42 Replies to “Podcast #82: Trees are the right height”

  1. We got nailed for fare enforcement in Paris. We had lost a ticket… had discarded it in the garbage inside the system, not knowing that we had to keep it until we left. $75 fine. We could have more conveniently taken cabs the entire day at that price. When I am on vacation, will I risk another extremely stressful confrontation with a police officer, or just spring for the Uber or cab? I’m more inclined now to use taxis in the future. It will be potentially faster, cost me the same, and be less stressful. Long run, we probably won’t get hassled frequently, although, Paris police intentionally targeted a point downstream of a large trash bin, specifically in the 30 minutes after fireworks at the Eiffel Tower – so it was a setup. We watched as at least two dozen other cops wrote up other – mostly English speaking – tourists who had clearly paid and pushed their tickets into the machine to get through a turnstile. This is the sort of s**+ that makes me say screw transit, I’ll just drive.
    Here’s my other question. Do you want ridership and high use and support for the taxes that pay for the bulk of the system? Or do you want to stigmatize people who don’t understand your fare enforcement system, people who don’t have employer-subsidized cards, and people who are infrequent riders? A lot of your taxpayers are infrequent riders. What’s the daily ridership of Link & Sounder? Okay, now what’s the total population of the overall ST Tax area? Yeah, most people aren’t using Link or Sounder daily. Maybe all of the people in your downtown bubble ride transit – but it’s a bubble of central Seattle. If you complicate the system and put people nose to nose with a cop issuing a citation, people won’t be very happy and will be more inclined to just drive – and not support the tax.
    We don’t pay a toll every time we drive on the road. Those freeway are very expensive to maintain!! Why should we pay for transit per use? If we plan to aggressively enforce transit fare, then I really want to see toll booths set up on every major freeway in our region.

    1. The problem with low-frequency enforcement is that it stings that much worse when you do get fined. I don’t know of anyone who has given up driving because they got a speeding ticket. You will end up paying significantly more money over your lifetime if you start using Uber (especially after they jack up their rates in the near future in an attempt to reach profitability). Brush it off as bad luck and keep riding.

    2. This may be a general difference between Europe/Canada and the US. Metro has unlimited transfers that you can use for a round trip or give to somebody when you’re finished, while Vancouver has stern signs at Skytrain stations saying it’s illegal to give somebody a transfer and you must throw it away, and some cities (in the US) have one-way transfers that you can’t use for a round trip. And driving laws in the US are lax: you can get a license at age 16, most people drive over the speed limit, and drivers do lots of things without getting fined. In Germany you have to be age 18, go to an intense and expensive driving course, and the laws and penalties are stricter.

      It may come down to what resources people have and what society expects from them. Europe and Canada have much more comprehensive transit so you don’t need a car and you get much more value from your transit fare, and they have stronger anti-poverty programs so people can afford the fare and therefore they should pay. And in high-tourist cities like Paris they have to handle millions of tourists which put a strain on their infrastructure and policing.

      In contrast, American taxpayers don’t want to pay for transit or anti-poverty programs, and demand that cities build only car-dependent sprawl, and driving is an expression of American freedom as Rush Limbaugh says. If you don’t have a car you can’t get around 90% of the US and can’t get to work. So the driving age is low and the laws are lax so everybody can get around and earn a living. In Europe when the bars close there’s a network of night buses to take people home. In most of the US outside the large cities transit runs daytime-only so when the bars close people have to drive.

      1. I think pretty much every system doesn’t allow transfers of tickets. In reality this is difficult to actually enforce, unless you are going through a turnstile and handing the same ticket to the person behind you.

        I’m pretty sure if you look closely at the back of a King County Metro transfer it will tell you that it isn’t supposed to be given to someone else. Of course, people also aren’t supposed to keep great bags of the things on hand either.

      2. Metro has similar signs on buses warning people against reselling transfers or buying tickets from unauthorized agents.

        The Conditions of Use on the back of a Metro transfer states that “it is not transferable to other riders.”

        It’s interesting that the original comment is about Paris. Fare dodging is so pervasive there that there’s actually a group one could join for a monthly fee that will reimburse your fine if you get caught, kind of like insurance.

      3. When I used paper transfers it said on the back that it was transferable. I haven’t used them regularly since ORCA came out so it may have changed. I actually read the back. One of the things it said was that it’s a “One-hour pass”, which was laughable. Drivers always cut it for at least 1 1/2 hours if not 2 or 3. I never got a one-hour cut even once.

      4. They’ve been non-transferable since at least 2008. Drivers are instructed to cut transfers to expire 1.5-2 hours after their scheduled arrival time at their terminal or downtown timepoint. It’s done that way because otherwise your transfer would expire before completing an hour-long ride from the suburbs.

        I think describing it as a pass made more sense than a transfer since functionally it works like one. TriMet, Spokane and recently Detroit call their single fares a “(2.5/4/2)-hour pass”.

  2. The failure to let youth ride free on the first day of school before getting their free passes was partially a failure of communication and partially a failure of policy-setting. That’s more the fault of management, the Board, the County Council, the school district, and SDOT, than on the fare enforcement division. The FEOs just follow policy. It is in many ways bad policy, but I do believe they follow it.

    It reminds me of the day Sound Transit proudly rolled out having one-car consists on Link on weekends … the same day Metro cut the ribbon on RapidRide, and the Sounders were playing. Multiple people in positions of power probably got chewed out, or chewed each other out, for a simple failure to check the events calendar.

    I would be disappointed if all that came out of this is an apology to Seattle Public Schools and SDOT, and a decision to let youth ride free on the first day of school in the future. There are larger problems, like the fact FEOs are still directed to photograph, warn, and then fine the kids who have these free passes when they forget to tap on.

    Maybe it will take a Fridge to the 21st century to get Metro’s and ST’s accountants to sit down together and figure out a formula to count failures to tap on, and then extrapolate how much this is happening among those not checked, and divvy up ORCA revenue in a way that takes this data into account, without threatening to fine riders who have paid their fare in full and possess clear-and-obvious proof of payment, and then to deprive them of access to the public transit they paid for. “Paying the wrong transit agency” is not a crime in an law I’ve looked at. If it is kids who just ride Link, then they aren’t even paying the wrong agency.

    There is also the matter that the kids have been threatened with the same fine that is applied to adults who pay almost twice as much. Why can’t the fine be proportional to the fare? (I’m talking about for actual failure to pay, not for failure to tap while in possession of clear-and-obvious proof of payment.)

    The people responsible for not fixing this are on the County Council and the ST Board. The policy, not the way FEOs conduct themselves, needs fixing. So, yeah, the fault here is probably on those politicians screaming the loudest, who happen to be on both bodies. Setting policy is *your* job.

    1. “The failure to let youth ride free on the first day of school …” They did ride for free.

      Sam. Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour. Fountain Department.

  3. Engineer, thanks for perspective of difference between our fare inspectors and their colleagues some other places. Might be interesting to contact nearest French consulate to see how deep the bad attitude goes.

    Regarding my own extremely specific problem with our system, whereby every time I touch my unvaryingly prepaid monthly pass to a reader I risk a fine several times its cost, my only question is what I, meaning we the paying public, can do to eliminate this really smelly little piece of abuse.

    I personally don’t think we’re dealing with whatever colloquial French is “shake-down. “More like the multi-decade fit of spite between the exact entities whose feuding Sound Transit itself was supposed to relegate to a permanent time-out-in-the-corner.

    What’s our first move? Whatever anybody’s opinion on the Monorail’s political years, petitions gathered from card tables and hand-written signs beside dispensing machines won it an election.

    Convinced of one thing: from the top of their command-chain on down, no uniformed opposition will come from a Fare Inspector. They’ll probably be grateful for being saved from having to let fare evaders escape while they see to it that long-time fare-abiders get punished in the name of letting accountants avoid work they really hate.

    Avez-vous des commentaires?

    Mark Dublin

  4. I generally agree that the regional bus network is probably best tackled by the state, but in practice it’s far from clear. The Dungeness Line (a state service) and the Strait Shot (a lowly Clallam Transit service) are somewhat duplicative, but of the two the latter seems like the better service for a variety of reasons: leverages existing infrastructure (ie ferries) rather than driving onto them, offers fares at a much more affordable level ($10 v $39) while running a very high farebox recovery ratio, despite not quite reaching their goal of 100%.

    The Dungeness line is useful for people nervous about public transit who just want to be dropped off at their downtown Seattle location, and people going to Port Townsend, but as far as a reasonable model for making the necessary connections, Clallam has looks better than the state right now.

    Other agencies do some of this at even more affordable rates: Skagit’s 30-40 mile routes are 2 bucks, as are Grays Harbor’s connections to Olympia and Centralia. Grays Harbor, Jefferson, and Clallam Transit have regional buses to lined up to get from Aberdeen to Port Angeles for about 4 dollars in about 4-5 hours, as opposed to 3+ hours driving. also has well timed connections at Amanda Park and Forks. Yakima provides reliable, cheap service to Ellensburg, Wenatchee to Chelan and Leavenworth. Okanogan county created new routes, with no help from the state, connecting Twisp/Winthrop to the rest of the county, and connecting to an extending the utility of the Apple line.

    At least to the West, a similar dynamic prevails in Oregon; local agencies manage to provide cheap service up and down the coast with well-timed connections as well as Eastbound connections to trains and cities in Portland, Albany, Eugene. The state service, NorthWest Point fills some gaps in the network (it’s pretty tricky getting from Portand to Astoria without it), is like the Apple/Dungeness/Grape lines less frequent, less integrated into the network, and more expensive.

    I suspect at least part of the reason for this is that local transit agencies are used to trying to serve the needs of people who get around rural areas riding the bus, while agencies like WSDOT are dominated by drivers and/or urban transit users who have little understanding of such issues. Certainly, the differences between Dungeness and the Strait shot seem to indicate this. Port Angeles is not a wealthy place; the difference between a 28 dollar day trip to Seattle and 78 dollar day trip is going to make the difference for a lot of people, and they’ll happily accept the mild inconvenience of walking on the ferry –something that doesn’t really intimidate too many Olympic Peninsula residents–to save the $. When designing the Strait Shot Clallam Transit understood they’d need to be time competitive with driving, and Port Townsend residents already have a bus connection to the ferry (yes, you have to transfer at Poulsbo but it’s not that bad) and the cost of the added time is going to work against getting people out of their cars).

    I wonder if maybe the best option is the state trying to coordinate among transit agencies doing it better, and for more reasonable and accessible prices than the state seems to, and subsidize as necessary/warranted and fill in gaps when necessary. So far the evidence doesn’t really support the theory that the state is obviously the best way to do this, although it’s easy to see how they could have a valuable role.

    1. I consider the Washington State Ferries partly a regional “bus” service that floats. The state supports that!

      1. WSFS is a branch of WSDoT. It is considered part of the highway system, not part of a bus/transit system.

      2. Buses run on highways so the state indirectly supports them. Airlines are “transit” too because you ride with other people on a scheduled route. The “general aviation” aircraft (executive shuttles and amateur pilots) are the SOVs of the air.

  5. Re: Alex Pedersen on complaining about the lack of a one-seat ride downtown on the 74

    The 74 is a one-seat ride at peak. And in fact, it’s always been like that, before and after U-Link. The 74 midday doesn’t go downtown, but that didn’t even exist until recently, and before U-Link, it did exist and was called the 30.

    (and as an aside, they really ought to just call the 74 trips that don’t go downtown the 30 since it is really confusing. A few probably even remember the 30. It would be very unambiguous to just call it the 30)

  6. Route numbers and alignments have been changed over time. Route 8 was once an electric trolley bus that served Eastlake Avenue East, the Ave, and the NE 55th Street corridor with a turnaround loop near the cemetery on 35th Avenue NE. (see 1940-1963). Route 74 was once a radial route on Eastlake. Route 74 was once a direct connection between the U District and Uptown. Later, it was renumbered Route 30. the current iteration is odd: a one-way peak-only service and a two-way off-peak service and both miss University Way NE. it could all be changed in 2021.

    1. The 74 local was on Fairview/Eastlake. The 71/72/73 were on Eastlake. When the 70 trolleybus was created in the 1990s it took over Fairview/Eastlake, and the 74 was truncated at Campus Parkway, or maybe it was immediately rerouted on N 40th Street to Fremont (and Magnolia?), which didn’t have bus service previously. This meant the 74 local went to completely different places than the 74 express, which was increasingly untenable, so the local variant was renumbered to 30. (A decade earlier a #30 ran on Fremont Ave-45th-Laurelhurst, overlapping with the 43 on 45th.)

      Then in the northeast Seattle reorg (around 2000, or was it 1990?), the half of the 30 west of Campus Parkway was renumbered to 31, and later the 32 was created to give 15-minute daytime service to 40th. The 31 and 32 were through-routed with the 65, and 75, but don’t ask me which was which.

      In the U-Link restructure of 2016, both the 31 and 32 were connected to the 75, and the 65 was connected to the 67. That’s the current pattern.

      The 74 express remained the same throughout all this, going downtown in the AM peak and northbound in the PM peak. The 30 was a half-hourly shuttle between Campus Parkway and Sand Point. Then in the first round of recession cuts in 2014 it was reduced to peak only (bidirectional). It was going to be deleted in a later round of cuts but I don’t remember if it was or if it stuck around until the U-District reorg. There were many complaints about that (similar to the 42 which was also deleted), and eventually Metro brought back a silly stub route going to the U-District in the late morning and to Sand Point in the early afternoon, numbered 74 again.

      1. 74 also used to go to Northgate back in the 80’s, using Sand Point Way, 125th and 5th Ave. Took it many a time with my mom. Of course that was split when the 75 was made full time, I believe early to mid 1990’s.

      2. Nice history! I thought that the late 30 was through-routed with the 31, but I guess I was wrong. It’s quite interesting to see how the arrangement changed with U-Link. Was the 67 through-routed with anything? I do remember that it was interlined with the 66X, which went downtown via Eastlake (I also think with express stop spacing), much like a version of the Roosevelt RapidRide plan.

      3. I can go back further on the 30. It was the 30 Laurelhurst and it operated from Ballard although its terminal was around 22nd Ave NW. It alternated with the 40 and both routes operated the same route as the current 44 to the University District where there was a major transfer point from the 7 and 8 at 45h and University Way and some passengers from the 4 Montlake which had its terminal on Brooklyn just south of 45th street. The bus stop was located on NE 45th between University Way and 15th Ave NE.

        The 30 and 40 continued on 45th past what is now the U Village where they split. The 30 did a loop through Laurelhurst with a short layover at Children’s Hospital in a cut away on 45th Street. The 40 went on Sand Point Way to its terminal at the entrance of what was then the naval base. It turned around in front of the entrance before starting its route back to Ballard.

        This was back in the 60’s and possible sometime after that.

  7. One of tbe things that I like about ODXbus vs One Bus Away is that PDXbus allows you to create bookmarks with multiple stop numbers. So, for example, I have one bookmark called “Oregon City Transit Center” and it contains 5 or so stops for routes important to me there. If the 79 isn’t coming soon then maybe the 31, 33, 34 will work.

    This doesn’t seem possible in One Bus Away?

  8. Thanks, Brent, for the clarification you got in before my comment. No accountant is any more to blame than any fare inspector. Blame goes to the politicians running the agencies in question, who’ll doubtless defend themselves by blaming the voters who elected them.

    Who, if I read my fellow passengers right, will personally have no problem at all with possession of an ORCA pass indeed being proof that the card holder has already paid everything they owe every transit agency and sub-agency on the list.

    Based on long-time on-site observation, I believe that we can enlist a powerful sub-set of our ridership able and willing to take tap-enforcement into their own hands for the good of all. The creators of the Seat Hog- honest, I’ll always hold his luggage in my lap so he doesn’t get squashed- can now give us The Tapmunk.

    A sweet, furry little creature same size (and actor) as the seat-hog, but eloquently pleading with the public to personally assure that none of its relatives miss getting fed and petted out of passenger negligence. Can imagine worse starts for careers in both acting and Customer Service. Also grass- and forest-root politics. And transit driving.

    Whose human allies will be a powerful cadre of passengers starting about age five, carefully observing surrounding riders, starting with their own family, to be sure everybody in site TAPS OFF. Lifelong gender-respectful, but even before Chicago got its PCC’s, subway, elevated, and street alike, in regulatory matters have always obeyed a girl, age and command-chain regardless.

    But main thing, I’m nowhere near kidding about the idea of making fare-reader cooperation into the strongly-positive passenger mindset our system needs it to be. Let’s give it a year, and then like NPR always says now, “Do The Numbers!”

    Mark Dublin

    1. One thing I wish I could do is get to interview random FEOs, not hand-picked by ST, without threat of reprisal from their employer. We got to interview their boss. I think there are things the workers know that the boss either doesn’t know or isn’t allowed to say.

      The politicians have free access to the media, so have no problem getting heard. The workers more and more have to sign policies to not talk about what goes on on their job.

  9. It is very annoying to me that the fare enforcement problem became a major issue. If it is, and I am wrong, then we need to address some issues.

    We have Mayor Durkan and 9 council members, who approved the free transit, could have communicated with ST. It sounds like none of them did. If I am wrong, correct me.

    We have ST commenting on Twitter in an almost defensive, emotional response. That person should not be representing ST on Twitter. NOT HELPFUL. Take a course on social media responsibility, if it exists. It should.

    Then we have Mayor Durkan and some of the Seattle Ccouncil comment in a way that I can only describe, in my opinion, as unprofesional and fingerpointing.

    In my opinion, everyone dropped the ball and it took a caring teacher to tweet about it. I am not convinced, that tweet was necessary. But maybe (the teacher) has been ignored before. I am sure that person does care deeply.

    I also do not believe that a ST officer goes to work wanting to try to harass kids. As I said before, I believe many politicians dropped the ball.

    I do believe we need some fare enforcement, but that argument is almost not important today.

    On the first day of school, for many kids, I think the Seattle politicians let them down and blamed Sound Transit officers.

  10. 5:00 — The D and 40 are at different stops at 3rd & Pine. This is a dilemma because the 40 overlaps with the D in Ballard; it overlaps with the 28 and 62 in Fremont; and the D overlaps with the 1, 2, and 13 in Uptown. So should all Ballard routes be at the same stop, or all Fremont routes, or all Uptown routes? The Virginia Street stop has all three sets of routes, but that’s apparently too much for the core of the retail district where they’re spread out among three stops.

  11. 37:46 — My first trip across the country was in 2000. I got a 28-day Greyhound pass (“Discovery Pass”), which then allowed unlimited trips without reservations: you just hopped on a bus if it had room. I first went to Walla Walla where a friend was in graduate school. Greyhound had a one-seat ride to Walla Walla and Pendleton, with only three or four passengers. After that I went to Spokane and transfered to the Chicago bus, and went to Chicago (which I’d always wanted to see), New York (ditto), DC (for a conference), San Francisco (where I had family ties), and back home.

    On the way to Chicago the driver said Greyhound was planning to delete the small-town stops in Montana and North Dakota that got only one rider a year or such. I was glad because I thought it would run express and get to Chicago faster, but when they implemented it several years later what actually happened was they truncated the route, so there was no more Greyhound between Missoula and Minneapolis. And the Walla Walla route was deleted. Greyhound contributed some money to help the state launch the Grape Line and others it was withdrawing from and add new corridors. Greyhound actually operates some of these routes. It just wanted to get them out of its long-distance network.

    For several years after that you could still buy a Seattle-Chicago ticket and it would route you through other Trailways carriers between Missoula and Minneapolis. After that Greyhound stopped offering through tickets, and if you entered Chicago it routed you through Pasco-Boise-Denver (transfer to SF-NY route; I did that once), and at other times it routed you through Sacramento (again SF-NY), and at other times it claimed you couldn’t get to Chicago at all. I don’t know if the Trailways routes in eastern Montana and North Dakota still exist or if they’ve been replaced by state-run routes similar to the Grape Line. I do know there was concern among small-town riders of how would elderly people get to medical appointments in Butte, Helena, Glendive, etc. The counties said they were very concerned about this. Whether the states stepped up with rural routes, I don’t know.

    1. No, Walla Walla was the terminus. The Seattle-Yakima-Pasco-Pendleton route bypasses Walla Walla. (“Not on the way.”)

    2. I did the Seattle – New York trip on the Grey Dog about 15 years before you, when I was 16, to visit family in NYC. I recall changing buses in Chicago where I had enough time to walk to the (then) Sears Tower and go up to the observation deck, then back on another bus to NYC. I returned a few weeks later via Philly, St. Louis, and Denver. My main memories are of just exactly how big this country is, no dining options in most places the bus stopped save junk or fast food (but hey, I was 16 so no complaints!), a bus driving across Missouri on I-70 with the door open as the A/C was out and it was 105 degrees, and meeting interesting passengers and drivers.

      Several years later I took Amtrak on the same route, including back via Denver to Seattle when you could still do that, and it was far more comfortable even in coach. I’m still glad I had the chance to make that bus trip though!

  12. 38:20 — The Everett-Mt Vernon bus runs only in the PM peak, so you can’t get to Bellingham on local buses anymore except maybe at that time.

    45:44 — Link’s fare evasion is around 3%. ST says it’s not worth the cost to install turnstyles. But the fare covers only a small fraction of the cost. So the agency isn’t really out $2.75 for a medium-sized Seattle trip; it’s only out around $0.70. The fare recovery ratio is an arbitrary decision by the agency; the only constraint is the tax revenue ceiling. RapidRide’s evasion rate and recovery is similar. The county council sets the fare within a window of around 20-30% of the cost of operation.

    1. 90x is a bit better than peak only. It’s 14 trips a weekday with the last northbound trip at 7:20 pm. There’s 5 trips on Saturday and Sunday too.

      The 80x to Bellingham is limited, but it also operates on weekends, so it’s a little better than a peak only bus.

      1. That must be very recent because last time I checked it was weekdays only. It may be like Intercity Transit’s Lakewood-Olympia route that varies widely over the years.

    2. If ST’s fare evasion route has gone down from 4% to 3%, I would suggest that the 1% difference was the false positives from mis-counting taps. The double-beep seems to have made a difference. The rest of the false positives should be less of a revenue source to let go of, if they make money from fining passholders at all. I still think they actually lose money when real fare evaders hide in the middle of the car, and duck out at the next stop while the FEOs are tied up threatening someone who has clear-and-obvious proof of payment.

      1. Thanks for staying onto this issue, Brent. A major piece of self-inflicted damage to an otherwise excellent fare system- and railroad-cannot be this hard to remedy.

        If it’s possible to be serious about personified adorability, an earnest and conscientious partner for the “Seat Hog” should be a natural spokes-creature for other appeals for public cooperation.

        And speaking from my own life’s most important formative experiences, our youngest passengers are a priceless and expanding pool of advocates and voters. An appeal to them for help with fare-collection will deliver benefits for life, theirs and the system’s.

        Over the years, The Seattle Times has published both some coverage of me in DSTT days, and another piece I wrote somewhat earlier. Tempting, but will have to wait for some changes in their editorial board. So in the meantime, what is my own next move?

        Mark Dublin

    3. “So the agency isn’t really out $2.75 for a medium-sized Seattle trip; it’s only out around $0.70.”

      That’s just plain wrong. The agency is out $2.75 in (fare) revenue, period. The farebox recovery ratio is an OUTCOME of total operating costs and total fare revenue.

      1. The $.70 is realistic. If someone has no pass and didn’t pay fare, then they cheated the system of $2.75 (or $1.50 or $1, depending on their payer category). For someone transferring within a trip, it depends. If they transfer within the same agency, and that is their only trip that day, the agency is getting the same revenue regardless. Otherwise, they may be overpaying one agency and underpaying the other agency $1.37, $.75, or $.50. For passholders, the more trips they take, the lower the revenue per ride.

        If someone just travels on Link and has a monthly pass, ST is getting the full revenue from their pass, even if they only tapped once during the month.

      2. Lol. The example presented was a trip that REQUIRED a $2.75 fare that the rider evaded. That’s a revenue loss of $2.75, as far as the accounting goes. End of story. Sure, one could present a whole bunch of hypotheticals (such as you have done in your reply above), but doing so doesn’t change the fallacy of the original assertion.

  13. Monorail accepting the ORCA card is a great thing cause once the Ballard extension is in service the monorail will basically be an Express service

    1. I don’t understand this, so maybe I’m missing something. An express?

      On link between the Seattle Center and Westlake there will be what, one stop, or two?

      So riding the monorail would save maybe 3 minutes – except you would have to wait in line for the transfer – which means you save nothing. Not really an express.

      It will be such a duplicative service ones Link to Ballard is running that they may as well cancel the monorail. At best I think it will continue to be a tourist ride.

      1. jas … i free with you. The monorail won’t really be an Express because Link (even with two intermediate stops) will connect to more stations directly — and the Seattle Center stop will likely be at least a block away from the monorail. Finally, the Westlake stop is up in the air and not at Subway level.

        Personally, I would like to see the monorail re-imagined to do more than duplicate Link in 2035 (like connect two unserved points). By then, it will be 70+ years old anyway.

    2. The monorail is part of Seattle’s history and makes a profit, and will remain a tourist attraction as long as it’s running. It goes directly to the Space Needle. The station is a few blocks away from the surrounding Link stations, so people may choose one or the other depending on where they’re going. It’s not much of an express for the Queen Anne community because the nearest housing is several blocks away. It has some role as a commuter P&R with the nearby garages.

  14. I, for one, appreciate the occasional focus on issues outside of Seattle and Puget Sound. Even though I have a car, I’ve used Link Transit when it made sense. Their Mission Ridge shuttle is a great service during ski season.

    I encourage the blog, and other transit advocacy organizations, to focus on statewide issues beyond proposing HSR lines that, while awesome, I will at best only get to ride when I’m retired. The amounts of money required to radically improve rural and intercity transit service on existing roads are tiny.

    If Frank and Martin were not so philosophically opposed to doing research before they go to tape, they might have found this JW post from a month ago which is, as always, on point:


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