If anyone wants an easier read on the subway topic, which I did, they are on Ye Old Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/seattlesubway
NW, I still think we would be better off if King County and the City of Seattle could get their heads out of their asses, cooperate, and do a proper job of clean reliable bus service in Seattle. Once you dig a tunnel, that is where everyone has to go if they want to use it. Bus service is malleable, can change over time to meet the needs, trains in any form are not.
Personally, I am really happy with what is changing as far as the Metro 18 (one bus thru Northgate, 24th, NW Market, Leary Way, Fremont, downtown), that meets all my bussing needs perfectly. That can’t be said for the majority of people who actually *need* to use it to get back and forth to work. A subway or train is useless if there is a half hour walk or long bus waits on either end. It is easy to say that this is acceptable, unless it’s you who has to pick up kids from day care, cook dinner/make breakfast, etc.
I could take public transportation to work (Ballard to Renton), but it would add 4 hours to my workday and involve lengthy strolls next to 5 lanes of nasty traffic and a sewer treatment plant twice a day, no thanks. If I could rely on a 45-50 minute bus ride that got me within a few blocks and didn’t stink like piss or be over jammed like a sardine can, I would be on it for sure.
The Times reported that the only park-and-ride lot - in Tukwila - was only a quarter full halfway through the morning commute. Around 8am, trains were arriving in Tukwila from Seattle with fewer than ten riders aboard. A train came into downtown around 7:30 with just over 100 people on it. The 9:30 northbound train had 39 riders aboard.
In other words, for the cost of an $800,000 articulated bus, we have accomplished the same task with a $2.4-billion light rail system.