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.
Performance audit of Sound Transit reveals over $100 million spent to fix mistakes and missing information
From the Washington Policy Center: The Washington State Auditor’s Office (SAO) released a performance audit of Sound Transit, finding that the agency should spend more time upfront in carefully designing and planning projects to reduce high...
Here we 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!
Los Angeles Times: A viaduct built in Madera for California’s high-speed rail project. (High-Speed Rail Authority) Lawmakers are withdrawing their support from the high-speed rail project as many become skeptical of the plans and...
From the Washington Policy Center: In a June 17 update, King County Metro provided information on the agency’s COVID-19 response and recovery, as well as the impact of the pandemic on budget and policy. Metro reported that ridership...
From the Washington Policy Center:The West Seattle Bridge was first opened to traffic in 1984, replacing a twin drawbridge (or bascule bridge) that had been struck in 1978 by the freighter Chavez. Its replacement – a segmental bridge supported...
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 growth reflected in $90M in...
by Mike Lindblom on November 18, 2017 at 2:00 pm
So far this year, Sound Transit’s governing board has approved five office leases totaling $90 million, underscoring the agency’s growth as a result of ST3.
Train and transit talk: Highlights from reporter...
by z-inactive-Tyler on November 10, 2017 at 12:52 am
Can Sound Transit projects be completed early? Will ST3 car tab fees come down? What impact will the Trump administration have on funding Seattle-area infrastructure? Mike Lindblom answered your transit-related questions.
What can Sound Transit do to keep projects in the...
by Seattle Times staff on November 8, 2017 at 2:00 pm
Transportation reporter Mike Lindblom answers your questions about the future of Sound Transit's light-rail projects, which are facing growing budget pressure from rising land values and construction costs.
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.
General Transportation News
Bus service cuts start Saturday as Metro Transit...
by Heidi Groover on September 19, 2020 at 1:00 pm
Metro will cut bus service starting this weekend, as the pandemic hurts transit agency funding. The cuts will amount to 15% of the agency’s overall service before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Metro has already cut some bus routes this year due to the outbreak, so some of the reductions may not […]
First rental scooters hit Seattle streets
by Heidi Groover on September 16, 2020 at 8:53 pm
Seattle’s first free-floating rental scooters will be available this week after the bike and scooter company Lime said it deployed 500 scooters here Wednesday. The electric foot scooters will be available in downtown, South Lake Union, Sodo, the Central District, Capitol Hill, Ballard, Fremont […]
SDOT director supports more bridge maintenance...
by Mike Lindblom on September 15, 2020 at 11:00 pm
Though city transportation managers need $34 million to fully maintain aging bridges, SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe says he won't ask for anywhere near that much in the 2021 budget cycle this fall. It may take a couple years and "community conversations" to boost the program.
Seattle is shortchanging bridge maintenance,...
by Mike Lindblom on September 14, 2020 at 6:37 pm
At $6.6 million a year, Seattle's spending to maintain bridges remains far too low, a new audit report says. The audit cites a "conservative" SDOT estimate that $34 million a year should be invested to maintain older bridges.
SDOT promises 55 small projects to help cope with...
by Mike Lindblom on September 14, 2020 at 1:00 pm
The Seattle Department of Transportation says it's ready to start building 40 top-ranked small projects, plus 15 other changes based on additional talks with neighbors, aimed at helping travelers navigate detours required by closure of the West Seattle Bridge.
Highway 520 bridge over Lake Washington to close...
by Mike Lindblom on September 11, 2020 at 1:00 pm
The state will close Highway 520 across Lake Washington crossing so that contractors can make progress on a new Montlake interchange being constructed near the University of Washington.
Optimism grows in ability to fix West Seattle...
by Mike Lindblom on September 9, 2020 at 1:00 pm
Seattle transportation managers are growing confident that repairs can squeeze at least 15 more years of use out of the cracked West Seattle Bridge. Such repairs would restore six lanes of traffic in 2022, compared to an immediate demolition and replacement that would disrupt travel until 2026 or […]
Electric scooters approved for Seattle, but can...
by Heidi Groover on September 9, 2020 at 1:35 am
The Seattle City Council voted Tuesday to approve legislation allowing free-floating rentable scooters and changing the rules for where scooters will be allowed. Council members said part of the goal of green-lighting a scooter program now is to allow people to learn to ride the devices while the […]
9 people arrested during protest where drivers...
by Heidi Groover on September 4, 2020 at 7:39 pm
Washington State Patrol troopers arrested nine drivers participating in a protest that blocked traffic on Interstate 5 through Seattle on Friday morning, according to videos and accounts from the scene and the state patrol.
Ferry service increased for isolated Point Roberts
by The Associated Press on September 3, 2020 at 3:20 pm
The community was largely cut off from the U.S. mainland when Canada and the U.S. closed their land border this spring to nonessential crossings to control the spread of the coronavirus.