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Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

This past Saturday I had the single worst public transportation experience of my life to date.  Before the incident, I tended toward a certain transit elitism, and I would often look down upon those who cite fear of crime and assault as reasons not to ride the bus, tending to dismiss such critics as sheltered [...]

Jun 20th, 2010 | Filed under Personal, Transportation

We seem to love depressing irony.  We enact stupid “sin taxes” on things like candy and soda while subsidizing the soy and corn that make them cheap in the first place.  Well, I can’t help but wince at Governor Gregoire’s itinerary yesterday. After an Amtrak Cascades trip north of the border, she toured Vancouver’s Canada [...]

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Jun 18th, 2010 | Filed under Transportation

We live in a hyper-technological age in which information is cheap and ubiquitous.  I am no Luddite, and I have benefited greatly from social media, but we must remember that both cheapness and ubiquity are traits indicative of  poor quality.  Not only do our Twitter-fried brains have 140-character attention spans, but I am convinced that [...]

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Jun 9th, 2010 | Filed under Personal, Politics, Transportation

(I apologize for the 3-week blogging hiatus…I have been moving from Vancouver BC back to Seattle.) Public agencies generally fail to market themselves adequately.  The unique (and frequently perverse) social incentives of government agencies often privilege breadth of communication at the expense of depth and structural clarity.  Official correspondence between agency and customer can thus [...]

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Jun 8th, 2010 | Filed under Transportation

In these heady days of smartphones and OneBusAway, there isn’t really much of a purpose for call-in bus schedule information. Most of the time, a combination of printed and online timetables is sufficient. But occasionally some people might still need to call. King County Metro has an antiquated call-in system with recorded schedule information. It [...]

May 17th, 2010 | Filed under Transportation

One thing I’m keen to do in this blog is diversify people’s perceptions of the car-free life.  It isn’t just for faux-European types living the bi-coastal liberal dream, or for crunchy urbanites who have forsaken our rural, pastoral, or forested landscapes in favor of the concrete and steel of the city.  If my goal of [...]

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May 6th, 2010 | Filed under Personal, Transportation

I thought I’d pass this timetable along.  I made it a couple of days ago when I got tired of trying to remember both Sounder and Amtrak schedules.  I find these sorts of unified timetables pretty useful, and I hope you find them useful too.  For instance, making Sounder/Amtrak connections is quite possible, but given [...]

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Apr 28th, 2010 | Filed under Transportation

I am a huge fan of Amtrak Cascades, and as a car-free resident of Vancouver BC who must frequently travel to Seattle, the two daily trains to Seattle are a lifeline.  I’ve made 8 round-trips in the past 9 months, and I find it to be a generally enjoyable service with unparalleled scenery.  People may [...]

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Apr 27th, 2010 | Filed under Transportation

I hate to beat up on Seattle.  I love the Emerald City, and I have lived there quite successfully without a car.  But after living here in Vancouver for 4 months, I am unequivocally convinced that Vancouver offers far superior bus service.  Yet it isn’t immediately clear why this should be so.  Transit is everywhere [...]

Apr 22nd, 2010 | Filed under Transportation

The politics of public transportation frequently reflect an understandable but potentially pernicious urban bias. The commuter and intercity transit markets seem to attract the most attention from both planners and armchair futurists alike. In Washington State, for instance, most of the transit buzz concerns rail expansion in the Seattle area. This is all sensible, of [...]

Apr 13th, 2010 | Filed under Transportation