This is from a meeting of the 34th District Democrats on July 16. Video by West Seattle Blog
Money quote from the latest Reason jab at the Seattle Transit Boondoggle:
‘For just a third of the cost of the International Space Station, Sound Transit is promising to add about 28,000 new riders’
Never heard of your source, so no special reason to trust its figures on anything. What’s time-frame? 28,000 passengers total per minute? Week? Month? Century? Also, let’s see numbers on benefits each project yields. Same for this region’s road and highway system.
Computer or goose feather and ink, a balance sheet has always had two columns. Though second instruments and their readers had less patience with people who used them to lie with. Miss the Age of Reason.
Reason’s masthead says “Free Minds and Free Markets”. It looks like another conservative think tank that supports public subsidies of roads and opposes public subsidies of transit.
I have no idea how they came up with such a low ridership number.
Is it new riders only? Not at all the same thing as total ridership which I thought was around 100,000 for the Ballard line alone.
I expect that ST would be very conservative with counting new riders. It’s one of the metrics that goes into the FTA’s funding formulas and in that context, it can’t anticipate land use changes and future development around stations.
BTW, the rail haters at Reason are well known for picking and choosing among published numbers to show any proposed rail project around the country in a bad light. Read anything from them with skepticism.
The guy who founded it wrote a book that was the basis of Margaret Thatcher’s privatization of a bunch of stuff in the U.K.
However, even after privatization, the U.K. railway network still relies on government maintained infrastructure over which private companies have created concession contracts.
Thus, they probably want a business model a bit like the Seattle Center Monorail: a private company gets the operating money, while the local government gets stuck with all the expenses.
“it can’t anticipate land use changes and future development around stations.”
It can’t anticipate changes in zoning laws. The city could zone for 30-story towers around stations and then ST could count it. But if the zoning change happens after ST submits its grant proposal, it’s too late. That’s why the city should have done HALA ten years ago so it could have made a difference in both ST2 and ST3, and we’d have more housing now for the population influx.
And then when you have privately funded passenger rail these same people fight it.
Looking at only net new riders places no value towards improving speed and reliability of existing transit riders.
Looking at cost of decades earlier government projects likely ignores inflation..
It’s a shame that the free market experts at Reason don’t understand how inflation works.
The justification for the Fed’s interest rate policy is that there is no inflation – and hasn’t been since the global financial crisis. So, why are you assuming inflation? And if there is inflation, then why are interest rates close to zero and why doesn’t ST just borrow all the money it needs?
ST is assuming inflation in future years because that’s just a prudent choice for planning purposes. If inflation is less than the assumption, then the 54 G$ cost will go down. But so will tax receipts and fare income, presumably.
Inflation isn’t zero, it’s just hovering around 1% instead of 2%. Even 1% adds up substantially over twenty years, and the official line is that it will eventually go back up to 2%. The justification for the Fed’s policy is that the government isn’t doing enough to prop up the economy and keep people employed so the Fed has to step in since there’s no one else to do so, even though the Fed can’t do it as effectively or predictably. Low inflation Is just the lack of a warning sign that would tell the Fed to stop. Except to the extent that a 1% rate now means that it’s tending toward zero or negative if we just let it drift, which is a major concern because it can lead to a stagnant or contracting economy, suppressed demand, and high unemployment.
The Reason number is borrowed from the Washington Policy Center, perhaps borrowed in turn from John Niles. They start with some data from Sound Transit which compares ST3 in 2040 against an alternative scenario for 2040. So it’s not a comparison with today; it’s a comparison against an alternative that has per-mile fees on drivers, ubiquitous tolling on highways, and highly effective bus transit everywhere.
Measured against that optimistic scenario, adding ST3 gets about 63,000 additional riders.
Then they do some more mathy parsing of the numbers, pointing out that a person may use the train more than once a day. So divide by 2.2 to get distinct individuals using the trains, and present this number as “riders”.
Like a lot of Reason numbers, or WPC numbers, there’s just enough math there that they can’t be called as liars. But it’s hardly an honest presentation.
And they’ll actually allow ubiquidous tolls and per-mile fees? Or those will come up and they’ll say it’s anti-freedom and the public doesn’t want it, and we’ll end up with subsidized free roads again. Something like this happens with BRT: theyre all for it to defeat a rail measure, but then when a BRT proposal comes up they oppose it or water it down.
Would like to have a discussion with Mr. Niles in front of an aerial pic or even better, video, of I-5 between Everett and the State Capitol Dome rush hour on Friday afternoon with a game in town.
Would be great if we can find some footage of the several hours when a spilled fish truck locked up the whole region. Though from every morning’s ST bulletins about 510 -series delays of half an hour, we could probably draw the date out a hat.
Right now, aerial view between Rainier Beach and Tukwila International will show thousands of motionless cars containing one passenger. With trains that can carry more than a hundred automobile-loads per car making sixty in on their own clear track.
And then invite the opposition to describe how they would handle the scene on screen with un-couple-able buses.
Just a thought. We could give everybody free popcorn, and followed by two action movies, one featuring trains, and the other, buses. Nobody could call “no fair” because our side had so many more movies.
et we can find one from Turkey where the buses have stewardesses. Though if showing is scheduled for Halloween, Seattle’s film industry could benefit from a zombie movie using…yeah, I say this a lot, but I drove them back when they were lame, but hadn’t been kept on the road for years after they died.
Would like to have a discussion with Mr. Niles in front of an aerial pic or even better, video, of I-5 between Everett and the State Capitol Dome rush hour on Friday afternoon with a game in town.
Could just be a screen shot of Google maps with active traffic turned on. Puget Sound lights up like a red balloon on some days.
The issue about ridership stems from the 1980’s, when Miami and Dallas put out unbelievable forecasts by jacking up density and parking cost assumptiosn. Of course, FTA forecasting review has almost gotten overly conservative since then. Reason Foundation has yet to fully process that fact.
Frankly, rider minutes saved is probably a better metric. It takes more work to produce, though. Faster trains attract more riders, and shorten round trip runs and those labor costs for agencies.
They start with some data from Sound Transit which compares ST3 in 2040 against an alternative scenario for 2040.
Are you saying that Reason produced this edge-case Utopian bus alternative or that Sound Transit has done so? If ST has done so, why have we not seen it here on the Blog?
If Reason has simply concocted some sort of Bogotá del Norte fantasy they should be called out on it as loudly and vigorously as possible. We should demand to know which lanes on which freeways will be “sacrificed” for the nose-to-tail stream of buses needed to replace a rail system.
I don’t understand ISS as a monetary unit. Can you use F-35 development costs as your unit?
ST3 would come in at 0.36 F-35s, or 360 mF-35s.
LOL. And how many people used ISS as a transport? And are we comparing early 90s dollars with 2020, 2030 dollars?
Holy shit I mathed wrong. Should have been 0.036 F-35s or 36 mF-35s. Meaning, for every F-35 development process, we could have built 28 ST3s.
Pray to the corporate god, guys. Don’t you know privatization magically fixes everything? Yeah, ask British Rail how that’s working out.
Attention commenters… Testing a new feature on the blog. Comments that are new since your last visit should have a thin blue line on the left side. First time you visit a page it may show up on all comments until the cookie is loaded. Let me know what you think.
I like it. I noticed it, and now that I know what it means, I like it a lot.
Thanks very much for the explanation, and that is a really useful feature.
Thanks Frank, now do me a solid and tell me the latest polling data for Regional Prop 1 ;-).
Blustery with a chance of flying manure near the Seattle Times headquarters.
Heavy mud slinging with accumulated prevarication of several inches, except on the east side where accumulations will likely approach several feet.
Blustering will continue near Olympia and will likely continue into the foreseeable future. Citizens with sufficient resources are advised to purchase their own windbag to secure their interests.
Well done Glenn.
BTW, STB comments no longer open in Google Chrome. Having to use MS browser.
I’m using Chrome, and it seems to work. I just don’t see the new blue-ray feature.
Seems to work great from my Android phone
I’ve seen it for the past couple days. But the blue line seems to linger even after I’ve read posts. It goes away at some point, but not at the next refresh.
Also, what’s been happening with posts not showing up after you submit them? It goes to the top of the page and you have to press shift-reload to make it show up. Sometimes you have to do it several times or wait an hour for it to show. Is it a load distributor or aggressive browser caching or somemthing? It started around a month ago, at first on only one of my computers, but now it’s happening on others. I’m using Firefox so that may have something to do with it.
Thanks for the feedback, Mike. I’ve noticed it’s not 100% perfect.
I did turn on some more aggressive caching about a month ago because the site was getting unresponsive. I can see if there are any settings to tweak. Meanwhile you may have more luck if you’re commenting while signed in to your Page 2 account.
I’m having real, true problems with Google Chrome opening up comments.
Google Chrome works again.
Looks good in Silk (Amazon Fire browser).
Because since yahoo puts me directly to Fox News news every time I log off of Sound Transit Blog, I’m puzzled over blackout of any effect of Mrs. Clinton’s recent fund raiser’s effect on transit schedules.
So answer is either that liberals staged the one car fenderbender that jammed every single vehicle in the region to so they could blame it on Hillary’s overblown attendance. Or that actual attendance or entire population of the State of Washington cost the region three times the cost of the International Space Station.
Either way, they’re still slipping for failure to announce that liberals covered it up. My guess is they’re still chasing Rupert Murdoch’s escaped wombat all over the studio, the creature being enraged by failure to put him alongside other Australian animal references in “Tie Me Kangaroo Down.”
So to keep Australia from exiting the Commonwealth, peace gesture:
“Catch me bloody wombat, Pat,
Catch me bloody wombat!
You can make him into a floor-mat, Pat,
When you catch me bloody wombat!”
After you sing this to your wombat, promise him that because it says online that Australians occasionally do this, I’ll give him a Green Card so he’s safe here. But really is time to end coverup of transit performance on likely November results.
We’ve already got this software patented. So since every automatic car will perform pretty like this, our royalties will buy us a helicopter so we’re not trapped in the wrecking yard our structures and streets will become.
Want. Can haz pleez?
The building I currently live in has a single parking level that’s about half-underground due to the slope of the ground around it. A little retail space was, at some point, carved out of the street-level portion of the parking level (I’ve seen historical photos of the building where it was still parking). I haven’t gone around looking, but I have to imagine there are many buildings with similar parking levels here because of our hilly terrain, and because it allows the parking level to be largely “underground” without needing space-wasting ramps.
It sounds from the article like the main thing limiting the ability to convert floors would be having sloped parking decks. My building was built as a hotel over parking in the mid-20th century, probably without much thought to other possible uses; today it’s apartments over retail over parking-and-a-little-retail. If parking demand diminished further it’s easy to imagine more of that space being converted in various ways.
OK folks, figured I’d wait for the next open thread. I went to the Sound Transit Library and picked up a lot of material. OF course, I scheduled my visit as a prelude to the Sound Transit Capital Committee Meeting.
Gee, I wonder why? Could it be there was a public comment period? DAAAAAAAAAAAH.
I talked to a few Sound Transit Boardmembers. They’ve looked into ejecting Tsimerman for his antics, not many legal options in front of them… for now. Maybe The Dow can come up with one.
I finally got to talk (after gasping, booing and laughing at Tsimerman) also suggested Sound Transit had a Sound Transit Pro Shop. Also general public access to Sound Transit University.
Enjoy the YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbR4SGaSsiY&feature=youtu.be
Well Joe, you’re in a position to make America great again. All you have to do is get tell Alex’s candidate’s campaign people to arrange a joint appearance for the two of them at ST Board public comment period.
Terrific chance that Vladimir Putin will think it’s a wonderful chance to be reunited with his dad Alex. Tell me Hillary’s opponent won’t go for it! Only danger? Donald will endorse ST-3, and insist that all his activists start riding LINK at rush hour on game night to advocate for it.
Cautionary warning from experience, though. Check records for both drivers’ roster and transit meeting public comment for trolley systems in Southern Russia from about 1983 for Operator Tsimerman. you’ll see the danger awaiting you if you keep on combining public comment with public transit.
But ask Alex what his badge number was, and if he drove out of Odessa or Yalta, and you’ll be able to save yourself while there’s still time. On the other hand, Metro could already have hired so many people away from there that there’ll be an opening for you.
Bet there’ll be a used cardboard sign when you get back.
But one surefire way to sink ST3 right now would be for The Donald to endorse it. Guaranteed defeat.
Check your cardboard at the door.
Yeah really. I think I’m going to make a prop in photoshop & go across the street to the FedEx-Kinko’s the next time I give Sound Transit Public Comment.
Got a few ideas… then I’ll give the prop to a different deserving Sound Transit employee every time. Sort of like a “game ball”. Really stand behind these guys & gals at Sound Transit and give ’em some positive energy, love and TLC.
Hey guys, this image sums up why I’m against streetcar expansion: https://flic.kr/p/N7LdCe. Not too happy at the streetcar investment – in the millions – getting stuck in traffic. It’s like Trimet… Seattle edition ;-(.
This is what you do with that situation: https://www.flickr.com/photos/39017545@N02/15100998726/
Of course that’s also why you place the streetcars in the center lanes from the start
Good thinking. But I also want a thick curb to protect transit-only lanes.
Actually, Joe, TriMet only operates the Portland Streetcar. It does not own and did not build it; the City of Portland did and does.
Trimet has no grade separation in downtown Portland. Not cool.
Mixed bag. Easier transfers to some bus routers as there isn’t a huge staircase to climb. Also easy for protesters to block.
It would not have been easy to get anyone to approve funding for a downtown tunnel. It’s hard enough to get people to want to fund a surface route.
I’m a big believer that if you’re going to do rail, you have to protect it from the traffic. That doesn’t mean sometime some buffoon will try to drive a wheeled car on transit-right-of-way, but… if we only could get some Sound Transit staffers to go down and present to the Trimet Board and have the staffers tell of the joy light rail done right gives folks to the point the Sound Transit Pro Shop had to open up doors, well maybe Trimet would get its fan base back.
When I went to Innotrans, I spent the night in Potsdam. Their little city has surface streetcars / tram / light rail. It runs very well, even though it is on the surface, and entirely in street right of way.
Edmonton, Calgary and San Diego have no subway.
Much can be done to improve the way surface lines work over what was built here in the 1980s.
Of course, if you can get the political support for it, a downtown tunnel is best.
Edmonton has a downtown subway for its LRT. Calgary doesn’t but it has triple Edmonton’s ridership.
I don’t remember Edmonton having a tunnel, but that ridership comparison is a really telling example of what a tunnel is able to accomplish.
We can hope that one day TriMet has the political support to have such a thing.
If TriMet were to suddenly come across a few billion dollars to invest in rebuilding something that currently exists, it is probably far more important that the lines on the Steel Bridge be given their own bridge, or something along those lines. The 10 mph speed restriction that Union Pacific has for MAX on the bridge, plus the traffic tangle on each end of the bridge where there are some fairly hairy road intersections that passengers must cross if they are trying to get from the trains to anything nearby, would be really nice to eliminate completely.
A tunnel under the river might be nice, but in Portland the depth of the river ranges between 60 and 135 feet. I’m pretty sure anything across the Willamette will be a bridge before entering a tunnel.
I agree too the Steel Bridge could be replaced with a Xerox of the Tilikum Crossing. It’s a damn good, aesthetically pleasing piece of kit I’ve enjoyed photographing.
You’re correct that there’s no grade separation, but there are reserved lanes throughout for MAX. The streetcar doesn’t have them except in a couple of places, but MAX does everywhere.
A big “S” is what’s needed for the Willamette crossing. Go cut and cover just west of 7th Street to a moderately deep combined Convention Center/Rose Quarter station under the freeway with tunnels to both attractions. Then really dive under Interstate Avenue headed north to just south of the second set of grain elevators (the ones a block and a half north of Broadway.) By that time the tunnel could be deep enough to pass under the Willamette then curve south to the right of way under 9th Avenue with a station just south of Lovejoy for the Pearl District. Jog over the the North Park Blocks under the to-be-demolished Central Post Office, run south to Burnside for another station and wiggle over to Broadway under Ankeney. Then south on Broadway to Pioneer Square and a wiggle over to Fifth for a run down to PSU with a station around Main. Then another station under 8th on campus a run under I-405 followed by a rising grade through the tall spur of hill between Jefferson and US 26, a last underground station just south of Goose Hollow and tunnel portals just east of the Vista Bridge and a junction just east of the existing tunnel.
The Yellow/Orange and Green lines would continue to use the Steel Bridge and the surface trackage. There is plenty of capacity on the Steel for both lines (and a streetcar, see below) for a long time. The trackage on Holladay could splay out and take the entire street between 7th and Grand so the subway could surface. Sixth Street is already closed at Holladay so not much would be lost in mobility.
For a more money the transition to the subway could be made as the MAX ROW crosses the UP far below in Sullivan’s Gulch and the Rose Quarter Station for the subway be moved a block west to cover both the Rose Quarter and Seventh Avenue Station walksheds.
The existing MAX tracks through Morrison/Yamhill corridor could be run by a frequent streetcar between the circle at Goose Hollow and Grand/Seventh, using the existing trackage there to the tail track at Lloyd Center. It would probably have to be double tracked, but that wouldn’t be impossible.
An even more radical design would be to keep the Green Line in the subway and “stack” the curve south of Main Street so that it could surface somewhere between PSU North and PSU South and run a stub tunnel down to PSU South, aiming eventually to connect to a Barbur line.
Streetcars are the worst of both worlds. Slower than light rail and more expensive than a bus. I told the city that when they were first exploring modes in the early 2000s. They didn’t listen. Although finally they listened with Roosevelt BRT. We have to save our money for grade-separated rail that can really make a difference, not waste it on mixed-traffic streetcars. I’m pessimistic about Tacoma Link’s extension: it looks like it will likely be mixed traffic.
Way it really works, Mike, is that every transit vehicle gets stuck if it has to run general purpose lanes. Trolleybuses are mechanically able to pass other vehicles, but in just about all traffic, they can’t. Ropes often snag on corners of stopped trucks.
By same token, on reserved and signal-pe-empted lanes, streetcars can carry more people because they can be coupled. And standing loads are a lot more comfortable than on buses. Easy fix for First Hill Streetcar: Just by statute have streetcars and automobiles change priority.
Not much harder- blocks where both modes can’t share the street and keep moving, make streetcar only. Broadway isn’t enough of a through arterial that grid will lock without it.
Meanwhile: Anybody got any stats on pavement maintenance versus tracks? Because lanes carrying with heavy use of large buses lose ride quality pretty fast.
Well said Mike Orr. I’d rather see Seattle quit expanding streetcars unless they will separate from cars. Otherwise just give the money to Sound Transit to build light rail.
I “get it” most commentators want grade-separated rail from Downtown to Ballard. That should be the priority.
Transit is more than just cost and throughput. Streetcars offer a much more comfortable ride than buses do, and the permanence of the rails creates confidence, because it’s difficult to change the route later.
That’s all true. I admit I like riding the streetcar. I like being able to with my disabilities take the load off and relax. I like the fact I’m riding in an electric vehicle and not polluting. I think the wraps on streetcars are cool.
All of that can be done with electric trolley buses kept immaculately clean. To me, if the STB commetariat is an accurate body of transit geeks, well then Seattle needs light rail to Ballard NOW. Seattle needs a good, reliable West Seattle connection too – and a light rail connection to/from Everett & Tacoma & Eastside.
More Streetcars? Really?
“Streetcars are the worst of both worlds.”
Or they can be the best of both worlds. Cheaper than light rail, faster than traditional bus service, and an all-around better customer experience than a bus. It’s a matter of implementation. We’ve generally gone about it pretty poorly here in the States. CCC ought to be a good litmus and hopefully a trendsetter.
Center City Connector.
Thank you. I don’t see the need for a Central City Connector (CCC) duplicating light rail.
I see and hear the screams of Seattleites for more light rail…
We’ll have to agree to disagree. Cheers.
Lets compare speeds of surface lines:
These are the trams in Potsdam, Germany (OK, so the first type shown in the video is nearly extinct now, as they are now using 100% low floor stock from Stadler):
Karlsruhe , Germany:
Joe, and Mike, don’t mean to take up so much e-mail “link” space, but these illustrate my take on the relationship between our city streetcar line and LINK. To me, they’re two tools of the same kind in the same kit.
Both of which can sometimes be put on the same operation on the same job. The Nordic countries call any railcar that can, for any part of its route, run street track a “spårvagn”, pronounced pretty much “spore-vang”. Could be same root as railroad “spur.”
The blue cars are Flexity Swifts in Stockholm- Bombardier, I think. Same size as our Kinki Sharyo cars. Through the Grondahl neighborhood, they share lane space with all other street traffic, and have no trouble with entering same zone behind a bus.
However, upon leaving urban area, they switch onto what I’m pretty sure was freight track, for the rest of their run at top speed. In the neighborhood, the excellent coordination with motor traffic seems to be more experience and habit than law. Though yield signs say yield signs don’t apply to streetcars. Especially 90′ blue ones.
Starting in around the 1890’s, US streetcar systems began spreading into the countryside- exactly like cars and trucks. Same car would run small town main streets and miles of cornfields. Main difference is the Interurbans carried milk cans, and light rail…let’s think about it. Are the center spotlights on our front roofs still called “Interurban lights”?
The Karlsruhe system is interesting, because it was designed to be at home in both streetcar and intercity train mode. Making my point about the category.
Now. Completely reserved and protected track can be run with high floor automated trains. But unless tunneled, elevated, or barricaded, it’s spårvagn. Which, until Elon Musk is ready to ride on in same lanes as truck traffic, can’t be automated. So here’s my thought.
Over three decades of construction time, like with the way we started LINK with trolleybuses, on some corridors we might start delivering promised service faster if we built a grooved rail transitway, also operable joint-ops with buses, and also structured out for conversion to heavier rail when we’re ready to build it.
By then, our service area will likely need heavier arterial service than buses, to which the interurbans can be reassigned.
Thanks Mark, good photos.
I did some geeky transit sleuthing this week. I visited the TIB and Angle Angle Stations mid day (2-2;30 on Thursday) to see the effect the new station had on parking lot utilization. The TIB station lots were completely filled included the lot across the street from the station. The Angle Lake Station garage was about 3/4 filled with half of the 5th floor and all of the 6th empty. All other levels were solidly filled. I’ll visit again in a month or so and give another report.
Thanks. You’re the first to give any anecdontal evidence about Angle Lake station.
I parked at Angle Lake at 3pm last Wednesday. I parked on the 4th level which was half full. A little less than what Rob E saw. The elevator in the garage hasn’t worked yet… The stairs are a pain to use because they make you walk a bit on each floor to get to the stairs to the next level (kind of like a department store). The up escalator to the platform was also broken.
Maybe 10 people on my 3pm train and only 10 or so on my train home at 9pm.
What I saw at the Angle Lake parking garage was about the same. One thing I’m watching is the HOV reserved spaces. There appear to be three. Two have their painted marking covered with plastic, and are occupied presumably by first-come-first-serve SOVs. The third has an orange cone and the marking revealed.
I’m guessing that people won’t want to pay for a parking permit until there is scarcity.
In the video clip above, it seems a bit unfortunate that they sort of gloss over the years when West Seattle will have to transfer at SoDo.
It is really up to Metro whether and when bus routes will cease going downtown. I don’t see that happening at least until West Seattle light rail continues on through downtown.
I had a fun trip to Minneapolis this weekend. It was interesting to see how they are tackling so many of the same challenges facing Seattle.
I came in using their light rail from the airport which was really convenient. They appear to use the same cars we do and their system is almost entirely above ground except for at the airport itself. It reminded me how glad I was that our light rail connected our airport so early. Even if it isn’t the fastest way to get downtown the train is really approachable to travellers in a way that a bus system just isn’t.
We also rode the light rail out to St. Paul and saw their beautiful Union Station for Amtrak. It’s pretty much a straight shot to St. Paul, but then kind of zig zags through the downtown area there. As a tourist I actually appreciated this line being above ground since we could get a taste of the neighborhoods we were going through. I’d say it’s comparable to our Rainier Valley stops for most of its length.
Their bike share system seemed pretty well used downtown. There were a lot of walkers out on a beautiful weekend down in their reclaimed river crossing parks. Over a couple days we passed a dozen or more weddings out getting photos in the scenic areas.
What is the deal with the ridership miss on Portland’s Orange Line?
I hear they were predicting 17k riders on an average day in 2016, but they are only getting something less than 11k riders. It’s still early, but a 35% miss in ridership is still pretty big.
You could do an entire post about this.
Among the issues:
From my own experience, the bus feeders are nowhere near as good as they should be. In those cases where the bus transfers are really well coordinated, they don’t show up on the trip planners as being that way because the trip planners (Google, TriMet’s own, or other) all want to see at least 5 minutes between transfers. When they plan a 2 minute transfer the trip planner grabs the next available run so shows it as a 20 minute or so transfer.
Route 34 in particular doesn’t seem to be moving many people at all, and whenever I plan a trip into that part of town it never shows up on the trip planners. When it does, it shows an extremely ill advised transfer location when another location is easier, faster, and better timed – saving about 20 minutes over the trip what the trip planner wants people to do.
Lots of other potential issues too.
Still, a 35% shortfall seems like a pretty big miss just to be attributable to poor feeder buses. But if so, is this an arguement for using a more conservative approach to ridership forecasting for new lines such as ST uses? Because this seems like a rather large investment for just 11k riders.
But hopefully they figure out what is going on and get it turned around.
At some point, there is supposed to be an even more extensive bus restructure. One of the most important areas is Sellwood. There is supposed to be at least two bus routes across the Sellwood Bridge. Today, there are still none. Those bus routes might help feed the Orange Line, but they can’t if they aren’t there.
The 19 (crosses the Orange Line at Bybee) could be a great feeder. Both versions of that route have loops through residential areas with nearly no ridership but lots of false “but I might need the bus someday” transit advocates.
Another route on the drawing board is a Sellwood Bybee 28th thing that could be a real interesting feeder. It’s not there yet.
You can’t build a line with stations so far from activity centers and neglect the bus feeders this badly.
Or rather, neglect how the transfers show up on the trip planner that everyone uses. There are some really good 2 minute transfers that are possible now. They don’t show up as possible though.
The good news is the service hours saved from converting the 31, 32 and 33 segment between Milwaukie and Portland into a MAX line were reinvested into a combined 31 – 33 corridor bus route (today’s 33) that has proven quite popular.
1. Not all that surprising, look at the route through Industrial SE Portland, even the part by Sellwood is surrounded by a park, golf course, expressway. There is nothing around the stations save for Downtown Milwaukie.
2. Note how Sound Transit gives ridership numbers “by 2030”, not at day of opening.
On both of the these points, I will say, give it time for development to occur so that this route actually serves something, though that’s only going to be around OMSI, South Waterfront and SE Lincoln Street. Maybe a bit at SE Clinton and Downtown Milwaukie. Unfortunately there has been very little upzoning around the station thanks to appeasing NIMBYs..
Downtown Milwaukie isn’t so great either. The station is on the south side of town where there isn’t too much.
The city of Milwaukie was supposed to have obtained a much better station location that would have also made transfers easier than the current location. Instead, we are stuck with Milwaukie having two separate transit hubs. The Milwaukie MAX station has no space for the 70 or 75 to lay over.
Want a fun #ST3 poll to vote in?
Go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/seattletransitblog/permalink/10153954007156526/
With the mainstream media & their polling agencies slacking, we in the STB Community will answer the call for our Sound Transit shipmates.
Frankly after reading one candidate for President’s voter’s pamphlet, I had to make some changes…
“Peter Rogoff is the very definition of the American success story, continually setting the standards of excellence while expanding his interests in mass transit, public service, education, and entertainment. He is a graduate of the Master of Business Administration degree with honors from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and his Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies at Amherst College. He is married and a father of two thinking his wife is hotter than any supermodel, Miss Universe, any Miss USA, any Miss Enviroissues, OR any Mrs Sound Transit. In 2010 Rogoff was the first recipient of the Transportation Equity Network’s Rosa Parks Award. Rogoff also was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award; the Lester P. Lamm Memorial Award for outstanding leadership and dedication to U.S. highway transportation programs; the Dr. and Mrs. William and Budd Bell Award for “tireless advocacy for seniors and people with disabilities;” and the National Chair’s Award from the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials.”
In short, Peter Rogoff is smarter, sexier, and stronger than Donald J. Trump and actually served his country. If this election were not so damn serious, I’d write in Peter Rogoff for President.
Yeah, Trump’s platform statement cracks me up.
Peter Rogoff, if you do not live in Seattle then you are not important.
Since this is an open thread I am going to, once again, display my disdain for Metro. I was riding the first of three transit trips from work yesterday morning. I paid my fare and sat down. Two stops later a guy walks on the bus says he has no fare and the driver just let’s him on. He just let the thief on. I keep asking the question, why should I pay (and I do always pay. If I have no fare I walk) when Metro does not enforce the rules. I get that RapidRide has fare enforcement this was not RapidRide.
On this, we have absolute agreement. So sick of the freeloaders… we pay a transit fare because the equivalent for drivers is the gas tax. Fare free normally doesn’t work out for transit systems without a massive subsidy from a major donor (e.g. university) or max’d out sales tax rates that only works so much (e.g. Island Transit).
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