52 Replies to “Podcast #83: Proverbial teenagers can figure it out”

  1. Uh, yeah, have you guys been on I-5 off-peak? The southbound “rush hour” going southbound through Fife starts between noon and 2 pm, depending on the day. You can’t argue that train service is only beneficial during peak traffic. Okay, so start the trains running at noon, because the traffic will only get worse.

    Yes, as you discuss, the bus options aren’t true “shadows.” The bus system SUCKS if you are in the suburbs. There isn’t actually ANY alternative service – short of a two-seat ride and a serious detour – between Tacoma and Auburn or any other points north excepting Seattle, since the Tacoma buses have gone all-in on direct-to-Seattle.

    There basically needs to be a “shadow” bus that operates parallel Sounder via SR 167; or we need all-day and all-weekend Sounder. True TOD will never organically happen in Kent, Auburn, Tukwila, or Puyallup until we take up one of these options, because there isn’t reliable transit service to get people where they need to go, when they need to go. Until there’s good transit, every household in Auburn, Kent, Tukwila, and Puyallup will likely be one car per adult, for the foreseeable future.

    1. The entire system is designed for P&R to downtown in the morning and back to the P&R in the early evening. If your commute doesn’t fit that pattern you’re screwed.

      1. Unfortunately, life isn’t a commute. I commute to work. But I also visit the grocery store, music and sporting events, the veterinarian and doctor, the pharmacy, a friend’s house, restaurants, and schools. These things happen outside of working hours. So, if Sounder and the sparse local bus system can’t accommodate outside of peak commute hours, then we might as well plan on every single person in TOD developments in the suburbs owning two cars per household.

  2. There is a SODO variation that ST isn’t looking at: elevating both lines in one direction and elevating the other direction. That has several benefits:

    1. It would allow for level, cross-platform transfers in each direction.

    2. Trains would only cross Lander in one direction. They could even be timed to have both trains cross at the same time, creating fewer traffic disruptions.

    3. It would enable platform switching or stub trains if service is blocked further north — or if West Seattle Link opens before the second Downtown tunnel.

    4. The construction phasing looks easier.

    1. Did you mean to say

      “elevating both lines in one direction and elevating running on the surface in the other direction”?

      Because if you didn’t then:

      1. No, it wouldn’t. ST isn’t going to spend 100 million or more on a pair of elevated stations and have people crossing the tracks. There would be a lower-level mezzanine to connect two center platforms.

      That’s certainly not horrible if the ceiling is eight feet above the walkways. The level change would then be about fourteen feet because the cars are low-floor.

      2. makes no sense at all.

      3. is assumed if there is no West Seattle tunnel option.

      1. Just to be clear, I’m saying put one direction (say southbound) trains from both lines in the air and put the other (say northbound) trains on the surface crossing Lander. Once the elevated platforms open, it would be possible to relocate one of the surface tracks to create a center platform for transferring.

        I’ll add that catenaries make getting over light rail tracks a bigger distance than going under them. For example, if the sidewalk is kept level on Lander, the tracks could be 15 feet higher and the roadway could be 10 feet lower. That would be cheaper than building a 30-foot clearance overpass for Lander or a 25-foot clearance aerial track structure over Lander. Then, no elevators or escalators would be needed if the platforms have a ramp about 180-200 feet up from Lander.

        In sum, the designers just aren’t thinking SODO through completely.

  3. Guys! If you can debate an east-west station for West Seattle, why don’t you debate an easy-west station for Ballard? It doesn’t have to be positioned north-south. The dense parts of Ballard are more east-west anyway. An easy-west subway mezzanine under Market Street from just east of 15th to 20th with the train platform about at 17th running east west solves a host of problems:

    1. The station serve both directions —east and west.
    2. Metro doesn’t have to reroute 15th Ave buses. The east station entrance would be right at 15th.
    3. ST doesn’t disrupt streets north of Market for tail tracks.
    4. With a 20th tunnel, the resulting east-west station platform would be pointed at UW and Phinney Ridge (Aurora) for a future extension.
    5. We would still have a station entrance much closer to Old Ballard than either 15th or 14th.

    1. That may be too complex a geometry for the TBM. The curve into the Market ROW would be very sharp.

      But if it’s feasible, it’s good idea. Either that or stack the station so it can have a junction directly to the north for both Crown Hill and Wallingford/UW extensions at some future time.

      1. It would seem logical to extract the TBM machine just south of Market Street, and build the Ballard Station and the curve as cut-and-cover under the north half of Market Street between east of 20th and east of 15th. The south half of Market could stay open with one lane of traffic in each direction with no parking.

  4. Alec Baldwin’s podcast is called Here’s The Thing. Marc Maron’s podcast is called WTF. Seattle Transit Blog’s podcast is called Podcast. In all fairness, if you didn’t name your podcast, Podcast, most of your comment section wouldn’t be able to figure out it was a podcast.

    1. Good point. When we launch our second podcast, Sam’s Amazing Insights Radio Hour, we’ll need to disambiguate.

  5. I wonder if ST is allowed to take the Sounder south improvement funds from ST3 and use that for a more proper Sounder shadow bus route (e.g., Seattle to Kent, Auburn, Sumner, Puyallup, Tacoma), and consider that like a type of Sounder service. Then just run that every 30 minutes 7 days a week, off-peak only. If a stop at South Renton was added, then that would nicely take over the 566 off-peak “stub,” and give 7 day and evening service to the corridor. Maybe the 578 could still serve Puyallup, but be extended to Lakewood and be like the 580 off-peak. Having a 580 route that goes to Seattle could help ridership. Maybe there could be some restructuring of the 590s series as well.

  6. Would like to see some serious discussion of Ballard include section views, because for savings and expenditures, I think this is where some real cost differences will reveal themselves.

    Recalling some airport people-movers in California, can’t remember if it’s Oakland or San Jose or both, if the ground is realIy bad under 20th, can see this mode make up the difference for train platforms at 15th.

    Also, especially in terrain like Seattle, I want planners, and public, to subconsciously start thinking in the vertical dimension as well as the horizontal ones. Could really make them more generous with revenue if an advantage can be shown.

    Mark Dublin

  7. Regarding the comment made (at 40:00) that “if you tunnel through Alaska Junction you’re arguably doing more damage to a potential White Center than having the station pointing the wrong way”. He’s referring to the increased costs of an underground station and the expectation that tunneling will continue southbound to WhiteCenter. The question I have for him is has he really thought through what an elevated alignment south of Alaska Junction would look like? Is he ok with demolishing hundreds of homes or creating a cave down California Ave? Probably not!

    1. For the billions of dollars a tunnel would cost, you could pay everyone in the path of the alignment fair market value for their property and then some, and still have gobs of money left over. Going elevated is a no brainer.

      If you’re concerned about what an elevated line would look like, you could always visit our northern neighbor in Vancouver and take a look there.

      1. Exactly. An elevated line is just fine. It run next to very busy streets (like this: https://goo.gl/maps/v48z2Uc3MkyVz7Vb7) and then end before the Junction. The representative project in West Seattle is really the best they can do — at any price. It is highly unlikely that we will have any more light rail in West Seattle. If it is underground, the expense would be enormous. An above ground line would require wiping out a ton of homes. Neither is likely, given the very small number of riders it would get. There are probably a dozen projects in the Seattle area that are more worthy than that (none of which are likely to be built either).

    2. Indeed, I am quite fine with California Ave becoming a “cave”, for the reasons Bill Savage so eloquently described on Slog a few months ago.

  8. Construction would probably be more disruptive and expensive, but are there any other reasons why running an elevated light rail line in the median of 15th (Ballard) has not been a consideration? Maybe it could be treated like Aurora because it is not much narrower than it. Am I completely missing something?

    1. My understanding is that running elevated along 15th Ave NW is the “representative project” that is still on the table. I believe that it would be the least expensive option, particularly if the ship canal crossing uses a movable bridge

      1. Surface along the railroad tracks is an order of magnitude less disruptive than elevated in the middle of 15th West. The station at Dravus must be at Dravus for better bus intercept and walking access from East Magnolia, not two blocks up Thorndyke. That could be fine for West Wueen Anne north of Dravus with a ped overcrowding, but it loses too much walkshed in Magnolia and West QA south of Dravus.

        However, having the bulk of the north-south run be at “17th West” is a much better approach for a tunnel or the west-of-15th bridge that everyone seems to want for the low cost alternative.

        The Port hates that west-of-15th bridge option because of the impacts on Fishermen’s Terminal, but a seventy foot clearance bridge east of 15th could be reached from a “17th Avenue” route by crossing 15th right about the water’s edge.

        The problem with either side of the existing bridge is “Where do ths guideway supports go?” along 15th NW north of the Ship Canal? “In middle of the street.” is a non-starter because of the cost –and visual impact — of a street-straddling station. All of the ST conceptions assume a location in the SW or SE quadrant of the 15th and Market intersection.

        But getting to either of them implicitly assumes peeling off one property width on the east or west side of 15th. I don’t think people realize that.

      2. “on the east or west side of 15th from the Ship Canal to 53rd.

        Also “West Queen Anne”, and “overcrossing” and “the guideway supports”.

  9. Repeating this concept on purpose, because it’s so long past time every transit-building plan in our region make 3D mapping and modeling a major part of any project.

    Especially where surface conditions make tunneling the easiest way to go. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel opened for business 29 years ago. After setting some records of own for digging and finishing a rail-convertible bus tunnel under through the CBD in three years, including a year of utilities relocation.

    Given almost thirty years of mechanical advancement, might not a subway finally be the least expensive way to do the line? From next public meeting on, let’s line the walls with section drawings, and early on turn discussion over to engineers.

    Should both shorten the public process and improve its result.

    Mark Dublin

  10. The Link options sound bewildering at this point. My instinct is still that 20th is best in Ballard because it will be more useful and more people will use it, no matter what ST’s ridership estimates say. West Seattle is just confusing. Why would a non-east-west station need to demolish five blocks of housing when an east-west station wouldn’t? And most importantly, how many of these buildings are multi-family vs single-family? The controversy at Delridge seems to be about impacts to single-family houses and how horrible it would be to displace 150 households. What about the tens of thousands of people who will ride Link every year?

    1. Why would a non-east-west station need to demolish five blocks of housing when an east-west station wouldn’t?

      My understanding is that a north-south alignment wipes out houses as it makes the curve. If you look at the first image on this story you can see that (https://seattletransitblog.com/2019/03/26/a-better-elevated-option-in-west-seattle/). Basically you wipe out houses in Genesee and Oregon, north of Alaska. The representative project avoids all that, by following the main road. It is actually close to ideal. You run a train next to a road sewer (https://goo.gl/maps/v48z2Uc3MkyVz7Vb7) and then end it just as it gets urban (https://goo.gl/maps/4fzBucuD6DbbW11EA). The largely empty lot is used for the station (saving money) while the surrounding area fills in with apartments. You aren’t right at the junction, but you are only a couple minutes away (https://goo.gl/maps/aASbWVJENyXQ5SmA7). You already get close to the bulk of the density in the West Seattle Junction, and really don’t need a massive upzone. In contrast, if you located right at the Junction, you would need to upzone places like this: https://goo.gl/maps/Ef6JyuCpREPMSoDJ6, just to have a decent five minute walkshed. That is unlikely to happen. In general, the folks who planned it out, got it right.

      I would say the same thing is true for Ballard. 15th isn’t ideal. Not by a long shot. But it would cost a lot more to serve 20th, while 14th is simply worse (in every respect). Thus the trade-off between 20th and 15th is pretty simple: Is it worth the money to get the better station (at 20th). No such conflict exists in West Seattle. The representative project is not only the cheapest idea, but the best one.

  11. The bus route discussions for both Ballard and Sounder South were completely unrealistic because we won’t have 2035 train services with a 2019 bus network; we’ll have 2035 train services with a 2035 bus network. And we have a preliminary outline of what that will be in Metro’s 2040 plan and ST’s future of ST Express concept (although it hasn’t been updated for ST3). There will not be a D or 150 or 578 or a dozen routes feeding into Ballard Station. Instead it will look something like this:

    BALLARD: The D becomes a Ballard-Lake City route (from Fred Meyer to Fred Meyer). Also on 15th are a Smith Cove-Magnolia-145th route and an east-west Loyal Heights-Ballard-Greenlake-Northgate route, and crossing them RapidRide 44. None of the routes terminate at the station; they just pass through. There’s no longer a route on 15th to downtown, but the 40, 5, and 62 remain.

    SOUNDER SOUTH: Although it pains me to say it because I normally favor full-time service, I’m leaning toward more peak service on Sounder. Its off-peak service will never be enough for spontaneous trips, and Sounder’s advantage really is when the freeways are most crowded. When the full ST2 service is online it will be “almost hourly” throughout the day. Kent and Auburn will have the Seattle-Kent-Auburn express bus that they should have gotten in 1996. Link will be a nearby alternative, although a longer trip. There will be east-west RapidRides from both Kent and Auburn to Link. Puyallup, Sumner, and Lakewood will have some kind of ST Express feeders to Link. The 578 is much slower than Sounder. Sounder to Auburn takes 28 minutes, while the 578 takes 50.

    SOUNDER NORTH: Sounder is not faster than Link to Everett; both take 60 minutes. So Link has a clear advantage here with much more frequency and span. Sounder’s advantage is Mukilteo and Edmonds. Those are of dubious value because they’re so small and most of those cities’ populations live east of them. They’re a good deal for out-of-district ferry commuters. Truncating Sounder North at Interbay is interesting. There would normally be pushback about not going all the way to downtown, but on the other hand King Street Station is on the far end of downtown so people have to backtrack, and this would eliminate the backtracking. It has also been suggested to extend Sounder South to Broad Street, and we can substitute Interbay. If Sounder North vacates the tunnel then Sounder South could use it.

    1. BALLARD: The D becomes a Ballard-Lake City route (from Fred Meyer to Fred Meyer).

      Right; but that only makes sense with a station at 15th. If the station is moved to central Ballard (20th) then the bus would follow. That means a bus would go from Lake City all the way through the heart of Ballard. It would serve 15th *and* 20th and 24th and even 32nd (where it would layover). That is clearly better than going to Fred Meyer, which is a grocery store largely surrounded by industrial land.

      That is the part of the analysis that has failed, and it is for the very reason you mentioned. They are looking at the current routes, not the future ones. A station at Ballard is *better* for buses because it allows buses to serve the heart of Ballard *and* the station at the same time. The 40 doesn’t have to move — it still serves Leary, which is one block over from Ballard Avenue, the cultural center of the region. I’ll admit this isn’t obvious. Others on this blog clued me in; but when I thought about it some more, it is clear that 20th is the better choice from *both* a bus intercept standpoint and walk-up standpoint.

      I agree with you about Sounder service. More bus service is the answer. It is much cheaper to add more buses in the middle of the day then it is to add extra trains. For many riders, it is faster. North Sounder just doesn’t work — it takes too long from Everett, and the stops along the way are too small to warrant the cost. South Sounder works, and is a classic commuter rail system. You want the trains running during rush hour (when they can fill up) and buses the rest of the day (when a bus can easily handle the load).

      1. North Sounder exists today while Everett Link is still way in the future. Avoiding a second transfer would be worth it for ferry riders, especially for Mukilteo which will be a long bus ride to Link until Everett Link opens. IMHO people don’t consider it as an option because of the limited schedule. Granted, it’s still going to be a relatively small rider base, so perhaps beefing up Amtrak Cascades, which happens to make those stops on the way is a better long term solution?

      2. Adding more bus service is a lot cheaper than adding additional train service, especially when you are talking about the volumes for North Sounder. Less than 200 people a day use it from Mukilteo. Buses can handle those sorts of volumes just fine.

      3. Sounder North is taking money we could use to accelerate Link construction. BNSF demanded a lot for those time-slot leases.

      4. “BNSF demanded a lot for those time-slot leases.”

        Indeed. ST agreed to pay BNSF $258M (2003$) for the Sounder North slots in the Seattle to Everett corridor.

        The plug should’ve been pulled on Sounder North a long time ago. As a commuter rail service it’s been a colossal failure. ST has rationalized its continued existence, despite the poor ridership numbers, in order to keep “selling” SnoCo subarea taxpayers that they are getting something for their money (besides express buses) while waiting for ST2-funded Link LR to reach them.

      1. Mike, your comment is well taken on Sounder…. but…….
        I checked out your future of ST link. I’m seeing a big missing gap. There is no service from Puyallup to Tacoma on express bus. You literally have to backtrack north and east to Auburn, then back west and south via 18, almost in a circle, to get from Puyallup to Tacoma off-peak. The ST garbage pictogram isn’t to scale, here’s a scale map of how their routing looks: (https://goo.gl/maps/7MtcmU7vf71P93fA8). Puyallup is working to densify its downtown core, to the extent that Kent and Auburn were 10 to 20 years ago. Why would we deny direct bus service between Puyallup and its nearby big city? That said, ST should take advantage of the 167 Edgewood project that will create a tolled (i.e. un-used) freeway between Puyallup and Tacoma to get a faster, more direct bus route.

      2. Here’s a direct route between Puyallup and Tacoma.
        https://goo.gl/maps/nvKdzWViKj52ELCD7
        8 miles versus the ST 30 mile “scenic” route. A guarantee that Puyallup riders won’t use express bus service. Low ridership will lead to cutting the route. This is a designed “starvation” of bus service to an area where working class people can still (for now) afford to rent or buy homes. Yeah, just keep throwing all the service hours at Seattle. *barf*

      3. The 578 originally extended to Tacoma. The Puyallup-Tacoma tail was deleted due to low ridership and because it’s arguably Pierce Transit’s responsibility. This gets into whether Puyallup-Tacoma is a regional corridor or a local corridor, which partly depends on how big Puyallup is.

      4. Uhhhh …. with both Puyallup and Tacoma in Pierce County, serving the trip directly is possibly better suited for Pierce Transit.

      5. Al, if Puyallup-Tacoma is exclusively Pierce Transit’s responsibility, then 522, 540, 541, 542, 545, 550, 555, 556, 560, 566, 567, and 577 are all the exclusive responsibility of King County Metro, and should be dropped from ST. Further, large chunks of many other ST routes should be dropped, just as the “tail” of 578 had been dropped years ago. I am NOT arguing that, but following your logic, I should. Rather, I would argue that Puyallup-Tacoma belongs as one of only a few routes that serves two regional destinations within Pierce County, compared to the lengthy list above that serve only King County destinations.
        Mike, the Puyallup-Tacoma tail of 578 was cancelled in 2012 because of “duplication” with PT 400. It probably isn’t a huge coincidence that this followed the exit of Russell from Tacoma in 2010. However, if you want to truly do a “shadow” route, you need to provide full continuation of service. Forcing riders to transfer from one hourly bus to another hourly bus doesn’t do justice for riders who miss the last train, or who have “half” a commute on the train, but can’t catch the train on one end or the other of their commute. That connection between half-hourly or hourly buses leads to a transfer penalty of up to an hour. That won’t be acceptable to the vast majority of potential riders.

      6. You make a good point about differentiating between ST Express as opposed to local operators. However, I believe every ST Express route uses freeways and there is not yet a freeway between Puyallup and Tacoma. Of course, the 167 project will finish that freeway connection — which would make that connection as an ST service more valid.

        It’s notable that the Puyallup area was the one of the least supportive of ST3. Perhaps its neglect was a factor.

      7. Doesn’t the Pierce Transit 400 run between Tacoma and Puyallup?

        I realize there are exceptions (a lot of them in King County) but in general I’ve always thought of ST buses as plugging the gaps between agencies. For example, all day service between Lynnwood to Seattle, because neither Community Transit nor Metro wants to pay for that. If you look at the map, there is a lot of that. I-405 BRT, for example.

        The routes that are just within one county seem to be rather arbitrary. Downtown Bellevue to downtown Seattle, for example. If ST didn’t exist, of course Metro would have a bus between downtown Seattle and downtown Bellevue. I think ST basically focused on routes that look good (like that one) to give them a better chance of winning the election. That is all good and well, but unfortunately, Pierce County Transit is underfunded. ST could take over the 400, but that would leave them without as much cross-county service (e. g. Puyallup to Auburn).

        Part of the problem with Pierce County is that it is fairly expensive to serve. It is relatively low density, and large. Spending money on trains (both the streetcar and light rail) doesn’t help. Those are expensive projects, and it will be a while before they get many riders (my guess is the streetcar never will). The commuter rail is also fairly expensive, although it is a bargain compared to what exists up north. I’m not saying it isn’t worth it, but it leaves less to spend on good bus service.

      8. [My last comment repeats many of the ideas of Al — I should have refreshed before replying]

        Anyway, just to continue the thought:

        Al, if Puyallup-Tacoma is exclusively Pierce Transit’s responsibility, then 522, 540, 541, 542, 545, 550, 555, 556, 560, 566, 567, and 577 are all the exclusive responsibility of King County Metro, and should be dropped from ST.

        In an abstract world, that would be the case. I think it would be better. For example, the 522 creates a messy situation. ST is focused on express buses. But in this case, their express runs all day, while the bus that makes all the stops (the 312) does not. This means that in the middle of the day, riders on Lake City Way can see the 522 running by, but it won’t stop for them. There is a big coverage hole in the middle of the day, precisely when making those sorts of stops makes sense. You want to maximize ridership (by making all the stops you can) because frequency is the most important issue, not speed. Yet the bus just sails by potential riders, thus lacking the ridership that would generate better midday frequency.

        Nobody wants to change things, because it just evolved that way. But it would probably be better if ST just gave each agency money to run those routes, and then the agency could manage them better. ST would then focus on cross-county routes (the only reason they should exist).

        By the way, the 522/312 situation is likely to be a bigger issue when Northgate Link is built. I think it is highly likely the 522 goes to Roosevelt (instead of Northgate). It could provide a lot of people on Lake City Way with a much faster trip to Roosevelt, but only if ST decides to stop at new stops. At a minimum, I think it makes sense to make extra stops outside of rush hour. That way, the express only runs during rush hour, while the regular bus runs all day long.

      9. However, I believe every ST Express route uses freeways and there is not yet a freeway between Puyallup and Tacoma.

        That seems like an arbitrary distinction. Besides, Engineer’s map had the bus going on I-5 as it got to Tacoma. It would essentially go on a highway then a freeway, just like the 522. By the way, the new 522 won’t go on the freeway. If there is a theme to Sound Transit’s routes, it is that they are focused on connecting cities. Puyallup and Tacoma are definitely cities. A route between them would be just another regular ST run.

      10. You make a good point about 522 STRide, Ross. Frankly, given the stop spacing and the arterial nature and the UW Bothell jog, the route should have been a RapidRide. It was the north shore politics about 145th and the need to spend funds in that area politically that turned it into a STRide corridor. To come full circle, 167 should be a STRide route and not the future 522 — but that’s in another subarea..

      11. “Nobody wants to change things, because it just evolved that way. But it would probably be better if ST just gave each agency money to run those routes, and then the agency could manage them better. ST would then focus on cross-county routes (the only reason they should exist).”

        Agreed.

        Of course if stops are indeed added on these ST Express routes, as has been suggested, then the subarea allocation should be changed as well so that N King Co pays its fair share.

      12. Isn’t “cut the check and let the county run the route” exactly what already happens with all ST Express routes? ST owns the buses, the brand, and the routing, but operationally everything else is done by the county agencies.

      13. “Isn’t “cut the check and let the county run the route” exactly what already happens with all ST Express routes?”

        I think he meant a kind of block grant so PT could decide what to spend it on. Currently PT only operates the buses and has no choice in the routes.

        ST Express is defined as regional transit predominantly on highways as a precursor to light rail. Inter-county routes are automatically regional because that’s why ST exists: the county-based agencies couldn’t effectively do bidirectional inter-county routesl they always got prioritized last behind local service and peak expresses to downtown Seattle. Its must-serve targets are major cities and regional growth centers. Is Puyallup one of those? Sounder goes through Puyallup only because the legacy track does; otherwise it would go more directly to Tacoma. The 550 and 545 are ST because Seattle-Bellevue-Redmond is a planned Link corridor. The 522 is on a highway not a freeway, unless the argument is that the I-5 segment is the justification for it. The fact that the 255 is still Metro is probably because it didn’t make the highest-priority list.

        The 578 is primarily to connect the southern cities to Seattle. Nobody would go from Tacoma to Seattle via Puyallup; that’s what the 594 is for. However, it’s all relative to the subarea, and the subarea can articulate its priorities. Puyallup-Tacoma hasn’t been a priority for the Pierce delegation.

        The reason PT 400 is so minimal is the tax adversion in eastern Pierce and the belief that “local transit doesn’t benefit me so why should I pay taxes for it”.

      14. ST owns the buses, the brand, and the routing, but operationally everything else is done by the county agencies.

        Right, but I’m saying that the county should also operate the routing. As I mentioned, a great example is the 522. If Metro had the power, they probably would have added stops to that bus already (in the middle of the day). But it will be very difficult to convince ST to add stops along that route, even though it would clearly be better overall (higher ridership, better fare recovery).

        Of course if stops are indeed added on these ST Express routes, as has been suggested, then the subarea allocation should be changed as well so that N King Co pays its fair share.

        Right. But that is again why “just cutting a check” makes so much more sense. Metro is willing to serve those stops. It is a minimal cost, that would likely be revenue enhancing (with better fare recovery). This isn’t like a detour. If there are no riders there, it doesn’t stop. If there are riders, they are paying into the system. Things are a bit complicated because Seattle is willing to pay more for service, but they are extremely complicated with ST because they are a different agency with different goals (that become nonsensical in this case).

  12. yes, we miss d.p.
    note the Metro long range plan networks are not funded.
    the RossB remarks about the ST3 representative alignments are sound.
    if the tax on TNC raises $56 million, it need not be spent on the CCC Streetcar; it could be spent on better projects that would improve transit mobility more. the new council will be budget constrained and concerned about opportunity cost. some of the finalists have stated they oppose the CCC Streetcar. (Yes, I am a grouch who has read Walker, though I reached the same conclusions without him).

  13. I guess I don’t quite understand the issue with bus layover space in Ballard. None of the buses currently serving Ballard lay over in central Ballard. Even the 44 has enough layover space by the locks.

    As far as making buses run on 15th after Link gets added: you really want to avoid this as much as possible. Between the traffic congestion and delays due to bridge openings, the D really needs to stay north of the ship canal once it can do so. Any supposed time advantage to not transferring really shouldn’t exist (I’m not discounting a terrible station design).

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