Saturday, January 29, 2011

Google Transit Trip Planning Expanding Like Wildfire

The fact is, here at TCC we love Google transit.  Whether it is for work or pleasure, at home or while traveling Google transit is an incredibly useful.  Compared to agency trip planners and route schedules, it is so incredibly easy to use because it is map based.  Better yet, it is great tool to compare the time difference and cost saving between transit and driving.  When I travel to NYC or other cities is makes navigating a foreign transit system seamless and easy to use.  Tools like one bus away and Google transit are crucial for transit ridership growth in the future. 

The bad news not every transit agency in Washington allows Google transit to access their scheduling data.  The good news is many do and that number is rapidly expanding.  Metro and Island Transit already are compatible with Google transit.  Earlier this month both Spokane Transit and Intercity announced that they are now using Google transit trip planning, and word on the street is Pierce Transit and Community Transit are close to being on Google as well.

All of this is great news for attracting new transit riders across Washington State and making transit easier to use for existing riders.

If your transit agency isn't yet up on Google transit shoot them an e-mail and encourage them to get on board!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rep. Liias Explains his Emergency Transit Funding Bill on YouTube

Thanks to Rep. Dave Upthegrove's viral You Tube channel, we are able to experience this video which features Rep. Marko Liias discussing his emergency transit funding legislationThis legislation is a legislative priority of TCC's and will also be one of our three priorities during Transportation Advocacy Day on Feb 10th.

So, if you care about saving transit service in King and Snohomish Counties, STOP what you are doing and REGISTER for ADVOCACY DAY right NOW!

Next Week In Olympia- Week 4

Transit service faces a funding crisis in Washington State. Plummeting sales tax revenue is forcing transit agencies to slash service despite record-setting ridership. This leaves our most vulnerable populations—the elderly, youth, poor, and disabled—stranded without service. Meanwhile, the lack of transportation choices forces additional cars on to our overcrowded roads and highways, resulting in more congestion, longer travel times, more greenhouse gas emissions, and impaired air and water quality. Rep. Marko Liias and Sen. Scott White introduced a solution to this crisis to decision makers in Olympia. HB 1536 and SB 5457 present a temporary congestion reduction fee to generate money to stop drastic service cuts in the short term.

Also this week, a bill that will improve the safety of access to roads for all users passed out of the House Transportation committee this week. Rep. Moeller’s bill, HB 1071, is now on its way to the Rules committee and then hopefully a vote of the full House.

Next week there will be a robust debate about the efficiency of the ferry system in the Senate House and Transportation committees. Also, there is an important hearing that will enable tolling on 405 and a key hearing to protect vulnerable users.

Monday, 1/31/11

3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B

Work Session:
Washington State Ferries long-range plan.
Passenger Vessel Association recommendations and Washington State Ferries response.
Ferry Employee Benefits Comparison Report.

Public Hearing: HB 1516 - Concerning the performance of state ferry system management.

3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1

Work Session:
Project Delivery Methods, Washington State Department of Transportation.
Introduction to Public-Private Partnerships and Washington State's Program.

Public Hearing:
SB 5250 - Concerning the design-build procedure for certain projects.
SB 5344 - Concerning an assessment of the department of transportation's management, accountability, and performance system.
SB 5444 - Concerning the construction of a state boundary bridge.

Possible executive session on bills heard in committee. Other business.

Tuesday, 2/1/11

10:00 am Labor & Workforce Development
House Hearing Rm A

Public Hearing:
HB 1511 - Promoting efficiency in the Washington state ferry system through personnel and administration reforms.
HB 1512 - Concerning Washington state ferry system personnel and projects.

10:00 am Local Government
House Hearing Rm E

HB 1335 - Establishing a process to support local jurisdictions that have made outstanding progress in implementing the growth management act.

3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1

Work Session:
Washington State Ferries:
Passenger Vessel Association Study.
Joint Transportation Committee Ferry-related Studies.

Public Hearing:
SB 5405 - Promoting efficiency in the Washington state ferry system through personnel and administration reforms.
SB 5406 - Concerning the performance of state ferry system management.
SB 5408 - Concerning Washington state ferry system personnel and projects.
SB 5409 - Removing commercial ferries operating in Puget Sound from the jurisdiction of the utilities and transportation commission.

Wednesday, 2/2/11

3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B

Work Session: 405 Corridor briefing and HOT Lanes Expert Review Panel Report.

Public Hearing:
HB 1382 - Concerning the use of express toll lanes in the eastside corridor.

3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1

Work Session: Introduction to Rail and Freight Program, Washington State Department of Transportation.

Possible executive session on bills heard in committee. Other business.

Thursday, 2/3/11

10:00 am Judiciary

House Hearing Rm A

Public Hearing:
HB 1339 - Concerning negligent driving resulting in substantial bodily harm, great bodily harm, or death of a vulnerable user of a public way.

Friday, 2/4/11

8:00 am Local Government

House Hearing Rm E

Public Hearing:
HB 1478 - Delaying or modifying certain regulatory and statutory requirements affecting cities and counties.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Speaking of the 520 Bridge and Tolls... Come to our Two Friday Forums in Feb.

Speaking of 520 Publicola picked up on the King 5 poll today.

I also failed to mention in my blog post yesterday that our Friday Forums next Month and Seattle and Bellevue will be all about 520 design and tolling, so make sure to join us for February's Friday Forums!

FEBRUARY FRIDAY FORUM: 520 Design and Tolling Update
For the month of February we will be having two Friday Forums, one in Seattle and one in Bellevue.  The topic of this month’s forum is State Route 520 and it will be your opportunity to get a comprehensive update on the tolling and design plans around the 520 project.  Don't forget tolling will begin on the 520 bridge this Spring!  Please join us as we host Washington State Department of Transportation staff for an interactive discussion on State Route 520 in Bellevue and Seattle!

WHAT: 520 Design and Tolling (Seattle Forum)
WHEN: Friday February 4th, 12:00 -1:30 pm
WHERE: Seattle-King County Public Health - Chinook Building, Room 121, 401 Fifth Ave.,Seattle

WHAT: 520 Design and Tolling (Bellevue Forum)
WHEN: Friday February 11th, 12:00 -1:30 pm
WHERE: Parametrix Bellevue, Conference Center on the Ground Floor, 411 108th Ave NE, Bellevue

As always, feel free to bring your lunch!

The Seattle Presenters Will Be:
Kerry Ruth, SR 520, I-5 to Medina Project Engineering Manager
 Janet Matkin,WSDOT Toll Division Communications Manager

Bellevue Presenters Will Be:
 Janet Matkin,WSDOT Toll Division Communications Manager
Daniel Babuca, SR 520, Eastside Transit & HOV Project Design Engineering Manager

Breaking News: Amtrak Cascades Now Equiped With Wifi!

Amtrak Cascades and WSDOT just announced that Wi-Fi on Amtrak Cascades has arrived!  This much anticipated event is great news for business and pleasure travelers taking Amtrak Cascades between Eugene and Vancouver B.C.

This is great news and timing with two new round trips between Seattle and Portland coming online in the next few years.  So enjoy your new found Wi-Fi on the train and you can e-mail your way all the way to Portland!

Here is the information:
Amtrak Cascades® now connects you to more than your destination. Our customers asked for Wi-Fi service, and we answered by equipping every Amtrak Cascades train from Vancouver, B.C. to Eugene, Oregon with FREE wireless Internet service. Now you can stay connected to the office, e-mail, entertainment, and anywhere else the Internet takes you along your route. Just remember to pack your laptop, smartphone, and other portable Wi-Fi-enabled devices the next time you travel. Hop aboard, hop online, and enjoy the journey.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

King 5 Releases Poll on What People Will Do When Tolls on 520 Arrive

King 5 News has released a survey results of 500 participants regards how they will react to tolls on 520.

Here are the highlights:
—Use of 520: 54% say they will try to avoid 520 all together once tolls are imposed.  25% say, they will probably reduce their use of 520.
—Alternate routes:  75% say they’d consider an alternate route.  So what would that be?  19% say they’d go around the north end, 71% say they’d use I-90.
—Effort to avoid a toll:  We asked how much time people would be willing to spend to avoid a toll.  10% say, five minutes or less.  But 36% say they’d invest an extra 5-10 minutes to avoid a toll.  And 32% say, they’d be willing to make a 10-15 minute detour.  14% say, they’d be willing to drive more than 15 minutes longer.
—Public transportation:  18% say they’d be more likely to use transit.  17% say they’d be more likely to carpool.
—Major life changes:  13% say they’d actually consider moving.  16% say they or someone in their family would consider changing jobs to avoid the toll.
I find this polling information very interesting.  A few observations:
  1. Diversion of traffic onto I-90 is going to be a very real issue very quickly.  I predict that within the first year of tolling 520 there will be active discussions about tolling I-90 as well due to the very large traffic diversion that takes place with 520 tolls starting (not to mention 520's incomplete financing plan).
  2. In good news, transit use and carpooling is predicted to see a strong surge once tolling starts.  Sound Transit bus routes between downtown Seattle and Microsoft are already overcapacity during the peak times.  There is going to be demand for more transit service in the corridor, not less.
  3. If metro doesn't secure additional funding options from the legislature there likely will be cutbacks of metro service on 520 in the next few years making the demand versus service imbalance worse.
  4. Senator Haugen, chair of Senate Transportation, and a host of Republicans dropped a bill (Senate Bill 5416)  yesterday that would prohibit all tolling revenue ever collected in Washington to go towards transit service in the tolled corridor.  If this bill passed (or Tim Eyman's proposed initiative that does the same thing passes) a small portion of tolling revenue could never be used to help meet the drastically increased demand for transit the tolled corridors.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Emergency Transit Funding Bill Dropped in the House

Publicola and the Seattle Transit Blog broke the news about Rep. Marko Liias' congestion relief emergency transit funding bill that he has introduced to the House Transportation Committee.

The bill is similar to previous efforts for emergency transit funding.  It is a $30 temporary vehicle license fee that can be collected until 2013 and can be collected only for King County Metro, Community Transit (in Snohomish County), and Pierce Transit.

The Bill is titled House Bill 1536 and it is has an impressive list of co-sponsors including Republican Mike Armstrong (the ranking minority member on House Transportation), House Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn.

This legislation is a top priority for Transportation Choices Coalition this year.  With Community Transit already cutting all of Sunday service and Metro Transit facing draconian cuts, temporary relief to save transit service is long overdue.  We'll keep you informed on the blog on what's going on around this legislation and make sure to stay tuned to Carrie's weekly updates on Legislative Session for the scoop.

Most importantly, if you care about transit service and you care about this legislation please SIGN UP for Transportation Advocacy Day on Feb. 10th where this bill will be one of our three priorities.

“People here know good transit options benefit the whole community, not just those on the train or bus,” said Liias, D-Edmonds.  “While the economy struggles, more people are choosing to save money by using transit, making this exactly the wrong time to stand idly by while massive cuts are made.”

Friday, January 21, 2011

Next Week In Olympia- Week 3

The House and Senate Transportation committees have a lot of new members. Many of the new members are not just new to transportation issues, but new to the legislature as well. The calendars for the first few weeks of session in both of these committees have been filled with worksessions, which continues this week. On Thursday, all of the new members in House Transportation will enjoy a worksession about public transportation. They will hear how plummeting local sales tax revenues have left transit agencies with insufficient funding, forcing service cuts amid record ridership. The committee will hear how the demand for transit by an aging population is growing rapidly, and by 2030 some Washington Counties will have 40% of there population over 65 years old. They will hear about the need for short term transit funding that fills the funding gap until a long-term revenue package comes to fruition. Here is more about the week ahead.

Monday, January 24, 2011
3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B
Work Session:

1. Introduction to Public-Private Partnerships and Washington State's Program.
2. Public-Private Partnership Case Studies from around the United States and Canada.
3. Update on Transportation Mega-Projects, WSDOT.

3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1
Public Hearing:

1. SB 5205 <> - Concerning high capacity transportation system plan components and review.
TCC has concerns with this bill. Some rapid bus systems may be appropriate for the planning requirements in this statute. We will work to clarify these circumstances.

2. SB 5252 <> - Streamlining the process applicable to reducing speed limits on state highways.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B

Public Hearing:
1. HB 1217 <> - Authorizing local authorities to establish maximum speed limits on certain nonarterial highways.

3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1
Work Session:

1. Aviation Division, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
2. Introduction to Washington ports, Washington Public Ports Association.

Public Hearing:

1. SB 5131 <> - Expanding certain public facilities eligible to be credited against the imposition of impact fees.

TCC supports this bill.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B

Work Session:

1. Freight System: Trade and goods movement through Washington State.
2. Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board, introduction and update.
3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1
Public Hearing:

1. SB 5130 <> - Prohibiting commercial motor vehicles in express lanes during peak hours.

Thursday, January 27, 2011
3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B
Work Session:

1. Snoqualmie Pass Project briefing.
2. State Route 167/509 Tolling Studies.
3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1

Work Session: Introduction to public transportation:

a. 2010 Statewide Blueprint for Public Transportation.
b. Public Transportation Division, WSDOT.
c. Washington Transit Association.
d. King County Metro-2010 task force.
e. Special needs transportation.
f. Commute Trip Reduction Board.

Friday, January 28, 2011

8:00 am Local Government
House Hearing Rm E

Work Session: The William D. Ruckelshaus Center - Summary and update information from the Agriculture and Critical Areas Project.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Bus Ad versus no Ad Debate Flares in Whatcom County

The Bellingham Herald Transportation Blog reports that the Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) Board rejected a contract that would have increased the agencies' ad revenues from $35,000 to $90,000.  A few years ago a similar debate flared up in King County over the prolific expansion of their bus wrapping program.  While transit agencies only get a small fraction of their budgets from advertising, it seems to me that any thing that can keep buses running on the streets during this funding crisis is a good thing.  I don't know about you, but as a transit rider I'd rather have a bus wrapped in ads than no bus at all.

North Sounder Service Update

With all of the rain recently there have been a lot of service disruptions to the North Sounder line due to mudslides on the narrow track.  Here is the most recent update from Sound Transit:

On Thursday afternoon, January 20, 2011 Sounder Northline service will operate between Seattle, Edmonds and Mukilteo.   Back-up bus service will continue between Everett Station and Seattle. 
Full service will resume on Friday morning, January 21, 2011 if no additional slides occur. 

EVENING SERVICE – Thursday 1/20:
Seattle - Edmonds:  Operating normal Sounder schedule.
Seattle - Mukilteo:  Operating normal Sounder schedule.
Seattle - Everett:  Direct express bus service will depart 4th Ave S & S Jackson St at 4:05 p.m., 4:33 p.m., 5:05 p.m., and 5:35 p.m. Riders may also board regularly scheduled ST Express Route 510 at 4th Ave S and S Jackson St.
* Please monitor for updates to Sounder Northline service prior to the morning commute on Friday, January 21, 2011. 
* Southline Sounder service between Seattle and Tacoma is not affected and will run as scheduled.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Transit Oriented Development at Kirkland Park and Ride

There is a proposed transit oriented development project at the South Kirkland Park and Ride.  TOD continues to be a priority of transportation choices coalition because we all know smart land use goes hand in hand with good transportation planning.

There are some upcoming workshops on that project that I'm sure will prove informative and interesting!

Thursday, January 20th
  • Workshop: 7pm at Northwest University (Health & Science Center, room 233)
  • Meet us at 6pm at the Houghton Starbucks (6733 108th Ave NE) for an informal conversation 
Tuesday, January 25th
  • Workshop: 7pm at City Hall (123 5th Avenue)
  • Meet us at 6pm at Hector’s downtown (112 Lake St. S.) for an informal conversation
Project Summary (Learn more here.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Next Week in Olympia – Week 2

Legislative action on Transportation and Land Use will ramp up this week. There will be a public hearing on a “Complete Streets” bill, a "vulnerable users" bill, and a couple public hearings that attempt to weaken the Growth Management Act.

Rep. Moeller is sponsoring a “Complete Streets” bill that would increase safety access to all users, including bicyclists, pedestrian, motorists and transit users. His bill includes a grant program and directs WSDOT to consider “Complete Streets” design. It would be great to see you in Olympia on Monday, showing support and testifying in favor of this bill.

The Growth Management Act (GMA) is our key tool to ensure that land use policy and transportation needs of communities do not threaten farmland, forests and shorelines today and for future generations. There are a few bills that attempt to weaken the GMA that will be heard this week (HB 1094 and 1082).

Monday, 1/17/11

3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B

Work Session:
  1. Cities transportation overview.
  2. Counties transportation overview.
  3. Transportation Improvement Board introduction and current issues.
Public Hearing: HB 1071 - Creating a complete streets grant program.
  1. SB 5003 - Adding to the scenic and recreational highway system.
  2. SB 5061 - Reconciling changes made to vehicle and vessel registration and title provisions during the 2010 legislative sessions.
Tuesday, 1/18/11
3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B

Work Session:
  1. Transportation Performance Report, Office of Financial Management.
  2. Methods of Project Delivery update, Department of Transportation.
3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1

Work Session:
Comprehensive tolling program update, Washington State Department of Transportation.
Wednesday, 1/19/11
1:30 pm Local Government
House Hearing Rm E
Public Hearing:
  1. HB 1088 - Limiting the moratoria authority of counties and cities in the ordinary course of comprehensive plan and shoreline master program amendment processes.
  2. HB 1094 - Providing a process for county legislative authorities to withdraw from voluntary planning under the growth management act.
3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1
Work Session:
Mega-projects update, Washington State Department of Transportation:
  1. Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel.
  2. SR 520 bridge.
  3. I-90 Snoqualmie Pass.
  4. Columbia River Crossing.
  5. North Spokane Corridor.
  6. I-5 Tacoma HOV lanes.
  7. SR 405
3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B
Work Session:
  1. Metropolitan Transportation Planning introduction and current issues.
  2. County Road Administration Board introduction and current issues.
  3. Department of Transportation Local Programs, introduction and current issues.
Thursday, 1/20/11
  1. SB 5026 - Clarifying the definition of "farm vehicle" to encourage similar recognition in federal tax law.
  2. SB 5027 - Requiring motorcycle manufacturers to indicate whether a motorcycle is for off-road use only.
  3. SB 5063 - Concerning special license plates for motorcycles.
Friday, 1/21/11
8:00 am Local Government
House Hearing Rm E

Public Hearing:
HB 1082 - Concerning violations of the shoreline management act and the growth management act.
Here is a list of Transportation related bills that have been filed, but do not have public hearings scheduled yet.

1:30 pm Judiciary

Senate Hearing Rm 1

Public Hearing:
  1. Concerning traffic infractions where the conduct is a proximate cause of death, great bodily harm, or substantial bodily injury [S-4211.4].

SB 5128 -Concerning statewide transportation planning
SB 5130 - Prohibiting commercial motor vehicles in express lanes during peak hours

SB 5131 - Expanding certain public facilities eligible to be credited against the imposition of impact fees

HB 1129 - Including a bicycle and pedestrian traffic safety curriculum in certain traffic schools and safety courses
HB 1018 - Concerning bicyclist and motorist mutual responsibilities

HB 1174 -Making 2009-11 supplemental transportation appropriations

HB 1175 - Making 2011-13 transportation appropriations

HB 1171 - Concerning high capacity transportation system plan components and review

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bus Backup to Cover North Sounder Routes Tonight and Tomorrow due to Mudslides

This just in from Sound Transit:

THURSDAY EVENING BACK-UP BUS SERVICE – Thursday 1/13 (northbound):
Seattle - Edmonds: Starline charter express bus service to Edmonds Station will depart 4th and James at 4:05 p.m., 4:45 p.m., and 5:35 p.m.   Riders may also use Community Transit Route 416.

Seattle - Mukilteo: Starline charter express bus service to Mukilteo Station will depart 4th & Jackson at 4:05 p.m., 4:33 p.m., 5:05 p.m. & 5:35 p.m. Riders may also board Community Transit Route 417 at 4th Ave S and S Jackson St for service to the Mukilteo Station.

Seattle - Everett: Starline charter express service to Everett Station will depart 4th Ave S and S Jackson St at 4:33 p.m., 5:05 p.m., and 5:35 p.m. Riders may also board regularly scheduled ST Express Route 510 at 4th Ave S and S Jackson St for service to Everett.

Complete Streets for Washington is Back!

Remember last year's complete streets bill that we pushed? Guess what, it is BACK!

Rep. Moeller is sponsoring the same bill that we pushed last year to establish a complete streets program in Washington State.  This year the bill number is 1071.  As you recall last session our bill passed out of the House Transportation Committee but died on the House floor.

We'll continue to work with stakeholder to refine the details of this proposed policy and in the meantime the bill has a hearing this upcoming Monday in the House transportation committee!

We're always happy to have individuals or organization testify or sign in to support the bill!

Complete Streets bill this upcoming Monday the 17th at 3:30pm in hearing room B of John L O'Brien Building on the Capitol Campus.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pierce Transit Open Houses Start Tomorrow

The Seattle Transit Blog has a list of upcoming Pierce Transit open houses where they will be discussing the future of the agency if the February ballot measure passes or fails.

My suggestion? Go to the open houses, get mad about what will happen if Prop one doesn't pass and draconian transit cuts hit Pierce County.  Then go to and sign up to phone bank to help pass this important measure.

Here is the full list:

  • Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula
    Wednesday, January 12, 5 – 7:00pm
    Gig Harbor Civic Center
    3510 Grandview St, on Routes 100102
  • Sumner/E. Pierce County
    Tuesday, January 18, 4 – 6:00pm
    Sumner City Hall – Council Chambers
    1104 Maple St, on Routes 408409
  • Lakewood/University Place
    Wednesday, January 19, 4 – 6:00pm
    Pierce Transit Training Center
    3720 – 96th St SW, on Routes 48300
  • Tacoma
    Monday, January 24, 4 – 6:00pm
    The Evergreen State College (Commons Area)
    1210 – 6th Ave, on Routes 1162628
  • Tacoma
    Tuesday, January 25, 4 – 6:00pm
    Tacoma Goodwill Industries
    Milgard Work Opportunity Center
    714 S 27th St, on Routes 326, 4548
  • Puyallup/South Hill
    Wednesday, January 26, 4 – 6:00pm
    Puyallup Library (Board Room)
    324 S Meridian, on Route 402

Tonight's Eastside Transportation Town Hall is Canceled

Tonight's Transit Town Hall with King County Councilmembers  Jan Hague and Kathy Lambert  has been postponed due to the anticipated snow.

Will this winter's second snowpocalypse really hit tonight? We shall see.

In the meantime don't go to Mercer Island to learn about what is going on in the Eastside with Transit service.  Stay home and drink some spiked hot chocolate instead!

We'll keep you posted as to when this event gets rescheduled.

Stay up to date on Metro's Snow routing here 

Sound Transit Running Extra Sounder Train in Anticipation of Snow

Just in from Sound Transit:

Sounder Early Trains Tuesday Afternoon
In addition to its regular commuter rail service, Sound Transit will run an early southbound train from King Street Station at 2:30 p.m. and a northbound train from Tacoma Dome Station at 3:50 p.m.
The 2:30 p.m. southbound train from Seattle will depart Tukwila at 2:42 p.m., Kent at 2:49 p.m., Auburn at 2:56 p.m., Sumner at 3:05 p.m., Puyallup at 3:09 p.m. and arrive in Tacoma at 3:29 p.m. 
The northbound train to Seattle will depart Tacoma Dome Station at 3:50 p.m. Puyallup at 4:02 p.m., Sumner at 4:07 p.m., Auburn at 4:15 p.m., Kent at 4:22 p.m., Tukwila at 4:29 p.m. and arrive in Seattle at 4:48 p.m.
Sounder service to Everett will operate on a regular schedule, with the first northbound train leaving Seattle at 4:05 p.m.  Link light rail and Tacoma Link will also operate on a normal schedule.

This seems like a good idea and in my experience Central Link and Sounder are always a better bet if the snow really does hit.

Monday, January 10, 2011

What is the Deal with Parking?

TCC is happy to join the Downtown Seattle Association and a host of other groups in co-sponsoring a parking forum on Jan 26th.  This is should be a great event, and we hope to see you there!

Park Smart: A Forum to Raise the Bar on Good Parking Policy

Parking has been a hot topic in the news over the last year. Reading the headlines and blogs you’d think there were just two points of view: those who think free parking Downtown is an inalienable right, and those who want to force everyone out of their cars onto transit or bicycles. We think it’s time to elevate the discussion about parking in Seattle and assess what we can learn from other cities to better manage the parking we have so that it supports a healthy, vibrant urban core. We’ve assembled a terrific panel that includes policy makers, national experts, transportation officials and a UW researcher to lead an informed discussion about the best approaches to managing parking in dense urban areas.

Bring a lunch to this FREE forum (no registration necessary) hosted by Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, chair of Seattle’s Transportation Committee; and moderated by Downtown Seattle Association President Kate Joncas.

        Time: 11:45am – 1:15pm
        Date:  Wednesday, January 26
        Location: Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room 600

Featured Panelists:    
L. Dennis Burns, CAPP, Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.
Dennis Burns is a senior practice builder and regional vice president for Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. Burns is a certified administrator of pubilc parking and has nearly 30 years of parking operations, management and consulting experience. His focus in recent years includes parking and transportation strategic planning, ’smart parking‘ system development and urban space management concepts. In 2010, Mr. Burns was the recipient of International Parking Institute's ”Parking Professional of the Year,“ and was a featured speaker at the first-ever Green Gov Symposium in Washington, DC.

Rick Williams, BPM Development Company
Rick Williams is a transportation demand management expert from Portland, OR with more than 20 years of experience. From 1989-1995, he managed Portland’s 3,500-stall Smart Park system and its 208-block downtown business improvement district. In 1995, Mr. Williams helped establish the Lloyd Transportation Management Association, and currently works both as its executive director and as an independent transportation management consultant for clients throughout North America.

Joining the panel will be Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess, sponsor of variable price parking legislation, and Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs Senior Lecturer Daniel Carlson, who specializes in community and economic development, and transportation and land use in metropolitan areas. Seattle Department of Transportation Parking Operations and Traffic Permits Manager Mike Estey will also discuss the City's new on-street parking policy.

Presented by: Downtown Seattle Association, BOMA, City of Seattle, Commute Seattle, GreatCity, Seattle Hotel Association, Washington Restaurant Association and Transportation Choices Coalition

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Make Your Voice Heard: Eastside Transit Town Hall

This just in from Jan Hague's office, make sure that if you are an Eastside resident that cares about transit service you attend this town hall and make your voice heard!  The county e-mail did not include transit directions but it looks like it is an easy walk from the Mercer Island Transit Center, which has frequent service.

Invitation to a town hall meeting on Eastside transit
Join Councilmember Jane Hague (Council District 6) and Councilmember Kathy Lambert (Council District 3) for a town hall discussion on transit. The town hall is scheduled for Tuesday, January 11, 2011, 6:30 p.m. at the Mercer Island Community Center. Hope to see you there!
Driving Directions to the Community Center at Mercer View:
8236 SE 24th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040
(206) 275-7609

I-90 Eastbound from Seattle: take exit #7A, 77th Ave SE. Turn left across the freeway. At stop sign turn right onto North Mercer Way. Go one long block to the stop light. Go straight though the stop light. Turn left onto 81st Avenue SE. Turn right onto SE 24th Street. The Community Center is two blocks up on your left.

I-90 Westbound from Bellevue: take exit #7, Island Crest Way. Continue straight ahead. Turn right on 81st Avenue SE. Turn right on SE 24th Street. The Community Center is two blocks up on your left.

Friday, January 7, 2011

"I Can't Believe So Many People Care about Buses"

Last night as I stood in a crowded room at the Hub in Tacoma, I was reminded why we get up and do what we do everyday at TCC.

At the campaign kickoff for "Save our Buses", the campaign to stave off 35% cuts to bus service in Pierce County, the community came out in full force supporting the measure.  While we were checking people in and the line was snaking out to the door, one of the campaign staffers leaned over to me and said, "This is awesome, I can't believe so many people care about buses."

Working at TCC I have the pleasure, time and time again, to hear why transit service is important to people across Washington State.  Last night we had over 100 people turn out to Save Our Buses in Pierce County because they care, they care about their community and the important role transit plays to build their community.  Last night the room was packed with those stories of why bus service matters.  Whether it was a visually impaired rider who relies on the bus for independence or a Downtown Tacoma commuter who uses the bus to save money, the stories were endless and encouraging.

Thank for turning out for the campaign kick-off !  If you were not able to attend or don't live in Pierce County, please consider visiting the campaign website to learn how you can volunteer or donate or by visiting the campaign on facebook.  As Rep. Liias pointed out in his editorial today, this election is important not just for Pierce County residents but for advocates of transportation choices from across the state.

Happy rainy Friday, thank you for all that you do and stay tuned.  Here are some photos of last night's festivities.

 A crowded House 

Mayor Strickland Brings the Message Home

Legislative Session Preview

The 2011 legislative session begins on Monday. This year, TCC will work for policies and funding that help reduce congestion, combat climate change, and foster economic recovery. We will be posting regular updates on our efforts in Olympia here at Moving Forward, and will include lists of what is coming up in the week ahead.

For more on our 2011 legislative agenda please visit:


As the 2011 legislative session begins on Monday, we are faced with a session dominated by the State’s budget woes. The legislature needs to address the half billion shortfall for the current biennium, while they adopt a 2011-2013 budget, that is down $4.6 billion. The transportation budget faces a $65 million shortfall in the current biennium and a $90 million shortfall for the 2011-2013 biennial budget.

Those who rely on busses and other forms of public transportation are starting to feel the sting on service cuts all around Washington State. Twelve transit agencies from rural and urban areas across the state have reduced service since 2009, making it harder for people without cars to get to work, doctor’s appointments, and around town. Funding for buses and public transit are at crisis levels in Washington State. While Washington State transit ridership has seen tremendous increases over the past five years; insufficient funding mechanisms and the recession have left transit agencies unable to meet current ridership needs. King County Metro alone is looking at cutting as many as 600,000 hours of bus service within the next four years.

On top of these cuts in local transit operations, the Governor and Washington State Department of Transportation have put forward a transportation budget that proposes damaging cuts to transit and multi-modal transportation. It slashes funding for the Regional Mobility Grants in half- the only state funded grant program that supports major transit projects. This cut is disproportionate to the overall cuts in the budget. If this cut is accepted by legislators, it threatens many key projects, including; the Rapid Ride D line that connects Ballard to downtown, service improvements in Burien, development of the Tukwila Transit Center and bus service in Tumwater and Lakewood. TCC will work maintain the current funding levels for this critical program.


The first week of session offers many work sessions of interest. Remember, you can follow many of these session at home via TVW:

Monday, 1/10/11
3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B, John L. O'Brien Building
Work Session:
  1. Governor's Budget and Performance Report.
  2. Secretary's State of Transportation Report.

Tuesday, 1/11/11
3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1, J.A. Cherberg Building
Work Session: State agency introductions and session previews:
  1. Washington State Department of Transportation.
  2. Washington Transportation Commission.
Wednesday, 1/12/11
1:30 pm Local Government
House Hearing Rm E, John L. O'Brien Building
Work Session: The Growth Management Act: requirements and implementation.
3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1, J.A. Cherberg Building
Work Session: Local agency introductions and session previews:
  1. Transportation Improvement Board.
  2. County Road Administration Board.
  3. Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board.

Thursday, 1/13/11
3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B, John L. O'Brien Building
Work Session:
  1. Washington State Transportation Commission introduction and Washington Transportation plan briefing.

Senate Hearing Rm 1, J.A. Cherberg Building
Work Session:
  1. "Washington Transportation Plan 2030" - Washington Transportation Commission.
  2. Transportation Investment - Washington State Department of Transportation.

Look for future updates and opportunities to get involved, and sign up for Transportation Lobby Day, for a chance to make a difference in WA transportation policy.

Reminder Friday Forum on Federal FTA/HUD Partnership update TODAY at Noon!

This is just a quick reminder that our January Friday Forum is Tomorrow at Noon! Please join us for an update on the US Department of Transportation and US Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities Partnership.  Please join TCC, Ron Posthuma (Assistant Director of  The Office of Regional Transportation Planning at King County Metro), Mary McBride (HUD Region 10 Administrator), and the Federal Transit Administration for a quick update on what is going on in Congress and an in-depth look at local impacts of the sustainable communities partnership between HUD and DOT. 

WHAT: Federal Transportation Update
WHEN: Friday January 7th, 12:00 -1:30 pm
WHERE: Seattle-King County Public Health - Chinook Building, Room 121, 401 Fifth Ave., Seattle

As always, feel free to bring your lunch!



The Boeing Company
HDR Inc.
Parsons Brinckerhoff
Seattle Children's Hospital
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
UW Transportation Services

HNTB Corporation
Wilbur Smith Associates

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sound Transit Station Access Open Houses

The RAMP blog reports that Sound transit will be holding open houses to provide updates on their South Sounder Station access plans. 

These meetings are important to South Sound supporters of Transportation Choices because public input will help shape ultimately how this money is spent.  Should we fund more shuttle transit service and bike infrastructure to the stations or just build more free parking in the heart of our downtowns?  I bet you can't guess where we stand.

Please attend these meetings and make your voice heard!

WHAT:             In January, Sound Transit will host a series of open houses in South Sound communities to present information on the Sounder Station Access Planning Study. The agency is conducting the study to identify potential improvements in the ways commuters access its Sounder stations.

Possible improvements the agency is studying include increased parking, pedestrian sidewalks, crosswalks and bridges, bicycle commute options, and transit facility enhancements.

Open houses will include:

·         A description of Sound Transit service areas, transit routes, 2011 budget, and the Sound Transit 2 program
·        Objectives of and timeline for the Sounder Station Access Planning Study
·        Overview of existing station access issues and discussion of potential solutions
·        Informal Q & A and public comment

WHEN:  All events take place from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Tacoma - Tuesday, Jan. 18University of Washington -Tacoma
Jane Russell Commons
1918 Pacific Avenue
Sumner - Wednesday, Jan. 19
Sumner School
High School Commons
1707 Main St.

Puyallup - Thursday, Jan. 20Puyallup City Hall: Chamber Hall
333 South Meridian
Lakewood – Tuesday, Jan. 25 Lakewood Boys & Girls Club
10402 Kline St SW

Kent - Wednesday, Jan. 26Kent Senior Activity Center
600 E. Smith Street
Auburn - Thursday, Jan. 27Auburn City Hall: Council Chamber
25 W. Main Street

Stay Safe: Take Sounder to the Seahawks Playoff Game on Sunday

It is old new by now that the Seahawk's are the first time ever to go the the NFL playoffs with a losing record, can you believe that?

Thankfully you can enjoy next Sunday's out of the ordinary home game without having to worry about parking or your alcohol consumption thanks to Sound Transit special Sounder Service to the game.  Here is all of the info:

Take the Sounder train to the Seahawks game on Saturday

Sound Transit will operate special Sounder service Saturday to the Seattle Seahawks’ playoff game against the New Orleans Saints at Qwest Field at 1:30 p.m.

Two northbound trains will leave Tacoma at 10:05 and 10:45 a.m. A third train departs Sumner at 10:37 a.m. The 10:05 train from Tacoma will be an express service to Seattle with a stop in Puyallup.

Two southbound trains will leave Everett at 10:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., with stops in Mukilteo and Edmonds.
Return service to Tacoma will depart King Street Station 10, 20 and 40 minutes after the game and stop at all stations. Northbound trips will depart 15 and 30 minutes after the game.

In addition to its special Sounder service, Sound Transit’s Link light rail offers fast, convenient service to and from the stadium. Link light rail serves 13 stations in downtown Seattle, SODO, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Tukwila and SeaTac, and its Stadium Station is only a half-block walk to Safeco Field. Schedules for all Sound Transit services are available at

Regular fares apply for all Sound Transit services. ORCA and all valid transit passes will be accepted. 

Of course Metro and Central link will be on a normal Sunday Service, which are both good other options for your car-free trip to the game.