Remember those 100,000 extra hours of immediate bus service promised with Proposition 1?  Sound Transit has finally released a draft proposal (pdf), and it’s significant.

They haven’t even started collecting the additional taxes yet, but here’s the schedule of the service rollout:

  • June 2009: More trips on the 510, 511, 513, 522, 532, 535, 545, 550, and 554, as well as South Sounder.  As revealed earlier, ST routes 554, 555, and 556 would serve the Eastgate freeway station instead of the park & ride itself, and there would be route adjustments for the latter two.
  • A new Route 578 will provide long-desired “Sounder shadow” service to many Sounder stations when the train isn’t running.  It’ll run between downtown Seattle, Federal Way, Auburn, Sumner, and Puyallup.
  • Oh yes, Central Link opens in July.
  • September 2009: More off-peak service on the 510, 511, 550, and 554.

After Seatac station opens in December, we see the real bus action in February 2010.

There’ll be more service on the 574 (Lakewood-Seatac) and 577 (Federal Way-Seattle), but there will also be tons of route changes:

  • The 564 and 565 terminate at Auburn instead of Federal Way or South Hill, and are renumbered to the 566.  Commuters from Sumner and Puyallup will take the Sounder and then board the 566.  The Sounder takes 9 minutes, compared to about 22 for the 564, so it ought to be a wash.
  • New route 584 will travel Federal Way/Auburn/Sumner/Puyallup/Tacoma in the Peak direction.  The idea is to connect former 565 riders to the 566 to Overlake, and supplement “reverse peak” Sounder service into downtown Seattle.  It also replaces Route 582 (Bonney Lake/Tacoma), which will be deleted.
  • 560 will terminate at White Center instead of Alaska Junction, with frequent current and future Metro service making up the difference.

The big picture is that a bunch of ST routes will become a lot more reliable, while requiring more transfers of riders, particularly if you live in Bonney Lake, South Hill, or West Seattle.  On the other hand, they’re planning to increase parking capacity along the South Sounder route, and servicing the Auburn Park and Ride with the 566, so there will be an improved option to drive.

6 Replies to “Big ST Express Changes in 2009”

  1. Where are they going to get the buses necessary to ramp up service this much? I thought there was a shortage of ST coaches. Are they going to just use the partnering agencies’ vehicles?

    1. When ST added more trips on the 522 last year, they used Metro coaches on those runs so it’s likely they’ll use partnering agencies’ coaches until new coaches are delivered.

      1. I personally think that route 522 should become a metro route that way the can better synchronize with other routes particularly route 306/312.

  2. Patrick,

    If you would like the 522 schedule to be adjusted, there’s no need to transfer it to Metro, which would open up a huge budgetary can of worms. I submitted a comment to both Metro and ST about poor coordination between routes leaving Eastgate P&R.

    Because my note was fairly well reasoned, and my proposal neither upset scheduling at other stops nor cost them any money, it was implemented a couple of months later.

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