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
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!
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
Mass Transit Now spokesman Prof. Mark Hallenbeck’s response to whether the $54 billion ST3 will reduce traffic congestion? “HA! Of course not!” Commuters and taxpayers aren’t laughing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du07e25ajTMread 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.”
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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
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. […]
Transit commuters ‘excited’ about lead for...
by Caitlin Moran on November 9, 2016 at 7:49 pm
Early returns show most voters support the $54 billion Sound Transit 3 measure. […]
General Transportation News
Do cars blocking bike lanes in Seattle ever get...
by Jessica Lee on August 21, 2017 at 1:00 pm
Yes they do, court records show. And Seattle police urge cyclists to report drivers illegally parked or loitering in bike lanes. […]
Meet your mate: Joining the top of new state...
by Scott Greenstone on August 20, 2017 at 2:43 am
The Suquamish ferry brings Tacoma and Seattle together in its final leg of construction. […]
Helmets may be Seattle law, but many bike-share...
by David Gutman on August 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm
The launch of three new stationless bike-share companies in Seattle is also leading to more — anecdotally at least — helmetless bike riding. Biking without a helmet is against the law, but police are focusing more on education than handing out tickets. […]
Insurance lawyers’ new findings increase...
by Mike Lindblom on August 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm
Insurance-company lawyers argue Highway 99 tunnel builders concocted the theory that a leftover pipe damaged tunnel machine Bertha. […]
The most dangerous intersections in Seattle for...
by David Gutman on August 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm
While Seattle is one of the country’s safest major cities for pedestrians, we’re not yet at the city’s goal of eliminating pedestrian deaths and major injuries. Where are bike and pedestrian injuries happening? Here are some of the hot spots around the city. […]
Seattle-area bicyclists, pedestrians: How safe do...
by Jessica Lee on August 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm
Research by national safety advocates says the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area is one of the country’s safest metropolitan regions for people on foot. Do you agree? […]
Half a future 144-car ferry travels to Seattle...
by Scott Greenstone on August 17, 2017 at 5:31 am
The future 144-car ferry Suquamish is scheduled to launch next year, but it was in two big pieces — one built in Tacoma, one built in Seattle — that are now in the same place on Harbor Island. […]
After a quarter-century, Sodo’s Lander Street...
by Mike Lindblom on August 16, 2017 at 9:39 pm
With a $123 million plan in place this week, Seattle will try to finish the Lander Street overpass by the end of 2019. […]
Officials warn of solar eclipse Armageddon:...
by Christine Clarridge on August 16, 2017 at 2:08 pm
Stuck on the highway? Don't pull off to the shoulder, officials say. Think you can get a good view from a field? Don't drive on grass and start a fire. And be careful of where your GPS might send you, such as on a remote logging road. […]
King County Metro transit workers approve...
by Mike Lindblom on August 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm
Union rail operators, bus drivers, supervisors and mechanics at King County Metro Transit approved a contract this month that includes 9 percent worth of inflation raises spread over three years. […]