Seattle Transit Blog reported some grief from the Rainier Valley area in southeast Seattle, regarding King County Metro’s proposed new bus route structure to accompany the opening of Sound Transit’s light rail line. The issue looks like a good opportunity to look at the whole question of very short routes, or “circulators.”
Darrin Nordahl. My Kind of Transit: Rethinking Public Transportation in America. Center for American Places, 2008.
Like streets themselves, transit stations and vehicles are part of the common space of a city, and the experience of using them tells us a great deal, often at a crucial subconscious level, about our city and our place in it.
One of the great challenges of the transit business is to make every rider feel welcomed. It’s easy to do this if you’re running a few buses in a small town; there, you have so few riders that you can greet them all by name. But the challenge of big-city transit is to give a welcoming sensation to huge masses of people at once.
The great cathedral-like train stations of American railroad era did this; many great European stations still do, and contemporary station design is finding its way back to those principles.