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Old September 22nd, 2007, 06:15 AM   #1141
Jaxom92
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That's an interesting and probably doable idea. I've not personally seen it or heard of it implemented on light rail systems, but my experience isn't extensive in that regard. Say Tacoma to Federal Way Center to Airport to a main Rainier Valley station or skip to Sodo/Stadium station then stop at all the downtown stops and continue to UW. Maybe even less. Tacoma, Airport, Seattle.

I think getting a handle on ridership patterns before creating an express train would be prudent, so for a while after the full line between Seattle and Tacoma opens, there wouldn't be any express.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 08:53 AM   #1142
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the express trains is the commuter rail from tacoma to seattle. it goes much faster than the light rail. the only thing sucks that it doesn't have an all day service rather than peak hour only stuff.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 09:16 AM   #1143
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Yeah, but the commuter rail system serves Tukwila, Renton, Kent, Auburn, and Puyallup. Light rail will serve Seatac, Des Moines, Federal Way, and Fife.
You see the difference?
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 11:07 AM   #1144
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SLUT -- Streetcar's unfortunate acronym seems here to stay

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/332081_slut18.html


Workers for Seattle Department of Transportation eyeball the track as the trolley car is lowered down onto the tracks on Monday.




Jerry Johnson, foreground, and Don Clifton model the "Ride the S.L.U.T." T-shirts they created to poke fun at the original acronym of the South Lake Union Streetcar. The shirts are sold at the Kapow! coffee shop in the neighborhood. (Note: Johnson was misidentified in the original caption.) (September 18, 2007)


Seattle transportation worker Josh Stepherson, right, peeks at the trolley car moments after it was delivered Monday. (September 18, 2007)

By KERY MURAKAMI
P-I REPORTER

(Editor's note: This story has been changed since it was first published. Jerry Johnson was originally misidentified in a photo caption.)

There's a story going around South Lake Union, but a spokeswoman for Vulcan, Paul Allen's development company, says it's just an urban legend.

That aside, the story that the neighborhood's streetcar line now under construction was called the South Lake Union Trolley until the powers that be realized the unfortunate acronym -- SLUT -- seems here to stay.

Officially, it's now the South Lake Union Streetcar. But the trolley name already has caught on, and in the old Cascade neighborhood in South Lake Union, they're waiting for the SLUT.

At the Kapow! Coffee house on Harrison Street, they're selling T-shirts that read "Ride the SLUT."

"We're welcoming the SLUT into the neighborhood," said Jerry Johnson, 29, a part-time barista. Johnson said the T-shirts were done just for fun, but they seem to have tapped into something: The first 100 sold out in days and now orders for the next 100 are under way.

We asked people around South Lake Union what they think of the nickname.
Behind the ribbing is a little resentment about the changes some residents feel have been pushed on them.

"There was a meeting with representatives from the city several years ago," Johnson recalled. "They asked us what we could do for you. Most people raised their hands and said 'affordable housing,' " he said. "Then the people from the city huddled together -- 'whisper, whisper, whisper,' -- and they said, 'How about a trolley?' "

With the tracks laid and the Westlake to South Lake Union streetcar on schedule to start running in December -- no specific date yet -- there's resignation.

"What's done is done," says Don Clifton of the decision to build the $50.5 million line.

The neighborhood even has lost its name, they said.

In its sales brochures, project developer Vulcan calls the neighborhood the Cascade and refers to South Lake Union as a broader area bordered by Interstate 5, the Denny Park area, the lake and the Denny Triangle. But outside the neighborhood, it's rarely ever called the Cascade anymore, going instead by ubiquitous South Lake Union.

So, "We learned how fun it is to change the name of things," Clifton said of the streetcar's nickname.

On Wednesday, the neighborhood was filled, as it has been for months, with the clutter of construction from new buildings and the laying of the streetcar's tracks.

Some areas remain blocked during construction.

"It's not so bad," said 32-year-old Jennifer Cea, a student at the nearby Cortiva Institute massage school who was in line at Kapow! "It's more irritating, turning a corner and running into a detour."

The shirts are funny, she said, but she wouldn't wear one. "I'm a mother," she explained.

The construction in the area was more than just inconvenient earlier this month. On Sept. 7, a dump truck from one of the construction projects in the area hit two bicyclists at Fuhrman Avenue East and Eastlake Avenue East, killing one of them.

"I love it," Clifton said of the construction noise. "I was getting too much sleep before."

"I especially like the dust and the big holes in the ground," Johnson said. "But we can't wait to have the SLUT."

Seattle transportation spokesman Gregg Hirakawa and Vulcan spokeswoman Kym Allen say the name "streetcar" wasn't selected to avoid the provocative acronym. Trolley seemed vintage, whereas streetcar sounded more modern, Hirakawa said.

And the streetcars -- the first of which will be unveiled Tuesday -- had the support of 45 businesses that agreed to tax themselves to cover about half the cost, he said.

Indeed, what the SLUT shirts poke fun at depends on the wearer.

For Tom Long, 36, and Michael Giovannoni, 19, who were at the Kapow! during a break from massage lessons, the shirts are a way to mock the years Seattle, a city that's supposedly progressive and environmental, has spent in gridlock while building mass transit.

"Judging by what other cities of our size have, we're way behind," Long said.

P-I reporter Kery Murakami can be reached at 206-448-8131 or [email protected].
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 01:08 PM   #1145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taiwanesedrummer36 View Post
Yeah, but the commuter rail system serves Tukwila, Renton, Kent, Auburn, and Puyallup. Light rail will serve Seatac, Des Moines, Federal Way, and Fife.
You see the difference?
Yes, I already know that. The commuter rail goes up to 79 mph and the light rail goes up to 55 mph, wonder which will get there first? You decide.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 07:13 PM   #1146
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Originally Posted by taiwanesedrummer36 View Post
In the Seattle Times today, there was an article where the Sierra Club slammed Soundtransit for the light rail extension from Seatac to Tacoma, mainly because of guessed-low ridership, and the longer travel times due to the MLK surface route. Assuming that a complete light rail system is completed, why don't we institute express trains and local trains? Basically the idea is express trains will bypass some stations (preferably low-ridership stations) to improve travel times, and local trains will stop at all stations. Many rail lines in Taiwan adopt this idea to improve rail traffic.
i'm getting pretty sick of the sierra club producing excuses. if you are going from tacoma to seattle, yes it would be silly to take light rail over the sounder. problem is, not everyone is going from tacoma to seattle...
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 09:33 PM   #1147
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I agree with Sierra Club on this one. The ridership for the South Link will be pretty low to warrant any billion dollar high capacity system. The current ST express bus and Sounder service could easily be beefed up to serve the future. From ST's website, there's about 6,500 morning commuters who take Sounder and express buses to Seattle every day. 30,000 people drive northbound on I-5 during peak hours, so ST has about a 20% share already. Add more parking garages, increase express bus and Sounder service, and ST could double or triple its capacity more quickly (without waiting a couple decades) and at a fraction of the cost.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 12:56 AM   #1148
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do you have a link to ridership estimates on that part of the line? i can't seem to find them on st2's website. and im curious, yes or no on prop 1?

where are the sierra club's alternatives? and why should we trust them over the professionals at sound transit? i think the sierra club is being awfully seattle centric and should take a look at what the people who light rail would serve in the south actually want. its not all about the tacoma-seattle connection.

Last edited by citruspastels; September 23rd, 2007 at 06:50 AM.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 11:26 AM   #1149
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Well I did more research and I found this little blurb: "[the line north of downtown seattle] will be roughly equal to the south and east lines combined." - from East Link FAQs.

So if the line north of downtown (U link and North Link) have a combined ridership of about 70,000 (?) and East Link has 45,000 (from ST pdf); then south link should be around 25,000.

But I do support the transit package! I understand it's a long range vision they're trying to get built (and i'm more of a now now now kinda guy). But I wished it beefed up park and rides and train service for short term relief...instead of waiting till 2030 for any big results.

Anyway, I read in a ST report that the bus tunnel can handle 60 buses per direction an hour. When light rail begins in 2009, it'll dip to 45. It'll also decrease when UW service begins. And there's an agreement between Metro and ST that if the number of buses per direction per hour drops to 30, then Metro can decide whether they want to continue operating buses in the tunnel.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 08:37 PM   #1150
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glad to hear you support it. that makes sense about the ridership, i mean the south and east are less dense than the north. denser development following the construction of the light rail will most likely occur though and we'll definitely see the line quite busy.

i hope the tunnel continues to be used for buses, but at least they still have 3rd avenue for efficiency. i miss the tunnel, especially for the ease of transfers down there.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 10:36 PM   #1151
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I believe the south line is projected at much higher ridership than that.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 12:51 AM   #1152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taiwanesedrummer36 View Post
In the Seattle Times today, there was an article where the Sierra Club slammed Soundtransit for the light rail extension from Seatac to Tacoma, mainly because of guessed-low ridership, and the longer travel times due to the MLK surface route. Assuming that a complete light rail system is completed, why don't we institute express trains and local trains? Basically the idea is express trains will bypass some stations (preferably low-ridership stations) to improve travel times, and local trains will stop at all stations. Many rail lines in Taiwan adopt this idea to improve rail traffic.
they do it in vancouver too during rush hour - well i haven't ridden in years but they did have trains that left downtown and skipped a number of stations on the way to surrey - they operated as express runs from downtown to surrey
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Old September 24th, 2007, 08:04 AM   #1153
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But they operate on the same tracks don't they? I know the ones in Taiwan do. The same track is shared by many different trains: Express, commuter, orange express, blue express etc. We don't have that many different trains though. Does the light rail tracks have a third rail line? One in each direction plus a middle? It would be hard to bypass low-ridership stations without having one wouldn't it?
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Old September 24th, 2007, 09:01 AM   #1154
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Quote:
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But they operate on the same tracks don't they? I know the ones in Taiwan do. The same track is shared by many different trains: Express, commuter, orange express, blue express etc. We don't have that many different trains though. Does the light rail tracks have a third rail line? One in each direction plus a middle? It would be hard to bypass low-ridership stations without having one wouldn't it?
I believe some sections have three-track sections (one on MLK), for bypassing trains and probably overlay areas. I remember seeing a photo of it.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 09:12 AM   #1155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
But they operate on the same tracks don't they? I know the ones in Taiwan do. The same track is shared by many different trains: Express, commuter, orange express, blue express etc. We don't have that many different trains though. Does the light rail tracks have a third rail line? One in each direction plus a middle? It would be hard to bypass low-ridership stations without having one wouldn't it?
Yes, there is 3 tracks section south of Ohetto Street, about roughly a mile south of the intersection.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 09:17 AM   #1156
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here's the pic I found in the same thread...

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Old September 24th, 2007, 09:11 PM   #1157
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here's the pic I found in the same thread...

That's not a bypass track, it's a storage track for extra equipment. It will ONLY be used by Link light rail trains (and maintenance equipment).
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Old September 24th, 2007, 09:13 PM   #1158
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How do you know that, Urbanben? Do you work for Sound Transit?
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Old September 24th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #1159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taiwanesedrummer36 View Post
In the Seattle Times today, there was an article where the Sierra Club slammed Soundtransit for the light rail extension from Seatac to Tacoma, mainly because of guessed-low ridership, and the longer travel times due to the MLK surface route. Assuming that a complete light rail system is completed, why don't we institute express trains and local trains? Basically the idea is express trains will bypass some stations (preferably low-ridership stations) to improve travel times, and local trains will stop at all stations. Many rail lines in Taiwan adopt this idea to improve rail traffic.
The Rainier valley section is NOT that slow. The only difference is a 35mph max versus 55mph max, and the potential to hit a few lights. There are three stations at grade level through there - most of a train's time is spent accelerating anyway, so the maximum speed isn't a limiting factor. I was told that having a 55mph max through that corridor would only save three or four minutes total.

Heavy rail lines have expresses. Light rail systems really almost never do. But with this in mind, I'd like to mention what may happen in 30 years.

Because the rail line leaves and then re-enters the Duwamish river valley, it would potentially be possible to build a grade-separated route through the valley that never hits Rainier. Honestly, though, this wouldn't be cost-effective at all until a lot more lines were built in much higher ridership places that don't have them yet.

Yes, the South King line will have lower ridership - but the Sierra Club is crazy to attack it. There is NO WAY to make them happy.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 09:20 PM   #1160
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How do you know that, Urbanben? Do you work for Sound Transit?
I do not work for Sound Transit. That track is single-ended (excepting some crossovers) and about a thousand feet long, though. It couldn't be used for anything else - it doesn't even pass a station.
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