Thursday, October 27, 2011

Water Taxi saves the Commute during Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition

OK, so maybe the demolition of the Viaduct isn't quite like this (why, oh why can't we import Godzilla to do the job?), but those in Seattle have been feeling the pinch of traffic caused by the closure of the southern section of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Since August, King County, the City of Seattle and the State Department of Transportation have been pushing us to look to alternate commute options.  Well, since April I've been taking the West Seattle Water Taxi in the mornings, and just added it in the evenings to avoid sitting on a bus on the West Seattle Bridge.

Well, Monday morning, I was joined by 149 other eager riders.   The numbers have dropped off somewhat since Monday, likely as people shift commute hours, or find other means, but the numbers are still good.  I'm hoping that they stay somewhat high so that the King County Ferry District can add more runs and routes.

Let's face it, taking a boat across the sound is a great way to commute!

Here are the ridership numbers for this week.

Morning commute addendum:  After three days of the media crawling all over Seacrest park in the morning, it looks like they've decided we're old news.  Not a camera or reporter in sight.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Seattle gets nation's first all-electric Vanpool vehicles

OK, so I'm late in posting this up.  You know how life goes.  I received this in my e-mail on August 30 and have been meaning to take the, oh, three minutes to actually post it, but have been a slacker.

Nation’s first all-electric-vehicle commuting program kicks off in Seattle
Metro’s electric-vehicle Metropool program debuts at Seattle Children’s Hospital
The nation’s first electric-vehicle vanpools quietly fired up their engines at Seattle Children’s Hospital today, as four Nissan LEAF cars were added to the commute options for Children’s employees as part of King County’s new “Metropool.”
These electric vehicles are joining King County Metro Transit’s vanpool fleet – the largest public vanpool program in the United States.
“Sharing a ride to work is an environmentally healthy way to commute, and Seattle Children’s employees just got greener by signing up for Metro new electric-vehicle vanpools,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “King County is adding alternative fuel vehicles to its fleet, specifically electric vehicles, to cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions.”
Constantine said Metro’s purchase of these cars will enhance what is already one of the cleanest and greenest transit systems in North America. Metro’s Rideshare Operations has committed to purchasing 20 Nissan LEAF vehicles to pilot electric-vehicle technology in a commuter application called “Metropool.” The agency will coordinate the installation of charging stations at major employer sites and multi-modal transportation hubs such as park-and-rides and ferry terminals.
The first phase of the initiative involves Children’s employees using four of the program’s zero-emission cars. ECOtality’s Blink charging stations have been installed on the Children’s campus to support the program.
“Everyday 60 percent of Seattle Children’s staff take alternative commutes to work, many of them in vanpools. Alternative commutes taken by our employees since September of 2009 have kept almost nine million pounds of carbon emissions out of the air,” said Lisa Brandenburg, Chief Administrative Officer at Seattle Children’s. “By adding these zero emission all-electric Nissan LEAF Metropool vehicles to our vanpool program, we will be able to reduce Seattle Children’s carbon footprint even further.”
The LEAF is a 100-percent electric, no gas, no tailpipe, no emissions vehicle with an estimated driving range of 100 miles on a single charge. It seats five people.