Thursday, September 6, 2012

12 Implications of Seattle’s Ride Free Zone Ending

This month Seattle’s ending its ride free area, switching over to a strict Pay as You Get On system.  Here are in my mind some of the implications:

  1. Busses less likely to be used by tourists on shorter visits
  2. Less confusion as to when to pay in the long term
  3. Initially some confusion as veteran travellers get used to the new system
  4. People will claim (correctly or not) that they hadn’t heard about the new system and try to get on for free for the first couple months
  5. Monorail might actually pick up a few new patrons from people who don’t like to walk very far and who used to take the bus most of the way from downtown to Seattle Center
  6. Fewer riders below the poverty line
  7. For former Pay as You Exit rides, transfers (real or ORCA) not as good for as long because the clock starts sooner
  8. No more confusion as to the exact borders of the Ride Free Area
  9. Potentially more money coming in to the transit system that can be used to develop new routes including light rail
  10. Likely more congestion due to people opting to drive rather than walk
  11. Shifts in clientele in businesses as people on their lunch break opt to eat/shop at places in their immediate vicinity
  12. Some people becoming more fit as they opt to walk short distances instead of taking the bus

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