’t serve the Evergreen Aviation Museum, at least the hike from the nearest bus stop is on level ground and on a sidewalk

      Have you tried calling Yamhill Transit to make sure they don’t serve the museum? Other than the steel mill and the college, that’s the biggest thing in McMinnville.

      A number of rural transit districts in Oregon will divert to certain places if you call ahead, and I know Yamhill Transit does that for one hospital in Newberg and a RV park someplace outside Dundee.

      So, you might ask them about that.

      1. I wish they would do something about the repeated tagging going on at the FHSC platforms. In cities like El Paso they have a 24 hr turn over for instant graffiti cleanup. This quick action helps discourage repeat offences.

        I also see they have the Orca Card machines inserted at CH station. I can’t think of what else needs done except testing.

    1. If it is it won’t be very exciting. Although it will give me another way to get from Pine Street to Uwajimaya.

      1. Maybe some exciting new ways for people to collide with and park cars blocking transit traffic?

      2. Any ways for cars to block the streetcar have surely been sorted out during the testing period, assuming the testing is over. Now, people running onto the tracks to protest for whatever causes at Seattle Central … Gee, we didn’t see that coming!

      3. The protesters will then be surprised by the ability of the streetcars to reverse themselves.

      4. The “parked car” blockage of the streetcar is still a problem. Last night a test car was blocked outbound by a car illegally parked in front of the Silver Cloud Inn. I was passing on my bike and stopped to watch. The streetcar was sounding it’s bell continuously “clang clang clang” to no effect. The streetcar was completely blocking traffic northbound on Broadway. I waited about 10 minutes and watched the standoff before giving up and going home. Either they’ll have to put up barriers, or station tow trucks along the route, otherwise it will be a disaster when it starts running for real.

  3. In other news, I have to make a (somewhat embarrassing) Wednesday run into Mukilteo to deliver & pick up late Christmas presents. Gotta say it would be so nice if someplace near Everett Station was a good place to stay or hang out for 40-60 minutes to make an early afternoon connection from Route 18 to the 90X back home… suggestions?

    Or maybe if the Double Tall Sound Transit 510 schedule leaked, I’d appreciate that…

      1. The name “Buzz In” makes me think that one of their restaurants might have an aviation theme, but I didn’t notice any evidence of that at this one. I didn’t go into the bar section though.

      2. Joe, and Glenn, what percent is the grade from the Mukilteo ferry terminal to the top of the hill in question? If the passenger count and frequency were a whole lot heavier, or if there were places on the hill where a stop is necessary, “switch-backs” are an old railroad procedure.

        Simply reversing the train at every other switch might impress passengers if train were pulled by an 1870’s steam locomotive, brass fittings, whistle, puffing and all. But line would now have to be curved at each turn back.

        If population finally warrants, all across the hill, train could finally be worth it. But cog-rail or grip, I don’t think any system in the world would put a car-line in there now.


      3. I can’t find my BNSF employee timetable that was given to me some years back, but it can’t be more than 4% or so. Otherwise, they would have trouble getting the freight cars up the hill to the Boeing plant.

    1. You can try to find traces of the old Interurban terminus, which I think was at Colby & Pacific. I think it’s a 12-minute walk from the station, or two blocks from the second Swift station. On Colby north of Hewitt are a few restaurants and mixed-use things.
      Straight north of the station at Broadway & Hewitt the PUD complex has a small park and midblock pedestrian path.

  4. Have to say, Brent, if anybody in STB did a voice-over on the video, might have been good to call attention to the Flexible buses, which were probably brand new in 1966. We used to have some of them, painted red.

    In addition, shame video has nothing about the classic transit still on the rails in 1966. Elevated cars from the 1940’s, PCC streetcars, Marmon trolleybuses- though the great North Shore Electroliner went away 3 years before.

    But really bad that much STB readership has enough experience with Chicago, to catch the really ominous points in the video.

    I’ve always been disgusted by the lie that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery. However, I do think that Confederate sympathizers over all the years have one valid point. Then and now, deadly race prejudice was never confined to the south, and absent slavery, was often worse in the north.

    In a TV interview, Dr. King said the thing that shocked him most in Chicago in ’66 was that while in the south powerful underlying prejudice in the south was unquestioned by the Establishment, the average mob member was considered “rabble” by white southerners of every class above poverty, however intense their racial sentiments.

    In the north- as clearly shown in the video- the attackers were very average working people. The priest from their neighborhood spoke with their accent-like the average “El’ motorman. Last really-telling opinion, though. A huge cause of fury was these workers’ idea that the average black was a strikebreaker. Real bad in the days when there were still unions.

    “Irish, German, Lithuanian, and Russian” …. Virtually none of these groups had any place in the Chicago-and- It’s-Suburbs Establishment. Who lost no love for beat patrolmen, stockyard labor, and transit drivers. But also, murder-level violence between many working-class neighborhoods. But all united in hating Black people.

    Two differences now: One, very few people of any non-African American background will openly express their feelings on this matter in public.

    But two, tempered only by universal easy consumer credit, the unionless and raise-less workers whose jobs went to China or just went away over the last 40 years are in much worse shape, and know it.

    And for lethal cross-racial prejudice- listen to the massive financial coverage on-Public Radio, for God’s sake! Many comfortable expensively-degreed nice people consider these ex-workers the new “rabble.”

    Fix that, or we’ll be glad if Donald Trump only gets elected President. And not just because he doesn’t knows a PCC didn’t use to be a grocery store!

    Mark Dublin, formerly 1622 Greenleaf Chicago Illinois. No zipcodes in 1955.

    1. Today, we still have widespread housing discrimination, which needs no geographic excuse.

      We don’t tolerate race-based restrictive covenants, but we do have zoning which has historic roots in those covenants.

      1. Brent, every self-inflicted social disaster in this country, is a hundred percent due to about four decades of permanently divided income level that looks depressingly permanent.

        True, “restrictive covenants, mandated (demanded by law) that no one could sell a house to somebody black. Or with a brown skin, glasses, and a hooked nose, like for instance a Jew. Seriously, the Good Old Days.

        Today, no need to bother the courts. For same forty years, everybody who can afford to leave,has. And do it again when too many undesirables- same groups and a lot others now-move in .Michigan’s Upper Peninsula may not be far enough.

        Leaving behind the ruins of Detroit, the like of which no foreign air force or missile command has ever inflicted inside our borders. Who needs covenants or walls and gates? Or internal passports?

        Wretched schools, dented cars, unfashionable clothes, wrong diction..Four generations without one decent income in the family leaves a badge like a six-point yellow star.

        And after recent municipal events in Flint, and same recent and well-forgotten incident in West Virginia’s capitol… so will lifelong symptoms of heavy metal poisoning.

        Which never would happen under government for well-off people. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder had taken control of the city government, and the official he appointed decided that drinkable water cost too much.

        Latelu, we’ve been hearing of wrecked cities like Detroit “coming back.”
        Meaning a comparatively few good-income people buying up acres of collapse for nothing, after their owners’ well-earned lifelong homes were confiscated over back-taxes. After their water got turned off when they couldn’t pay the bill either.

        Think South Lake Union without bordering on devastation to the horizon. Yet. Gates are SOOOO 1970’s. Anybody who doesn’t look “Come Back” is unwelcome enough before the private guards nail him.

        And you know what I mean about National Public Radio and a huge percentage of its listeners. “Well, people just aren’t spending in spite of all the economic gains. We still can’t figure out why. You know, these economic forces we can’t do anything about…”

        At least the covenants were just local law, which forty years had no trouble changing! Historically, though, same number of years brought the Progressive Era, which prevented the bloody civil war same economy deserved. My call is Election after next.


      2. Actually, there once was federal pressure for redlining and similar practices. I will save that story for another day.

      3. While income inequality has contributed to social disasters, you can’t discount race in inhibiting ones ability, particularly those of color, to achieve better incomes due to inferior schools, redlined neighborhoods, employment discrimination and with it the lack of ability to make connections to achieve career and income advancement as their white peers are able to do. It’s not as simple as class, for race can impact the ability to achieve or remain in a particular class.

        Sometimes, leaving poor neighborhoods is easier said than done–in the NYC of the past to a large extent, many middle class blacks lived in inner city areas because they faced so much discrimination in seeking housing in so-called better neighborhoods. Presently in NYC, one could argue that the only way for anybody to live there is to have a lot of “green”, regardless of one’s color.

        Fine addition the to blog Brent, a lot of people, particularly since some of the people of our fair weather, pardon me, fair minded city (STB blog excepted), don’t get that many of the problems of the past still exist today, even if they’re not as blatant.

      4. I don’t know exactly how this played out in NY or Seattle, but in Chicago there were so few places where black people weren’t discriminated against that they paid much more for housing. Still today (Chicago is largely still statistically segregated, and I’ve heard first-hand accounts of housing discrimination enforced block-by-block as if racial covenants were still in effect) many black neighborhoods (e.g. Bronzeville) are more expensive than areas nearby where black people were kept out.

      5. Already wrote about this. “City: Urbanism and its End” by Douglas Rae shows how the FHA surveyed neighborhoods and refused to guarantee mortgages in neighborhoods with more than a minimal percentage of minorities (“blight” they were called). “Dead End: the End of Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism” by Benjamin Ross traces how neighborhood covenants were initially used in the late 1880s by developers to exclude apartments and minorities and require inefficient conspicuous consumption (large lawns, curving roads, only non-useful animals [no farm animals]) and how zoning arose from these for much the same purposes.

        In Seattle, redlining had obvious major impacts in Rainier Valley and the Central District, but I think zoning here was less draconian and white flight less complete than in many other parts of the US. The majority-minority areas never became highly dense and expensive, partly because there was plenty of room in the redlined areas, and when the areas did start getting housing pressure Skyway and Renton had opened up as a place people could move to if they got displaced or wanted a bigger house.

  5. Also: That’s “so few” STB readership. And it’s “what Donald Trump “doesn’t KNOW..”
    Red pencil editors!. Or one of those squiggly red lines for spelling.


  6. What is the minimum ridership necessary to justify a bus route or light rail line? We often talk about whether potential lines would get enough riders, but I think different people have different ideas about “enough”, and that’s a second dimension to these issues.

    A few times I’ve taken the 8 or 168 or 169 on a Saturday morning or shoulder-peak time and counted the people who get on/off at various stops and how many remain on the bus. Off-peak the total number of people is around twenty or twenty-five. Most stops have one person getting on or off; some have two and a couple have four. Some segments have zero on/offs, such as the 8 between Mt Baker and Jackson Street, and Yesler Way and Madison Street. Is this good?

    Likewise on Link in Rainier Valley at 8:30pm, each half-car has a half-dozen or dozen people, and one or two people get on/off at each station.(There could be others getting on/off in the other cars that I can’t see; but when I’m waiting at the platform there’s usually 1-3 people including me.) Is that good?

    If Link is extended to Everett and has the same number of on/offs in the evening, is that OK? What if it has zero people except the Lynnwood and Everett stations? What if everyone gets off at Lynnwood? But peak ridership will be bustling (given the hundreds of buses now), and daytime ridership will be good (given the full 512’s), so is the line worth it for that even if evening ridership falls precipitously? Or at what point is a line justified?

    If a bus has one person in most double seats and the others empty, is that good? At what point should we increase frequency? Would it require two people in every double seat? Or is one person in every double seat enough? I think Metro’s threshold for keeping a route or run is around 12 people per run, which is much lower than either of these, and half of the #8 scenario above. Is this good?

    1. TriMet consideres anything below 15 boardings per vehicle hour to be subject to special scrutiny.

      This tends to focus things on slow local routes with lots of on-off traffic. Puget Sound’s express bus network is unlikely to ever have a equivalent here.

    2. IMHO, a good rule of thumb for coverage routes is to assume that every person on the bus (excluding those using the bus as a roving homeless shelter) were to take the cheapest private-sector alternative available instead, which would probably be Uber or Lyft. If the total cost of all those rides is less than the cost for Metro to operate the bus, then Metro should not operate the bus.

      In other words, operating a coverage route makes sense only if it saves its riders more money on taxis than the cost to operate the bus.

      For a typical route, this threshold works out to around 10 passengers per service-hour (assuming $150/service hour and $15/ride for alternative service). However, when the average distance traveled increases, the minimum occupancy threshold under this formula would decrease, since the alternative options if the bus were to be discontinued would be more expensive.

      What I really like about defining the effectiveness of coverage route in terms of passenger-dollars saved, rather than absolute riders carried is that it accurately reflects the purpose of why coverage routes exist in the first place – to provide lifeline service to the entire community for people without (cheap) alternative options. Not to alleviate road congestion by getting people out of their cars.

      Of course, all the above is for genuine coverage routes only, and at minimal levels of frequency (e.g. hourly). (i.e. exurban routes like 208 and 224 during the daytime and in-city night-owl routes between 2 and 5 A.M.). To upgrade a coverage route into an all-day frequent route, obviously the ridership thresholds should be considerably higher than this.

      But, even then, I would consider the threshold for enough riders to justify a frequent route to be something like having most of the seats full for the average trip, with the acknowledgment that some trips will carry more people than this, others less. If a bus has too many offs and on, besides being very uncomfortable, the trip becomes glacially slow. This has been one of the biggest immediate benefits of prop 1 upgrading the 44 from every 15 minutes to every 12 – same riders being split across more buses means less dwell time at each bus stop, which means faster service. In the long run, of course, more riders will quickly emerge from the woodwork until the effective level of service is the same as it was before prop 1, minus slightly less wait time (the phenomenon of “induced demand” definitely applies to transit as well as roads), but that simply the system is doing its job, and the service improvements have lead to more riders, as advertised.

      1. The problem with that route is that the previous route was Oak Harbor to Mount Vernon. It seemed reasonably popular with riders. I don’t know that Anacortes would generate as much traffic. People go to Mount Vernon to get and do stuff they can’t in Oak Harbor. Anacortes doesn’t seem like it would have as much to attract anyone from Oak Harbor.

  7. Being someone who wears a monocle, I’ve noticed that I have never seen a public bus driver wearing one. Are monocles not allowed as corrective eyewear for drivers at Metro or Sound Transit?

    1. Only if wearer also has an accent that isn’t Cockney, and knows to pronounce the name “Cholmondeley” as “Chumley” And will start every sentence with “I say, Old Chap!” And dismisses any impertinent disagreement with “Quite!”

      Did I miss anything, Bruce?


  8. About the 574: Coming to Seattle from Olympia, often take Intercity Transit to Tacoma, and if I get there after the last Sounder has left at 8:10,, take the 574 to the Airport, and LINK downtown.

    IT generally misses 574 connection with the 574 by 30 seconds at SR512 park-and-ride. 574 terminal at Lakewood Town center very questionable. Absolute best would be Olympia Transit Center with no stops ’til the Airport.

    ST Express non-stop from the State Capitol to the Airport- passenger stats off the map until Sounder comes into downtown Olympia. 592 not bad for ride to Sounder at Lakewood Station- miles from Lakewood Transit Center.

    But with far-off-freeway stops at Hawks Prairie and Dupont, trip to Sounder terminal takes whole hour- and another hour to Downtown Seattle, traffic allowing. Incidentally, my own main distinction that has to be factored in at rush hour is between Freeway-Free or Freeway-Trapped. Which can easily lose passengers half an hour.

    Main reason I’ll always choose Sounder if I can get it, and 574 if not. One more choice is to pick Comfortable if I can’t get Fastest, and while I avoid the 592: good espresso stop at History Museum, good streecar Tacoma Dome, and choice between Sounder and 574.

    Loss of 574 would cost two freeway stations north of Federal Way: Star Lake and Kent-Desmoines. Shifting those to other service worth the cost, because across heavy traffic, these stops can lose the 574 up to 10 minutes. Until Angle Lake line opens, I-5 to Airport via SR 518 could be fastest.

    When LINK reaches Federal Way itself, 574 to LINK there would be Freeway-Free ride from Olympia to LINK. Freeway-Freedom is worth any price.


    1. Absolute best would be Olympia Transit Center with no stops ’til the Airport.

      Absolute best would be a regular DMU service on the Point Defiance Bypass line. Toronto has several in service on their downtown to airport line that are good for 90 mph. Order a couple of those, operate them coupled to one existing Sounder coach each and get the DuPont to Tacoma section working in a way that doesn’t involve the freeway slog.

      1. Seattle-Olympia transit is absurdly bad, if I’m not mistaken it can only be reasonably done peak hour, peak direction. This must change.

        Likewise Seattle-Spokane is horrible too between Amtrak, Greyhound and Trailways:
        9:15am – 4:50pm Trailways
        10:40am – 4:10pm Greyhound
        4:40pm – 12:40am Amtrak
        11:45pm – 5:10am Greyhound

        1:30am – 7:00am Greyhound
        2:15am – 10:25am Amtrak
        8:45am – 4:30pm Trailways
        12:05pm – 5:35pm Greyhound

        That’s it, otherwise fly or drive.

      2. Poncho,

        If there were a market for Spokane-Seattle bus service Trailways, Greyhound, or Bolt would fill it. People in Spokane have cars. Very nearly every one of them, and they are used to driving fairly long distances to go anywhere. If they really need to be in Seattle before 11 AM or leave after 5 PM, they’ll fly. It doesn’t cost that much.

      3. Same thinking that got public transit in trouble in the USA to begin with. There was a market for such service, but the interstate highway system took that away.

        Now that the highway between Olympia and Tscoma is an overcrowded mess, you either spend vast public money rebuilding the thing and keep the sprawl going that perpetuates the mess, or you start to improve transit options so that the highway is not the only way to get anywhere.

      4. Well put Glenn. It’s time we in Washington looked to Oregon for transportation solutions.

        So looking forward to flying into Portland, riding TriMet from the airport to the AIRBNB, riding TriMet to points to photograph the Tillikum Bridge (and other locations), riding TriMet to link up w/ Yamhill Transit to Evergreen Aviation Museum, and riding TriMet back to the light rail.

        Maybe merging all these transit agencies into one might be a start.

    2. Everybody is off the mark. The only places in the State of Washington that really need transit are Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, Bellingham, eastern Puget Sound from Lakewood to Marysville and two pockets on the west shore. The state does not need to subsidize lonely buses wandering the back roads of the state.

      Now it might be very humane and “the right thing to do” to provide people who can’t drive but must live in small towns with taxi scrip. I expect it would be a lot less expensive in the short and long run.

      1. Anandakos, you are so far off the mark it’s obscene.

        If you spent one week here in Skagit County or Island County riding transit, you’d have a different view than, “lonely buses wandering the back roads of the state.” Or add at least Island Transit & Skagit Transit to your list. Buses are well-populated here, most don’t run on back roads and Skagit Transit has a minimum ridership standard for those that do.

  9. Incidentally, from History Museum stop to Tacoma Dome takes streetcar about six minutes.


  10. My sources tell me that those Proterra electric buses that have been driving around the eastside the last couple of months will be coming into service in about 3 weeks on on the routes 241 and 226.

  11. Today I rode a 71 which on the outside had an ad for a downtown parking app and cheap parking weekends and evenings. Seems strange for Metro to post an ad that would steer people away from buses. Or maybe Metro has a content neutral ad policy.

    1. Yeah I’ve seen these too, also ads inside the bus about cheap downtown parking. It seems like an advertising fail and its bad taste in my opinion on the part of Downtown Seattle Association sponsoring the ads.

  12. In a January 14th statement, Rep. Liz Pike (R – Camas) says in part:

    “I continue to team up with Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver. Our new measure, House Bill 2414, would create a much needed Bi-State Legislative Action Work Group to find affordable solutions to improve our traffic corridors between Oregon and Washington.”

    “In next week’s e-newsletter, I’ll highlight several Growth Management Act (GMA) reform bills that I have introduced this week to protect the rights of our rural landowners. GMA was originally passed by the 1992 Legislature. It is outdated. Its “one-size-fits-all” approach to land use is creating billions of dollars in unfunded mandates on our cities and counties all over Washington. As a state, we can do better! I will not rest until we have meaningful GMA reform.”

    Just a hunch, but I’m guessing the basic premise will be that the huge sprawl problem across all of Clark County isn’t sprawly enough and needs to be bigger, wider, and yet more sprawly and anti-transit than it already is becoming.

  13. Next Sunday, I recommend this for the video….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epi9aKRd13c

    TriMet Max opening in 1986.

    Just think: Portland, OR (and Vancouver, BC) have light rail for 30 years. Oh and Portland’s Trimet sells swag.

    Seattle has had light rail for 6+ years. Tacoma has had a mini-Link for 12+ years. Some Avgeek wants Mukilteo to get a streetcar.

    Geeze, what is wrong with us? Late with light rail. No swag. Oregon has Bill Sizemore, we got Tim Eyman. Let’s get ‘er done.


    1. Washington is the most conservative state on the west coast. That is why we can’t “get er done”.

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