Sound Transit 3 Proposition 1 (ST3)


ST3 Passed! Now What??

Well, as ordinary citizens, we can't really do much to speed up the timelines, but we do have the ability to turn skeptics into supporters. Make people understand the benefits of mass transit and set an example by riding it. Sure the sales tax and property taxes are going up, but the benefits will last beyond our lifetimes!

AT&T LTE has been activated in Sound Transit University Link tunnel as of November 20, 2016!

My AT&T Samsung Galaxy S7 was able to access LTE between University of Washington Station and WestLake. Althought as the train got closer to Westlake Station, the signal gradually deteriorated and completely died. Here's hoping the network infrastructure is expanded to Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel very soon! Some Speedtest and LTE test results below:

Sound Transit Seattle University Link tunnel LTE Discovery Sound Transit Seattle University Link tunnel LTE Discovery Sound Transit Seattle University Link tunnel LTE Speetest Sound Transit Seattle University Link tunnel LTE Speetest

When I used the LTE Discovery Android App on November 16th, the AT&T LTE band was showing as Band 17 (first photo above). However, when I did it 4 days later on November 20th, the band was showing as "unknown" (2nd photo above). Both speedtests were done on November 20th. When I did the speedtest on when the train was stopped in the University of Washington station tunnel, the download speed was 36.01 Mbps and upload speed was 6.38 Mbps (3rd photo above). Once the train started moving in the direction of Downtown Seattle, the speeds dropped slightly to download of 34.29 Mbps and upload of 6.01 Mbps (4th photo above). These are still usable speeds though. I bet if you are waiting on the platform, the speeds will be higher? the fact that you're inside a metal container, which the train essentially is, may have some effect on performance. These speeds are fantastic nevertheless!

As a student at the University of Washington, it is spectacular that I get to ride the train to downtown or the airport. Expanding it further south and north will make the system way better. Having lived in the Portland area for 3 years, I applaud Sound Transit's vision of making the line mostly grade separated in downtown and U-district. I preferred to take the MAX only between Sunset Transit Center in Beaverton and Downtown Portland, because it is slow west of Sunset and slow in downtown Portland. Grade separated line is the way to go.

I can't wait for the Sound Transit Siemens S70 trains to enter into service in 2019! Those look nice! Check out the video below courtesy of Sound Transit.


Highlights from the press release from Siemens moblilty (source)

There is a nice gallery of high resolution images here as part of Siemens Mobility press release. Keep in mind that this order is part of ST2 budget allocation. I have ridden on the S70 variant of the Portland MAX system and personally I like the Sound Transit Siemens version better. The color scheme is vivider and the shape is more geometric, which I like. The same model S70 with several customizations is being used in Minneapolis. Check out this case study from Siemens: Minneapolis MetroTransit Case study

It is rather ironic (and wonderful) that the first new station since 2009 opened in 2016- the year I moved back to the Seattle area! Because of the extension to UW, I can totally ride it to and from classes at UW and work as long as I choose to live in a strategically chosen location. So much money savings, especially with the U-PASS. And of course the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

It is kind of a bummer that the U district, Roosevelt and Northgate stations won't open until 2021. I wonder if Microsoft or the Feds or someone else can donate a few million dollars to speed up at least the U-district station? That would so cool!

I rode from the new Angle Lake station for the first time. Got there around 1:15 pm and was able to find parking rather quickly. I am hoping this would be the case every tim I wanna ride the link from Angle Lake. I struggled figuring out how to get to the train platform from my car. The signage can definitely improved in my opinion. The elevators were not working, although I didn't need to use them.

Sound Transit Angle Lake Station Parking Lot

The return ride to Angle Lake from the University of Washington station happened after 9pm the same day. The train was not busy at all, but got busy after Capitol Hill.

Funnily enough, I'm writing this as I ride the link. The productivity factor of the train ride is what I'm excited about the most. Driving and getting stuck in traffic means the time is wasted. But being able to work on my computer is pretty cool. Plus, I'll be able to hotspot as well, once I'm out of the tunnels.

Sound Transit link train interior with few people

Here's a photo of the beautiful Sound Transit Link Light Rail University of Washington station

Sound Transit Link Light Rail University of Washington Station

Here's a photo of the system map based on Sound Transit 2 plans that have been fully or partially funded. This map is pasted on a wall by the University of Washington station. Sound Transit 3 will build on and expand this network

Sound Transit 2 fully or partially funded rail plan

What about those who are saying NO? What do I see that is common to the opponents?

Most of the people who publish editorials and op-eds or give interviews are old farts who may have 20 years of life left. I guess they are worried about how much money they have in retirement? These people won't even wanna get out of their homes so why would they care about an efficient transit system? What they don't realize is that they are not helping the younger generation. They are condemning the current 20-30 years olds to a lifetime of pain and suffering resulting from even more congestion! I guess it is important that the younger generation come out in droves and vote YES so that the selfish interests of the older anti-transit advocates don't see the light of day. As a mid-20 year old, I want the region's transit system matured. Sure by 2040, I will be 50 something but I will be reaping the benefis much earlier. Majority of the opponents will be long gone by then and couldn't care less about the condition they leave Puget Sound behind. So to hell with your medieval transit mindset and opinions!

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