I think it’s unfortunate that a big picture argument about reorganizing Rainier Valley routes bogged down as to whether or not the 9 could replace the 7 for trips along Rainier. That’s my fault for not explicitly stating that I was open to adding stops to the 9, although it’s also clear that some people didn’t read carefully enough, because in my plan everyone has a one seat ride to downtown and a one seat ride to anywhere on Rainier, each with 15 minute frequency. There were lots of complaints about “forced transfers” that could be answered with a quick glance at the provided map. Such are the occupational hazards of writing on the internet.
What’s more, there’s a lot of misperception about how often the 9 stops. After checking onebusaway, by my count the southbound 7 stops 29 times between Jackson and Henderson, while the 9 stops 18 times. Thus, the average stop distance is only 50% higher, and 7 stops tend to the close side. However, 9 stops are much more frequent south of Othello, so I think it’s appropriate to add at least a few further north. In my opinion, the 7 stops too often, so if I were dictator I probably wouldn’t replace them all.
All that said, stop frequency on the 9 is a relatively minor point and I would gladly turn every 7 stop into a 9 stop if that was the price of implementing the other changes. According to the Metro schedule, the difference is about 5 minutes. From a marketing perspective, it may very well be that “7 rerouted to Broadway” is a better headline than “7 replaced with 9 local”, although they amount to the same thing.