Video shows ‘use of force’ arrest for fare enforcement issue aboard train in Capitol Hill Station — UPDATE

Video showing a violent tussle as four security officers attempt to subdue a man aboard a Sound Transit train Tuesday night inside Capitol Hill Station has many calling for the transit agency and King County Sheriff to explain the use of force and the policies around fare enforcement on the area’s light rail and bus systems.

A representative for King County Sheriff which provides police service along with Sound Transit police on the light rail system said a statement on the arrest is forthcoming and that he expects video showing the full incident to be released. Continue reading

Speaking of Seattle transit bumps, officials sorting Madison Bus Rapid Transit trolley problem

While we’re taking a spin as the Capitol Hill Transit Blog, the area’s next big transit investment is facing a major barrier to acquiring its much needed $60 million federal grant. It’s not Donald Trump. And it’s not this E Madison gay bar.

The Seattle Transit Blog broke the news last week — the Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro have been sideswiped by a collision of international trade barriers, the unique design of Madison “Bus Rapid Transit,” and the corridor’s challenging grade and are scrambling to find a bus design capable of meeting the $120 million project’s needs and plans for electric trolley coaches:

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Changes on Denny Way and Capitol Hill hoped to make the 8 less late

Delayed work — including new parking restrictions and expanded bus stops on Capitol Hill — to make the heavily-used but notoriously behind schedule Metro Route 8 line more dependable is expected to be wrapped up this week.

SDOT announced the construction update Monday on the most significant piece of the street puzzle — lane changes on Denny Way: Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Pony bar negotiating small change to make a little room for big bus project on Madison

When it comes to Capitol Hill gay bar Pony, inches matter.

“It’s been a tough road,” owner Mark Stoner tells CHS. But he insists the Seattle Department of Transportation has been friendly to deal with even in a situation involving a multi-million project, the whims of the Trump administration’s approach to federal transportation funding, and a major Seattle artery in line for massive change.

Stoners tells CHS that a permit recently issued for removing 242 square feet of Pony’s famed patio along the E Madison side of the structure is related to a unique situation for the bar that has stood on the triangular parcel along the busy street since 2009 — its tiny chunk of patio is the only property along the route that the city needs when it finally digs in on the $120 million+, 11-stop Madison Bus Rapid Transit project that will connect First Hill through to Madison Valley via Capitol Hill with speedy, regular Metro bus service in the busy corridor.  Continue reading

Proposal to boost transit includes plan for privately operated bus routes in Seattle

Stutter Bus

With reporting from SCC Insight

Along with Mayor Jenny Durkan’s push to put ORCA cards in the pockets of more Seattle students, legislation to change Seattle’s flush with cash Transportation Benefits District in front of the City Council Monday afternoon will also set the city up for a counter-punchline to those “Uber just invented the bus” jokes — privately operated bus routes in the city. UPDATE: Delayed! Committee chair Mike O’Brien has pushed a vote on the legislation back two weeks to pound out issues around the private operator plan.

CB 119256 will set up funding to power the Mayor’s ORCA Opportunity program to provide the passes to Seattle Public School students at no charge at a cost of about $4 million per year. But, if approved Monday afternoon, another part of the $11.5 million annual boost in transportation spending from new sales tax and vehicle license fees implemented in 2014 would go to a limited private bus system.

UPDATE 6/25/2018: As the Council prepares to approved the rest of the bill, the plan for the private bus system funding is being cut:

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CHS Pics | A new trailhead on Broadway

The start of a pleasant Saturday hike

Every hour or so Saturday and Sunday morning starting this weekend, hikers could set out from Broadway on their start of a climb up the most popular trail in the region.

The Trailhead Direct service Saturday celebrated its expansion to Capitol Hill Station with a bus breaking through a ceremonial banner and a collection of urban hikers ready for a day on the mountain. You can now take the bus from Capitol Hill to Mt. Si and Mt. Teneriffe on weekends through October, weather permitting. Continue reading

Hope of revived plan for a First Hill light rail station is buried… again

From Sound Transit’s “Background Information for Section 4.10, Geology and Soils” appendix before First Hill Station was cut from U-Link planning

Any hope of a First Hill light rail station being part of Sound Transit 3 appears to have been left in the dust after deliberation by the transportation agency’s Elected Leadership Group Thursday afternoon.

CHS reported here on hopes from the First Hill Improvement Association and neighborhood and transit advocates that the rapidly growing, incredibly dense neighborhood would be included in planning for the coming third wave of Seattle-are light rail that will span a total of 11.8 miles and add 10 new and four expanded stations. West Seattle Alaska-Junction and Ballard routes will converge downtown by 2035.

But Thursday’s discussion of the planned Midtown Station seemed to lock in the idea that the facility should reside in the shadow of the Seattle Central Library on 5th Ave and basically takes further talk of a potentially expensive, probably engineering-challenged First Hill location off the planning board completely. Continue reading

Thirteen years after painful cut, First Hill still wants a light rail station

Capitol Hill Station celebrates its two-year anniversary this week. First Hill is still waiting.

The First Hill Improvement Association remains determined to get a light rail station built in the heart of its neighborhood — though Sound Transit cancelled a site there in 2005 citing geological instability.

“There’s a difference between hard and impossible,” FHIA director Alex Hudson said. Continue reading

Top 20 new District 3 businesses: Rideshare driver tops the list by a mile… again


Even with growing evidence that driving for companies like Uber and Lyft can be a real grind, the greatest bulk of entrepreneurial energy around Capitol Hill and the Central District continues to be professional drivers.

According to tax information from the City of Seattle, the “transit and ground transportation” category was, again, the single largest category of new businesses started in District 3 ZIP codes last year, topping its nearest rival with nearly six times more companies started in the area in 2017. Continue reading

Latest Metro boosts and changes mostly leave Capitol Hill routes unaltered

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After a busy few years of upgrades, optimizations, cuts, and eliminations, the next wave of Metro bus route changes scheduled to roll out starting Saturday mostly leave Capitol Hill’s routes out of the equation.

“Riders will receive more King County Metro bus service starting March 10 on dozens of routes, including more frequent daytime service, more commute trips to ease crowding, and expanded evening and weekend service,” Metro crows in its announcement of the new changes.

Routes like the 8, 11, 12 are lined up to receive “additional resources to improve the reliability of service” but most of the big changes are off Hill and, in some cases, out of the city. Continue reading