Getting a train system to get popular support in Seattle has hardly been an issue. The current iteration of transit development was mandated by public ballot measure in 1996. Nineteen Ninety-Six. Its been a minute. With only two lines in operation Tacoma and Central Links, Sound Transit has been working on a vast expansion due to open soon. 
    Our main job is to think about what branding solution is the most appropriate given the context and function of the transit system, to think about effective wayfinding strategies that are flexible to meet the needs of a diverse system, and to keep in mind a digitally-oriented ridership to find key opportunities to solve communication problems through online platforms.
    We will likely be posting things as they come up in our process, so don’t look for an intentional pattern in the posts. This is a collection pot of our process and a place to record thoughts and hypothesis. Enjoy!

__Charlotte and Caitlin

RESEARCH - Phase 1

Mass Transit in King County

Seattle is experiencing an explosion in growth, and along with it a serious traffic congestion issue. The city ranks 5th in the country in terms of congestion, losing 1.5 million hours in delays per year. With the 120,000 residents expected to move to Seattle within the next 20 years, a progressive investment with excellent economic returns must be made. 
In an interview with economic professor Enrico Moretti at the University of California Berkeley, he states “investments in public transit yield among the most valuable economic returns a local government can make.” Not only does it help with traffic congestion, but also helps with the affordability crisis. With 40% of Seattle’s emissions coming from road transportation, it also provides an environmental solution.
In response to this economic boom, Mayor Edward B. Murray has released a “10 Year Strategic Vision For Transportation” called Move Seattle, which “includes a 10-year project list and maintenance and operations priorities, complete with cost projections,” including Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail. By 2025, the city plans to expand the light rail to Lynnwood, West Seattle, Redmond, and Ballard:

How Seattle Commutes

We are 15th in the country with high transit ridership, which excludes transportation by boat, car, bike, or foot, with more commuters everyday taking advantage of the reliable transit system provided by the city.

An interesting study conducted by the Puget Sound Regional Council, which asked 6,000 household members what would get them to stop driving alone. Almost half of the responses said nothing would alter their mode of transportation. Even more interesting is 20% said they would consider it if high-speed transit were an option. This equates to 310,000 commuters, which is a serious potential growth market. 

Light Rail Ridership

In August of 2015, the light rail had it’s 55 millionth passenger board. With access to our major stadiums, the bulk of the ridership growth over the last few years has been thanks to local games and traveling sports fans. At this point in time, Sound Transit projects daily ridership at 35,300 average weekday riders, with a daily record back in August of 39,210.

Current Light Rail Issues:
  • Small storage for travelers
  • Limited signage
  • Transfer to Monorail is difficult
  • Not incredibly convenient
  • Notable decrease in usage in the winter months

Current Competition:
  • Uber & Uber-hop
  • Car2Go
  • Pronto
  • Lyft
  • Flywheel
  • Zipcar
  • WalkScore
  • ParkMe
  • One Bus Away
  • Ridescout
  • Curb

Current Audience:
  • Light rail & Transit users (20% of King County’s population)
  • Users without a car