Photo by Erubisu SEA

The RapidRide A line is coming. There’s also a new route 910, some 520 money mandated through the State’s transit property tax legislation, more Transit Now service partnerships, and continued “efficiency” service cuts.

[Update: Specific route details are available on Metro’s website.]

For the record, trip planner shows the current trip from Federal Way to TC to TIB station on the 174 as taking 47 minutes in the middle of the day. RapidRide A will be 45 minutes at the same time of day.

From the press release:

• New routes – RapidRide A Line will connect Federal Way to Tukwila. Route 910, in partnership with the city of Auburn, will provide service between north and southwest Auburn.

• Added service – Trips will be added on Seattle-area routes 5, 7, 30, 60 and 75 through Transit Now partnerships. There is additional SR 520 service this fall on Metro routes 265 and 271 and with new ST 542. And, in other areas of the county, there is increased frequency of service on routes 164, 168 and 245.

• Discontinued – Route 174 is being replaced by RapidRide A Line.

• Closed – Parking at the Burien Transit Center will close Oct. 2. Interim parking will be available at 1st Avenue South and South 148th Street. That lot will be served by routes 121, 122, 123, 131 and 132. There is no change in bus service at the transit center.

• Routing and schedule changes, including some deleted trips – Routes 14, 16, 17, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 31, 36, 37, 38, 39, 41, 43, 45, 46, 53, 57, 65, 66, 68, 101, 105, 110, 113, 121, 123, 125, 129, 134, 139, 148, 149, 152, 164, 168, 177, 179, 182, 190, 196, 202, 209, 210, 212, 214, 232, 242, 245, 251, 255, 265, 266, 271, 304, 331, 342, 345, 346, 372, 600, 903, 919 and 925.

See also Pierce Transit.

58 Replies to “New Metro Schedules Oct. 2”

  1. Is there anywhere we can see these new schedules yet? If Metro cuts more on the 28 I might have to start biking to work…

    1. Replying to myself:

      All night shuttle trips to/from Fremont on the 28 have been canceled. This is a disaster for myself and a lot of people I work with…

      1. Where are you headed? The 30 gets a boost: “80 trips per week, there will now be service between the Seattle Center and the U-District until midnight seven days per week.”

      2. The 30, like the 26, turns right at 35th. The 28 turns left and goes up Leary to 8th.

        The only buses that come even close to the 28 are the 15 (8 blocks west) and the 5 (8 blocks east).

      3. If I’m reading the current schedule right this means that only two weekday shuttle round trips are going away. The rest of the shuttle trips were converted to full route service about two years ago (if I recall correctly).

      4. FYI: This now means that there is no service between Fremont and Ballard once the last non-shuttle 28 leaves Fremont at 12:21 and the last 17 skirts past at 12:28.

        No service. None. At all. Between two adjacent, busy, late-night-oriented neighborhoods.

  2. In using trip planner to schedule a mid-day weekday trip from Federal Way TC to Tukwila Int’l Blvd Station after October 2nd, the trip is schedule for 48 minutes on the A Line. Scheduling the same trip for today, the trip is 47 minutes on route 174. What happened? The stated goal is to reduce travel time along the corridor by 25% Somehow the travel time got longer.

    1. Yeah. We contacted metro about this a month or so ago. This is the response we got.

      Hi Sherwin – if I understand, the question you are looking for an answer to is, “Rapidride A line will be slower than 174?!?”

      The short answer is no, the A Line will not be slower than the current 174. In fact, Metro estimates service on the A Line will be about a 20% faster, with service frequency increasing by 50%.

      There are many reasons for the anticipated improvement in overall travel time. Buses will be able to request a green light (called transit signal priority) at 20 intersections along Pacific Highway S./International Boulevard. Stops along the route will be consolidated and at some stops, ORCA card holders will be able to tap their card and board through the back two doors. This should also be a time saver as riders become more familiar with this option.

      Of course, it will take some time to optimize all these time-saving features. Once the A Line is up and running, Metro will closely monitor travel times and make adjustments to maximize overall performance.

      Hope that information helps!

      1. The online schedules are never updated until the day of the service change. And the paper schedule should be out this week, I would think…..with the budget situation, the new schedules haven’t been arriving at the bases as soon as they used to. And much fewer are being printed. Thats just the way it’s going to be from now on…..people with access to computers(most people) really need to just print off the schedules of buses they use and keep it with them, or use onebusaway, or they’re cell phones. Too many people grab paper schedules and then discard them when they are done with it.

      2. Paper schedules were being stocked at Central and Atlantic base this morning so hopefully they should be available on buses starting this afternoon. That said, I’ve never scrounged as hard for schedules as I did this shakeup. Metro is definitely cutting back on paper schedules. At least they won’t need to print any for the 174 anymore…

    1. Problem is with people (including out of town visitors) who don’t regularly use the bus for commuting don’t have access to paper schedules for as much as 6 weeks before the end of the service period (shakeup). Also people new to particular routes due to having moved, gotten a new job, etc. Not sure about “most” people having access to computers or whare that figure might be coming from. Seeing a real customer service deficit – including people genuinely pissed off – by not having paper schedules available through to the end of the shakeup.

    1. What is your point? From my perspective the 75 is an interesting route. It certainly isn’t the most conventional route design but it does a great job of connecting multiple OD pairs that otherwise aren’t well connected. Imagine trying to get from Lake city to Ballard without this route? Don’t forgot that the 44 closes the gap between Ballard and UW.

    2. When I lived in the U-District I think I used the 75 once–to get to U-Village from Campus Parkway because it was the next vehicle that showed up.

      For trips to Lake City, I didn’t bother with the 75 even though it would get me very close to my destination since it was at least 5 minutes longer than a 65/72/372.

    3. In a lot of ways, the 75 is a bunch of grid-style routes that just happen to run together. Having a connection all the way up Sand Point Way from the U District makes sense as a grid-style route, and the Lake City-Northgate-Crown Hill connection makes sense as a grid-style route. The only part that doesn’t is the Crown Hill-Ballard part; I would rather there be better service up 15th and the 75 end in Crown Hill.

      1. I have always thought the 75 should be a circular route in both directions, the ‘missing link’ being the U-District-Fremont-Ballard portion. This would provide better service to both Fremont and Ballard, since the 44 is too far north and too slow.

    4. I’m pretty sure the 75 is a good route to increase service on. It carries alot of passengers and connects alot of places. It’s the only routes the connects Ballard to Northgate. Helps the 18 serve 24th Ave NW to Ballard/Market and a direct connection from Crown Hill to Ballard/MArket. Wasn’t it you D.P. who was complaining about not enough East/West routes……well the 75 is a major east/west route along Holman Rd/N. 105th/Northgate Wy…..connecting with the 48,18,15,28,5,358,316, all the service at NTC,73,77,72,306,312,522,65. One of 2 routes for frequent service to Lake City and the only service along Sand Point way beside the short length of the 30/74. And is the main routes connecting Children’s Hospital employees to UW and downtown routes.
      75 is all around one the best performing routes Metro has and I believe having more trips for more frequent service means better transfers with all the N/S routes helps make the system better and hopefully attract more riders.

      1. Great points, Casey. The 75 is the only bus providing crosstown service north of 65th and serves a large catchment in NE Seattle that has no other bus route save the 65 (which is really just a UW shuttle). Fifteen years ago this area had two downtown routes (the old 25 and 41); now there is none. Connections to the 522 and the 41 at Northgate are vital…plus this bus always, always has passengers on it. I believe it scores well for Metro in this regard.

    5. The 75 is essentially two routes joined at Northgate, and is also the 105th/125th crosstown route complementing the 30, 44, 48, and 348. (I thought there was a bus on 145th too but I can’t find it.) It looks ridiculous-end-to end but it strings together a useful corridor — exactly like the rapid transit corridors we discussed in another thread. I’ve ridden the 75 at various times from Sand Point-Aurora, Ballard-Aurora, and Lake City-Northgate. I imagine NSCC students from Greenwood and Northgate use it. It foreshadows a potential light rail corridor from Ballard-Lake City.

      1. It was once two routes joined at Lake City–the old 74 and the 41.

        There is peak-hour service on 145th; the 308 E of I-5 and the 304 west. Both these routes provide that oh-so-indispensable one seat ride to downtown. (I assume they will be terminated at a N 145th Link station when that finally gets here.)

        Sound Transit’s original preliminary planning for a NE HCT line went Bothell –> Kenmore and then for some silly reason made a hard right on NE 145th to I-5, despite it being a predominately single-family neighborhood (and golf course), and avoiding altogether the denser Lake City area, which still has room for higher density yet. The best plan would of course be south through Lake City thence to Northgate, or better yet following the old Forward Thrust line from Lake City to Roosevelt station.

    6. And I believe at least part of the 75 partnership funding comes from Seattle Children’s, for and travel to and from Sand Point and UWMC (where there are some pediatric clinics), as well as commuters and patients.

      1. Frankly, the hospital could run its own shuttle back and forth to 45th and The Ave, every 10 minutes, all day and night, for a fraction of what it’s costing them to bolster stupid routes like the 75 and the 25. And the taxpayers would be forced to partake in cementing the worst routes in the city.

      2. DP: Children’s does run shuttles. I don’t know all the stops, but one of them stops at the Roosevelt Commons–4311 11th Ave NE. It’s for employee use only, however.

      3. “It’s for employee use only, however.”

        We should thank Children’s for those runs, as well as the companies sponsoring some runs on the 8. Without it, their peak frequencies would be like their mid-day frequencies. I don’t know how a company finds itself rich enough to contribute to everybody’s commute rather than just their employees’ commute, but it’s a good gesture of corporate citizenship.

    7. If you find the 75 “interesting,” I can only presume you’ve never had to use it. It’s like a hyperbolic example of everything that’s wrong with Metro’s route structure: a one-seat ride to everywhere, from everywhere, via everywhere.

      And no, Casey, Scott, and Mike, it’s not “crosstown” transit. It’s everything that’s bad about Metro’s thought process staring you in the face.

      Take a peek at that Northgate area detour. Meridian and 5th Ave NE are just over 1/2 mile from one another on Northgate Way. The bus takes 15-20 minutes from one to the other. That is obscene.

      Say you want to get from Ballard to Northgate — not the useless “transit center,” but the part near Northgate Way, the part with the actual stuff on it. You have three choices, all unsavory:
      1. Get off the bus before the it turns down Meridian and walk the directly beneath a major highway interchange;
      2. Continue (slowly) to the “transit center,” then walk end-to-end through the enormous mall;
      3. Wait out the nearly 10-minute layover at the transit center, just to ride 2 more minutes.

      “But the Community College has high ridership demands,” you might say, necessitating this detour on top of the service provided by the 16. But imagine how much better service would be provided by an uninterrupted, frequent, detour- and bottleneck-free north/south bus on Meridian (which doesn’t exist). Or how much better the college kids would be served by a simple pedestrian overpass to the transit center.

      “But you might as well take the detour, because the route has to serve the transit center itself,” goes the Seattle thinking. Why? A crosstown route, like you claim the 75 wants to be, is an inherently urban route. Nobody parks-and-rides to the 75. No one switches to it from the 556. All it needs are good, frequent north/south transfers perpendicular to its main east/west purpose. These are amply available right along Northgate Way, and they should be even more amply so.

      There is not a single segment of the 75 that wouldn’t be better served by separate, frequent, as-gridded-as-possible service. But more to the point, even those who need 2 or 3 of its segments would be better served that way!! A service like the 75 is so packed with bottlenecks that it’s not uncommon for it to be 10 minutes late by the time it gets to Crown Hill or escapes the UW campus, <5% of its route complete. (Meanwhile, with some expected delays factored into the schedule, it’s not unheard of for the route to come and go early.) It doesn’t complement the 18, Casey. The two are scheduled to shadow one another, though of course this is not reliable enough to count on a transfer between them. And it’s unpredictable relationship with the 18 is a big part of why the 24th Ave segment can make it 5 minutes early or 10 minutes late before it even leaves Ballard.

      "Imagine trying to get from Lake City to Ballard without this route," pleads Adam. On the 75, the two are 48 minutes apart, if it remains on schedule. You’d better believe I can imagine a better way, and if you can’t, then Metro must have dulled your imagination along with your expectations. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to zip to the south, then zip to the west. Or zip to the west, then zip to the south. Frankly, the 72 to the 48 to the 18 would be a surprisingly good option if any of those routes worked as they should. If each of those had reliable 10-minute frequencies and drivers with a forward impulse (psychologically stronger on linear routes), you’d be shocked how fast you could make such a trip.

      1. The 75 is not a “route to everywhere” like the horrid Snohomish County routes that zigzag to reach as many neighborhoods as possible. It’s essentially three routes that are joined, presumably, to save money. Yes, we can imagine a better grid system, but there’s NO MONEY to implement it in the next ten years.

        I would chuck the NSCC detour and the 20 mph saunter through UW campus, but I realize that’ll go nowhere. Would NSCC students find a pedestrian bridge too long to use; I don’t know. I think a bridge is being considered for the Northgate Link station. Hopefully it will be built and the 75 detour chopped.

        You’re right about it taking too long to cross the town. But non-linear destinations and traffic is what we’ve got. The traffic would still slow things down even if the line were straightened out.

        I wouldn’t make too many assumptions about who transfers where, because there are always forgotten cases or exceptions. I’ve transfered from the 75 to the 41 or 66 (from the east to downtown) more than once when I changed my mind en-route.

        The TC is where it is because of the size of the P&R, which wouldn’t fit on Northgate Way. The P&R may be an evil but it won’t be the first thing to be dismantled, and like it or not it’s there and needs bus service, at least the 41. And the 41 needs transfers to the 346, 347, and 348, which were earlier tuncated at Northgate. (Look ma, truncations!) The 75 needs transfers to all the others. So it makes sense to put all the transfers in one place, and the P&R in the same place. If you just made a big intersection transfer at 5th & Northgate Way, people would be walking across two intersections to reach the other bus shelter (potentially missing their bus), you’d be staring at 4 lanes of traffic while you’re waiting, and people would say, “Why not build a transfer station?” (i.e., a transit center).

        One thing I’ve noticed is that crosstown routes inevitably generate higher ridership than expected. The 8 (forgot about that one!), 30, 48, and 75 have all been increased to full-time status over the years, or gotten 15-minute service at least part of the day, or both. That’s in spite of the 75’s faults. A zippy 75 going solely east-west (with connecting routes in Ballard and Sand Point) would enable even more trips.

      2. Another factor is that some segments would be eliminated if they weren’t joined to other segments. I expect the 30-Fremont was joined to the 30-Sand Point to save the latter from major cuts. Likewise, would a 75-24th exist if it were not joined to a 75-105th?

      3. D.P. I don’t know why you are so upset about the 75. You live in Ballard, right?……your getting more service.

        So many times that I drive the 18,15,5,28, or the 522….I always have people asking what bus to take to Norhtgate, or to transfer to the 358 or whatever and the 75 is usually a good bus to point them too. It’s a busy route, why not give it more service.

        Secondly, you say that Lake City to Ballard is better served using the 72, to the 65, to the 18. What? Thats three buses, what about at night when the 72 runs hourly, and the 48 and 18 30min service. What if its raining…..there is not shelter at 15th/65th to wait for the 48. If I have to take 3 buses, thats when I choose to take the car.

        Also, I want to point out that I don’t believe the Sand Point, Children’s, and Lake City part are getting more service. All this added service should be going to continue the trips that end at NTC. Currently the last 30min service bus leaves Ballard at 5:40ish PM. Going westbound it goes to hourly at 8pm and every other bus stops and turns around at NTC. Same is true all day Sunday, the west half is hourly. I beleive all these improvements will be between NTC and Ballard.

      4. “I’m sorry that you believe it’s necessary to slag additional frequency on well-used routes.”

        The 75 is used because it’s the only route that does what it does, and not because it does it well. So yes, I am opposed to wasting limited resources to increase frequency on a deeply flawed service. I am in favor of using those same resources to restructure service in a way that vastly improves the experience of those very same users, and hopefully many more.

        “Some segments would be eliminated if they weren’t joined to other segments.”

        I am aware that’s how Metro thinks: “we’ll combine services and hyper-through-route for the sake of efficiency.” Unfortunately, they’re wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Not subjectively, but objectively. Wrong! Any shred of research on the subject reveals that gridded, straight, geographically legible two-way route segments yield much greater reliability and efficiency. It’s quite straight-forward: when your segments are individually reliable, you don’t have to build 35-minute layovers into them. Your bus drives straight for 50 or 70 or 120 blocks, lays over for 10 minutes, and returns the other way. Frequencies increase exponentially (at the same labor costs) and every possible multi-segment trip improves!

        “It would take three separate buses… from Sand Point Way north of 75th to downtown.”

        It currently takes two, one of which sucks. That’s the real deterrent. Would three good, frequent, reliable buses really be more of a turnoff to you? And do you really think I’d be advocating for something that would yield worse results than what we have?

        “What about at night when the 72 runs hourly, and the 48 and 18 30min service?”

        Casey, it’s probably most upsetting to me that you actually drive for Metro on a daily basis, yet can’t see the forest for the trees. (Hint: the forest is on fire.) When did I ever say such a trip was feasible under current conditions? But when the one-seat ride takes 48 minutes (on schedule) to an hour (more often than not), one can fathom many ways in which a 2-bus or 3-bus ride would be faster.

        The 3-bus suggestion was an extreme example. A better 75 would simply be a direct crosstown service: Lake City to 24th and 85th, via Northgate Way, 105th, and Holman. With no detours.

        “The 75 needs transfers to all the others [at the transit center].”

        No, it doesn’t. It really, really doesn’t. Not to the tune of a 20-minute detour from what could be 45 seconds on Northgate Way. There could not possibly be enough people transferring to disparate transit-center routes to justify literally hundreds of new service hours – plus the valuable time of every single through-rider – on this detour folly! Again, crosstown riders are urban riders; the necessary transfers are to the 41 (which crosses Northgate Way), the 16 (likewise), and the 66 (which did so until it was recently, stupidly truncated).

        “People would be walking across two intersections to reach the other bus shelter (potentially missing their bus), you’d be staring at 4 lanes of traffic while you’re waiting, and people would say, “Why not build a transfer station?”

        Do you know how many buses I’ve missed in my time in Seattle thanks to slow maneuvering and poor routing? Not to mention circling into transit-center entrances. I just mentioned the 66 truncation, a route that’s much harder to use now that its terminus is in the middle of nowhere. I’ve missed many a 66 that I was walking to from Northgate Way, and many more that I’ve unwisely trusted a 75 or 16 to help me catch. The best way to solve the “you might miss a bus waiting for the light” problem is to have buses run so frequently that it doesn’t matter if you miss one. That’s something you can never achieve when you pour all your available bus-hours into everything meeting at the “transfer station.”

        “You live in Ballard, right?……you’re getting more service.”

        I don’t want “more service.” I want more good service. Wasting hours on bad service Let the #8 serve as an example to anyone who thinks throwing more buses at a deeply flawed route solves anything.

      5. “Any shred of research on the subject reveals that gridded, straight, geographically legible two-way route segments yield much greater reliability and efficiency.”

        Yes, but Seattle has special cases. In all the cities I’ve seen with grid service, the buses can go from one end of the city to the other without obstructions, which provides lots of opportunity for destinations to be built along the entire grid, and the entire grid is the market. Vancouver and Portland are divided into large flat rectangles, but within the rectangles (and in some cases spanning them) is a grid. San Francisco has hills but not lakes and barriers, and they went under the biggest potential barrier (Twin Peaks).

        Seattle has… several small pockets in south and west Seattle, each of which are narrow east-west, and it’s difficult for buses or even cars to connect the pockets. So they are all oriented to downtown rather than to each other, and are more single-family than they’d be otherwise, which hinders both the demand and the possibility of crosstown east-west service.

        North Seattle is the only large flat area where a true grid is feasable, excluding the hilly east side (east of 15th NE). And, a quasi-grid has been built. But still, some segments are so short (and likely single-family) that they can hardly support a bus route on their own. Maybe an army of vans could do each of them, but we keep hearing that the biggest cost of the route is the driver, so combining routes keeps the number of drivers to an affordable level. Can you really see a separate route from 24th & Market to 24th & 85th? Does San Francisco, Vancouver, or Portland have any such route? Likewise, Sand Point Way is residential and low traffic, and maybe can’t stand on its own. But it’s also far from other bus routes except 65th.

        Anyway, your grid argument sounds great where it’s feasable, but how to get from here to there? First, you’d have to argue that Sand Point can stand on its own. Then that the NSCC ped bridge (which doesn’t exist yet) would not be too long to use.

        Then, and this is the biggest, that it’s OK to run 7 blocks from the Northgate TC (and future Link station) without meeting it. That’s like the central banks, who have been arguing for years that 2% is the ideal inflation rate (rather than 0%), who are now hestitating to argue that 3% or 4% may be better now to get us out of stagnation, because it would contradict their earlier advice and look like flip-flopping. They’ve been saying that transit centers are so important that all buses must stop there. Do you think the county council or public are now going to accept that the Northgate Transit Center is not so important after all? That’s such a tough sell I don’t even think it’s worth trying. Especially with a Link station coming to it. (Psst, it’s too late to move the station to Northgate Way.) But if you can figure out a way to achieve it (and increase bus frequency), great.

        As routes are split, frequency and reliability become more urgent due to transfers. A timed transfer from the Sand Point route to the Northgate route would be OK if it were reliable, or if the frequency were raised to 15 minutes or preferably 10 minutes. Do the “hundreds of service hours for the TC detour” really equate to doubling the frequency? How do you convince a skeptical Metro, county council, and public? That requires a quantum leap of convincing. We’re still trying to get feeder buses in Rainier Valley! If you can find a way to achieve it, great, but it’ll probably take ten years to convince enough people.

      6. This is why I think light rail in the Northgate Way corridor is important. (But not as important as westside Link, and maybe not as 45th Link.) The problem is not the dip to the TC, the problem is the traffic and turns and stoplights.

      7. Scattered responses:

        “Can you really see a separate route from 24th & Market to 24th & 85th?”

        The 18 will supposedly be truncated to 15th & Leary or 15th & Market with the start of RapidRide, so the answer to your question is yes. (This will be a problem – and will generate community pushback – not because it’s an inherently bad idea, but because RapidRide will not actually be frequent or fast enough to compensate for the loss of the one-seat ride.)

        “Likewise, Sand Point Way is residential and low traffic, and maybe can’t stand on its own. But it’s also far from other bus routes except 65th.”

        I’m not saying that routes should be sliced up arbitrarily or excessively in places, like Sand Point, where the grid is warped. The stretch of 75 from the U-District to Lake City would make for a pretty functional and justifiable self-contained route – long enough to serve an extensive catchment but short enough to offer reliability and quick turnaround for increased frequency and better transferability at both ends and to the 30 in the middle.

        “…and are more single-family than they’d be otherwise.”

        Seattle wasn’t built at super-low density because of its geography. It was built that way because it possessed a proto-suburban mentality and an era-specific notion of how “the good life” should manifest in physical space.

        But never forget that, in the streetcar era, all of these areas had the critical ridership mass to keep dozens of streetcar routes operating at shockingly high frequencies. The streetcars were never fast, and they often required transfers, but the frequency made them highly functional. So how was that frequency supportable? 100% market share, of course. Now we’ve got 20% at rush hour, and <10% total. So only 1/10 the frequency is justified, which makes it wholly unappealing to the other 90%. Want to put a dent in that 90%? Then frequencies across the board have to get a whole lot better very quickly. Quantifiable service-hour waste is not the way to do so.

        "Then, and this is the biggest, that it’s OK to run 7 blocks from the Northgate TC (and future Link station) without meeting it."

        Well, the Link station will be a game-changer, but it's a long way off. Come 2021, it would be hard to argue against a direct connection to the train, because the train will offer a faster ride to Ballard (presuming an improved 44) and to Children's (presuming an improved direct connection) than the 75 segments ever could.

        But that is not the case today. The connections that everyone truly seems to want and need are to the 41, which also crosses Northgate Way, and to the 66 (which did until recently).

        "The problem is not the dip to the TC, the problem is the traffic and turns and stoplights."

        Save for the south end of the mall, or a potential bridge to the community college, the transit center is near nothing. Not even the highway – only the express lanes are convenient to it, and Link will make those moot for transit and (hopefully) downtown commuters. So plenty of traffic and turns and stoplights, in cars and on buses, will remain even after Link is built.

        I don't think past poor decisions to fill our urban areas with "transit centers," when "on-street transit connections near actual stuff" have been proven more effective, is a good enough justification to turn a potentially viable crosstown route (the 75's Lake City-Northgate Way-105th-Holman segment) into such a horrible slog. That's throwing good money after bad. And proving how callous Metro is about its customers' time.

        "Do the 'hundreds of service hours for the TC detour' really equate to doubling the frequency?"

        The 75 is 70-80 minutes end-to-end. Which includes shadowing the 18 (often seconds apart from one another) for 10. And the transit-center detour is, seriously, 20. So we've just identified 30 minutes of waste – roughly 40% of the route. We've also removed the need for exceptionally long (35-45 minutes) layovers at each end.

        Your answer is yes.

    8. and for those of us who live in Lake City or Crown Hill and are transit-dependent, the 75 is very handy. it’s actually a rather highly-traveled route.

      i’m sorry that you believe it’s necessary to slag additional frequency on well-used routes. for those of us who use the 75, it’s rather a godsend.

      1. Thanks, Gwen. I agree completely. If this route were operated as three routes (a crosstown, a Sand Point and a Ballard route), it would take three separate buses –Sand Point, transfer to crosstown, transfer to 41 or 522–to get the 6-7 miles from Sand Point Way north of 75th to downtown. That’s simply ludicrous, especially for a part of the city that used to have one-seat rides downtown on two different routes and that still has decent transit ridership. (I’m absolutely not a one-seat purist as I’ve actually lived in other cities where that’s not expected, just pointing out how service would deteriorate.)

        Nobody commuting downtown from the large area the 75 covers in NE Seattle would do it under those circumstances. I pay taxes too, by the way…but hell, we don’t get sidewalks or anything else like that up here either, so why should we worry about bus service? Just get another car….

      2. [Appeared in the wrong place, somehow. Now a duplicate…]

        “I’m sorry that you believe it’s necessary to slag additional frequency on well-used routes.”

        The 75 is used because it’s the only route that does what it does, and not because it does it well. So yes, I am opposed to wasting limited resources to increase frequency on a deeply flawed service. I am in favor of using those same resources to restructure service in a way that vastly improves the experience of those very same users, and hopefully many more.

        “Some segments would be eliminated if they weren’t joined to other segments.”

        I am aware that’s how Metro thinks: “we’ll combine services and hyper-through-route for the sake of efficiency.” Unfortunately, they’re wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Not subjectively, but objectively. Wrong! Any shred of research on the subject reveals that gridded, straight, geographically legible two-way route segments yield much greater reliability and efficiency. It’s quite straight-forward: when your segments are individually reliable, you don’t have to build 35-minute layovers into them. Your bus drives straight for 50 or 70 or 120 blocks, lays over for 10 minutes, and returns the other way. Frequencies increase exponentially (at the same labor costs) and every possible multi-segment trip improves!

        “It would take three separate buses… from Sand Point Way north of 75th to downtown.”

        It currently takes two, one of which sucks. That’s the real deterrent. Would three good, frequent, reliable buses really be more of a turnoff to you? And do you really think I’d be advocating for something that would yield worse results than what we have?

        “What about at night when the 72 runs hourly, and the 48 and 18 30min service?”

        Casey, it’s probably most upsetting to me that you actually drive for Metro on a daily basis, yet can’t see the forest for the trees. (Hint: the forest is on fire.) When did I ever say such a trip was feasible under current conditions? But when the one-seat ride takes 48 minutes (on schedule) to an hour (more often than not), one can fathom many ways in which a 2-bus or 3-bus ride would be faster.

        The 3-bus suggestion was an extreme example. A better 75 would simply be a direct crosstown service: Lake City to 24th and 85th, via Northgate Way, 105th, and Holman. With no detours.

        “The 75 needs transfers to all the others [at the transit center].”

        No, it doesn’t. It really, really doesn’t. Not to the tune of a 20-minute detour from what could be 45 seconds on Northgate Way. There could not possibly be enough people transferring to disparate transit-center routes to justify literally hundreds of new service hours – plus the valuable time of every single through-rider – on this detour folly! Again, crosstown riders are urban riders; the necessary transfers are to the 41 (which crosses Northgate Way), the 16 (likewise), and the 66 (which did so until it was recently, stupidly truncated).

        “People would be walking across two intersections to reach the other bus shelter (potentially missing their bus), you’d be staring at 4 lanes of traffic while you’re waiting, and people would say, “Why not build a transfer station?”

        Do you know how many buses I’ve missed in my time in Seattle thanks to slow maneuvering and poor routing? Not to mention circling into transit-center entrances. I just mentioned the 66 truncation, a route that’s much harder to use now that its terminus is in the middle of nowhere. I’ve missed many a 66 that I was walking to from Northgate Way, and many more that I’ve unwisely trusted a 75 or 16 to help me catch. The best way to solve the “you might miss a bus waiting for the light” problem is to have buses run so frequently that it doesn’t matter if you miss one. That’s something you can never achieve when you pour all your available bus-hours into everything meeting at the “transfer station.”

        “You live in Ballard, right?……you’re getting more service.”

        I don’t want “more service.” I want more good service. Wasting hours on bad service Let the #8 serve as an example to anyone who thinks throwing more buses at a deeply flawed route solves anything.

  3. Looks like Metro finally realized that the 30 is a useful route for a lot of people. I remember when Metro added weeknight service from 7-10PM – it was quite heavily used. Before that, you couldn’t travel along 40th after 7PM between the UW and Fremont.

    1. Yeah I’m excited about this! The lack of a late(ish) night connection from Seattle Center to the U District was annoying.

      1. This is good news It never made much sense to have the last bus leave Seattle Center around 6pm on Sundays and holidays, especially during special events such as Folklife and Bumbershoot.

      2. Now I can no longer say that “the 30 becomes useless after 7pm”. I did use the 1am trip to get home from Sand Point once though…

  4. Sucks! they discontinued the bus I take home ever day: 242 at 7:09. Replacing it with a 542 that stops 30 blocks from my house also sucks.

  5. Farewell to thee 174!

    We depended on you to get to Sea-Tac or Federal Way P&R at off hours, much of Saturday and all-day on Sundays. You always were on time, and made those connections with the PT500 after the 590Xs had stopped for the evening or on weekends so I could go to/from Tacoma.

    (These kids have it so easy these days!)

    Yes, the bums were entertaining…the MAN artics were stinky..but your service was appreciated.

    1. Yeah, now the Federal Way P&R will only be served by route 177, a peak-only, peak direction commuter route to downtown. So will it be closed on weekends?

  6. Update on RapidRide Schedules: I spoke with a driver who has been through Rapid Ride training. First off: We will no longer be following run cards, at least not as rigidly as we used to. Rapid Ride will be controlled more like Link where the control center tries to keep buses evenly spaced by telling us to “drag our feet” or to keep moving. Coaches will be able to request green lights at certain intersections to help speed things along. In addition, the radio system now has some sort of “texting” interface that allows the control center to send us messages without us having to pick up the microphone. (Presumably only to be viewed when at a stop) Other drivers who were talking to him before I joined the conversation felt this interface would eliminate “80%” of the announcements that we hear over the radio. Again, not much detail. In short, RapidRide should be faster than what is listed on the run card and the control center will have more ability to keep us on schedule. (Schedule here meaning a bus every X minutes, not a predetermined time)

    It all made more sense and he seemed relatively pleased with how the system will work.

    Huge disclaimer: This is pure rumor mill so don’t go quoting it. I’d say stuff I hear from other drivers has a 50/50 chance of being totally accurate. That said, he was fresh from training and seemed to know what he was talking about.

    I’ll update folks if I hear more detail.

  7. Meet Metro’s new way of doing business: Same as the old way of doing business.

    The planners’ interpretation of the dictum that buses should stay on the same street for as long as possible seems to be that routes are set in stone. At least they aren’t following the dictum interpretation that buses should crawl as slowly as possible.

    If you live west of a Sounder station, Metro will gladly give you an express ride to downtown Seattle, but no short trip to go east to the Sounder station.

    The neighbors who have had to endure the noise of the Rainier-Beach-to-TIBS curvature have no bus service to get them to the stations, so they can enjoy the rail whose noise they have had to endure.

    South King County and Pierce County riders have two overnight routes to get to and from the airport, while airport employees who live along MLK Way and whose shifts end late or start early are just going to have to get used to driving to the airport and home. … which, BTW means there are fewer parking spots at the airport for people who want to park there and ride Link.

    Metro would rather give everyone a straight express ride downtown than give people connections to ride Link or Sounder.

    Metro planners will give in to neighborhoods that want to slow down a route and increase the cost of service (e.g. the Fauntleroy Neighborhood in West Seattle), but will turn a deaf ear to neighborhoods that want to speed up a route and reduce service costs.

    Are all bus agencies like this?

    1. Really, it depends on what is better for the rider. The average rider wants a quick/easy to use system. This usually means one-seat rides. Which is apprantly the way that Metro has setup their system over the past 30 years. Now, logically you always want to feed the higher capasity system because usually it’s a faster/easier/more direct alternative.

      Central LINK is an intresting case study in my opinion, since its not as direct as lines in other cities, since it does curve towards MLK than back again, and its not as fast as the freeway during the off peak times. This fact, combined with the lack of suitable bus transfer and layover accomodations at nearly all the stations hinders its ability to serve as that higher capasity system. On many systems you will see key stations equipped with enough bus zone capasity either on or off street to accomodate several routes and layover space at the station proper, This just is not the case with Central LINK. The one station that does have a direct bus facility is hardly suitable for the task of being a major transfer point because it has very limited layover space away from the curb. For making transfers on street theres a lot to consider including overall condition of the stops (accessible, lighting, crosswalks, pavement, etc), Traffic on the street (For sure your not going to park a bus in the middle of a 40mph road while waiting for time and boarding/alighting), Available layover space and turnarounds, Amenities for both operators and passengers, Security, etc. Lots to consider there as well. Nothing can be perfect, however it seems in the end there were many things either overlooked or overly comprimised on.

      1. A quick/easy to use system does not mean one-seat rides, unless you expect that people will only ever make a short collection of trips.

        For travelling around a whole city, including to places that you’ve never been before but vaguely know where they are, a grid system is much easier to understand and remember than a collection of dozens of routes which are only useful to commuters.

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