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.