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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Seattle 2021 candidates and their position webpages

The long climb to City Hall / photo from Wikicommons

The deadline for candidates to withdraw their filings for the races for mayor, city attorney, and city council positions 8 and 9 passed Monday.

For those who have been wishing to have a simple list of links to the candidates’ position pages, here ya go:


Clinton Bliss

Henry Clay Dennison (no website found)

James Donaldson

Colleen Echohawk

Jessyn Farrell

M. Lorena González

Bruce Harrell

Andrew Grant Houston

Arthur K. Langlie

Stan Lippmann

Lance Randall

Don L. Rivers

Casey Sixkiller

Omari Tahir-Garrett

Bobby Tucker

City Attorney

Ann Davison

Pete Holmes

Nicole S Thomas-Kennedy

City Council Position 8

Brian Fahey (no website found)

Jordan Elizabeth Fisher

George Freeman (no website found)

Paul Glumaz

Jesse James (no website found)

Kate Martin

Bobby Lindsey Miller (no website found)

Teresa Mosqueda

Alex Tsimerman

Alexander White (no website found)

Kenneth Wilson (no website found)

City Council Position 9

Corey Eichner

Xtian Gunther

Lindsay McHaffie (no website found)

Sara Nelson

Nikkita Oliver

Brianna Thomas

Rebecca Williamson (no website found)

Weekend Snowpen thread: To heat or not to heat

Bellevue buses in the snow, Photo by Oran Viriyincy / flickr

As the snow continues to blanket the region, it is high time we finally discuss a rather heated issue.

Long-time transportation reporter Mike Lindblom at The Seattle Times offered this twish last winter:

Should the transit agencies follow the sage advice of Mr. Lindblom, or continue past practice? Choose your side.

And, no, you can’t take your mask(s) off while on board. For the safety of everyone around you (and yourself), please keep your mask(s) on. If you are sure you don’t have the virus because you don’t have symptoms, you’ve missed out on the science that many carriers are asymptomatic. Nor does getting vaccinated automatically or immediately confer upon you a 100% guarantee you can’t get COVID-19. If you just have a single standard cloth mask on, most buses have medical-style masks available to layer up with your cloth mask and help you increase your protection against spreading or breathing in the virus.

If you really need to travel, find your local transit agency’s snow info page at STB’s snow info link list.

This is a snowpen thread.

ST draft service plan revised for better Link frequency

“Just a pinky promise” / photo by SounderBruce

On Thursday, Sound Transit staff presented a revised draft 2021 service plan, which the ST Board will vote on in November.

Three routes have changes in the revised draft, vs. the original draft:

  • Link Light Rail would be upgraded to 10-minutes off-peak headway, as compared to the long-term continuation of 15-minute headway in the first draft. Late evening headway would be 15 minutes instead of the originally-proposed (and current) 30 minutes. These upgrades would take place as part of King County Metro’s March service change.
  • Route 555 (Northgate to Bellevue), currently suspended, would continue to be suspended after Northgate Link opens. Metro route 271 would be expected to handle the reverse-peak ridership on the corridor.
  • Route 586 (Tacoma – UW), originally slated for elimination with the opening of Northgate Link, would continue on, with a stop added at Federal Way Transit Center. The presentation did not specify whether the new stop would be added in March or September of 2021.
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15-Minute Link/bus network

Metro route 255, cursed by 7 months of bad luck since being diverted to UW
photo by Spencer Thomas

While there is a lot of lost service in the King County Metro network due to COVID-19 and its economic impacts, Metro has nevertheless managed to make lemonade out of lemons by assembling an increasingly robust network of buses connecting to Link Light Rail stations at frequencies that match Link’s temporary off-peak frequency of every 15 minutes. Link’s frequency is planned to be every 15 minutes during off-peak hours, until late evening, likely through 2021. Sound Transit is preparing for a long pandemic. The recent spike in new cases and deaths backs up their pessimism.

The following routes that serve Link stations outside of, or just on the periphery of, downtown have 15-minute off-peak weekday headway. (Link now runs every 8 minutes during the peak period on weekdays.) Unless otherwise noted, they also have 15-minute headway during the day on weekends.

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