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King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

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While not exactly King County Metro...

Seattle light rail opening draws 92,000-plus riders

Opening weekend for Sound Transit light rail service concluded on Sunday evening with more than 92,000 boardings — approximately 51,000 in 10 hours on Saturday and 41,000 over an eight-hour period on Sunday.

"The crowds at light rail stations throughout the weekend showed the excitement people feel as we have become a light rail region," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. "That excitement about our mass transit future will only grow as we continue to build and expand on the light rail system."

Operations ran smoothly all weekend.

Central Link light rail trains will start rolling again on Monday at about 5 a.m. as regular service gets under way. Service will span 20 hours Monday through Saturday and 18 hours on Sunday.

Starting Monday, riders will pay fares to ride Link light rail. Regular adult fares range from $1.75 up to $2.50. The ticket vending machines at each of the stations dispense Link tickets and ORCA cards. Valid transit passes and bus transfer slips are also recognized as proof of payment on Link light rail.

http://www.metro-magazine.com/News/Story/2...000-riders.aspx

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July 30, 2009

Industry News

Sound Transit's Link light rail ridership strong

During its first week of regular service Seattle-based Sound Transit's (ST) Central Link light rail carried an estimated average of 12,000 riders each weekday. Another estimated 16,900 riders took Link on Saturday and 15,100 on Sunday.

“We're encouraged by the large numbers of people who boarded light rail on opening weekend and have started using it every day," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. "This is a new way to think about getting around our region and we know ridership will continue to increase as more people try the system and we expand the line to more communities."

Nationally, ridership on new light rail systems ramps up over time as more and more people find out about the service and give it a try, ST officials said. Weekday ridership during the first week was already more than halfway to the level Sound Transit projections show for the end of 2009.

Sound Transit projects that by the end of 2009 an average of 21,000 riders will climb aboard on weekdays. Average weekday ridership is forecasted to rise to 26,600 in 2010 following the December 2009 opening of light rail service directly to Sea-Tac International Airport. An average of 1,300 riders a day rode the Link Airport Connector bus shuttle between the airport and Tukwila / International Boulevard Station during the first week of light rail service.

Last weekend’s Sounders FC and Seattle Mariners games, the Seattle Seafair Torchlight Parade and people turning out to try Link for the first time contributed to last weekend’s strong ridership. More than 11,000 tickets or ORCA cards were sold from Link ticket vending machines on Saturday and station agents sold another 1,400 paper tickets to overflow crowds at Tukwila. Sound Transit has doubled the number of ticket vending machines in Tukwila and reminds riders that buying an ORCA smart card is a great way to bypass lines.

The transit agency estimates its light rail ridership using automatic passenger counting technology installed on some of the vehicles. Infrared sensors in the trains’ doorways detect boardings and alightings, generating data that is used to develop estimates consistent with Federal Transit Administration-approved methods.

Link light rail opened 14 miles of new service between downtown Seattle and Tukwila on July 18th, generating more than 92,000 boardings on the opening weekend. Paid service running 20 hours a day Monday – Saturday and 18 hours a day on Sundays began July 20th.

Copyright © 2009 Metro Magazine. All Rigths Reserved.

Source: http://www.metro-magazine.com/News/Story/2...hip-strong.aspx

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I actually like that they're going with Orion rather than Gillig or New Flyer.

Metro seems to have a habit of buying the "old fashioned" models of the current market offerings - their recent New Flyer purchases (outside of the BRTs) use the old New Flyer aesthetic rather than the remodeled one. With the current Orion VIIs, they seem to come with the redesigned looks AND frameless windows standard. Slick looking buses, that's for sure.

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I was in Seattle the past two days, took a nice tour of the Central Link Light Rail system, overall I was quite impressed. The LRV's are very nicely laid out, complete with bike hooks, full interior LED signs, not too bad seating, decent stop announcements (though a bit confusing use of 'doors to my right' or 'doors to my left' spoken announcements to indicate which doors open). Stations are all fairly minimal but still enough, with some protection from the elements, by minimal its less station then what Calgary uses downtown but far more then what Portland uses for the MAX system which is essentially a bus shelter on the sidewalk and a sign. The system itself was fairly well laid out, decent ridership to SEA/TAC once the extension opens, the current terminus (which is a extremely long way out from the next station, I haven't checked but easily 5 miles apart) was busy with people coming from, or going to the airport shuttle. The only downside really is the dual use in the downtown transit tunnel with both the trains and buses, on almost ever station the train stopped before coming into the station to presumably wait for a bus to clear out of the way. I grabbed a few shots I'll get up once I get home on the weekend, unfortunately it got dark pretty quickly while I was riding so I couldn't get all I wanted. The operations yard looked to be a pretty expansive area, tons of not in service trains around. The big thing that really stuck out there was the use of neon green poles for the caternary.

In terms of bus service, I've never seen so many buses in service in a downtown at 7pm at night before. And mostly all D60LFs and other 60 footers. I did get a couple shots of the one bus yard thats along the LRT, packed full of a huge assortment of units, quite a sight to see.

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I was in Seattle the past two days, took a nice tour of the Central Link Light Rail system, overall I was quite impressed. The LRV's are very nicely laid out, complete with bike hooks, full interior LED signs, not too bad seating, decent stop announcements (though a bit confusing use of 'doors to my right' or 'doors to my left' spoken announcements to indicate which doors open). Stations are all fairly minimal but still enough, with some protection from the elements, by minimal its less station then what Calgary uses downtown but far more then what Portland uses for the MAX system which is essentially a bus shelter on the sidewalk and a sign. The system itself was fairly well laid out, decent ridership to SEA/TAC once the extension opens, the current terminus (which is a extremely long way out from the next station, I haven't checked but easily 5 miles apart) was busy with people coming from, or going to the airport shuttle. The only downside really is the dual use in the downtown transit tunnel with both the trains and buses, on almost ever station the train stopped before coming into the station to presumably wait for a bus to clear out of the way. I grabbed a few shots I'll get up once I get home on the weekend, unfortunately it got dark pretty quickly while I was riding so I couldn't get all I wanted. The operations yard looked to be a pretty expansive area, tons of not in service trains around. The big thing that really stuck out there was the use of neon green poles for the caternary.

In terms of bus service, I've never seen so many buses in service in a downtown at 7pm at night before. And mostly all D60LFs and other 60 footers. I did get a couple shots of the one bus yard thats along the LRT, packed full of a huge assortment of units, quite a sight to see.

Portland's MAX also has the "doors to my right/left" announcement. Unfortunately we missed the Sound Transit Link light rail system in the transit tunnel, but I would like to check it out in the future! We were lucky enough to shoot some trains though.

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They seem to be going crazy with the wrap ads again. One thing that I have seen is that they have a gap in the window. Would this be for passengers' benefit or police?

As for the newest DE60LFs, 6850 is the highest number out there. I find it odd that the 2009s were all in the green colors, almost as if they plan on adding more. I did hear that they cancelled a decent sized NF order due to funding issues (cant remember source). I do find it strange that Metro would stray from NF and switch around to Orion, as that means a whole new section to maintenance. They are at the point that they have so many NF coaches, that it would seem to make sense (from a maintenance perspective) to replace the Gilligs (whenever they do) with NF coaches.

Whatever KCM does, I would love it if they would follow ST's model and get some coaches that are really smooth (relatively speaking) on the freeway. Those 60'LFs are quite bumpy. STs new Gilligs and all of their MCI coaches are awesome on the highway.

The light rail bounces around quite a bit on the tracks. I find that a little wierd, as I have been on the Tacoma LINK and the Lake Union Streetcar, which are both smooth riding. The entire Central Link project is scheduled to be finished on Dec. 19, when the Sea-Tac Airport station opens up. For the time being, Sound Transit is using old 40' Orion 1s from Pierce Transit. They are white with black doors and have some decals indicating what the coaches are for. Sound Transit always has a back-up Gillig (or on ocassion, C40LF) ready in case one of the Orions goes down.

Anyways, I could go on and on on the subject...just ask Qs if you have any. I'll be visiting the site MUCH more often then in the past

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SWIFT Starts service on November 29th. Visit Community Transits website for more info. As for King County Metros Rapidride, it looks like they have all 16 coaches sitting in the yard at the South Base. I wish they would use them for general service until the Rapidride was ready, new busses are awesome.

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Some detail photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/viriyincy/set...57622072295190/

Of note are the plug-type rear doors. Interior of these are attractive, but maybe a bit plain.

At least they have a custom made bike rack holder, very interesting design!

Missing pull cord, I guess they change their mind as they do stop every station!

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It's probably a good thing they dont have any stop request cords or buttons. It would probably end up getting people worried that the bus wont stop. I know in the bus tunnel, some drivers shut off the stop request function. It's funny to see people new to the tunnel frantically trying to pull the cord with no result.

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It's probably a good thing they dont have any stop request cords or buttons. It would probably end up getting people worried that the bus wont stop. I know in the bus tunnel, some drivers shut off the stop request function. It's funny to see people new to the tunnel frantically trying to pull the cord with no result.
They should do that in Ottawa, but then again, that would slow down our BRT service so much. Also really if no one is going to get on or off, what's the point in stopping?

Though if I ever drive the 95 when I become a driver, I think I might just do that one day as an experiment :P Turn off the stop request chime and stop at every station opening all 3 doors.

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D60LF fire

Does anybody know why Seattle is having these problems? We are only in the low 20s and all of a sudden, brakes start to lock up...What about the much colder places like Calgary or Edmonton. Do they have problems with brakes locking up and causing fires?

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There have been a handful of instances of that but I wouldn't call it common. The maxi brakes certainly get stuck quite often in the cold weather, and drivers are advised not to apply them.

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D60LF fire

Does anybody know why Seattle is having these problems? We are only in the low 20s and all of a sudden, brakes start to lock up...What about the much colder places like Calgary or Edmonton. Do they have problems with brakes locking up and causing fires?

Some of OC Transpo's D60LF have had brake-related fires.

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They should do that in Ottawa, but then again, that would slow down our BRT service so much. Also really if no one is going to get on or off, what's the point in stopping?

Though if I ever drive the 95 when I become a driver, I think I might just do that one day as an experiment :mellow: Turn off the stop request chime and stop at every station opening all 3 doors.

You have a point there...I didnt think about the issue of not having any passengers getting on or off at a particular stop.

I havent experienced the BRT system yet, so I can only speak from my experience in the Seattle transit tunnel. There are always people getting on/off at the stops, in which case it makes no sense to have the stop request chime activated. The same is true on the surface streets in Seattle. The busses stop regardless in the ride free area.

It seems that there is always that one person desperately trying to pull the cord because they dont think the bus will stop. The funniest is when somebody pulls the cord when the bus is approaching the last stop on the route. The coach will stop regardless. It's the end of the line...what's the point in pulling the cord???

There are some small things in life (like this) that I am humored by. I can totally understand where people are coming from, especially if they havent ever been here. I just sit back and laugh to myself.

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You have a point there...I didnt think about the issue of not having any passengers getting on or off at a particular stop.

I havent experienced the BRT system yet, so I can only speak from my experience in the Seattle transit tunnel. There are always people getting on/off at the stops, in which case it makes no sense to have the stop request chime activated. The same is true on the surface streets in Seattle. The busses stop regardless in the ride free area.

It seems that there is always that one person desperately trying to pull the cord because they dont think the bus will stop. The funniest is when somebody pulls the cord when the bus is approaching the last stop on the route. The coach will stop regardless. It's the end of the line...what's the point in pulling the cord???

There are some small things in life (like this) that I am humored by. I can totally understand where people are coming from, especially if they havent ever been here. I just sit back and laugh to myself.

Haha!! I do that!! I pull the cord when the bus is turning into a terminal... and everyone looks at me!! XD

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D60LF fire

Does anybody know why Seattle is having these problems? We are only in the low 20s and all of a sudden, brakes start to lock up...What about the much colder places like Calgary or Edmonton. Do they have problems with brakes locking up and causing fires?

quite often it depends on how much attention the air dryer receives... they are not maintenance free components.

the pacific northwest is overall a milder climate, so air dryer servicing may be lower on the priority list.

of course, this is all assuming this was indeed caused by ice in the lines.

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As well in some places, some buses don't even have air dryers on their buses. When I worked at Cardinal Coach Lines in Calgary, they picked up some buses from Cardinal Transportation in Los Angeles. The Calgary operation had to add in air dryers to the buses before winter set in.

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I didn't notice that the 2008-09 DE60LFs were all green until someone else had mentioned it. Strange, because I remember KCMetro specifically ordered buses on a green/teal/blue rotation to keep things somewhat even.

Also, I'm assuming that they didn't go with New Flyer to replace the Gilligs possibly because NF is backlogged with orders from other transit agencies.

Also on another note, I went on the Metro Employees Historical Vehicle Association christmas lights tour. For MEHVA tours they use preserved (including old paint schemes and advertisements from the era!!) retired buses from the KCMetro's fleet as tourbuses around the region for sightseeing : http://www.mehva.org/fleet.php

I wanted to ride a MAN 60ft. articulated bus, but that coach was full, so I decided to ride on a Breda Duobus in Diesel mode instead (to those who are interested in older coaches, they even had a 1959 GM Coach in action - but I was looking to ride buses that I remembered riding in Seattle during the 90s). The Breda buses were Italian manufactured buses that originally ran in the Transit Tunnel when the tunnel had overhead catenaries for trolley buses. When they decided to retrofit the tunnel, the trolley wire was removed in favor of light rail overhead, and DE60LFs replaced the 14 year old Bredas in 2004. Some of the retired Bredas were eventually pulled out of retirement and had their Detroit Diesel engines removed to be permanently placed on trolley routes.

I miss riding the Bredas in diesel mode, so it was nice to hear that engine roar again.

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