$1 low-income fare will expand to Pierce Transit

Pierce Transit 2021 Gillig Low Floor Electric 526
New Pierce Transit electric bus / photo by Zach Heistand

The Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners voted unanimously today to approve a proposal to have Pierce Transit join the ORCA LIFT low-income fare program, bringing its extent to all transit services that accept ORCA except Washington State Ferries. Pierce Transit’s ORCA LIFT fare will be $1, joining King County Metro, all Sound Transit services, the Seattle Streetcar, Everett Transit, and Kitsap Transit buses and intra-county ferries in charging just $1 for riders in the program. Pierce Transit’s low-income fare will take effect April 1.

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Transit agencies roll out spring service changes

King County Metro rolled out its spring service change last Saturday, with new green-striped schedule pamphlets.

Several routes’ schedules were adjusted to better serve school bell times, including routes 48, 50, 106, 107, 128, and 269. Routes 106 and 107 will have a slightly different schedule on Wednesdays than the rest of the week.

Routes 302 and 303 were adjusted to better serve shift times for some First Hill employers.

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Improving connectivity and frequency to Everett

ST Express 511 with CT livery / photo by author

The recent bus service change that coincided with the extension of the 1 Line to Northgate Station altered Seattle-Everett service in a clunky way. Riding between Everett and Seattle during off-peak hours and in the reverse-peak direction during peak hours now involves transferring between Sound Transit Express 512 and the 1 Line at Northgate Station. Peak-direction travel goes directly between Everett and downtown Seattle on ST Express 510, with no peak-direction route during peak hours between Everett and Northgate.

Going southbound on a weekday, route 510 leaves Everett Station at 4:13, 4:30, 4:42, 4:55, 5:17, 5:32, 5:48, 6:04, 6:18, 6:33, 6:50, 6:58, 7:14, 7:45, and 8:17 am. Route 512 starts up at 8:37 am, runs roughly every 10 minutes until 1:56 pm, then runs roughly every 16 minutes until 5:56 pm, then runs roughly every 20 from 6:19 to 9:02, then spreads out to 30 minutes with the last 512 heading south at 11:20 pm, with plenty of time to spare to catch the last southbound train of the evening.

Going northbound on weekdays, route 512 leaves Northgate every 12-16 minutes from 5:05 to 9:33 am. Then it hits its every-10-minutes stride at 9:49 am, which lasts until 2:49 pm. Then, route 512 disappears until 7:11 pm, at which point it starts running roughly every 10 minutes again, until 10:29. Frequency starts decreasing, until riders catch route 512 from the last northbound train of the day at 12:48 am.

During afternoon peak, route 510 starts northbound trips from 4th Ave & S Jackson St ca. every 16 minutes 2:30-6:53 pm.

With some clever scheduling, commuters heading back to Everett during afternoon peak could have a bus leaving Northgate Station for Everett waiting for them every 8 minutes.

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Did you remember to vote?

You can drop off your ballot at a box on the north side of Schmitz Hall, a couple blocks south and one block east of U-District Station, among other places, by 8 pm today / map by King County Elections Dept

It may have snuck up on you, but today is election day. Ballots are due in drop boxes by 8 pm sharp.

There are a lot of drop boxes, including several very close to 1 Line stations. There are also a few Vote Centers where you can register to vote if you have not already, and vote privately on one of the accessible electronic voting machines.

STB did not do an endorsement process this time, but there are plenty of other groups that did, including:

… and many others. That’s probably more than you have time to read today. 8 pm sharp. Get your ballot in.

To reduce masklessness on trains, add more dispensers

Mask dispenser by door of Kinkysharyo light rail vehicle / photo by author

As I was boarding a bus a few days ago, I saw a young gentleman sitting close to the middle of the bus, maskless. I pulled a mask out of the dispenser at the front of the bus, walked back to the gentleman, and handed the mask to him. He thanked me and put it on.

Then, I caught the 1 Line. I sat in the fourth car, per usual, to be in the least-populated part of the train. A maskless gentleman claimed a standing position a few feet away from me. I got up and headed toward the raised seating section at the end of the car, where there is a 50/50 chance of being a mask dispenser. Unfortunately, this car’s dispenser was on the far side of the traincar, and the maskless guy was standing between me and the dispenser. So, I settled for keeping my distance from the guy.

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Welcome to $3.50 fares on some Link rides

Fare list posted at SeaTac Airport Station
photo by author

Those of you who have been riding Link Light Rail lately may have noticed some changes to the signage at each station, in preparation for the opening of University District, Roosevelt, and Northgate Stations on October 2. Among other changes, each station has a list of fares specific for trips from that station to each of the other stations, now including the three new stations, grouped by fare amount.

Two of the new trip pairings will charge a new top fare of $3.50:

  • Northgate to SeaTac Airport
  • Northgate to Angle Lake

The full new fare chart can be found here.

Listing all station pairings by fare, from north to south, would look like this:

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