Monday, November 30, 2009

Community Transits Swift BRT Line

Well, Washingtons first BRT line is in service. This is the second BRT line in the Northwest behind Eugenes EmX. Distinctive stations line Hwy 99 from Aurora Village to Everett and offer almost level boarding, ticket Vending Machines that resemble parking meters, ORCA Taggers at each end, schedules and maps with connecting info, and bright lighted platforms with roomy shelters. The buses are nice, the are New Flyer Low Floor Hybrid buses, they are similar to Eugenes buses, except they are still normal in that they dont have doors on the left side of the bus.

There is room for 3 bikes on board in special bike racks, bike always board through the 3rd door. The seats across the way fold up since you can see bikes can take up a lot of aisle space. It is similar to Light Rail in that you must have a fare before boarding. You either can purchase a one-way only fare from the TVMs on the platform, or tap your ORCA card, which will give you transfer privileges. No paper transfers will be issued or accepted on Community Transit Jan 1, and on Swift immediately.

Wheelchairs also have a new option to sit backwards against the board and pull down a lever to hold them in. If the bus makes a sudden stop, the board prevents them from rolling forward. This will save time in securing and unsecuring wheelchairs. The bus does not have automated stop announcements as of yet, but I hear they are coming. The stations do not have next arrival displays, but during the weekdays, buses come every 10 min. Swift is over 17 miles long, making it the longest BRT line in the country right now. Something I noticed, the local stops are about 2 bus lengths ahead of the BRT stops, if one is waiting at a local stop, and sees the BRT arrive, they could run up to it and get on, potentially not paying a fare. They should have done this like in Los Angeles, local stops are on one side of the street, Rapid stops are on the other. It is a nice line, it covers the busiest traveled corridor in the Community Transit System. I will be interested to see the numbers and anything they are going to do in the future with BRT.

Heres my Video from the day:

1 comment:

Al M said...

See you tube comments!