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
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
Is this Seattle bus stop the worst in America?
by David Gutman on September 20, 2017 at 7:03 pm
Is a South Seattle bus stop, where would-be passengers have to stand on a narrow strip of grass between the road and railroad tracks, the worst bus stop in America? One very informal survey says it just might be. […]
Moving ahead on Northgate Station
by Seattle Times staff on September 20, 2017 at 3:36 am
Work continues on the future Northgate Station, where light-rail trains will pause and turn back toward downtown Seattle, when service reaches Northgate in 2021. […]
Seattle’s new bike-share results: ‘We...
by David Gutman on September 20, 2017 at 12:07 am
Ridership numbers for Seattle’s new private, stationless bike shares are dwarfing the old city-owned system. But the data so far only show summer months. Eastside cities are watching as they ponder bike shares. […]
‘I’m nervous about being hit’: Seattle-area...
by Jessica Lee on September 19, 2017 at 4:36 pm
Numerous people contacted Traffic Lab this week to chime in on pedestrian right-of-way rules. Here’s what a few said. […]
Let’s get something straight: Pedestrians...
by Jessica Lee on September 18, 2017 at 1:00 pm
We explain the rule and share people’s crosswalk stories. Reoccurring complaint? People crossing streets while looking at their phones. […]
Metro is expanding bus service in Seattle and...
by David Gutman on September 18, 2017 at 1:00 pm
A sales tax and a car-tab hike approved by Seattle voters in 2014 are helping fund increased bus service on dozens of routes throughout the city. Increased service across King County will launch Saturday. […]
Kitsap Fast Ferry back in service after morning...
by David Gutman on September 15, 2017 at 8:19 pm
Service resumed on Kitsap Fast Ferry on Friday afternoon after morning cancellations for mechanical issues. It was the 12th time that service has been disrupted, and Kitsap Transit said there could be damage to some engine components after the boat sat in storage for five years. […]
Here’s where roadwork could frustrate your...
by Mike Lindblom on September 15, 2017 at 6:40 pm
Drivers on northbound I-5 won’t be able to use the usual exit to reach Madison and James streets in downtown Seattle from 4 p.m. Saturday until 10 a.m. Sunday. Other hot spots: Denny Way, Highway 509, CenturyLink Field and Husky Stadium. […]
Here are the plans for a bike lane on Seattle’s...
by Mike Lindblom on September 15, 2017 at 2:11 pm
A separated bike lane on Seattle’s Fourth Avenue is coasting ahead in the newest transportation-agency plans. […]
$100,000 per space? Costs soar for Sound...
by Mike Lindblom on September 15, 2017 at 1:00 pm
Parking-structure costs have climbed to $100,000 a stall, but that hasn’t dissuaded Sound Transit from adding a Kent garage that voters were promised in 2008. […]