A reminder: Transfers Need Frequency

In the recent SW Corridor thread, the prospect of a LRT line connecting Tigard TC with Washington Square and/or Beaverton TC came up.  Such a thing is outside the scope of the SW Corridor project as currently defined, but might well be a longer-term project for the metro area.  One specific question that came up for such a hypothetical prospect is the question of whether an LRT line in the corridor would follow the freight tracks as does WES, and require transfers (at Hall/Nimbus, or possibly Scholls Ferry) to reach the Washington Square Mall (and its rather busy transit center, as well as a park-and-right near the mall), or serve the mall directly via flyover tracks (something not feasible with WES).

Commentor Anandakos thought such a direct connection was necessary:

Agreed, except that it must serve Washington Square without a street crossing. It can be open air (though covered would be better), but a MAX line must cross 217 both north and south of Washington Square to make it work.  People would laugh if Tri-Met proposed spending half a billion dollars extending the Red Line to Wilsonville and bypassed Washington Square. Rightly.

Commenter Wells thought Anandakos was being a bit dogmatic.

Transit agencies (and advocates) must leave the ‘one size fits all’ thinking behind. The first sacred cow to go should be one-seat ride. No major transit system can work optimally without dedicated transfers. The original Interstate MAX S/N line was routed along I-5 from Going to Lombard taking out 110 homes and apartments. Interstate MAX fortunately evolved. Seattle planning agencies produce hypnotically grandiose designs and disappointing outcomes. Seattle Metro is the worst bus system I’ve ever seen.

While I tend to view Washington Square as an important-enough destination to get its own MAX stop, were such a line built (and I’d be tempted to further route the line up Hall Boulveard, rather than bypassing whole swaths of south-central Beaverton), Wells does have a point here:  Modern transit networks do depend on transfers.  You can’t have bus lines connecting everywhere with everywhere, and you especially can’t have that with trains.

But here’s the rub, though:  Transfers either need to be synchronized (as with a “pulse” at a transit center–something that works best in smaller, low-traffic cities), or connecting services need to be frequent.  As it is, 76/78 is nearly “frequent” in the corridor…but WES itself is not.

A big reason why the cuts to the high-frequency grid in 2009 and 2012, were so devastating to the quality of TriMet service, was not that the average wait to catch a bus along, say, SE Hawthorne went up from 7 1/2 minutes to 10 minutes.  The devastating thing is that riders who wanted to transfer to another bus (say the 75 or the 71) found that these transfers now took a lot longer time.  Grids require high frequency to work.  You can’t time transfers at all the connections in a grid, and grids abandon common transfer points in favor of a more efficient network of parallel routes–so to make transfers tolerable, the connecting services must be frequent.

Of course, this analysis may not apply in Washington County, particularly Tigard, where there is neither high-frequency service (only the 12/94 and 76/78) nor anything resembling a grid.  The street network there is poorly-suited towards a mesh topology, and the lower density makes it all but impossible for everyone to have a bus stop within walking distance.  In such an environment, use of transit centers (and structuring transfers so most of them occur at transit centers) makes more sense, and having major trunk lines (such as any expansion of MAX in the area) serve those transit centers ought to be viewed as an obvious step.

34 Comments

34 Responses to A reminder: Transfers Need Frequency

  1. Wells
    March 26, 2014 at 6:40 pm Link

    Willamette Week has a sidebar about the OHSU gondola reaching capacity during rush hours. A 9-story elevator from Barbur to a platform and bridge to Terwilliger (near Campus Dr?) is proposed, somewhat tongue in cheek.

    Here’s my last word on transfers from that previous discussion: “How about this option: Express bus lines (61,64,65,66,68) remain on Terwilliger, transfer at Campus Drive with a proper hill-climbing set of shuttle buses.” That’s what you call a real co-inky-dink.

    Scotty quoted me regarding Seattle without context. My Seattle Circulator Plan for a downtown Seattle transit reconfiguration creates 7 e/w couplets of hill-climbing trolleybus routes (10-minute circulators) crossing n/s transit lines with transfers to a 5-minute trolleybus circulator on 1st & 3rd Aves, and to regional express bus routes on 2nd & 4th Aves, creating a grid of frequent transit service.

    These short line trolleybus circulator routes require the least vehicles to achieve frequent service and quick transfers. Overhead trolleybus wire is minimized, dewirement minimized, 3 e/w routes reach the waterfront near Coleman Dock, the northernmost e/w route reaches Sculpture Park at Western. Hmmm. Environmentally subconscious Seattlers are so sure the idea is ludicrous, they won’t think about it. And they’re absolutely convinced that a giant bore tunnel highway in mud beneath downtown towers and nearby major earthquake fault line isn’t insanity.

  2. igor
    March 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm Link

    I agree about coordination between seats. That’s key, and I’ll give an example.

    I work in Vancouver, and live close to the Flavel stop on the Green line.
    So, I can take the 65 from Vancouver to Parkrose. There’s no coordination between the C-Tran bus and the Red line, so there’s a possibility of a 15 minute wait at Parkrose.

    As the Red line pulls into Gateway, where I have to make a transfer to the Green line, the Green line train is pulling out of the station. Transfers between the two aren’t permitted. Another 15 minute penalty.

    With those unknowns, I’d rather take the more circuitous, but one-seat ride on the 71 bus than risk long waits for MAX trains to arrive. At least then I know how long it will take to get home.

  3. Wells
    March 27, 2014 at 10:46 pm Link

    I’m gonna have to disagree with Scotty. I believe transit centers, (with 6 to 10+ bus stalls and large parking lots) are mostly unecessary, especially at light rail and commuter-rail stations.

    One or two short-line circulator bus lines from rail stations would provide frequent transfers to/from rail. Such circulators can reliably reach important destinations nearby, existing or planned. Parking can be located along the circulator and used for assorted development as well as access to transit. Other bus lines need only cross the circulator, reducing duplicative, circuitous bus service near the rail station. Rail stations gain more developable land with less emissions. Rail routes gain more options to reduce cost and impact. You guys don’t know jack about transfers.

    • Anandakos
      March 28, 2014 at 1:08 pm Link

      “You guys don’t know jack about transfers”.

      You may be right about that, but we DO know about political realities. And if there’s one political reality which is inescapable in the United States of America, with the exception of San Francisco and New York, it’s that transit is seen not as an essential service of the city, but as a sop to poor people. Since they’re poor they only need service every half hour or less often (they’re time isn’t WORTH anything, after all), and aren’t we generous to provide it?

      Therefore your Valhalla of frequent transfers everywhere is a pipe filled with some of Washington’s newly legal psychoactive substance.

      • Nathanael
        April 3, 2014 at 1:40 pm Link

        I’d say that there are quite a few cities other than SF and NYC in which RAIL transit is considered an essential service and not merely a sop for the poor. (Boston, DC, Chicago, and LA come to mind)

        Can’t think of any where BUS transit is, though. Maybe Chicago. Definitely nowhere else — not even NYC.

        • Anandakos
          April 3, 2014 at 9:37 pm Link

          Nathanael,

          Yep, I should have included Boston, Chicago and LA. DC I’m not so sure about. Yes, they have a magnificent system, but it’s really an underground commuter railroad.

  4. EngineerScotty
    March 28, 2014 at 12:06 am Link

    Wells,

    First of all, I would like to make clear that I have no comment on your Seattle suggestion. From what I know of downtown Seattle (which is located on a hillside, and thus there is stronger affinity along the N/S avenues than along the E/W streets–go a block up or down the hill and it’s often a different neighborhood, assuming the street goes through at all), it makes sense (though what of a public escalator like this for E/W movement in Seattle?)

    And the DBT is, or should be, DOA.

    As far as transit centers–referring to nodes in the transit network designed to permit transfers from a large number of different services–they are a nuisance in the grid; a necessary thing outside it.

    I’ve long thought Gateway TC distorts far too much of the bus grid in East Portland. The 19 and 25 should be through-routed, for instance; likewise the 24 would be better connected with one of the Parkrose lines. And I’ve long thought there should be a through bus from Parkrose TC down to Lents or possibily even CTC, using 102nd/112nd and possibly 92nd south of Flavel, so E/W services have another through N/S route to intersect with.

    OTOH, the TCs in Tigard and Washington Square make far more sense; there isn’t enough of a grid (let alone a high-frequency one) to support distributed transfers, so bringing all the busses together makes more sense out in the ‘burbs.

    • Anandakos
      March 28, 2014 at 1:02 pm Link

      I like the public escalator idea, too. The only drawback to it is that in Seattle it would need to be covered for the rain and would therefore probably be filled with homeless people at night. It might smell badly as a result.

      There would only need to be one set of escalators along Marion Street to connect to the Ferry Terminal walkway. No other east-west street south of University has much foot traffic; there are no “traffic generators” south of University along First and the waterfront is pretty much cut off and exclusively tourist oriented, except at the Ferry Terminal. It’s sad how little activity Pioneer Square has these days.

      North of University there the elevation changes east of First Avenue are pretty much ordinary walking.

    • Wells
      March 28, 2014 at 1:06 pm Link

      Tigard TC should be a candidate for a circulator line to eliminate the slow, circuitous route the #12 takes to/from 99W. The #78 also diverts from a straight Greenburg-to-Hunziker route to serve Tigard TC. A pair of circulator mini-buses could ply Old Tigard and commercial environs more suitably than a full-size 40’er; possibly owned and operated locally. If the WES corridor one day converts to MAX, circulator minibuses could shuttle between 2 MAX stations on the corridor to serve Washington Square and other commercial districts. A close-up map of Tri-Met transit centers is necessary to accurately determine extent of route streamlining possibities.

      ————–

      Scotty’s original post quoted me: “Seattle planning agencies produce hypnotically grandiose designs and disappointing outcomes. Seattle Metro is the worst bus system I’ve ever seen.” This was definitely out of context, but an opportunity to explain serious problems with the Seattle transit system and how circulators offer both frequent service and convenient transfers; the topic of this discussion.

      Without considering my design, Scotty suggests “moving sidewalks” (whoopdeedo!) for hillclimbs as an alternative which I consider but doubt can be applied to Seattle. Most of the e/w and n/s trolleybus routes I propose are already in place. Three lines serve First & Capital Hills. Two lines are added through Lake Union to Sculpture Park and to Belltown. A n/s route on 12th (“downhill” and 3 blocks east of Broadway between Capital & First Hills) is added as the “turnaround point” for the circulators. The trolleybus ‘gap’ on 1st Ave is filled in. Quite a bit of redundant trolleybus line and complex ‘turns’ are streamlined. This way peripheral trolleybus lines can enter and complement the circulator network downtown. Broadway and Jackson now have a streetcar line, thus trolleybus overhead wire there is problematic. For this reason I relocate trolleybus route from Jackson to Yesler Way and from Broadway to 12th.

      Moving sidewalk escalators only have a limited application compared to the extensive trolleybus network that Seattle already operates but plans to replace with noisy, polluting,
      old style hybrids. The DBT is reportedly in the process of being repaired and restarted within 6 months. Just wishing this monster was DOA is not enough.

      • EngineerScotty
        March 28, 2014 at 7:36 pm Link

        Actually, I shouldn’t have included the line about Seattle’s bus system, as I didn’t mean to address that specifically.

        Actually, the reason I mentioned the Mid-Levels Escalator is precisely because that portion of HK is very much like downtown Seattle–a high density area carved into the side of a hill, in which travel perpendicular to the gradient is extremely steep (>22.5%; equivalent to climbing stairs, and too steep for most wheeled vehicles to safely traverse). Whether one would work in Seattle or not, I don’t know–Anandakos mentions the Washington State Ferries terminal as a place on the waterfront that is frequented by non-tourists (though tourists would benefit as well!)–but the conditions for vertical or diagonal people-movers are present.

        • Wells
          March 28, 2014 at 8:27 pm Link

          Sorry. What does HK mean?

          • EngineerScotty
            March 28, 2014 at 8:58 pm Link

            HK = Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s traditional downtown is located on an island with rather steep terrain, carved out of the side of a hill. They have a half-mile public escalator (covered, indoors, grade-separated from the city streets below) climbing the hill in one area, with exits onto each of the streets running along the hillside (with significant elevation gain between parallel streets).

            The area is very dense, with high-rise apartments and such on each street, so there is ample pedestrian traffic to make this investment worthwhile. Crime and grime don’t seem to be much of a problem–though the neighborhood the elevator is located in is rather upscale, and Hong Kong police seem to actively discourage vagrancy in any of the “nice” parts of of town.

            That said, the horizontal length of the elevator (800m, or 1/2 mile) is about the same horizontal distance as First Hill (particularly Swedish Medical Center) to the Waterfront, so it struck me as a possibility. Where I would put such a thing, though, I don’t know.

        • Joseph
          March 28, 2014 at 8:43 pm Link

          This is my first time commenting on this blog, so, hello.

          I’m living in Hong Kong at the moment and would like to make a comment about the mid-levels escalator. The escalators do not replace or augment public transit, they simply make it more convenient to climb the hill. It makes sense about what Anandakos said to have escalators from the ferry terminal to make the initial climb into downtown Seattle, but all of the buses from downtown are serving neighborhoods outside of the city center. Escalators would be a nicety but not a feasible alternative to the bus.

          • EngineerScotty
            March 28, 2014 at 11:43 pm Link

            The MLE serves a different purpose than does the bus, but I would argue that anything that makes it easier to be a pedestrian, “benefits” public transit. Specifically, if you live in SoHo (“south of Hollywood”, near the top of the escalator), and you want to catch a bus on Des Voeux Road (a major highway through Central HK, and one with many bus lines running on it), the escalator makes this even possible. Hiking up/down the hill on foot is a major pain in the butt (and I’ve done it before), both because of the gradient, the cross-traffic, and the frequently-disappearing sidewalks. (Being a pedestrian in HK can be rather difficult).

            The distance from Waterfront to First Hill is about the same distance from, say, Waterfront Park in Portland to the downtown library (about 1/2 mile). But the walk in PDX is easy–the terrain is flat, the major streets all have signallized crossings, and there’s no freeways involved. The equivalent hike in Seattle is difficult–you’re going up a steep hill, under one freeway (SR99) and over another (I-5), and you just don’t want to do it if you can avoid it.

            • Joseph
              March 29, 2014 at 1:15 am Link

              Ah.. So you mean an escalator that runs the whole width of downtown Seattle (waterfront to I5) or perhaps even to the top of Cap Hill. This is interesting.

              In terms of affecting public transit, this is what I think. From the Hong Kong example, the Mid-Levels escalator serves a unique purpose; moving people through a dense residential and commercial neighborhood. However, I don’t think it enhances public transit in the HK context. Over 90% of trips in HK are by public transit. Car ownership is expensive and a hassle while transit services are plentiful and convenient. The escalator, while convenient (don’t get me wrong, I like it), does not significantly enhance the transportation system.

              I think the same could be said in Seattle. The people that would use the escalator are already pedestrians. They’ve taken a ferry, bus, or found a spot near the waterfront to park. I think that, although the escalator would be quite nice to help traverse the incline, it wouldn’t do much to, say, increase ridership on the bus or increase foot traffic. Those pedestrians were already going to be pedestrians. Maybe it would draw tourists.

              I suppose my line of thought is that an escalator is a nice thing in itself for the convenience of pedestrians, but it isn’t a practical way to significantly improve a transportation system.

          • Wells
            March 29, 2014 at 11:31 am Link

            Welcome Joseph. Keep PortlandTransport on your favorites list though it’s mostly local affairs. You won’t find many local Portland websites with as much expertice, inherent, latent or pretentious. We should keep on the topic of “transfer systems” rather than veer off topic into these specialty escalators.

            I highlighted “The Seattle Circulator Plan” to further the discussion about transfers. Here is an abbreviated earlier post about how transfers can benefit more typical transit systems:

            “Short-line circulator bus lines from rail stations would provide frequent “transfers” to/from rail. Such circulators can reliably reach important destinations nearby, existing or planned. Parking can be located along the circulator and used for assorted development as well as access to transit (even though this means a second “transfer” bus-to-bus-to-rail). Peripheral bus lines need only cross the circulator, (thus) reducing duplicative, circuitous bus service near the rail station. Rail stations gain more developable land (of higher development potential) with less (exhaust) emissions. Rail systems gain more (practical) route options to reduce cost and impact.

            I hope to apply the “Seattle Circulator Plan” transfer concepts to San Francisco MUNI soon. Both West Coast cities coddle advocates who want trolleybus systems gone; the visual ‘pollution’ of overhead wire ‘clutter’ being more visable than ‘actual’ air pollution.

            • Anandakos
              March 29, 2014 at 1:12 pm Link

              Wells,

              San Francisco is hanging new wire every year. They’re not “coddl[ing] advocates who want trolleybus systems gone”.

              And, while there may be a few places where you can add value by suggesting a cross-town route that doesn’t currently exist, there aren’t many.

              Basically the San Francisco street grid west of Van Ness and South of Market consists of five large contiguous areas which each has a “grid” transit layout within it. The “cross-town” elements of those grids are through-routed to cross-town elements in the adjacent regions if there is a through arterial by which to make the connection.

              Roughly speaking the regions are Pacific Heights / Japan Town / Western Addition / Richmond north of the Panhandle/Duboce and Golden Gate Park; the Sunset west of Twin Peaks, south of Golden Gate Park and north of Sloat Boulevard; Park Merced / Westwood/ Oceanview to the south of Twin Peaks; South of Market / Bernal Heights / Bayview / Excelsior / Outer Market south of Market and east of San Jose Avenue; and the “Central Highlands” area enclosed by the others.

              Then of course there’s the downtown area which has some sort of bus line on nearly every street; if ever there was a “grid system” downtown San Francisco has it.

              If you look at any of the other four areas, it already has cross-town lines every half mile at a maximum if the topography permits. Clearly the Central Highlands does not, but the gradients are severe and the landforms jumbled; there just aren’t any big arterials except Upper Market through it. Even still there are three bus lines which cross through it crossing Upper Market in a series of concentric arcs. Those lines are extended through the eastern Sunset across Golden Gate Park into the Sunset to the northwest and continue to the east across the South of Market region.

              The Westwood / Park Merced section south of Twin Peaks does lack many north-south connectors, but it’s the part of San Francisco that’s most like the suburbs; there really aren’t any “activity centers” within the area except Stonestown to which all roads (and transit vehicles) lead. But, kudos to San Francisco, it already has the 43 Masonic which runs all the way to the Marina District to the north and reaches Visitacion Valley to the southeast. It also has the 23 Monterey which runs straight east-west through the district from the Zoo at the beach to Hunters Point. A bit to the south is the 29 which runs from the extreme north edge of the Richmond along the beach west of the Golden Gate bridge (GREAT views) down through the Richmond, across Golden Gate Park down Sunset Boulevard past Park Merced, east across Oceanside and through SoMa to the Paul Street area on Third Avenue. Finally, there’s the 54 which runs from the Daly City BART station north through the district then east into the hot new Bayview section.

              Then of course there are the downtown-bound streetcars, the K and M lines which run east-west through the area.

              I hope this recitation of Muni’s amazing system has convinced you that San Francisco is already on board with your grid, and in places where there are irrational detours that waste time (and there are plenty), it has embarked on the bitter and divisive process of straightening them in the face of the predictable complaints of the people on the detours.

            • Anandakos
              March 29, 2014 at 1:16 pm Link

              “into the Richmond”, not “into the Sunset”. Lo siento.

            • Wells
              March 29, 2014 at 1:34 pm Link

              A recent article in the SF Chronicle pinpointed trolleybus overhead wire clutter as “aesthetically unpleasant” and mentioned those in Seattle who feel the same way. I’d call that coddling.

              A few years back, Seattle replaced its trolleybus fleet in a way that suggests eventual abandonment in is the works. Old coaches were replaced with old motors retained and installed in new coaches of the same old high-floor model, circa 1970’s.

              The MUNI system is more extensive than Seattle ETB. My design to reconfigure the Seattle system is based on many surveys of the routes. I’d have to live in San Francisco to do the same sort of route surveys there.

            • Anandakos
              March 29, 2014 at 4:26 pm Link

              They’re adding wire, regardless of what one writer in the SF Chronicle happened to say. No, they’re not turning the 38 into a trolley bus, or anything that extensive, but they do hang stretches of wire regularly in order to convert diesel coach lines which share more than 75% of their existing routes with ETB’s in order to convert the line.

            • EngineerScotty
              March 29, 2014 at 5:14 pm Link

              One problem with ETBs is that they tend to be a pain in the butt, with dewirements being a common problem. They’re very useful in urban environments with lots of hills (i.e. Seattle and SF) but the two-wire interface needed to hook up a bus is a lot more complicated than the single-conductor pantographs used by electric rail.

              KC Metro might simply be hedging their bets on the development of future electric- and hybrid-bus technology. ETBs are already no longer permitted in the bus tunnel (the wiring is incompatible with Link light rail), instead hybrid busses are used there instead.

            • Wells
              March 31, 2014 at 11:33 am Link

              “KC Metro is hedging their bets on future electric and hybrid-bus technology. ETBs are no longer permitted in the DSTT. Hybrid buses are used there instead,” says Scotty.

              Let’s consider some physics: ETBs have an electric motor drive. Hybrids and electric buses have that plus engine, generator, fuel and a large or small battery pack; about 1500 pounds. The ETB therefore will always be lighter and the better hillclimber.

              On the other hand, there is one scientist who could invent a competitive hybrid or electric bus to replace the ETB – James Nuetron. Here’s his phone number:
              BS9-9909. Give him a call.
              He could have it done in a week.
              He’d probably use Reardon Metal.

  5. Allan
    March 28, 2014 at 2:36 pm Link

    I wonder how much the act of building park&rides has reduced the image of transfers in the suburbs. or if it truly is a frequency problem

    • Wells
      March 30, 2014 at 12:10 pm Link

      Let’s just say WES will one day convert to a MAX line alongside the Portland & Western single-track. At Beaverton TC, this new MAX line runs downtown. How would Beaverton TC adapt? Just like Tigard TC and Washington Square TC, a close-up map of Beaverton TC is necessary to accurately rearrange bus lines. We could consider how a few minibuses could ‘frequently’ circulate from the TC across Beaverton/Hillsdale Highway, also north and around central area and back. Could a few peripheral bus routes be streamlined to just cross the circulator and bypass Beaverton TC? There, that’s a transfer question to consider.

      • Anandakos
        March 31, 2014 at 12:02 am Link

        Why would you do that, Wells? WHY? The bus goes a third of a mile from a major transfer point from which other buses radiate in many directions and rail lines go east, west and south. Instead of having the bus the rider is on deviate (yes, it does require a deviation) from Beaverton-Hillsdale, say, and visit the TC you’d force the rider to get off the bus on BHH, get on the circulator, get off the circulator at the TC or somewhere on the other side and board the vehicle to which she or he actually wants to transfer. All to avoid inconveniencing of the small minority of passengers who might want to ride from Aloha to Burlingame.

        Like Scotty said, it makes sense in the city where a true grid can be established (e.g. East of the Willamette and north of Reed College around here) but it’s silly elsewhere.

        • Wells
          March 31, 2014 at 11:11 am Link

          It’s worse than silly to haughtily dismiss a transfer concept without giving it much thought. Beaverton could become something more than a sprawling collection of traffic-strangled shopping center parking lots. A frequent short-line circulator minibus route or two from the ‘regional’ MAX stations could access the City Hall office complex, Central Library, and whatever the shopping centers to the north economic necessity might dictate. Why do you have to stamp on my creative intelligence like a burning bag of crap left on your front porch?

          • Anandakos
            March 31, 2014 at 12:37 pm Link

            It’s not the local circulator that is a bad idea; it’s a good one! I think downtown Beaverton needs it because there are people who want to travel between the old part of town south of downtown and the shopping district along Cedar Hills. A local circulator linking them would be just the thing to solve the problem. Right now they have to change between the 70’s and the 20 to make the trip.

            Heck, the Washington Square area will probably need one in a decade, too as more people move into mid-rises around there.

            It’s your position that it’s a good idea to force people wanting to make a single transfer between a suburban neighborhood collector/distributor route to or from regional trunk-lines with TWO transfers close together to which I object. And I think you’ll find most transit professionals will agree.

            Transfers are obviously essential to the proper functioning of a transit network. But that doesn’t mean that they should be forced on people just to keep straight-line routings for the few people who are going from one side to the other of a suburban city. Having routes cross the CBD of such a city is a good idea; there are people who want to make the trip, but they are a minority of transit riders. Having all lines meet at a single point makes the most sense to the most riders in a suburban context.

            • Anandakos
              March 31, 2014 at 12:43 pm Link

              P.S.

              Let me be clear that I understand the need for “cross-town” routes in the suburbs too. I was specifically meaning that it makes sense to have a single transfer point for all lines which pass through the CBD of just about any city up to about 250,000 population. That’s especially true where there are regional trunk lines involved. I should have been clearer in my post.

              Beaverton is far from that yet.

            • Wells
              March 31, 2014 at 1:37 pm Link

              Rerouting some cross-town bus lines to transfer to this frequent circulator reduces duplicative bus service near Beaverton TC and assures regional MAX riders that from there they can conveniently reach destinations along the circulator route. Yes, it’s a 2nd transfer for the few but a less circuitous cross-county bus line for the many. A close-up Tri-Met map of Beaverton TC is necessary for a more accurate assessment of this circulator design concept. Your complaint that Beaverton is too small or too under-developed is short-sighted. Redevelopment of gaseous parking lots should be encouraged.

            • Anandakos
              March 31, 2014 at 3:52 pm Link

              OK, you think more people want to ride from out Aloha way to Burlingame (or at least, somewhere east of 217 on BH Highway) than want to ride from Aloha to Portland. Why you would think that is not clear, but it’s a free country. I’m sure I can’t convince you otherwise.

              There are plenty of people in the US who believe in UFO’s and this belief — while contradicted by any number of professional origin-destination pair studies — is at least anchored to the physical reality of vehicles in which that people regularly ride. So good on ya’.

            • EngineerScotty
              March 31, 2014 at 5:10 pm Link

              Keep it civil, please.

              As noted in my comment below, the only reliable “trunk” lines in Beaverton are MAX and the 57, both of which run parallel. The 76/78 might become a good enough “trunk” for intersecting lines to connect to; a MAX line from BTC to the south would definitely qualify.

              For Beaverton to have a grid topology work, a useful requirement would be that all branch lines connect to a downtown-bound trunk. Since no downtown bus line present goes west of BTC, that effectively means Washington County busses need to connect to MAX, and most of them do so at BTC. Were the Red Line, i.e. to go to Washington Square or further south, it would permit lines like the 88 or other E/W lines some greater flexibility in routing. (I’d still send any downtown Beaverton bus to the transit center–though I’d like to see the traffic flows in downtown better optimized for the bus).

            • Anandakos
              April 3, 2014 at 9:59 pm Link

              I apologize, Scotty; too much sarcasm, I admit.

              I think the only way to solve this issue about through rides in the suburbs (as exemplified by Aloha to east of 217) is for someone to stand at BTC and ask the passengers that get on and off the 54 and 57 where they’re bound. Surely Tri-Met has done that, but I don’t know how to find the information. If someone can give me a hint where to look or whom to ask, I will do it and report on the results.

              I’m certainly not opposed to through lining some of the shorter lines that terminate in BTC, but Wells isn’t talking about just through-lining them. He want to take them out of the TC. That just seems wrong to me, especially when it’s only about a half mile from BHH to the TC. It’s not like it’s diverting up to Walker.

              And anyway, through lining the 54 and 57 would be a two hour long bus ride and the 58/52 would be almost an hour and a half (Canyon is much more direct to BTC) . Isn’t it pretty commonly held that it’s not a good thing to do that except for rail lines? The random delays that occur to buses just accumulate too consistently in line more than an hour or so long.

      • EngineerScotty
        March 31, 2014 at 1:19 pm Link

        My thoughts on Beaverton:

        * Beaverton TC does tend to distort the surrounding transit infrastructure–the only through-routed service is MAX. All other bus lines that serve BTC (20, 52, 53, 54, 57, 58, 61, 76, 78, 88) end there.

        * In the future, I think it would be useful to interline some of these. An interlining of 58 and 52 would make sense, as would an interlining of 54 and 57. (If the SWC is built as light rail, and the 54 ends at Burlingame rather than turning north and going downtown, then combining it with the 57 makes sense).

        * Previously, I’ve suggested combining the western half of the 20 (from downtown to BTC) with the 48, and having a continuous Barnes/Cornell route; obviously this would no longer serve BTC or Cedar Hills. Some other line (the 76? A new line?) could be extended north along Cedar Hills, and serve north Beaverton, possibly parts of Cedar Hills, and continuing into Bethany. For this to work, the 20/48 would have to be frequent, and ideally the new north line would be as well.

        * The 53 is the only “circulator” line that serves BTC–it exists mainly to get folks to the various industrial parks to the southwest.

        * The other interesting route is the 88. Right now, its terminus at BTC makes sense, but if there was a true rapid-transt line going from Beaverton to Tigard–I’d like to see the grid expanded somewhat by sending the 88 further east on Allen, to Garden Home and Hillsdale or Barbur, to end at the SWC. (The 45 then could be re-routed on Multnomah Boulevard, and serve as a faster connection from Washington Square to downtown).

        * A direct bus from BTC down Lombard, to Denney, Hall, Greenway and the Southridge/Murrayhill/Progress Ridge areas, would also make a lot of sense.

        A lot of this can’t reasonably happen until there are more high-end RTC corridors serving the SW–and again, grids don’t make much as much sense without frequent service. But if that could be done….

  6. Lenny Anderson
    April 1, 2014 at 4:58 pm Link

    I must beg to differ with Igor on the coordination between the 65 Limited and the MAX Red Line. I had a long talk with C-Tran when I ran the Swan Island TMA a few years ago about this, and they listened.
    Both run on 15 minute frequency. In the AM peak inbound to Portland, the 65 arrives at 7, 7;15, 7:30 ,etc. The Red Line leaves PDX at 6:57, 7:12, 7:27, etc. Parkrose/Sumner is about mid way between the Airport and Gateway, so the train arrives just about 5 minutes after the 65…assuming I-205 is not screwed up. The outbound PM transfer is similar.
    And it appears that AM outbound should work as well with trains leaving every 15 minutes from Gateway at the same time as 65 leaves Parkrose/Sumner…so one has a 10 minute wait at most. i.e. a Red Line leaves Gateway at 7:27, arrives at Parkrose/Sumner about 5 minutes later, 7:32 (TriMet gives no timepoint for the station, so I am guessing a bit); the 65 leaves for Fishers Landing at 7:42. 10 minutes maximum!

Leave a Reply

By posting a comment, you are granting a license to Portland Transport for your comment. Please refer to The Rules.