Martin’s let you know that Mukilteo Station is now open on Sounder North, but I actually went! First, though, I have a sad story about bus transfers in Seattle. I nearly missed the entire thing because my bus passed its timepoint early, but fortunately, as some of you know, I live where I have many […]
Eugene’s BRT service is great! Check out the adorable video, complete with butterflies and whistling music. Hmm, though – they sure seem to make an effort to be anti-rail – note the line at the end: “There and back, with no clickety-clack.” Apparently avoiding “clickety-clack” (which doesn’t exist on modern rail systems anyway) wasn’t such […]
Here are a few different ways to look at the data (again click image for higher resolution images).
The first graph is daily ridership per mile. High ridership per mile correlates with high density and all day activity along the whole corridor. As you can see the center city routes are the highest, followed by major arterial routes and then commuter routes. These are the routes that you get the most bang for your buck if you build rail. Some of these routes are so short that a streetcar would be much more appropriate than light rail. Funny thing is that many of these routes can’t have rail because they are too hilly.
I only did the top 20 routes because I had to manually calculate the length of the routes. If anyone wants to figure out the length of the remaining routes and e-mail them to me I’ll redo the graph.
The next graph is a little more complex. It shows annual ridership per annual service hour. As you can see the routes are all over the place. I think that it is a combination of lots of factors and can’t be attributed to any one thing. A high ranking could mean:
– it has lots of demand and fewer than average service hours
– it doesn’t have a lot waisted time doing deadheads
– it doesn’t get caught in congestion (thus speeding it up)
This blogger, kj at RajeKaje thinks that Seattlites don’t know how to ride the bus. His problem is on a crowded bus, standing passengers don’t always file to the back. Apologies for the rant below: I’ve found this true, I think it’s mildly a protest about more people boarding the already-crowded-bus, but this is no […]
The holy trinity (Sims, Nickels, Gregoire) have a joint op-ed in the Times today on the “multidimensional” problem of replacing the Viaduct.
Mike @ CIS sees tell-tale signs of squishiness, and I tend to agree. But they do at least seem to be softening up the public for the idea that there might not be a new waterfront freeway in Seattle’s future.
For folks like me who are obsessed with this stuff, the idea of going to an Embarcadero-style surface boulevard makes so much sense, we can tend to forget how much of a shock it might be to the general public when our elected leaders announce that they’re going to tear down a highway and replace it with… nothing.
Well, nothing you can see anyway. Sure, gas is at $4/gallon, yes, Americans are starting to drive less and think about alternatives. But it’s going to take some real public education before they announce the plan later this year.
The concept of having busses travel to recreational locations has been covered elsewhere, so I’ll be brief.
I heard about Marymoor’s concert in the park series, and found the King County web site. It’s a very green-oriented site, encouraging all kinds of carbon-footprint reduction and recycling. There are even compostable beer cups.
But I noticed despite asking us to bike there or drive a hybrid (they’ll still charge you $5 for parking, but you can park closer), they didn’t encourage me to take the bus or provide any bus information.
I guess that’s because the bus doesn’t go there. Sure, it’ll leave there in the morning on weekdays and return there in the evening. So if you live in the park and work downtown you’re ok. But if you live in Seattle and want to visit and not stay the night you’re apparently out of luck.
One of the common questions we get from commenters is “why are you so sure that rail is the right solution?” and “why are you so enamored with rail?” Both these questions are often followed with “buses are cheaper”. I want to explain the main reasons why high capacity rail transit gets so many more […]
David Kurtz finds a neat TIME magazine article from 1947 that notes, “in half a century of blissful self-delusion [mankind] has failed to perceive that the family automobile is the most monstrous engine of all.”
Sound Transit has completed 14 miles of track from Tukwila International Boulevard to Westlake Station today. There was a ceremony at the Link Operations and Maintenance to mark the occasion. I’ll post the photos I took tonight when I get home, but in the mean time you can check this link for some details and […]
I use Seattle’s bus tunnel like a rail subway system. Any time during the day I can walk down an escallator, hop on a bus, walk back up, and I’m across town. I can get from downtown to King Station for asian food of all varaities, and make it back by the end of my lunch hour. Because it’s free, because it’s easy, because it’s fast, and because service is frequent it really beats dealing with surface street busses.
I’m excited about how much faster real rail will be next year, as the bottleneck of people getting on and off will be reduced. But I’m afraid of keeping all of the functionality we have with busses. Will I have to stop somewhere and pay? Will they run along with busses in the tunnel, or will the busses be moved to the street? What will be the initial headway? Will it stay open late?
If anyone out there knows the answers to these questions, I’d love to hear them. If not, tell me how/if you use the tunnel.
Via Daryn blog, I find that Mike Ross, the artist who was chosen to work on the art in Capitol Hill Station, is concerned his project might be canceled due to public outcry over the use of decommissioned fighter jets in the installation: ————— Forwarded message —————From: Mike Ross firstname.lastname@example.org>Date: May 22, 2008 11:04 AMSubject: […]
I just got back from a weekend in San Diego, and I have to say, it was really spectacular. I’d been there once as a little kid, but not since. Balboa Park is one of the best city parks I’ve ever seen:
Oh, and I caught sight of the Sprinter, San Diego’s DMU commuter rail:
One nice thing about an area like that — not unlike Seattle — is that you have a relatively well-developed coastline, with a rail right-of-way running right down it. And since it’s prime coastal beach real estate, the population density around the little downs is actually fairly high. Add to this the super-nice weather that makes it easy to bike or walk to the station, and you have the makings of a pretty decent transit system.
Don’t get me wrong, I realize that SoCal is still very auto-dependent, but it’s a good start.
Photos by Flickr users chrisclark and ericharmatz used under a Creative Commons license.
These pre-fab apartments on Westlake could be really interesting. The article focuses on the affordibility aspect of the units, which cost far less to build than traditional buildings. I wrote a little about them late last year, and I was concerned because the designs I saw at the time were hideous. But the proposed design […]
Here is a breakdown for 2007 average weekday ridership (click on the picture for a higher quality image). I have an excel file with lots of data in it and I have just started to play around with some of the data. This graph is pretty self explanatory. Per my last post I think that Metro should give the top 10 (or more if there is money) routes BRT treatments for routes along major arterial/corridors (48,7,5,etc) and enhanced service as well as ITS, ATIS, and choke point improvements for neighborhood routes (2,3,4,49,43,etc). Also you will see that RapidRide is taking over a few of the routes that currently have some of the highest ridership (a notable except is the Bellevue/Redmond route).
54 – West Seattle RR
358 – Aurora RR
174 – Pacific Highway South RR (It will start where LINK ends and go south)
15/18 – Ballard RR
230 – Bellevue/Redmond RR
Looking at the ridership numbers makes it obvious Metro didn’t just take its highest ridership routes when it decided to implement RR. In addition to politics I think a major objective of Metro was to serve corridors that will not see HCT for a while and try to create a “backbone” that covers as much area as possible and makes sense economically.
You can also see that LINK serves many of the same corridors that the highest ridership routes do. It will be interesting to see how LINK effects ridership on those routes.
One last point. The highest ridership route for the Eastside is the 550 at 19th place. The highest none UW/CBD to Eastside route is the 230 at 29th place. Pretty pitiful. This just goes to show how much wealth and sprawl kill transit.
This is a pretty interesting opinion piece about the approaching end to the car era. These days you can’t open anewspaper without reading about people moving their commutes to transit, or how expensive gas has become and how it will only get more expensive. So there’s nothing really new in this piece, but its succinct […]