Improving Route 16

Slow, often overloaded, and seemingly always late, Metro Route 16 is nevertheless one of the workhorses of north-central Seattle. Starting downtown, heading through Queen Anne to Fremont via Aurora Ave, thence to Wallingford, Greenlake, North Seattle Community College and Northgate, it connects lots of dense neighborhoods and transit destinations. Its roots go back a long way: streetcar service circled Green Lake and connected to downtown via the Fremont streecar bridge, and frequent service has existed on Aurora since the construction of the Aurora Bridge. The 16 was interlined with what was then route 6, the predecessor of today’s 358.

The Seattle Center Detour

According to some Metro planners I chatted with, Route 16 formerly ran out of a bus base, known as North Base, which was located on the east side of what is now the Seattle Center. It was presumably convenient to route the bus past this base, which explains the first oddity on the map above: rather than run straight up Aurora like today’s 5 and 358, the bus serves the stops on 5th Ave N, which, in the northbound direction, requires a stopless loop-like detour of just over a mile and roughly five minutes when traffic is moving freely. This detour is actually much worse than it looks on the map: due to the construction work on Mercer, that road is congested most days and is invariably a parking lot during the afternoon commute. This sitation is going to persist for years, and if the Mercer West project is funded, the construction disruption will probably get worse before it gets better.

Let’s look more carefully at the consequences of this detour on travel times and reliability. The following graph, generated from Metro’s official timepoint data, plots the average measured travel times for routes 5 and 16 throughout the day, between 3rd & Union (Route 16) or 3rd & Pine (Route 5) and Fremont Way and N 38th St. Error bars indicate the standard deviation of the measured travel times, a statistical measure of the variability of those times, and hence the of the bus’s reliability. Chart below the jump.

Data from 7 Feb to 8 May 2011

Two things are evident from this graph: route 16 takes longer — sometimes much longer — to to make this part of the trip, and the trip times during the day are highly variable, making it impossible to schedule the bus accurately. It seems obvious that for all riders who are not using the stops on 5th Ave or Broad St, it would be a tremendous gain and no loss to straighten this alignment. We must now ask how many riders would be impacted and in what way by such a change, given that the northbound bus travel time will decrease by at least five minutes.

Heading northbound out of downtown, four* stops are affected, accounting for 9% of the 16’s northbound boardings and deboardings. The first three, 3rd & Vine, Cedar & Denny, and 5th & John are a simple three block walk to either 3rd & Bell and Aurora & Denny. Those short walks pose no problems for the vast majority of riders, who will be able to complete them in less than five minutes; thus riders boarding in at these stops experience a net savings in travel time, while riders from downtown disembarking here may have slightly longer trips. Similarly, I’ve timed the walk from the stop at 5th & Mercer via the underpass to Aurora & Mercer, and that’s just over five minutes at an easy pace. The only people who lose are at the 5th & Thomas stop, who will probably take six to eight minutes to reach the Aurora & Denny or Aurora & Denny stops.

Heading southbound, the 16 turns right on Valley St and heads down 5th. This routing incurs only a small time penalty and doesn’t suffer the serious reliability issues of of Mercer St; moreover people who use these stops will typically have to walk about five minutes to get to the new stop, so the tradeoff for this routing change is a likely travel time penalty for these riders, who comprise about 11% of the 16’s southbound boardings and deboardings.

NE Northgate Way

The other strange thing you may notice on Route 16’s map: the long loop up Meridian, along Northgate Way and down 5th Ave NE to the Northgate Transit Center. This alignment takes about 11 minutes, versus a more direct routing along 92nd St, which would probably take four or five minutes. Once again, this oddity has its origins in the past: before the Northgate Transit Center was constructed, the 16 terminated and laid over at a pullout near a totem pole** at the north entrance of the Northgate Mall. After the Transit Center was constructed, Metro chose to extend the route in order to avoid complaints from existing riders, rather than impose a quicker and more direct routing.

Making this routing change now would force about 16% of the 16’s riders to walk five to fifteen minutes or transfer in order to reach the Transit Center; the payoff is a five or more minute reduction in bus travel times.

Conclusion

Five minutes here and there may not sound like much, but when you consider that a 16 run is about 45-50 minutes, long, a 10-15 minute reduction is a 20% – 30% speedup and cost savings. In fact, the 600k hour cut scenario from Metro identified the 16 as an underserved corridor, and suggested improving daytime headways from 20 to 15 minutes. It’s possible that the routing changes I’ve suggested here could make such a change revenue neutral, and an increase in frequency could help mitigate the concerns of those who are inconvenienced.

* Google Maps and One Bus Away show a northbound 16 stop on Dexter & Harrison, but the official Metro map does not show a stop there, and it does not appear in my boarding data.

** The pullout is still there, although it’s coned off, but the totem pole has been moved. However, another novelty is in its place, namely a bus stop sign which shows “Local & Express” as subtext under the “16”, even though the 16X was discontinued years ago.

Comments

  1. Michael H says

    How can we make this happen? I always take the 5 northbound instead of the 16 when I can, although I didn’t realize that the time penalty was this great.

  2. Brad says

    I take my kids to preschool using the 16 at 5th and thomas n almost every day because it allows my kids to ride their bikes to the bus stop through Seattle center. Taking the kids through the underpass is a nonstarter and would force me to drive. Needless to say, the central loop elimination would seriously impact my commute. Sorry to be a nimby but I don’t think that all routes need to be expresses.

    • says

      Not trying to sound insensitive, but how many more years are they going to be in preschool?

      And we’d be lucky if this got changed by February ’12; I see June ’12 as more likely.

    • says

      The Mercer West project will reconnect the street grid on Aurora between Denny and Harrison. The Mercer St underpass will be significantly improved and will also get a two-way cycle track between Dexter and 5th Ave N. This is all assuming the deep bore tunnel gets built. I don’t know what happens if it isn’t built.

      http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/docs/mercer/public%20meeting%20boards%201a_low%20res.pdf

      However, from this drawing, there doesn’t appear to be a replacement for the Aurora bus stops at Mercer St.

      • d.p. says

        I’ve been wondering if there were any way a surface-transit plan could still involve a grid-restoration at its north end. This is currently the sole silver lining to the tunnel plan.

      • John says

        The whole conversation about reconnecting the grid was tied up in surface/transit originally. Mercer West’s inclusion of it was a way to get QA and other folks onboard. Well, OK, that and it just makes sense to have more connections there…

    • d.p. says

      I agree that the underpass should be a non-starter. But there’s nothing terribly dangerous about having the kids ride three blocks along the wide, underutilized (in the morning) sidewalk on the north side of Denny. Under supervision, of course.

      Take the same trip across Seattle center that you do now, cross Broad at the extremely well-marked Space Needle crosswalk, and cut through the silly pedestrian plaza of that media/office building. The 5th Ave crossing is safer there than the one you currently use, and the Aurora crossing is well-signalized.

      This really isn’t about “all routes being expresses.” Every route-quirk has a history and a few fans/beneficiaries. But when dozens of routes have hundreds of quirks, vast swaths of your city become needlessly difficult to reach. That is what we have and what we need to fix.

      My hunch is that Bruce’s 9% boarding/de-boarding along 5th statistic implicitly overstates the need for direct northbound connectivity. I wouldn’t be surprised if 95% of that 9% were de-boarders from downtown, using it as a supplementary 3/4, leaving very few new boardings headed north.

      Frankly, most northbound commuters from Seattle Center or the Gates building would do better to head south to Belltown, then switch to the 5/358/whatever they really need, than to use the 16 as a general-purpose northbound connector, as we have so little east-west connectivity north of the ship canal and changing in the middle of Aurora is unpleasant. And if headed northeast and filled with desire to sit in Mercer traffic, there’s always the 30.

      (Speaking of which, when the Fremont Bridge was under repair four years ago and all its routes used Aurora, the 30 turned left at Mercer and Dexter and entered Aurora via Valley. Despite the cross-traffic, this was invariably faster than what the 16 does. I’ve never understood why they didn’t make this bare-minimum fix to the 16 at the time.)

      • says

        The 5 and 358 would be functionally identical to the 16 for northbound trips under this plan, except in their northbound destinations, unless the 5 gets moved to Dexter.

  3. M says

    The origins of the Northgate routing may be in the past but it serves a destination in the present: North Seattle Community College. What percentage of the 16 riders are on or off at one of the stops that serve the school? (I’m not arguing for or against it, just curious about the numbers.)

    • Aleks says

      In fact, the 16 is the only full-time connection between Downtown Seattle and NSCC. (The 5 doesn’t run to Northgate at night or on Sunday, and there’s a good chance the routing will disappear entirely during an upcoming service change.)

      The main alternative route is the 41 to the 75/345/346. For downtown riders, this is probably already faster. But for some riders in North Seattle, this can turn a 1-bus trip into a 3-bus one.

      It’s important to figure out whether this represents a significant number of the 16’s ridership.

      • d.p. says

        I’ve long been an advocate for “the 75 needs to keep going straight on Northgate way.” So I would argue for keeping this 16 loop (especially if frequency increases to 15 minutes, as mentioned), making it the full-time front-door service to NSCC and a reasonable additional connection option for 75 riders who absolutely must get to the Northgate TC proper.

      • the358 says

        I agree about the need for a route that runs along Northgate Way from Meridian to the mall–and I also agree that that route should be the 75 instead of the 16. It just makes logical sense for the 75 to go straight, rather than having the weird loop on the 16.

        If I were to re-route the northern portion of the 16, I’d continue its routing up 92nd, then just have it go over the freeway bridge at 92nd like all the other buses going to the transit center. Then it could stop at the south end of the NSCC campus, instead of stopping along the west side. Is it a bit longer walk for the NSCC folks going downtown when the 5 isn’t running? OK, sure, but that’s the nature of transit at a college–you have to walk from wherever your class is to the bus stop, and sometimes it’s a longer hike and sometimes it’s a shorter one, depending on where you class is on campus. I personally don’t see a lot more students/staff opting to drive just because the bus stop for the 16 is at the south end of campus instead of its current location.

  4. GuyOnBeaconHill says

    Instead of duplicating the 5, the 16 could replace the 26 between downtown and Fremont, running via Dexter. Assuming the 28 survives, there would be some schedule imbalance: 28 at 30 minute headways, 16 at 20 minute headways, but I think that would work out better for most riders.

    If Metro wants to fill in the service loss to Seattle Center East, I would suggest running the 7 to the trolley turnback loop at Aloha Street. Reliability might suffer slightly for the 7, but the buses wouldn’t be trying to turn right on Mercer, so they could hopefully avoid that part of the hellacious Mercer Mess.

    • Aleks says

      It would make more sense to route the 5 along Dexter, rather than the 26/28. That way, you can have a single bus that crosses the Fremont Bridge and goes all the way up Fremont Ave.

      The service loss at Seattle Center could be made up with increased service on the 3N/4N, which is probably a good idea anyway.

  5. says

    I admire your writing. You almost had me believing that the 16 is needlessly routed on a “detour” because of some long since closed bus base on 5th Ave N. Then I remembered what else is on 5th Ave. N. One of the largest tourist attractions in the pacific northwest.

    If Metro won’t let Rapid Ride B bypass the rinky-dink Overlake P&R to save 5 minutes, it most certainly won’t bypass a place that has 10 million visitors a year.

    • Kyle S. says

      Honestly, does the 16 serve the tourist market? In my experience, the 16’s ridership is strongest from Wallingford to Northgate. It’s a workhorse route, like Bruce said, but it’s one I always dread taking.

    • Becky says

      There will still be service on 5th Ave N, presumably, from the 3 and 4, so tourists can still get to Seattle Center and everyone else can avoid the Mercer parking lot.

      • Matt the Engineer says

        Well, the 4 is going away, but you’re right about the 3. And on the other side of Seattle Center there’s something like 5 minute frequency to downtown (assuming that’s where people want to go – I suppose it will be harder to get to Northgate from Seattle Center without the 16).

    • d.p. says

      Sam, your first argument only works if tourists happen to be using the 16 between the Space Needle and somewhere else that the 16 happens to go. Because they’re not changing buses with the bums on the side of Aurora.

      This particular one-seat “tourist” connection is therefore totally arbitrary. Would you argue for any other arbitrary one-seats for the benefit of a tiny fraction of the tourist population. (And for what it’s worth, the two most frequented northward destinations that tourists tend to head to sans autos are Fremont and the U, both of which have one-seats via the 30 already.) Frankly, the tourists staying to the north, visiting relatives to the north, or coming to the town with the intention of hanging out at Green Lake… those are the kinds of tourists who rent cars.

      Meanwhile, RapidRide’s aforementioned detour is stupid too. What’s your argument here? What’s bad for the goose must be saddled to the gander?

      • says

        More like “if the decision-makers are okay with what’s bad for the goose, they’ll be okay with what’s bad for the gander”.

      • says

        You’re getting hung up on the word tourist. Let me make it simple for everyone. It would be idiotic to move the 16 away from something that get 10 million visitors a year in order to shave 4 minutes off the route.

      • Kevin says

        Sam-

        The challenge is that it isn’t consistently 4 minutes. The delays can be substantially longer based on what’s going on at the Center and what’s up with Mercer. A better question may be whether other routes are better able to handle Center traffic and have the 16 be more of a connector between Downtown and North Seattle.

      • Eric says

        My understanding was that the RapidRide route would at least stay on 152nd, rather than leave the street to go into the P&R. Still stupid, but at least a little improvement over the 253.

  6. DoreneFC says

    I think it’s good that there is a direct northbound connection right from the edge of Seattle Center.

    As far as the Northgate / N Seattle Community College corridor, I think the correct question is not what percentage of the 16 riders just travel between the college and the transit center. Rather, the question is how does Metro spread the passenger load between those two points over as many routes as possible. Every time I ride anything in that corridor there are LOTS of people who get on or off at the college. Huge percentages of people riding the 41 into the transit center are headed to the college.

    I expect changing the headway on the 16 to every 20 minutes would be about as much cut in capacity on the corridor between the transit center and the college as the system could handle.

    • Aleks says

      It’s only a connection for a small part of North Seattle, though… and much of that part is also served by the 30.

    • J. Reddoch says

      Actually if I were getting off the 41 to go to NSCC, the 16 wouldn’t be my first choice. I think I’d take a 345 or 346 which is scheduled to meet the 41.

  7. says

    I’ve looked at the suggestions and the route and I think it needs to stay the way it is. I’ve only ridden it a few times but I don’t know of another route that’s so packed with things to do. You could get off the 16 anywhere and find yourself in the middle of something interesting. It might not be fast but it’s nice. Oh, and if it turned on 92nd I never would have discovered it. Maybe a compromise would be a loop through the college then across 92nd but I’d guess that half the savings would be gone.

    • Kyle S. says

      Sorry, but this is very faulty logic. We don’t need to design bus lines to maximize sights per trip.

      • says

        “Sorry, but this is very faulty logic. We don’t need to design bus lines to maximize sights per trip.”

        ROFL! What the heck is a bus for then?

        And the 358 connects us to miles of filth. I wouldn’t tell a tourist or my out of town relatives to take it. I did try that once, she was taking the bus to the Link to Seatac to fly back to San Diego and got halfway to Seattle, got off the bus and called to have someone driver her to the airport.

      • Kyle S. says

        Buses are for getting people where they’re going. That doesn’t mean we should be planning one-seat rides to every destination in the central Puget Sound.

  8. trickycoolj says

    I currently live on Meridian near NSCC and used the 16 as my off-peak commute home (when I worked downtown) and for visiting downtown/Seattle Center. The 16 is a very convenient one seat ride in the late evening/night hours from both downtown and Seattle Center without having to take the 41 and wait 20+ minutes to make the connection to the 75/345/346/16 to get over to Licton Springs/North College Park and much easier to explain to any family and friends visiting so they can ride by themselves. Not to mention as a 20-something female I wouldn’t feel safe waiting at the transit center alone after 9pm either. My friends that live in East Green Lake and I often meet up on this route specifically to go to Seattle Center for late IMAX movies to avoid driving and parking costs. Though now that I don’t commute by bus (2.5 hour 3 transfer ride for new job, no thanks) we’ve discovered that $6 parking at the Science Center garage is cheaper than 2 round trip off-peak rides on Metro anyway.

    • says

      we’ve discovered that $6 parking at the Science Center garage is cheaper than 2 round trip off-peak rides on Metro anyway.

      Until you factor in the price of gas.

      • says

        Not to mention depreciation, wear and tear on your tires and brakes, and general maintenance costs. Just because those costs are spread over months, or even years, doesn’t mean they aren’t real.

        Even if you use AAA’s most optimistic cost of driving per mile of $.381, the true cost of your trip quickly climbs. You have the freedom to make that choice, and that’s fine, but you’re deluding yourself if you think you’re saving money by driving.

  9. Kevin says

    I’m a regular 16 rider between Wallingford and Downtown. A few thoughts:

    – The routing on 5th N kills reliability northbound. Southbound it doesn’t seem to be as big a deal. It’s not just Mercer – if there’s anything going on at the Seattle Center the bus winds up waiting through multiple light cycles on 5th N as people enter or exit the Center garages/parking lots. I tend to avoid the 16 during the evening rush hour or weekend afternoons when there’s a lot of events getting out at the Center (4-5ish seems particularly bad on Saturdays – I think this is when the matinees get out at the Center theaters).
    – During the summer a lot of tourists use the 16 between Downtown and the Center. I imagine the 9% figure mentioned above is a year round one – not seasonally adjusted. As others have mentioned there are other buses (not to mention the monorail) available to tourists.
    – The weird jog onto Dexter N has actually worked out pretty well IMO during rush hour. It used to be that it would take the bus forever to get over to take the left to get onto Aurora. It does seem odd during off hours – I wonder if they could adjust the schedule to assume the driver would take the left during off hours instead of doing the loop? By the way a lot of the drivers do stop at Dexter & Harrison even though it isn’t signed for the 16.

    I think there’s an opportunity to look at exactly what the priority is on this route. If it’s connecting Northgate/Green Lake/Wallingford/Fremont with Downtown in a reliable way (especially if the 26 is going away) I think it would be clear that it should be routed off 5th N onto Aurora. If it’s also supposed to be a way tourists and other folks can connect to the Center and then to the above-mentioned neighborhoods I don’t think it’s going to ever provide timely or reliable service – in which case there’s a stronger case for retaining rush hour service from those neighborhoods directly to Downtown..

    • Kevin says

      One caveat – I can only attest to the 16 not being a problem SB during rush hour in the mornings. I don’t head that way in the afternoons.

    • says

      I ride the 16 occasionally, and I’ve seen people get really angry at the bus drivers for not stopping somewhere on Dexter as they loop around to get back on Aurora. It’s sort of a weird situation.

      I’ll second what some other people have said — the 16 seems to run a lot more smoothly going south than north. I live in east Wallingford, and if I’m going to an event at Seattle Center I’ll take the 16 there and the 30 back home (if it’s late enough at night for the 30 to be fast).

  10. Tim Whittome says

    Unfortunately, we have lots of routes like the 16 both in Seattle and on the Eastside. I am currently taking the 247 between Eastgate P&R and Kent Boeing and this route would not know the word ‘straight’ if it could read and see it written down. Neither would the 240 and the 150 is simply torture through Southcenter – way too many stops for one Mall. The best routes are those that are dependable, reliable and reasonably simple. The 214 has long been my favorite Metro route as it wouldn’t know a curve if it saw one after it leaves the Issaquah Transit Center. Too many Metro routes and some Sound Transit ones simply try to accomplish too much and they lose riders and sympathy in the process.

  11. barman says

    Sometimes the 16’s odd routing can benefit people living in the upper area of Belltown such as myself.

  12. Mantini says

    “* Google Maps and One Bus Away show a northbound 16 stop on Dexter & Harrison, but the official Metro map does not show a stop there, and it does not appear in my boarding data.”

    I had a 16 skip that stop when I was waiting specifically for it, thanks to OneBusAway. I complained to Metro and got this response: “The stop at Dexter & Harrison is still an active stop for the route 16.”

    But it’s not on the sign, or on the map, and if it’s not in your boarding data, there’s some right hand/left hand business going on.

  13. Z says

    That would have been the old North Seattle base, Which was in use until the mid to late 80s. As of a couple years ago there was a parking lot where it once stood, and infact the barn sat below the street level some from the photos i’ve seen of it. I think its been redevloped again as some sort of office structure the last time i passed by. Metro’s North base is still a very much active bus barn.

  14. says

    Thanks, everyone, for the constructive comments and responses. I’ve been thinking of good ways to graphically present the voluminous boarding and stop data that I have, and I may follow up with another post on the subject.

    Regarding the horrible pedestrian environment that one has to pass through between the Seattle Center and the stops on Aurora and Mercer, I was going to include a section in the piece about that, and even had Tim (AtomicTaco) get photos of the area to illustrate my point, but this post ran long as it is, and I felt I had to cut something in order to avoid diluting my main point. So I am sympathetic to that objection, although I believe I’ve shown here that the greater good would be served better by a much quicker and more direct routing.

    • says

      Couple more points:

      *I don’t think this piece was long at all. There were only two major sections. Shortening is fine; selling your argument short is not.
      *You know what would compensate for the loss of the 16? If there was a one-seat ride from Queen Anne into Fremont. Only the 13 and the buses that cross Aurora for just long enough to cross the Fremont Bridge come close.
      *I’m not a fan of asymmetric routing. If you’re going to move the 16 away from Seattle Center northbound, there’s not much reason not to do the same southbound other than “we’ve always done it this way”.
      *While it was better when the 16 headed up Dexter to Valley to get onto Aurora, why does the current loop go all the way down to John?
      *The 16 does not really serve Fremont, other than via the 38th St underpass.
      *The transit center is not well placed to serve NSCC (which is why locals want a bridge over I-5 when Link comes), and I wonder if it wouldn’t have been better if the site of the former park-and-ride on the north side of the mall had been made the transit center. The 5 and 75 definitely perform more direct routing to serve the community college, but neither is likely to ever be particularly frequent (even if the 75 gets broken up). Perhaps a shuttle from the transit center?
      *The 16 in general is very milk-run-y, because it fills the Meridian spot on the grid, but the effect of Green Lake and the need to get over to Meridian from the Aurora Bridge means it spends very little time on Meridian, so it winds a lot. In fact, probably the only reason it doesn’t stay straight on E Green Lake Way is because half its walkshed would be taken by Woodland and Green Lake Parks (and the need to keep serving the businesses on 56th).

      • GuyOnBeaconHill says

        The 26 has got to be the most under-utilized route in the Green Lake/Wallingford area. If the 26’s numbers are better than the 16’s, it’s because of heavy loads between downtown and Fremont. Between Fremont and Green Lake, the 26 is almost empty. So let’s begin by pulling the plug on the 26 and create a hybrid 16+26 through Wallingford and Fremont to downtown.

        From Woodlawn and Ravenna, where the 16 and 26 currently connect, the 16 can follow the 26 route to 56th Street and then cut over to Meridian and follow the 16 path from 56th & Meridian to Wallingford and onto Stone Way. At 38th and Stone, the 16 would continue down to 35th and then follow the 26 path to Fremont, then via Dexter to downtown. This gives the heart of Wallingford direct route to Fremont and still maintains a bus route to downtown.

        The 16 timetable shows a running time of 21 minutes from 45th and Stone Way to 3rd & Union. The 26 timetable shows a running time of 17 minutes from 34th & Fremont to 3rd & Union. So, if the new route can get from 34th & Fremont to 45th & Stone Way in 4 minutes, there isn’t any time penalty and there is a lot of added connectivity for the new route.

      • Kevin says

        Guy-

        As a regular 26 rider I’d have to disagree with you. In my experience the 26 is never “almost empty” north of Fremont outside of later in the evening. When do you ride it?

        Your proposed route also cuts out most of lower Wallingford that is currently served by the routing along 40th.

      • GuyOnBeaconHill says

        40th Street would still have the 30/31 connections Fremont, the Seattle Center and the University District. The 26 is fairly busy during rush hours–it might be a good idea to keep the 26 Express–but it’s not moving a lot of people on Latona and Thackeray at other times.

      • C says

        I’d also have to disagree with Guy – the 26 is generally pretty busy when I’m on it. The 16 pulls from the residents who live on the upper or west side of Wallingford, in an area that includes many apartment buildings (with more coming soon, now that the festering pit on Stone Way is now an active construction project). The 26 and 30 tend to draw more from lower Wallingford, including a lot of UW students. I’d hate to lose any of those routes.
        From Wallingford, I also regularly take the 16 downtown, to Green Lake, to NSCC, and to Northgate. When I commute north on the 16, it often gets held up around Blanchet HS, particularly in that 1/2 hour before school starts to 1/2 hour afterwards, and I miss my connection to the 348. Southbound, the connection for the 348 and the 16 is not good, so I end up using the 348 and the 358. I’d much rather take the 16 back home, but I too am not comfortable being at the NG Transit Center once it gets dark, so I’m stuck with the 358.

    • the358 says

      Actually, I really appreciate the point that it’s only a 5-minute walk to Aurora & Denny. When taking my family to events at the center, I always think of the stop at Aurora & Mercer as “the Seattle Center stop” and forget about the one at Denny–which is so much easier/safer to get to when you’re headed back north on the 358 than the one at Mercer. This post will help me remember to think about other nearby stops when planning trips involving wee ones and strollers.

  15. Eric says

    I’ve occasionally ridden the Green Lake->Northgate segments of the 16 and I’ve found it extremely unreliable, especially in the northbound direction. Even with OneBusAway, it is not uncommon for OBA to claim the bus is 3 minutes away, yet actually have a 10+ minute wait. I currently avoid the bus altogether in that area most of the time, and ride my bike instead.

    As to a solution, perhaps the segments south of 45th St. and north of 45th St. should simply be separate routes. Many of the riders would still have a one seat ride to/from the Seattle Center anyway, via the 26 or 358.

  16. bgk says

    The 16 is a workhouse route, and it kills me that I cannot reliably take it from its stop at Aurora & Galer NB to the 49th & Meridian stop that serves the Alliance Française. Especially at night when it slows down to 30 minutes between service, its not reliable enough for me to guarantee I can get to class by 17:30 on any of its routes :(

  17. transitrider says

    Stop consolidation would help. Surprisingly, the part-duplicative #316 isn’t slated for any cuts or trimming of its route, as it’s empty past Northgate. The idea of running both across 92nd makes a lot of sense to this rider.

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