Photo by the author in the STB Flickr Pool
Photo by the author in the STB Flickr Pool

Comments about the first round of proposed Southeast Seattle service changes have been incorporated into a new proposal that should appear in Rainier Valley mailboxes over the next few days.  Key changes from the previous proposal:

  • The 7X and 34 express services have been partially restored.  I guess Metro listens after all!
  • Rather than send every 48 to Rainier Beach, all route 8s would be extended to cover MLK to Henderson St., while all 48s would terminate at Mt. Baker station.
  • There’s been further resolution in service frequency; notably, service on the 9 and 39 (which would become the 50) would get considerably better.

What happens next is another round of public comment, followed by a King County Council decision by this spring.

For those of you just joining us, the changes from the status quo are after the jump.

  • Abolition of the 42, 126, and express routes 32, 35, and 42X.
  • There are no changes to Route 7, except increased frequency at night.
  • Less service on the 7X, more on the 9.  The 9 would terminate at Rainier Beach station.
  • Extension of the 8 to Rainier Beach via MLK.  Route 8 service would be expanded considerably.
  • Diversion of the 14 to serve Mt. Baker station.
  • Fewer trips on the 34.
  • Terminate the 36 at Othello Station via Myrtle St.
  • Run the 38 from Beacon Hill station to the current 14 terminus in the Mt. Baker neighborhood.
  • Replace the 39 with route 50, with more service hours and higher frequency.  Unlike the 39, after reaching SODO station the 50 would go to West Seattle.
  • Terminate all 48 trips at Mt. Baker Station, improving reliability.
  • Extend all route 60 trips to White Center and increase peak period service.
  • Reroute the 106 to serve Rainier Beach station, the extreme southern end of Beacon Ave, and go downtown via Airport Way instead of I-5.  More service, too.
  • The 107, in a complicated reroute, serves 51st Ave S and various other points in Skyway and Renton.
  • Route 194 replaced with Route 195, operating downtown-Seatac only during hours LINK is closed.

The tabloid has a pretty good discussion of pros and cons of each move, and has details on service frequency.

15 Replies to “Southeast Seattle Service Changes”

  1. And the route 8 would still originate on lower QA? That seems odd then, to run the 8 all the way out to Henderson. I remember when it used to just go from QA to Cap Hill. Then they extended it a little further to Rainier Valley. Now it’s going much further down into the RV. And I didn’t think every 48 went to Henderson. I thought they alternated between Henderson and Columbia City.

  2. Yeah, I just checked. Every 48 does not go to Rainier Beach. They alternate between Rainier Beach and Columbia City until about 7 PM, then after 7 PM they end near Mount Baker, at Walden Street. So there are actually 3 different southern terminals.

    Anyway, sending the 8 down to Henderson Street doesn’t make sense to me. It originates on lower Queen Anne and travels down the congested Denny Way. It seems to me it’s going to cause it to have frequent scheduling issues.

    1. Splitting the 48 isn’t a bad idea, though I don’t think Mt. Baker is the place to do it since even those trips already have the “fourty-late” problem. Perhaps split the line at the U-District similar to the 43/44? Then maybe only run the 8 to Mt. Baker?

      1. Metro has repeatedly looked at splitting the 48 and each time concluded they didn’t have the funding to do so.

  3. Of all the new re-routes, I believe the 14 is the only trolly-bus line. I certainly hope they plan to electrify the reroute and keep this route on the wire. That then begs the question, if the 38 is only going to go from Hunter Blvd to Beacon Ave, and half of that route is the existing electrified 14 route, would it make sense to electrify the rest of the 38 route and put trolly-busses there too?

    1. The 14 will still be electrified. If the 38 covers the Hunter Blvd portion of the old 14, it will not be electrified, and it’s quite likely the trolley wire will be torn down due to neighborhood concerns about their appearance.

      The 36 is also electrified, and part of the plan is to spend a couple of million dollars to run the wire from Beacon Avenue all the way to Othello station so that it can remain so.

      1. Having grown up in Mt Baker near the terminus of the 14 route (and know alot of people that still live tere), I can say that the neighborhood very much likes their electric trolley. Back in the early 80s(?) when the route was changed from the 10 Mt Baker to the 14, there was quite an uproar that Metro was changing the neighborhood’s tradition. And for a while when metro needed to purchase new trolley busses is was running deisel coaches on the 14 line. there were complaints about the noise of the busses going up Mt Rainier Drive, and the idleing busses at the terminus. So I think there will be neighborhood pushback to loosing the electric line.

        As to the 36, yes, I haden’t read far enough to see that the trolley wire was being extended to Othello Station (I had read it as Othello Street, and assumed it meant at Beacon Ave), and all trips being trolley bus, so that’s great news.

      2. Although it would be too short of a line, perhaps use the existing 14 wire in Mt. Baker, and extend it up to Beacon Hill. McClellan St is really steep. By the way, the 14 used to be a streetcar line in the real old days.

      3. I live right near the 14 terminus, and have many fond memories of the bus going around the turn. It used to come off the wire almost every time. With the newer Kiepe poles, the buses stay on, but still take a while. I never understood why they made the stop be all the way around on the east side, and wouldn’t let you get off on the west (which would save a lot of time). Obviously, the terminus is on the east side, so they needed a stop for layovers there, but I’ve always thought they should at least let people off on the west if they wanted to.

      4. When I was working at the stadiums(The Key, Safeco Field, and the Kingdome), I would take the 14 home, and if I fell asleep, since I was getting off at the terminus, I would let the dewire alarm wake me up. Usually worked.

  4. so just to be clear, will the 14 reroute, will it still go on 31st to Jackson, and then downtown? I hope so – otherwise I have lost my bus…


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