transportation | KUOW News and Information

transportation

Alaska Airlines management is expressing confidence about integrating its rival Virgin America, whose pending acquisition was announced Monday. Any airline merger poses challenges and this one is no exception.

Alaska Air outbid rival JetBlue Airways to acquire Virgin America in what Alaska Air CEO Brad Tilden described as "a hard fought competition." Alaska Air won the bidding war with a $2.6 billion all-cash offer that was announced Monday.

Alaska Airlines
Flickr Photo/BriYYZ (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/cBWGoo

Bill Radke talks to Henry Harteveldt, airline analyst with the Atmosphere Research Group, about Alaska Airlines' purchase of Virgin America.

The parent company of Alaska Airlines has struck a deal to buy Virgin America, creating a West Coast-focused airline. If approved by regulators and Virgin America's shareholders, the combined airline will be the fifth-largest U.S. carrier, according to Alaska Air Group.

"By bringing them together, we're creating the premier airline for people who live anywhere on the West Coast," Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said in a statement.

SR 520 Launch Party Was A Jam (And Lots Of Fun)

Apr 3, 2016
A couple poses during a staged ribbon-cutting ceremony on the new SR 520 bridge. The bridge was open to foot traffic over the weekend.
Courtesy of Chris Moore

"It's so nice and smooth."

That's how one man described the new State Route 520 bridge, which opened to foot traffic over the weekend.

You may have heard that some people were stuck on the bridge, in a foot traffic jam, waiting an hour for a shuttle to scuttle them home. But most seemed OK with the situation. They bought food from food trucks and marveled that the bike lane will extend from the Arboretum to the Eastside. 

'Week in Review' panel Mike McGinn, Erica C. Barnett, Bill Radke and Keith Schipper.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Caucusers went for Sanders, so why are super-delegates backing Clinton? Can Sound Transit sell you mass transit for $27 billion? And if you don't think police will keep you safe, is it wrong to hire private security guards?

Bill Radke walks the news beat with former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, blogger Erica C. Barnett and GOP consultant Keith Schipper.

The oil industry said it's backing down from an effort to overturn Oregon's clean fuels law at the ballot. Instead, the Oregon Fuels Association will try to get lawmakers to modify the law when they renew debate on a highway funding plan in 2017.

A Ride the Ducks amphibious vehicle and a passenger car block part of the intersection of  Mercer Street and 5th Avenue North after a collision on Thursday afternoon, March 31, 2016
Courtesy Seattle Fire Department

There’s been another Ride the Ducks crash in Seattle – but this time it appears to be minor.

Light rail runs on the surface in Seattle's Rainier Valley.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke talks with King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci about the draft plan for Sound Transit 3, which would expand light rail in the Puget Sound region.

Radke also talks with Jonathan Hopkins, political director for Seattle Subway, a nonprofit that advocates expanding mass transit in Seattle.

Emergency crews are scrambling to reach people trapped when an under-construction elevated roadway collapsed onto a busy street in Kolkata, India, on Thursday. More than a dozen people have died, local media say, and dozens more are trapped.

News of the number of dead or injured is still emerging, and those reports are currently fluctuating. Citing police, Asian News International reports that at least 14 people are dead, with more than 70 wounded.

Bella Barger and Erik Nelson take light rail to get to their methadone treatment.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Barger and Nelson live in a tent city in the University District. They used to use a lot of drugs. But that changed when they found out Barger was pregnant.

“We made steps to change really fast,” Nelson said. “We’ve come a long way in the last three months.”

Every day, the couple makes their way to a methadone clinic on Capitol Hill. They used to take the bus. Now that the light rail station is open, they take the train. Their trips are paid for with a special monthly transit pass called Hopelink.

A view to the back end of Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine. The steel hooks on both sides of the wall of the tunnel will become part of the foundation that will support the decks and walls of the future roadway, according to the state.
Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation

Bertha has stopped again, but this time, it’s on purpose.

The tunnel boring machine rests in an underground concrete vault. Workers are putting the tunnel boring machine through complex tests before it pushes under the Alaskan Way Viaduct. 

Metro's Chris O'Claire says the transit agency will hand out free Orca cards loaded up with free trips to those who haven't tried them yet. Flag down someone dressed like this, especially Monday and Tuesday.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

King County Metro bus routes change this weekend. Some of the biggest changes happen in northeast Seattle.

Sound Transit's Capitol Hill Station, prior to opening, 25 January 2016.
Flickr Photo/Don Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/Efv737

Light rail ridership has hit all-time highs since two new stations opened in Seattle on Saturday. On the heels of that success, Sound Transit revealed its newest proposal Thursday.

It would expand the light-rail system to 108 miles total — but take decades to get there.

Engineers told state legislatures in 1995 that the Alaskan Way Viaduct would crumble in a major quake. The project to replace the Viaduct is underway but still incomplete.
Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

When a major quake hit San Francisco in 1989, the Cypress Street Viaduct collapsed, killing 42 people.

The next day, Washington state officials saw images of the viaduct. To their horror, it looked almost identical to the Alaskan Way Viaduct on Seattle’s waterfront.

On Saturday, March 19 light rail stations opened serving Capitol Hill and the University of Washington (pictured).
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke talks with Bruce Gray at Sound Transit about the agency's plan to run longer trains during rush hour to meet demand at the new Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium stops.

Pronto bikes on the Seattle waterfront. The City of Seattle voted to buy the nonprofit, even though it wasn't doing well financially.
Flickr Photo/Tony Webster (CC by 2.0)

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien about an ethics investigation into Department of Transportation Director Scott Kubly's involvement in the Pronto bike-share system. 

An SDOT Crew puts the finishing touches on a bus-only lane on Battery Street in Seattle's Belltown Neighborhood.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke talks with Janette Sadik-Khan about her new book "Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution." Sadik-Khan was New York City's Transportation Commissioner from 2007 to 2013.

Faces of commuters who passed through University of Washington and Capitol Hill stations Monday morning.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke talks with KUOW's Joshua McNichols about the opening of new light rail stations on Capitol Hill and near the University of Washington. Radke also talks with Zach Shaner, staff reporter for the Seattle Transit Blog.

'Week in Review' panel Jane Hague, Bill Radke, Ijeoma Oluo and C.R. Douglas.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Should you be ticketed for not passing in the left lane? Is the time for NBA fun over? And, are we seeing a campaign blip or a slide into violence?

Bill Radke peacefully discusses the news with former King County Councilmember Jane Hague, writer Ijeoma Oluo and Q-13’s C.R. Douglas.

A photo from the Seattle Fire Department's Twitter feed shows  the side of a bus ripped open after a collision with a duck amphibious vehicle on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle, September 24, 2015. .
Seattle Fire Department

Ride the Ducks of Seattle has admitted to more than 460 motor safety violations.

The company also revealed a settlement plan made with the state transportation officials on Thursday. The Utilities and Transportation Commission, proposes a $222,000 fine against the company. That's after a Ride the Ducks vehicle was involved in a crash last year in Seattle that killed five students.

'Jet Kiss,' by Mike Ross at the Capitol Hill light rail station.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Two new light rail stations open Saturday:  Husky Stadium and Capitol Hill.

One of the things riders may notice is the artwork.

Barbara Luecke, Sound Transit’s art director, showed KUOW's Joshua McNichols a sculpture at Capitol Hill Station called "Jet Kiss," by Mike Ross.

seattle traffic interstate 5 I5 transportation
Flickr Photo/Michael B. (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/98FXJS

Bill Radke speaks with Washington State Trooper Chris Webb about the agency's new emphasis on ticketing drivers who won't get out of the left lane on the freeway. 

On Saturday, March 19 light rail stations opened serving Capitol Hill and the University of Washington (pictured).
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

This weekend, Sound Transit stations at Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium open to the public. It’s a big deal, because it extends light rail through two of Seattle’s most heavily populated neighborhoods.

KUOW’s Joshua McNichols got a sneak peak at the stations – and a ride on the train.

Pronto bikes on the Seattle waterfront. The City of Seattle voted to buy the nonprofit, even though it wasn't doing well financially.
Flickr Photo/Tony Webster (CC by 2.0)

Seattle is buying the Pronto bike-sharing program for $1.4 million – even though the program essentially failed in nonprofit hands.

Jan Young on the Cross Kirkland Corridor trail. Young argues that it's cheaper and more effective to put transit on I-405, leaving this trail for non-motorized use in Kirkland.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

All over the region, undeveloped open spaces face enormous pressure. In Kirkland, the pressure for more mass transit is butting up against green space that filled a spiritual need some Kirkland residents didn’t even know they had.

On Monday, Amtrak opens its Cascades trains to cats and dogs between Eugene, Oregon, and Bellingham, Washington. But there are some guidelines.

Pronto Bikes in Seattle's University District
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

UPDATE 3/3/2016 7:05 PM: When the idea was before a City Council committee meeting this week, council members voted verbally, and the committee chairman, Mike O'Brien, misheard one vote and said the final count showed a tie.

Councilmember Debora Juarez was recorded as being against the $1.4 million plan. She actually voted in favor of it but was misheard by O'Brien.

Christie True, who runs the King County parks department,  stands with county executive Dow Constantine before the Wilburton Trestle in Bellevue. A new proposal would put a bike and pedestrian trail atop the historic trestle.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

King County officials rolled out plans Monday for a bike trail that would run from Woodinville to Renton.

The 16-mile trail would replace parts of an abandoned rail line on the Eastside.

Port of Longview Rejects Plan For Refinery, Propane Terminal

Feb 23, 2016

Port of Longview commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday morning to end talks with an energy company that wants to build the first oil refinery on the West Coast in more than 25 years.

If you spend any time on the road, you've no doubt noticed erratic or dangerous driving by people using mobile phones behind the wheel. But ongoing efforts in Idaho and Washington state to tighten the rules on cell phone use while driving are stalling out.

Pages