Credit: Sound Transit

Sound Transit systemwide ridership went up 2.9 percent in Q2 of 2018, when compared to Q2 of 2017, according to the latest ST ridership report.

Riders boarded ST vehicles 12,442,840 times. The average weekday saw 163,681 boardings, a 2.4 percent increase from Q2 2017.

Link (6.2 percent more boardings) and Sounder (5.1 percent) both saw substantial ridership growth. Link’s average weekday ridership grew by 5.4 percent over Q2 2017. Westlake (11,827 boardings on an average weekday) and Husky Stadium (10,263 boardings) stations were first and second in Link ridership. Rainier Beach’s ridership grew the most, with a 14.6 percent increase in weekday ridership.

ST Express bus boardings went down a marginal 1.2 percent, which the agency says is “partially due to park-and-ride closures for East Link contruction [sic].”

The only bad news comes from Tacoma. Tacoma Link ridership is down 9 percent from Q2 2017. ST says “the total ridership decline was related to fewer special events and the temporary closure of 200 parking stalls at Tacoma Dome Station for renovation work started in June.” So, we can safely blame the drop (among other things) on Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, who played their respective May 22 and August 25 shows at CenturyLink Field, rather than the Tacoma Dome.

The region’s dramatic, sustained transit ridership growth defies the national trend. ST meets a need that STB readers have collectively seen for decades. Or, as ST more prosaically put it:

“As the region continues to grow, Link is perceived to be a good choice for commuting.”

53 Replies to “Sound Transit & Link ridership continues to grow”

  1. Weird that ST Express bus service isn’t growing, while just about everything else is. There may be particulars, but my guess is ridership in general is tied to increases in service. Metro has been adding a lot, while ST hasn’t.

    1. It makes sense if Link and Sounder are things people look forward to and ST Expresss is somethig people put up with. It’s no fun to be on the 522 caught in a random traffic jam and you can’t get off and switch to something else. Also, some runs may be overcrowded, especially on the 550, 545, and 512, and that may deter some people.

      1. For many route 522 riders, Link+372 remains a frequent alternative, and more frequent than 522 outside of peak.

      2. @MO,

        That is probably part of the story. Rail bias is real, and I think people are still in the process of adjusting their commutes to take advantage of Link. That is at least partly why Link is showing 5 to 6% ridership growth even without service expansions.

        Plus some of those routes have been impacted by E. Link construction anyhow. Commuters that my not be all that thrilled with the bus experience anyhow aren’t going to go out of their way to adjust to construction disruptions.

      3. I’ve been stuck in traffic so often on the 512 I avoid it whenever possible and use the Amtrak Thuway or one of the airporter buses to get further north.

      4. There are both real and imaginary benefits to rail that make people choose it. The real benefits are reliability, frequency, and span. The imaginary benefits are rail bias. I think real benefits explain most of the increase in Link and Sounder.

      5. @MO,

        Yes, there are very tangible benefits to rail (speed, frequency, reliability), and there are also intangible benefits to rail (ride quality, noise, smooth accel/decel).

        Rail bias results from the aggregate of both.

      6. Ah, yeah, I think you are forgetting something. Metro ridership is going up. Maybe I should have been more explicit: Why does Metro ridership keep going up, while ST express doesn’t?

        Oh, and somehow there is no rail bias with Tacoma Link.

        I think it is about service. As folks have said, they haven’t added any to ST express. The crowded runs are still crowded. The infrequent runs are still infrequent. Metro, has addressed both issues and has seen increased ridership.

        But maybe there is more to it that that. Metro has changed some of the routes — has ST? Metro covers both long and short runs, and maybe it is the short, inner city runs that have seen the most growth. In other words, express buses from farther away suburbs (which make up a good chunk of ST rides) haven’t increased as quickly as routes inside the city. (Of course that wouldn’t explain the rise in Sounder ridership) I have no evidence to support that — I’m just speculating (which is why I asked).

        I think the most likely answer is a combination of increased service along with a little bit of route improvement.

      7. “Rail bias results from the aggregate of both.”

        I define rail bias as the intangible benefits or preferences.

      8. RossB: Apparently Tacoma Link ridership is heavily dependent on events, and there were simply fewer events to speak of. It is likely that any relatively short line that serves an event venue–bur or rail–will have event dependent ridership. If you subtract out the event crowd days and just look at ridership of “regulars” was there a decline? We don’t know, the data we have doesn’t tell us.

      9. @B — The Mariners are having their best year in years, which has lead to an increase in attendance. If you subtract out the increase do to Mariners attendance, was their an increase to Link? We don’t know, the data we have doesn’t tell us.

        Look, I’m not saying that Link isn’t increasing or wouldn’t increase if it wasn’t for the Mariners. The UW is very popular. The Rainier Beach area is growing as is Capitol Hill. What I’m saying is that the supposed rail bias — the idea that people will ride rail in significant numbers just because it is rail, and not because it is faster or gets them closer to where they want to go — is nonsense. You can’t make excuses for ridership that has always been pathetic, then turn around and say that Link’s relative success is due solely to the fact that it is a train. There are lots of reasons why one type of transit is popular over another, but the primary ones are overall speed and frequency. By overall speed I mean how long it actually takes you to get there, end to end. Things like ride comfort make little difference, as anyone who has ever rode the New York subway will attest. Sure, the thing is extremely noisy — way noisier than Tacoma Link or just about any slow moving streetcar and noisier than just about any train or bus. It isn’t always pleasant, as you have deal with rats and outages. But it gets people to where they want to go, which is why it is so popular. You can say the same thing about buses everywhere — even in cities with nice, shiny, smooth trains. It isn’t about the mode, it is about how long it takes you to get to where you want to go.

      10. I didn’t mean to imply that, all things being equal, riders are choosing 372+Link over 550. Rather, I was meaning to offer advice to those who can’t get space on route 550 (which was far beyond SRO most times I rode it in the peak direction, years ago, with even more service than it has now).

        Frequency bias, comfort bias, speed bias, and reliability bias are working in 372+Link’s favor. Route 550 still has express bias, one-seat bias, and picturesqueness bias working in its favor. It’s ridership is limited pretty much by the available space, ST does not want to add service, and Metro was forced to actually reduce service on the corridor a few years ago. Somehow, packed runs were actually being cut because of some other overweighted bias in Metro’s performance standards.

    2. 550 and 545 have had big P&Rs closures due to East Link construction. It’s hard to tell if riders shift to other (KCM) routes, or gave up and now drive. Also the 550 has been really impacted by the East Link construction – losing some of the HOV on-ramps at both Bellevue Way and MI really hurt reliability and speed, which in turn lead to overcrowding and eventually lower ridership.

      Ross’s point about added service is probably accurate – where ST has added platform hours, it’s mostly been to mitigate congestion, which presumably just helps to maintain ridership.

      1. Another hit will be coming in Sept when they close the Rainier I-90 freeway stop, affecting 550, 554 (though it gets a stop further north on Rainier), and a smattering of 2XX Metro routes.

      2. I should have read the report before making my comment. I can see that ST bus ridership is a mixed bag (just like ST overall). Some buses are doing quite well (seeing decent growth) while there are a handful that have seen a big downturn. I think AJ nailed it. The 545 and 550 account for a big chunk of the decrease. Take away those losses and you would see an increase in ST Express ridership. There are some other buses that saw decreased ridership (Woodinville, Lakewood, Issaquah to Northgate) but not enough to drag the rest of the ridership numbers down.

    3. Don’t forget that feeder bus + rail trips show up as boardings on both systems , where direct bus only shows up as boarding only one system. Link could be drawing riders from Metro for like Ng trips but those riders will still show up as Metro riders for the shorter trip. That’s especially true for east and northeast Seattle.

      1. Yeah, it would be interesting to see how many trips are made just with one mode. That is trickier data to gather, but shouldn’t be too difficult to estimate.

        I would also like to see stop to stop data, which should be very easy to gather. How many people board at the UW and go all the way to the airport, or stop at say, Northgate. For that matter, how many people aren’t coming or going from the major employment destinations (UW and downtown) but are going neighborhood to neighborhood (e. g. Rainier Valley to Capitol Hill). Probably not huge numbers — since our system doesn’t lend itself to trips like that — but still some. I say it doesn’t lend itself to that because there are various options that are just about as good via a bus. For example, if you want to go from Beacon Hill to First Hill you could take Link and backtrack, but chances are you would just ride the 60. The situation will change dramatically as Link expands to Northgate, and trips like Roosevelt to Capitol Hill become orders of magnitude faster via Link, which means a trip from Roosevelt to First Hill via Link (and maybe a short bus ride) would be a reasonable thing to do.

  2. Seattle is paralleling Portland in many aspects, ie, LR and Streetcar ridership continue to increase (independent of additional stations) yet overall bus ridership continues to decline (Portland added several new bus lines over the last 2 years and yet still saw significant losses. I suspect Seattle’s increase of bus service is the only thing propping up the aggregate if it is even increasing at all).

    1. @les,

      Yes, rail bias is real and does result in higher ridership. Stated another way, “quality sells.”

      Expect a huge bump in Link ridership when NG Link opens in 2021, and an even bigger bump in 2023/24 when E Link opens. ST545 and 550 riders will mainly switch to Link, and that is a pretty big junk of ridership right there.

      1. It will be interesting to see whether and how much 545 ridership shifts. Link will take much longer than the 545 takes between Microsoft and downtown. A lot will depend on how much service ST maintains in the 545. I think the two will complement each other

      2. Link may be a little slower to Microsoft but probably not much. The 545 is 30 minutes to Microsoft; the 550 is 33 minutes to Bellevue (both at 8am weekdays). Link to Bellevue will probably be in the 20-25 minute range, and to Microsoft in the 35-40 minute range. Ten minutes is around the threshold of insignificant. (I base this on the 194 vs Link.) In any case, the 545 will be deleted so the only other option will be the 542. And many people board the 545 at Bellevue & Olive, which will certainly go away.

      3. A lot of the comparison depends on which part of downtown you’re talking about. Link goes to the south end of downtown first, while the 545 goes to the North end first. Considering that the 545 takes 20-30 minutes to get from one end of downtown to the other, Link almost certainly has the edge for Mariners/Seahawks games. Westlake, which is faster might depend on traffic.

        It’s Microsoft to UW, where the 542 will be consistently faster than Link by a good margin, because the bus path is so much more direct.

      4. I’ve heard quite a few stories from Microsofties about the 545 being delayed or outright missing trips, and travel time often not being the same as on paper. The consistency of Link will no doubt outweigh any increased on-paper travel time (same with other express busses that are on paper faster than the replacement Link trips will be). Also likely that many downtown Seattle MSies move to Bellevue for good access to both Redmond and Seattle.

      5. A lot depends on whether, when and how they truncate the 545 at the UW. Truncation changes the dynamic considerably if you are headed downtown, unless they somehow manage to make the connection to the UW fast. My guess is they won’t, and people will flock to East Link, while the truncated 545 is used for people headed to the UW and places north.

    2. Overall bus ridership is increasing. Metro and CT are continuing to see increases year after year. It’s only ST Express that isn’t. You can’t compare Portland’s entire bus network to a few express routes. Ridership in most of the US has been decreasing in proportion to the neglect and disinvestment in the transit infrastructure. Portland is probably experiencing that. Increasing congestion makes bus service deteriorate, yet service hours is not increased to compensate, and transit lanes and signal priority are not built. Subways and commuter rail in New York, DC, and BART have been unmaintained for decades and are starting to break down or catch fire. Ridership is going down porportionally.

    3. Ha, ha, ha — that’s funny. Oh, you are serious. News flash: bus ridership in the area is increasing. Metro is the main bus organization in the area, not ST. Metro ridership is more than double all of ST ridership combined (which includes Link, Sounder and the buses). ST is a tiny agency when it comes to bus service — it carries about 1/5 of what Metro carries. It is a small subset — similar to RapidRide (which is part of Metro). Speaking of which, RapidRide ridership continues to grow rapidly.

      Meanwhile, Tacoma Link — a streetcar — is one of the few public transportation systems that is decreasing. So much for rail bias.

      1. Tacoma Link’s biggest problem is being located in downtown Tacoma, a place without much meaningful job growth. TLink is primarily a parking lot shuttle, I know because I used to ride it daily. The vast majority of riders would exit the train and head straight for the parking garage. Ridership won’t grow until the jobs are there.

      2. I’m with Barman. Tacoma Link continues to struggle because there just hasn’t been a lot of job growth in Downtown Tacoma, the only place Tacoma Link currently serves. The extension of Tacoma Link up to TG and all of the new apartments under construction in Stadium District could make a big difference though. With all of the massive influx of Seattle commuters to Tacoma, linking a booming neighborhood into the system would be huge. Once Tacoma Link connects that neighborhood to light rail, rent prices will skyrocket (more than they already have) to something closer to inner-ring Seattle suburb levels.

        Personally, I’d like to see light rail service to the Tacoma Dome extended out to an area like Tacoma Mall or another South Tacoma neighborhood, where most of the houses and apartments and bars are already teardowns that contribute little to society or culture. Extending to Stadium is a two-edged sword. Good to be connecting transit to a hospital, but also bad, because I am afraid that we’ll end up losing many of the well-established and successful small businesses, historic homes and apartments, and artistic areas to gentrification. Meanwhile, there are areas of Tacoma that have failing business districts that would benefit greatly from the buildup that follow light rail, without really having all that much to lose.

        Addition of a hotel at the Convention Center, increasing the functional capacity of the Convention Center’s on-site attendance will help as well. Having a Convention Center on the light rail/streetcar is great, but if half of the attendees need to stay at a hotel somewhere offsite not within a few blocks, that means that they’ll be renting and driving cars to get between their hotel and the meetings at the Convention Center.

  3. I think I’ve made this comment before, but this data shouldn’t be analyzed in a vacuum. I’m very interested in knowing

    A) How does ST’s growth compare to growth in the greater-Seattle region overall? If, for example, ST is up 3%, but the region grew 4%, then public transportation actually lost ground overall.

    B) How does ST’s growth compare to other systems like Metro? Is ST really gaining new riders, or are they just taking them from Metro?

    1. I would suggest that it’s employment growth near ST frequent service and not general population growth that is the appropriate baseline. The employment boom in Downtown Seattle (with expensive parking, frequent regional transit and congestion bypasses) makes transit more attractive; so much so that workers look for ways to use transit. In contrast, employment growth in North Bend can’t move that ridership needle very far.

      1. Yes, but the mode share of rail serving those destinations seems to be increasing while the mode share of STExpress serving those same destinations appears to be decreasing. That is what is interesting about this ridership report.

        That said, it would sure be nice if Metro took a page from ST and started doing a better job publishing timely ridership data. It is nearly impossible to find timely Metro ridership data in any sort of useful format.

        I’d love to see an updated bar-chart of Metro ridership by route along with LR and SC ridership. It would really help put things in perspective.

      2. “the mode share of rail serving those destinations seems to be increasing while the mode share of STExpress serving those same destinations appears to be decreasing”

        Which sets of routes are you thinking of? There’s not that many places where similar services overlap, and even there the numbers aren’t usually going in opposite directions.

      3. With the transit system we’re building toward, any reason that North Bend can’t become the new Ballard of the Seattle subarea of the Greater Puget Sound Region? For me, from Day One Regional Transit has been about deliberately creating and protecting living space. Not destroying it the way 70 years’ sprawl had one.

        With Information Technology and Computer Assisted Design and Manufacture for industries, can’t give more people, and companies, a widening choice of where people both live and work. Tell me, aside from work at the Port, what exactly can somebody do in Seattle that they can’t do in North Bend?

        Mark

      4. >> With the transit system we’re building toward, any reason that North Bend can’t become the new Ballard of the Seattle subarea of the Greater Puget Sound Region?

        Um, Ballard is about 5 miles from downtown Seattle, while North Bend is about 25.

        >> Tell me, aside from work at the Port, what exactly can somebody do in Seattle that they can’t do in North Bend?

        Eat Eritrean food. See a different singer-songwriter every night of the year. Walk into a meeting every day and be surrounded by dozens of people with advanced degrees. See some of the greatest athletes in the world compete on a regular basis. Meet spontaneously with someone at work, knowing that you can look them in the eye, and shake their hands when you are done.

        There is a reason why the remote-work movement never really caught on. It just isn’t the same.

    2. @Larry —

      A) Good point. I have no idea, but I think transit ridership may be increasing faster than the population growth.

      B) Overall transit ridership is growing (both ST and Metro are growing). Both modes are growing (rail and bus). Rail ridership still represents a small percentage of overall transit ridership, but it may be growing a bit faster than bus ridership (in part because ST bus ridership seems to be struggling). But just as with Tacoma Link (which is down 9%!) you can’t read too much into what is a small subset of overall bus ridership when looking at ST Express numbers.

      It is annoying to see reports like this without seeing reports from Metro. But they are two agencies (one of the problems we’ve had for a long time with transit system in this city). It is also easy to read too much into one month’s worth of data (numbers fluctuate for various reasons). It is much better to look at long term data, and long term data on various routes. Both Metro and ST put out reports each year which dig into the details.

  4. Sounder per trip numbers are actually decreased – there was an increase in the number of trips operated. North line numbers continue to decrease.

    1. Interesting. So ridership per train went down, but overall ridership went up. Looks like the cost per trip went up a little bit, too. This is a good example of how even with commuter rail that paying extra for service will result in more riders (although I think you get to diminishing returns a lot faster).

    2. Beautiful ride. Which also results from Sounder North’s chief limitation. Speed means straight and fast. And more track means more lateral room than terrain and land-use allow.

      Also, most riders have to come several miles just to get down to the shore where the train is. If not by car, then by bus. For many riders, even with crowding, I-5 is faster commute right now. Situation can’t be permanent.

      Only question is what longitude both people and freight will ride? One guess: people near I-5, with shoreline route completely railroad museum sight-seeing. And freight east of the Cascades.

      So near-term, I think that while rail is under design and building, main regional thrust needs to be the right of way that’ll let buses run both full speed, and also easily be caught by passengers. Haven’t heard anybody say “pre-rail” in years, but good way to think about it.

      Mark

  5. At the risk of reading too much into the station numbers:

    Across the board increases. Almost half the increase occurred in the north end (from Westlake to the U-District). No huge surprise here — just about everyone said that section would be the most successful (in terms of ridership per stop or ridership per mile) and it is.

    While Rainier Beach saw good percentage increase, it didn’t have that many to begin with. To be fair, 300 new riders is significant, and better than most. My guess is the growth that we are finally starting to see around the station will continue to drive new train trips. Othello saw an increase of over 100, while Mount Baker and Columbia City were almost flat.

    I. D. also saw significant growth, along with SoDo. My guess is growth close to I. D. helped that station, while the relative success of the Mariners this year helped both stations.

    Angle Lake is growing fast, at over 400 new riders. SeaTac added some as well, but still isn’t that big. Remember when SeaTac was one of the biggest stations in our system? Now has slipped to sixth place

  6. Considering the conditions that’ve demolished land-use planning region-wide and turned long-time Seattle residents into involuntary commuters over these last several years, I don’t think a mode-split fit is best use of keystrokes this afternoon. Events are in a lot faster motion than ST, Metro, Link and Amtrak combined.

    Right now, my chosen Seattle visit is freeway-free hour and a half if necessary drive to Tacoma- my whole sport and entertainment budget- 574 to Sea-Tac and Link north. 512 north? After couple weeks ago, SR3 to SR104 to Edmonds ferry. But ’til Amtrak gets more frequent, rather ride above a long string of shiny white diamonds to the Border.

    Current commute choice north of Tacoma: 574 from Tacoma Dome safest, after having to escape a train slow-ordered to 10 mph at Kent, promised to continue ’til midnight, and take the local bus to the Airport. In other words, like with everything else about transit development right now- survival goes to the flexible. By the day. Or the hour, and increasingly, the minute.

    Also, coming from a nomadic people, have my choice of coffee-stops located like the ones on the caravan routes . Regionally, right now, different routes, different cafe’s amid diners. Though generally choose these for the people who own and run them.

    Ideal next stage? 574 from Olympia via diamond lane to Sea-Tac, stop only at Tacoma, handy if mind or schedule changes. Smart-Phones millenial since Sound Transit was founded. LINK to Downtown via food, coffee, or Beacon Hill library if needed. When ST starts running bullet trains like the purple ones in Southern Sweden- will welcome the bathrooms.

    Know perfectly well I’ve got choices that others don’t. Which is reason I’ll do all I can to fix that, short term and long. Every distant view of I-5, I see thousands of trapped people whose votes could deliver the diamond reflectors that’d let them and all their co-workers choose ST Express until they can choose Link, Sounder, and Skane State Rail screaming past the wind turbines.

    Know I’m not the only one who loves their car enough to keep prevent having her slap me with a used-up battery for getting her stuck like on I-5 last night ’cause I was in a hurry. If I can get Thurston into Sound Transit…not only will she get the rest she’s earned.

    But Sound Transit will once again get the car-tab fees I’ll owe even when she’s garaged, which ST lost when I got ethno-econometrically cleansed out of Ballard. Which will help pay for the Ballard station that’ll save Nordic Heritage museum a parking space. Grateful for the stats, mode-split and all else. But for Us The Regional Citizens, they’re instruments and tools. Not the Law.

    Mark Dublin

  7. It would be interesting to know if the rider increases are work related trips or other type trips. Improvements to services especially downtown have been great, but non employment non downtown trips have been rendered less convenient in many cases, especially for those not wishing to walk many blocks. .

    1. Looking at the numbers, I would guess a lot of it is non-work related. UW and Capitol Hill represents a big chunk of the increase. Those could still be employment related, but there are a lot of non-work trips involving those places. I. D. has a big increase and again, there are jobs there, but that is a logical place for downtown/stadium entertainment.

      On the flip side, Westlake is also way up, but Pioneer Square is not. University is pretty weak too, which means the heart of the business district saw very little increase, while Westlake (which has plenty of people and businesses) continues to be our most popular station (by far).

    2. Metro has made many all day frequency improvements all over Seattle, over the past several years. Sound Transit, on the other hand, has largely refused to increase the frequency of it’s buses, in an effort to make the benefit of the high frequency train replacing them look larger.

      1. asdf2, of the three systems, which one has to spend the longest time over the greatest distance moving at a traffic speed of, say, five miles an hour? While serving the fewest station stops? But here’s a good definitive test:

        For a year, give one ST Express route whatever it needs for lanes, signals, and ramps to run the coach’s design speed the whole route. With plows standing by that can clear the next Ice Age ’til the last one melts next Wednesday.

        My pick: the 574. Because Olympia’s major industry might like a single-seat transfer Sea-Tac to Dulles. And best of all, discover first-hand the solution to America’s most serious ongoing legislative problem:

        As claim about buses being inferior to trains gets sadder and more unfairly fake, desperation will force the ST Board to make buses slower by standing in front of an MCI approaching at 80 mph,waving their arms and yelling about Police Activity on the tracks.

        Regardless of faith or ideology, there’ll be no more arguments on the Floor of any US legislature about the truth of Natural Selection.

        Mark

      2. Oh, what a cynical thought. Sometimes I’ve wondered the same thing.

        Seriously though, I don’t they are purposely depressing the numbers. I think it is more about splash, rather than substance. Boost headways on all the really popular runs (550, 545, etc.) or make some of the pretty good runs more frequent (578) and no one will make a huge deal out of it. Just look how Metro changed the 41 from being every 15 minutes to every 10 minutes recently. That is a big deal that could change the lives of thousands and thousands of riders, but not a peep from the press — even this blog was largely silent. But add a new bus route (from say, Tacoma to Bellevue) and there will be huge fanfare, even if it ends up with a couple hundred riders a day. That is just the way that ST rolls.

      3. Something has changed in Sound Transit between ST2 and ST3. ST2, they funded a bunch of extensions to Link, but they still cared about their buses, and improved frequency on routes all over the region. ST3, they saw buses along corridors that will eventually be replaced by Link as a stopgap service that is not worth sinking more money into. I don’t think ST3 authorized one more dollar for ST express, beyond what ST2 was already funding. Even the proposed BRT routes that ST3 is funding don’t get any additional frequency until all of the capital work is done.

      4. In January 2016 there was an article on ST Express’s post-ST2 planning scenarios. There was a Low, Middle, and High budget scenario; or whether to simply truncate the network or expand service. This was before ST3 so it assumed Link would terminate in Federal Way. The ST3 express-bus plan most closely resembles a Low or Middle scenario.

        But note that the 522, 535, and 560 are upgraded to “BRT” so no longer in the ST Express category. And the 550, 545, and 574 are replaced by Link. That explains some of the reduction, while being a quantum leap of improvement in those corridors.

        I have no strong opinion either way on whether the ST3 plan is enough ST Express. It could be higher, but the budget is packed full of high-priority items, so it’s hard to see how ST Express could have been increased.

  8. Man, talk about oncoming Death by Natural Selection. Very small minority of 45 preceding comments even mention the five hundred thousand ton Gorilla in the Room- I mean region.

    Which through normal reptilian digestion will be soon be forced out of the digestive system of the python that ate it in Centralia by the million ton Elephant it ingested in Fife last press-release. Should happen right where I-5 crosses I-705 going by Tacoma.

    What we do? Make up a new RCW. (Question for ORCA Enforcement: Does the Attorney General even know how to read one?) ” Everything with duals and a destination sign in this lane runs the speed limit. Deal with it!”

    With all the white diamonds already down flat, all that’s left to do is pretend you’re a vandal, sneak out with a black spray can, and make every car-pool announcement read “+50.” Really, all we have to lose is we’ll use up our Rewards Card at True Value. Because….

    Wasn’t it just yesterday we were ripping SDOT to shreds like a pack of rabid hyenas because they’re dragging their hooves, like if antelope had feet, about reserving lanes Downtown? Now we’re letting WSDOT get away with hundreds of villainous diamond-free miles because our anger has been redirected to all the intermodal conspiracies in the Ruth Fisher room. It’s worse than Canadian cars!

    OK. Stop crying, Kim Jong Il, you can keep your nuclear weapons. Vladimir Putin, keep my money-laundering quiet or every trolleybus in Crimea gets its ORCA card turned off. Milo Yiannopoulos, go file your nails. And Rudi, tell these guys to footnote their every schedule with the truth about the truth!

    MD

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