I seem to stumble into the poor plight of King County Metro in Seattle. Recently they started running their BRT routes, or “faux BRT” routes I should say. The D line has run into the gamut of problems, including ridership it just can’t handle. I wish em’ the best, cheers.
Amid what appears to be poor planning and being forced to push the BRT into service while severely cutting other routes in the area, King County is making improvement along the route slowly and steadily. Light priorities are definitely a start, but not the ultimate solution. The ideal, which in traditional Seattle fashion, is 15-20 years away.
This ideal scenario is to build out the Link Light Rail out to West Seattle. However West Seattle is at the bottom of the priority list right now, and Seattle can’t multi-track (not that any city in the US can anymore). The other lines that will complete well before anything even gets legitimately planned for West Seattle include Bellevue, Redmond (maybe), north Seattle (maybe), south of the airport (maybe) and of course the currently being built University District line.
The University District line, which I’m highly confident will change the way Seattle exists in a huge way, connecting three of the core areas of Seattle; downtown, University District, and Capital Hill. This line, part of which exists out to the airport now, should become a huge success at that point. Versus the current situation, in which the light rail is of moderate success and arguable becoming rapidly more successful year over year. They’re seeing much more rapid growth in ridership than originally expected. With double digit percentages year over year. This last month, the Link Light Rail has caught up to the other typical ridership numbers of lines here in the north west.
- Trimet Blue Line: 54,200
- Trimet Red Line: 21,700
- Trimet Green Line: 23,300
- Trimet Yellow Line: 16,400 < poor poor Yellow Line. :(
- Link Light Rail: >= 27,000
As I Wrote This Entry…
I read a few blog entries over on Seattle Transit Blog and oh boy that just reminds me of one big reason why I high tailed it back to Portland after 2 years in Seattle. They’re completely FUBARing their entire transit system slowly but steadily at King County Metro. They’re taking examples time and time again from Portland and implementing them horribly. The only project that looks to be going really well, and it isn’t actually King County Metro, is the Link Light Rail extension to U-District (as I mentioned above). The BRT, the streetcar expansion, and other things all look doomed to be complete catastrophes. Just read that blog entry and comments on Human Transit’s Blog. Seattle is just heading the complete opposite direction of getting itself put together well. It is completely neglecting the core elements of the city that SHOULD have major transit corridors, dedicated lane miles, and other associated enhancements and pushing in traffic bus service and in traffic streetcar service that is destined to be stuck. Seattle traffic is the only city in the North West (excluding San Francisco if you count it as NW) that has truly bad traffic. With this type of attitude, of not giving dedicated ROW to transit services, that traffic will remain horrible and get worse without a single alternative to it all.
If they keep up, I can imagine in 20-30 years you might see Tacoma, Vancouver BC, and even Portland start to take a lead in growth and population over Seattle. Seattle could literally, stymie its population growth in a significant way if they don’t figure out how to manage their city properly.
…and don’t even get me started on the other city amenities… :-/