Saturday, February 26, 2011

Reportback from West Seattle forum on our Transportation Future

i know it's a few days late, but here it goes.

The major things discussed were: the upcoming RapidRide line, light rail, the tunnel. No surprise here obviously.

For those of y'all that don't know, the RapidRide is a form of transit called BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). It's designed with fewer stops and more frequency to act somewhat similar to a rail line would. You can read all about the RapidRide itself here and BRT here

Cities like Seattle, that don't have the appropriate infrastructure or geography in order to have lots of rail options often resort to a BRT system. According to what was talked about in the meeting, the first RapidRide line that was introduced between Federal Way and Tukwila has already achieve 50% more ridership than the line that it replaced. 

The C Line will be replacing the 54 and 54X, the bus I often take home. My original concerns with the proposed line were that it was taking away stops from areas of West Seattle that are home to a lot of elderly care homes and doctors offices that serve people with limited mobility, specifically on California between the Alaska and Morgan Junctions. When I asked a question about that, I was assured that the 22 and 128 lines that serve that area normally just during rush hour, would have their hours extended to cover the times that the 54 normally would serve those stops.

Light Rail

So right now Seattle has light rail from the Sea-Tac Airport to the main shopping district in downtown that serves the southern neighborhoods of Seattle and Chinatown, Pioneer Square, and Financial District. That line is in the process of being extended to the U-District through Capitol Hill, and after that is planning on being extended all the way up to Lynwood. There is no official plan for light rail in West Seattle just yet. Two big reasons: no funding (obvz, isn't that what they always say) and the geography makes it hard. Light Rail is not designed to function on hills like Seattle has, that's why a lot of it in the hillier areas of town so far has been all underground. 

imma underneath your cities, transportin your poor huddled masses

There's two major reasons we don't have any funding for public transportation right now, the major one being that the state of Washington refuses to implement an income tax that would benefit things like public transit, and ALL of the taxes that the Department of Transportation takes in all go towards road expansion and maintenance. The second one is that federal government support for federally subsidized public transportation is really really limited right now. Cities that do have really good (or potentially good) transit systems like Portland or Atlanta (ATL doesn't really count anymore) all got federal funding from the government as far back as the 60s and 70s for implementing public transit. 

So, right now in Seattle the priority in public light rail transportation is being put on high density neighborhoods like the U-District, Capitol Hill, and those more dense residential neighborhoods north of the U-District. 

The Tunnel

Obvz there is a lot to say about that tunnel and i've already had my say about it. You can read that blog post here. There wasn't tons said about it except that it's basically inevitable and there's nothing we can do to stop it. There's already been way too much money and effort put into making this thing happen, and anti-tunnel advocates are just a little late.

The folks over at West Seattle Blog were there and videotaped the WHOLE FUCKING THING. You can watch the footage if you are that interested here.

For now I am done typing about this. If you have more specific questions leave them in the comments section and I'll respond.


hella slacking

so i've been slacking off on updating this thing daily for the past week. i could make excuses, but i'm too lazy. this week has been by far the most "on time" week for buses in Seattle, despite the snow.

here's wednesday:
54 departs California & Barton at 1:18pm (on time)
54 arrives 3rd & Seneca at 1:49pm (one minute early)

71X departs University St. Station at 1:52pm (one minute early)
71X arrives 41st & University at 2:05pm (on time)

73 departs 41st & University at 10:24pm (three minutes late)
73 arrives University St. Station at 10:44pm (on time)

54 departs 3rd & Seneca at 11:02pm (one minute late)
54 arrives at California & Barton at 11:26 (five minutes late)

I totes forgive that last bus though, because by the time we got to my neighborhood there was like three inches of snow on the ground. it was amazing.

ugh, i'm getting sick of this format, so i think i may transition over to open threads for the day, and have specific threads for events, rants, etc.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


so this post is going to be short and sweet because i am putting most of my energy today into writing a post for the forum that happened last night about the future of West Seattle transportation.

54 departs California & Barton 12:49pm (one minute early)
54 arrives 3rd & Seneca 1:20pm (on time)

71X departs University St. Station 1:23pm (on time)
71X arrives 41st & University 1:35pm (on time)

later that night

71X departs 41st & Universtiy 3:44pm (one minute late)
71X arrives University St. Station 4:10pm (five minutes early)

21X departs 3rd & Seneca 4:06pm (two minutes late)
21X arrives 35th & Henderson 4:28pm (three minutes late)


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

dead prez day

so i don't really have a lot to talk about as of yet, or about my commute yesterday. it was fairly normal, but my night bus was actually on time for once (it usually isn't on Mondays).

I take that back. I do now remember that all of my buses ran differently than what Metro's Trip Planner told me. I am fairly certain that the online trip planner did not update itself with a holiday schedule (at least for the 54), which for most routes gives it the same schedule as the route would have on Sunday. Here is what the trip planner told me:

54 departs California & Barton at 3:33pm (two minutes early)
54 arrives 3rd & Seneca at 4:05pm (six minutes early)

72X departs University St. Station at 4:01pm (two minutes late)
72X arrives 41st & University at 4:14pm (seven minutes late)

Becaues I've had bad experiences with my later evening buses on Mondays, I walked down to a different bus stop that has the same buses plus another one that i could take downtown.

73 departs Campus Pkwy & 12th at 10:25pm (three minutes late)
73 arrives University St. Station at 10:44pm (two minutes late)

54 departs 3rd & Seneca at 11:02pm (one minute late)
54 arrives at California & Barton at 11:26pm (one minute late)

ugh, my acid reflux is being hella horrible today.

keep an eye open for my report back from tonight's forum on west seattle and transit!


Monday, February 21, 2011

lucky yesterday/blogging on the go.

So yesterday (Sunday), I was able to avoid my entire usual bus trips due to Kelley having Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence meetings from 1-6pm.

My only trip was from the U-District to Capitol Hill to meet him and it went something like this:

49 departs 41st & University at 5:19pm (one minute early) 
(ps: 15th ave ne is down on sundays for construction, hence me catching it on university way ne)
49 arrives at Broadway & Pine at 5:36pm (one minute early)

also, i think i might download the app BlogPressLite for my iphone. i'm still not sure if i want to treat these entries as maybe doing an open thread all day where i post about my trips and then maybe doing special interest posts separately. feedback?


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Seattle to Vancouver, BC via public transit

So, I stumbled upon a blog post from a couple years ago by a Grad Student at UW talking about his trip to Vancouver, BC via public transit. PDF Here!

needless to say, i wanna try this.


new phone/coming up this week

hey everyone.
so i got a new phone yesterday, meaning that i'll be back to tracking my bus schedules. 

but what makes this so special is that i FINALLY GOT AN IPHONE!

I've been stuck with shitty non-smartphones since I got a cell phone in 2006, and now i'm officially a real 21st century faggot. Since Kelley is at a Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence meeting all day today, I was able to get a ride to work and hopefully a ride home as well.

In other news: I still don't have a working computer. Once i get my final W2 from the Census, I will have the money to buy a MacbookPro as soon as the new update comes out (hopefully the beginning of March). I also have a new email you can reach me at:

Coming up this week: I will be attending the Sustainable West Seattle Monthly Transit Forum this Tuesday. If you live in or frequent West Seattle you should come with me and ask tough questions.

The SDOT just released their Transit Master Plan Briefing Book. I will be looking over it hopefully this week and probably releasing some sort of comments on it.

that's all for now

ps: if you know of any good apps for mobile blogging, i am on the lookout for suggestions.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

West Seattle's Transportation Future

Next Tuesday, Sustainable West Seattle is holding a forum from 7pm-9pm. I theoretically have class until 6:20, meaning I wouldn't make it back in time for this, but I think I may skip the second half of class.

From their page:
Our February Community Forum will be held in the Senior Center of West Seattle, on SW Oregon St. literally around the eastern corner from California Avenue SW.  Come at 6:30 pm to socialize, the Forum begins at 7:00 pm and will continue to 9:00 pm.
Our Transportation Forum confirmed lineup includes:

wednesday is better, but thursday is not

ugh, due to my computer issues i just haven't been able to update as much as i'd like and only end up getting to update when i'm at work and don't have time to actually put everything down that I'd like. so here is just the basics for yesterday:

54 departs Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal 2:35pm (on time)
54 arrives at 3rd & Seneca at 3:06 (two minutes early)

73 departs University St. Station at 3:09pm (one minute late)
73 arrives at 41st & University at 3:24pm (on time)

and the ride home....

73 departs 41st & University at 10:24pm (two minutes late)
73 arrives University St. Station at 10:44 (on time)

54 departs 3rd & Seneca at 11:02pm (on time)
54 arrives at California & Barton at 11:26 (one minute early)



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

don't have a lot of time

will blog more later tonight when i'm at work. for now...

here's my trips from yesterday. needless to say, my evening commute was fucking disastrous:

my commute to work/school went fine, i fucked up my phone at some point yesterday and erased the data from my trip. As far as I can remember all of my buses were no more than one minute late.

but fuck my night commute. i know that most of the time bus drivers are not to blame for their routes being late. crazy passengers, badly timed bus routes, etc have a lot of influence. but the first drive i had last night was hands down the worst bus driver i ever had. HE WAS FOURTEEN MINUTES LATE!!! ON A BUS THAT RUNS EVERY TEN MINUTES!!!! HOW IS THIS FUCKING POSSIBLE!?!?

72X departs 41st & University at 6:25pm (fourteen minutes late)
72X arrives at 3rd & Seneca at 6:51pm (eleven minutes late)

theoretically, i should be able to casually stroll up the escalators to get to my bus stop in time for my transfer bus to get home eleven minutes after the 72 arrives. but wait, it was eleven minutes late, so i ran up the escalators and missed my bus by 30 seconds.

Then, SURPRISE!!! The next two buses i could take to get home didn't arrive, so here is what i took, it gets a bit confusing, and they were all late.

55 departs 3rd & Seneca at 7:17pm (six minutes late)
55 arrives at 35th & Avalon at 7:27pm (eight minutes late)

54 departs 35th & Avalon at 7:42p, (ELEVEN minutes late)
54 arrives at California & Barton at 7:59pm (FIFTEEN minutes late)

Needless to say, I should be able to catch the 6:45pm 54 downtown and be home by 7:15pm... a 50 minute commute. But instead, my commute was TWO FUCKING HOURS!!!! I literally wanted to punch out a bus window.