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.
SEATTLE — Just before 9 p.m., Sound Transit tweeted that repairs were completed after a mechanical issue caused a power outage and shut down the Link 1 line service between the University District and Northgate going northbound. Hundreds of commuters had their...
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!
KENT — Sound Transit revealed Thursday that light-rail service to the Eastside, which was to begin by July 2023, will open a year or more later because contractors must reinforce or rebuild 4 miles of flawed concrete track supports through Mercer Island and...
Almost six years after voters approved a massive light-rail expansion, Sound Transit made progress this summer by declaring preferred locations for three stations and a short tunnel in West Seattle. But the agency’s board members are still flailing when it comes to...
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. ...
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.
- Paratransit drivers want better pay as they serve...by Daisy Zavala Magaña on October 7, 2022 at 1:41 pm
Drivers are pressing for better wages, and medical benefits, and to remind the public of the role they play in helping elderly and disabled residents get around.
- Tips for dealing with Seattle-area weekend...by Mike Lindblom on October 6, 2022 at 7:41 pm
Construction crews this weekend will block the entrance lanes to I-5 from I-90, as expansion joint replacements continue.
- Buttigieg wades into Northwest salmon...by Mike Lindblom on October 6, 2022 at 12:00 pm
As Washington state spends $3.5 billion freeing rivers and creeks from highway blockages, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg leverages the work to boost local Democrats.
- Highway 2 closes for removal of tree damaged by...by Amanda Zhou on October 5, 2022 at 6:07 pm
Highway 2 is closed until 6 p.m. Wednesday from mile markers 44 to 50, so crews can remove a hazardous tree damaged by the Bolt Creek Fire.
- Construction of new Green Lake boathouse detours...by Daisy Zavala Magaña on October 5, 2022 at 2:00 pm
The 10,800-square-foot boathouse is slated to open this fall, according to Seattle Parks. Construction will also close the parking lot behind the Aqua Theater.
- Following dramatic jump in traffic deaths, Pierce...by David Kroman on October 5, 2022 at 1:00 pm
As traffic fatalities rise across Washington state, the loss of a 13-year-old boy riding his bike in a crosswalk and a 34% increase in road deaths is leading the county to seek change.
- WA faces an epidemic of inaccessible sidewalksby David Kroman on October 3, 2022 at 1:00 pm
A Seattle Times review of over 30 cities' and counties' assessments found no jurisdiction where even 50% of roads and sidewalks comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Highway 2 remains open but brief, intermittent...by Lauren Rosenblatt on October 2, 2022 at 11:42 pm
Cl;osures occur when "unburnt pockets" close to the road ignite.
- WA state ferries free for people 18 and under...by Christine Clarridge on September 30, 2022 at 2:18 pm
Starting Saturday, trips on Washington state ferries will be free for children and teens 18 and under. Here's what to know.
- This weekend, it’s Highway 520 that will close...by Mike Lindblom on September 29, 2022 at 1:00 pm
Construction at the Montlake interchange will close the Highway 520 floating bridge all weekend, after last weekend's mess at the I-90 bridge.
- Highway 9 in south Lake Stevens to close...by Herald Staff on October 7, 2022 at 8:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington The highway will be closed between 20th Street SE and 32nd Street SE. Through traffic should use Highway 204 and U.S. 2. Highway 9 in south Lake Stevens to close overnight this weekend […]
- Drivers school has taught thousands rules of the...by Janice Podsada on October 5, 2022 at 8:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Owner of Everett’s 911 Driving School says self-driving cars won’t make a dent for at least 20 years. Drivers school has taught thousands rules of the road Janice Podsada
- Community Transit hires King County staffer as CFOby Herald Staff on October 3, 2022 at 10:30 pm
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Eunjoo Greenhouse is set to join the agency Oct. 24 after years in King County government. Community Transit hires King County staffer as CFO Herald Staff
- Traffic backups on 164th Street near I-5 could...by Ben Watanabe on October 3, 2022 at 8:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington The county and state are implementing a new traffic signal system that synchronizes the corridor and adjusts to demand. Traffic backups on 164th Street near I-5 could see relief soon Ben […]
- U.S. 2 open again near Skykomish after Bolt Creek...by Herald Staff on October 2, 2022 at 11:26 pm
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington SKYKOMISH — A 1-mile stretch of U.S. 2 was closed for hours in both directions Sunday because of the Bolt Creek fire near Skykomish. U.S. 2 open again near Skykomish after Bolt Creek fire […]
- Welcome aboard, kids! Ferry rides are free for...by Andrea Brown on September 30, 2022 at 8:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington The move to let children ride ferries for free is the latest result of Move Ahead Washington legislation. Welcome aboard, kids! Ferry rides are free for those 18 and under Andrea Brown
- Plan seeks to transform Smokey Point Blvd. into...by Jacqueline Allison on September 30, 2022 at 8:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington City officials hope roundabouts, sidewalks and more will turn 2 miles of busy road into a neighborhood street. Plan seeks to transform Smokey Point Blvd. into ‘neighborhood corridor’ […]
- Should light rail skip Paine Field and Boeing? We...by Herald Staff on September 30, 2022 at 12:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington More than 300 Herald readers responded to an online poll. Here are the results. Should light rail skip Paine Field and Boeing? We asked, you answered Herald Staff
- Snohomish County leaders reject light rail routes...by Ben Watanabe on September 29, 2022 at 8:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Those options weren’t what voters approved — and would be like “butchering” the plan, the Snohomish County executive said. Snohomish County leaders reject light rail routes […]
- Highway 9 work could disrupt travel through Lake...by Herald Staff on September 28, 2022 at 8:30 am
HeraldNet.com HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County news from The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington Construction is set for roundabouts on South Lake Stevens Road and one at North Davies Road and Vernon Road. Highway 9 work could disrupt travel through Lake Stevens Herald Staff
Tacoma News Tribune
- Did you get a ticket last week on Pacific Avenue...on October 2, 2022 at 5:40 pm
Law enforcement emphasis patrols along Pacific Avenue in Pierce County last week netted 391 traffic stops, according to data released by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. The patrols, which also … Click to Continue »
- Drive too fast on Pacific Avenue in Pierce...on September 25, 2022 at 9:45 pm
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, plus other local law enforcement, will be monitoring the Pacific Avenue/Mountain Highway corridor this week in an effort to reduce high-risk driving behaviors. The emphasis … Click to Continue »
- That new tolled expressway to the Port of Tacoma?...on September 25, 2022 at 2:05 pm
If you’ve recently noticed equipment and crews working alongside Interstate 5 just north of the Fife curve, you’ve seen the beginning of a 2-mile-long tolled expressway that will connect the … Click to Continue »
- See what construction is happening on Interstate...on September 25, 2022 at 2:05 pm
Work has begun on the 167 Completion Project that will connect Interstate 5 with the Port of Tacoma at state Route 509. The 2-mile-long road will be tolled. … Click to Continue »
- Collision on northbound I-5 in Fife cleared after...on September 20, 2022 at 2:48 pm
Commuters traveling north Tuesday morning on Interstate 5 out of Tacoma may have run into miles of backups on the freeway. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, a … Click to Continue »
- Expect closures at one of Tacoma’s busiest I-5...on September 8, 2022 at 12:00 pm
Some of Tacoma’s busiest Interstate 5 on-ramps and exits are getting makeovers this weekend and the state Department of Transportation is urging drivers to plan ahead. Most of the work … Click to Continue »
- I-5 ramps construction may impact your commute....on September 7, 2022 at 12:00 pm
Tacoma drivers might run into closures this month on the northbound and southbound Interstate 5 on- and off-ramps to South 56th Street due to construction. The southbound I-5 off-ramp to … Click to Continue »
- Brush fire streaks along I-5 North, backs up...on September 3, 2022 at 1:50 am
A brush fire adjacent to Interstate 5 has caused northbound traffic delays throughout Friday evening. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation website, the fire started just before 5 … Click to Continue »
- Highway semi-truck stall leads to road diversions...on September 2, 2022 at 9:26 pm
A no-longer stalled semi-truck has continued to cause traffic delays along westbound sections of state Route 512 Friday afternoon. Washington State Trooper Robert Reyer first tweeted about the truck at … Click to Continue »
- Lakewood brush fire backs up traffic near South...on September 1, 2022 at 12:22 am
A brush fire that required the services of three different departments burned between 5 to 10 acres near Interstate 5 in Lakewood on Wednesday afternoon. West Pierce Fire & Rescue … Click to Continue »