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Old 10-07-2019, 02:21 PM
 
Location: SF, CA
1,631 posts, read 775,709 times
Reputation: 2602

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http://www.thestranger.com/features/...on-made-simple
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:45 PM
 
Location: SF, CA
1,631 posts, read 775,709 times
Reputation: 2602
Default thoughts on Seattle transit

The Stranger's staffers live in Seattle and I don't, but even so I thought they were being
way too dismissive by saying "Seattle transit sucks." Compared to what?
New York / London / Paris? Yes, it's no doubt far inferior to transit in those cities.
But those aren't fair comparisons. Fair comparisons would be western-US cities
of similar size, e.g. San Diego / Phoenix / Denver.

Based on multiple visits this year, I'd grade Seattle transit like this:

Bus: B+
Lots of lines, fairly frequent service. The rapid lines (red buses) are great.
But the closure of the bus tunnel to buses was a huge setback,
and service to the southern neighborhoods is skimpy.

Light rail: C+
It's expanding, with the extensions to Capitol Hill and UW, and more on the way.
But in my experience, malfunctions and service interruptions seem to happen quite often;
on the train I rode yesterday, the doors weren't working properly.
On a previous visit, a train broke down and had to be taken out of service.
The trains don't run often enough, and there aren't enough benches to sit on while waiting.

Streetcar: Incomplete
The Stranger article had it right -- why does the streetcar exist?
It doesn't do anything a bus couldn't do. And a metro bus transfer
can't be used on a streetcar -- that's silly. Will it be better if / when
the two streetcar lines are connected?

Information services: D-
Seattle Metro and LINK light rail put a lot of service on the street,
but really fall on their faces in informing riders.
When you arrive at the airport, there's a trek through a parking garage to the light rail station,
and the path is not especially well-marked.
Then at the rail station, there's no agent to answer questions.
Sometimes there's a Sound Transit staffer walking around, sometimes not.
But there's no station-agent booth; ditto for the other light-rail stations I've seen.
This is bizarre. It's as though Sound Transit thinks everyone already
knows their way around the system. Hello?? Seattle gets a lot of travelers.

And the station signs are sometimes inaccurate; they'll say the next train won't arrive
for 13 minutes, but then one appears in two minutes.
Seattle Metro is no better when it comes to informing people...
it doesn't even print a system route map, so how is a passenger supposed to know
which bus goes where? Fortunately, a conscientious citizen filled that need:
The Seattle Transit Map // discover Seattle the car(e)free way
But how many people know that that map exists?

And in the latest attack of foolishness, Metro moved its bus-schedule rack
out of the Westlake station. Now the schedules are down at the post office
-- what was the point of that? Who goes to a post office for bus schedules?

So, all in all, a mixed review.... but if the information services could be brought up
to the quality of the bus service, it would be an exceptional system.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:12 AM
 
2,414 posts, read 1,544,618 times
Reputation: 3304
Quote:
The Stranger's staffers live in Seattle and I don't, but even so I thought they were being
way too dismissive by saying "Seattle transit sucks."
I didn't get that from the article. They seemed to be saying "everyone says Seattle transit sucks, but it's not that bad and it's getting better and here's why..." I didn't get "dismissive" at all from that.

I ride the transit daily (or close to it). Almost everywhere I go is on transit. From the east side to the west side to north of Seattle to south of Seattle/Tacoma, I'm on transit.

I don't get the street car *at all.* I see it as something tourists maybe want to ride, like the monorail. But I could be totally misunderstanding its purpose and since it doesn't work with one of the transportation passes (e.g., Orca), I don't have experience with it.

I have my own personal wish lists for better bus service that meets MY needs, but I realize my unique needs don't necessarily match the vast majority of riders (or they'd have better service for me).

I do agree that support for riding the link from the airport is definitely lacking. You really have to do your research ahead of time to know what to do and where to go and it's still confusing. The light rail does seem to break down an awful lot. My commute doesn't have me taking it very often (mostly to and from the airport, and occasionally from the U District to somewhere else) but I do get the alerts via email and the thing seems to constantly break. It's broken down on me at least twice, and I almost missed a plane (that I had left double the time I needed for travel) because of it.

The electric signs are sometimes inaccurate, that is true. And the app (One Bus Away) is sometimes inaccurate. IME, certain buses seem more likely to have inaccurate times. Traffic messes it all up. I had never seen that system map you linked to. But is it vastly different from this? https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/tra...ps/system.aspx If you really mean a printed map, I know they do a lot less printing of things (for good reason) than they used to. When I lived here in the '90s, I had to rely on the paper copies of everything and hope buses came on time. I much prefer the digital options.

In summary, I don't think the transit system sucks, but I do think that many people have to be really committed to taking it (or having no other options) because if you live anywhere off the beaten track or outside the city proper, it can be a lot more difficult to use. I am firmly committed to public transportation and very opposed to paying parking fees and I like being able to work while in transit. But my commute to work is at least twice as long as it would be in a car. It involves 3 buses and they don't always line up like they should, making it even longer.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
6,853 posts, read 5,325,627 times
Reputation: 4474
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraceKrispy View Post
I don't get the street car *at all.* I see it as something tourists maybe want to ride, like the monorail. But I could be totally misunderstanding its purpose and since it doesn't work with one of the transportation passes (e.g., Orca), I don't have experience with it.
ORCA does work with the Seattle Streetcar whether paying with a Puget Pass or e-purse. It does not accept paper transfers. As of last Monday, the same is true for the Monorail, up to your pass amount (if $2.75, you'll need to pay an extra 25 cents).

Once the Center City Connector is completed, it'll be more useful. I've used it when going to First Hill (transferring from Capitol Hill LR Station).
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:22 AM
 
265 posts, read 195,616 times
Reputation: 400
Does anybody know what sort of drugs the OP is on??


he says:

Now the schedules are down at the Post Office”




... AS IF they haven’t been there for several decades

where everyone else knows they can be found.


The underground walkway above the bus tunnel is a ghost town most of the time and it makes zero sense to have bus schedules there.


Maybe they should have airline schedules and Amtrak schedules there too??


Hell, why not tide schedules as well???


Maybe NBA schedules too!


How about schedules for the Quebec Junior Hockey League while we’re at it?



Anything at all that the homeless can set ablaze outside Macy’s late at night should be stockpiled down in the walkway above the Westlake bus tunnel station!!


Why didn’t Wes Uhlman think of this brilliant idea offered by NW4me ???
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:48 AM
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
4,801 posts, read 2,196,591 times
Reputation: 3624
RE : Streetcars farebox. I dont think there is much of a fare loss from those who want a sole & quick streetcar ride. JMO most ride the streetcar on a transfer to somewhere else which takes either a cash fare, Orca card, or App.
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