Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Six day commute experiment converted me to a water taxi lover

By Steve Peer

This morning I was back to riding the bus now that the #99closure is in the rearview mirror.

For a week and a day, I changed my commute from West Seattle to downtown Seattle by using the King County Water Taxi rather than the bus. I compared my commute with Carrie Richards who stayed the course by taking the King County Metro bus. Here’s a recap of our daily morning commute times, in minutes:

Friday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Carrie - Bus
Steve - Water Taxi
Start: 35th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Trenton Street, West Seattle
Finish: Third Avenue and Seneca Street, downtown Seattle

The water taxi wasn’t as fast as an express bus during the #99closure, but it provided a great view across Puget Sound.
Conclusion: The King County Metro 21X bus was the quicker way to get downtown from our particular starting point.

The King County Metro express bus arrived an average of about
7 minutes faster than the water taxi during the #99closure.
Although the water taxis cuts through the red tape of red lights and messy traffic – and includes some lovely time on the Elliott Bay – the bus, with its more-frequent departures, still gets you where you want to go quicker – even when ripple effect of the #99 closure showed its ugly face.

From Carrie:
  • I was happy to catch my usual bus this morning and am looking forward to some extra sleep in the mornings this week.
  • Overall, the closure wasn't as bad as I expected and I didn't have to alter my routine much
  • Hopefully any future closures will run as smoothly as this one!

My notes:
It was fun trying the water taxi for a spell. Now that I know the essentials, I’ll be more apt to use it in the future.  Although it means more walking and is bound by two crossings an hour, the water taxi is more pleasant to ride. And more scenic.
  • The commute home on the water taxi outpaced the bus a few times but we be never really agreed to officially measure our going home time essentially because my office is close to the pier 50 in Seattle.
  • Nearly all of my sailings had a least 200 passengers aboard and one of my commutes home hit the 278-person boat capacity.
  • I’m sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye to my new friend the water taxi when the viaduct opened this morning. I’ll visit it for a commute when the time is right in the future. For sure.


Jimmy said...

How did it turn you into a water-taxi lover if you went back to riding the bus full-time? I get that it's a more scenic route, which is plenty to love, but the headline of your story has nothing to do with the article itself! The article itself had interesting figures in it, namely the different commute times, but was in stark contrast with your headline..

WSDOT said...

Thanks for the note and you’ve got me thinking.

I’m definitely a water taxi lover...now I need to carve out time to regularly use it. Since the viaduct shutdown, I've used the water taxi twice and I find that when I use it my stress level decreases relative to the slight increase in water taxi commute time.

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