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.
August 8, 2022 The Chinatown-International District (CID) is facing one of the most potentially (and likely) devastating urban planning disasters with the four light rail alignments that are proposed with the Sound Transit 3 (ST3) expansion. ...
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!
The Seattle Department of Transportation owns and operates 124 bridges. A city auditor report in 2020 rated the Second Avenue Extension Bridge in Pioneer Square (built in 1928), Magnolia Bridge (1929) and University Bridge (1930) in “poor” condition. Overall,...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2022/07/29/road-conditions-poor-neighborhoods/ The Transportation Department has also identified longer commutes for people who don’t own cars and a higher burden of transportation costs on poorer families. The...
Road surfaces in Washington state declined for years due to underinvestment and procrastination, even while WSDOT built new highway megaprojects that politicians, business associations and drivers supported since the early 2000s. Finally in 2022, the...
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.”
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.
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.
- Northbound I-405 to be closed Wednesday and...by Christine Clarridge on August 10, 2022 at 7:03 pm
Crews with the Washington State Department of Transportation will be setting girders for the new Main Street Bridge.
- A tour inside the West Seattle Bridge reveals...by Mike Lindblom on August 10, 2022 at 1:00 pm
Closed for more than two years, the West Seattle Bridge is about to reopen with a massive 92-ton infusion of steel to strengthen it.
- New research pushes states on distracted drivingby The Associated Press on August 9, 2022 at 2:43 pm
Data indicates that broadly written state laws that prohibit drivers from holding a cellphone under any circumstance appear to be effective in reducing rear-end crashes.
- Electric cars too costly for many, even with aid...by JACK EWING on August 8, 2022 at 11:47 pm
Battery-powered vehicles are considered essential to the fight against climate change, but most models are aimed at the affluent.
- Washington State Ferries to get $38M from feds to...by Amanda Zhou on August 8, 2022 at 11:12 pm
Nine ferry providers, including Washington State Ferries, will get a total of $42.4 million, which is more than double the amount the state received in 2021.
- A new walk-on ferry will cruise from Des Moines...by Mike Lindblom on August 8, 2022 at 1:00 pm
The M/V Chilkat, recently a whale-watching boat, will carry travelers between Des Moines and Seattle's Pier 66 beginning Aug. 10.
- WSDOT changes I-5 roadwork detours for Seafair,...by Mike Lindblom on August 4, 2022 at 8:52 pm
WSDOT will leave the I-90 to I-5 connection open during this weekend's roadwork in Sodo to help Seafair attendees and sports fans.
- Spokane Street Bridge in West Seattle reopens...by Seattle Times staff on August 4, 2022 at 6:01 pm
The lower Spokane Street Bridge in West Seattle reopened Thursday morning after a brief closure due to mechanical issues.
- ‘Team Molly’ parents sue Seattle e-bike...by Katherine Rosman on August 2, 2022 at 6:16 pm
The parents of a girl who died after an e-bike accident filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday against the Seattle e-bike company Rad Power Bikes.
- Captain of wrecked WA ferry resignsby David Kroman and Mike Lindblom on August 1, 2022 at 11:16 pm
The boat crashed near West Seattle last week after approaching the dock at high speeds. The Coast Guard is investigating.
- Washington ferries to get $38 million to improve...by Wire Service on August 9, 2022 at 11:50 pm
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington The money from the Federal Highway Administration will be used to improve the ferry service. Washington ferries to get $38 million to improve services Wire Service
- Lynnwood’s Poplar Way bridge over I-5 gets $25M...by Ben Watanabe on August 9, 2022 at 9:00 pm
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Designs show a six-lane road with bike lanes and sidewalks between 196th Street SW and Alderwood Mall Boulevard. Lynnwood’s Poplar Way bridge over I-5 gets $25M federal boost Ben Watanabe
- Could light rail station under Pacific Avenue and...by Ben Watanabe on August 8, 2022 at 8:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington A group representing people around Everett Station wants Sound Transit to study the idea. Could light rail station under Pacific Avenue and over railroad work? Ben Watanabe
- Everett launches free evening bus rides to the...by Ben Watanabe on August 3, 2022 at 11:20 pm
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington The service, dubbed ‘Wheels to the Waterfront’, will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday starting this week Everett launches free evening bus rides to the waterfront Ben Watanabe
- Survey: Support for Madison Street bike lanes,...by Ben Watanabe on August 1, 2022 at 8:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Everett staff are conducting a traffic study and developing alternatives as part of the road’s scheduled road work. Survey: Support for Madison Street bike lanes, worry over parking Ben […]
- Ferry in Seattle damaged after crash into terminalby Wire Service on July 28, 2022 at 6:20 pm
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Authorities say an automobile and passenger ferry crashed into a dock Thursday. Ferry in Seattle damaged after crash into terminal Wire Service
- King County OKs free transit for youthby Wire Service on July 26, 2022 at 10:55 pm
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington People age 18 and under will ride buses, water taxis and streetcars for free in King County starting Sept. 1. King County OKs free transit for youth Wire Service
- State OKs lower Highway 99 speed limits in south...by Ben Watanabe on July 26, 2022 at 8:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Speed limits will drop 5 and 10 mph on two different stretches between Airport Road and Seventh Avenue SE. State OKs lower Highway 99 speed limits in south Everett Ben Watanabe
- Community Transit plan: more frequent buses, new...by Ben Watanabe on July 25, 2022 at 8:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington The Snohomish County agency’s six-year outlook is bullish on growth despite lingering effects of the pandemic. Community Transit plan: more frequent buses, new routes, ‘clean’ fuel […]
- PUD fast-charging EV stations in Everett ready...by Herald Staff on July 22, 2022 at 8:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington A state grant with money from the Volkswagen emissions cheating settlement helped fund the the project. PUD fast-charging EV stations in Everett ready for drivers Herald Staff
Tacoma News Tribune
- 36-year-old Kent resident killed in head-on...on August 11, 2022 at 12:30 pm
Jacob Love, a 36-year old man who died after he drove across an Orting street divider and into an oncoming vehicle, was identified by the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office … Click to Continue »
- Do you drive the Sumner Tapps highway? Prepare...on August 7, 2022 at 5:18 pm
Road crews will descend on Sumner Tapps Highway East the week of Aug. 8 to add a new layer of asphalt between West Tapps Drive East and the Auburn city … Click to Continue »
- Update: Tacoma bridge reopened to traffic after...on August 3, 2022 at 7:13 pm
Update, 3:05 p.m. Aug. 3: The Hylebos Bridge was reopened to vehicle traffic by 2:40 p.m. City spokesperson Stacy Ellifritt said in an email that there appeared to be a … Click to Continue »
- Bicycling in Tacoma can be dangerous. Here are...on August 1, 2022 at 12:00 pm
Between 2016 and 2020, an estimated 26,693 people were involved in traffic collisions on Tacoma’s streets, according to a crash-analysis report. Bicyclists make up only 1 percent of that number, … Click to Continue »
- Traffic stalled in Sumner after police pursuit of...on July 28, 2022 at 5:16 pm
Drivers headed south on state Route 167 in Sumner on Thursday morning may have run into traffic delays. Pierce County deputies said traffic was backed up after a police pursuit … Click to Continue »
- Vehicle fire on southbound I-5 in Tacoma snarls...on July 27, 2022 at 8:04 pm
A vehicle that caught fire Wednesday on a shoulder of southbound Interstate 5 in Tacoma temporarily blocked four lanes, stalling traffic while crews worked to extinguish the flames. No injuries … Click to Continue »
- Expect road work, possible delays on this state...on July 23, 2022 at 12:00 pm
Travelers can expect lane closures coming soon along state Route 302 on Key Peninsula. Starting July 25, crews use alternating one-way traffic between 118th Avenue Northwest and 123rd Avenue Northwest, … Click to Continue »
- Anger and sadness from Tacoma-area bicycling...on July 22, 2022 at 12:00 pm
Days after a 13-year-old boy riding a bicycle in a crosswalk was struck and killed by a car in Parkland, local bicycling advocates expressed anger and grief over a crash … Click to Continue »
- Traffic stalls after 3-vehicle crash in Tacoma. A...on July 21, 2022 at 10:27 pm
A crash near the Port of Tacoma that flipped a pickup truck on top of a semitrailer Thursday afternoon blocked off traffic in the area. The Tacoma Police Department received … Click to Continue »
- Man killed in Gig Harbor crash after driver fell...on July 20, 2022 at 10:03 pm
A 34-year-old Port Orchard man died in Gig Harbor after the driver of the SUV he was riding in fell asleep and crashed into a ditch. Washington State Patrol trooper … Click to Continue »