79 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Bogota BRT & Rail”

  1. Looking at the Lynnwood Link document for the first time (its not a project I followed closely), and I noticed that ST had options for an at-grade station at 130th that I believe now have been rejected. Say what you will about the alignment on MLK, but an at-grade station is great for accessibility.

    Why wouldn’t ST bring an elevated guideway to grade at a station?

    1. I suppose it depends on what you mean. One option would be to bring it to grade and cross the street. This has a lot drawbacks, like screwing up traffic on the crossing streets (where the buses travel). If you go to surface level right after the intersection, then those who make the trip from a bus would have to walk the extra distance. This would be similar to what they did with 145th, which is not good (although since they did move the station well off of 145th then the might as well move to the surface).

      I think the ideal would be elevated right over the intersection. Have short escalators connecting to the surface, where the bus stops would be. Similar to this: https://goo.gl/maps/fcThauMMfL22, except the escalators or stairways would be perpendicular to the train line.

      1. If above 130th, you have better station entrance options without crossing any streets. It would be good if they were able to add in a non-transit pass bridge to the thing so you could cross the street better without needing a transit pass or wait for a walk signal.

        At grade looks a bit like the MAX Green Line station at SE 92nd and Flavel. It works ok-ish but MAX only has two car trains at most. People in a four car train would have a long way to walk to a bus transfer.

        Also, the green line has a parallel bike path that helps feed passengers from some areas. Link won’t have this.

      2. @Glenn — As far as a “non-transit pass pedestrian bridge”, I don’t think many would use it. It doesn’t take that long for a walk signal. It’s not like Aurora (and lots of people ignore the pedestrian overpass there and just wait for the walk signal). I suppose if they give crossing buses signal priority and you see your bus coming you might go up and over, but chances are you would still just miss the bus. Plus almost everyone in the area will arrive via a bus or the train. It is a fairly low density area (right next to the freeway). I think the key is to make that transfer (from bus to train) as easy and quick as possible. Ideally the bus is off board payment and you just have ORCA meters all over the place.

        Speaking of which, how is that supposed to work, anyway? We only have one line now, and I haven’t ridden many proof of payment systems. But I assume that you don’t need to tap your card as you switch trains. What if you switch to a bus that has off board payment as well? If it works the same way — no ORCA tapping required when you transfer — then this transfer could become really fast. Just walk from the train to bus (or reverse).

        In general this is an area that could use the half-ass BRT treatment. Unlike 145th, you wouldn’t have to spend a bundle on making the street bigger. Do what you can in terms of bus lanes, but congestion isn’t the biggest problem. If you had good headways, good stop spacing, lots of doors, level boarding, off board payment and some signal priority it could be a really good bus line.

      3. If it is just a matter of bolting a pedestrian bridge onto the side of a railroad bridge, as has been done in places then it might not cost too much to get a fare-free pedestrian path across 130th.

        Portland’s Harold Street is narrower than Seattle’s NE 130th but it is still painfully slow to cross sometimes.

  2. Was planning on starting the week with my only campaign endorsement. Kemper Freeman is now partnering with Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and Steve Ballmer, former Senator Rodney Tom and $900,000 to defeat State Supreme Court Justice Rodney Wiggins. So I’m asking my fellow shareholders to oppose this hostile takeover.

    But this morning’s videos raise a really good Sunday morning TV discussion. If the world contains three Worlds, First, Second, and Third, are the United States and Colombia now in the same one? Or if we’re in a higher one….prove it.

    Mark Dublin

    1. Mark;

      I voted for sanity. I voted to get justices who’ll stop the giant sucking sound and moral + financial abyss called McClearly. So yeah I voted against ALL three incumbents and FOR all three challengers

      This let’s not fund transit to fund education crap really made my vote easy there.


      1. Joe, if it was anybody but you, I’d say that the DSTT’s original fleet combine with its operations and training to prove what happens when you try to build transit before you get the necessary education.

        For example. I understand that up in the Skagit there’s a new breed of psilocybin mushrooms that look just like a chanterelle. They’ve also infected Thurston County’s major industry. Which for some reason Big Pot thinks is a good thing.

        So, until we can verify that the entire Italian, Thai, and Indian food and restaurant industries have passed Mycology 101 without cheating, no more pasta, pizza, or curry for either of us.

        And also, JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS. I just saw Transit Police drag Donald Trump’s Seattle campaign manager out of the Ruth Fisher Room, leaving a trail of carryout boxes of every mushroom-positive cuisine in the world, and a cloud of Weed (TM) smoke.

        Save yourself, and let ME become his understudy.


      2. Yes, to heck with the Washington State Constitution. When it becomes inconvenient for your agenda, just ignore it and pretend it isn’t there.

      3. Mark;

        As to,

        I just saw Transit Police drag Donald Trump’s Seattle campaign manager out of the Ruth Fisher Room, leaving a trail of carryout boxes of every mushroom-positive cuisine in the world, and a cloud of Weed (TM) smoke.

        I just wish that were true… ;-)

      4. David B;

        McCleary has gone well beyond state constitution into a straight money grab. The incumbent justices (Madsen, Yu and Wiggins) are all out of their depth.

        I generally hold these WPC views on the matter:

        Nevertheless, Justice Madsen tries to direct the education funding in the 2017 Session, even though she does not have the power to write state budgets. Nine times in her order she nags lawmakers to show how to put more tax money into education, when it’s obvious the only way the legislature funds anything is by taking money from the working people of our state.

        Four times she calls for “regular and dependable” revenue, code words for imposing a new tax, when current revenue is already rising. Justice Madsen’s finger-wagging treats lawmakers, the people’s elected representatives, like children, when the court itself has created the current McCleary mess.

        For Justice Madsen to say the Legislature has not funded basic education, when the Legislature has expanded education by 34 percent, makes no sense to the average citizen and taxpayer in Washington. People keep paying more and the justices continue to complain.

        It’s time to stop throwing more money at public education and focus our investments within current revenue. Transit shouldn’t be pit against public education to appease the same people who for decades have opposed any tax increase for any reason.

      5. Joe, I really hate to OT, but the only way to fund education fully without tax increases would be to take money away from richer school districts like Bellevue and give it to poorer school districts like the Eastern Washington ones. Obviously, that’s not happening anytime soon. So, tax increases are the only way to do this.

      6. Revenues may be increasing but not enough to fully fund education. If it were, we wouldn’t still be having levies to fund basic things, teachers wouldn’t have to buy classroom supplies from their own pockets or have the parents get enough pencils to share, and there would be funding for school building maintenance. To find the right level of funding you have to start with the goal, how much that costs, and how to raise it. Just adding 35% to the current level without reference to how close it reaches a complete standard of education is meaningless. People often use that argument against transit funding. “Revenue is higher than it was ten years ago” or “It just got an increase with Prop 1”. Yes, and now we have 15-minute evenings, but not everywhere, and the feeder routes and transfer routes should really be ten minutes. The right starting place is a compreensive transit network like most other industrialized countries have, and how much does that cost, and how do we get there. Just adding a relative amount to the current level — or saying the current level is the right level — doesn’t get us there. The current level is not based on some report of the optimum level of transit for our size population, it’s based on arbitrary political decisions over the past decades and arbitrary state constraints.

      7. Congratulations, Joe, you have just become a “useful idiot” for the plutocrats who wish to rip funding for differently abled people — and so many other less blessed folks — from the State budget in order to give the monstrously financially obese Uber-wealthy of the State further tax advantages.

        And yes I do know that Bill Gates has pledged to give away 90% of his fortune. Good for him. He’s still on the wrong side of this.


      8. All of you above;

        I just am not going to stand for public education to keep sucking money down a hole. When I see the same accountability out of public education I see out of my Enviroissues & Sound Transit heroes, then I might stop boo-ing.

        Mods: When (throwing) more money (down a bucket) for public education is being used to justify sinking ST3, well then this is highly relevant. Please understand why it’s came up. Thanks.

      9. The same principle applies to you: what do you think the right level of education should be? How much does that cost, and how do we get there? You don’t have to answer that; I’m just illustrating the principle. As guideposts we can see that most other industrialized countries have a higher standard of grade-school eduction and they pay more for it. Anu Partanen has noted that if you combine both public and private social spending (or specifically education, healthcare, or transportation, etc), Americans spend about the same as countries with highar taxes and more socialized services, but Americans’ quality of results is significantly worse. Part of that is fragmentation, part of it is rent-seeking by the companies, etc. The constitution says the state’s primary responsibility is to fund a complete basic education. Do you agree with that or don’t you? What is a basic education? Do you disagree with the state’s definition, is it too high? The proponents of charter schools are reflexively anti-union, don’t consider that the companies are sometimes rent-seeking, and aim to get an optimal education for their child rather than all children. You may say that the teachers’ union is the problem and they’re the ones driving costs up and quality down, but Germany has much more widespread unionization and it doesn’t have these problems. In fact, the management and unions together decide how to run their industry and companies, so there’s no antagonistic us-vs-them because both have responsibility for the decisions. So the answer is not to eliminate unions or bring in something like non-union charter schools. The answer is perhaps to reform the union but also to reform everything else. But this strays away from the issue of costs and taxes into more structural issues, and can be addressed separately from the issue of what level of education the state should pay for and what ancillary expenses are essential to make the education mission viable.

        The same applies to transit. We need to start with what level of transit we want and should have. Again, international comparisons show we’re not spending enough on it. This is forcing people to drive to fill the gaps, which is both inefficient (egregiously) and unequal (it burdens poor/working-class people the most). And decades of no rail and skeletal bus service has created a generation of people who won’t take buses for an answer, and won’t give buses exclusive lanes. The comparison with education is that many opponents of a major increase in transit infrastructure — not you but the arguments are similar — want to deunionize Metro, privatize it, or let it evolve into minivans and merge with the driverless Uber vision. But again those do not address the problem of providing comprehensive transportation; they’d end up providing less transit, or only for those who can afford $5 or $10 fares, or they’d pay drivers so little they’ll work 80 hours a week at two or three jobs and still can’t make ends meet.

  3. I’ve just solved my own hardest political decision. For the sake of everybody I support, I’m out of politics until I can ride LINK to Tierra Del Fuego. Meantime, don’t vote for anybody I tell you to, except CHARLIE Wiggins. Whew! That’s a load off. Which world are we in?

    Mark Dublin

  4. Great juxtaposition here guys. Great work!

    BRT’s got limits. You know something when Maggie Firmia and her fellow troll buddies demand BRT, well where were they when Community Transit Prop 1 to fund at least two lines of SWIFT was on the table?

    Let me add as well that I support BRT in some capacities. But for the Everett to Seattle commute, you must have guaranteed right of way for transit.

  5. Heaven Knows the only young opponent of ST3 is Kevin Wallace. I just hope for all the young people and young at heart to vote a better future than parking lots called Interstate 5, State Highway 520, Interstate 90 and Interstate 405 (for starters).

  6. Bogota can give us some badly needed information for comparing bus and rail technology for fast, heavy transit:

    Which mode costs less to maintain maximum ride quality?


    1. Joseph, I hope this isn’t a tradition for this season of the year, because November 1, 1918 6.42 p.m. marks a worse one.


      This article is important reading, since it lists just about every preventable precondition for a really bad one.

      Those wood cars were still on the rails in Chicago in 1950 or so. I remember riding one on the Ravenswood elevated line.

      As shown, they had vestibules, little open balconies with cast-iron railings, and iron gates that snapped open and shut with compressed air.

      Shortly after the wreck, Malbone Street was renamed Empire Boulevard.


  7. I visited the Angle Lake Link Station again to see about the parking utilization in the garage. On my first visit Thursday 10/13 four and a half out of 6 floors were full, on this past Thursday 10/27-five floors were full, additionally there were about 15 cars around the 6th floor elevator. Appears to be steadily filling up.

    Additionally I rode the Link Train back after the Husky game last Saturday vs. Oregon State. ST had about 20 persons working at the HSS–staff managing escalator flow and staff on the platform with four foot long sticks with 18inch diameter green circles on the end to guide rider to cars with room for additional passengers. I spoke with one of the men with the sticks–He said it took 45 minutes with continuous crushed loads to clear the crowds after the game. Although he also said that people started heading to the trains as early as just after half time–since it was a blow-out. It will be interesting to see what the extent to crowding will be after a last minute/second close game with everybody exiting at once.

    I additionally spoke to several riders who spoke glowingly about link and how they stopped at Capital Hill Station before the game for lunch. I notice too that on my ride back to Angle Lake that relatively few passenger got off at Seattle Stations. About 1/3 got off at TIBS and 1/3 at Angle Lake.

    1. The Stanford game was the test you describe…pretty much everyone (and the stadium was at capacity) was there until the end. It was definitely more noticeably crowded, but the ST staff did a commendable job at managing the exodus. The only issue was that a couple of the escalators weren’t operating (and one stopped a few people in front of me), which caused some bunching problems.

      My parents live on the West Hill of Kent, and are Super Fans of light rail and the Huskies, so this has been a match made in heaven. It’s funny to see how my mom and dad have become such rabid supporters of light rail – my aunt made some crack comment about an “unsafe” feeling, which has resulted in relentless mocking from my folks.

  8. Want a distraction from the ST3 debate? Apparently in Trimetland, they’re having a serious driver assault problem. So bad this Sound Transit Fan Club official flew in the early morning on an emergency crisis deployment on a Q400 to Trimet Board to address this crisis of 44 – now 45 – driver assaults this year. You can watch the crisis meeting at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-7_XBq6QW0

    Just figure you should see me as more than just a fanboy or suck-up to transit agencies… yeah, even I got my limits.

    1. Joe- and Glenn- what do reports indicate that could account for this number of assaults?


      1. Well if you watch the video, Trimet & its operator union are studying the problem. I prompted the Trimet Board to request regular updates on reforms to protect drivers. You know, basically ask the Trimet Board to do the Trimet Board’s job.

      2. Obviously it’s about fare disputes. It’s also a broken culture down there… It’s so bad that on one Trimet bus I was on last Wednesday I didn’t see any of three guys have to pay a fare.

        I’m happy the Trimet Board has woken up to reality. I understand Elliot Njus is working on another story on driver assaults as well.

      3. Well, if that’s the case, Metro is at the suburbs of a “broken down culture.” I’m getting frustrated by how brazen the “I’m not paying” crowd is getting here in Seattle, and without penalty. ST seems to take fare evasion very seriously (and security in general) while Metro just ignores it. I’ve never seen fare enforcement or Metro security anywhere in the system, but I see ST’s equivalent everyday. I think this is reflected in the quality of ST’s product (stations and rolling stock are safe, clean, and maintained).

        I don’t expect the drivers to confront these thieves, but Metro needs to do something very quickly, before the bad behavior becomes normalized. The drivers do seem somewhat complacent, though – they should at least say ‘no’ at the endless excuses, because in most cases that is all it would take to keep the person off the bus – and if the person still takes a seat, so be it, at least they tried.

      4. Thanks Felsen. I am concerned and will start raising the issue at a more local level. I don’t want to see ANY driver assaults up here, much less have it tolerable to now have at least 45 driver assaults as is the case in Trimetland.

  9. With the passage of ST3, non-Everett Snohomish County will have the highest sales taxes of any city in the country devoted solely to public transportation by far, at 2.6%. Yet Community Transit fares are higher than average for suburban agencies. Seattle, clocking in at 2.4%, is not a slouch either. Why are the rates so high? Is there state support for transit provided in other states, like gas tax redirection, that is missing in Washington State?

    1. calwatch,

      We don’t get much in state support for transit except for WSDOT transit grants. Part of the deal of ST3 taxation authority was Sound Transit could no longer apply for WSDOT transit grants so there’s some additional dollars there.

      Other states support transit better. We here leave the locals – and Sound Transit – to fend for themselves.

      A NO vote on ST3 is a NO vote to more high quality transit or to roll the dice.

    2. There’s no state income tax. We rely on sales tax, car tabs, and property taxes. Likely in other states some of the funding comes from the state, so that would reduce the amount coming from sales tax.

    3. Initiative 695 gutted the motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) that was a sizable source of revenue for transit agencies all over the state. So the Legislature granted increased local sales tax authority (with voter approval) to make up for the losses. I-695 was ruled unconstitutional but the Legislature reinstated it fearing voter backlash.

      Also, gas tax in WA is constitutionally restricted to “highway purposes”.

      1. http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2000/04/03/initiative-695-haunts-state-government-in-washington

        Seventeen years ago, when the courts handed Tim Eyman’s head to our elected State reps on a silver plate with an apple in its mouth, the legislature enacted I-695 verbatim. In a foaming yellow river that would’ve powered LINK for ten years.

        After all this time, I’m still struggling over which I hate worse. The fact that a Democratic Governor didn’t force this bill to be passed over his veto? Or the fact that we’ve never been able to repair the damage? Though first sentence is probably main reason for the second.

        Real answer? Fact that the Party I’d have to “Prefer” if I were running for County Council hasn’t yet learned its evil twin’s unbeaten secret. Like the hero’s angry old dad told him in his cradle in “Sometimes A Great Notion”: “Never Give A Inch!” Missing “n” is necessary for correct attitude.

        Glenn, do me a favor and thank Oregon for Ken Kesey.


      2. Mark;

        I would simply say that the voters wanted the car tab tax cut AND to vote on future taxes. If Democrats were not going to give the Governor’s Mansion to a KVI Talk Show Host, they kinda had to at least give the car tab tax cut. I’m unhappy some tax increases – like highway expansion gas tax increases – never get voter approval and I wish more to the left of me would see the virtues in always seeking voter approval on taxes.


      3. Joe, “seeking voter approval on taxes” means you get the inefficient, regressive system we have now. That’s because the big oxen spend hugely to stop any tax on income or wealth, so they don’t get gored. Spend thousands now — either on terrifying TV ads depicting “welfare queens” and “tax and spend Democrats” or simply to buy politicians directly — and save millions later.

        What’s not to like; it’s just “investing”. Capiche?

      4. Hey Richard Bullington, look voter approval on taxes keeps government on a leash. I don’t want any more highway expansion for a long while, for one. I doubt you do either. Voter approval on tax increases means Sound Transit had to draw up ST3 with over a year of public input & community communications instead of in the backroooms too.

      5. The MVET slash was not about what was it funding and what should it fund; it was a knee-jerk “$30 should be enough for everything transportation-related” regardless of whether that was true or not.

    4. Most states subsidize local and regional transit. Washington is one of the few that doesn’t. The state has a small set of annual grants, mostly for rural buses. It also subsidizes Amtrak Cascades and takes the lead on track improvements, and some years ago it launched the Dungeness/Apple/Grape/Gold Lines that connect the small cities. (Only the Dungeness line comes to Seattle; $40 to Port Port Angeles twice a day.) There’s no income tax so the total taxes are a third less than most states. Property tax has some constitutional limits and initiative-set limits, while the sales tax has no hard ceiling, so the state is highly dependent on sales tax to fill the gaps. Never mind that sales tax is boom-and-bust with the economy, and it’s the most regressive tax on poor people.

      In the 1930s the state passed a constitutional amendment to restrict the gasoline tax to “highway purposes”. At the time the railroads were private monopolies with decades of robber-baron practices lieaving a bad taste in people’s mouths; they didn’t want one penny of the gas tax going to the railroads. The state has interpreted “highway purposes” as cars, buses, and ferries (the ferries are defined as highways) but not any kind of rail. That’s why the gas tax hasn’t contributed anything for Link or Sounder. (And why Kemper Freman sued Sound Transit to stop East Link, saying that selling the I-90 express lanes was an unconstitutional use of gas-tax-funded infrastructure. It was dismissed because the 1980s deal between the state and the feds said that those federally-subsidized lanes were intended to be converted to rail as soon as feasable.) There are some who say the amendment is not as strict as this, and that something like Lynnwood Link could be a “highway purpose” because it displaces a lot of people who would otherwise be driving on the highway (thus requiring more lanes), but so far the state has not shown interest in pursuing this interpretation.

    5. CT is quite expensive to operate, based on the FTA date sheet. I brought this up some time back. Speculation at the time among commenters included the sheer number of one way express buses operated over significant distances.

      Federal Transit Administration grants do not pay for deadhead moves. So, CT gets to pay for those.

      Mostly, blame land use planning for all that.

      1. Those will all go away in 2023. All the CT and ST routes will be truncated in Lynnwood or Mountake Terrace. We can’t get Link to Lynnwood fast enough.

      2. We can hope, but I doubt CT will end one way services to such places as Mukilteo, Edmonds, Stanwood, etc. Some one way trips won’t go as far, but it will probably still be a system with a huge number of deadheading and one way express trips.

      3. Community Transit stated a few years ago that its downtown and U-District services would end when Lynnwood Link opens. ST3/Paine Field does not come into it; this is an ST2 issue.

        The north end is in a better position to do this than the south end, because Lynnwood Link’s travel time will be in the middle of the buses’ range (faster than rush hour; slower than Sunday morning). In the south end a forced transfer to Link will add at least 10-15 minutes to travel time so there’s more pressure to keep some express buses, but PT hasn’t had Seattle expresses since the 1990s and absolutely can’t afford to start them now, and ST’s planning scenarios suggest it will force a transfer at KDM.

      4. Yeah, I’m with Mike on this one. It makes sense to truncate the express buses. Lynnwood Link is fast enough, plus Lynnwood becomes even more of a transit hub than it was before. Also add the fact that there are destinations this side of downtown (Northgate and the UW) that aren’t that far away from Lynnwood (15 to 20 minutes) and it just makes sense. You might cost someone a couple minutes, but in return they get some very good stops along the way.

        Plus in general there aren’t that many trips from places like Mukilteo and Stanwood. So even if they don’t truncate those buses, it isn’t the end of the world. Most of the buses stop at Lynnwood and most of them go right by there.

        If Link gets to Everett, on the other hand, it isn’t so great. I don’t see that as saving any money unless they really crank down the headways. You would still need to serve South Everett, which means you still need to run some of those Everett to Lynnwood I-5 buses. The truncation at Ash Way instead of Lynnwood may be a wash (since there is no north bus ramp to Ash Way). There just aren’t big savings to be had once Link gets to Lynnwood.

      5. Sloppy sentence. I meant to say that there are no northbound bus ramps connecting the HOV lanes to Ash Way. So buses have to fight their way over to the right lane, exit with regular traffic and wait for a light. It is quite likely to be faster to just skip over a couple of stops and use Lynnwood.

      6. RossB;

        Thanks for your support for truncating CT routes at the light rail spine. I think going up to Everett is going to do wonders for 510 & 512 riders. Going up to Everett via Paine Field is going to make happy so many Paine Field commuters & potential commuters. Going up to Everett via Paine Field is going to provide Mukilteo via a quick bus ride a link to the light rail.

        Vote YES on Regional Prop 1 for this awesomeness! Or you can be a RossB Caucus member and hope for the best. Or you can be a useful idiot for a zillionaire named Kemper who wants more for him, less for the sheeple!

      7. Joe, YOU are the useful idiot “for Kemper”. Jeshua on a shingle, it’s Kemper who is the big bucks behind the anti-Supreme Court coup you supported up thread. Do your effyouseeking homework before you vote!

      8. Hey Richard Bullington, it’s a bipartisan coalition of leaders seeking to change a broken State Supreme Court. It’s not always about Kemper.

        However, it IS Kemper Freeman funding most ST3 opposition efforts because he just HATES light rail. If you want to risk a very risky future for transit, vote NO on Regional Prop 1.

        A YES vote for Regional Prop 1 is a YES vote for more transit, period. Don’t fracture our coalition.

      9. “If Link gets to Everett, on the other hand, it isn’t so great. I don’t see that as saving any money unless they really crank down the headways.”

        The Everett extension isn’t about saving money, it’s about improving the trip quality in the Everett-Seattle corridor. Specifically, a one-seat ride from Everett, and immune from traffic jams. Of course it doesn’t serve downtown Mukilteo directly but the argument is that Everett-south serves the greatest number of people. And of course the Paine Field detour adds to the travel time, which is a disadvantage for Everett-Seattle and Everett-Lynnwood trips, but Snohomish argues that the big industrial jobs center makes the detour worth it.

      10. Yes Mike, CT will save some money from truncating commuter routes at Everett Station. But light rail to Everett Station will also reward loyal transit riders and, and encourage more transit choice riders to ride transit.

      11. Glenn, about fare disputes. This is a hard one for working people, who for various reasons have not had either a raise or a decent wage in forty years, have a strong habit of reacting directly to being robbed. It’s their money being stolen.

        Uniformed work-forces often have work rules forbidding acting on legitimate emotion in circumstances where consequences are unpredictable and dangerous. But also included in the rules, active preventive measures a driver is required to take.

        Accurate radio report- which is immediately put on record. And on return to base, detailed incident report. For which the driver is paid for half an hour, for usually ten minutes’ work. Allowing the Agency to arrange enforcement measures.

        If they don’t drivers have the right to demand that their union apply pressure to force the action. And encourage their fellow citizens to contact their elected reps to do similar. I’ve seen it work.

        But first thing the transit company needs to do is develop some effective and publicized countermeasures making payment less evade-able. First being strong move to getting fare collection away from the ‘box.”

        First contact with fare system should give a Day Pass. Period. No long discussions, no arguments about transfer time. And generous breaks for passes. Monthly has worked for me for years. Annual should come back.

        So drivers will be able to view farebox as a charity jar, as cafes and diners often have on the counter. But like any restaurant bill, vast majority of coin-donors will pay their fare without compulsion or resentment.

        Mark Dublin

      12. Mark;

        Good long essay. I would say briefly as I’m busy today editing Halloween photos & video for a relative that yeah day passes are best. Also it just needs to be made clear it’s unaccepted by the community to abuse a transit operator.

      13. Mark: TriMet has several cameras on each bus. They provide part of the incident report too.

  10. Have there been any conversations about the #10 bus and whether it’s new route is performing? I live near the 10 and find its new route covers more of the Capitol Hill Station walkshed that it makes more sense to just walk to the station and I suspect it might be better to go back to the old route which covered more areas outside the station walkshed and provided duplicative service with the 11 for upper Pike/Pine.

    1. The problem with route 10 is, as most able-bodied regular transit users have discovered, riding a bus for trips shorter than about a mile is almost never worth it. Even if it’s a frequent bus, a wait time of up to 15 minutes, followed by a 5 mph crawl is not time-competitive with a 15-minute, door-to-door, walk to the destination.

      Drawing lines on the map, the farthest route 10 ever gets away from a Link Station is the turnaround loop, which is still only a mile away from Capitol Hill Station, and has not much density there (just single-family homes, with a large chunk of walkshed taken by Interlaken Park, Volunteer Park, and the cemetery).

      The idea behind route 10 was that we were unsure whether asking people around Olive/Summit to walk two blocks to the Link Station to go downtown was going to be acceptable or not, so route 10 was modified to serve as mitigation for the loss of the 43. In practice, I believe most people do either walk to the Link Station or walk directly to downtown, but there are probably a fair number of elderly or disabled people who appreciate the 10’s current routing. Having bus routes duplicate each other is usually bad, as it leads to less frequency and coverage per dollar spent than could otherwise be, and there is nowhere you could take the 10 to on the old routing that would entail walking more than 0.3 less than with the 10’s current routing. If you’re trying to get somewhere like Broadway/Union, other frequent options exist, such as the 2 or 12.

      Ideally, I would prefer if the 10 didn’t go downtown at all. For example, the money spent building the streetcar could have built trolley wire to allow the 10 to take 12th Ave. in a straight line, all the way from John to Jackson, then following the streetcar path to the International District. But, given the constraints of the world we have (streetcar=sunk cost, a few elderly people in the summit neighborhood who would have trouble walking to Link), I say just leave the 10 where it is (on John/Olive), and call it a day.

      1. Remember that the Capitol Hill Metro restructure was created before Link opened — and lots of resistance occurred because of fear of making a change without fully appreciating how much faster Link is.

        I think that a new Capitol Hill Metro restructuring would be worthwhile to contemplate again soon — well before the 2021 Link Northgate opening. I’m sure a shift in loads and in neighborhood public opinion has occurred by now. Further, if some of the other transit projects move forward like Madison BRT or the Aloha Extension of FHSC, the need for both temporary and permanent route changes will be needed anyway, making an additional case for revisiting the Metro structure in the neighborhood.

        If Metro doesn’t restart the conversation in the next year, a renewed ugly fight about restructuring will probably again occur as people will adapt to the current restructure — so the longer Metro waits, the harder tweaking the current restructure will probably be. .

      2. What about taking the residual 43 tips and putting them on the old 10 route to add a bit of peak capacity at that end of things?

      3. It is interesting to contrast the changes made around Husky Stadium and CHS. The UW related changes were controversial but it was a pretty obvious trade-off. Lots of routes got truncated, but in return you have much higher frequency. The folks I’ve talked to have said pretty much the same thing. It isn’t that the train is faster — in fact the opposite (when you add up the time spent transferring the express bus is often better) — but that the train and new bus is just a lot more frequent. The UW related change was a classic service hours reapportionment, whereas the CHS related ones were not. There was no obvious truncation possibility (too many important stops along the way) nor would the one station in the area serve as a major transit hub (it’s too hard to get to).

        With Madison BRT it is different, as a lot of the changes will be relatively easy to make. You can finally get rid of the 43 and put those hours into the 48. Folks lose their one seat ride to downtown, but the two seat ride is fast and much more frequent (a similar trade-off to the one made by many in the northeast). The 12 can go away. Those changes right there would not be that controversial and result in pretty big service hours that could make the 48 and 8 really frequent.

        It isn’t obvious what to do about the 11, but here is a very safe change: Just send it past CHS (on John and Thomas) and then downtown via the 10 route. Folks in Madison Park still have a one seat ride to the same part of downtown, along with a much better connection to Link and a great two seat ride to anywhere on Madison. This is a huge win for Madison Park.

        An alternative would be to split the 8 and end the east-west part (the part coming from Queen Anne) at Madison Park. I’m not too fond of that idea. It is really the worst of both worlds. You have a ridership imbalance between Madison Park and the rest of the line. Worse yet, you force a bad transfer for a lot of folks from Madison Park. In the evening the 8 is very unreliable, which means that while they could get from downtown to 23rd very quickly, they might have to wait a long time before taking that second bus even if Metro pushes more service to the 8.

        So, assuming you send the 11 downtown via CHS you still have the 10 that is largely redundant. I would replace it with a much needed north-south bus. Have it run on 15th/14th (15th north of Madison, 14th south). At the south end it could either keep going (to Beacon Hill or Rainier Valley) or turn west to downtown at Yesler or Jackson. Either way you have a much better grid. The only people that lose out are folks quite a ways up 15th who want a one seat ride to downtown or are headed to somewhere else along the way. They can still get there, but it would take a transfer. If you are close to John, you might as well grab the new 11 for that purpose. In exchange you have a fast ride to anywhere on Madison, as well as a one seat ride to Swedish Cherry Hill, Seattle U., and a lot of the Central Area.

        So, basically, you have all of the 12 and 43 service to pour into the 48 and 8. The 11 takes a slightly different route to downtown (still ending up on Pike/Pine) and the 10 gets replaced by a much needed north-south bus route that really enhances the grid. That just sounds like a clear win to me.

      4. Um, Ross, unless Joe Doaks living at 23rd and Aloha happens to be headed to the Financial District, library or Ferry Terminal, you’ve turned his one seat ride to Link or Westlake, the main destination outside peak hours into a three seater.

        Madison BRT is great for destinations along it, but it should not be treated as a forced transfer tool. It’s way too short. Take some of the 10 hours going begging and beef up the 43.

      5. Husky Stadium and Capitol Hill are very different geographically in ways that can’t be changed long-term. Husky Stadium is in the corner of north Seattle, the Ship Canal crossing is very welcome given the bottlenecks on the bridges, and the buses could easily be rerouted to it.

        Capitol Hill is basically a penninsula surrounded on three sides by water and a freeway. Buses can’t go more than a mile without turning, which makes a strict grid impossible. The density is along linear parallel and perpendicular streets in a stick-shift pattern, with trips going all sorts of directions. Moving the 11 to John would increase service on John and access to Capitol Hill station, but would lose service in mid-Madison (12th to 19th) going west to Pike Place and east to Madison Park. Both the John and Pine corridors are important, and Madison BRT doesn’t address either of them. So there’s about an equal number of advantages and disadvantages of rerouting it. The same is true for most other hour-neutral restructures: they would improve some important corridors but harm other important corridors. So it was hard to find any restructure that was better than any alternative: all of them had lots of advantages and disadvantages. The only way out of that is to get more hours so that you don’t have to make as many tradeoffs; .e.g., Pine vs John, or 15th & Madison vs Summit & Olive.

    2. Metro has not released restructure results because it was without a general manager for several months and was just in a holding pattern. Now that a new GM is on board maybe it will get to these longer-term issues. I’ve heard one or assertions that the 10’s ridership as dropped precipitously but no solid evidence. Meanwhile the 49 is going gangbusters and the 11 picked up the former 10 riders. I’ve been on the westbound 11 in the morning between Summit and 4th a couple times with only one or two standing spaces left. The most obvious evidence is that the 43 was articulated but the 10 is single, and while the eastbound 10 used to fill up peak and evening I haven’t seen that since the restructure. But part of that is because Capitol Hill Station is open, so people who used to take Link to Westlake and transfer now take it to Capitol Hill and walk.

      Traditionally both Pine Street and John/Olive have had all-day frequent buses to downtown. Since southwest Capitol Hill is the densest, highest-ridersip, and lowest car-owning part of the city outside downtown/SLU and the First Hill towers, there was concern about unintended consequences from downgrading either street. Before Link opened it was uncertain what people would do: would they walk from Summit and 15th to Link? What about the three-block gap to Pine Street for transfers? John is the street that’s right next to the station.The final proposal for John/Olive service had only a 45-minute daytime-only #47 west of Summit and a unidirectional peak-only #43 east of Summit, and the 8 which goes out of the way, and that was seen as possibly insufficient. So the 10 was rerouted both for John/Olive frequency and to put the 10 right next to Capitol Hill station. I’m now suffering with the half-hourly 11 evenings/Sundays, but even with that I’m still reluctant to reduce John/Olive to less than that.

      Long-term maybe the John, Pine, and Madison routes should be consolidated to two streets, but arguably they should be moved to John rather than Pine so as to have more even bus spacing with Madison BRT and James Street.

    3. “What about taking the residual 43 tips and putting them on the old 10 route to add a bit of peak capacity at that end of things?”

      The 43 is an interesting long-term question. We’ll have to see what its ridership is. But it’s also a single bus rather than an articulated bus, and the few times I’ve seen it it has had few people aboard, and some of them (like me) ride it only as an alternative to the 10 or 47. Strategically it looks like a holding pattern, like the 61 stub was (24th Ave NW after the 17 was deleted) and the 78 is (Laurelhurst after the 25 was deleted). A way to dial down service slowly enough to avoid significant political opposition.And Metro’s long-term plan does not have a 43, but only a strengthened 48 and a Denny-Madison route. And the LRP also shows full-time service returning to 24th Ave NW and Laurelhurst, but in much different routes than previously. So they are partly holding patterns until it’s physically feasable to delete them, or until the LRP buildout (and population/ridership increase) supercede them with more service.

      1. I would bet on the 43 being gone the day that Madison BRT opens. I can see why folks in Montlake didn’t like axing the 43. If they want to get to downtown, they have two options. They could head north, across a draw bridge, down into the deep tunnel and then go back south. That also works for Capitol Hill, but only just around the station. The other option is to transfer to a bus, but they aren’t exactly fast or especially frequent. You take the 10 (following the old route) or the 11. Both end up at the same downtown street as the 43. There really isn’t any value added to make up for the loss.

        On the other hand, with Madison BRT that all changes. You still have a two seat bus ride, but it is fast. Since the bus will be frequent (every six minutes all day) and it is a surface transfer, the penalty is minor. You can probably get downtown faster than you would if you took the old 43. Along the way you have the entire street of Madison. The 48 also travels a lot more frequently. The old 43 only makes sense if you are going to that one particular part of downtown (Pike/Pine). Otherwise you’ll find your way over to Link or Madison. It is still a trade-off, but you come out ahead.

      2. “I can see why folks in Montlake didn’t like axing the 43.”

        They also didn’t know what Link would be like: whether the opening would be successful, whether the 48 frequency increase would really happen, how inconvenient the transfers would be, etc. With all that uncertainty they wanted some residual service as a fallback.

  11. Road Trax to the game yesterday. It’s a lot slower than Link, and the locals were saying that on other than game days it typically runs at 15 min headways. They were running 4-car trains however. But even with that and a smallish ~45,000 person stadium it still took a while to clear the crowds.

    The cool thing is that on game days your event ticket also doubles as a RT Trax ticket. Not having large crowds of first time users queuing up to buy tickets really helped with the flow of people.

    It would be great if the UW did that for Link. They could pay for it by adding a small surcharge on all event ticket sales. And maybe by cancelling a few event shuttles.

  12. Since STB mods & admins are tinkering with the website, I would really like it if I could edit my own comments sometimes please. Sometimes I slide into moderation for over-promoting a Sound Transit superstar and sometimes I just lose my temper at people. I am so impatient for us to win or lose ST3, I’m starting to get red in the face and would like more opportunities to self-censor.

    Thanks guys upstairs in the booth. Hope you understand.

  13. Oh and since we’re on an open thread, let’s just get this notification out of the way shall we?

    On election night 2016, I will be trying to be Vice Chair of my local transit citizen’s advisory council. I will NOT be firing off the Nikon D5300 and screaming like a 12 at “my” Sound Transit winning #ST3. No other place I wanna be than with my Mass Transit Now! friends celebrating a new, sexy era in transit. Or wiping away tears at the sheer numbers of Kemper Freeman’s useful idiots and the RossB Caucus throwing us collectively into an abyss.

    I hope you understand. I had to cancel my AIRBNB reservation Saturday afternoon. Really sad but some of us have RESPONSIBILITIES. I feel a tiny wee bit like the cop that’s got to pull Thanksgiving duty, the firefighter on Fourth of July duty, or the 123rd Fighter Squadron pilot sitting in the alert shack at Portland International Christmas morning with family wondering where their relative is and why. I figure if I can’t serve in defense of all of us, then I’ll pull any and ALL duty I can get because our freedom is NOT free and I feel a very personal sense of duty & gratitude to our troops and First Responders so I can have these freedoms to keep my community safe & when necessary other Americans. #Merica

    Some have to serve ALL of us in the transit geek community; even when that duty is the equivalent of duty on a holiday (or a nightmare if some of you being Kemper Freeman’s useful idiots get your way). I’ve got defenseless paratransit passengers counting on me to get into the air and provide them a Combat Air Patrol and shoot down any attempt to slap a fare on ’em. It’s 1/100,000,000th the public service of our military, but at least I’m doing something of substance to defend our nation and those who can’t protect themselves. #Merica

    One last thing: Martin H. Duke does important duties, Shefali does important duties, Mike Orr does important duties, this is mine. If you hopefully feel some patriotic pride welling up; well Sound Transit, Skagit Transit and Everett Transit (for starters) got committee vacancies for a few good men & women to aim high and defend our home sweet home. #USA! #USA! #USA!

    1. In this era of smartphones and videoconferences it should be possible to exchange at least a short video of the STB supporters with those who are serving in remote deployments. I’m not the kind of person who takes videos or sends pictures on social networks, but there’s ample time for our video-inclined members to arrange something. Maybe Mr Dublin would have something to say on this too.

      1. I would like that very much. It would mean the world to me to be able to set up the webcam I was about to sell on eBay (it can wait) and appear once I get home down at the ST3 Victory Party. So sad I can’t be there and cheer & dance with you guys.

  14. Do you really get enough money from ads to make it a good decision to run paid political ads from anti transit state senators like Steve Litzow?

    1. It’s a Google web ad. It shows what it thinks you want to see. What gets shown is different based on growing history, location, and a bunch of stuff Google doesn’t talk about. Nobody gets paid unless someone clicks on the ad.

      Which is why I spend a lot of time clicking on ads for people I despise. It helps drain money from them and give it to causes I support.

      I’ve been getting a mixture of Donald Trump ads and Asian mail order bride services. So, you win some and loose some.

  15. Hopefully its a promising sign for the new Bellevue, they’ve brought in one of the main people at the world renowned Gehl Architects to share thoughts on making the city more people-oriented (and pedestrian and bicycle friendly) and has been warmly embraced…

    There’s a lot working for this city, its biggest weakness IMO is its street design and street network that’s horrible for pedestrians (and cyclists) and creates traffic congestion with its lack of a dense grid. I so strongly think its streets are the key and they’ve made quite a bit of progress inserting in new streets to break up enormous blocks. Now they have brought in the most respected firm for urban and street quality.

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