King County Metro
King County Metro

The new (light purple schedule) Metro service change is out.  And there are a lot of changes:

  • The first phase of the Southeast Seattle and Southwest King County service revision is happening, including opening the Mt. Baker Transit Center.
  • Four new routes (102, 124, 129, 913).  Goodbye 32, 42X, 126, 170, 191.
  • Kirkland Transit Center closes, bus stops move.
  • Pierce Transit cutting routes trips all over the place (pdf), effective Sunday, Sept. 20.
  • Sound Transit changes here.

Community Transit is going to wait till November 29, when Swift opens.

56 Replies to “Service Change Saturday, September 19”

  1. It’s kind of too bad Metro’s Mt. Baker Transit Center map doesn’t show the Link station or an arrow pointed toward it.

      1. It is inconceivable and inexcusable that the Rail Station would be left off this map!

        Someone at KCMetro needs to either be fired, or forced to stand at Mt. Baker Transit Station 24/7 for 30 days holding a sandwich board pointing the way to the LINK station.

        Yet another reason not to vote for Susan H.

      2. Yeah, someone should be fired… no. They could just put stickers on the maps at the station. Plus you can see the station. It’s an oversight, but not a huge deal.

      3. Yes, Matt, you can see the station once you are there, but if your English, map reading skills and/or confidence about a new transport experience are weak, it will be a problem. This error is symptomatic of some issues with Metro’s September service change mentioned elsewhere in this thread, and that is of concern – this should have been handled much more skillfully. Let us hope that the information about the February 2010 changes are more carefully thought out and communicated to travelers.

      4. That looks like the map that is included in “The Book” – the book that drivers receive each service period that has all of the route directions, Metro policies, etc. in it.

        You really don’t need someone with a sandwich board pointing someone to the LINK station, as you can see it from the Mt. Baker transit center. It’s up in the air over everything else, and right-across the street. You can’t miss it anymore than you’d miss the space needle if you were standing at The Duck terminal at 5th and Broad.

      5. Don’t laugh but I’ve had people ask me where the Space needle was while standing at the Duck terminal. I’ve also had people ask me where the Pike Place Market was while standing in sight of the market clock.

        I think the lesson is tourists get lost even when standing right next to what they are looking for, it is part of their charm.

    1. Metro really doesn’t do a great job pointing out Link stations. Either on bus route maps or announcing them on the bus.

      I’ve asked them twice if they could shade the RFA on their route maps, just as they do for peak hour trips on the timetable, and I can’t get an answer on that.

      I know these aren’t what saves the world, but they’re easy and helpful.

  2. November 29th is when CT is adjusting service. Good to know. I’ve been checking the site everyday. I wondered but didn’t see anything about them waiting for Swift.

    1. It would make sense, since SWIFT will have dramatic changes on bus routes, much like what Link has done.

      On another note, I saw a couple SWIFT vehicles testing in Downtown Everett on Pacific Avenue at about 10-minute intervals. Station shelters are pretty much completed except for a few stops.

      1. I too have seen the Swift busses. Cool! ET will also change their schedules in November. There are some radical changes for ET. Wow!

  3. Nice. This (the Mt. Baker Tranist Center) answers my question of “where do I board the 48 Northbound when I want to get home from Link?”

    This will do nicely until Eastlink puts in a Rainier Station, and the 1st Hill/Central Streetcars come into service.

    1. There are few this weekend, but most of them happen in February when Seatac station opens and the 194 goes away to pay for them.

  4. Swift buses were being tested over the weekend. They look pretty sexy compared to, well, anything else in the region. Go Community Transit!

  5. In response to:
    •Pierce Transit cutting routes all over the place (pdf), effective Sunday, Sept. 20.

    More Appropriatly you should say “Pierce Transit is cutting trips all over the place…”

    Routes would imply the whole service is getting the deep six, while in reality only certain low ridership trips are getting trimmed back.

  6. Odd that the route 7, 8, & 9 timetables don’t use the Mt. Baker Transit Center as a timepoint – that would really help people plan those connections metro is trying to encourage. Also, the route 8 has NO timepoints at all between Jackson street and Rainier Beach – that’s about 5 miles and 30 minutes of route that folks will have to make guesses about.

    1. I just noticed also that the rt 8 timetable’s map doesn’t mention which bays the route uses at the transit center and also shows the route not traveling through the transit center – it instead shows the route staying on MLK.

      1. Metro seems not to have properly thought through the Mt Baker Station information in the Rider Alert brochure and the new schedules. Too bad, because this was their chance to shine with all the changes in SE Seattle – they have opportunities to garner new riders and provide sterling information to them about connections at Mt Baker and other Link stations along the line.

      2. The transit center map shows the northbound route 8 turning left onto Rainier Ave, and stopping at “Bay 1” which appears to be the curb-lane of Rainier Ave. I would presume that it would then turn right onto McClellan, and left back onto MLK.

    2. I’m really shocked the 4 wasn’t also extended to serve Mt. Baker Transit Center, especially considering it turns around just a few blocks North of there.

      1. I think extending the 4 to Mt. Baker makes more sense than extending the 14 did.

        Besides the 4 covers a lot of territory between 23rd & Jefferson and where it turns around at S. Walker. For one thing it serves Judkins Park and Lighthouse for the Blind.

      2. If that could be done and still serve Center Park, I’m sure it would have been considered. I agree that extending the 4 down ML King from Walker Street would have made good sense – and provided a nice wired downhill connection from ML King to Rainier.

    3. Grant,

      Have you seen the NEW timetables? The ones from the current (pre-Sept. 19) service period won’t indicate the transit center as a time point as it’s not part of the routing for those buses yet.

    4. I picked up a bunch of purple timetables from King Street Center. Here’s how they fare in Link integration:

      Many routes that connect to Link Light Rail have a section in the timetable in purple text called “Link Light Rail”. It tells riders where to transfer/walk to the nearest station, first and last trips from those stations, and service frequency. Some also include a column with Link arrival times to match with bus arrival times.

      Rt 7: No Link symbol on cover, On map, TimePt @ S Jackson, Genesse, LLR [Mt Baker, Rainier Beach (6 block walk)]
      Rt 8: Link symbol, Stations on map, TP @ 23rd & Jackson, Rainier Beach, LLR [4 stations]
      Rt 9: Link symbol, Stations on map, TP @ RBS, S Graham, S Walker (near MBS), LLR [RBS]
      Rt 14: No Link symbol, TC on map not Station, TP @ MBTC, LLR [MBS]
      Rt 34, 39: Link symbol, Othello Sta on map not MBS not even the TC, TP @ Othello, LLR [CC, Othello]
      Rt 36: Link symbol, BHS & OTS on map, TP @ both stations, LLR [both]
      Rt 38: Link symbol, detailed map of Mt Baker area with both station and TC, Only 2 TPs at BHS and MBS
      Rt 42: No Link symbol, MBS and CCS on map and LLR section, timed transfer to/from Link at CCS
      Rt 48: No Link symbol, detailed Mt Baker map, LLR info for Mt Baker, “Service every 15 min until 10:30 p.m.”
      Rt 60: Link symbol, BHS on map and as TP, timed transfer to/from Link at BHS on weekdays

  7. No direct service from Seatac airport to Seattle after 9:15pm, and no service at all after midnight. Buses to Link and Link stop about midnight. What happens if your flight is late?

    1. The Trip Planner is showing some service after midnight on the 124 and 174 with changes at the Tukwila Link Station. Otherwise plan on visiting either West Seattle or Renton for a ride on the 560.

    2. As I read it, first you have to shlep yourself from the airport to Pacific Highway South (International Blvd), then cross it, then you catch 174 to Tukwila Int’l Blvd, then switch to 124. That’s quite a step back from the existing 174 service which runs direct from Seatc to downtown every 30 minutes until about 2:30am. I thought there was going to be some alternate bus service during the hours that Link isn’t running.

      1. I think the last few trips of the night are thru-routed so there’re no transfers needed. That’s what I overheard from some guy (a super transit nerd who collects timetables) looking through the new schedules at King St Center.

      2. Yes, from the 124 timetable (Includes partial service on Route 174):

        To Tukwila, Downtown Seattle ->
        Leaves Fed Way TC/Arrives 4th & Union
        12:55/2:05 a.m.
        2:04/3:13 a.m.

        To Tukwila, Federal Way ->
        Leaves 4th & Union/Arrives Fed Way TC
        2:18 a.m./3:24
        3:33 a.m./4:39

        No waits at Tukwila Intl Blvd for those trips. Having to walk from the Airport to Intl Blvd is bad though.

      3. The two night owl trips will be exactly how they are now, except the coach will read 124 for the north half

      4. 174 will no longer go through the airport after the split with route 124 becasue the whole purpose of spliting the route is in preperation for Rapid Ride. The 174, is now ready to become Rapid Ride in February. Plus this airport inconvience will only last a few months. Once Rail starts into the airport, either transfer to the train at Tukwila, or get off the 174 on Int’l Blvd, cross the pedestrian bridge, through the station, and you will have the same walk as if your coming from the train. People are just going to have to get used to the train, because in February, when the 194 goes away, the train will be the way to go.

  8. More sad news out of Pierce County as more people are left waiting on the side of the road. Another testament that Pierce County needs to approve the rest of their sales tax authority and we need more sustainable options given to us by the legislature.

  9. I wrote to Metro and asked why the #27 couldn’t be extended from Coleman Park one short mile to the new Mt. Baker transit center. They never replied.

    So I wrote to Larry Gossett, who did reply: it’s too difficult and there’s no money, and Metro apologizes for not replying.

    1. I don’t think that would be a good change anyway. Whenever I drive the 27, rarely does more than 1-4 people actually ride down past 31/Yesler? And then most usually exit, or board inbound by the Starbucks. Maybe on a few rush hour trips do more people ride down the hill, or get on inbound down by the lake. Who would be riding between Colman Pk and Mt. Baker? I think there are many other routes with higher priorities. Sorry, but it’s true.

  10. Metro appears to be doing everything possible to downplay/fail to recongize Link:
    1. not showing station entrances on bus timetable maps
    2. not extending route 4 to Mt. Baker
    3. not reorienting service in a comprehensive way: rts. 42, 38, and 39 still running?? What are they thinking?

    Answer: there is no “they”. “They” don’t even have a dedicated council committee, other than the dysfunctional and unfocused Regional Transit Committee. Metro did away with their council Transportation Committee by folding it into the environment and land use committee.

    In other words, Metro has no educated-on-transportation, functioning board. Pathetic.

    1. What do you mean, “Metro is doing everything possible to downplay/fail to recongize Link”????? Have you not seen the changes????? The station entrances are easy, they are on each end of the station. What more do you need to show on a timetable?

      The 42 is changing in a big way. Its shortened first off. There still needs to be service on Dearborn, and its a good link from Columbia City Station at Alaska, down to Rainier. It not longer goes past Alaska St &no longer serves Rainier Beach or Rainier View. Plus it only runs once a hour, on a 40ft coach until about 7pm. And it only serves 4/Jackson, turns back and liveloops on Wash St, and serves 3/Main on the way back. Doesn’t even make it up into Downtown.

      The 38, has been changed, but I don’t know why it’s still there, probably to service the neiborhood between Mt. Baker and Beacon.

      The 39, has been changed to directly service Link. No longer goes to Rainier Beach, but now directly services Othello Station. Plus you still need service to the VA, Columbian Way, Alaska, and on Seward Park. Can’t get rid of some of these routes.

      Not to mention other changes.
      -The 48 is shortened.
      -The 107 changed to pickup what the 42 isn’t in Rainier View, and shuttles to Link at Rainier Beach Station.
      -The 9 changed to start/end at Rainier Beach Station rather than Rain/Henderson.
      -The 106 was changed to service Rainier Beach Station, allowing for better tranfers for people from Renton and Skyway to Link.
      -Thats 4 routes that directly serve Rainer Beach station and more options to travel between the Station and Rain/Henderson.
      -The 14 wire now runs to Mt. Baker TC
      -And yes the 8 seems like double coverage on MLK, but remember, Link Stations are pretty far apart. You still need that service on MLK.

      And for South End……
      -Spliting the 174, will be a good way for people to tranfer to Link at Tukwila, as it will be faster than the 124 will be. Not to mention, the 174 schedules actually have a partial LINK schedule as part of the 174 timetable, so people can see tranfer times between the coach they are on, and when the next train leaves.
      -170 and 191 rts discontinued, due to Link… 129 will run service between Link station and Rivertown Hts rather that the 170. And LINK to increased 174 headways at rush hour take care of the discontiued 191.

      I don’t know why you think Metro screwed up so bad, because I see alot of changes for the better here. Also, not sure if you noticed, but all Metro timetables of routes that make Link connections, actually list times of firsts and last trains, and basic frequncies for those interested in transfering to LINK.

      1. Here’s an example of Metro screwing up…Cut the 126 because it’s service duplicates that of Link…except for the fact that the 126 actually HAS stops in between Tukwila International and Rainier Beach stations. My work shift ends at 6. I miss the last GHC shuttle into Seattle and am probably stuck walking along poor roads for pedestrians to Tukwila P&R to take the 150. They say that the 154 will pick up the load, but I can’t see if I can use it to get home on tripplanner because they haven’t loaded future schedules.

        Oh, wait, that’s at least two things.

        What was ST thinking in not providing at least one (if not two) additional stops between Rainier Beach and Tukwila…one at Boeing access, and one further south (say at the Interurban split, or thereabouts). Lots of workers in that area…

    2. Bobby,

      On your specific points:
      1. With most government agencies, if the choice of explanation is either “massive conspiracy” or “sloppiness and carelessness”, bet the latter every time.
      3. Metro wanted to kill the 42, but ACRS complained directly to the council. The 38 was supposed to run into the Mt. Baker neighborhood to replace the 14, but residents objected to diesels. The Citizen Sounding Board asked them to keep the 38 on its short run solely to help people with the steep hill climb. The 39 was kept because the VA wanted a one-seat ride to downtown.

    3. So Metro shouldn’t even bother to reply to my question?!

      Also- then why not stop the 27 at Yesler if it’s such an underutilized segment?

      If it’s too expensive to extend a route one mile to link with light rail, um, okay. I’ll take my car to the station, then. Link has *changed* the geography of getting to downtown/the airport.

      1. Yeah, I guess Metro should reply to those questions…….sorry. Once again, I see you that it’s only a mile to the TC, but, the route serves mostly the people on Yesler. And if they want Link, it’s probably faster to transfer to the 48 or 8, or go downtown to Pioneer Sq Sta. rather than ride down the hill, along the water, then back to Mt. Baker. I know that the majority of the people who board or exit the coach down by the lake are usually commuters at rush hour.(Thats why not to end at 34/Yesler) And going the other direction to Mt. Baker won’t be faster, because the 27 is so short to begin with. During off peak, nights, and weekends, the 27 is pretty dead past Yesler. And I don’t think enough people would go the other way from Leschi to Mt. Baker to justify this extention.
        Heres another way of looking at this. I looked at all of our run cards and average recovery time for the 27 is 22 minutes. The shortest break being only 10 minutes. If you want to extend to Mt Baker TC you would need about 5-6 minutes im guessing. Thats 10-12 minutes off each break on the 27. 10 minutes isn’t adequate recovery time for any route, especially a thur-routed route. You have to think there might be traffic downtown, the thur-routed route (17) deals with S. Lake Union and Ballard Traffic. Also crosses the Ballard Bridge and can sometimes be effected if the Fremont Bridge is up. Not to mention also, the 17 doesn’t have a bathroom, so the 27 break is the only chance for drivers to use the restroom. 10 minutes just doesn’t cut it. So basically, extending would require adding another bus into the rotation on the 17/27. Hours Metro doesn’t have. I know how it is. But priority should go to the routes that need it.

      2. Casey, Thanks for your insightful take on this. It was helpful and I learned a lot. Obviously you work for Metro and have access to all sorts of quantitative data and personal experience.
        But, with respect, I never said that the #27’s extension was more important than other potential route extensions (though Coleman Park and Leschi Piers do attract lots of driving-folks, esp. during Seafair). My points were that Metro gave lousy customer service and that I thought the explicit policy was deliberately to not provide parking at Link Stations *because* buses will tkae folks to the stations to and not drive. I understand your reasons why this policy isn’t being followed (no money!), but then, it’s a lousy policy in the first place, isn’t it? Why bother making policy this way?

        All your facts and figures are persuasive and logical from the point of view of Metro. I get that. But I’m not Metro. I’m someone with a U-Pass who won’t take the bus because the connections are lousy and I hate conditions in the buses. But I would take it that one extra mile to the much more comfortable and quick Link via Mt. Baker Stn. I can do my shopping around Mt. Baker station before I drive home (something i can’t do along the 27 route at all).

        Bottom line: quantitative data based on assumptions of rational behavior are often irrational and just plain wrong.

  11. Rt 39 (in the NEW timetables) is shown as servicing the old route (to Rainier Beach rather than Othello station) on the weekends. Is this true? – or another example of sloppiness on the part of Metro’s communications? Does anyone know? Can anyone tell me where route 39 goes on weekends? On top of that, the schedule comes along with an entirely inaccurate timetable symbol that indicates that link runs every 12-15 minutes…great, except it runs every 10 minutes with a few trips @ every 15 minutes. That is another inaccuracy that metro has printed and reprinted in several timetables. When it comes to designing and printing publicly vital info, who is in charge?

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