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Congestion Can Be Eliminated With Door To Door Transit


We have a last mile problem, says Attorney James Robert Deal. We need a better way to get people from home to transit center, major bus stop, or grocery store and back home again. The solution is a flexible van system that would deliver on-call door to door service. It would fill the buses and trains, save huge amounts of money, greatly reduce carbon emissions, and eliminate the need to own a car.

Web Page:  

From:                   James Robert Deal

Contact:                425-771-1110,

To:                        All media

For release:           December 26, 2018, 6 AM Seattle Time

Read online:

Press Release from Attorney James Robert Deal:

The way to eliminate traffic congestion is to rework our transit system so that it will be cheaper, faster, and easier to ride transit than to drive SOV. This can be accomplished by implementing a flexible van system that will solve most difficult problem, the last mile problem.

Flex vans would be available on demand by telephone, computer, pager, or a wave of the  hand as flex vans go by. Cities, towns, and rural areas would be divided up into zones, and several flex vans would orbit each zone. They would provide quick pick up and quick trips to transit centers, major bus stops, or local destinations such as the grocery. They would also provide a return trip – from grocery to home. There would be an add on fee of $1 per mile with a $2 minimum, and subject to adjustment so that operating costs of the vans are covered.

Read Deal’s complete plan at   

Our current transit system has a last mile problem. It is not easy to get to and from transit centers and bus stops. I have to hike a quarter of a mile downhill or a half mile uphill to get to a bus stop.

Some people drive to the transit centers, but parking often maxes out early. So, most people drive SOV, which fills up roads and freeways.

Our current transit system does not pick us up where we are. Nor does it take us all the way to our destination. Instead, it picks us up and drops us off on street corners in the dark and in the rain. It is not surprising that most commuters drive SOV.

Buses zoom from bus stop to bus stop, hurrying to provide transportation services to almost no one.

Making people hike to and from bus stops is a goofy idea now that we have telephones, email, cell phones, and pagers with which to summon a flex-van. If Uber can provide on call rides for solo riders, public transit can provide a van service for multiple riders.

A flex van system would be designed for the generation that will mostly not own cars and where those who do own them rarely use them. It would work in rural areas, towns, suburbs, and in big cities. People everywhere need complete transportation services, not incomplete, partial, fragmented, disconnected transportation services, which is what our current transit system delivers.

Deal heads a group known as Comprehensive Transportation, which studies transit and transportation. Deal says: “When I travel to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, or Europe, I study their transit systems. Our current system is wasteful and ineffectual. In every town and suburb in the country, and even in big cities at night most buses are driven mostly empty most of the time.

Deal says: “Whole fleets of mostly empty buses, costing $130 per hour of our sales tax money to operate, drive up and down a fixed route, many of them delivering almost no service. On a 20 mile route, with average speeds of 20 MPH, and with service every 15 minutes, buses would cover around 5 miles in each 15 minute period. To run buses every 15 minutes at 20 MPH, buses would run 5 miles apart. There would then be at least four outgoing and four returning buses operating constantly on the 20 mile route. At a cost of $130 per hour to operate these gas guzzlers, the per hour cost to run eight mostly empty buses would be $1,240 per hour or $22,320 per day for an 18 hour day. Even worse than the waste of money is the failure to deliver services.

Deal says: I have made speeches and sent letters to transit officials. They were not interested in even trying door to door transit. They are seemingly trapped in their conventional view about transit. Because they are paid over $300,000 per year, they feel they know better than a Lynnwood real estate broker. They don’t want to have to learn a different system. They are reluctant to admit that they may be wrong about door to door service. But they don’t get it. My ideas just bounce off them.

Transit officials apparently believe that if they draw lines on the map so that a bus route will pass within a few miles of all areas, and if they drive buses frequently on these routes, that they will have done their duty. They are offering rides, and although few people are not accepting the rides they offer, there is nothing more they feel they should do.

Such conventional thinking dates back to the time when railroads were the first big mass transit systems. They had to run fixed routes because the tracks were fixed. When buses came along, the buses imitated the trains and also ran fixed routes. Now we have ways to summon rides, and so we no longer must run fixed routes.

Deal says: One big advantage of flex vans is that they are scalable. At night when there are fewer passengers, fewer vans will be called into service.  

Deal says: A flex van system, interconnecting our disconnected transit system, will cost far less than widening freeways and building more parking. It could be implemented very quickly. Nothing needs to be built for it to work except software. And software can be borrowed – from Uber. Metro could sub-contract from Uber.

The flex van solution is not only the cheapest and best. It is the only solution that will work. This is because by the time freeways are widened and the new parking is built, there will be more drivers driving SOV.

Deal says: With six riders on board, the cost per mile would be one-sixth the cost of a private taxi or Uber. Flex vans would zig zag around to pick up passengers on their way to and from transit centers and other destinations. Vans would move faster than now because they would be driving on uncongested streets.

A flex van system would work in rural areas, in towns, in suburbs, and in big cities. People everywhere need comprehensive, compete transportation services, not fragmented, incomplete services. If Uber can provide an on-call transit service, municipal transit systems can do the same. But it would be done with vans which carry six passengers instead of one, cutting the cost to one-sixth the cost of an Uber or Taxi ride.

Deal says: Those who will need to drive will be able to do so, and do so without slowdowns because it will cost extra per mile to drive as a solo. And there will be plenty of parking at destinations. Commerce would flow more freely on uncongested roads.

Parking would be available at transit centers for those who need to park there. But a fair fee would be imposed. It will be high enough to make it cheaper to use the flex vans to get to the transit centers than to drive to transit centers and park there.

Under-used buses, especially at night, would be replaced by on-call flex vans. A ride from your front door would be much safer than hiking to and from bus stop and standing there in the dark and in the rain as God knows who drives by and looks at you.

With fast, cheap door to door transit in place, most people will make most routine trips by public transit. Families would sell some or all of their cars, which cost on average over $700 per month to own and operate. It would be like getting a raise.

Instead of a tense, bumper to bumper SOV trip to work, riders would be able to catch up on their sleep. With fewer vehicles on the road carbon emissions would be reduced.

As a Realtor, I identify important property issues. Apartments and condominiums could be built with fewer parking spaces. With good transit extending far from city centers, riders could buy cheaper homes further out and still be able to take transit to their jobs in city centers. For those who need to drive, the roads would be unclogged, and there would be plenty of parking when they arrive. Although they will have to pay a fair fee.

Taxis and Uber would receive ride assignments from transit agencies. Inebriates and pedophiles need transportation too. The precondition would be that taxi drivers and uber drives would all have to joint the transit union. Drivers should earn a reasonable wage and have reasonable working conditions. I support pensions over IRAs.

A flex van system would reduce the number of cars on the road. Each flex van carrying a driver and six passengers would be taking five cars off the road. It would also be filling up the buses, converting empty buses into full buses.

The aim is to interconnect a disconnected transit system and make it easier and cheaper to take transit than to drive.

Deal says: “Only once an alternative to driving solo is in place, would it be fair to increase the cost of driving, which hurts the poor most SOV in congested areas. If not enough people are using the flex vans and leaving their cars at home, a per mile fee for driving in congested areas could be imposed and if need be increased. Both the carrot and the stick would be used to change driving behavior. Comprehensive transit would be cheaper and faster, but if not enough people use it, the cost of driving SOV could be racheted up.  

Deal says: Flex vans would solve Washington’s ferry problems. Vans and buses would take passengers down to ferries. Buses and vans would be waiting on the other side of the Sound. Rental cars would be available in the ferry parking area. So fewer cars would be transported back and forth across the Sound. More passengers would walk on, and fewer would take their cars across.

Deal says: I have prepared comprehensive reports on how this would work. I have sent reports to transit heads and important elected officials. I have sent them to the major newspapers. My proposals are ignored. Transit heads and other politicians are stuck in their conventional ideas about running buses on fixed routes. They fail to understand that without a good way to get to and from the mass transit, without a way to interconnect our disconnected system, people will continue to commute in SOVs, and there will be no reduction in traffic congestion.

Most people take it for granted that there is some logic behind our transit system. There is no logic. Transit leaders admit that they have no idea how to reduce traffic congestion.

Transit leaders from the Washington Department of Transportation down to the heads of Sound Transit, Metro Transit, and Community Transit are utterly conventional and completely uncreative.

Most people do not notice how empty most buses are. Sleep deprived drivers drive their SOVs in a sort of trance. Most never look up at the buses they pass to see how few riders are aboard. Look up! See how your tax money is being squandered.

Deal says: In conclusion, door to door transit is by far the best solution, by far the least expensive solution, by far the quickest solution to implement, and frankly the only solution that will work. You cannot widen the freeways fast enough to handle the increasing number of single occupancy vehicles.

Read Deal’s complete plan at   


James Robert Deal , Attorney & Broker
PO Box 2276 Lynnwood WA 98036
Law Office Line: 425-771-1110
Broker Line: 425-774-6611
Cell and Text Line: 425-670-1405
KW Everett Office Line: 425-212-2007
Fax: 425-776-8081
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