The latest issue of ST’s Regional Transit News includes a proposal to speed up the 554, and do a major re-route of the 555 and 556 between DT Bellevue and the Eastgate P&R.

The 554 would stop only on the HOV access ramp and continue on to Issaquah or Seattle, rather than circle around to the bays in front of the garage.  This would save five minutes each way, allowing more service along the corridor, while adding a 900 ft. walk for those that have to transfer.

As someone who will have to do that walk, but is also reasonably young and fit, I’m comfortable with a short walk to prevent torturous routing.  I don’t know where they’d get the money to do this, but it would be especially nice to duplicate or move the elevator in the SW corner of the garage to the Southeast corner, to allow easy access from the 142nd Ave bridge.

As for the 555 and 556, they’d travel via Bellevue Way and the South Bellevue Park and Ride.  This would  speed up the total trip time by about 5 minutes, in addition to improving connections between S. Bellevue P&R (a future light rail site?) and numerous other places.   I’m certainly excited that in 2020 there would be reasonably direct route from Eastgate and Issaquah to the station.

Between the two routes, the only stop that would go away is the Factoria stop on the 555, to be replaced by the one at S. Bellevue.  Keep in mind that each of these routes only goes in one direction during peak times.

The changes are expected to occur in June.

7 Replies to “ST Express Service Changes”

  1. Express bus service between Eastgate and South Bellevue is great news! Right now the only direct route between the two is the 222, which goes via the south end of Factoria and takes 15+ minutes for what would be less than five minutes by car.

    1. Um, yeah.

      That’s not going to happen – in addition to people in Issaquah (and southeast Bellevue), the Issaquah P&R serves the whole May Valley/Renton Highlands area for Sound Transit and hey, it’s better than Renton Highlands P&R if you want go to downtown Seattle.

      Honestly, where would propose the 554 run if we could do it all over again (including new P&Rs)?

  2. Odd, while riding 556 the other day I was totally wondering why not use Bellevue Way since there are no stops between BTC and ETC. I’m assuming this reroute will only make the flyer stop for ETC?

    And we really have to wait till June?!

  3. This is great news! I find it odd that eventually ST comes around so often to my way of thinking after denying that they would do for years! I have often complained about the meandering of the 554 through Eastgate – especially the redundancy of having two stops opposite one another for BCC when buses both ways stop at both. In other words, a 554 bus going to Seattle or Issaquah regardless of the direction has to currently stop at both stops if there is anyone there when one could be eliminated quite easily – the one on the right side going westbound!

    Still, even better to use just the flyer stop.

    Last point on the 554 is that I think it should start from South Sammamish P&R for all routes and not just select ones.

    Good news on the 556/555 too as this service also needs to be speeded up – now if they could only make it an all day service, then we wouldn’t need to use the tedious 271 to get to Bellevue.

    Now, does anyone know if Metro or ST will ever run a bus from Issaquah to Renton.

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