40 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Night Tube Preview”

  1. 4:29 the next day, as TfL does here, is a good cutoff time for day tickets. You get enough time to leave on the next day.

      1. Here’s a trick I used to use in Houston, about 15 years ago, when daypasses cost twice the one-way fare, and were good for 24 hours.

        On Monday, I’d board the bus to school, pay double the fare, and reuse the daypass for the trip home. So far, normal. But, on Tuesday, when I made the same trip, I would keep the daypass from Monday handy just in case the Tuesday bus happened to show up at my stop a few seconds before the corresponding Monday bus. If it did, I could reuse the pass and by a new daypass for the trip home in the afternoon (which, if I got lucky the following afternoon, would again be able to reuse for three trips).

        The net result was that, for an ordinary commuter going back and forth between home and school during the weekday daytime hours, the 24-hour nature of the daypasses amounted to about a 10% reduction in the fare. (Eventually, I figured out how to get an annual pass at the discounted student rate, rendering the daypass trick obsolete).

  2. *side note* The wordpress profile login seems to be acting a little flaky.

    I thought a main reason for no overnight trains was the lack of an express track to use as a spare for track maintenance.

    Interesting that they came up with the vibration dampeners as an additional expense required for overnight operations.

    1. Plenty of trains in NYC without express tracks run all night. Although, I don’t think we should be looking to the MTA when it comes to best practices in maintenance…

    1. http://inhabitat.com/what-happened-to-los-angeles-streetcars/

      Sam, seriously, thanks for this link. LA, First Hill Streetcar, and First Avenue Connector have something in common. Politics aren’t plate tectonics, or Ice Ages.

      LA and every urban place else, voters told the City Council their new 1946 cars meant freedom. Cities, nations, transit systems…70 years change meanings of words.

      For both LA and us, main job is to regain lost street rail (LINK counts) operating experience. DSTT should have had, and everything steel-wheeled in Seattle and the ST region had better have ten times present training.

      Anybody rail-division here- check my math. Same wit the passenger public- who really will start learning now that we’ve finally got rapid transit, which means no rush-hour seats.

      Now that the little Seat Hog is gone…Truth, ST. Did you sell him to California, or did he get tired of being sat on…we need another reminder that passenger who fill the whole aisle so others can board are adorable.

      Or- with every new ORCA hard, give buyer a furry hat like the Husky one, except different ears. How could anybody not want to help a little meerkat stuff aisle-space? They were on TV, too.



  3. The PI is reporting that ST gave another ridership update on Thursday. Link is up 76% over last year with a peak post-Link ridership of 82,371. And all this in what should be a summer lull with UW out of session.

    Any wonder that our local anti-transit newspaper the SeaTimes isn’t reporting on this little bit of good transit news? This region desperately needs a paper that accurately reports the news instead of trying to influence it.

    1. ikr. like when transit blogs don’t report on their city’s transit head being fined for ethics violations?

      1. Got a worse one for you, Sam.

        Besides fact there weren’t any blocs because they didn’t work with 1953 Remington pre-electric typewriters, why didn’t the Chicago Herald American express outrage that (the first) Mayor Daly didn’t get that award.

        Probably because a thousand stuffed ballot boxes on the New York IRY edged out ten precincts of Chicago graveyard residing CTA risers about who used their peoples’ hard-earned corruption for better transit.

        Flash ahead 63 years, and you’ll see our man’s ethical lassitude. I mean, not one peanut machine for da pigeons at any ‘El station on State Street! (Or Mt. Baker Station) Whadda bum!”

        Which proves my point about Seattle’s most desperate civic need. Voters who pronounce “stupid” like it has two “o”s.

        Because if an important person is doing “Da stoopidest ‘ting (the voter) has evah seen anybody do in his entiah life!” They deserve to know about it. Sheesh!


  4. I am conflicted over whether we ought to extend the the first hill streetcar, which so far has been one of the worst transportation projects of our time. I saw it on broadway yesterday, surrounded by police redirecting traffic around it, stuck because a certain truck was parked two inches outside of its space. Its poor ridership, worse than most nearby bus routes, is no mystery. It is plagued by delays, from sitting behind turning vehicles and at un-prioritized lights, to the occassional full blockage like the one yesterday which not only disables every streetcar on the line, but becomes a traffic impediment itself. The route itself meanders through a half-mile detour, making most trips between broadway and jackson street faster to walk or use a nearby bus route. It beats walking times only when your trip is only along the broadway segment or only along the jackson segment, and since these are each only a mile long, it has a narrow window of usefulness. Its advantage over bus transfering will diminish further with the completion of the Madison BRT, which will zip between first hill and downtown at such speed and frequency to put the streetcar to shame. It endangers cyclists, killed one, and injured many more, including myself the first time I encountered its tracks. On the plus side, though, it has good frequency, it is comfortable, fun to look at, and I’m sure it is quite useful for the disabled who use it to access the hospitals.

    I feel that the project was misguided, born of desire to fulfill a promise of light rail to first hill which couldn’t be accomplished with link. When underground light rail proved unfeasible, ST decided to invest the hundreds of millions in a different type of light rail which was also highly problematic. The most obvious challenge of transportation to first hill is the steep grade, and yet the solution picked was a technology which could not possibly tackle the hill head-on, leading to the wasteful zigzag in the middle of the line.

    Despite these failings, I optimistically believe the city center connector through downtown to the SLU line will be quite useful, especially if it gets signal priority and is not adjacent to parking spaces. The broadway extension to Roy st, however, has debatable value. We have sunk nearly 200 million into this project, which is less useful than high frequency busses, and we would likely spend another 50 mil and years of disruption all for merely six more blocks of track. It would make the line more useful, so it makes lemonade out of a lemon, but how much of an improvement it makes is dependent on details which have not been revealed yet. The envisioned extension of the Broadway protected bike lanes and the need for parking for shops on broadway heavily imply a layout similar to the current implementation along broadway, with adjacent parking forever threatening transit reliability. I haven’t heard any promises of traffic signal priority either, making this potential extension stink of the same wastefulness as the rest of the line. Despite these warning signs, there is still the opportunity to do this right, although it is doubtful. I will stay engaged in the planning process, and will gather opposition in the case that it goes sour.

    In the meantime, I intend to beg for more markings to warn cyclists of the dangerous tracks, and hopefully no one else will die.

    1. Just wait until the city has to pay the operating cost – then watch ’em jump the ‘good ship lollipop’ for cheaper bus service – except they won’t.

      1. Michael, why are you blaming the First Hill Streetcar for the fact that the City won’t get traffic out of its way? All that’s needed is a hundred eighty degree reverse of priorities.

        Once sentence: Streetcars get priority over every other vehicle between Jackson and Occidental and Broadway and Denny, including 100% signal preempt.

        If motorists don’t like it, Jackson’s wide enough for them and the streetcars.
        Broadway? Delivery and streetcars can reach a working arrangement.

        But since the car-line was SDOT’s “call”, if they designed a transit mall, then that’s what taxpayers paid for. Shouldn’t take an extra dime of capital.

  5. So yesterday the 75 was rerouted (due to construction) from Stevens Way. Not to Montlake boulevard (where Link is), but to NE freaking 45th street (FARTHER away from Link, in defiance of all common sense, and not to Montlake boulevard!). If you wanted to transfer from Link and knew about the detour, it is a 0.8 mile walk. If you transferred from Link and didn’t know about the detour, it’s probably over a mile of walking.

    Is there a real reason that Metro just can’t do all the transfers at UW station and move all routes to Montlake boulevard? Is it worth saving some UW students a little bit of walking at the end of their trip by making everyone else walk more in the middle of their trip?

    And is metro superstitious about running buses on southbound Montlake boulevard? I mean really, what is wrong with Montlake boulevard? It’s a 1 mile long north-south road with no stop lights that goes directly to UW station!! It’s #Bus2Link transfer gold! Why won’t Metro just move the routes there instead of pretending that Stevens Way is a good link transfer point?

    1. Southbound Montlake Blvd gets backed up to 45th when there’s heavy afternoon traffic or a ballgame.

      1. There isn’t the political will to support a bus lane, especially on a heavy traffic street like Montlake.

    2. Yesterday Metro sent the 372 down Montlake, and the 65/75 up the viaduct.

      Yet another construction detour that Metro didn’t announce. I commute to UW every day and they didn’t bother to put up any alert signs on Friday. And after the fact, I saw that Metro botched up some of the alert pdfs on their website, mixing up northbound and southbound stops on some routes (e.g. the 67 to Northgate had stops for the 65 to Jackson Park).

      1. The northbound 75 driver made a stop on Montlake & 45th north of the actual bus stop (which is skipped due to the detour) because she saw people waiting there. Apparently Metro didn’t put any signs there. Of course, if they detoured the route to Montlake like they should have, that stop wouldn’t have had to be skipped in the first place.

      2. It’s absolutely ridiculous that there was no signage about this at stops, even when they were skipped. In fact, the only place the reroute was announced was on the “advisories” section of Metro’s website, which is very easy to miss. Also, the reroute info sheets are difficult to understand — why can’t they at least have a map?

        There were quite a few people waiting near UW station for the 65, which was rerouted away from the stop. (No signage was present to inform riders that the bus wouldn’t stop there, nor was there any information on how to get to the rerouted bus stops.) But a bus ended up stopping there anyways, even though it should have been rerouted. How hard is it to communicate these things?

      3. If it was an unplanned reroute, that’s what usually happens. I suppose the answer is that it takes manpower to go to every stop and inform people or put a sign up, and Metro doesn’t have people on call for that, plus it would take them time to get to the stop, and by the time they put a sign up it may be out of date.

      4. If it’s an unplanned reroute, moving the buses to Montlake should just be basic common sense, especially on a weekend without games when volumes are low. You don’t move buses to 45th which is farther from the Link station. It’s like Metro just forgot about the Link connection entirely!!

      5. Wait until this Saturday and the first Huskies home game and if Metro follows the reroutes from previous years they will route the 65, 67 and 372 up the 45th street viaduct both ways and good luck to anyone wanting to connect to Light Rail. And after the game streets from the stadium like 25th Ave NE are made one way northbound and buses did not go further south then NE 55th. That was the 68 and at NE 55th it made a right turn and followed the old 30 route to the U District. In the case of the of the 65 and 75 they turned right at Blakely Avenue and then to NE 55th to follow the 30 route to the U District.

        I brought this up to Metro planners at meetings what would happen when there was a Huskies home game and was told that it should not be a problem and that they will take care of it. Right and another example of clueless Metro planners.

      6. Unlike previous years, the 70 is scheduled to operate on Saturdays and Sundays. You could avoid some of the mess that way.

      7. Isn’t part of the point of having the light rail where it is that there should be significantly less traffic on the streets? It’s not as though the stadium is larger because it’s suddenly connected to a dedicated right of way. So shouldn’t both the UW and SDOT consider fewer street closures?

    1. Ouch, he stereotypes urbanists. “You people.” But you have to put it in context. 1900 was a time when a lot of people were envisioning new kinds of cities and social structures, when technology and science were seen as unqualified goods that would bring utopia. His vision is similar to Edward Bellamy’s “Looking Backward” and others. And in 1900 people were more in touch with nature; they ate organic fresh food (there was no other), city-dwellers had more direct contact with the farmers, they walked and their cities made it convenient. They imagined just improving that kind of life. They hadn’t experienced what happens when your buildings are made to inhuman scale, when your landscape is car-dependent, when your food comes in pills or in frozen packages filled with preservatives, when reductionistic food scientists think “protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vitamims” is all you need as if they understand everything about food, or when world wars occur or atomic bombs exist, or when somebody like Lenin or Stalin or Pol Pot or the Kims get into power. But that doesn’t mean ideas like Gilette’s are useless. A better kind of socialism might have occurred if people had been more willing to try out some of the ideas on a small scale, voluntarily rather than with coersion, and if the world wars hadn’t happened, and if businessmen hadn’t treated socialism like an enemy to preserve their oligarchic privileges. (The Gilded Age, then and now.) The article is too cursory to tell whether Gillette wanted to sweep away existing cities for unproven ideas like Le Corbusier, or whether he would have allowed it to start as a small-scale experiment and see how well it works. And would he really stick to one world city? Or would it evolve into one city per continent or region? Who would produce the food, since agribusiness machines didn’t exist yet? How would multiple countries agree to exist in a single city on one country’s territory?

      The comments talk about wasteful disposable blades and cans of shaving cream. In the 1990s in Russia I encountered shaving cream in a toothpaste tube. You lather itself rather than having it pre-lathered with a foam sprayer. It looked more ecological than our cans. There’s also something called “household soap” (khozyaystvennoe mylo), which people use for cleaning. It comes as a bar of soap, and has some kind of different lather or cleaning agents. I looked for it when I came back but couldn’t find anything similar.

      1. There is a thing sold in the US called shaving soap, and I find it works just as well as shaving cream.

      2. Yes, I’ve been using shaving soap the past few years.

        Now if anybody knows about this mysterious household soap…

    2. C’mon, Sam. What if King- in real life, with a name like that, wouldn’t he have called it “Excelsior! instead of just “Excel”?-, while visiting a rural cousin had gotten too close to the time machine the kid had just invented?

      And materialized on the same spot in 2016, joyfully looking forward to supper in the splendid restaurant that he knew would proliferate in the magnificent new city he knew now subsumed his young relative’s farm.

      And shortly discovered that the continent-wide city of his dreams was mostly a parking lot, which unfortunately did not connote “a lot of parks”.

      Now you why Urbanism has always had more money behind it than the fossil fuel industry and all its descendants combined. Be glad they don’t make you wear a tight white collar to get a service job.


  6. They sure have managed to screw up the once nice set of transfers that would get people from Mount Vernon to Anacortes. It’s basically a several times per morning an evening trip now, except you can transfer to the Island Transit bus going to Oak Harbor.

    1. What did they do? Often the STB editor drops letters and it sometimes changes the meaning, as in “it yourself” above that turned into “itself”. So it turned a flexible trip schedule into a once-a-day round trip or something?

      1. Route 410 from the ferries and Anacortes to the park and ride lot is basically hourly. The connecting 40x has a gap in service from 10:30 am to 3:15 pm.

Comments are closed.