The April edition the IT flyer (PDF here) contains a good history of the system and has some interesting information in graphs. Of the people within the service area, 11% ride the bus once a month or more and another 28% are considered “potential” riders, in that they would consider riding the bus. I suppose I would count myself among those, as I’m already among the reported 24% of commuters at “major worksites” who use an alternative “mode.” I walk the three miles to work and back about every other day and drive alone the rest. I could use the bus for some of those driving days.
When I lived in the north end of Seattle and worked on First Hill and downtown, I rode the bus every day. It worked great, as I was able to read on the way in and nap on the way home, usually waking up before my stop. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to use IT’s system to such an extent. I learned on my first day of work for the state that I could walk to work from the near west side to the campus in less time than the bus would take. The service has improved a great deal in the intervening years, but I still don’t use the bus much. I did use the old shuttle from the courthouse hill to downtown to take lunch during Lakefair or for meetings on the campus, but that’s about it.
So, I visited IT’s route page to see what it would take to use the bus. For both directions, buses run every thirty minutes. I could catch the 48 after 7:19 and be at the mall at 7:28. Route 44 leaves the mall at 7:28 (one hopes that means a reliable connection and not a just-missed-it event) and arrives at the courthouse at 7:45. That would get me to work in about 25 minutes. Walking takes 45 - 50 and driving takes 10 - 15. Not terrible. A trip home after work would start after 5:07, make a transfer at the mall at 5:28 and drop me near my home before 5:35 for a trip of less than 30 minutes during a busy traffic time. Again, not bad, and only a $1.50.
(Cross-posted at OlyBlog.)