Recently, King County Metro published the details of a minor service change that will take effect Tomorrow, June 9th. There’s nothing earth-shattering in here, but lots of small, good changes that set the stage for the major West Seattle-Ballard service change in September. Several Sound Transit routes change at the same time. Here are the highlights:
- 10-minute Sunday headways on the Downtown to U-District 71/72/73 trunk. The busiest and most important transit corridor in the city gets an upgrade from 15-minute headways. While the night-Sunday service pattern (local on Eastlake) doesn’t optimally serve the vast majority of riders, who would be much better off with an extension of the weekday (express on I-5 or Eastlake) service pattern, this is a much-needed and comparatively cheap upgrade.
- Inbound tunnel buses are reassigned to the foremost bay at each tunnel stop. This (perhaps rather obvious) operational change helps increase the capacity of each tunnel station by allowing buses that are primarily unloading to pull as far forward as possible, so as not to waste precious platform space. The increase in capacity will help offset the expected reduction in tunnel capacity due to the elimination of daytime Pay as You Leave rules when the Ride Free Area goes away in the fall.
- Extension of evening Route 180 service between Kent Station and Burien Transit Center, which currently ends at 7:15. A small but significant improvement for mobility in South King.
- Sound Transit picks up Bonney Lake-Sumner Sounder connection as Route 596. Adam noted in a post a few weeks ago that this marks ST’s first significant non-capital expenditure to improve access to their rail services.
- More details about Route 99 (Waterfront): Route 99 will be extended later in the evening during the summer, but reduced to peak only during the winter; “Summer” will be early June through the end of September.
- Deletions and restructures of a few “worst of the worst” routes, notably the 38, 79 and 219. Sadly, Metro will not put the 42 out of its misery until
FallFebruary of 2013.
- Ballard expresses acquire a stop at Elliott & Harrison. This area is very office-oriented, and I’m told local businesses were interested in better commuter access, especially with RapidRide skipping the Uptown stops nearest Harrison. It occurs to me that, once SDOT’s delayed West Thomas St overpass finally opens, smart commuters bound to or from Pioneer Square could use this stop to trade a long, slow bus ride though the CBD for a fast, scenic, flat bike ride along the waterfront.
- Minor routing changes, schedule changes, added trips, or deleted trips to various other routes. Metro adopted a proposal I discussed on the blog previously, consolidating the 25 with the Stevens Way corridor through campus.
There are no changes to any rail services in the region.