We (well, at least incorrigible transit nerds) have been waiting with bated breath since the passage of Seattle’s Proposition 1 in November to see the contract between the City of Seattle and King County Metro which is required under the text of Prop 1. It’s finally here, posted to the King County Council’s website as an attachment to the ordinance through which the Council will most likely approve it.
There are all sorts of interesting details in the contract language which we will probably poke at in future posts. But for now we wanted to share the good stuff: specific service improvements. The improvements affect most routes in the city of Seattle. About half of them will be implemented in June, and the other half in September. Many of the June improvements are subtle schedule changes to improve reliability (mostly increasing run time and recovery time), while the September improvements are a bit more visible.
The City of Seattle chose the improvements in two ways. First, all of the reliability and overcrowding improvements identified as necessary in Metro’s 2014 Service Guidelines Report were included. Second, once those needs were taken care of, city staff selected improvements after analysis applying the county’s Service Guidelines, the city’s Transit Master Plan, and Metro route performance data. Broadly, the improvements fit into two categories: 1) reliability improvements on existing service, and 2) new trips on existing routes, including both peak and off-peak frequency improvements. There are no restructures in this initial round of improvements, for obvious reasons of speed and ease of implementation. Nevertheless, these improvements will make the system significantly easier to use, especially nights and weekends. They should also relieve some dysfunction during rush hours. Specifics below the jump.