Monday, February 28, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

McGraw Square - An Idea That Makes No Sense

McGraw Square, a little "Transit Friendly" park at the Southern Terminus of the Streetcar Line. the SDOT Blog touts "The new plaza makes it easier to travel around downtown, and enhances connections from [SLUT] to other options like buses and Link Light Rail".

What?? That is farthest from what it does. The "park" did not add bus stops, add an entrance to the tunnel, nor did it make it easier or friendlier to cross that intersection to connect with transit. This was a $900,00 waste of taxpayers dollars, that could have been used to improve transit downtown, like adding shelters in the form of the high raised glass canopies that protrude from a nearby building. I just do not see this as an improvement on any transit related transactions, except a better encouragement for jaywalking to/from all sides of the park.

Save the Date - Adron Halls Transit Beer: Seattle Edition

February 26, 2011. Transit Beer is something local blogger Adron Hall started a few years ago in Portland. Its an informal get together of the local transit blogging community. Thats people who write, read and love talking transit. We usually go to a local establishment where you can order food and drinks, and converse.

This will be a chance for many of you Seattle readers to meet Adron, the writer behind Transit Sleuth and a chance to meet me. Also special guest from Portland, the TriMet driver and ranter himself, Al M will be there.

The place for this is at the Frontier Room, Belltown Seattle. Use the map below to get directions, be sure to select "By Transit".

I would love for my Twitter readers/followers, blog readers, and everyone I talk transit with to come on down and say Hi. There is no agenda, just come by, sit down, grab a bite, and have fun! Do let me know if you might make it, we will need to know how much space we might need. You can RSVP to the event here. If your not a Facebook user, you can leave a comment to this post.

Hope to meet some of you, and to chat with some of my longtime readers!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

TriMet wants money it could use for buses for Light Rail

TriMet, the agency so many outside of Portland praise, wants to use all the money it can get from a Flexible Funds Program to fund the Milwaukie Light Rail project. Doing this would not allow TriMet to obtain funds from it for 6 years for bus replacements.

This further proves TriMet wants to be a Light Rail agency, and wash their hands of bus service. Sadly, it doesn't surprise me. What is it going to take to get TriMet to use any funds it can get to replace buses that are barley holding on? I think the bus assignments should make sure that the oldest equipment runs on the routes upper management claims they take, maybe that will give them a better idea?

See the whole story at the Cascade Policy Institute Site.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

TransLink the leader in Social Media?

In the last few months, TransLink, Vancouver BC's transit provider, has staffed a person to run their Twitter account. It is typically updated from 6:30am to 11:30pm every day. The service comes from the customer service call centre, with one morning person and one afternoon person monitoring and sending out messages from the account. They send out reroute info, tips for riding, and upcoming transit changes. You can also send them a message, and they will respond to you very quickly.

As of right now it is a pilot program, that keeps getting extended month after month. I follow this account and its great to see what they are doing. Closer to home, Metro is trying, alerts get out about reroutes and issues, but what if they did the same thing Translink is doing? Although, I have reason to suspect if Metro had the level of activity as Translink, a few STB bloggers will still find something wrong with it. I think its a great idea, as I have mentioned before, this is a platform that people use, and its great to see Translink take it to the next level.

You can read about the project, submit your feedback, and look at stats of the first month of the project on their blog.

Update: This project is now permanent!