Over on the Rainier Valley Post, “Bus Bitch” has found her(?) way onto the SE Seattle Metro Sounding Board. She’s also starting to suggest some routing changes. The first route discussed is the 36:
In the “Bus Bitch” plan, our favorite vomit wagon would still serve residents south of the Beacon Hill station, essentially replacing the 32 Express— only it would run for longer than a couple of hours each day. Following the 32’s cut through SODO and up Columbian Way, the new 36 would still service the VA and SE residents along Beacon Ave. and on out to Rainier Beach where it would terminate at the RB light rail station.
I think this amounts to abolishing the 36 and making the 32 a full-service route. If I had to guess, I’d say this cuts against the concept that Metro is likely to adopt, which is shunting long-haul commuters onto the light rail and continuing to service shorter hops with the bus. In fact, I’d suggest that the stretch north of the Beacon Hill station was the piece they were most likely to keep unaltered. As an added drawback, the 32 isn’t wired for electric trolley service. But I’m glad the conversation is getting started.
Coincidentally, the “Getting There” feature in today’s P-I also discusses the 36:
Metro plans a new trolley extension to the new Othello light rail station, which Metro said could be Route 36, using new overhead lines to be completed next year as part of the “Transit Now” expansion. That service could begin by September 2009.
My sources at Metro tell me that this extension is specifically intended for the 36, so perhaps all this discussion is irrelevant anyway. I’m pleased that Transit Now is allowing some extension of the trolley lines. In a perfect world, all the main access routes to the LINK stations would be electrified, but it’s not clear if that’s in the cards.