Pioneer Square Station

Before East Link comes online in 2023, the extension’s track has to be connected to the existing light rail network just south of the Chinatown/International District (CID) station. Sound Transit will close existing portions of both north and southbound track for 10 weeks in early 2020 to make the connection, according to plans released yesterday.

Service will continue during construction, with the exception of three total closures during one weekend each in January, February, and March, but it will not be fun.

“We had two options: close the line for several weeks during construction, or continue to serve our 80,000 daily riders over a slightly longer construction period. We choose to keep service running at the highest level conditions will allow,” Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff said in a release.

Riders will have to keep that in mind during the transit version of Viadoom that will dominate the first quarter of 2020. According to Sound Transit officials, the ubiquitous, behavior-changing messaging that made the Carpocalypse bearable was the reason for getting the word out a full year in advance.

I describe how the single tracking will work below (as has STB alum Zach Shaner), but this animated diagram released by Sound Transit does the best job explaining how trains will run.

Here’s how service will change during the 10 week closure:

  • To ride the whole line from end to end, passengers will need to change trains at Pioneer Square station on a purpose-built center platform.

During Phase One, trains bound north from Angle Lake will:

  • Traverse switches at the Sodo station to a terminus at Pioneer Square station, running on the normally southbound track between CID and Pioneer Square.
  • At Pioneer Square, all train doors will open.
  • Passengers will disembark onto the center platform and onto a waiting train to continue north, or exit the station on the normal platform.
  • The train operator will switch ends and, on the return trip to Angle Lake, travel south on southbound track like normal.

Something of a reversal will happen in the opposite direction. Trains bound south from Husky Stadium will:

  • Traverse a switch at Westlake station to travel on normally northbound track between Westlake and Pioneer Square.
  • At Pioneer Square, all train doors will open.
  • Passengers will disembark onto the center platform and onto a waiting train to continue south, or exit the station on the normal platform.
  • The train operator will switch ends and, on the return trip to Husky Stadium, travel north on northbound track like normal.

During Phase Two, the rider experience will be very similar, but Husky Stadium trains inbound to Pioneer Square will run on normally southbound track, and reverse direction for outbound trips on the same. Angle Lake trains inbound to Pioneer Square will run on normally northbound track, and reverse direction for outbound trips on the same. Another animation:

This balletic operations plan will demand more than usual from train operators and the control center. Trains will run on 12 minute headways all day, including at peak. Every train will have four cars, including off peak.

Personnel on the center platform will use radios to ensure that no passengers are on the center platform when trains depart. Trains will be dispatched in such a way that both north- and southbound trains will arrive simultaneously at Pioneer Square. Simultaneous arrivals are the main driver for the 12 minute headway.

Other Sound Transit staff will guide passengers through Pioneer Square station and answer questions during the single tracking.

During the full weekend closures, a special circulator bus line will fill in for Link service.

Sound Transit estimates that the headways and added capacity will square exactly with estimated peak demand, which will require moving about 3,000 people in the absolute busiest hour.

The agency chose this period for single tracking because they don’t believe the Seahawks will make the playoffs the Seahawks season will be over, and the Mariners’ season won’t have started yet. It also comes before Northgate Link testing and non-revenue service start.

At the Operations Committee meeting where agency officials presented the plan, Sound Transit board members Rob Johnson and Joe McDermott encouraged the agency to consider special events in scheduling the weekend closures. Johnson singled out seasonal events like the Lunar New Year, which always draws extra visitors to the CID.

66 Replies to “Single tracking, mid-line transfer for 10 weeks in 2020”

  1. Thanks Peter for helping to avert both a Doom and a Pockalypse at the same time. And not kidding about this, will they need volunteers to help guide passengers through this all? But tell me, any details available yet on the Purpose-Built Platform?

    Mark Dublin

  2. Unless I’m missing something, 4-car trains every 12 minutes (20 cars/hour) are not going to have the capacity that would normally be offered by 3-car trains every 6 minutes (30 cars/hour). And, no peak-hour capacity will be added on parallel bus service.

    Which means, whether Sound Transit and the city of Seattle are willing to admit or not, we’re basically depending on at least some people to switch from Link back to their cars during the construction period, in order to free up train capacity to everyone else. Hopefully, we won’t revert to a reversal of Viadoom, featuring marketing promotions encouraging people to drive, complete with free parking in the downtown Pacific Place garage.

    1. Erica C Barnett reported that the loss of capacity at peak is 23%!

      They will need to run additional peak buses south of downtown to pick up some of the lost capacity.

      1. It wouldn’t surprise me if they add peak express buses on both ends. Not so much because of capacity concerns, but just to improve service. Right now a lot of people from Northeast Seattle transfer to Link at UW station. End to end times are actually worse in a lot of cases but folks spend less time waiting. Buses heading that direction are very frequent, and Link itself is very frequent. For example, if you are at 65th and 25th, you just take the 372 (because it arrives first most of the time) instead of waiting for the faster 76. In reverse you always take Link.

        But if they run the 76 a lot more often, then it becomes more popular. Likewise with the 74. Of course, I don’t know where they get the money or drivers to add peak express buses, but they might take them from the feeder buses (e. g. buses like the 372). It is also possible that people simply vote with their feet, and start taking buses like the 74 and 76 more often, once they realize the transfer to Link is so poor.

        For the south end, it is a little trickier. There really isn’t the feeder system there is on the north end. You can transfer from the 7 to Link at Mount Baker, but very few people do that. From Tukwila you can take the 124, but it doesn’t give you a speed advantage over Link. Things are also more spread out. There are a lot more stations, but none of them as high as the two north of downtown. Making things even more complicated is the fact that at SeaTac (by far the most popular station south of downtown) has a bus stop that is far away from a train stop. You could run express bus service there (which would also cover Angle Lake) but you wouldn’t necessarily get many riders at SeaTac. From a capacity standpoint, my guess is SeaTac ridership is largely irrelevant, since it spreads itself out, or is reverse commute in nature. For the south end, I think the simplest thing to do is just increase trips for the 106, since a rider could easily switch between modes at the last minute.

        But again, it is quite possible that Metro does very little, and we just live with the consequences.

      2. With a little bit of creativity, it should be possible to maintain 6-minute peak headways, at least during the north section. I’m imagining a two-car train leaving UW Station 6 minutes after the 4-car train. Unfortunately, due to limited track-switching locations, this two-car shuttle train wouldn’t be able to go all the way to Pioneer Square station, but I think it could easily go to Westlake station, layover there, and turn around. Especially, given that, by this time, buses will be out of the downtown tunnel, and the Link trains will have it all to themselves.

        I’m not thrilled with the idea of sending even more buses to sit in downtown traffic (but that’s still better than just telling everybody to drive). But, if it is at all possible to run trains every 6 minutes from UW Station at least to Westlake, it is better to just do it.

        Unfortunately, this scheme doesn’t do anything for the southend commuters. For them, I don’t see any other option besides adding additional trips on routes like the 7, 36, and 106, to make up for the lost capacity on Link.

    2. It’s a net loss to be sure, but it’s narrower than a complete loss of 10 cars. It’ll still be rough in the peaks.

      1. The new cars will have slightly greater maximum passenger capacity. Not enough, but more.
      2. The current operational scheme at peak headway of 6 minutes doesn’t run all trains with 3 cars. I don’t know it exactly but I would guess that at least 2 of those 10 runs consist of only two cars.

      Finally, this actually improves service at the edges and weekend where service would otherwise be running at 15 minute headways.

      The real worry is pure crowding chaos at the Pioneer Sq transfer. ST’s article cites a figure that through trips will consist of 38% of all passengers. So, more math: 4 cars * representative crush load 250 pax * 2 directions * 38% = 760 people crossing the platform (half in one direction, half in another) at once. It could be pleasant; it could be pandemonium. Yikes!

      1. I believe that the heaviest loads are on either side of Westlake and I think a four-car Link train can’t realistically hold more than 200 people per car. Still 450-550 each transfer at peak is a lot. With 16 car doors on each train, it will however be spread out.

      2. Current peak service is a base of 10-min/3-car (18 cars/hour) + overlay of 4 x 2-car trains (8 cars/hour) = 26

        Current off-peak is just the base of 18 cars/hour.

        12-min/4-car service all day = ~20 cars per hour.

        (26-20)/20 = ~24% capacity loss
        (20-18)/20 = ~10% capacity gain off-peak

      3. Maybe they can ask riders transferring trains to exit and enter the cars through specific doors. Two “exit” doors per car and two “enter” doors, matched up so that passengers can just walk directly between trains on the platform without intermingling.

        If announcements were made maybe passengers would follow them. Maybe.

      4. As best I can tell, the limiting factor on minimum headway in this exercise is that track from Pioneer Square Station to the stub tunnel. There can be only one train on that track at once. Calculate the time it takes to go from PSS to the portion of the tunnel past the switch, mutiply by 2, add two dwell times at Westlake, two dwell times at University Street Station, and the time it takes the driver to push through a mob longer than a football field, and I’m not sure you can get that much below 12 minutes. Those crowds at USS and WS will be mashed up on one platform.

        So, to maximize north-end capacity, run the Siemens trains on that leg. And then relax the rule about timing at PSS, so the south-end trains can run a little more frequently.

        It might be inordinately expensive, but having extender platforms so that people can board and alight on both sides at USS and WS might also help.

        If I have the bottleneck backward, and it is actually the construction zone setting minimum headway, then put the Siemens trains on the south end, and on a schedule to be at PSS at the peak of peak. Loosen the timing rule on the north end, and run those trains slightly more frequently.

        Did ST say which line actually sets minimum headway?

    3. “Sound Transit estimates that the headways and added capacity will square exactly with estimated peak demand”. This isn’t quite what ST said. They said the 23% capacity loss during peak would leave residual capacity to handle all riders, but only just. In other words, trains aren’t full today, but with 12-min/4-car service, they will be. They also said off-peak/evening/weekend will have 11% more capacity than today, due to the flat headway and longer trains.

      Another thing to consider: with buses out of the tunnel, headways will be reliable and train bunching won’t occur unless there’s a major disruption. Today, the most crushed trains are when buses or other delays cause trains to bunch and then a 2-car train arrives and absorbs extra demand. With everything spread out and all 4-car trains that arrive more evenly, it’ll be tight but should work.

    4. I’m also skeptical 12-minute headways with 4-car trains won’t be a cluster. If that really matches peak demand in 2020, maybe we don’t need 4-minute service so soon after all. But ST could run a downtown circulator shuttle to mitigate possible overcrowding on Link and the 7/14/36.

      “weekend where service would otherwise be running at 15 minute headways.”

      Weekend headways are 10 minutes. 15 minutes is only after 10pm and before 8am.

    5. By picking 10 weeks in the winter, Link will generally be carrying 5-10 percent less riders anyway. That helps a tad.

    6. In case someone hasn’t said it, I believe every 3rd train during rush hour is only 2 cars, which would explain how the capacity would be the same.

  3. There isn’t an actual center platform at Pioneer Square today, right?

    So I assume that will need to be built, which will also require some shutdowns unless they can do it overnight.

    1. Yeah, yesterday they said overnight work beginning in October. No service disruption. There are no stairs, escalators, or elevators being built. It’s a temp platform that will only be used when trains meet.

      1. Keep the platform. add some stairs. Lots of systems have this.

        ID is a terrible transfer, as are all the downtown stations.

    2. This may be the best transfer the Link system may ever have. It will be missed when it is removed.

      I’m looking forward to the #MyTransferWasAwesome campaign.

      Regardless, ST may decades from now admit that dwell time in PSS is a bottleneck that sets minimum headway for the whole line(s), blaming past boards on which members will have long-since retired for lack of foresight. (This was the handwringing exercise they did during the ID/CS turnback track debate, while refusing to consider flyover tracks to connect out-of-service trains more directly to the SODO OMF.) We may never get another chance to implement any form of the Spanish Solution downtown. I say keep the platform, and add stairwells at each end. If you need an escalator or elevator, use the outer platforms.

      1. With 4-car trains and Spanish Solution boarding, this has the potential to be great, or at least OK.

        However, the 12 minute frequency and 24% loss of peak capacity is concerning.

        I estimate that the northern route could run at 7 minute frequencies and the southern route at 10 minute frequencies with the length of single track that is called out, with tight dwell times. A guaranteed meet at Pioneer Square and operational conservatism drive the 12 minute frequency.

        To increase headway flexibility and allow reduced headways, I recommend adding temporary ramps connecting the center platform to either side platform, for emergency egress. The tracks north of the northbound train and south of the soutbound train will be out of service during this period. A level ramp could be installed across the track connecting the center to side platforms. The ramp could even be removable to allow occasion non-revenue trains to pass. Sound Transit has already said they will have staff on the center platform, so they could limit access to the exit ramp to when it is safe.

      2. I thought the Spanish solution was people exiting on one site and entering on the other, as I think the Monorail does at Seattle Center. This isn’t quite the same because people use the inward site for transferring and the outward side for exiting. Although some will doubtless notice that they can go across the platform and through the other train to the station exits on the other side, so that will be an advantage.

      3. Why would stairs even be needed? If exiting the station, use the outer platforms. If transferring, use the middle one. If you find yourself on the middle platform and decide you need to exit the station, wait for the next train going either way and walk on through to access the outer platform. In case of fire, people can go across the tracks to evacuate through the existing exits.

      4. @Mike — You are correct. The Spanish Solution tends to have longer dwell times, not shorter ones, since train operators have to deal with more doors. It really only makes sense when just about everyone is getting on and getting off. That is why it is fairly rare. I believe the only place around here that uses it is SeaBus, in Vancouver. The last place I saw it used was at the Sacramento airport, where they have a shuttle train that only has two stops. In both cases using the Spanish Solution helps create a quick turnaround. It would also make sense for the tail of our streetcars, if our streetcars had anywhere near the ridership and frequency justifying that. In any event, I don’t see any of our stations being appropriate for the Spanish Solution, even though it is a cool idea (and a cool name).

      5. @Eric — As I said before, I think you would want gates if not stairs (or elevators). Otherwise you are basically encouraging folks to cut across the tracks. That would be another option, of course, but not one that ST is likely to encourage.

      6. The presentation said that drivers will be expected to power down, go to the other end of a four-car train and turn the train back on at PSS. That’s a lot of open door time.

  4. Attention Bellevue: ST will have to do this again for Easy Link to add the Issaquah branch in less than 20 years.

      1. Yeah I can’t delete and correct typos!

        It does raise an curious idea: add an adjective to the Link name. After all, we already have RapidRide and Swift.

    1. On the north end, no need for anything fancy. There’s a double-track wye and pair of non-revenue main tracks along the Eastside Corridor Rail Trail up to about NE 21st being built as part of East Link and OMF access. To extend north, Sound Transit will simply built on these stub ends with no disruption to main-line revenue service. See slide 11 here: https://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/project-documents/OMF-East-public-open-house-presentation-20180517.pdf

      On the south end, it’ll be ballasted track so the work can be performed relatively quickly in a one-or-two weekend shutdown.

      The complicated part for this project is chipping out the rails embedded in a foot of concrete in a constrained tunnel environment, installing and setting the new tracks, carefully pouring the concrete and allowing it to set for 5-7 days to achieve desired strength, then testing & reopening.

      1. I’d generally agree that the north Kirkland connection should dovetail nicely from the OMF. That’s why I specified Issaquah.

        I’ve seen nothing explaining how the tracks will be configured. With the sensitivities of Surrey Downs, I actually think it could be a problem as conceived.

        I wonder if ST should hedge their final bets and drop in ballast and substructure at several locations to keep complications at a minimum when the final design is decided . It seems like a minor cost that could be added among the contingency budgets for the line — and would be hugely beneficial to do it before East Link gets to the train operations testing stage. On the other hand, doing nothing may be a contributing factor in creating a fully-automated separate line that would make it much less costly to operate at system- compatible headways.

  5. It’s notable that ST is willing and able to open both sides of train doors at a station (Pioneer Square). Arrangements to facilitate transfers at other platforms — specifically SODO, Tacoma Dome, East Main and Wilburton — could benefit from a permanent version of this where one line could be tracked on the inside with another on the outsides.

  6. Can we build a “temporary” center platform at Chinatown and then “forget” to take it down?

    1. It’s tempting. If ramps down to the track level at one end to allow pedestrian crossings (maybe with gates) were added, stairs to exit wouldn’t be needed.

    2. I was thinking the same thing. My guess is they really don’t want to trap people in that center platform. They don’t want people crossing the tracks (when the train isn’t there), nor do they want to spend the extra money putting up gates (that would open and close when the trains arrive). I think the latter would be cheaper than rebuilding the station and adding stairs to the middle platform, but still not something ST wants to spend money on.

    3. Perhaps if the platform and the non-revenue pocket track were swapped. However, there may be more scheduling conflicts with the pocket track at Pioneer Square than at IDS. And there may not be room for the switches within the station box at PSS.

      But leaving the PSS middle platform operational would give ten years of Eastside-to-Airport level transfers. That’s not nothing.

    4. Why not make a center platform with stairs and an elevator? The escalators are the expensive part, and you could get away with only one elevator per DSTT station. Seems like an easy/cheap way to increase the capacity of those stations — the mezzanines are certainly big enough — and ease link-link transfers.

      1. Good point. The elevators won’t be used much anyway, since there will still be side platform access. The elevators are more of a safety and backup thing, or when someone accidentally gets off at the wrong side of the train.

  7. Can that “special” center platform be retained to improve Eastside-to-Airport transfers permanently? Yes, making it permanent would mean adding stairs at one end and an elevator at the other, but wow, what a huge opportunity for a (relatively) low cost improvement!

    1. It’s tempting. If ramps down to the track level at one end to allow pedestrian crossings (maybe with gates) were added, stairs to exit wouldn’t even seem to be needed.

      1. I would think you could just get by with gates (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_platform_gate). Someone would essentially be trapped on the platform until the next train arrived, but as long as the gates and trains are working properly, they would be unable to step on the track. If there is a breakdown in the system (if the trains stop running for some reason) then officials would unlock the gates, and escort folks over the tracks.

      2. Just to clarify, this ramp option would only need to be to go from the platform elevation to the track elevation, which appears to be 14 inches in Link reference documents. So that’s 14 feet long. That seems easily doable because distance from the first/last door to the end of the train is over 14 feet.

        The first limitation would be how much room exists in front of or behind a train car to cross. In some places, existing end platform elevators or stairs may have to be moved on the side platforms to accommodate ramp crossings on the outsides. Of course, additional elevators could be added at the ends of new center platforms.

        The other possible limitation seems to be ADA and fire safety rules. They would have be addressed.

        A good designer can solve any problem. It’s all a matter of cost-benefit and money. Of course, it may be just cheaper for ST to simply add additional escalators (going down) at IDS (which would benefit all riders rather than just transferring ones) and call it a day.

  8. Oh, wait, after ten years it would be “Eastside-to-West Seattle”, not nearly such a popular transfer. Well, ten years’ improvement is worth the cost of stairs and an elevator.

    1. It seems to me like Eastside to West Seattle transfers could be *more* popular there than Eastside to South Link. For commuters living in West Seattle, I would assume that will be pretty much the only way to get there. On the other hand, folks in Rainier Valley could take a bus and transfer at Judkins Park if they are headed to the East Side. People trying to get to the airport from downtown Bellevue could transfer at Tukwila or possibly take an express bus to SeaTac (if they add one). Those headed south of SeaTac could transfer to the bus at Tukwila, and probably still save themselves some time. So that basically leaves trips from the East Side to SoDo and Beacon Hill as well as less popular stops along East Link to SeaTac or places south (e. g. Mercer Island to SeaTac, South Bellevue to Federal Way). It wouldn’t surprise me if there are more people trying to get from West Seattle to Bellevue and Redmond.

      My guess is the biggest issue is both the cost (of gates or stairs) along with space. If there isn’t enough room, then it simply won’t work.

  9. It does look a little narrow. I wouldn’t want to be on it if Link trains approached like BART’s enter a station. So maybe my “bright idea” isn’t workable.

    1. I don’t have a tape measure, but I think the platforms at SODO, Columbia City and Othello are probably just as narrow as this will be.

      The issue seems to be more about the access and egress. Riders will also find it disorienting being on a narrower platform while trains pass in opposite directions.

      Some rail systems have installed glass safety walls on platforms and automated sliding doors at loading points for protection. Airport rail systems like here at Seatac usually have these. As a permanent installation, this could be a suitable albeit more expensive mitigation.

      1. Add this to the list of ST3.1 items I would vote to pay more taxes for, ahead of burying West Seattle Link, Ballard Link, and ID/CS2.

        Of course, since the primary beneficiaries would be eastsiders, maybe this ought to be funded out of Eastside subarea funds, prioritized over completing Eastgate Link all the way out to rural Issaquah.

    2. Fortunately, Link trains DON’T approach stations like BART’s speedsters. Well, “fortunately” in terms of station users’ experience.

      The ramps are a good idea Al, but they might mess up the ends of the existing platforms, which have either a stair or an escalator case “eating into” the platform at each end.

      So far as using 405 BRT, Ross, folks from the east end of the line (for which read “Microsoft”), would have a three-seat train-bus-train ride, not an attractive prospect for ridership with luggage.

      If 405 BRT went straight to the airport, or an express bus with special luggage space did so, then, yes, the train-bus two seat ride would be great.

      The three-level-change transfer likely at IDS will not be popular with Eastside airport users, so something will have to be done to better-accommodate them.

  10. “The agency chose this period for single tracking because they don’t believe the Seahawks will make the playoffs / the Seahawks season will be over, and the Mariners’ season won’t have started yet. It also comes before Northgate Link testing and non-revenue service start.”

    Another reason for this early heads-up is so that the Seahawks can prepare to end their 2019-2020 season on the road. Heck, if that can be arranged, maybe Connect 2020 could be advanced a few weeks. The Seahawks could still make the playoffs, but that is no guarantee of a home playoff game.

    The Sounders can, likewise, give up their tradition of opening their season at home, and spend March on the road.

    As it happens, 2020 Men’s and Women’s March Madness aren’t scheduled to come to Seattle. However, if the Huskies’ Women (UW, not UConn) get a top seed in the first two rounds, they will host at HecEd.

      1. Ouch! I’m used to it though. I grew up in El Paso, where the local university’s football squad got it the monicker UT El Intercepted Paso.

  11. As an aside, inconsistency of the name of the end of line station is notable in ST presentations. It’s called both Redmond Technology Center Station and Redmond Technology Station on the East Link web pages section and it’s Redmond Tech here.

    ST Staff needs better editing for consistency! If the original name is too long, shorten it now before the signage is ordered and made!

  12. Siemens vs. Kinkysharyo, the B-grade horror flick:

    When a 4-car Siemens train and a 4-car Kinkysharyo train pull into Pioneer Square Station simultaneously, there will be a capacity mismatch. I’m not sure how much. My guestimate is that a Siemens train, with its extra standing room, will have capacity roughly equivalent to a 5-car Kinkysharyo train, and that a 3-car Siemens train will have slightly less capacity than a 4-car Kinkysharyo train. I’m guessing that two reasons not to run 3-car Siemens trains are added confusion about where to board, and the desire for a clock-face schedule.

    Regardless, trying to squeeze all those passengers from the Siemens train into the Kinkysharyo train in order to clear the center platform might require pushers. Let’s not do that. Instead, let’s be a little lenient and let a few unlucky passenger from the Siemens train wait 12 minutes for that next connecting train.

    One basic mistake to avoid is putting all the Siemens trains on the north route. Then, a growing bubble of riders trying to connect south could be a thing at the PSS center platform in the 4:30-6:00 pm time range.

    1. That reminds me to ask this:

      Where will ST put the spare trains for the UWS to PSS section? I guess one track can be live all the way through the DSTT during the whole event (enabling overnight train movements) and the unused DSTT track between Capitol Hill and PSS could store some trains, but it’s less than optimal.

      1. That is an interesting question, but not related to the train-capacity mismatch thread. Please post it as its own thread.

      2. At 12 min headways, you only need one track at UWS. So you store the other “gap” train there I’m guessing.

    1. It’s probably Route 97, which is activated whenever Link has an outage either systemwide or between a subset of stations. I’ve never taken it but I gather it stops at all stations, so in SODO that would mean backtracking to Beacon Hill (because the only road across is Holgate Street or Columbian Way). I don’t know what the effective frequency of the bus replacement is.

    2. And what does it do on Capitol Hill? I assume it follows the 43. Which may bolster the argument that the 43 should have been Link’s local shadow and the night-owl route instead of the 49.

      1. Only three stations will be closed on the three weekend shutdowns. Service will still run UW-Westlake and Stadium-Angle Lake.

    3. Although the 49 has a secondary market between the northern Broadway commercial area and the northern U-District until U-District Station opens.

  13. One unnecessary part of the north single-track loop is the time it takes the operator to push through the crowd to get to the other cab. Just do a seat slide. Or if there are extra operators who can’t be put on other duties, have two operators on each north train.

  14. Why doesn’t Sound Transit not prebuilt some things to allow extension that would be reasonable places to expand light rail?

    1. It’s mysterious. I’ve been telling ST for years to prebuild a transfer interface into U-District Station for a potential east-west line. Early on an ST rep said they couldn’t do that because the east-west line is not voter-approved yet and they didn’t know whether it would even go to that station. (This was when a Pacific Street – UW Station – 520 aliternative was in the mix.) I have repeated my concern ever since and ST has not done anything about it (or at least will not say publicly that they’re doing anything about it). As for stub tracks, I’m not so worried about that because they generally exist. It’s just transfers that ST has trouble with.

  15. The reconstruction of MAX track on NE Holladay took a week. I can’t think of a single situation, including a number of added junctions when lines were added, where TriMet has had to disrupt service for 12 weeks. It seems like there should be a less disruptive way to do this.

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