A New Challenge, Metro Route #256

I decided to try a new route home on the 15th instead of my normal hop onto the Sound Transit #545.  This was a mistake of grand proportions.

Usually from Overlake Transit Center to downtown the #545 usually takes about 18-22 minutes.  Even on the worse day of traffic I’ve seen yet, it was still only about 35-40 minutes.  The #545 is timely and frequent enough that I don’t worry much about missing one during the core work hours.

Fast forward to the #256, holy crimeny this bus goes on the oddest route.  It only runs about every 30 minutes, but does go just enough different places that I suppose it has a reason to exist.  The frequency however is horrible and Metro runs a full 60 foot bus on the route.  This I don’t understand, the number of 60 ft buses that are used when 40 foot or even smaller buses would work fine.  I suspect Metro uses way more fuel than they should really be using.

My Plan to Resolve the overuse of 60 foot Busses:

So I have this idea.  Metro should send TriMet about 50-60 of these 60 foot buses and TriMet can send Metro some of their 40 foot busses.  That way TriMet can bump up service appropriately on the #72, #9, #14, #15, and other routes accordingly and Metro can scale back their excessive capacity on route that don’t need the big busses.

There, another solution to a transit problem.  Some other time I’ll throw out my random solution for the bottleneck of Highway 520 or 90 across Lake Washington.  Those are some absurdities if I ever saw them.

CATS is rocking even if LINK is failing…

I just happened to be reading an article today on Progressive Railroading about the increase in ridership on the Charlotte North Carolina’s CATs Light Rail Line.  They’re actually looking at extending platforms to handle larger trains because of this increase!  That’s great news for that area and future expansions.  Meanwhile in Seattle’s Sound Transit Central Link Light Rail is well below expectations, not completely failing, but very close to it.  It makes me curious, as to what the excuse is for Seattle’s Light Rail line.  Anyone have any notions on that?  If anything bode well for success it was the Seattle areas’ pro-transit populace vs. Charlotte’s anti-transit populace (of course in and out of cities these populations change, but generally each city has a reputation for these things…)

…so, any thoughts?

Seattle Transit People? I’ve got a few questions…

I’ve been in Seattle now for about ~6 weeks.  I’ve gotten a lot of the transit options figured out, landed an ORCA Card with the appropriate pass, and have sort of gotten used to the idiocy of “pay randomly sort of based on when we’re leaving or entering the city, except when… clause 1, clause 2, clause 3, etc”.  So with all that, what I want to know is how I can determined with Sound Transit Bus is going to have wireless and which ones do not.  I generally ride the #545 to Redmond and can get a lot of e-mail and other such things wrapped up before even stepping in the door to the office.  This is a good thing for my work day.

In other questions, how do I find out news about the transit options in a single place?  So far it is far too time consuming to dig through Metro, Sound Transit, and the other websites to figure out all of this.  This brings me back to something I started to do about 6-8 months ago and am thinking about it again.  Figuring out which transit sites are good, and which are horrible.  King County Metro’s is one that is possibly going under the horrible list.  The site is a cluttered mess of UX #fail.  Sound Transit’s is pretty good, albeit there could be some navigation clean up.

Well anyway, if anyone out there in Seattle’s Transitverse knows the answers to these I’d love to know.  Thanks!