These routes are toast

The Community Transit Board is looking at revising service in February to serve the new Mountlake Terrace freeway ramp, instead of the transit center itself:

  • Mountlake Terrace commuter service to and from downtown Seattle would serve the freeway station instead of going into the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center. Routes 413 and 415 would replace Routes 408 and 477 serving Mountlake Terrace riders.
  • Route 414 would remain on its current routing and operate two fewer trips.
  • A new Route 111 would provide peak hour, peak direction weekday service between Brier and the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center, replacing the local portion of Route 477.
  • Route 130 would serve 56th Avenue between 220th and 236th Street.

Basically, you have a route that originates at the transit center (408) eliminated in favor of buses coming down the freeway from further north (413,415), and one that starts in the vicinity and heads to Seattle (477) replaced with local service (111) to expresses on the Interstate. This kind of consolidation of routes into feeders for express service should be happening all over the region.

These seem like no-brainers, but if you have comments the meeting is, uh, yesterday.

30 Replies to “CT Service Change”

  1. So long as the buses coming down I-5 aren’t all ready full by the time they pull into the “Free”way Station!

    1. The 511 and 513 are both going to serve the freeway station (with improved peak headways, no less!) too, so there’ll be a lot of options at the freeway station for getting into Seattle. Capacity is something that both CT and ST are aware of and working to improve.

  2. This kind of consolidation of routes into feeders for express service should be happening all over the region.

    In theory that sounds great. Instead of spending money to run four buses downtown, you run 6 downtown and 2 feeders with some money left over. But when you realize that this adds at least 5 minutes to a rider’s commute each way, it’s not so great. If I lived in Brier, the walk across the garage and down the stairs would really piss me off almost as much as it would piss me off to live in Brier.

      1. The entire station, including the walkway is covered and has walls, so rain and wind shouldn’t be much of a problem. I live right by there and they are building the walkway enclosure right now.

    1. If you live in Brier and you’re demanding an express ride into Downtown Seattle with no transfers, you’re just as entitled as the SOV drivers who oppose tolling and HOV construction. Simple as that.

      1. Amen! This kind of “one seat ride” mentality has got to end if we’re going to create any kind of usable transit network. Create high-frequency, interconnected shorter routes that remove the massive time penalty for transferring and you’re on to something.

      2. Swift has 10-min headways, 201/202 has combined 15-min headways, and a number of other routes have 20-min headways. I agree it’s not even remotely good enough, but we should be focusing on the elimination of commuter routes in favor of ST Express. That would free up a significant number of service hours that can go into better local headways.

      3. Actually, with the exception of Sundays, the service CT provides is very good given the suburban densities and area served. Not only the routes previously mentioned, but 164th St also has a combined 15-minute frequency with Routes 115 and 116.

    2. On the other hand, the 111 should be running all day, while the 477 did not (I hope I got this right)

      So it may take a little longer once in a while, but you then get all day service, which makes it easier to commute, because you don’t have to worry about missing the last bus home.

  3. I like most of these changes, but I don’t really understand why they will leave the 414 on its current routing. It is bad enough that the 414 meanders through almost every P&R in South Snohomish County – I get it, that is the point of it, even though it doesn’t make me happy as a user of the northernmost of those P&Rs (McCollum). But the most annoying part of that trip was always the detour through Mountlake Terrace to get back on the freeway northbound. With the local route 130 serving 56th, does the 414 really serve enough passengers in that stretch that eliminating that 10 minute detour through MT isn’t worth it?

  4. The morning and afternoon peak-hour routes do not have to be mirror images of each other. If you want to avoid losing ridership, don’t cut morning commuter service. Cut afternoon commuter service first (based on demand). When people are trying to get to work, time is of the essence.

  5. Does this mean that new CT 111 WILL WAIT for last 413 and 415 on the way back from Seattle?

    1. Returning buses are not every reliable, if CT 111 won’t wait, there will be no one to ride CT 111. People will drive to Mountlake Terrace Transit Center instead. CT 111 will be waste of money.

    2. You hit the nail on why connecting bus routes to an HOV based freeway system are problematic. Schedule reliability. It works great in one way, but the afternoon is an entirely different matter.

      Route 111 is doomed to fail. Give it a year.

      1. It depends on if they hold the bus until the trunk bus arrives. If a majority of ridership on the route comes from transferring riders there is a chance this would occur.

      2. So I guess one would have to ask what is the trunkline service in this corridor? The CT service that runs during peak periods only, or Route 511 that provides all-day service?

      3. While I agree that holding buses for the connection would alleviate some of this concern, I don’t see something like that happening.

        Think about how difficult it’s been for local agencies to hold for Sounder trains. Do you honestly think they’ll hold for a bus to bus connection?

      4. Main trunkline service is 511 (with 15-minute headways most of the day, I believe) with CT 4xx and ST 513 as peak add-ons.

      5. 2Tall – I think Pierce Transit has it down with some of the routes that connect with Sounder. CT did an okay job – but they had frequency available on some corridors out of Edmonds(e.g. 115/116 via 196th St) and to Marysville with Routes 201 and 202 from Everett. Unfortunately, the recession caused a reduction in frequency from Edmonds along 196th St.

      6. Metro holds its evening shuttles for the through bus. (26/28, formerly 15/18) If it’s defined as a shuttle and doesn’t serve any destinations except residential areas, it would be silly not to.

  6. Kaleci,

    I agree that PT has done an excellent job in timing the trains. Remember, the timed transfers weren’t always there in the beginning.

    Frequency on the connecting routes, like the examples above, are also a potential solution.

    All I am saying is that when I-5 buses from Seattle are up 30 minutes late (on a bad traffic day, and it happens at least once a month), how well do you think those holds will work?

    1. Is it not possible to make a special arrangement for the last bus of the commute period? Build a “waiting hour” into the driver’s shift, and let him wait until the bus comes unless it’s more than an hour late.

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