I don’t have a lot of time to expound on this right now, but the King County Council is set, on Monday, to approve a set of bus route adjustments in Southeast Seattle and Southwest King County.

The full text of the changes is here.  The key change from the Metro staff recommendation seems to be a partial restoration of Route 42.  It will run from Pioneer Square to Columbia City via MLK, instead of from Belltown to Rainier View; will run only 8am to 6pm; and will be at one-hour frequency.  This service is apparently paid for by ditching the idea of improving peak-hour service on Route 9.

This alteration will provide the direct connection from Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) to downtown that they so loudly clamored to maintain, while minimizing the additional costs to Metro.  Furthermore, it provides a little more East-West connectivity to Columbia City station, something that suffers a bit from planned cutbacks on the 39.

It also looks like the RapidRide A Line is slipping to June 2010, and the Southern half of the 174 will survive until then.

I’m on vacation with very short-lived internet access, and have probably missed some important things.  Feel free to peruse the report yourself and point out other changes from the staff recommendation in the comments.

UPDATE: The plan described above was passed on May 18 with a 9-0 vote.

8 Replies to “Final Decision on SE Seattle Nears”

  1. Must again point out that the 48 needs routes that go further than the McClellan Station.

    Just one example:

    The document says that they will add more afternoon buses to the 48 to help alleviate congestion from high student demand.

    What happens to that demand as the students head south past McClellan? Will there then also be more midday route 8? Or will students then be expected to get on rail? (Does anyone even know if students will have access to rail?)

    Have people been at Franklin / Rainier & MLK at the end of the school day? And they want more chaos at that corner? Currently people are unable to get on a bus at McClellan after school because of the high student volume. How will getting rid of the 48 help that at all?

    Even having all of the routes end in Columbia City (where half of the 48’s end now anyway) would be a marked improvement. It also would bring people to light rail by way of moving Rainier Avenue traffic up to the light rail station.

    I’d also like to see how they plan on keeping route 8 running on time while running from Rainier Beach. Right now, buses coming from Rainier Beach might start out on time, but even by the time they hit McClellan, they are frequently running 5-10 minutes late.

    Adding the 8 is not the magic bullet transit believes it will be.

    :end rant:

    1. Students will have access to rail; we’ve been assured that U-Passes will allow us to ride the light rail just as we can ride metro and ST buses.

      As for the 48, it’s a mess. I’m not sure what could be done to fix both the North and South ends short of just splitting the route in two. And the north and south ridership doesn’t seem to overlap much, which sadly pits us against one another. To be honest, I was looking forward to anything that would make the bus more reliable, because I’m becoming less and less comfortable waiting around the U district late at night wondering if it will ever come. I get that there’s more of a problem of increased perception of crime in the U-district than increased crime, but I’m guessing that affects a lot of people who aren’t as rational as I am.

      But I hate to see an increase in convenience and safety for me come at the expense of someone else’s ability to ride the bus.

  2. The likely decision today by KC Council is certainly a bad compromise. Reducing headways on the 39 is a terrible move because Seward Park, Lakewood, Hillman City, Columbia City neighborhoods will have terrible access to the Columbia City station.

    The staff proposal had been to provide improved E-W access on a new route 50 between our neighborhoods and light rail. Not only has that proposal gone away, but now their actually cutting the access. This at the same time that 7X and 34X existing one seat ride downtown are sliced. Double whammy.

    One hour headways on the local 42 that don’t extend further west than MLK is hardly a balm for lost frequency on the 39.

    And really? They’re going to cut the 9E to make the truncated infrequent 42 live? Yeesh – disappointing.

  3. While low service east of Rainier may be lamentable, it’s not necessarily forever. When the economy improves and people get used to having a train in their neighborhood, there will be more demand and money to rectify the situation. Of course that sucks for people who have to suffer for a year or two until then, but them’s the breaks.

  4. Actually, most of the hours for the 42-lite came from the Route 60, not the 9X.

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