News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

Update: Public transportation – and a new City Council

January 30th, 2016 by Mike

Update on Mardi Gras:

The Seattle Times has an opinion piece here. It’s not supportive of Pronto.

Update Feb. 4:

The Stranger has a Pronto story here.

The Seattle Bike Blog has one here.

Update Feb. 3: Josh Feit over at PublicCola has an update on Tuesday’s hearing on Pronto rental bikes.

Bottom line: Not much happened. Any vote was postponed as apparently only two transportation committee members were present – including the chair, Councilman Mike O’Brien.

To O’Brien’s frustration, SDOT’s presentation didn’t come with a specific business plan other than the immediate pitch to stabilize the program—there are currently 50-plus stations with 500 bikes and 3,000 members—and then have the city put it out to bid again in 2017….

O’Brien’s committee didn’t take any action yesterday (Pronto will go under in March if the city doesn’t bail it out); O’Brien reasoned that his other council colleagues are likely to have questions. Indeed, letters have been coming in to city hall suggesting that the $5 million could go to homelessness programs.

Feit tweeted about the meeting here.

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A month into Seattle’s new City Council – in which council members are elected neighborhood by neighborhood – we’ll get a look at what this might mean for local public transportation.

Specifically, what will the council members – representing their districts – say about:

* Rescuing Pronto bike sharing rental.

* The apparent disappearance of much of our direct bus service to downtown.

On Tuesday, the City Council will discuss whether to spend $1.4 million to bail out the failing Pronto public bike rental  system.

Fifteen months after launch, Pronto is insolvent. Also, no one is riding the bikes.

As the map shows, there are no Pronto bikes available in Maple Leaf nor, for that matter, in all of Council District 5 (north Seattle), now represented by Debora Juarez.

There was a proposal to put a Pronto station at North Seattle College, but only if the feds paid for it. The feds declined.

Our earlier post is here. The Seattle Times has an updated story here: Seattle’s Pronto bike-share nonprofit teetering, seeks $1.4M rescue by city. (Note to “terriance”, in the +300-plus comments on that story: We don’t know what an “enterprise producer” is, either.)

Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who chairs the Transportation and Sustainability Committee, said he was disappointed to see Pronto “go financially sideways so quick” and said he’ll have to carefully consider whether to fund it.

“Just barely a year into it we’re going to throw a million and half into it to keep it alive and see what the next phase is.”

He said he believed bike sharing could work in Seattle, but O’Brien said, “If we’re not going to make it work, let’s figure that out as soon as possible and not spend money on it.”

The Seattle Bike Blog has posted here: With Pronto in the red, city outlines takeover and expansion plan.

The Times’ Danny Westneat has a column here.

In its first year, people took 142,832 rides on Pronto bikes. That’s only 391 rides per day. It’s about seven rides taken at each station per day. Each station brought in only an average $30 a day in revenue.  These are terrible figures considering the bike stations are dotted around places like the Amazon jungle, which we imagine should be meccas of alternative transportation.

Also, helmets.

Also, buses.

With the coming of light rail to the University District, there are proposed changes in Metro routes – but we’ll be damned if we understand them.

We weren’t at the Community Council meeting Wednesday evening, but reports on “Metro’s” presentation were not illuminating. [Read more →]

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Metro operating on snow routes until further notice

January 16th, 2012 by master

King County Metro Transit is operating all bus routes on designated snow routes until further notice.

From Metro:

If your bus does not have a pre-planned snow route, it will operate its regular route, however service may be delayed due to weather and road conditions. Transit customers are advised to wait for buses at posted bus stops on flat portions of cleared arterials or at major transfer points, such as park-and-ride lots and transit centers where there may be multiple service options.

It is not possible to know when a bus will arrive at a specific location, or to provide service updates at the individual trip or stop level.

Use regularly published timetables as a guide, check Metro’s online snow page for route updates, be aware of conditions in your area and be prepared for delays.

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17% in Metro cuts could eliminate routes 73, 67

July 7th, 2011 by master

If you’re a frequent bus rider of the routes that travel through Maple Leaf, King County Metro Transit is urging you to act now to prevent a 17 percent cut in services that could eliminate such routes as the 73 and 67, as well as a reduction in services of the 41.

According to the Metro PDF “What will happen if the congestion reduction charge is not approved,” those routes and more are on the chopping block if the King County County Council fails to impose a $20 annual vehicle licensing fee for two years, called a “congestion reduction charge.”

The state Legislature already has approved this temporary charge, but Transportation for Washington says the bill still needs the support of two more County Council members to pass.

Want to make your voice heard? Transportation for Washington also has a form letter you can fill out in support of the congestion reduction charge, while Metro is urging riders to attend the next public hearing at 6 p.m. July 12 at King County Council Chambers, 516 Third Ave. on the 10th floor, or submit written testimony.

And whether you’re for or against the proposal, you can always contact our own Councilman Bob Ferguson, who also happens to be a Maple Leaf resident, at bob.ferguson@kingcounty.gov or 206-296-1001.

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