I concentrated my fire on Eastside RapidRide last month, largely because I don’t know anything about West Seattle. However, at least one STB commenter attended the West Seattle open house and came away unimpressed.

Look, I don’t want to give people the impression that I’m opposed to bus service. I take the bus every day and usually have a pretty pleasant experience. I was broadly supportive of Snohomish County’s Swift plan because it seems to improve service while being creative with funding sources, rather than sucking the oxygen out of light rail.

However, the key to good rapid transit is dedicated right-of-way. Failing that, restricted right-of-way (like an HOV lane) is a reasonable alternative. When a ballot measure promises BRT, and includes a large chunk of funding that could have been used to rapid transit like rail, I expect at least one of the above. In many cases, RapidRide provides neither.

7 Replies to “West Seattle RapidRide”

  1. Yeah Unless you put a dedicated right-of-way, it;s just “bus transit” not “bus rapid transit”

  2. ^^

    Or “express bus” service, or like Portland’s “frequent service” routes.

    KCM has to learn from CT.

  3. Metro can learn from CT, Ct seems to be on time consistently. I wish I had never moved from Mountlake terrace.

  4. The BRT plan as presented in West Seattle does little to improve things IMO.
    Replacing one bus route (#54 local) with another that has fewer stops, and routing the bus through the Alaska Junction bottleneck, is not “rapid”.
    Why doesn’t Metro just add additional Express service to existing routes while making traffic lane improvements to be used by ALL busses?
    The ‘requirements’ mandated by the funding measure voted upon can be covered by a simple placard placed on the new express services – “RapidRide”.
    The funds spent on the distractions of new colors for the busses, ‘electronic’ screens, etc. would be better spent on actual additional seats going somewhere. I don’t need a screen to tell me when the next bus is arriving, just make it show up.

  5. Exactly the problem. Buses are stuck in traffic all the time already heading to/from West Seattle with only one short dedicated lane on the bridge heading into Seattle (1/2 mile?). The amazing thing is, this lane works! And even more amazing is that extensive dedicated bus lanes which will be the only truly rapid transit to/from WS are like hot potatoes – we mention viaduct, but the Spokane Street work is due to start, I believe, next year – which will also grind things to a halt. Mass transit is not getting priority on the streets, period.

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