Seattle Times editorial columnist Brier Dudley says, "Transportation Choices Coalition has evolved from a community group advocating for bike, pedestrian and transit options into a political powerhouse with little transparency that coordinates ballot measures and...read more
We occasionally post articles and news of interest regarding transit and transportation issues that affect the Puget Sound Region. If there are stories that you think deserve attention, or if you have news or information that you’d like to share, please contact us!
Article excerpt: "Sens. Steve O’Ban and Dino Rossi are calling for an investigation into whether Sound Transit engaged in a “systematic effort to confuse and misrepresent the impact and cost of the ST3 authorization to legislators and the public.” In a letter sent...read more
Despite assertions by Sound Transit and its supporters that ST3 will ease traffic congestion in the reason, it simply isn't true....read more
"Sound Transit 3 would shave about 1 percent off the region's vehicle travel and less than half a percent off the emissions our region is expected to put out in 2040, based on projections by the Puget Sound Regional Council." Read more at KUOW:...read more
Bus Rapid Transit and Bus Rapid Transit “lite” offer more flexibility than light rail. It carries more people more places.
Ride share programs are very cost effective and use existing infrastructure.
Safe bikeways and walkways are needed in every community.
Maintaining our existing infrastructure should be a priority.
Let’s put our money where it actually moves us forward.
What we want in the region
- Invest in a high capacity, affordable, rapid bus system that covers the whole region within a few years instead of inflexible, expensive and limited capacity light rail lines that reach a fraction of the region after decades.
- Finish the HOV system and commit to policies that keep it functioning at 45 mph 90 percent of the time.
- Realize the extraordinary potential of carpool and vanpool programs.
- Recognize that new technologies will change the way we get around making it even more critical to have the flexibility to upgrade and change as we need.
- Maintain our existing roads and bridges and fix the choke points that lead to congestion.
- Spend money on the simple sidewalk, safe crosswalk and bike path. These make communities truly livable and walkable.
- Start with the question, What’s the problem we’re trying to solve? Identify real goals and performance measures and allow objective analysis of the alternatives.
- Put directly elected people in charge instead of unelected boards who have no accountability and often a conflict of interest.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is not buses as you know them. BRT treats buses like subways but with more flexibility. BRT buses always have right of way: they don’t stop at red lights or get stuck in congestion. Loading is also much faster because riders pay before they board, stations are raised to be level with the bus floor, and buses have more and wider doors. One lane can facilitate 300 buses per hour. Light Rail can only handle 10 trains per hour and can never have more than 4 cars per train.
King County Metro’s Rapid Ride is not BRT – think of bus service on a continuum from classic slow city bus to “rail on rubber tires.” This description of BRT (bus rapid transit) contains all the elements of an ideal system. But, many things can be done to improve the speed of the buses through a corridor. KIng County Metro’s Rapid Ride is really just higher frequency – more should be done to actually make it “rapid.”
Volunteer: Smarter Transit is a non-profit organization run by all volunteers. We need help with research, writing, speaking, networking.
Share what you’ve learned with friends and on social media.
Contact Maggie Fimia or John Niles: Here
Does Light Rail Really Encourage People to Stop Driving? No, but it does pull them off buses, if a new study of British systems is any indicator.
Have Light Rail Systems Been Worth the Investment?
Expedia Moves to Seattle
84% of Portland’s regional trips still by car
Despite bike and transit gains, 84 percent of Portland region’s trips still by car: Metro study
Transit Riders Union concerned about a two class transit system
Hawaii struggles to keep rail project from becoming a boondoggle
Billions Spent but fewer people using public transportation in Southern California
Transportation Matters – Troy Serad has a passion for transit, especially trains that make sense, does not own a car, but the most important thing is that, like Mark Ahlers, his information is based on facts and careful research. His background is in urban planning, rail planning, accounting and cartography. https://transportationmatters.wordpress.com
What is Bus Rapid Transit – BRT?
Great website that works with cities around the world on transportation issues including Bus Rapid Transit.
Bus Rapid Transit Institute – National data and info
CETA Archives, Coalition for Effective Transportation Alternatives
Contact your local elected officials:
Find Your Legislator:
About Face by Sound Transit CEO
2014 PSRC Regional Growth Centers – Where does growth really go in our Region?
June 1, 2015 Crosscut We Deserve Better Transportation Planning
March 26, 2015 Daily Journal of Commerce Transportation 2040 Plan: What’s the Return on our $174 Billion investment?
Latest transportation stories from local papers
In the interest of providing the whole range of news regarding transportation and transit we are providing links to current articles and opinion pages. Smarter Transit does not necessarily agree with the views or info provided in all articles or op-eds.
Sound Transit News
Sound Transit’s Lynnwood extension running...
by Mike Lindblom on August 24, 2017 at 9:35 pm
The half-billion-dollar increase for the Sound Transit 2 Lynnwood line comes as a surprise for taxpayers, and officials will negotiate simpler designs with cities along the tracks. […]
Here’s why your ST3 car tab fee is so high
by Gina Cole and Daniel Beekman on March 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm
On episode 28 of The Overcast, Traffic Lab reporters Mike Lindblom and David Gutman get nerdy with us about Sound Transit 3 and the car tab fees that fund it. […]
Sticker shock as much higher car-tab bills land...
by David Gutman on February 17, 2017 at 7:43 pm
The state Department of Licensing is getting hit with calls from King, Pierce and Snohomish counties about increased car-tab fees that are just starting to go into effect following the passage of Sound Transit 3. […]
Sound Transit moves fast to get deals on loans,...
by Mike Lindblom on November 28, 2016 at 12:45 am
Sound Transit is making deals for $2.9 billion in federal loans, bond sales and grants while money is cheap. […]
State senator calls for direct elections of Sound...
by Mike Lindblom on November 18, 2016 at 1:38 am
Pierce County voters’ opposition to Sound Transit 3 has prompted state Sen. Steve O’Ban to propose direct elections of transit-board members. […]
Where Sound Transit 3 projects could speed up or...
by Mike Lindblom on November 14, 2016 at 2:00 pm
Political energy, less red tape or simpler design can speed projects. So can money, say, from the federal government. Disputes about track alignments, inaccurate cost forecasts, elaborate stations or tunnels, or a recession can create delays. […]
Passing Sound Transit 3 boost for commuters, jobs
by Jon Talton on November 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm
The Puget Sound region made a big step forward in transportation and the state advanced the condition of low-wage workers. […]
See how the Sound Transit vote went in your...
by Justin Mayo and Mike Lindblom on November 12, 2016 at 2:00 pm
People living in apartments near future transit stations were most enthusiastic about voting for Sound Transit 3. Check the map to see the vote, by precinct, in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. […]
Politics podcast: Talking Trump and local...
by Seattle Times staff on November 11, 2016 at 10:13 pm
How did Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton? What does it mean for our area? And what else happened Tuesday night? We conduct an election post-mortem with news columnist Jerry Large and assistant digital editor Gina Cole. […]
Sound Transit 3 wins, despite rejection from...
by Seattle Times staff on November 10, 2016 at 4:20 am
The measure, also known as Proposition 1, was logging 58 percent approval in King County on Wednesday, and 52 percent in Snohomish County. In Pierce County, 56 percent of voters were rejecting the tax proposal. […]
General Transportation News
Seattle mayoral candidates both say the future...
by David Gutman on October 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm
On transportation, the two candidates vying to be Seattle’s next mayor agree on a lot: Traffic isn’t getting better soon. We need more transit and bike paths. Free ORCA cards for kids. But they do disagree on a few things. […]
Where in Seattle would you like an all-way walk...
by Jessica Lee on October 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm
This week, we are taking suggestions from readers on which intersections they would like converted to allow pedestrians to cross simultaneously in all directions. […]
Self-driving car accidents: Robot drivers are...
by Ryan Beene on October 16, 2017 at 12:00 am
While the public is most afraid of marauding vehicles without a driver behind the wheel, the reality is that the self-driving vehicles are overly cautious. […]
Victim apparently walked into moving bus in South...
by Mike Lindblom on October 14, 2017 at 2:47 am
A man killed Thursday night beneath a turning bus in busy South Lake Union apparently walked into the rear half of the articulated vehicle, then fell into the back wheels, according to Sound Transit. […]
Traffic alert: Lane closures this weekend on I-5...
by Mike Lindblom on October 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm
On northbound I-5, lane restrictions will snarl traffic from Federal Way through SeaTac and Tukwila. On the Highway 520 bridge, all eastbound lanes will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. […]
Readers’ responses: How do you use your bike...
by Jessica Lee on October 12, 2017 at 7:44 pm
“The only way to not blind the oncoming biker is to put my hand over the light when we are close,” one cyclist said. Traffic Lab spotlighted the equipment required by law for night riding earlier this week. […]
Put away your phone, yell and don’t get too...
by Jessica Lee on October 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm
After a nasty crash in which a bicyclist yelled “Hot pizza!” before hitting a woman on the Spokane River Centennial Trail, cyclists and pedestrians are going over proper etiquette on shared paths. […]
Truck-bicycle collision clogs South Seattle...
by David Gutman on October 11, 2017 at 12:02 am
A collision between a truck and a bicyclist shut down First Avenue South in Seattle on Tuesday afternoon, causing heavy congestion during the evening commute. […]
Flipped semi snarls commute on I-5 south of...
by Benjamin Woodard on October 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm
A flipped semi on the shoulder of northbound Interstate 5, south of Seattle just north of Highway 516 (Kent-Des Moines Road), has caused a miles-long backup, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. About 8 a.m. a blocked right lane was reopened after a tow truck righted the […]
Rebuilt Yesler Way bridge to reopen Tuesday after...
by Mike Lindblom on October 10, 2017 at 1:00 pm
The 107-year-old bridge will be dedicated at 11 a.m. Tuesday after a $20 million refurbishment that preserved much of the character of the historic span. […]