52 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: L.A. DOT”

  1. Here’s my report from TRANGO–Transit for Greater Okanogan.

    I’ve now ridden from Winthrop to Twisp and back twice. The bus schedules show where the stops are, but mention that the driver will let you off or pick you up anywhere between stops if s/he thinks it’s safe to stop there. On my first trip, the first day the system was operating, a co-rider asked to be let off the bus between stops and the driver was happy to comply. Two weeks later, when I made my second trip, the driver asked everyone as they boarded where they would like to dropped off, and made a note of the replies. Maybe they’re gathering data and will move some of the official bus stops at a later date. Or maybe they’ll just continue to have lots of unofficial stops.

    The one surprise on my second trip (which I could have avoided by looking at the schedule more closely) was learning there’s no bus between noon and 1PM. Makes sense once I realized the driver might want to eat lunch sometime during the day.

      1. Unlike the bellevue city council, the uw board would never allow unsightly wires to muck up the view of the montlake triangle.

        that said, a three stop from uw station, to eastlake, to a combined fremont/aurora stop, would be nice.

      2. The approaches are much lower than the peak point. If the northern terminal of a Husky Stadium to 520 route is near the Link station the Rainier Vista focal point could be avoided.

      3. Unless there is some sort of retractable gondola wire system, it would have to be very high. The wires (if not the hanging gondolas) have to be as high as the bottom of the Aurora bridge. Meanwhile, connecting to the ground isn’t that easy. To really add value (and allow the buses to keep going on 520) folks would still have to walk up the stairs to the surface. I just don’t see it working out that well. It would still require a fair amount of time to transfer (get off the bus, go up the stairs, take the gondola, go down the stairs and wait for the train). It is nowhere as convenient as if they added a station there.

        But given that that will never happen, I think they just need to figure out how to get the buses there without congestion. It won’t be easy, but it needs to be done.

      4. No. Aurora Ave. is west of Lake Union, which has large commercial boat traffic.

        TriMet’s new bridge over the Willamette is vastly shorter than the two bridges north and south of it. Big commercial shipping doesn’t go that way any more so the one protest about the height limit (from a tour boat operator) was ruled inconsequential.

        When the Aurora Ave bridge was built, there was an active navy base where Magnusun Park is now. The situation is different today.

        As long as you can clear the biggest sailboat at Mercer Island, it should be good.

        Even so, gondolas are able to climb quite steeply when needed.

    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medell%C3%ADn#Economy

      Thanks for this one, Peter. One, because it gives some insight and perspective into transit-building. When our metro area reaches a population of about four million people, we’ll be able to do some things we can’t now.

      Same, also, when Seattle becomes an industrial center equivalent to Medellin. Meantime, there are two specific places in Seattle that really demand something on the order of a gondola system. One, Capitol Hill LINK Station to Seattle Center. Essentially a Route 8 that moves.

      The other, Swedish Hospital to Pioneer Square. For all the still really critical reasons that First Hill LINK Station was planned and designed. No shame in canceling the station. Good thing we didn’t have to dig Bertha’s little sister out from under Swedish.

      I like the First Hill Streetcar. Which equally needs extending full length of the Broadway District, and some serious lane and signal pre-empt passing Swedish Hospital. But anybody claiming it’s a replacement for the First Hill Station ought to hang their head in shame, around their neck on a chain.

      “Provisional” for ST3? Project deserves better. Does anybody know if there’s been any serious technical investigation? Soils? Geology? No question the machinery is available. Also some knowledge and experience, soon to be an even faster Talgo ride away.

      Transit owes First Hill this one.

      Mark Dublin

      1. Some quick gondola travel time estimates assuming a conservative line speed of 1,000 ft/min:
        520 Freeway Station-UW Station-University Village: 4.5 minutes
        Space Needle-SLU(Fairview & John)-Capitol Hill Station: 7.7 minutes
        Queen Anne Ave./Howe St.-Interbay-Magnolia: 12.4 minutes (with a non-loading angle station at Blaine St./Condon Way to avoid going directly over all but a handful of houses. Still, this one would go through neighborhoods.)

      2. A route from upper Queen Anne to anywhere would likely be opposed by NOMBYs–Not Over My Back Yard.

      3. NOQABY: Not Over My Queen Anne Back Yard
        -or- Nokia, Baby

        NOQFABY: Not Over My Queen F*ing Anne Back Yard
        -or- Nokia Fabulous

    2. Your first suggestion would be better if it went all the way down to the sculpture park on the waterfront.

    3. SeaTac airport to South Center? Then maybe over to the Tukwika Sounder and Amtrak station?

      Though that might be better as an automated cable hauled people mover so it only operates when people press a button or something.

  2. Now that GM is having their best year ever, I’ve heard rumors they are planning to purchase LADOT and replace it with autonomous EV’s, running on fuel cells. Thank Mr. Bailo for the intel. (GM and Roger Rabbit have refused to comment on the rumor so far).
    Could our buses have SDOT on the sides?
    On a serious note, since FHSC opened, there has been little written about the utility and operation of the new line. Ridership would be a nice factoid once in a while, or operating costs, or something.
    .
    SHAME ON METRO: Could Metro make it all the way through this year without a singe post in their ‘Accountability Center’? Even Mr. Gannon (acting Gen.Mgr) is all about the talk and not the walk, as he says ” I want you to know about our performance and the innovative service improvements we’re bringing your way.”
    And deafening silence is the way to accomplish this, Rob? The last newsletter was Dec 18th of last year.
    SHAME on you too!

    1. ‘Morning, Mic. Just mentioned First Hill Streetcar. Speaks to my own campaign is to restore the good name of the word “Accountable”. Ever since Reagan, it’s always meant punishing poor people. While granting immunity to a financial industry whose accounting still deserves prison time for opposite income group.

      Streetcar presently bleeds enough red to attract vampires like mosquitoes because it might as well be welded to its tracks. Fixable by a few pre-empted signals and some paint stripes on pavement. Implementing simple policy: On Broadway, everything else on wheels stops and waits for streetcars.

      Word to transit: Eliminating First Hill Station saved you enough digging and subway-station building to get that car-line to the north end of the Broadway business district with a 19th century iron and glass pergola roof the whole way. Though by strict accounting, Tukwila International already provides regional pigeon comfort station. And funeral arrangements,

      But streetcar signals and paint are probably already in some local warehouse. Just do it. Because like accounting itself, Accountability means paying what you owe. Giving First Hill Streetcar a balance sheet black and sharp as a volcanic glass scalpel.

      Mark

  3. Hi, I’m a big fan of Seattle Transit Blog. I follow since 2011 but this is my first time commenting. Since this is an open thread I am wondering if anyone can help me out with a question regarding the group fare on Orca cards. Does anyone know the maximum number of people that can be paid for with a group fare on a metro king county bus? Or alternatively what is the maximum number of people you have paid for successfully?
    I emailed this question to Sound Transit and Metro but only received a generic link to the Orca card faq website as a reply and I’m not in Seattle so I can’t ask a metro driver.

    We are planning to take a bus with our wedding rehearsal guests to our rehearsal dinner in September.
    It will be about 35 people, most from out of town. We will encourage everyone to get an Orca card for the wedding week and link to your “Seattle for visitors” page. But it would be good to know how many people can be paid for with one Orca card as it is easier than packing all the change.

    Thanks!

    1. My guess would be, as long as you have enough money in your e-purse, the number of other people you can pay for is unlimited. And always ask for a paper transfer ticket for each of the guests you are paying for.

    2. You have to let the driver know before you tap how many you are paying, and it comes off the card as a cash balance so you need to have paper transfers provided by the driver to each person. It isn!t like having a single card that works equally well for a group as it does for one person.

      Therefore the limiting factor is probably how many people will be able to make use only of the transfers rather than the buses plus the light rail line ( which doesn’t use the same ticket system).

      1. Since Metro Transit and I last shared a perfectly-balanced account, I’ve now bought 16 years worth of one-zone monthly passes. My senior pass costs $54 a month. But with every day’s first LINK boarding, I pay an additional $2 for a paper day-pass.

        Especially on train rides featuring several stops, removes niggling worry of having to get my ID photographed, and a little verbal “wrist slap” from a fare inspector, because I tapped too many times. Every tap, incidentally, verifying that I’ve already paid for a whole month’s travel. Not a dime of which I’ll get back if I don’t take Ride One.

        Which nuisance-relief is a main reason for getting the pass in the first place. If anybody asks me, I call it EEI: “Embarrassment and Extortion Insurance.” My one zone monthly Senior Pass to costs $54. If the system needs $70, I’ll gladly pay extra as GOOMF coverage: Get Out Of My Face.

        If I walk by somebody’s desk, I tape the two cards together. And still tap my ORCA card as I’m supposed to, and willingly do. Honoring need to apportion money between agencies. None of which deserve to be operating transit at all if they waste fare inspection, let alone Court time on accounting matters.

        Group fare, easy one. Group organizer can simply buy everybody an ORCA card loaded with Day, Week, Month, or whatever. Good “Group Bargain Special” would be to eliminate the card price, long overdue in general.

        Long (forget when practice started) past time for a general audit of fare-money gained versus total operating time lost over DSTT fareboxes, counting every passengers’ wasted time as billable. Without adding front-door discount discussion at 17:00 on a Friday afternoon.

        Debit ink should be slightly reddened shade of brown. For Penny-wise and Dollar Dumb as a Dump-truck-load of Dog Droppings. Tell ’em, ST. No fair you’re losing International Flight-sensitive passengers to lesser Ride Sharing! Bad enough your coupler hoods can’t handle purple mustaches.

        Mark Dublin

    3. That means that we’ll have to have paper transfers as long as group fares exist.

      Note that only Metro has paper transfers and they can only be used on Metro. If you ride Sound Transit you have to pay a separate fare each time unless you have ORCA. Although you can get an all-day Link ticket from the train station machines.

      1. Do those all day Link tickets only work on Link, or do they work on the ST buses too? How about Sounder?

        There’s stuff on the ST web site about fares, but the stuff I’ve found barely mentions the ST only day tickets.

      2. I’m remembering now that I thought group fares came with a group ORCA transfer. Is that not true?

      3. https://www.orcacard.com/ERG-Seattle/p2_002.do?m=42&i=kb.fare

        in Group Fares:

        On the bus: When you board tell the driver you need to pay for additional people before you tap your ORCA card. The driver will set the card reader to deduct the fares for your companions from your E-purse.

        On Link or Sounder: Use the E-purse value on your ORCA card to purchase a paper train ticket for each companion at a ticket vending machine. Each person should be prepared to present their paper ticket upon request by the fare inspector.

        On a ferry: To buy a ticket for more than one person you must visit a ticket window and ask to pay with your E-purse. E-purse may be used to purchase passenger fares.

        To get the ORCA group system to work, you have to be able to translate it into a paper ticket or transfer on the buses. Therefore, you can’t transfer between systems as a group.

      4. But doesn’t it put a group transfer for all the bus fares? I recall that the group could transfer buses if they all stayed together and the same person tapped for them. I’ve never used group fares but I recall something like that when ORCA started.

  4. I’ve asked this before and never got a satisfactory answer. Why don’t other animals need transportation systems? How do they get by without them? When the salmon instinctively flock from Argentina to Capistrano every year, why don’t they need a train or bus to travel the 6000 miles, but we humans need a gondola to go a few hundred yards from 520 to Husky Stadium?

    1. We don’t. Go with the same monetary and clothing methods used by salmon and we’d be fine.

      1. If the mating ritual involved selection by using a swim over miles of sharp gravel rather than bright red convertibles we might be better off as a species though.

    2. My guess, Sam, is that the information you need doesn’t fall under service area of King, Pierce, or Snohomish counties. Whose customer service people don’t travel enough to be able to help you first-hand.
      So you’ll probably have to get pro-active here.

      You need to get to one the giant game-parks along the Kenya Tanzania border. Involves about three hundred interagency bus transfers, and some ferry trips too. When you arrive, when your guide isn’t looking- rangers really are responsible for the diet quality of the predators- walk about a mile, take off your clothes, and just stand there.

      Whether they initially acknowledge your presence or not, you’ll be drawn by age-old DNA receptors to recognize your species as they migrate by, and just go with the flow, I mean herd. Before a month or so, you’ll have discovered main fact of animal migratory travel: nobody has to be anywhere any specific time.

      You’re all just walking and eating grass, unless you’re an elephant and it’s thorn trees. And the veggies all start growing back soon as you go by. Fertilizing it as you leave.

      Also, wildlife shows aside (in other words, you can’t really be the Third Earl of Northumberland Twice Removed) you don’t even have to go one direction. If you smell rain behind you, you just turn around and migrate back. No great mysterious natural command.

      One set of predators you won’t have to worry about: Paleontologists theorize reason we survived despite serious inferiority to other monkeys was our superiority in how bad we smelled and tasted to leopards and lions. Bugs are another matter, but just keep spraying dust over your shoulder with your trunk and you’ll be just fine.

      Somebody cc this to Customer Services, OK?

      Mark

    3. Consider the lilies of the field, see how they grow, they neither toil nor spin. Solomon dressed in royal robes, he has not the wealth of them.

      People throughout most of history walked like the animals do. I just read “Mapping Human History” by Steve Olson, which talks about what our genes say about our history. It mentions that the people in the great intercontinental migrations probably had no idea they were migrating: they just extended their territory a few miles each year due to crowding or climate change, and maybe reached fifty miles in a lifetime, but over hundreds of thousands of years that accumulates to continent-wide shifts. And in our own time there are people who walk across the US for charity or another cause, and it takes them months.

      So we could all just walk if we were content with that speed. But we’ve built our cities in a vehicle-dependent way, with a single large estate where fifty people would have lived in the past, and highway-exit ramps slicing up land and preventing people from living next to where they work. If you want a society without vehicles or transit, you can’t have people living in Seattle and working in Bellevue or vice-versa. And neither can you have entire cities where people can’t afford to live, especially the workers of that city.

      1. Also pertinent piece of evolutionary history, Mike. As people around the world start earning enough to afford beef- which as presently industrially raised is hard on the planet, too- many get serious digestive problems not only attributable to hideous feedlot conditions and mass infusions of chemicals.

        There’s a theory that human digestion evolved to comfortably handle exactly as much meat as we could chase down and club. Humans in good training- like gained by chasing antelope long-distance- Rapid Jog- can maintain a steady running pace all day.

        But antelope and other deer are sprinters. Needing a long rest after every burst. And unable to store much nutrition. Same, incidentally, for lionesses and leopardesses. The girl cats to all the hunting. If a lioness misses a kill- she has to target one individual animal, and hit it in motion- she and her cubs can starve to death.

        Let alone get killed by her intended dinner. Or its mother, and the rest of the family. “Predator and prey” are human constructions. Both kill to survive. For nature, eons-long result is a world of animals all in top physical condition. Showing easily remedied missing element in the in the Paleo Diet.

        A small family of public leopards in every neighborhood will swiftly improve health stats all around. Also finally achieve firearms control. Because even with night-vision scopes, average basement-arsenal gun-owners will soon find their ranks in top antelope-chasing condition.

        Who’ll find ten pounds of scrap metal in the way of dinner. Also, in outer suburbs, deer will chew less garden tree bark. And cougars and primates on foot and bicycles will keep each other in top condition. Nature bats last. In this case, out of the park, as the furry fans go wild with screeching and yowling. And that’s just the humans.

        Mark

    4. Sam: We could get by without them. In fact, in the case of gondolas, we seem to get along fine without them right now.

      I believe the answer to your question is that it is a cultural thing. Humans have decided that we want to get places more efficiently, and we have opposable thumbs. So, over the years, we have fashioned tools designed for human transportation so that we can get to where we want to go faster. That, and we have figured out how to form governments to facilitate building things for the community.

      Salmon (on the other hand) don’t seem to want a way to get to work faster. Since they die after they do the work that they travel 6000 miles for, they are in not as much of a hurry to get to work as us humans. Fish go on their merry way, enjoying their hike for the sake of the travel. Though they do seem to have enough political clout in some places to convince the humans to use their opposable thumbs to build a transit system to get over man-made obstacles better. We call them fish ladders. I’m sure they would have trains and gondolas too, but couldn’t convince the Republicans to do that for them. All in due time….

    5. Argentine salmon flocking to Capistrano, eh? Do they use the Canal or the Strait of Magellan? (The salmon in southern Chile are quite tasty but I didn’t get the impression that they were on their way to California.)

      I’m also assuming they must go to Capistrano Beach, as the mission itself is a bit inland and doesn’t have room for so many salmon as they spawn and die.

      Those darn swallows have a MUCH easier time of it…. ;-)

    6. I quoted the moron character Lloyd Christmas from Dumb and Dumber with the salmon of Capistrano line to see if any of you would correct me that it’s actually swallows that travel to Capistrano, not salmon. Many of you also thought it was salmon. smh

  5. I thought some of you might be interested in this. A couple of weeks ago, while going to see my doctor on Mercer Island, I saw Paul Allen standing at a bus stop waiting for the route 201.

    1. Kemper Freeman lives in a dense urban condo. It’s not impossible. Maybe he rides it occasionally, maybe he was trying it out to give feedback to the city, maybe his car broke down, or maybe he rides it regularly.

    2. Now that Elvis has left to become Donald Trump’s senior hair consultant, tabloids are starting to mention the proliferation of Paul Allen impersonators hitch-hiking to Vegas.

      Which indicates that Kim Kardashian’s weight has stablized so millions of readers don’t have to help her gain or lose an ounce. Thought we had a problem there.

      Mark

    1. It’s not surprising that we have more cars than the people of Atlantis, since they have zero.

      However, owning more cars is not the same as driving them, nor does it tell the vehicle miles traveled which is what really matters. And the article says the data comes from “core cities, not entire regions with the suburban belt included.” If that means the municipal boundaries of the central city, then that is based on arbitrary past annexations which are not comparable between cities.

  6. Two questions:

    – Why aren’t the directions of travel (e.g., to SeaTac/Angle Lake, or to UW Station) posted on the platforms in the tunnel downtown? Having them flash up on the electronic screen isn’t quite the same as having a permanent sign on the wall.

    – Why are the hours of the customer service office in Westlake so restrictive? According to http://metro.kingcounty.gov/cs/index.html#visit , they’re “Open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the first and last four business days of each month only”.

    We wanted to use the Link to take kids to/from day camp this summer, but it was hard to get them youth ORCA cards because each family would have to make a special trip to the office on Jackson. We ended up taking them anyways but paid extra because they were using adult ORCA cards. Also, it seems that the Westlake office should be open all summer for tourists, so that they could get youth ORCA cards for their kids. Only most motivated tourists would search out the office on Jackson, I think.

    1. I thought the direction of the train was posted on the platform, at least on the wall next to the schedule. Perhaps my memory is faulty. I agree that they should be on signs hanging from above like in the non-DSTT stations, but maybe that’s a thing for after the tunnel becomes train-only.

      As for the Westlake office hours, Metro trimmed them a few years ago as part of cost cutting. I don’t think there is a push to put them back because everyone wants every spare dollar in Metro’s budget to be devoted to more service hours. (For what it’s worth, and it does not help tourists or, well, anybody who doesn’t read this: you can request youth ORCA cards by mail.)

      1. They have at least one like that at Westlake. Don’t remember the rest.

        Or, they did a week and a half ago. They may be replacing them with Angoe Lake signs or something.

    2. Regarding youth cards, the youth does not need to be present when you get the card. A parent (or other adult) can go to customer service with the youth’s proof of age and other basic info and buy a card on the spot. You’ll need to answer a few other questions to set up the registration, eg select a secret question for the account, etc. As Lake City Rider mentioned, you can order youth (and senior) cards by mail by sending copy of proof of age. One more thing about youth cards: the card always belongs to the kid to whom it was issued b/c it’s coded with that kid’s date of birth. On that person’s 19th birthday it begins to function as an adult card, i.e. deducts adult fare. I experienced this! Moral of the story is that you shouldn’t expect to pass down big kid’s card to little sibling, or lend it to young visitor after big kid goes to college because the card knows the registered user is now an adult. Each kid needs her/his own card while eligible for youth fare. But big kid gets to keep using her card! (Good even as a spare if s/he gets a college or employer-issues card).

    3. Maybe the best solution is to arm all of the hotel front desks and their brochure slots with a primer on transit/ ORCA card information plus put the Jackson site on the tourist maps.

      FWIW, its not as if 2nd and Jackson is smack in the middle of nowhere for a tourist – it has a number of excellent tourist sites around it, you can see the ID from it, and there is the very estimable Zeitgeist Coffeehouse in case you get puckish.

  7. I did a Tacoma Link extension tour yesterday with a friend. We went south on the 594 at 2:20pm. It was ten minutes late and got caught in construction bottlenecks on I-5. The HOV lane had a sign saying it was open to all traffic. I’m not sure if that was part of the new weekend directive or because other lanes were closed for construction. But it made me realize that when people complain that Link will take longer than the 594, they’re not considering that the 594 takes longer than the 594.

    We got to Tacoma Dome station and had lunch in Freighthouse Square. I had Wendy’s Pho, which was better than a lot of Seattle pho shops. We looked around the gift shops; it reminded me of Pike Place Market. Tacoma Link was one-car and remided me of the SLU streetcar. There were a fair number of people on it, and a few people out and about in downtown Tacoma. TLijnk did not have the maga-slowness it had the last time I took it. At the northern terminus we got off and went into Sanford and Son across the street, and looked at the antiques and steampunk stuff, and went up the stairs to the upper exit on Broadway. We walked north on Broadway, looking down on Commerce Street where the extension would be. The street is pretty narrow there so I’m afraid it won’t have transit lanes. We got up to N 1st Street and Stadium High School (which my friend said looks like Hogwarts). We turned left where I assumed the train would go, it being wide enough and not too steep. We somehow ended up back on Division Ave; I’m not sure how because the street seemed straight.

    We passed Wright Park, a long narrow park according to the map display, with some kind of music event going on. I wanted to explore the park but you can’t fit everything into one day in a Tacoma walking tour so I left it for later. It had a nice classical statue in front, the same era as the prewar buildings on Broadway we’d passed. There are also several new condos on Broadway, with a generally good blend of respectful architecture. We continued west on Division Ave and turned south on MLK.

    MLK seems like the First Hill of Tacoma with the large Tacoma General hospital at the north end and St Joseph’s hospital at the south end and other ancillary facilities. The light rail line could be well used if people take it to the hospitals like they do the Madison bus, although that depends on whether it goes where they’re coming from. MLK is two GP lanes and two parking lanes, so the only way the light rail could get its own lanes is if they remove street parking. By the way, Tacoma Link does look more like a traditional light rail like you see in other American cities, so if you’re wondering if ST can build such a thing without scope creep, there it is. MLK also has prewar houses, mid-century apartments, and one-story businesses. And a googie neon sign from an ancient business that I’d be surprised if it were still there, but the signs on the windows did not have any other name so maybe it is. We passed People’s Park which has two nice murals: one a very multcultural montage, the other a tribute to the old trains like at the West Seattle Junction. The Hilltop area in the late 20th century was known for low-income people and gangs and gunshots. Economically it does not seem to have changed much but I didn’t feel a menacing gang presence. It’s somewhat like Raineir Beach. If prices rise there rapidly it will have the same kind of displacement, but if they rise slowly then perhaps it can get some gradual prosperity.

    At S 19th Street we turned right for a little bit, where the ST3 extension would start, and then turned around and walked down the hill to downtown. The hill is pretty steep, and while there are a couple medical-related businesses besides the hospital, the rest is all residential and rather the middle of nowehere. There’s probably no supermarket nearby, so it may still be a food desert.

    At the bottom of the hill the street runs straight into a stairway going though the middle of the UW Tacoma campus. And in the middle of campus there’s a north-south railroad track. Part of it is on grass and and part on concrete, but it seems to just end in the north so it doesn’t look very usable. Why did they keep the track then? As a piece of history? Or do they use it for deliveries?

    Further down is the 19th Street light rail station, called Union Station. after the former railroad station. Is the UW campus the former station? I thought it was across the street. The light rail came in just a few minutes and took us to Tacoma Dome. There we waited ten minutes for the 574, which I’d never taken and Mark Dublin had recommended. So we took the 574, and it detoured quite a bit into P&Rs. Maybe it’s only better if you’re starting from Lakewood. But it is 15-minute frequency weekdays, 20 minutes Saturdays, so that’s something, and I figured the 594 would just be late with I-5 traffic and the Torchlight Parade.

    My remaining goals in Tacoma are to explore Wright Park and Point Defiance, ride the 1, see the Tacoma Mall area that has been proposed for a Central Link terminus and urban center, and go to the museums. But you can’t do all that in one day so I’ll have to do them one by one. The 1 is 15 minutes weekdays, 20 minutes Saturdays, 30 minutes Sundays. The 2, which goes partly on S 19th Street where ST3 Link is to go, is 30 minutes every day. The 3 and 4 are 30 minutes weekdays and Saturdays and 60 minutes Sundays. And they all drop to hourly in the evening and end around 7-9pm. Sigh. What does Pierce Transit need, mostly more frequency and a longer span? Are the routes themselves useful? I spent a summer in Tacoma, but that was before the 1, 2, 3, or 4. I remember them running later, until like 11. Not frequent, but a full schedule.

    I really hope Tacoma Link gets exclusive lanes. ST defines light rail as mostly exclusive-lane; that distinguishes it from streetcars, but will it really do it? Or will there be the same watering down as on Madison and Roosevelt due to parking and GP concerns?

    1. Lots here to comment on. Yes, the UW Tacoma track is basically just an artwork / display at this point. It isn’t connected at either end with anything. It was disconnected at the north end since they did some major reconstruction in downtown Tacoma, including Tacoma Link construction.

      It’s a bit of history I suppose since it was one of the earliest bits of railroad in the northwest. UW has a bit of stuff about it here:
      https://www.tacoma.uw.edu/sites/default/files/global/documents/facilities/prairielineterminalsectiondocumentation_i-20.pdf
      though the chronology is a bit off. Before the line between Kalama and Tacoma was built, there was a line at Tacoma that went from there southward into the hills where they were developing a coal seam. I can’t find anything about when that part of the line was built right now, but that section would have been part of that earliest line.

      Wright Park also has a small plant conservatory. It’s sort of a third-size model of the one in Volunteer Park.

      The problem with any of the buses coming out of Lakewood is that there are many issues with Interstate 5 between there and Tacoma, and unlike Tacoma to Seattle there are no HOV lanes of any sort. Take a look at Google Maps with traffic turned on, and even on Sunday evenings you can find a horrific mess through JBLM between DuPont and Tacoma. They really need a Sounder Light between Lakewood and Tacoma to keep the buses from having to go that far south into that mess.

      1. Well Sound Transit owns that track between Tacoma Dome and Dupont, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to have a shuttle on that track outside of peak times when full Sounder runs. That said, the land uses and station locations dont lend themselves much to actually having a train be used especially off-peak.

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