Wow, why would they spend anything on consultants? Ask anyone who rides the bus and they would get an ear full for free. The operating committee voted to pay EMC Research up to $1.5 million to check riders attitudes, fuel prices, and find what it would take to get a person on the bus or rail. Sound Transit already has a shortfall of $3.9 billion in their 15 year extension plan.
For starters they need a good customer service office with help that at least know where a bus stop is. Some dufus hooded a bus stop by error in Georgetown and it took two weeks for Customer Service to quit saying the stop was open. They could have asked any driver who went by it every half hour. About the time a person figures out a good route they change it. For example the 174 bus used to go from Seattle to Federal Way, and into the Airport. No transfers and it worked real good and the bus was standing room most of the time. Then they decided to have it go in the tunnel at Holgate so it screwed it up royally and was so unhandy to have to go down in a tunnel station to get the bus. About the time we got that figured out they stopped running it completely. You have to take a bus to the Tukwila Link station(even though you have absolutely no desire to go there) then take a rapid ride from there. I did all my heavy shopping in Federal Way but don’t even go anymore. Once you have to get off and on it’s to time consuming and inconvenient. I don’t know how to get to the airport on the bus anymore. They only think of speed not that riders might want to get off along the highway and shop or do errands.
If you have to scrape the ice off your windshield and drive to a transit station you might as well drive on to work. Bus fare is not a bargain anymore at all. Sound Transit does not have nearly as many riders as they thought they would, maybe its time to just quit building, and paying consultants and doing anything if they are losing money and take the time to LISTEN to riders, not some hot-shot consultant that wouldn’t ride a bus if it were free. Oh, well they can tack on $20.00 to our car tab and have some more to squander.