11 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Aboard the Northern Dalesman”

  1. Anyone else having trouble lately with comments? It seems to be automatically filling the fields with data from my WordPress account*. I don’t remember it ever doing that before, and it is annoying (since the fields don’t match how I typically log on here). I was able to work around it by logging into my STB (Page 2) account, but I would rather not have to do that all the time.

    * Near as I can figure, it is using AJAX to talk to the WordPress server. At first I thought it was my browser doing the filling, but I cleared my cookies and tried another browser and got the same result. I also confirmed that it was getting values from my WordPress account (including a placeholder for my avatar).

    1. I turned on a feature to let people use their social accounts to comment but it looks like it has some unintended consequences. Turning back off for now.

  2. The other day on the 255,Metro decided to hold up the entire bus for about 15 minutes to allow a technician to make repairs to the farebox. Is the farebox really so critical that the repair needs to be done with passengers on board? Is it not unreasonable for stuff like this to wait until the bus is in layover, or parked at the base?

    On a related note, it seems Metro has decided to hold up nearly every afternoon trip on the 255, both weekdays and weekends for several minutes at South Kirkland park and ride to do a driver change. Is this really necessary? Can they not change drivers while the bus is in layover?

    The two things together convey the impression of an agency that really doesn’t value its customers’ time.

    1. That’s not unusual. The 3 and the 4 change drivers at 3rd and James downtown. I don’t remember Metro’s explanation, but I think think it was related to gas costs.

    2. South Kirkland is a shorter distance from the base, and other hubs like Bellevue TC, so it makes sense to do a driver swap. CT does the same with 201/202 at Everett Station instead of driving their fresh drivers all the way up to Smokey Point.

    3. I deal with drivers taking 5 minutes to swap on route 132 northbound just north of Stadium Station. Well, I used to.

      Now, I just catch Link from SODO Station, even if I’m only going downtown.

      Of course, the same think happens on Link (usually just 2-3 minutes) occasionally, headed southbound (mostly) by the SODO base. I wonder if they’ll finally switch that change to happening at SODO Station, or one getting on at Stadium and the other alighting at SODO, once the operator changes become the largest source of schedule unreliability. Give the operators free Lime accounts to reduce the transfer’s carbon footprint.

    4. Metro used to have a policy that if one payment method was broken, nobody paid. I’ve had drivers tell me not to bother tapping because the farebox was broken, or who put their hand on the farebox because the ORCA reader was broken. If that’s not happening now then Metro may have changed the policy. Although waiting 15 minutes for a technician to fix the farebox sounds extreme: maybe it was just this one driver. I can see maybe waiting 15 minutes for the police to escort somebody off the bus, but not 15 minutes for a farebox repair, especially when a large percent of riders have ORCA now and Metro has been encouraging that. Again maybe it was a one-time occurrence.

    5. Road relief locations are a tradeoff. If the relief point is farther away from base, you are going to pay drivers for more time getting to and from the relief, which will use funds that could otherwise fund more in-service trips. (Downtown, this is even more acute, because drivers don’t get paid for returning from downtown road reliefs, but do get paid for time returning from reliefs that require a base car.)

      On the 255, South Kirkland P&R is about 7 minutes from East Base, the 255’s parent base, so each relief costs about 15 minutes of driver time Relieving at Brickyard P&R would add another 25 minutes or so of driver time per relief, and relieving in Sodo at the other terminal would cost even more than that.

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