STB wholeheartedly supports the proposed changes to Eastside bus service on multiple levels.
First we support the process that Metro has undertaken. It has done a good job of reaching out to riders, providing information in an easy to understand and accessible manner in addition to revising the proposal in response to feedback. Metro hasn’t been shy to propose changes that will lead to a much better, integrated transit system, and this is great to see.
Second we support this proposed changes because it leverages the investments made in the B Line. Metro is making significant investments, both capital and operating in the B Line and the last thing Metro should do is compete with its self. This certainly will mean elimination of one-seat rides for some riders, and that’s okay. They’ll complain but the needs of the greater community, and a more frequent and focused transit system, must be paramount. Over the next ten years ensuring network revisions are done with a systems level and focused approach will be important with Lines C,D and E and imperative with U Link and North Link. We see this proposal as a stepping stone, and getting it right is critical.
Third, we support the proposed changes because it emphasizes core routes, where the demand is and where transit service can be competitive. Historically Eastside routes have had a fairly “flat” structure. This proposal starts to move away from this, prioritizing the highest ridership routes above others. This includes the B Line (parts of route 230 and 253) and route 255 and 271. These are Metro’s four most used Eastside routes. This is where Metro needs to go system wide, and this proposal is a good move in the that direction.
We urge you to either submit a comment of support via e-mail at email@example.com or in person at tonight’s meeting at Mercer Island Community Center from 6pm to 8pm.