Smarter Transit is an all-volunteer, pro-transit, non-partisan, non-profit citizens’ organization. Our mission is to support and advocate for accountable public transportation governance and investments that grow transit, vanpool, carpool ridership, and safe bike and walking routes throughout the Puget Sound region in the most cost-effective way.
A malfunctioning switch was the reason a Sound Transit light-rail train derailed early Wednesday in downtown Tacoma, the agency said. Read the article
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!
When state officials met recently to discuss how their highway megaprojects are doing, the fact that fewer people are driving through Seattle these days was presented as terrible news. Read the article
A Sound Transit train derailed early Wednesday in Tacoma, the agency confirmed. No injuries were reported. The T Line train derailed at the intersection of South Seventh and Commerce streets in Tacoma. Its speed has yet to be determined, Sound Transit...
Seattle’s Third Avenue is known primarily for two things: transit and disorder. After years — decades, even — of effort to control the latter, city leaders have begun to wonder whether rethinking the former might help. Read the article...
There are better solutions and greater needs
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.
What is Bus Rapid Transit?
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.”
Even the former FTA Administrator advocated for expanding Bus Rapid Transit type service over expensive rail …at one time.
– Peter Rogoff in 2010 as head of Federal Transit Administration
In November, 2015, Peter Rogoff took over as CEO of Sound Transit and is now “excited by big light rail expansion plans.”
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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.
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.
- 1 dead in early-morning crash on Highway 99 in...by Vonnai Phair on December 8, 2022 at 2:54 pm
One person died in a single-vehicle crash on a ramp to Highway 99 in Seattle's Sodo neighborhood early Thursday.
- Spinouts, collisions close I-90 at Stampede Pass...by Vonnai Phair on December 8, 2022 at 2:39 pm
I-90 is closed in both directions Thursday morning after several collisions. Here's what to know.
- Eastbound I-90 reopens near Ellensburg after...by Vonnai Phair on December 7, 2022 at 3:09 pm
There were 18 cars and 12 semitrucks involved in the crash.
- Eastbound I-90 opens after 15-car collisionby Lauren Girgis on December 4, 2022 at 11:34 pm
Eastbound traffic on I-90 is open after a 15-vehicle collision caused a closure at exit 34, near North Bend.
- Seattle’s First Hill streetcar back up and...by Qina Liu on December 2, 2022 at 4:29 pm
The First Hill streetcar was delayed after a collision at East Pike and Broadway, according to King County Metro. The streetcar was not involved in the collision.
- Northbound I-5 ramp to Seneca Street in downtown...by Seattle Times staff on December 2, 2022 at 2:17 pm
The northbound I-5 ramp to Seneca Street in Seattle reopened Friday morning after closing following a collision.
- Fatal crash closes Highway 530 in Snohomish Countyby Qina Liu on December 1, 2022 at 9:36 pm
The highway is closed between 139th Avenue and 294th Street Northeast, according to state Trooper Kelsey Harding.
- Northbound I-5 offramps to West Seattle Bridge,...by Qina Liu on December 1, 2022 at 4:51 pm
Northbound I-5 ramps to the West Seattle Bridge and Spokane Street reopened around 10:30 a.m. after a rolled-over semitruck blocked the ramps.
- Western WA in for freezing temps, more wintry...by Qina Liu and Daisy Zavala Magaña on December 1, 2022 at 3:09 pm
There's a chance of snow showers in Western Washington, with areas at lower elevations seeing rain and higher elevations seeing snow, forecasters say.
- I-90 reopens near Ellensburg after spinouts,...by Qina Liu on November 30, 2022 at 2:57 pm
I-90 eastbound reopened near the North Bend exit at around 10 a.m. Wednesday, after spinouts and collisions led to a closure shortly after 5:30 a.m. Chains are required.
- Overnight lane closures, I-5 detour set between...by Herald Staff on December 8, 2022 at 6:50 pm
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Crews need to replace a girder on the 12th Street NE bridge that was damaged by an overheight load in September 2021. Overnight lane closures, I-5 detour set between Everett, Marysville […]
- Grinding work still needed for I-5 through Everettby Ben Watanabe on December 5, 2022 at 9:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Construction crews need warmer temps for the work to remove what a reader described as “mini raised speed bumps.” Grinding work still needed for I-5 through Everett Ben Watanabe
- Driver shortage prompts Community Transit’s...by Ben Watanabe on November 28, 2022 at 9:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Reducing service, by 78 trips total on 9 routes, could make for more reliable arrivals and departures in March. Driver shortage prompts Community Transit’s trip cut proposal Ben Watanabe
- Bird scooters removed from Everett bridge overhangby Ben Watanabe on November 26, 2022 at 9:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington A prankster, or pranksters, lugged the electrified rides to an area not meant for the public on the Grand Avenue Park Bridge. Bird scooters removed from Everett bridge overhang Ben Watanabe
- Stanwood voters embrace sales tax to pay for...by Jerry Cornfield on November 25, 2022 at 9:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Nearly two-thirds of voters backed a measure to keep the two-tenths of a percent sales tax for maintaining streets, sidewalks and more. Stanwood voters embrace sales tax to pay for street […]
- Turkey travel is for the birdsby Andrea Brown on November 23, 2022 at 9:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Leave extra early or late if you can, pack the winter essentials and prepare for traffic whether driving, flying or sailing. Turkey travel is for the birds Andrea Brown
- State won’t keep federal money from Lake...by Ben Watanabe on November 22, 2022 at 11:30 pm
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington In September the state told the city it wasn’t complying with federal law. Upon review, the state is easing its stance. State won’t keep federal money from Lake Stevens for ADA issues […]
- Advocates call for safer roads, sidewalks across...by Ben Watanabe on November 22, 2022 at 9:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Several people marked World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Victims at one of the most dangerous roads in the county. Advocates call for safer roads, sidewalks across Snohomish County Ben […]
- Edmonds eyes speed cameras near three schoolsby Ben Watanabe on November 21, 2022 at 9:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Roads near Edmonds-Woodway High, Chase Lake Elementary and Westgate Elementary could get automated enforcement. Edmonds eyes speed cameras near three schools Ben Watanabe
- Madison Street project in Everett will include...by Ben Watanabe on November 18, 2022 at 9:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Project is scheduled for next summer, and includes removal of center turn lane. Madison Street project in Everett will include bike lanes Ben Watanabe
Tacoma News Tribune
- Update: Stretch of state highway through south...on December 1, 2022 at 6:30 pm
Update 3, 12:24 p.m.: WSDOT reports the collision has been cleared. Update 2, 10:48 a.m.: WSDOT now reporting a collision on state Route 161 near Graham Road East with lanes … Click to Continue »
- Hit-and-run crash on Pacific Avenue in Tacoma...on November 25, 2022 at 3:39 pm
A pedestrian was killed early Friday morning in a hit-and-run crash on Pacific Avenue in Tacoma, according to police. A portion of the roadway will be shut down for several … Click to Continue »
- There’s a Puyallup intersection drivers,...on November 19, 2022 at 3:00 pm
A Puyallup intersection will be closed for two days between 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. next week. Crews will work at the West Stewart Avenue and Seventh Street Northwest intersection … Click to Continue »
- UPDATE: State troopers involved in shooting on...on November 19, 2022 at 1:03 am
A semi tractor-trailer was carjacked then crashed on I-5 near Martin Way on Friday, but the incident ended with a shooting involving Washington State Patrol troopers. Northbound and southbound lanes … Click to Continue »
- Pierce County deputy responding to assault call...on November 17, 2022 at 11:51 pm
A Pierce County deputy responding to a report of a domestic-violence assault Thursday afternoon collided with a vehicle at an intersection near Parkland, causing the patrol car to roll over. … Click to Continue »
- Four suspects wanted after shooting shuts down...on November 16, 2022 at 12:47 am
Four suspects are wanted by police after a shooting and a collision at a busy Lakewood intersection have halted traffic late Tuesday afternoon. Lakewood police responded to a collision at … Click to Continue »
- Head-on vehicle collision in Parkland injures 5...on November 14, 2022 at 8:16 pm
A head-on collision involving two vehicles Monday morning in Parkland left five people injured and led to part of Steele Street South being closed to traffic for several hours. A … Click to Continue »
- Lane and ramp closures coming to I-5 and SR 167...on October 28, 2022 at 7:38 pm
Drivers using southbound Interstate 5 near the Puyallup River Bridge on Saturday might see lane closures. Crews working for the state Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will be paving in that … Click to Continue »
- Rolled over trailer on SR-16 in Gig Harbor causes...on October 26, 2022 at 5:02 pm
A trailer rolled over Wednesday morning on eastbound state Route 16 in Gig Harbor, forcing traffic to the shoulder and causing miles of backups, according to the Washington State Department … Click to Continue »
- Early-morning vehicle collisions on I-5 in Tacoma...on October 25, 2022 at 2:36 pm
Tuesday-morning commuters going through Tacoma from either direction on Interstate 5 might have run into some light traffic delays due to collisions on both sides of the interstate. Both collisions … Click to Continue »