The comments threads have been great lately, you guys. On topic and pouring in. Keep it up. It's fun and good for you.
I did want to respond to a direct question that came up in yesterday's post about the Seattle Department of Transportation's new transit division director, Paulo Nunes-Ueno.
One reader asked for more about his qualifications after I had reported only that:
Nunes-Ueno is currently the Seattle Children's Hospital Transportation Director where he oversaw the construction of a network of urban greenways around the hospital. He was also manager of King County Metro’s Commute Trip Reduction Services Project/Program.
"Not Qualified?" wasn't impressed.
I have heard from SDOT higher ups that Nunes-Ueno, who wasn't recruited, but simply applied to the help wanted ad, came in and totally blew the interview team away; think Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin.
But here's some more specifics on him:
His transit and commute trip reduction work resulted in sixty percent of employees walking, biking or taking transit.
At Seattle Children's, Nunes-Ueno, (pronounced: Noon-yez Whay-no), created one of the nation's most effective employer transit programs—his transit and commute trip reduction work resulted in sixty percent of employees walking, biking or taking transit—so, only 40 percent in cars. To get a sense of that accomplishment: The average number of commuters who drive alone to work at worksites with commute trip reduction programs nationally is more than 60 percent, the reverse of the stats at Children's. In general, about 58 percent of Seattle commuters drive to work—and nearly 50 percent drive alone. And Nationwide, 75 percent of people drive to work alone.
Children's was the first employer in the region to purchase transit service directly from Metro and Nunes-Ueno used the program to reroute the 65 bus to 40th Avenue NE adjacent to the hospital. The change increased ridership on the route and inspired Metro, which spotted an opportunity for efficiency, to reconfigure two other routes, and sync them up with the 65, the 31 and the 32. The result? NE Seattle has experienced increased transit service from two routes (75 and 25) to five routes (75, 25, 65, 31 and 32).
Nunes-Ueno also designed and implemented a shuttle program that integrates with public transit on a last mile connection to the hospital; it runs every 15 minutes for 16 hours a day and carries about 40,000 riders per month. The service is actually listed (a first for an employer service) on One Bus Away.
Also on his resume: Nunes-Ueno served on the Seattle Transit Master Plan Advisory Group and on the Citizen's Transportation Advisory Council III. He was also co-chair of the city's Pedestrian Master Plan Advisory Group and served on the Bike Master Plan Advisory Committee. (Ever wonder why Pronto has a stop at Children's?)
All of that confirms the legitimacy of another comment on the Nunes-Ueno thread—my favorite comment of the week (besides the on from the guy on yesterday's Fizz who asked another commenter to "Estimate the regressive tax costs of the new Sound Transit financing plan, bitch!").