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Old August 29th, 2007, 11:28 PM   #1001
sequoias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongo8780 View Post
Portland does the same thing. You can ride MAX for free from the downtown core out to Lloyd Center and vice versa. After that, random fare inspections take place to make sure everyone on board has a valid ticket. I could see Seattle doing the same thing. People will try to get free rides but the fines of people caught doing so will make up for the fare jumpers.
Hmmm, that may be possible for sure. Light rail has a pretty big weakness on that part, people easily riding it for free because not everyone gets checked up for the fare tickets.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 08:54 AM   #1002
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I'm almost certain they will use the honesty system. That's nothing to be surprised about. Even LA's Metro Rail relies on the honesty of their riders. Newer systems that don't have a higher ridership tend to do this. The more expansive older systems have a high daily ridership will have fare checkpoints. But you can certainly expect very high fines for violators that try to sneak a ride and get caught.

Also, expect the trains to be free of charge within the ride-free zone. Anything operated by a public transportation transit agency will let you hop on board for free Downtown. You just have to be careful where you get off. As already mentioned, it should be no different than Portland.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 10:38 AM   #1003
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That's good question. I doubt that light rail will be free in free zone too. Sound Transit has different system than Metro servies.
Then what would be the point of building the light rail when the buses will be free? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...This is something I will pop an e-mail to ST about.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 12:30 PM   #1004
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In Vancouver we use the proof-of-payment system, also known as the honor system, on the SkyTrain network. Fines for fare evasion are $173 Canadian (about $160 US). Fare checks are random and conducted by SkyTrain staff and the provincial transit police, who have the full police powers and jurisdictional powers to operate anywhere in the province, not simply on the transit system. The 99 B-Line bus rapid transit line has adopted the proof of payment system and riders can now board through any doors on the 60 foot long articulated buses. The 99 B-Line has more than 60,000 riders a day and the time saved at each stop by adopting this system is hoped to "create" more service hours and help relieve the crippling overcrowding during rush hour. The buses are running with as little as 90 seconds of headway in rush hour and they are full beyond capacity.

Translink, our regional road and transit authority did a study in advance of the initiation of the Canada Line about whether to use a turnstile system or to extend the use of the proof-of-payment system to the new line. I believe the report found that the cost of maintaining and staffing the turnstiles would be far in excess of the revenue gained through marginally decreased fare evasion. Fare evasion rates are already comparable to systems with turnstiles. The transit police force would be expanded anyway and these staff can perform random fare checks in the course of their normal duties.

Anyway, I can't wait to ride the Link LRT when it's done.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 09:35 PM   #1005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backstrom View Post


I'm almost certain they will use the honesty system. That's nothing to be surprised about. Even LA's Metro Rail relies on the honesty of their riders. Newer systems that don't have a higher ridership tend to do this. The more expansive older systems have a high daily ridership will have fare checkpoints. But you can certainly expect very high fines for violators that try to sneak a ride and get caught.

Also, expect the trains to be free of charge within the ride-free zone. Anything operated by a public transportation transit agency will let you hop on board for free Downtown. You just have to be careful where you get off. As already mentioned, it should be no different than Portland.
Interesting. It's best to pay the fare and ride the LRT than getting caught with a hefty fine.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 01:06 AM   #1006
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I wonder how all of the Transit systems (Sound Transit, Metro, Community Transit, Etc.) will intergrate their fares with Light rail. Will a bus transfer work on the light rail. Here is the above mentioned e-mail reply from someone at Sound Transit about there fare system.

Subject: RE: Link Light rail Fare Structure
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 09:07:38 -0700
From: "Munnoch, Jeff" <[email protected]> Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
To: [email protected]

Thanks for e-mailing us about Link light rail. The intent is for the rail system to be a seamless part of the local transit system. While it is too early to predict the actual fare, we do know that it will be the same as local bus fare, and you will be able to use your pass, ticket, etc. to transfer from the bus to the train and vice versa.



I hope that answers your question.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 01:46 AM   #1007
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I think they will use the orca card for that system like they do in other metro areas. They just ended the trail period on Jan 2007 and they're currently evaulating it. I dunno when they will start releasing it to the public. The problem is that you cannot transfer from metro transit bus to Sound Transit bus/Community transit bus for free. You would have to pay a fare for it.

It's possible the transfers will be free from the bus to light rail. I used to do that in Utah. I rode the bus from Orem, Utah and then transferred to light rail for free to downtown Salt Lake City.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 04:10 AM   #1008
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You can transfer from Metro to Sound Transit, but only in the same fare zone. For example if you transfer from a metro downtown to a sound transit bus and get off that bus in Seattle City limits it's the same fare as a metro bus would be. Transfers work as long as you are still in the same fare zone. I wonder what will happen when (hopefully) light rail gets built out to the burbs? Will light rail fares be distanced based like in the BART system (that would suck).
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Old August 31st, 2007, 04:47 AM   #1009
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It will probably be zone based, with flat rates per zone you travel through. Although the Sounder just switched over to distance based fares - a base fare plus a per mile rate.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 04:56 AM   #1010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxom92 View Post
It will probably be zone based, with flat rates per zone you travel through. Although the Sounder just switched over to distance based fares - a base fare plus a per mile rate.
Distance-based fares make muuuuuch more sense than a flat fare. I heard New York Subways cost $2.00 and that's a flat fare, no matter how long or short your ride is.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 07:33 AM   #1011
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Then what would be the point of building the light rail when the buses will be free? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...This is something I will pop an e-mail to ST about.
Just get Seattle on moving! Sure you can ask ST and I'd love to hear what they would say about that.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 07:57 AM   #1012
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E-mail has been sent to ST covering three questions:

1. How will fares be decided (flat or distance-based)?
2. Will LR be free in the free zone in DT Seattle?
3. If approved by voters in November, will there be a possibility that the extended light rail service may lead to a further extension of light rail service into the Issaquah Highlands?

I will post the answer from ST as soon as I get it.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 10:44 AM   #1013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxom92 View Post
It will probably be zone based, with flat rates per zone you travel through. Although the Sounder just switched over to distance based fares - a base fare plus a per mile rate.
For what it is right now, I'd expect a simple two-zone fare system. I have to say that I do not like distance-based fare at all. I prefer a flat or zone-based fare above all else just for ease, accessibility and convenience.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 01:31 PM   #1014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoias View Post
The problem is that you cannot transfer from metro transit bus to Sound Transit bus/Community transit bus for free. You would have to pay a fare for it.
A transfer from a Metro bus to a local CT route only requires a transfer; no extra fare required.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 07:49 AM   #1015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backstrom View Post
For what it is right now, I'd expect a simple two-zone fare system. I have to say that I do not like distance-based fare at all. I prefer a flat or zone-based fare above all else just for ease, accessibility and convenience.
How high would the flat fare be though? If it's too high, then there would be no point in riding the rail for short distances.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 07:58 AM   #1016
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Originally Posted by CrazyAboutCities View Post
That's good question. I doubt that light rail will be free in free zone too. Sound Transit has different system than Metro servies.
Probably, I bet there will be a charge everywhere including downtown. I am not sure, but most rail services charge to get back the farebox recovery.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 09:39 AM   #1017
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Probably, I bet there will be a charge everywhere including downtown. I am not sure, but most rail services charge to get back the farebox recovery.
Yeah... We will see when they opens.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 03:46 PM   #1018
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Seattle P-I: Sierra Club loses first case linked to Prop. 1

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/transp...91_rtid01.html

Last updated August 31, 2007 11:28 p.m. PT

Sierra Club loses first case linked to Prop. 1
But it's just the opening salvo on roads measure
By DEBERA CARLTON HARRELL
P-I REPORTER

The Sierra Club is in favor of mass transit, but definitely not roads, cars and carbon monoxide.

So when it comes to Proposition 1, a $47 billion combined regional transit measure heading to the Nov. 6 ballot, the environmental group is in a tough spot. It wants to support the Sound Transit/light rail portion of the ballot issue, but not the Regional Transportation Improvement District part, which seeks more money to expand and repair roads and highways.

Since a split vote is not possible -- pairing the items was mandated by the Legislature -- the Sierra Club is reluctantly urging a "no" vote on both.

"We've tried to get the two issues separated," said Mike O'Brien, the local Sierra Club chairman. "When we heard about the shotgun wedding the Legislature created, we knew there was going to be a problem."

Roger Townsend, a Sierra Club lawyer, said the group "would love to see this decoupled."

"We'd tell all our members to vote yes for Sound Transit and no for RTID," Townsend said.

"But the governor and the Legislature said all or nothing; if they don't both pass, they're both dead ... it's a bind we're in."

A hearing Friday in King County Superior Court was the opening salvo in a battle nobody really wants. Judge Richard Eadie ruled against the Sierra Club on a technicality regarding voters guide language.

So the group plans to return to court Sept. 12, hoping to unlink the two issues by challenging the legality of Proposition 1 under laws requiring single-ballot measures.

The Sierra Club, the main force behind the NoRTID campaign, asked the court Friday to decide whether the "con" statement in the King County voter's pamphlet is legal. The group says it omits an environmental point of view on the RTID portion of the ballot measure, falling short of fully informing voters.

Townsend said the "con" statement, written by citizen activist Will Knedlick, Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman and Phil Talmadge, a former state lawmaker and state Supreme Court justice, is primarily an anti-light rail and anti-tax stance, failing to adequately address the issue of more roads and highways.

"We are working to ensure the voter's guide will fairly represent RTID's opponents," said Kathleen Ridihalgh, a spokeswoman for the NoRTID campaign. The voters guide deadline is Sept. 17.

"As it stands, the opposition statement against Proposition 1 only expresses opposition to light rail," she said.

Geoff Patrick, a spokesman for Sound Transit, said the "con" committee was appointed by the Sound Transit Board of Directors from among those who attended meetings, volunteered and "who the board knew would be opposed."

Patrick would not speculate on the effect the Sierra Club's opposition may or may not have on the ballot issue.

He added that the Legislature sought a single roads-and-transit package to make it less confusing to voters in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, since the RTID and Sound Transit districts do not match completely. The area covered by RTID, for example, extends to Arlington while the Sound Transit area extends to Everett.

"It was going to be two different votes, but there was concern that it was confusing," Patrick said.

"The Legislature changed the approach; it's a single ballot measure. ... We're just focusing on election mode."

Townsend said the measure remains problematic.

"The environmental wisdom is that if you make more roads, you get more traffic, urban sprawl, and greenhouse gases; it's not a sustainable solution," Townsend said.

"The 'con' statement needs to truly represent the cons of building more roads, instead of just saying there's not enough money," Townsend said.

Eadie ruled against the plaintiffs, upholding Sound Transit's argument that because the Legislature created a joint measure, a single "con" argument suffices for both parts of the ballot.

Judge John Erlick is scheduled to hear the case Sept. 12 in King County Superior Court.

P-I reporter Debera Carlton Harrell can be reached at 206-448-8326 or [email protected].
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Old September 1st, 2007, 03:48 PM   #1019
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Seattle P-I: Sounder ridership up after I-5 work finished

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/transp...1_sound31.html

Sounder ridership up after I-5 work finished
10% more commuters find riding the rails a welcome alternative
By KERY MURAKAMI
P-I REPORTER

A few weeks ago, Bruce Sommerville, 55, would have hopped into his car to creep back along Interstate 5 from Seattle to Puyallup in rush-hour traffic.

But a little after 4 p.m. Thursday, he settled into one of the soft seats on a southbound Sounder train leaving King Street Station and headed home.

Like thousands of others, he started taking the train to avoid delays during construction Aug. 10 to Aug. 25 on northbound I-5. And he's one of hundreds who decided to stick with it post-construction as traffic returns to normal -- or at least as normal as it is during rush hour.

According to numbers released by Sound Transit on Thursday, ridership on the Sounder between Tacoma and Seattle this week was up 10 percent compared with ridership before the lane closures between Interstate 90 and South Spokane Street.

The Sounder averaged 7,423 riders a day in the three weeks before construction, but ridership jumped to a daily average of 9,480 during the I-5 lane closures. Some riders actually returned to their cars during the project, as a drop in the number of vehicles on the road eased the pain of the highway commute.

But based on morning and afternoon trips Monday and Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning's commute -- the latest figures available -- the average daily ridership remained at about 8,120.

Sound Transit spokeswoman Linda Robson surmised that some commuters tried the train during the lane closures and found it a better alternative to the road.

"We're hoping people are finding we're a viable option through construction, congestion or future population growth," she said.

Of course, about 1,300 of the roughly 2,000 additional riders who took the Sounder during construction have apparently returned to their cars. Still, Robson said she was happy with the results, and hoped some riders would return when Sound Transit adds two round-trips between Tacoma and Seattle in late September. One of the trips will be a reverse commute, leaving Seattle in the morning and departing Tacoma in the afternoon.

Metro buses, which also saw more ridership during the lane closures, did not have post-construction numbers available.

Like Bonnie Hoversland, who was headed home to Puyallup by train Thursday afternoon, Sommerville said he missed having his car at work to run errands. But both said they plan around it. Sommerville will drive if he has to go to a doctor's office or for another appointment. Hoversland packs her own lunch, or if she wants to buy food grabs a ride with somebody.

And now she can read on the way to work.

"It's just more relaxing," Sommerville agreed.

The numbers indicate Sound Transit reaped the benefits of highly complex and time-consuming preparations for greater ridership during work to repave and replace expansion joints on the interstate.

Sound Transit's Sounder operations project manager, Weylin Doyle, said in an Aug. 17 interview after the first week of construction that the agency brainstormed ideas.

Sound Transit ultimately squeezed in a 6:15 a.m. train leaving Tacoma between the 5:45 a.m. and 6:20 a.m. trains, which created little wiggle room in getting passengers on and off the trains. But a solution wasn't finalized, he said, until Aug. 8 -- just two days before the closures.

On the Tacoma-bound train Thursday afternoon, Sommerville said when he first started taking the train, he read. Now he talks to other passengers.

That's hard to do while driving on I-5.

"There's a lot of sign language on the highway," he said. "But not much communication."



P-I reporter Kery Murakami can be reached at 206-448-8131 or [email protected].
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 02:56 AM   #1020
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Great news. Looks like I-5 served as unexpected advertising for Sound Transit.
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