Monday, February 16, 2009

Metro Transit Tunnel University Street Station


Photo & Text Copyright 2009 Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved, including reproduction or republishing.

Seattle has no trains running underground like Paris, London, or New York, but it does have something of a rarity among big cities: a dedicated bus tunnel, installed in 1985, that runs underground in a portion of the downtown area. If you'd like to experience the bus tunnel, click here for a YouTube clip of its first day back in action after its recent retrofit. These commuters are heading for the escalators down to their buses; and, in just a few more months, they will also be able to access a new light rail transit system (think Portland's MAX system or San Francisco's Muni Lightrail) that will go southward all the way to SEATAC airport, and eventually also link to a line going north to the University District via Capitol Hill.

10 comments:

Diana said...

That is very kind of you! These pictures make me miss Seattle dearly.. in a good way of course! You connect me to home in a way only an extremely talented artist can capture the very pavement I used to sprint across, 2 minutes before the 106 is about to leave the station! Your photos really do comfort tinge of nostalgia I feel every so often since I've moved down here. I've been following your blog for months! Thank you so much, you have no idea how much this helps me make it through my sunny California days (ironic huh?) reminiscing of Seattle rain.

brattcat said...

Yeah, Seattle. And yeah, you.

Bibi said...

Bravo the the bus tunnel. I enjoy riding the buses in Seattle, either above or below ground.

Virginia said...

Sounds like a great idea. Your capture of the action is great. THe reflection on the tiles gives it such a nice quality.

BTW, I couldn't teach one tiny thing about photography but I'd love to have you come along so I could learn from YOU! :)
V

Abe Lincoln said...

I have not seen anything quite like this before. I also saw the video and that makes the idea come alive. I wonder if these are not electric buses otherwise they would have venting problems with engine exhaust? Nice post. I enjoyed it and the video.

Brookville Daily Photo

Blognote said...

Your photos are simply...excellent!

bitingmidge said...

I've been away for a bit, and have just spent a glorious twenty minutes catching up with all I've missed over the past few weeks! Thanks for them all!

I love this picture, but I'm not sure I'd want to be alone there late at night~

Sunshine Coast Daily Photo - Australia

Kim said...

Abe, good point: the buses are hybrids/electric diesel I believe. Even before the tunnel retrofit for light rail, the buses had overhead wires for electric and ran that way through the tunnel. Now I think they've converted most of the fleet to have no need of the overhead wire and still run electric, although I've seen trolley buses about town on electric lines, so I don't really know.

Blognote, thank you!

Biting Midge, thanks for spending a bit of time in the archives! And FYI, in the past the bus tunnel has closed at 7PM so it is above ground after that. I don't know if the light rail schedules will affect that when it goes live. Like most major cities with transit stations like this, it is well monitored and not a problem area. There were two incidents last year at bus stops in other areas, though. One a wonderful school teacher knocked to the ground now recovering from brain damage. He was calling 911 for a woman at the stop who was being threatened with violence. The other, a group of 5 teens who attacked Seattle's beloved Tuba Man, who died from his injuries. These were random and in populated areas. . . The bus tunnel stations are probably much safer.
-Kim

Maya said...

Woo Hoo! Only a few months. Can you believe it's finally happening?

cieldequimper said...

Kim, I have been lurking on SDP for at least a year before I started posting and doing my own DPD. I love Seattle and I love your blog and your photos. Yesterday, to my great surprise, I received an award, which I would now like to forward to you. All the information @ http://versaillesdailyphoto.blogspot.com/