Several bus routes in Seattle are seeing more service, funded by the city! I had no idea this was coming, except that Eric seems to have his finger on the pulse of city projects, and sent an email about it. I have no idea where he found it.

The Bridging the Gap measure passed in 2006 funds projects all over town – and apparently, adds 20,000 hours of bus service this year, starting last weekend, improving the 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 14, 26, 28 and 44. This will increase next year, with 25,000 more service hours. It sounds like that would be a continuation of the 20,000 with an additional 25,000 on top of that, but I’m not entirely sure. All this service will continue until the end of 2015 – and as we get University Link shortly thereafter, Metro will have more Seattle funding to dole out by then.

Just more kudos for Greg Nickels, paying attention to transportation on all fronts. You can read the press release here.

16 Replies to “More Bus Service Nobody Was Expecting?”

  1. I think this is the service improvement that just went in last weekend. The Metro press release indicated that the City had coughed up some funds.

  2. Yeah, it’s part of Transit Now (passed in 2006, for any readers who don’t know). One of the things about Transit Now was reaching out to cities and local businesses to help fund transit.

    1. The key thing about those partnership service hours: they are matched by a pool which is not subject to the ridiculous 40-40-20 rule. It was the one way for Seattle to get new service hours without exporting 80% of a precious resource to the ‘burbs.

    2. I believe it’s actually part of Bridging the Gap, not Transit Now. It’s city, not county.

      1. I didn’t mean to say that it was funded by Transit Now, just that one property of Transit Now is reaching out to municipalities and private entities and saying, “Heeyyyyy, want to fund some transit?”

        I don’t know if that was possible or not before Transit Now, but there you go. Either way, it’s good for the city.

      2. You are both right. The service additions are funded as part of a service partnership between KIng County Metro and the City of Seattle. Service financial partnerships are one of the program elements of Transit Now. Proposals meeting criteria that were adopted by the King County Council will be funded two-thirds by King County Metro, one-third by the partner(s). The partnership program is not subject to the 20-40-40 policy split on new service hours. The City’s share of the funding comes from Bridging the Gap. These agreements are in effect for five years, and can be renewed (if not renewed, the resources are supposed to go back to the 20-40-40 pot, but who knows what would really happen in a higher ridership future). The City of Seattle partnerships will be implemented in three phases, in 2008, 2009, and 2010. The 2008 improvements just implemented emphasize capacity improvements on a number of trolley routes and Route 11 to relieve standing loads, and for the first time a 15-minute frequency seven nights a week until 11:15-11:45 p.m. on key crosstown Route 44 between the U District and Ballard. Among future Seattle improvements will be additional service along MLK in September 2009 on Route 48 (subject to Metro’s Link Transit Connections planning & public process about to get under way in October) and more evening and weekend service (extending weekend trips to White Center) on Route 60 in 2010. There are many other Seattle routes deserving of frequency and other improvement that are not covered by the Transit Now list of high-ridership corridors, but at least this is a start.

  3. If I rode the bus frequently anymore, I’d totally be excited about this.

    I really think we should consider enhanced Seattle-specific local service in some way shape or form, more than just the Streetcar network (which is, thankfully, still plodding along in the background).

    Given the fact that we’re getting LRT to the Airport, SLU is getting up-zoned, the Clise family is probably going to move on selling after the bust cycle is over and the overall eagerness to build, build, build in this city, Seattle as a city should consider taking charge in local transportation options.

    1. That’s the idea. After ST2 passes (fingers crossed), those studies of West Seattle and Ballard service will give us new information about where to build a line.

      We could do it with a tax blend – maybe MVET, sales, property, and something else, so each wasn’t raised that much? I don’t know. It would be several billion, but we could get started on a line – maybe fund something and let Sound Transit do the construction.

      1. Personally, I’d be fine with a Seattle-specific acceleration vote to get to Northgate faster, First Hill Connector and then West Seattle/Ballard LRT. Since I save tons of cash by not having to spend so much on transportation ($600ish a year since I have a Flex Pass), I doubt it’d be much of a reach to get a nice tax blend going.

  4. Actually the increased service both Transit Now and Bridging the Gap. The City pays 1/3 of the cost and the County/Metro covers 2/3 of the cost. Seattle’s portion is coming from Bridging the Gap, but Metro will still be paying the majority of the cost.

    1. Interesting! The press release doesn’t mention Transit Now at all – is there someplace where there’s more information about the partnership?

  5. I always wondered what “the Gap” was. It turns out it’s the hole left by Metro’s underfunded bus service in Seattle.

  6. I actually just spent 20 minutes looking for this (I’m a part-time ChaCha Search Guide. there’s no excuse for it taking that long).

    From this very blog (Feb. 21, 2008):

    “As part of the proposal, Seattle would receive more-frequent trips on Routes 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 14-S, 26, 28 and 44 in 2008.

    Service frequency also would increase in 2009 on routes 2, 13 and 48 and in 2010 on city routes 5, 7, 8, 70, 74 and 75, with costs to be shared by Metro, the city and the South Lake Union Mobility Partnership for Routes 8 and 70. Some trips on Route 60 would be extended in 2010.”

    That actually came from a P-I article (sourced in the post), and I remember reading about the 1/3 Seattle 2/3 Metro deal too but I am way too tired to look around for it so this will have to do for now.

    1. hm that’s interesting. i wonder if by 74 they mean 30 or 74X cause at the time of this post, they were one and the same…

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