KCM 4602 (Proterra) charging at Eastgate P&R

This is an open thread.

48 Replies to “News Roundup: Incompatible Charging Systems”

  1. I find the Rossi vaudeville act so strange (it’s a comedy roadshow, right?). Anyway, it’s pretty apparent they won’t let you into the republican clubhouse unless you sign onto the anti-transit mantra.

    I don’t understand their main point (lie?) that the original amount ST sold Olympia on isn’t the 54 billion that went in front of the voters. So what? Even if you accept their premise (which is false) it doesn’t really matter because the bigger number is what the public saw, voted on, and passed.

    So far, their “investigation” hasn’t uncovered anything except a bunch of honest, hardworking bureaucrats who had a lot of dull email conversations – the R’s evidence box is going to have a lot of cobwebs when this is all said and done. I can’t wait until the D’s take control of the senate and curtain call ends this poorly acted stage play.

    1. It’s called FUD. Spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt about something and many people won’t get the message that it’s unfounded.

    2. As I stated in the thread last week after the first workshop meeting in Kent, the whole thing comes down to the state constitution’s article II, section 37 question. Unless they challenge the ballot measure on that issue, the rest of the noise being made by the R’s is just a lot of political posturing.

    3. So it’s like when you go and sign up for something and you’re excited because the sales guy made it sound cool, you get all these new things and it’s going to be great! Then you get the bill at the end of the month and you go, wait a second, I really have to pay that much?!

      Yes you do, and next time maybe read before you vote for a tax you don’t understand. ST3 is expensive but it wasn’t a lie, and these Republicans are just pandering to the mindset of Americans who just simply don’t think things through, which turns out to e be a lot of people these days.

  2. I know this is a Seattle blog, but I’d love to see an analysis of the Portland SW light rail corridor. $2.7b is being proposed for this line, which runs through the least-dense quadrant of Portland, along freeways and hillsides, and with no significant employment or residential centers along the way. It basically leaves downtown, runs along hills/freeways in low density areas, and then stops near a few strip malls in Tigard. The ‘destination’ – Bridgeport Village – is a small mall surrounded by parking lots and terrible pedestrian conditions.

    Light rail projects like this give the mode a bad name. That $2.7b could be put to so much greater use within the denser/more congested areas of Portland.

    1. Yeah, I’ve wondered about that line, it seems the weakest of all the radial MAX lines. I don’t think any of us have the local knowledge or connections to do a good in-depth piece on it, and anything less than that will probably end up either being just a hit job or regurgitating agency talking points. Someone from Portland once told me it was their form of “subarea equity”, i.e. giving every quadrant of the Tri-Met service area “their” rail line.

    2. Is there ever any discussion about how to improve the painfully slow travel times for MAX in Downtown Portland? The time it takes to go through Downtown Portland on Max is the time it takes to go from Capitol Hill to SODO.

      1. It’s been discussed as a long-term goal, but no concrete plan. I can say that I think this $2.7B would be much better spent on a tunnel than this worthless line to Tigard.

      2. Did you notice that Oregon Live piece proposes a tunnel between Portland’s Lloyd Center and Goose Hollow stations with but one single downtown station along the way at Pioneer Square?

        That’d be like building a LINK tunnel between Northgate and SODO stations, with but a single intermediate station at Westlake.

      3. Northgate to SoDo is around 10 miles. Lloyd Center to Goose Hollow is ~ 2 miles.

        I think the thought is the existing surface rail lines would continue to exist to serve all the surface stops in downtown, as more of a streetcar operation, which would better fix the existing technology. So people living in the urban core of Portland would rarely need to take the subway, and everyone living father out would take the subway into the city & transfer to one of several streetcar lines.

        A better example would be if we had built a UW-Downtown Seattle line as a surface line (think of the Roosevelt BRT as a Streetcar), and then 30 years later we decided to build Link, skipping all the stops between UW and Downtown.

      4. That sounds more like a regional commuter rail line with an underground central transfer station, rather than a subway system per se. Most examples of that in the world pair up with an extensive subway network (e.g., Paris’ RER and Metro).

        IMO, the article is correct in projecting such upgrade as a 40 year priority for Trimet, whereas MAX network coverage completion is the current priority.

      5. Maybe so. The LA project is called “regional connector.” It identifies the current technology problem of MAX is that is trying to be both a regional line (with freeway stations on exclusive ROW) and an urban line (surface running downtown stations with close station placement) and therefore does neither well. By splitting those roles into two system, each one can better express its core competency.

        It’s a bit like “big” Link not going into downtown Tacoma, instead leaving that job to Tacoma Link.

        I wouldn’t call it a commuter line because you would maintain strong headways all day. But you could, in theory, trim headways on the regional subway during non peak hours while keeping higher headways on the urban streetcar.

      6. It has too many stations for an effective urban line. The reason they’re looking at a subway is the existing corridor is too damn slow, it takes forever to get through downtown or from say Lloyd Center to anywhere near the center or west side of downtown, which means it’s not great transit. Three stations may be excessively wide but the current situation really needs a stop diet. They put all these stations in to please the adjacent entities, but since it was one of the first light rails in the latter twentieth century they didn’t realize what the cumulative impact of a station every two blocks would be. The north-south corridor was built later and it has more sensible stop spacing.

      7. I don’t think that Tri-Met imagines that the interurban is for anything other than getting people into downtown Portland (despite the Beaverton terminus of the airport line) so they think that a tunnel, elevated, or downtown bypass is a waste of money and ridership.

    3. They had an opportunity to directly hit OHSU, Hillsdale designated town center and the main Portland Community College campus, instead it bypasses all those for an at grade alignment on a State Highway lined with sprawl, several forests, an industrial area and terminates at a suburban lifestyle center.

    4. For the positive spin on it:
      1. Portland like Seattle is subject to geographic constraints that create traffic choke points. These include rivers, and west hills. The already built system addresses some of these constraints, such as the west suburb commuters must use the highway 26 tunnel to enter downtown; Westside MAX provides the alternative mode to that. From the south (addressed in this expansion), it’s I-5 which is sandwiched between Marquam hill and the Willamette river, which jams up in the “Terwilliger curves.” MAX addresses this by providing a needed alternative mode, on separate ROW.
      2. Although not to extent of east and north side neighborhoods, the Multnomah and Tigard neighborhoods are somewhat like Seattle’s Ranier Valley, in representing a somewhat less affluent area, so the expansion addresses some remaining social equity concerns. By comparison, Lake Oswego and West Linn neighborhoods (that are also on south side) are quite affluent, so this explains routing to Tigard over a direct south route to West Linn. In comparison to those neighborhoods, the Tigard routing can provide greater TOD opportunity (at risk of gentrification).
      3. My first read of the article was that MAX would be routed adjacent I-5, similar to their regrettable routing of eastside MAX along highway 84. But digging into the project studies, it appears Trimet is considering routing along Barbur Blvd, which is somewhat more like the highway 99 routing through Lynnwood to Everett that was advocated for LINK on this blog.
      4. OHSU is on Marquam hill, which is too steep for light rail, and already served by gondola, whose lower stop is served by streetcar. There’s no readily available ROW to PCC campus, so that would be expensive diversion.

      1. 1) The traffic through the curves is mostly due to poor outdated freeway design, not capacity. And most of the traffic headed north through there is due to bottlenecks downtown, not a capacity issue through the area.

        2) Huh? SW Portland is pretty wealthy, and Bridgeport Village (end of the line) is an upscale shopping center. The area is certainly wealthier than any neighborhoods touched by the green, yellow, or red/blue lines.

        3) Barbur Blvd. parallels I-5 right next to it. Hwy 99 is much further from I-5 and can be considered a totally separate corridor. Barbur Blvd. is only 100-200ft from I-5 for pretty much the whole alignment. So you not only have a freeway, hills, forests, sprawl, etc., you also have a multi-lane arterial right next to the freeway. Worst of both worlds.

        4) Expensive, but worth it considering the already outrageous cost of the line given its limited value. And the streetcar is so slow and infrequent that this ‘intermodal connection’ is basically worthless.

      2. 1. Agreed about additional bottle necks in capacity to dump vehicles into downtown streets. The issue with Terwilliger curves is the sight lines, which is due to the routing. Let’s be honest, though, I-5 will very likely not be rebuilt substantially in presently foreseeable future. This leaves us the reality that automobile traffic into Portland from the south is at capacity, and no political will to change that. An alternative transit mode from the south is desirable.

        2. Agreed SW is wealthy, particularly LO and West Linn. However, Multnomah, and Tigard and other neighborhoods along the Barbur routing are comparatively less affluent than neighborhoods farther from this routing. For example, compared to a Macadam routing nearer the river. Just compare housing prices in LO or along the river to neighborhoods within 1/2 mile of Barbur. By comparison, Link is building out to Ballard, West Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond which are similarly affluent to LO/West Linn.

        3. Agreed that it’s not an exact equivalent to Hwy 99. But that wasn’t the point. It crosses I5 a couple times, but 100-200 feet is nice hyperbole. It remains that well chosen station locations along Barbur will have better walk shed than those of east side MAX on Hwy 84.

        4. A bit contradictory to decry the expense of the line and at same time demand to spend more on it?

        Yes, like everyone here I absolutely detest the surface grading of MAX through downtown PDX. Those most impacted are people like me who reside west side and use MAX to the airport. It’s a very, very slow crawl. But MAX is designed around moving people from the center to/from the fringes; not to convey through/past the center. For that majority going to/from the center, a downtown tunnel will shave some few minutes for that last half mile entering/exiting the center. You’d also lose a few minutes climbing/descending escalators to the underground station. [Ever used the Link UW station?] So, you’d spend those billions with little gain to those Trimet is principally trying to serve.

    5. Yeah, it seems spectacularly wasteful.

      I’d be curious to here what PDX-centric people see as the best use of 2.7 billion worth of MAX. There’s got to be something much better, but what?

      1. For some reason I wasn’t seeing the whole discussion which addresses my question until after I posted this. Never mind!

  3. Maybe I just can’t sift through the multiplicity of articles you show, but I don’t see *anything* on incompatible charging. I have no idea what is incompatible.

    1. Look for the electric bus story near the bottom. Or just search for “incompatible charging”.

  4. You’ve been dropping the most robust roundups known to man, Bruce. Thanks.

  5. “Port of South Whidbey really wants more parking at Mukilteo”

    Let me guess, they want it for free and they want Mukilteo to pay for their liberal elitist hypocrisy.

    The last I checked, which wasn’t that long ago, South Whidbey has parking lots and free transit and you can just walk on the ferry.

    If South Whidbey wanted to do something useful, fight for an Amtrak Cascades stop at the Multimodal Terminal.

  6. My wife just told me that on her commute home on the 550 at Rainier and I-90 this evening, her bus driver punched in the face by a fellow who was not interested in paying for bus fare. The person had a bicycle, and ran off after punching him. The bus drive followed the guy on foot, leaving the bus full of passengers left on their own! She had to get out and wait for another one to come. Hope to see some news on it tonight.

    1. Best I can do is some general comments over general lessons.

      1. In these pages have read negative remarks about bus drivers making too little effort to collect fares. Reason drivers get overtime for incident reports, and fired for fare disputes. Also radio training- which most don’t.

      2. Leave any passengers, let alone a bus load, you’re fired no questions asked. Also, your removal of yourself from your radio means you’ll have longer to lie in the gravel and bleed before the medics get there.

      3. Might ask your wife what the other passengers did. Would be surprising if a rush hour load of passengers didn’t have somebody who could work a transit radio. 911 always means same thing. Curious also how long they had to wait.

      But would be a good idea for transit to start posting passenger information as to how to look after each other in any emergency situation. Probably don’t need to use company radio, now that everybody’s got a cell phone.

      Which, as social media proves, can also present, real-time, video and sound records of a whole incident for the police. After you’ve sent it viral. Which could also, seriously, broadcast some ID that somebody else can recognize.

      Also best prevention of panic: any number of people ready and able to get organized and start doing something to help.


      1. Thanks for the detailed comment. To add some additional detail, my wife said that the guy appeared to fall under one or more categories of homelessness/drug use/mental illness. He waited on the bus for several minutes while the driver told him he radioed for the sheriff, and eventually he decided to get off. He had a bicycle loaded on the front of the bus, unloaded it, then ran back in and punched the driver in the face, and then ran away (I think this was the elevated station along I 90, so he ran down a stairway).

        I sincerely hope the driver is alright, and considering he suffered a blow to head, I hope he has some leniency as it could have compromised his decision-making. No one deserves to be punched in the face. From your explanation in #1, he may not have followed proper procedure related to fare disputes, but I’m not sure if I understood that completely. My wife mentioned that the driver of the second bus that she got on later wanted nothing to do with the situation. I will have to ask her if most of the other passengers joined her.

  7. Both *streetcars are the woooorst* stories have a central theme that ridership went down when they started charging fares. Now I’m happy to debate their costs and benefits and certainly don’t claim that they ride on rails of pure sunshine, but let’s find a little more honest starting point than being shocked that people like free stuff.

    1. The point is that ridership was already bad when they were free, and it gets absolutely pathetic if you charge a fare. That says that these aren’t the best transit corridors and they’re wasting the streetcar’s potential. Metro has many routes that are well-ridden even though it charges fares. Of course it would be better if they were free and they got maximum ridership, but even with a soon-to-be $2.75 fare they’re doing decently. One wishes the streetcars were deployed on similar corridors, and had the capacity and speed to improve on the bus.

  8. Think I pretty much said this before in a comment under the podcast posting, but I think that like any individual piece of transit, a new streetcar line has to be evaluated in the context of the system and city of which it is a part.

    Detroit is a national disgrace of a special situation. A collapsed star of an industrial city, surrounded by places that would make Medina look like Appalachia. Many of whose present residents moved there to get away from Detroit. And now still hate and fear it all the way to the shores of Lake Superior.

    I’m not sure if term “gentrification” fits anywhere- I don’t think anybody used it in the times when people actually called a certain class “gentry.” Meaning wealth and power without hereditary titles. Who counted as “Nobility”. Neither class tolerated any discussion by “Commoners.”

    But Woodward Avenue, where the single streetcar line runs, shows a very clear example, edged with very “hard bright lines” (on the rich side of the line) of a thin strip of wealth, naturally expanding except not with people with much lower incomes.

    The people who started the project could say that the line is a gamble in a linear neighborhood of same description. An investment in a part of the city which was once a very nice middle-class neighborhood to live in. Look up Detroit Art Museum. Many citizens, wealthy and otherwise, chipped in to save the museum from being seized and sold by creditors.

    The car line might eventually become part of the rest of a new transit system to which development for everyone’s benefit could arise. My take, to repeat, is that to make the city a healthy place to live, will take as much Federal money as would be needed to restore the place as if the Russian bomber command had walked over it in the 1950’s.

    Given that, the Q-line could become the kindly-remembered first of a new system. But I’m really skeptical that its cost got diverted from buses that were actually planned. It’s also a mentality redolent of actual gentry to sneer at people unable to afford a dollar for carfare.

    In the Detroit of the past, which prided itself on most people earning a decent living, fairly-priced transit fare wouldn’t have been a problem.

    It’s too bad that “The New Electric Railway Journal” is out of print now. The publisher, Paul Weyrich, who politically considered Louis XVI a Communist, became my picture of a REAL conservative with his belief that absent the massive public subsidies to the car and highway industries, US transportation would’ve settled out half to highways and half to streetcars.

    The history of streetcars really shows that it’s not that hard to get rid of them if they don’t work out. So best approach is to build a whole transit system to incorporate them into, and watch for awhile. Reasonable investment if it works, removable even if it does work if somebody who’s really earned the rank of gentry wants it out of the way.


  9. David, I wanted to talk with you some more about the incident your wife saw at close range. A friend of mine who drove Metro trolleybuses with me in the 1980’s and ’90’s tells me that a lot of city routes have become representative parts of Seattle itself.

    Where transit is second only to the police department as the only mental health system left in the State of Washington. “Homeless” doesn’t quite say it. People like the assaultive passenger need a decent hospital to live in. Formerly -working people generally live in cars and trucks, often in lots and fields where they’re not conspicuous.

    From what I’m told, it’s expectable that some drivers get hardened. Metro would definitely consider the first drivers’ injuries in judging the incident. Good chance he was hurt too badly to get back to his bus. Also from what I’m told, police don’t always arrive promptly.

    Exactly like the streetcars and their last heyday, gentrification and Royalism always create the same context. Division of wealth that destroys the way of life a working middle class created.

    So not really kidding about chance that when the functioning middle class gets driven out of Detroit, the outstate districts our new majority takes over can become the ones that lay siege to the arrogant billionaires who bought Seattle out from under the people who built it.

    During a revolution, the Rules of War permit shooting down drones carrying overpriced groceries to feed our own troops and civilians.


  10. Should have said that outstate Washington will fall to refugees who escaped from Seattle. But not entirely wrong. Only question is when each city will become the new identical other one.


  11. I just finished watching the WA State Senate Law and Justice Committee work session held in Everett on Thursday afternoon. Wow. Sound Transit staff did not perform well at all.

    Craig Davison, ST Communications Director
    Grade: D

    He came across as evasive and lacking in integrity. He couldn’t recall knowing of the Mass Transit Now campaign even though he later admitted to donating to it when prompted by the committee chair. His whole testimony had an Alberto Gonzales feel to it.

    Geoff Patrick, ST Media Relations and Public Information Officer
    Grade: C

    While Mr. Patrick fared modestly better than his ST colleague under questioning from the committee, he too was evasive at times and gave inaccurate testimony. He said he couldn’t recall what he had donated to the Mass Transit Now campaign and had to be reminded by the committee. No less than three times he referred to the ST3 proposal’s MVET provision having the tax go from .3% to. 8% (instead of correctly stating 1.1%). He also couldn’t accurately describe how ST’s online calculator worked with regard to the MVET portion. (It requires one to enter the 2016 RTA tax shown on one’s registration renewal and not the value as Mr. Patrick testified.)

    The Democratic members of the committee attempted to throw out a few lifelines to these two ST staff members giving testimony but it was very ineffective as a whole. For example, Mr. Pedersen attempted to make an analogy about the MVET depreciation schedule issue and property tax assessments that was rather silly as the analogy missed on several points (property tax assessments are indeed intended to reflect 100% of market value under state law and there is also an appeal process [BOE] in place that doesn’t exist in the MVET realm).

  12. Figuring out transit for the elderly is definitely an understated need. Thanks for highlighting this in the news roundup, TWICE.

    A few years ago, I was engaged helping a senior try to get qualified for Shuttle and/or Access. He lived near me, near the county line. His home was served by Access, but he would need to qualify with Shuttle. He did not have a way of getting to or from his appointment with Shuttle to qualify, and because of his fixed income, couldn’t afford the $80+ round trip cab fare. Access and Shuttle would not provide a ride without an approval. He opted to drive to the appointment, as all of his resource people worked during Pierce Transit’s limited 9 am to 4 pm office hours. They disqualified him based on the fact that he was “able” to drive himself to the appointment. The bureaucrat doing the evaluation should have ridden in a car with him for 5 minutes. He absolutely should have qualified. After a car accident a few months later, he now resides in a nursing home.

    We need to figure out transportation for the elderly. Here, in urban areas, it should be a piece of cake. A combination of existing fixed transit routes, in combination with paratransit and taxi (taxis include ridesharing, in my book), should easily be able to accommodate all of the 70+ crowd that needs to get groceries, visit the doctor – often multiple specialist doctors with weekly appointments – and do other errands like get a haircut. Increasing residential density is a slow process though, so, as a nation, we need to address this in rural and spread out suburban areas as well, where, so often, the shared ride infrastructure like buses and taxis doesn’t exist. As so many of my generation have “moved away” relative to my parents’ generation, this will become increasingly important. For years, my own parents, aunts, and uncles took off work to shuttle my grandparents around after they could no longer drive. My siblings and I won’t be able to do this, unless my parents choose to uproot, leave the only hometown they have ever known, and move to a big city. What makes it worse is that, even with a service like Uber that could easily move in and fill a need, because so many of today’s innovators are technology centric, they leave out large swaths of rural populations. The likelihood of a 70 year old retired steelworker, farmer, or carpenter from a small town of even owning a smartphone is pretty slim, yet, that’s exactly the population we need to serve. Uber isn’t going to cut it, and Uber’s leaders don’t understand the technology averse generation that came before them. After the 46th time “fixing” the TV of an elderly neighbor (the error code is usually “user error”), I have started to understand how difficult modern technology can be. Local governments – small town mayors and county commissioners – and trusted organizations like churches, the Kiwanis, the American Legion, and the Lions Club need to step up, work with innovators, and build a transportation infrastructure to help effectively serve the elderly after their driving abilities have declined, and do it in a way that is accessible to people who can’t figure out what an app is, like my parents, and millions of other rural retirees.

    1. Fwiw, you get a big gold star from me for your commentary above. Serving the elderly population is an area of transit planning that just doesn’t get enough attention in my book. Having both a mother in her 90’s and and a mother-in-law in her 80’s both living independently this is a topic I think about quite a bit when our governmental representatives are proposing transit policies, transit development options or simply addressing changes to the current infrastructure (such as Metro’s recent announcement regarding fare restructuring).

      As the baby boomer generation drastically changes our country’s demographics and with the associated higher life expectancies, this issue of providing transit options for seniors will only become an ever increasing critical need. Additionally, we need to find a way to provide these options without taxing seniors living on fixed incomes out of their homes. I heard little discussion about that during the ST3 campaign.

      Anyway, thank you for your post about this topic.

    2. Access is like that, if you have a car or can go up and down the wheelchair lift, they disqualify you from Access unless you petition really hard and repeatedly, never mind that your problem is walking to the bus stop, or that you cross the street so slowly you get hit by cars repeatedly. The reason they do that is Access costs $40 a ride and they only have a small budget so they’re trying to save it for the most needy people. But yes, many people fall through the gap between riding buses easily and having a huge disability that qualifies for Access, and we should have a system for all the mobility-impaired. One also wishes the county would provide this as a separate service rather than taking it out of the transit budget. The ironic thing is it forces people to drive who don’t want to, and then they have the expense of a car and parking, on a limited fixed income, plus the risk of getting into an accident.

  13. There’s been a fair amount of discussion of headway limitations on Central Link, especially the Rainier Valley and DSTT segments, but I don’t recall seeing a number cited for the minimum possible headway on East Link. Does anyone know what the headway limitations will be on East Link (preferably with a link to a reliable source).

    1. I would think there are at least three to four:

      1. The East Link trains will have to merge with a line from South Seattle before the IDC Station. Switches will have to move and that takes time.

      2. The turn-around at Lynnwood will be serving two lines, whereas the turn around at UW today serves only one. Reversing trains takes time and could impact headways.

      3. There are street crossings in the Spring District, similar to the SODO crossings today. It’s not as punishing as a median operation like MLK but some gaps for crossing traffic will be needed.

      4. There is a slight risk about the effects of having multiple trains in the floating bridge moving in opposite directions. The bridge is prone to wind effects as well. It may be that we won’t know how train frequencies will be affected given different speeds and weather conditions until field testing begins.

  14. I asked the same thing a couple of years ago (https://seattletransitblog.wpcomstaging.com/2015/03/21/capacity-limitations-of-link/#comment-604040). I think the answer (similar to what Al said) is as good as we have right now. Nothing is official, but we do know a few things, and can speculate about the rest:

    1) So far as I know, there is no turn back possibility for East Link. In other words, you can’t just run an East Link train back and forth between Bellevue and IDS without effecting the rest of the system. With that in mind …

    2) It is limited by headways in the rest of the system. For sake of discussion, I’ll call the core of our system (downtown to the UW) “North Link”, even though it includes downtown. The line heading south (to Rainier Valley) I’ll call “South Link”. East Link and South Link share North Link trains. South Link has six minute headways, while North Link has three minute headways, so that works out nicely. Trains run on North Link every three minutes, and alternate between South and East Link. In this pattern, East Link is limited to six minute headways by both North Link and South Link.

    3) ST has been very vague about reducing North Link headways below three minutes. In the article I referenced, they said it would make the system less reliable. The signalling is capable of 90 second headways, but delays caused by different dwell times or surface disruptions could mess things up. Basically, ST is claiming that the north end of the system has three minute headways, even though they admit it could probably do better.

    4) Even if they do manage to do better, it isn’t clear if East Link can take advantage of it. As long as South Link is limited to every six minutes, it becomes a challenge. If East Link can handle running every two minutes, it works great. Every two minutes you would have a train going through downtown Seattle, in an East, East, South, East, East, South pattern. But it isn’t clear (with the bridge and surface running issues) whether East Link can run every two minutes. Right now the plan is six, so that is a big leap.

    5) If East Link can’t handle running every two minutes, then you run into the headway limitations of South Link. One option would be to reduce service to South Link. For example, if East Link is physically limited to three minute headways, then you could have the same East, East, South pattern, but every three minutes. This means that a South Link train runs every 9 minutes. It is hard to see that happening, especially as South Link expands.

    6) Of course, if South Link can reduce it’s headways (maybe by building underpasses for the intersections) then the dynamic could change. You could run the trains every two minutes through downtown, and simply alternate between the two lines (South Link and East Link would run every four minutes).

    Again, this is mostly speculation. Sorry I don’t have a more definitive answer. But based on everything we know the headways are limited to six minutes for East Link until we increase the headways in North Link. Even when we do that, we might have to reduce headways in South Link (or go the opposite direction, and run trains less often on South Link) to get more frequency on East Link. Unless, at it turns out, East Link can handle two minute headways as well.

    Realistically, I expect East Link trains to run every six minutes, until Ballard and West Seattle Link get built. When that happens, the dynamic changes. East Link shares the line with West Seattle Link, which doesn’t have the same headway limitations. I could easily see North Link running every two minutes, with East Link and West Seattle Link running every four minutes. I doubt you would ever need that sort of frequency on West Seattle Link, but they would get that for free.

    1. As long as South Link is limited to every six minutes, it becomes a challenge. If East Link can handle running every two minutes, it works great.

      Alternative: Install a turnback at IDS, or right before the floating bridge (like I think they’re already planning to do). Run North Link every two minutes, in an East, South, Judkins Park Turnback pattern.

  15. Vancouver for a day..

    Just returned from a trip to London, second to last day we took a trip to Paris (288 miles) on the Eurostar that *averages* 100mph (max 189mph) and takes about 2.5 hrs, amazing stuff, leaves a lot to be desired – imagine Portland to Vancouver (315 miles) in 3 hours, or Seattle to Portland/Vancouver in 1.5.

    Granted, London and Paris have far larger populations to support a 189mph hourly train service. Still, its nice to dream :-)

  16. Hi STB. The preferable terms are “older adults” or “seniors.” Some are moving away from “seniors,” although to my knowledge it is still generally acceptable. “Senior citizens” and “elderly” are currently not preferred, although some do like “elders” as a noun.

    I appreciate the links, though! And I am saving most of my energy for the government agencies who still refer to paratransit and community-based options as “special needs transportation.”

Comments are closed.