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King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

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10 hours ago, EvergreenRailfan said:

I saw Pullman Standard Trolley 1005 running on Beacon Ave S, yesterday morning. I thought MEHVA was done with trolley excursions for the year.

If I recall correctly, MEHVA occasionally "exercises" their trolleys on wire to keep their electronics functional. 

I believe they may have neglected to do so with the Breda coach, which is why it's no longer functional in trolley mode. 

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On 11/9/2018 at 1:49 PM, anonymous guy said:

If I recall correctly, MEHVA occasionally "exercises" their trolleys on wire to keep their electronics functional. 

I believe they may have neglected to do so with the Breda coach, which is why it's no longer functional in trolley mode. 

The mode change "stuff" on Bredas was cantankerous at best when they were in regular service.  It has functioned as a trolley coach, on and off, over the years.

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35 minutes ago, northwesterner said:

The mode change "stuff" on Bredas was cantankerous at best when they were in regular service.  It has functioned as a trolley coach, on and off, over the years.

There was a reason why the dual-mode Bredas in their original configuration could not be run on the wire outside of the tunnel or only could be run for short distances, correct?   What was that reason?  ...I can't seem to remember. 

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On 10/11/2018 at 7:58 PM, roamer said:


I'm glad you're challenging me to dig in and try to remember things.  Not only is my health failing fast but it seems my memory and cognitive functions are slipping away even faster than the physical ailments piling up.  As I've told many on the forum previously, it really is helpful for me to try and remember things and it's good therapy overall. I know my recollections are not always correct and I'm always eager for anybody to correct me.  Also, I realize there are a few here who don't appreciate my posts and my musings about the past ...maybe because they are not always 100% correct?    I've had several forum participants both publicly and privately tell me so.   But I hope most will put up with my posts as, like I say, it's good therapy for me.

I feel honoured to have helped you keep your mind sharp during what I'm sure must be a tough time for you. I wish you the best, and hope you get better soon.

Returning to buses...

The 6 and 16 had a shared interline corridor with the 12-E Cherry and 12-Judkins Park branches. The 16 also went all the way up Meridian to 145th. At a later date, the 6 (which ran on 5th Ave N) instead looped via 5th, Union, 3rd, Cedar, return onto 5th Ave N. Later still, this was changed again to Aurora instead of 5th Ave N, and using 3rd in both directions downtown (with a timing point at 3rd Ave S & S Washington).

  • When was the 16 truncated to Northgate TC? Which routes replaced bus service on Meridian north of Northgate?
  • When did the 6 get moved onto Aurora/3rd through SLU/Downtown?
  • When did the 6/12/16 interline corridor get replaced with 12N/12S, 16/21, and 6 by itself?

The 15 and 18 each had one Ballard branch, and two West Seattle branches. The 15 had a shared corridor on Admiral Way SW, as far as SW 49th St, then split. It would then either take the current-day 57X routing to the Junction, or continue to 63rd Ave SW, Beach Dr SW, north on 48th Ave SW to the Junction. Meanwhile the 18 would route via Avalon, Fauntleroy Way to the Junction, then continue south on California as far as SW Morgan. From Morgan Junction it would either continue to the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal, or to 41st & SW Ida.

  • What were the operation patterns and frequencies for the 15/18 in the STS days? Were there any night shuttles?
  • When did the 49 (Genesee-Gatewood) get split into the 22 Gatewood and 23 Genesee? When was the 23 absorbed by the 56? How did service patterns change? (I only know that before the 56/57X split in 9/98, the 56 would alternate on the Admiral Way branch and the Genesee Hill branch, with each branch getting hourly service.)
  • What were the service patterns and routings for the 15F and 18F Flyer routes? Which routes replaced 15F/18F?
  • When did the 18 Fauntleroy branch turn into the 54 and get extended to White Center?
  • This question is somewhat related. In the STS days, the 37 ran down the Viaduct, old West Seattle Bridge, 26th SW, Harbor/Alki Ave, Admiral, California, Hanford, 37th, Manning, 35th to the Junction. When did the 37 take over the 15's routing on Beach Dr SW?
  • Also somewhat related, what were the 5's interlines in the STS days, before the modern 5/54/55 interline corridor was established?

Some more questions:

  • When was the MLK restructure? (The one that telescoped the hourly 42/142 service into half-hourly 42 + shared 106/107 corridor)? Did the 42 start running down Renton Ave S all day at the same time? And did the 48 get its alternating half-hourly service down MLK (to either Henderson or 38th & S Genesee, plus evening trips to MLK/Walden only) at this time, or in 1978?
  • When did the 31 Beacon/Seward Park and southern part of the 1-Ferdinand get telescoped into the new 36? When were trolley wires extended from S Ferdinand to S Dawson?
  • In the STS days, what was the 39's interline? Did the 23 South Seattle and 32 South Park both run hourly, interlining with half hourly 17 trips? Did STS-era 130/132 ever interline with the 17, or STS-era 136/137 with the 19?
  • What was the 20's interline in the STS days, before the 11-20 interline corridor? When was the Dumar/16th routing discontinued?
  • What use did the 7's loops at S Graham St, S Rose St and S Fletcher St get?
  • Which route did the 28 interline with in the STS days, and when was the interline pair changed to 56?

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Several years ago, Metro experimented with a driver plexiglass shield as a response to a driver stabbing at a (Federal Way?) transit center. Ultimately the test was scrapped. 

Riding 7098, there is a driver shield installed. Is this a new move going forward or another test?

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3 hours ago, anonymous guy said:

Several years ago, Metro experimented with a driver plexiglass shield as a response to a driver stabbing at a (Federal Way?) transit center. Ultimately the test was scrapped. 

Riding 7098, there is a driver shield installed. Is this a new move going forward or another test?

Last month in the October 587 newsletter, I recall the Union President made mention that operators being spit on is almost the norm now and made a plea for management to continue experimenting with installing shields.  He mentioned watching videos of drivers reacting to being spit on and then being disciplined for it.  Even though most drivers seem to be against using shields, it sounds as if they do want to find one that can be used by those who want the protection but can be made to adjust for those who don't want that kind of obstruction between themselves and their regular passengers such as on commuter trips.  

I told the story in this thread of having teenagers pummel me with the leftover garbage they had from their fast food lunch  --half eaten hamburgers and tacos, remnants of ketchup and mustard packets, half drank sodas, what appeared to be something like tubs of taco sauce, etc. until I was covered from the back splash of all the stuff they threw at me.  Nothing really I could do as there were about six of them and they had coordinated the planned attack ahead of time so it happened quite fast.  Why did they do it?  ...because I asked to see their partially hidden expired transfers when they boarded the bus at the Southcenter Mall.  I didn't ask them to pay another fare, in fact, I didn't ask them anything at all aside from asking to show the entire transfer.  They retaliated for my being inquisitive when they got off the bus in Renton. 

It made a lot of us angry back in those days when kids would try to use expired transfers  --don't ask me why.  I guess some of us took it personally as if "that bus driver looks too stupid to notice we are cheating on our fare, let's go ahead a show him our expired transfers as he looks like an idiot."  However, it is emotionally difficult at that moment to believe that they would have done the same thing to any driver and not just me because I happened to look like an idiot.  Nowadays, operators are better trained and it is emphasized that in no circumstance is it advisable to ask anybody for a fare.  Operators now completely understand that fare collection is strictly by the honor system today.  

I never was directly spit on but was spit AT several times with minimal spittle on my clothes.  I can just imagine, though, getting spit on in the face as many operators have experienced.  The immediate reaction would be to jump out of the seat and attack the person but as mentioned, an operator would be disciplined for doing so. 

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On 11/13/2018 at 10:00 PM, roamer said:

There was a reason why the dual-mode Bredas in their original configuration could not be run on the wire outside of the tunnel or only could be run for short distances, correct?   What was that reason?  ...I can't seem to remember. 

There was no reason other than that their current draw was very high, and that multiple coaches operating too closely to each other at full throttle would overload substations.  5006 and 5018 made test runs on the 43 to Ballard in 1990 (only one at a time).  Conversion to 4200s reduced their current draw.  After blockages in which coaches gathered awaiting resumption of service operators were  (and still are) warned to go easy on the throttle until coaches were separated by several blocks.  I recall one occurrence on Rainier when after a blockage too many heavy-footed operators brought the local substation down and caused another delay, and I'm certain there have been others.  

On 11/9/2018 at 3:37 AM, EvergreenRailfan said:

I saw Pullman Standard Trolley 1005 running on Beacon Ave S, yesterday morning. I thought MEHVA was done with trolley excursions for the year.

The Pullman battery doesn't charge unless the traction motor turns so periodic exercise is critical.  If any of you went on the Night Trolley Trip this year then you experienced a discharged-battery episode.  Traction power and interior lights come from the poles but the other lights are fed from the battery. 

I'm not privy to why the Twin Coach failed that night, but its battery charges without having to move.

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"WA State Department of Ecology has awarded $9.4 million so far to purchase 19 electric transit buses in Lewis, Benton, Spokane, Clark, Pierce, Snohomish and King counties. The awards are intended to cover the difference in cost between a standard diesel bus and a zero-emission electric bus."

King County will get 4 Million--presumably for 8 more electric buses.

Source: https://ecology.wa.gov/Air-Climate/Air-quality/Vehicle-emissions/VW-state-enforcement-action/VW-state-categories

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On 12/2/2018 at 3:30 PM, Border City Transit said:

Any reviews so far from operators or customers? I'll hold back my usual anti-Gillig tirade and see what reactions have been -- for now 🤐

I've ridden a few of them.

Gillig's fit and finish has improved over the last few years - these are good coaches. The NFI Xcelsior is a step backwards, overall, from the late production D40LFRs that were far superior to the Gillig LF. 

I have no issue riding on one of these coaches.

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On 1/4/2016 at 9:47 PM, northwesterner said:

The Health Sciences Express Gilligs were acquired new. They replaced a mish-mash of junk, including a couple of school buses.


Found one of those: parked outside Seadrunar Recycling permanantly signed as "Seadrunar"  by way of painted on destination sign.

IMG_20190109_134236(1).jpg

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1 hour ago, Kennys bus drawings said:

I found at least 2 Gillig Phantoms "King County Metro" on Meridian Ave North. If I don't recall correctly, they only run on Bellvue routes. What is this all about?

Did you happen to get the bus number?

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Could they be part of the standby fleet of extra coaches used to bolster service because of the viaduct closure?  I know there must be quite a few Phantoms in the bone-yard and their number increases daily as the 7300s are put in service at Bellevue.

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