21 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Entur”

  1. Thousands of paragraphs have been written in the comment section anguishing over the “great distance” between Link’s Bellevue Station and the Bellevue TC, even though it’s less than 200 feet. But I don’t recall anyone complaining that the Downtown Redmond Station going to be over 1000 feet away from the Redmond TC.

    “That’s because the Downtown Redmond Station’s opening is years away, Sam!”

    Um, Bellevue Station’s opening is years away, but you’ve been complaining that you’ll have to cross one crosswalk for several years now. Why does ST’s Redmond’s station placement get a pass, but Bellevue’s doesn’t?

    BTW, I have my own theory. Many of you suffer from Freeman Derangement Syndrome. So anything that Kemper Freeman might even tangentially have influenced, you because unhinged at. Thus, your Bellevue Station ranting, and silence on Redmond Station.

    1. The Downtown Redmond Link station is planned with four loading spots for buses surrounding the light rail station without crossing any street. There is also room for 6 layover spots — 2 on the same block and 4 across a street. That’s one more stop and the same number of layover spots than what the Redmond Transit Center has today. Of course, the existing center has a 377 park-and-ride spaces that aren’t part of the new Downtown Link station — although the nearby SE Redmond Station appears to be surrounded by up to 1400 parking stalls. Oddly enough, I can’t find a statement or recent discussion that the existing center is closing even though that certainly appears to be the intent — so that part of your comment is a great point.

      The Bellevue Link station is planned with all the bus loading areas in the Bellevue TC, which is across a busy multi-lane street and intersection that all transferring riders must cross. The other 405 BRT issue is that buses can’t turn around on the transit center site; buses must use surrounding city streets. Unlike Redmond, the Downtown Bellevue Link station bus access planning appears to merely say “it’s over there”. I would imagine however that the importance of the BTC will fade in years to come as routes shift to either going to other Eastside Link stations and/or will go more fully through Downtown, as implied in the Bellevue Transit Master Plan.

    2. I see you’ve returned to claim your Emperorship, like Aragorn and Godor. The Redmond situation probably hasn’t gotten attention because (A) people don’t know about it, and (B) it’s not the biggest transfer point in the Eastside.

      Are you the same Sam who commented a few times in the past couple weeks, or is this your first Grand Return?

      How many newspapers per day do you read now?

  2. As a kid, I did collect timetables, and dreamed of reorganizing the lines of the city where I grew up to be less about going downtown and more gridded. But I rarely got to ride the bus, and would have only found them useful to get somewhere on the lines closest to my house.

    One of my favorite memories of my grandfather is when he rode with me on each of the Longmont routes in one day. It was neat seeing all the different parts of town, stress-free, except for the chewing out we got from one cranky old driver who accused us of “joy riding”. We just laughed it off and pled guilty as charged. Sometimes, adults’ notions of “responsible” are way off base.

    I wondered why routes 6 and 7 didn’t just loop with each other, since they both terminated at the same shopping center at the north end of town. Now I understand a little better why one-way loops don’t get ridership. Everett Transit gets it, too. Sometimes, wasting taxpayers’ money on dud routes is irresponsible.

    My father rode with me on a special Ride Free Day. We took the bus downtown. And came back. That’s probably about when my curiosity was piqued why there wasn’t more gridded service instead of all-day freeway expresses from every part of town to downtown. Now, there is a “transit center” on the eastside, a few miles west of my parents house. It is in the middle of a giant parking lot, and only useful for transferring. You have to be careful what you wish for.

    I can’t remember who first said “Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes, that reason is because people make stupid decisions.” But I heard it most recently from the Worship Associate at the place my parents go on Sunday mornings. The video implies adults are responsible. Sadly, that is not always the case.

    BTW, to the extent that kids get to grow up “irresponsible”, that is primarily a 1st-world, 21st-century privilege.

    1. “As a kid, I did collect timetables, and dreamed of reorganizing the lines of the city where I grew up to be less about going downtown and more gridded.”

      Heh heh – I did the same thing; in fact somewhere I have an early-80’s Thomas Brothers map book of King County where I did that sort of thing overlaid on the Forward Thrust rapid transit lines. Total geek move, although still I think – in Seattle anyway – better than anything we currently have since I wasn’t beholden to (or even aware of) the “set in stone” nature of some of the in-city routes that by-god-have-been-there-since-streetcars. Metro’s 2040 plan has more of this sort of thing, finally, but should I still be alive then I fervently hope to be happily retired and watching other people ride a vastly improved system from the one I grew up with.

      (I claim some relief from geekdom as when I was very young my grandfather – who had driven for Seattle Transit for years – had become an assistant superintendent at the new Metro. I grew up with the idea that the bus was a perfectly acceptable way to get around.)

  3. I’ve heard that the Eastgate P&R Proterra charging station isn’t working and will be down for a couple of days, starting yesterday. As Metro orders more and more of those kind of buses, isn’t this going to become a problem, esp during peak periods? On the weekends, sure, they can just replace the few Proterras in use with diesels parked at the base. But what happens when there are 20 to 30 Proterra buses in service on a weekday, and the charging station stops working? Metro won’t have 20 to 30 extra diesel buses they can spare.

    1. When Metro expands the electric fleet, they will have to expand the charging network. Right now, it is a single point of failure. Also, the repair time for charging infrastructure will be improved so it won’t be out of service for extended periods and the MTBF will improve.
      Since I’ve started using transit daily in May, I’ve had 3 instances where the diesel bus I was riding failed. Electric buses are more reliable than diesel, but somehow we’ve managed to operated a mostly diesel bus system with this level of unreliability.

      1. Perhaps as a failsafe Metro should never make 100% of the trips on a route Proterra. Maybe they should alternate trips – Proterra/diesel/Proterra/diesel, so that if a charging station goes down, even if they have to pull the Proterras off the route, and there are no diesel replacements at the base , there will still be diesel buses already in service on the route that can continue to operate.

        Does anyone know the next route Metro is going to put Proterras on? And where will the next charging station be?

    2. Hamburg and London and many other cities have battery powered buses, including 100% of the fleet of over 16,000 buses in Shenzhen, China.

      Maybe Metro should just do what other cities making this conversion are doing and not have a single charger?

      1. Any chance a piece of equipment can have problems like this that never get noticed, let alone destroy the system?


      2. @Mark, sure, as long as you’re lucky.

        It’s unlikely Hamburg and London and Shenzhen would all be that lucky, though. Maybe they have lots of backups, or maybe there’s something Metro’s doing wrong? I wonder.

  4. Sam, anybody truly elderly remembers these from transportation history. Only problem is we can’t remember anything, and also forget we can’t.

    Bet that little rat Kemper Freeman bought the patent on these even before he stole that big swatch o’ cotton candy when he as nine!. ‘Cause he knew that time would come nobody’d still have the gumption to walk ‘tween streetcar stops. Soon as he had the patent on streetcars that only the weight-guesser at the fair thought were light. Liked link pork sausage too! So:


    Who d’ye think’s behind this no-driver car idee? Even thought of hangin’ electrified cyclone fences all over the place ’cause he knew Texas was gonna go fossil free in a couple years. An’ noticed his little brother Donald was already stickin’ potatoes in the tail-pipes of taxicabs!

    But here’s the kicker!. Just put those cushions around every single wheeled thing on the roads, an’ the whole Teamsters’ Union’s gonna be givin’ pony rides at county fairs! ‘magine! Five year old kids sidewipin’ triple-bottomed gasoline trucks and goin’ WHEEEEE! Same as the same guy that sharp little Bezos kid’s got deliverin’ bicycle-less groceries and them drone things with same telegraph key.

    Hih hih! hihih!

    Betcha thought these things was real too!

    Somebody read me the name I told the Motor Vehicle Department.

  5. Every driver in the Norse lands must still be howling on the floor about the title video. Because of how expensive it is to get your driver’s license in the first place, let alone if you should somehow get it taken away.

    Driving habits in the video – maybe severe scolding. But one molecule of aquavit on your breath and you’ll be cleaning out high latitude dog-igloos ’til Climate Change makes the Arctic Circle a chain of styrofoam barrels.

    But some general observations worth knowing, for streetcars anywhere. Most important being how comfortable experienced locals are at close range with street rail. Doubt most people would be that much at ease beside a bus moving same speed.

    The baby carriages tell a lot. Any city with streetcars, average pedestrian is already figuring out meaning of steel and stone vibration, and certain tone of bell a month before they’re born. Maybe our streetcar system could stage “Vibe and Chime” events all summer, maybe using specially adjusted exercise and massage equipment.

    Could also feature Eldo Kannikiberg karaoke contests. Just not on foggy nights because by all the Nordic legends, in that weather, deceased Norwegians are an ill folk to cross. Especially if you’re doing a really bad rendition of “Moon Over Columbia Center.” Just before you tap the reader for RapidRide bus instead of the streetcar.












    This level of familiarity and comfort could save us fortunes in both safety and delay-free operating time. Though I think that what we’ll discover how important it is to get private automobiles – the vehicles least able to work with transit-permanently and completely off of streetcars tracks anyplace a lot of people need to walk around.

    But for me, another important point about streetcars past, present, future, and hung up waiting…let’s lose the habit of treating any aggravation as permanently irreparable. Whoever and what-ever took away the Waterfront line might decide to rebuild it, much improved, because Foundation donations don’t cover park expenses. I mean “Open Space.” Also because the Tourist Industry’s balance sheets show how bad BO-ring is for Business.

    Not only no antipathy with CCC on First Avenue. Can share substations, maintenance, and communications, with the street rail system we’re just getting started on now. Might visit “The Seattle Room” archives on tenth floor of Downtown Library. Several studies with serious and detailed Benson-line expansion plans.

    See a station with a problem? Send it whatever “viral” is around civil engineering, and make yourself a set of files. Gathering whatever info your improvement needs. More tech details you know, more persuasive, and also making re-start faster.

    Also- the larger the amount of background study, the less time it’ll take to set corrections and repairs in motion.

    Mark Dublin

  6. Just a guess, William, that I wouldn’t mind being able to afford to go check out. I wonder, in comparison with the equipment, how simple and tough their cars are built. Including how many computers our cars have that in Hamburg, London, and Shenzhen, would use mechanical linkages. Anybody know?

    And while I’m there, maybe I’ll get some advice about why two postings of mine tonight disappeared either virtually or mechanically. One- repeated message I’d already said everything I kept saying. Last one- no message at all. In SolidWorks, I’m building a virtual model of an antique metal lamp.

    Have taken several dozen pics from all angles. But have to get my hands on the wrought and cast iron to measure in real life what I’ve got to tell the computer. Got same feeling about my work-stations at Metro. Of the Metro fleet of 1981, liked best the controls of the first bus I ever drove, a 1950’s GMC with no powered steering.

    But also shake-up or two on the 1400 series MAN artics. Maybe because it didn’t have a “lift”, couple of suspension problems that showed up in the 2000’s weren’t there. Much better feel of the road- seemed owing to less power assist on the steering.

    The miserable Sea-Tac Airport elevators- need to talk to somebody Finnish about. The country’s got a rep for excellent machinery. Could talk about brand new streetcars too. Because for me, manual within reason conducts human decisions we don’t know we have to the control of our machinery- sending back similar feedback. Crude- from muscles and bones to brains.

    So let’s see what I can find on line about those three cities. Though also: what percentage of the fleet do these systems have to hold in reserve?


  7. Well, problem identified. Good example of my point, though. Could have saved at least an hour of work if the system had told me there was a link limit. Since it gave me wrong message, means it has capacity to send a message. But not necessarily a pertinent one. Which I would’ve obeyed, honestly. Fast. Nobody with sleeve protectors and a cigar would’ve blown that one.

    Point of all these pics, which I think is very important for us at this time, is that I think that of all transport modes, at close range people are most comfortable with streetcars- I suspect it’s because pedestrians can sense that a rail car won’t change distance between the car side and themselves.

    Hard to imagine people comfortable this close to a bus moving that speed- would bet that holds for guided buses too. Other thing: watching babies in carriages, pretty obvious that in streetcar territory, children learn to read train proximity through vibrations and bells before they’re born.

    This lifetime familiarity probably saves the car-line a fortune in safety and lost time. So thinking not entirely fancifully, of public events along CCC- probably best venue- called “Vibe and Chime Time!” Main consciousness-raising exercise: People learning to negotiate proximity by sound and feel, with the help of a service dog on a very tight leash.

    It’ll be a long time ’til any percentage of Americans don’t think a street-car is same as a “street legal” automobile. Let alone truth about The Seattle Times’ suggestions that a Street-Legal Streetcar is a contradiction in terms. Could be some gym can come up with something that rings and vibrates except not have wrong track gauge.


  8. Three broken escalators and one broken elevator this afternoon! The first escalator and elevator were at the north entrance of UW Station. The second escalator was the southern platform up escalator. The third escalator was on the northbound side of Intl Dist Station.

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