MAGIC CARPET is the name of the Seattle fare-free CBD bus service that was initiated in a 105 block area of the CBD on September 9, 1973, and it is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The fare-free zone was initially proposed as a one year experiment to demonstrate whetehr or not the concept of free downtown bus service was desirable. The overall objective of Magic Carpet service is to attract auto person trips to the transit bus. This report presents the fare-free zone, Magic Carpet, evaluation project. It consists of a series of surveys aimed at measuring the effectiveness of downtown free buses in achieving the following objectives: 1) Improvement of downtown air quality; 2) Reduction of traffic congestion; 3) Conservation of gasoline; 4) Encouragement of peripheral parking; 5) Increase mobility; 6) Increase midday patronage (transit shopping trips); and 7) Stimulation of retail trade. Surveys in this report indicate that fare-free bus service is responsible for attracting at least $5,000,000 in retail sales. The number of daily fare-free bus trips counted in June 1974 was 12,258, as opposed to the 4,100 daily bus trips made in the same area in 1973. The findings herein have encouraged the Seattle and Metro Councils to continue this service for at least two more years, at a cost to the City of $100,000 per year. The Seattle experience emphasizes that downtown transportation systems can be designed and operated to give greater emphasis to within-CBD circulation as opposed to the traditional emphasis, namely, to and from downtown. The data herein should enable other cities to estimate how fare-free service would fit in their communities. /FHWA/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Sponsored by the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, DOT.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Seattle, City of, Washington

    600 4th Avenue
    Seattle, WA  United States  98104
  • Publication Date: 1977-5

Media Info

  • Pagination: 110 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00165767
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Urban Mass Transportation Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UMTA-WA-09-0012-77-1Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: WA-09-0012
  • Files: NTIS, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 29 1981 12:00AM