285. Moving from another state with no free ride zone to here was surprising. Seems free ride is mostly used by trouble makers in town. I'm glad to see it go. Put a free shuttle/walk mall (like downtown Denver's) along 3rd Ave. that will help revitalize 3rd - clean it up - and add another tourist option to downtown! 286. You absolutely must not eliminate the Ride Free Area in downtown Seattle before you address some serious concerns and have realistic solutions related to them: --multi-zone fares/payments: right now it takes too long for the driver to switch the ORCA system back and forth to pay for multiple people; it will take lots longer to have to switch back and forth for two dozen riders loading downtown --multi-zone fares/payments: how will you know if someone has paid for a multi-zone fare when they exit the bus? --increase in loading times downtown means a DECREASE of service; this causes stacked busses and poor service for riders --increase in loading times in the tunnel means a SIGNIFICANT DECREASE of service causing a decrease in the number of busses allowed in tunnel because of loading delays; this equates to more poor service for riders --payment on entry means at least a three- or four-fold increase in loading times as not only are riders taking twice (or three times in the case of those busses with three doors) as long to load (because they all have to go through the front door), but the act of paying (fumbling for card or cash, not understanding the payment structure, asking questions of the driver, etc.) will then multiply again the delay --will stop lights downtown be refitted with bus sensors to give priority to busses approaching or waiting for the light to increase traffic? -what is being done to ensure some of our most vulnerable populations who rely on the ride free area for critical services are not left without access to those services? --a significant portion of visitors to Seattle rely on the ease of Metro's free ride area; a charge with only a 2-hour window to use a transfer deters visitors to use the system; reasonably priced all-day passes must be available for riders who expect to make multiple trips in one day using Metro As it stands, there are far too many questions about the feasibility of this plan, and far too many concerns about the problems that will have SIGNIFICANT DETRIMENTAL IMPACT to the efficacy of Metro bus service and SIGNIFICANT DELAYS AND DECREASES IN SERVICE to your ridership. Metro is already challenged by delays and route problems throughout its system. Eliminating the Ride Free Area is absolutely NOT the way to maintain service and ridership. The fallout (increase in prices, decrease in service, increase in loading times, etc.) from the elimination of the Ride Free Area will increase the dissatisfaction regular riders feel about the system already. I strongly urge you NOT to eliminate Metro's Ride Free Area in downtown Seattle. 287. The quality of the Metro bus system needs to be improved prior to removing services or increasing fees. 288. This is the best idea ever, 7 years too late. This will stop the intoxicated transients, from jumping a ride.. and bothering people. Now.. Just get more fare enforcement downtown. If we got 10% more people to pay, maybe you would not have to raise prices. Every other city that is as large or larger than Seattle, have fare enforecment. Lets GET EVERYONE TO PAY THEIR SHARE!!! 289. I think this is a really sad place we've come to as a community that we are choosing to eliminate the option of a free ride around downtown when we are pushing people to not drive downtown and trying to promote a more vibrant downtown core. Eliminating the Ride Free Area will disproportionally affect people who are already strained for resources, many of whom do not have access to bus passes.
Published on May 31, 2012