Strap hanging on Link

I just rode light rail into town for the first time in, I dunno, maybe two months, and at 12 noon, I’d never seen the train this full. Standing room only for much of the ride, with a helluva lot of suitcases clogging the aisle. I’d say that’s a good sign for Sound Transit, which has seen an uptick in ridership recently.

Oddly, it was also only the second time I’d seen security check riders’ tickets, and on my very full car, only two freeloaders were pulled off the train to be issued tickets. I’d say a compliance rate like that is a very good sign for ST too.

Comments

  1. 1

    Chris spews:

    I too have seen lots of luggage on ST on my last few rides. However, as a resident of downtown, I still shake my head at the massive line of Taxis and the Airport Shuttle that graces the steets in front of the major downtown hotels. The Westin, 2 blocks from the light rail still has a long line every few hours for people to the airport.

    Why aren’t these businesses pushing ST more? My theory is that the people aren’t told and are ‘ushered’ to cabs and the Grayline as a kickback scheme instead of getting the suggestion to walk two blocks to light rail.

  2. 2

    SJ spews:

    One night at DL we met one of the explainers (aka “planners). This guy tried to explain away the LACK of luggage racks and the lack of parking at ST sites.

    This expert refused to understand that a lot of people would use this to get to and from the airport. He expertly dissed talk about similar systems all over Europe, here in SF and DC … naaahhhhh.

    In his view, light rail in Seattle is here because SO many folks want to work downtown while living in the Boonies.

    Add in the terrible choice in public art at the stations.

    Oh well, do it once .. then redo it all!

  3. 3

    spews:

    the fact that you hadn’t ridden light rail in 2 months says something about how much you love it.

    i don’t really like how the rail goes from mount baker down to sodo. like i had just flown in from LAX and what i need now is a heroin fix?

  4. 4

    Daddy Love spews:

    I expect to move to Seattle’s south end soon-ish and am glad STLR will be there.

    In other news, according to Pew Research, only 27 percent of Americans were excited about the World Cup. The Economist has another poll out today, which finds similar numbers of people (21 percent) watching the sport closely.

    What’s significant about this? Well, either of those numbers is larger than the percentage of Americans who consider themselves Tea Party activists, which range from the low to high teens.

    Think about it: the number of Americans who are interested in the Tea Party are fewer than those interested in soccer, at what as to be the absolute top of its popularity due to the World Cup. The Tea Party is a fringe movement of only a few out-there extremists. Honest to God, less popular than soccer? Ha!

  5. 5

    Daddy Love spews:

    3. platypusrex256

    Development will change as neighborhood investment responds to the presence of light rail. They’ll have your Hooters ready for you before you know it.

  6. 6

    spews:

    Re: luggage on Link…

    While I agree that it would have been smart to provide for people who take the light rail to the airport, I don’t recall seeing such provisions on most of the airport trains I’ve been on in the US. That would include (at least) DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Cleveland, St. Louis, Atlanta, Boston, Baltimore. Some of them may turn out to have luggage racks, but it isn’t very many of them.

    BTW, the only one of the above that’s a light rail is Baltimore.

  7. 7

    SJ spews:

    @6 ACTUALLY THE RACKS WERE ONLY PART OF MY WHINING.

    The parking plans for light rail are effin stupid.

  8. 8

    spews:

    Platy @3,

    Actually, the fact I haven’t been on light rail in a couple months is an indication I haven’t been downtown in a couple months. I certainly haven’t paid for parking during that time frame.

    Riding back home as I type this on my iPhone, and while I have a seat this time, the train is still pretty crowded. And how about that… just carded again.

  9. 9

    drool spews:

    I have ridden it twice (one round trip). Biggest problem is parking at the station. ST needs to get their shit together if they want people out of their cars. We had to walk about 3 blocks from there we parked at Seatac to get the train into town. No excuse for that. The loop through the Rainier Valley seems stupid. That would be best served by buses IMO.

    In York (England) you cannot drive into the city. The city is so old the roads cannot cope. What they do is have park and rides outside the old city and you take a bus in. Only vehicles allowed in are deliveries.

  10. 10

    Michael spews:

    @1

    The fancy hotel people might be afraid suggest people walk or handle their own baggage.

  11. 11

    spews:

    While I can understand why some would like a parking lot at each station, my question would be, how big a parking lot, or parking garage would they suggest, and then up until which stop?

    I can’t seem to recall any Park & Rides at any stop I’ve been at on the London Underground, or Paris Metro, but those systems seem to have no trouble attracting riders, and I’ve never heard people suggest they screwed up by not providing parking lots for those systems.

  12. 14

    Steve spews:

    @13 From Rossi’s issues page, “the massive debts we’ve run up in the past eighteen months, threaten our long term economic prosperity”

    Apparently Rossi views the massive debt run up by Republicans prior to eighteen months ago as posing no threat to our long term economic prosperity.

    Rossi’s a lying piece of shit.

  13. 15

    Puddybud sez, Ask ylb, he has the full HA database at home spews:

    The parking plans for light rail are effin stupid.

    SJ, Puddy brought this up years ago on HA. Ask the arschloch leech for the original post. If the parking rules were better Puddy would drive to a train serviced P&R, leave the car and take the train to Sea-Tac and leave on Puddy’s flight. No real way to use the train so Puddy will continue to create CO2 on PURPOSE.

  14. 16

    TheDude spews:

    The thing about luggage racks. You have to take away passenger space to put them in. If they are in use, that is fine, but if they are empty, that space is lost. There are systems where the only luggage allowed is what fits on your lap. I think ST has a reasonable compromise.

  15. 17

    spews:

    Unless there’s a sporting event, or whatever, I can usually find a seat. Not too long ago, I was coming back from one of the South End stations on my bike and some people had put their luggage in the bike slot. They were quite apologetic, and moved it quickly, then were squished the rest of the way. Sorry, those people.

  16. 18

    If you're not Dutch, then you're not much spews:

    so let me see if I got this straight.

    1. spend billions on light rail(that hardly anybody uses)
    2. Build line to airport(and use the movement of airport travelers to downtown and vice versa as one of the main selling points).
    3. Construct light rail cars without enough room for luggage for said airport travelers.

    fucking brilliant…lets spend a few more billion $$.

  17. 19

    drool spews:

    @11 Daniel K

    Outside the London metro area there are park and ride type things and ten you can take a train into the metro area. Clearly in the dense urban area that is not possible. I wouldn’t expect a park and ride at Pioneer Square but outside the downtown metro area they do need them if they want to get ridership up. As I said, the one at Seatac is undersized…badly.

  18. 20

    righton spews:

    Goldy, you’ve figured out another way to leech off productive members; i’m paying for each sound transit trip, in far higher subsidies than almost any other transit system in the world.

    I wish you sound transit koolaid drinkers could at least admit they’ve done a poor job (for the money) thus far…

  19. 21

    Chris Stefan spews:

    @19
    Actually the one at Seatac is huge. The airport garage is one of the largest parking structures in the world. Of course it costs money to park there and wasn’t really intended to serve the rail line.

    The P&R at Tukwila station is a bit undersized, especially considering it is the only P&R currently on the light rail line. Perhaps this lot might be expanded in the future.

    I don’t think P&R lots would have made sense at any of the other current light rail stations other than perhaps at Rainier Beach.

    Another possibility would be an infill station with a P&R lot at S. 133rd. This is near the Gateway Business Park and right off I-5.

  20. 22

    Chris Stefan spews:

    @2
    So SJ what stations do you think should have had P&R lots?

    As I said above I don’t think any other than the Rainier Beach station would have made much sense.

    There is private pay parking available near or at a number of the stations if you need it.

    The primary purpose of transit systems including ST’s light rail is not to help people avoid paying downtown or airport parking fees.

    Do realize this is the first segment of a much larger system. The stations at Roosevelt, Northgate and further North will all be located at or near a P&R lot. The stations South of the Airport will all have P&R lots. Many (though not all) of the stations on the East side of Lake Washington will have P&R lots.

  21. 23

    righton spews:

    The original funding ballot promised reduction of freeway congestion.
    Instead of getting people off 405 and 5….(by way of straight route w/ park and rides) they opted for social engineering….a gerrymandered route if you will…designed to loop around all the key constituencies….which then is different than getting us off the freeways…

    aarggh…how’d we get such morons spending our money…

  22. 24

    Chris Stefan spews:

    @23
    Hmm, funny thing the materials for both the 1995 and 1996 Sound Move votes showed light rail going up Rainier Valley.

    Besides even if the initial segment had followed I-5 it is doubtful there would have been any park & rides North of Boeing Field. This isn’t much different than the line that was built.

  23. 25

    rhp6033 spews:

    As predictable, the wingnut response is that since the system still needs some improvements, it should never have been built and no more money should be spent on it.

    Using that logic, NASA would still be trying to figure out how to use Mercury capsules atop Redstone rockets to get to the moon.

  24. 26

    Chris Stefan spews:

    @25
    Or to take something more near and dear to wingnut hearts we’d still be trying to perfect horse cavalry, wooden ships of the line, and cloth biplanes.

  25. 27

    righton spews:

    Nobody said the system needs improvements; i think any of us viewing the cost per rider figures would say the tax on the populace versus the very small benefit is stupid. Sound transit doen’st provide sufficient reduction in congestion because it ran a route to please the unions (who got jobs) and the inner city pols (who got redevelopment). neither one is a rush hour commuter who needs relief. the route is flawed. should have put a big park n ride in federal way, and run a regular rail to dwntown seattle.

  26. 28

    If you're not Dutch, then you're not much spews:

    @25

    as predictable, the progressive agenda is to keep shoveling money down the rabbit hole on shit that never lives up to expectations..or promises.

    same old same old from the left nuts.

    RHP and Stefan’s strawman is the faileth.

  27. 29

    doug spews:

    @28

    You realize that the same could be said for freeways? All the billions spent and STILL we have congestion and clamor for more.

    SAME OLD SAME OLD

  28. 30

    If you're not Dutch, then you're not much spews:

    @29

    and the freeways move how many people AND goods?

    answer: a whole hell of a lot.

    so no, your comparison fails.