Closed section on Link light rail train due to COVID-19 pandemic

This is an open thread.

65 Replies to “News roundup: more”

  1. 1. Problems with very old utilities worse than expected, not sure that deserves the opprobrium of “overrun.” How old IS Tacoma, anyway? Like any old mansion, kind of a guess as to what- let alone who-all could be buried down there.

    2. Pole collision, also kind of “Old News”, isn’t it? With a lingering little implication it could maybe have been the bus driver’s fault? Any chance we can see the accident report?

    3. Would like some more input from drivers and other operations personnel about COVID implications. Are you being given the protection you need? “Crosscut” is not at the top of my “Trust” list. Anything that needs to be added?

    Mark Dublin

    1. Intercity Transit starts back up on Sunday, going from a reservation system, back to regular service, but with limited hours.

    2. one. Tacoma Link or Dink has always been an odd project. the extension provides a bobby-pinned shaped network. ETB could have and did climb those hills and provides faster connections. Still no fare.

      two. I read it was NOT operator error. an auto ran a red light.

      three. In 1918, masks were required.

  2. Seems like ST reintroducing fares on their buses will force Metro’s hand. Otherwise there will be confusion about boarding and fares where Metro and ST routes overlap, for instance the 372 and 522 from Lake City to Bothell.

    1. It will also be a 50c fare increase for single-county trips, and 50c above Metro. That affects your 522/372 case, 550/271, 574/A (Federal Way-SeaTac), etc. Probably not the 577 and 545 since there are no comparable alternatives.

      1. How does ST justify 3.25 for Bellevue to Seattle when all other Metro fares are 2.75 and Lakewood-Seattle and Everett-Seattle are 3.25?

      2. ST split the difference between the $2.75 one-county and $3.75 multi-county fares halfway. Metro did something similar earlier when it merged its one-zone and two-zone fares. It’s hard on Bellevue-Seattle and Lake City-downtown trips. ST would probably argue that it’s a regional transit service, primarily for multi-county trips that the other agencies can’t serve very effectively, and isn’t intended to be used for short-distance trips where the fare may be the most unfair. Probably it’s just the bean-counters looking at money. The purpose was to simplify the fare structure by having a flat fare, and as long as Lakewood-Seattle is part of the network, the fare has to be high enough to avoid giving them an extraordinary subsidy. And ST would say, the short-distance routes will go away when ST2 Link opens in a few years.

    2. I think the only thing that’s stopping Metro from bringing back the fare is they are waiting until driver shields/sneeze guards are installed.

  3. I think it’s unwise to bring back any kind of small vehicle public transit service just yet. And can someone decipher Via’s pickup policy for me? They mention it’s now a private ride service. Does that mean they’ll only pick up one person per trip? But, then they go on to say they’ll carry multiple people from the same booking. Does that mean they’ll carry multiple riders, as long as it’s all people from the same residence?

    1. It should be OK as long as they open up the windows. That’s not really the problem. It makes no sense to have it since there are cutbacks, and it is a terrible value.

      1. Two important safety things here:

        (1) Will the riders be wearing masks? Require it. If the rider(s) does not have one, give the drivers a supply to hand them out freely. In this way, it is actually better than the bus/train, and gets masks onto people who will then proceed to ride the train/bus. The key will be keeping the distance between the two of them while making the mask available to the passenger. Plexiglass plates or rolled-up windows help. Indeed, with company vehicles involved here, having a plexiglass plate between the driver and the backseats is a solution taxis invented a long time ago.

        (2) Sanitization. The contractor needs to be required to go through an approved sanitization station between riders. I’m sorry there is no other adequate solution. Wherever buses are being sanitized in the field should suffice. If buses are not being sanitized during layover on one end of the route or the other, that’s scary.

      2. Sam and RossB: this is a two agency mistake, STBD and Metro. the juxtaposition of cuts to service and spending scarce funds on low ridership flexible gig-economy vans is awful.

    1. Since The Seattle Times keeps blanking out my screen ’til I buy a subscription, I’ll have to take your word for it. So I’ll leave it for an open discussion as to precisely how much of the droppings of a creature of your choice I will need to donate in return for what The Seattle Times says on any subject. Transitwise, its use for fish-wrapping really has been an open question since Bob Lane last wrote for them.

      Mark Dublin

      1. Workaround. Create a free account, then log into it using a private browser window. It works because the article limit is tracked by cookies, not by your account, even though you’re logged in.

      2. You have to allow javascript to see basic text and images. Right now, there doesn’t seem to be a limit on free articles. I guess it’s a service during the pandemic.

      3. You could also just read the actual report on the WASAO site and avoid the whole issue of media paywalls. I provided the direct link below on my earlier comment.

    2. “The state’s performance audit zeroed in on 300 change orders worth $172 million in 12 contracts. That analysis by itself required 4,900 audit hours, said Michael Huynh, a co-author of the report. Therefore, the team didn’t examine other performance issues such as safety, ridership, project delays or taxation. Auditors concluded that $100 million worth of change orders resulted from mistakes or missing information. Spending more on planning upfront could reduce the likelihood of those changes, the audit said. Auditors advised assigning two transit staff experts in each specialty, such as electrical work, to review the engineering designs, using formal checklists.”

      It mentions “past cost overruns on light-rail and commuter-rail projects, along with the [UW Station] escalator failures”.

      “The agency did maintain a “lessons learned” program that expired in 2018 but wasn’t closely applied to new projects, Huynh said. Sound Transit has re-established it. Auditors suggest following the path of Denver’s FasTracks, which writes one-page summaries of past lessons that are added to its databases and design manuals.”

      1. “Therefore, the team didn’t examine other performance issues such as safety, ridership, project delays or taxation. ”

        Yes, and that’s because this was a very limited scope performance audit. The audit team was tasked with answering one primary question only:

        “The audit answers the following question:
        • How can Sound Transit improve its oversight and management
        of its projects?”

    3. Yeah I read the SAO’s audit report yesterday after it was released and was going to report on it on the blog’s next open thread. I was dissapointed that the audit was so limited in its scope since this is the first performance audit for ST since 2012 and even that one was somewhat limited. I think the auditors conclusions as well as their recommendations are valid nevertheless. Rogoff can quibble with their findings about the impact of change orders on project costs all he wants with his “industry standard” narrative, but there is simply no denying that there has been significant money spent on changes due to insufficiency in the work performed during the agency’s PE and design phases of its capital projects.

      Still, I wish the performance audit had gone much further in its probe. ~$200 million in cost increases due to change orders may indeed be an indication of a larger problem within the agency as far as its capital program management, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. I think an in-depth audit of all of the issues surrounding the cost overruns with the Lynnwood Link, Redmond Link and Federal Way Link extension projects would have been even more illuminating on some of the systemic problems at ST.

      Anyway, here’s a direct link to the SAO’s performance audit:
      https://www.sao.wa.gov/performance-audits/featured-performance-audit-report/

    4. I’m wondering if the cost overruns for Lynnwood Link would be shown to be worse had the agency not cut corners on the stations at the last minute (dropping escalators).

      Any idea?

      1. Oh for sure.

        Don’t forget where things stood when the Lynnwood Link extension project was finally baselined in May 2018 (R2018-16):

        “The ST2 cost estimate for the Lynnwood Link Extension included proportional costs for vehicles and maintenance. In separate actions, the board established two separate projects – Light Rail Vehicle Expansion project and the Operations and Maintenance Facility East (OMFE) — so these
        costs are not included in the Lynnwood Link baseline budget. The amounts for vehicles and maintenance attributed to the Lynnwood Link Extension however, will be reflected in the Agency’s
        Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) application, as required by the FTA.

        “The ST2 cost estimate for Lynnwood Link Extension, without vehicles and its proportionate share
        of the operations and maintenance facility, is $2.1 billion. By comparison, the proposed baseline
        budget is $706.6 million greater than the ST2 estimate for the identical scope.”

        These are the figures the agency developed AFTER its “value engineering” effort (to which you’ve alluded). Thus, this is why I was disappointed to learn many months ago that the SAO was going to do such a limited scope audit. (It’s kind of like they’re looking right past the 800-lb gorilla in the room. You hit on this in one of your comments the other day, in regard to the cost overruns on the Tacoma Link Hilltop extension project, when you spoke about the timing of developing project cost estimates.)

    5. The focus on soils is notable here and the context should be affecting ST3 planning. ST is in the last stages of choosing actual alternative alignments for Downtown/ SLU subway, and segments across broad basins of the Duwamish (West Seattle) and Puyallup (Tacoma Dome) rivers as well as soils-challenged Interbay — places where soils could really disrupt project design and costs. Soils for these ST3 projects could be a much greater major design and cost problem than the audits on ST2 projects find.

      It seems unwise to fix the alignments in these areas without better soils studies. We may have already reduced alignment choices too far without this knowledge. Perhaps the possible alternatives need to be revisited so that more thorough soils evaluations should be done.

      For example, the water crossing alternatives vary by only a block or two at most already; the additional cost ascribed to things like the Pigeon Point tunnel could actually end up being cheaper if the remaining alignments have soils problems.

      1. For sure, and I think that was staff’s takeaway. We should look for more time and money spent on soil conditions over the next year or so as WSBLE going through the EIS process.

  4. Because of all of the rough, unpaved roads, and so many collisions with moose, Alaska is running an experiment where public transit buses filled with passengers are flow by helicopter from town to town.

    1. Little more to it than that, Sam. As part of the ongoing effort to put an end to transit’s efforts to promote contagious homelessness, residents of a scenic neighborhood finally prevailed Metro to get that trolleywire out of their view.

      Sad to say, but 62nd and Prentice down to Rainier Beach is next. But from my own disciplinary record, have to warn the pilot that while he’s hovering over the terminal, if he forgets to plant the wheel-block, he’s going to get written up. Has to be back tire, too, so watch out for the tail rotor.

      Mark Dublin

      1. It seems from Google Maps that the Prentice tail is unnecessary because that the 106 is a few blocks away with only a mild elevation difference.

  5. The “$35M cost overrun on Tacoma Link” is rather misleading and only represents the portion of the overrun stemming from the baseline budget reset requested by the agency at the most recent System Expansion Committee.

    The real cost variance is closer to $100M as I posted about just last Sunday:

    “Tacoma Link Expansion Alternatives Analysis Report and SEPA Addenduum, May 2013

    “Ch. 6 Capital Funding Plan

    “Sound Transit has established a budget of $150 Million in Year of Expenditure (YOE) dollars for the Tacoma Link Expansion project. This $150 Million is expected to be comprised of:
    •A $50 Million capital contribution from local revenues received through the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure.
    •A $50 Million grant that Sound Transit intends to seek through FTA’s Small Starts funding program. The Small Starts program provides grants for capital costs associated with new fixed guideway transit systems or extensions. In order to qualify for a Small Starts grant, the request for funding must be less than $75 Million and the total project cost must be under $250 Million.
    •A $50 Million contribution from a local funding partner or partners. The AA process did not determine the exact source of partnership funds for the project; this will be determined in future phases of the project.”

  6. asdf2 and barman, thanks. But Mike, while this is only generally known by Seattle City Light crews at Ross Dam, every time a Route 7 driver leaves 62nd and Prentice with the brake pedal held in “regenerative”, the whole CBD’s electric bill has been covered for the whole trip time. Trust me. Leave it alone.

    Mark Dublin

    1. Mark: not alone. when overhead is added to South Henderson Street between MLK Jr. Way and Rainier Avenue South, Route 7P could be a shuttle between Prentice and the Link station via Rainier Beach.

  7. Closing off seats to promote social distancing makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is entirely closing off the most secluded part of a Link car, as shown in the photo on this post. This area might hold up to 4 people in the corners, but definitely can hold at least 2 while maintaining social distancing. There’s even already a glass pane separating it from the area in front of the doors.

    1. The operator has to pass through this aisle, and is vulnerable to the viral molecules floating in the air from unmasked passengers still sitting there. It doesn’t matter that she/he is wearing a mask while transiting the aisle. The mask just protects the people still sitting or sleeping in the aisle from the operator’s aspirations.

      If ST were to strictly enforce the wearing of masks in this section, then it probably could be opened up. But no transit agency seems to want to enforce mask-wearing rules or laws, especially in this political moment. I can’t blame them.

      What really needs to happen for the protection of passengers and operators alike is for masks to be readily given out for free. The high cost of doing this everywhere should not become an argument against the relatively low cost of doing this where it is most cost-effective. More masks distributed mean fewer people will get sick and die, and a quicker end to the nightmare.

      1. Oh, that makes sense now. Hopefully the seating by the unusable operator cabs (in the middle and not the ends of the train) are still open. I also hope they are only running 4-car trains, as that’s obviously better for social distancing.

  8. Throwing this out to the horde– who do folks want to challenge the incumbent Seattle mayor?

    1. When’s the election, 2021? I kind of like Nikkita Oliver, but would not surprise me at all if it’s somebody we never heard of. Sam Zimbabwe?

      But major energizing force stems from something Governor Mike Lowery said to me years ago, at a State Capitol breakfast in honor of some young people in high school student government. A young woman who was class president asked the governor:

      “What difference does it make what we think? We can’t vote. We don’t have any power at all.” I asked the Governor: “If all of a district’s high school students worked on somebody’s campaign, would it make a difference?” Governor Lowry:

      “I could take any election in the State!” From what seeing and sensing of the Class of 2020, coming out the gate Stone Cold SAT-FREE….wherever the late Governor’s watching the returns from, Election Night will give him some encouraging television.

      Mark Dublin

      1. Lorena Gonzalez or Teresa Mosqueda would both be outstanding options. But I’m more worried about changing the nature of elections.

        First, democracy vouchers need to be fully funded in the mayoral race. They weren’t used in the last mayoral race, and that shifted the balance of power to large private contributors. That’s not just in who won, but in how they govern.

        Second, let’s follow the lead of Maine (where ranked choice voting is now used in Congressional elections) and Massachusetts (where an initiative will be on the ballot – because politicians almost never lower the drawbridge), allow the top *four* candidates to advance to the general election, and let every voter rank their top three choices. Imagine if, last time, we could have ranked Durkan, Moon, Oliver, and Farrell.

        Choice is power. More choices is more power.

        I’ve helped plenty of candidates get elected. I’ve been disappointed by how too many of them govern. I want a credible option to throw them out if they don’t work for the good of the many.

    2. What are people’s approval ratings of Durkan, and have they changed since the BLM protests started?

      My impression when she started was that she’d be fine but not exceptional. After 12-18 months it became clear she had no ideas for improving transit and didn’t prioritize it, although she didn’t hinder the previous administrations’ plans. When Metro couldn’t provide enough buses for all the TBD increases, she diverted the unusable money to free passes for public-school students rather than saving it for future service. Free passes are OK but they don’t address what I consider the most important issue: increasing mobility options for all riders (meaning more frequency and speed, and possibly a new route or two). And now that the TBD is expiring, that money could have kept it up 100% until March rather than having to reduce it 50% in September.

      All the previous four mayors (Schell, Nickels, McGinn, Murray) I thought did a good job, and all brought new transit ideas and prioritized it (even if I didn’t always agree with them), so I’d be happy to reelect them. But with Durkan I feel I’d rather vote for somebody better, although she’s mostly fine if she wins again. That’s the same way I feel about Sawant, by the way. She’s OK and she gets the basics done, but I’d rather someone better.

      I have no particular idea who might be better.

      There was a recent call for Durkan to resign over her protest handling, but I don’t see anything resignation-worthy. She hasn’t been using the power of the city to enrich herself or persecute people who voted against her, or accepted election interference from foreign adverseries, or supported dictators instead of our democratic allies, or acted capricously. Too many people toss out mayors because they’re not perfect; that’s been happening since Schell.

      1. Orr: the mayor is not on the STBD board, only the councilmembers, so she should little credit or blame about their expenditures. Durkan did at least a few good things for transit: she paused the 4th Avenue two-way cycle track, paused the CCC Streetcar, studied the CCC Streetcar, provided more priority on 3rd Avenue, and led the sound study of Ballard and West Seattle ST3 Link lines.

        re transit, each successive mayor has done better for transit until Murray-Kubly. buses are faster due to SDOT work. but all have fallen ill with the streetcar virus: mayors Nickels, McGinn, Murray, Burgess, and Durkan; I suspect it came from Portland via Vulcan.

  9. So it’s seems that an idea I floated a while for San Francisco MUNI is becoming reality: When MUNI Metro comes back in August, the J, K, and L are going to be kept out of the Market st. Subway, with the K and L being interlined. This isn’t the third time my crayons have been taken up by MUNI in some form.

    1. So everyone on the K and L not going to a destination on the other line — a small fraction — will have to transfer to an M at West Portal? Will the J take the place of the F? That’s sort of like the original idea back in the 1960’s. The M would be truncated at SF State and with the N be the only lines in the subway. The M would have had longer trains. I hope they do that if they follow this plan.

      1. Tom, those new Siemens light rail cars look beautiful. Decades overdue after the Boeing Vertols, an even worse, their successors from the same firm as cursed our first DSTT fleet. Like our buses, Breda railcars vandalized tracks and fixtures. Thankfully, gone.

        But also curious. It was one thing when PCC streetcars used to obey regular stop-signs on the way to West Portal. But trains with 90′ light rail cars? Do the Siemens trains at least have pre-empted signals instead. Anyhow, system should have enough versatility to handle adjustments.

        Mark Dublin

      2. I believe that the J and K lines surface segments have been proposed as one combined line in the past, through-routed at Balboa Park where there is also a BART station. Keep in mind that BART travel is allowed inside San Francisco using a Muni monthly pass. This week’s new scheme would allow for that but a L/K/J combined line would be quite circuitous and require lots of traffic mixing.

        I do find that enabling a direct trip from L-Taraval to Balboa Park could be attractive for riders wanting to go from the Sunset to destinations south of San Francisco as well as to City College. It’s a lot of out-of-direction time to have to ride all the way Downtown to go south.

      3. Tom Terrific: Honestly, most riders on the K are better off transfering to BART or the M at St. Francis Circle. As someone who has missed transfers, and wasted hours in the hundreds at this location, I feel it’s a change that should stick in the long run. The current plan is only to run the J to Market St, because I don’t think the Bredas or the Siemens are capable of running on Market itself. I think the J should be run on Market RN if there’s enough of the historic streetcars to do so. But in the longer run, I think the J should be extended up Fillmore St, mostly in Subway. I’m also an advocate of running the J through Ocean View, and I proposed this to MUNI as an alternative to having the M branch at Parkmerced, and they actually took it up. The M itself won’t be running longer trains because the platforms at Stonestown/SF State, but it’s interlining with the T will enable the T to regularly have 2 car trains for the first time. Longer trains will be ran on the S, and I think they’d be possible on the N with a few adjustments.

        Mark Dublin: Actually, the Bredas are still in service now, and will probably be there through the end of the decade. As for stop signs, Yeah, you still see the (75 foot) LRV’s stop at stop signs for the most part, and that will be fine because the areas that have stop signs have very little traffic. With Signal preemption, I think MUNI has it, but I’m not sure if they turn it on. I’ve heard in the past for instance that MUNI’s kept the Signal preemption at the 4th/King intersection off.

        Al. S: The J and K were through routed during an extended closure of the Market St Subway, one that I personally experienced. As for the what you propose with the L, people wouldn’t do that because the 28 is the perferred way for people to get from the Sunset to BART, though I personally used the L to K route to get to City College earlier in the decade.

    2. What’s the MUNI E line? It didn’t exist the last time I was there in the early 2010s. The website mentions it but the route map is completely offline during the Covid19 suspension. It just mentions that service on the F (Embarcadero) was reduced because the E apparently runs there. And it says you can get to the Caltrain station on it. So does it run along the waterfront from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Caltrain depot?

      1. The E Embarcadero has it’s origins in the same Streetcar festivals that led to the F Market, but it’s had an absolutely torturous path toward getting realized. The core E concept is exactly what you think: Caltrain depot to Fisherman’s Whaf via Embarcadero, with proposed expansions west towards Ft. Mason/Presidio and South towards Dogpatch. What held the line up was a lack of a turning loop in the Mission Bay area, requiring the use of double-ended cars on the E. However, MUNI couldn’t just run Breda’s because it needed every last one as it was, and the eletrtical infrastrcutre on the Fisherman’s Wharf can’t handle the Bredas (or so I’m told). So it was only the double-ended historic streetcars that could operate on the line. While MUNI technically had enough of these by the early 2000’s, they were split over many different kinds of cars that MUNI had a hard time maintaining. Thus, it took until MUNI got more it’s old Double-ended PCC’s restored that service actually started, and this was only a few years ago. And that is convoluted tale of the E Embarcadero, and all of that could’ve been avoided if they just tried get some modern low-floor cars.

    3. I remember riding Muni Metro 30 years ago when Boeing trains were hooked together — so the N/J was a single train and two of the K/L/M trains were often combined. Then, the tunnel did only conceptually have three train “lines“ . Muni then made the capital cost-cutting move of no longer designing for three-car or four-car train capability (partly based on a new signal system) resulting in the recent five-train-line tunnel. Admittedly, this former operation was when trains just stopped at Embarcadero Station and were reversed (and drivers would take breaks) — so it was an major operational disaster even then.

      While this new configuration is a creative solution, the transfer environments at West Portal and on Church Street are still awful. Entire trains will now empty out as riders cross local streets with traffic (at least they are not major streets). It remains a legacy problem because the light rail systems were not designed with cross-platform transfers and there are no center platforms at these transfer points. If the new scheme works, I could see new projects resolving this a bit but they would seem to be at least a decade away.

      The bigger lesson here is that light rail stations and lines must be designed to be flexible from the start. Good transfer platforms seem to be completely at the bottom of ST priorities at the six transfer stations, and we will see this become somewhat regrettable in reality in 2023 when East Link opens, and significantly more regrettable once the second Downtown tunnel opens whenever it does. The flexibility in light rail operations is also important in design, especially the right switching tracks that need to be built in SODO (a topic never mentioned in any of the WSB planning materials to date that I’ve seen).

      Finally, the T line is going to be operating through the new Central Subway in late 2021 or early 2022. That will possibly lead to another massive change in light rail operations. It should have been opened in 2018 (8 years of construction), but construction delays pushed it back 3-4 years.

    4. Why are these changes happening? Are only the M and T to be in the subway? Are all trains being ejected from the subway due to indoor covid risk? Is it related to the Central Subway construction?

      1. The Market St Subway has long had problems with its current operating configuration. At most times of day trains going inbound would spend damn near half their running time waiting for trains in front of them to get through their junctions. Going outbound, the claimed schedules of 40+ tph were a sick joke, as you would inevitably spend half an hour watching trains on every line but the one you actually needed go by.

        With this, there will be three services in the Subway: M/T, N, and S. The M and T are interlinked, note that with the exception of the first few months around it’s opening, the T has never operated as an independent service, it’s been interlined with the K. The N will be operating as normal, so I don’t need to cover that. The S is a bit trickier. It’s the brand used for Extra shuttle service, usually during peak or ball games. This incarnation of the S is operating from Embarcadero to West Portal, specifically so it won’t have to make the shift from Subway to surface mode. The Central Subway has to date caused next to no disruption of MUNI Metro, with the exception of a few weekend closures around 4th/king.

      2. Oh… I forgot to mention running one and two car trains on platforms built for four cars because of design constraints on train lengths elsewhere.

  10. NorthgateRider (Wes): “Seattle’s leaders haven’t talked about any of the new progressive taxes going towards backfilling transit”

    Hmm, and there’s only two months left to submit a November ballot measure to the state (by August). There’s been a little talk of an initiative it the city didn’t act. It’s getting close to the deadline or we’ll miss November, so maybe there should be an initiative now to force the city’s hand. The proponents could drop it if the city puts a comparable measure on the ballot.

    What should an initiative or the city push for? I’m inclined to just renew the sales tax portion and punt anything more to 2021. By that time Northgate Link will have opened, the Northgate restructure and ST truncations will be in place, the 522 will go to Roosevelt (yaay!), post-pandemic ridership levels will be clearer, and the federal government may be more pro-transit.

    Regarding the Northgate restructure, that’s also getting close. For a September service change the county would have to vote around April, and a minimum round of proposals would have to start in November. For the U-Link resstructure Metro gave an extra year and three rounds of proposals. It’s already too late for that. But Northgate Link will still be substantial and should have more debate than just a minor change with one round. Metro has given a couple previews: a list of routes and a possible network, but we haven’t gotten the results of the feedback or whether it’s causing any reconsideration in any way.

    1. Could the city be waiting for the state Supreme Court to hand down a verdict on I-976 in case car tabs are still a viable funding source? Car tabs would probably be an easier sell than another sales tax increase in the city.

      1. The city seems to be busy with covid and the protests. The chance that the court will rule in the next two months doesn’t seem very high, especially since many court dates have been pushed back. Even if the court strikes it down, the current TBD has a sales tax component and the next one inevitably will too. The city could at least reassure us that there will be some kind of renewal in November even if it doesn’t want to specify the exact amount and sources yet. And it could have a contingency clause, “Car tabs if allowed by the state.”

  11. Can I comment on picture? WTF? Why would you reduce space and force people to be closer together? Shouldn’t we want people to spread out?

    1. I think it’s so that the operator can safely leave the cab. The one time I rode link since this started I only saw this at the end of cars 1 and 4 (all trains are 4-car for now).

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