Bus Transit

King County Metro Bus Service: Contents Under Pressure

(This post also ran as an opinion article in Crosscut). With gas prices still on the north side of four dollars per gallon, more people than ever are riding King County Metro buses in Seattle and some parts of its suburbs. Ridership was up 7 percent last year, and as the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Dierdre Gregg reports, continued growth is straining the system. One effect: more riders get bypassed at stops as stuffed buses too often breeze right past. PSBJ: For riders of King County’s jam-packed buses, there’s good news and bad news. The good: The Transit Now program, which voters approved in 2006, will add 15 percent to 20 percent more service over the course of 10 years. Read More ›

Enrique Peñalosa Featured in The New York Times Magazine

In 2006, Cascadia Center co-sponsored an event, “A New Vision for Developing Transit for Livable Cities,” which featured Enrique Peñalosa. This weekend, the estimable The New York Times Magazine, featured Peñalosa in its “Questions For” column. Q: As a former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, who won wide praise for making the city a model of enlightened planning, you have lately been hired by officials intent on building world-class cities, especially in Asia and the developing world. What is the first thing you tell them? In developing-world cities, the majority of people don’t have cars, so I will say, when you construct a good sidewalk, you are constructing democracy. A sidewalk is a symbol of equality. When the former Bogotá, Columbia, Read More ›

Metro… is it really transit?

Being a good, environmentally-conscious citizen, I attempted to use mass transit to get from my home on Capitol Hill to my workplace in Renton the other day. I went to King County Metro’s trip planning page. The first round (point-to-point, .5 mile walk) culled 3 options averaging 3.5 hours and 4 transfers. The second round (point-to-point, 1 mile walk) gave 3 options, with two transfers and 3 hours. Third try (house address-to-Southcenter mall): an average of 1.25 hours, between one and two transfers. That does not include the 20 minute walk from Southcenter to the office in Renton. Total: close to two hours. Are you kidding me?! Between 2 and 3 hours to get to work… each way? Figuring this Read More ›

Los Angeles County to Expand Bus Rapid Transit

As part of its current budget proposal, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Los Angeles County is planning to add eight more “Metro Rapid” bus rapid transit routes to the 20 that will already be in operation by later this month. The LA Times reports. If you’re someone at all inclined to take the bus to and from work once or more a week, see how this sounds. Service on the Metro Rapid Program, implemented in June 2000, is 25% faster than regular service because the buses make fewer stops and run every three to 10 minutes during peak travel times, the MTA says. Also, the Rapid buses have equipment that extends green lights or changes red lights 10 seconds faster. Read More ›

Fewer Bus Routes, More Frequency

On days when telecommuting won’t work, I park my car on a side street in West Seattle and take the bus downtown. After one or two round trips per week for four months, I’m not on the verge of driving instead, but I’m pretty unimpressed with King County Metro’s on-time performance. The #54 is regularly five to ten minutes late getting to its Alaska Street stops on the way downtown, and two days in a row last week, between 2:30 and 4:00 p.m., the #55 bus from downtown back to West Seattle was running at least ten minutes late. The first time, when it finally did arrive, we sat through a green light while the driver finished up a personal Read More ›

Research Compendium

Last updated August 25, 2008 The research, it just keeps coming. On this page, we’ll compile links to key studies and reports on innovation in transportation. MANAGING, PLANNING & FUNDING TRANSPORTATION Cascadia Center Reports “Lessons In Public-Private Partnerships & Climate Change: What British Columbia Taught California, And What Washington Can Still Learn,” 10/07. “A Tale Of Three Cities: How San Diego, Denver and Vancouver, B.C. Raised Major Regional Funds For Transportation,” Doug Hurley, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, 9/06. “Travel Value Pricing: Better Traffic Operations Management & New Revenue For The Puget Sound Region,” John S. Niles, for Cascadia Center, 4/06. “Transportation Working Group Recommendations,” Transportation Working Group, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, 2/15/05. Transportation Working Group background, members, and Read More ›

The Impact Of “Commuting With Benefits”

In a summary of its updated “Commuting In America” study, the Transportation Research Board reports that what might be called “commuting with benefits” is growing, as more drivers make more stops for other purposes on the way to and from work. Commutes are getting more complex, and the trend could lead to still more cars on the road rather than fewer. Planners, many politicians, and environmental advocates would like to see more transit use, but especially where key suburban commuters are targeted, that will depend on speed, frequency and convenience of service. How does “trip chaining” play out presently here in Central Puget Sound? Driving back from your job in Bellevue to your affordable home in Maple Valley, you stop Read More ›