Archive for March, 2010

SoundTransit_busAs reported in the Seattle Times, Sound Transit is considering fare increases on express busses this June and again next year.  It would also reduce the service zones from five to three (one zone per county). 

This would mean Sound Transit trips within a county would be $2.50 for an adult fare and $3.50 if traveling to another county.  Because there would be no zone change over Lake Washington, Seattle to Eastside trips would be in one zone and thus remain $2.50.   Youth, senior and disabled fares would also change under the proposal. 

Current fares are heavily subsidized by government sales taxes and federal grants.  Fares cover approximately 20 percent of express bus operating costs and the increase will add $400,000 per month to Sound Transit’s budget. King County Metro increased fares by 25 cents per trip the past two years to offset decreased sales tax revenue. 

Sound Transit will have a public hearing on the increase in April. Readers: Do you support Sound Transit raising it’s fares to be able to continue to provide the same levels of transit service? Share your comments below.

-Michael

Friday, March 19th, 2010 9:23 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

vanpool 1Metro VanPool 101:

1) How to get started? To start a vanpool you need at least 5 people. The best place to find riders is www.RideshareOnline.com, but you can also ask coworkers or friends. Often grocery stores or neighborhood coffee shops have boards where you can post fliers.

2) How do you pay? You pay a flat monthly fee based on the # of miles the van is driven. This fee covers gas, maintenance, and insurance. The fee can be split evenly by the number of riders in the van or some vans offer to pay for the primary driver to ride free. For example, my van drives 45 miles round trip, costing $710 a month. My van has 7 individuals, so we each pay $101 a month.

3) Who determines where the van leaves? Riders in the van do not have to all live in the same city or work in the same building. The van has the flexibility to decide pick up and drop off locations. Typically park and rides are used, but groups can decide to pick up riders at their home driveways. You can also pick up riders along your route. The group has full control!

4) Who drives the van? Every van is required to have one primary and at least one backup driver. To become a driver you must complete an online training course.

5) If an emergency happens and I need to leave early, am I responsible for getting myself home? If you or a family member becomes ill, if you have to work unexpected overtime, or another emergency happens on a day you drove in the van, Metro will pay for your taxi ride. Know you don’t have to worry about being stranded or paying out of pocket for taxi fare.

-Melissa

Monday, March 1st, 2010 5:17 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

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