Metro via PubliCola

Erica C. Barnett unearths a very informative Metro report on how, using new service reduction policies, they would cut up to 600,000 annual service hours over the next few years.

However, this set of policies is not yet enacted into law. According to spokeswoman Rochelle Ogershok, the strategic plan is still in the Regional Transportation Committee, far from going before the full Council.

Nevertheless, the report is thought provoking. Ms. Ogershok was kind enough to forward this Excel spreadsheet, which goes into even more route-by-route detail. It’s a pretty painful document; in my own case, 2 of the 4 buses I use regularly would be eliminated*. To point out one other theme, a number of Southeast Seattle buses (7X, 39, 106) are truncated to become Link shuttles.

We’d best get this emergency transit funding bill signed, and the tax approved by the Council and/or voters.

* As well they should be; they’re unproductive routes.

256 Replies to “Details of Potential Metro Cuts”

  1. #1 and #2 should be done anyway but won’t as long as there’s money to burn. #4 and truncating buses to become Link shuttles are probably worth while too and again won’t happen unless forced by budget constraints.

    1. Aye. I’m wondering if we shouldn’t just let this down cycle run it’s course before adding service back WHERE IT IS NEEDED. As painful as these cuts might be, I think they are a necessary first step to building the transit system we all want.

      1. Nay. By the time the restructuring is done, a lot of people will have bought cars, and won’t look back.

        The priority 2 list has lots of wonderful ideas that should be enacted, regardless of financial constraints. But don’t drain the baby with the bathwater before refilling the tub with better water.

      2. Will they be enacted though? From what I have seen of Metro and/or the Council they are too scared of negative feedback to change the status quo more than superficially. This is exactly what down-cycles in an economy are for, trimming off the dead wood. So that when the up-cycle starts growth is focused in the most productive areas.

        As for going out and buying cars, didn’t someone post figures showing that the vast majority of Metro riders CAN’T drive for one reason or another? That’s what the status quo gets you, a bunch of people who take the bus b/c they are forced to. If we want to start attracting choice riders we NEED these kinds of changes… NOW.

      3. Okay, you’ve convinced me, from wherever you are posting across the country. I change my vote to Aye.

        Too aggressive bus service removal can easily be undone.

      4. I take you falling back to snide remarks to mean that you have nothing else to counter my statements.

      5. And since you are so concerned at the moment I’m visiting my family in Alabama. On Saturday we’ll fly out to Seattle for the second week of Pre-Deployment Leave.

  2. The RTC met in South Lake Union and some folks from Metro went through the report in a lot of detail (didn’t get names, sorry) which was helpful as it’s a bit hard to follow alone.

    One interesting thing they mentioned is that this isn’t just a tweaking of the system, it’s really rebuilding the system from scratch (though avoiding altering infrastructure like stop locations obviously).

  3. The XLS is not that big, I’m attempting to post it here with pre tags

    Priority 1
    Reduce low productivity services
    All-day corridors not on the network
    Route Period Change to service
    14 N OffPeak Delete
    22 Peak Delete
    22 OffPeak Delete
    38 Peak Delete
    38 OffPeak Delete
    42 Peak Delete
    42 OffPeak Delete
    51 OffPeak Delete
    53 Peak Delete
    81 Night Delete
    82 Night Delete
    84 Night Delete
    99 Peak Delete
    99 OffPeak Delete
    134 Peak Delete
    139 Night Delete
    200 Peak Delete
    200 OffPeak Delete
    203 Peak Delete
    203 OffPeak Delete
    912 OffPeak Delete
    913 Peak Delete
    913 OffPeak Delete
    919 OffPeak Delete
    927 Peak Delete
    927 OffPeak Delete

    Peak routes failing all or one criteria
    Route Period Change to service
    34 Peak Delete
    45 Peak Delete
    46 Peak Delete
    79 Peak Delete
    110 Peak Delete
    116 Peak Delete
    118 EX Peak Delete
    119 EX Peak Delete
    129 Peak Delete
    161 Peak Delete
    162 Peak Delete
    175 Peak Delete
    196 Peak Delete
    201 Peak Delete
    210 Peak Delete
    211 Peak Delete
    217 Peak Delete
    219 Peak Delete
    250 Peak Delete
    260 Peak Delete
    265 Peak Delete
    268 Peak Delete
    277 Peak Delete

    Overserved All-day corridors
    Route Period Change to service
    23 Night Reduce to hourly
    118 Night Delete
    119 Night Delete
    236 Peak Reduce to hourly
    236 Off Peak Reduce to hourly
    236 Night Reduce to hourly
    238 Off Peak Reduce to hourly
    238 Night Reduce to hourly
    251 Peak Reduce to hourly
    935 Peak Reduce to hourly

    Appropriately service level All-day corridors
    Route Period Change to service
    118 Off Peak Reduce frequency
    119 Off Peak Reduce frequency
    150 Off Peak Reduce Saturday to 30-min frequency
    209 Peak Reduce to 2-hourly
    209 Off Peak Reduce to 2-hourly
    251 Off Peak Reduce to 2-hourly
    269 Peak Eliminate reverse peak direction
    930 Peak Reduce to hourly
    935 Off Peak Reduce to 2-hourly

    Priority 2
    Restructure corridors
    Queen Anne
    Route Change to service
    1 Reduce frequency, change interline
    2N Delete Route
    2N EX Begin at Nickerson/15th W
    3N Extend all trips to SPU, increase frequency
    4N Delete Route
    13 Increase frequency

    Ballard/Fremont/Magnolia
    Route Change to service
    5 Eliminate Northgate variant, operate via Fremont/Dexter
    5 EX Add trips, begin in Blue Ridge
    15 Delete Route
    15 EX Delete Route
    17 Revise to operate via Leary Way/Fremont
    17 EX Add trips
    18 Delete Route
    18 EX Add trips, extend span of peak trips
    24 Revise to operate to Ballard and “Arts”. Revise route in Magnolia
    26 Delete Route (see U. District below as well)
    26 EX Add trips
    28 Delete Route
    28 EX Add trips
    30 Delete Route between Seattle Center and U. District
    31 Add “turnback” trips between SPU and UW, extend span.
    32 New peak route serving 28th Ave W in Magnolia
    33 Reduce to Peak Only
    48 Extend to downtown Ballard via 24th Ave NW.
    62 Replace Route 75 between Lake City and Ballard
    D New Rapid Ride D Line

    Central Seattle
    Route Change to service
    2S Revise to use Madison Street, live-loop Seattle CBD
    3S No change
    3S TB Convert 4 South trips to 3 South TB trips
    4S Delete Route
    10 Revise to use Madison Street, live-loop Seattle CBD, reduce frequency
    11 Improve frequency at all times.
    12 reduce frequency, live-loop Seattle CBD
    14N Delete Route
    14S Eliminate service past Mt Baker TC, live-loop in ID during off-peaks
    27 Convert to peak-only
    43 Delete

    U. District/NE Seattle
    Route Change to service
    25 Delete
    30 Operate between Sand Point and U. District only.
    41 Operate between Northgate and Seattle CBD
    66 Delete Route
    67 Delete Route
    68 Delete Route
    70 Operate full-time and through-route with Route 36
    71 Operate as shuttle to U. District via Thackeray/Latona
    72 Delete Route
    73 Delete Route
    75 Operate between Northgate and U. District
    80 New route between Northgate, U. District and Seattle CBD
    83 Delete Route
    372 TB Add evening/midday/Weekend service to make up for loss of Route 72
    373 Operate all-day on weekdays to make up for loss of Route 73

    West Seattle
    Route Change to service
    21 Eliminate service to Arbor Heights and end at Westwood Village
    21 EX Add trips.
    35 Delete Route
    54 Delete Route
    54 EX/116 Retain some peak service between Fauntleroy and Seattle CBD
    55 Delete Route
    56 Add peak local service.
    57 Delete Route
    85 Delete Route
    125 Eliminate service to Shorewood and end at Westwood Village
    128 Extend route to Rt 55 terminal, improve frequency and add span of service.
    C Replace Route 54

    Rainier Valley/Duwamish/Burien
    Route Change to service
    7 Eliminate service to Prentice Street.
    7 EX Operate as shuttle to Othello Station.
    23 Delete Route, replace by Route 131
    39 Operate as shuttle between Othello Station and Columbia City
    106 Operate as shuttle between Renton and Othello Station
    121 Cut some trips due to Route 123 being shifted to SR-509
    123 Revise to operate on SR-509.
    124 Revise to serve Georgetown and use Airport Way
    131/166 Operate as new Route between Burien and Kent via Des Moines
    131TB Revise to use Route 23 path between White Center and Seattle CBD. Improve day frequency to 30-mins
    132TB Shorten route to only operate between Burien and Seattle CBD. Improve day frequency to 30-mins
    156 Extend route to Des Moines, reduce frequency to hourly

    Renton Highlands
    Route Change to service
    105 No change
    908 Delete Route
    909 No change
    Kent/Kent East Hill/Star Lake
    Route Change to service
    152 Delete Route
    158 Delete Route
    159 Delete Route
    164 Improve peak to 30-minutes (assumes the loss of grant funding)
    165 New route serving 132nd Ave SE and SE 240th St
    168 Improve peak to 30-minutes (assumes the loss of grant funding)
    192 Add trips to make up for loss of Routes 158, 159 and 162

    Federal Way
    Route Change to service
    177 Revise to serve Federal Way TC
    179 Delete Route
    181 No change
    187 Revise to serve SW 312th St
    197 Begin/end at Federal Way TC
    901 Delete Route
    903 No change

    Bellevue-Eastgate-Issaquah
    Route Change to service
    222 Extend to Issaquah to replace Route 271
    234 Extend to Eastgate via BC and replace Route 271
    235 (230W) Extend to Eastgate via BC and replace Route 271
    243 Delete Route
    271 Operate between Bellevue and the U. District

    Kirkland/Totem Lake
    Route Change to service
    236 Operate between Woodinville and Totem Lake only, reduce to hourly off-peaks
    237 Delete route
    238 Operate between UWB/CCC and Totem Lake only, reduce to hourly off-peaks
    239 New route connecting Totem Lake and Overlake
    252 Delete
    255 Shorten to Totem Lake TC
    257 Delete
    311 Add service to account for loss of 252 and 257
    342 Shorten route to operate only between Kenmore and Bellevue
    930 No change
    935 No change

    Mercer Island
    Route Change to service
    202 Delete Route
    204 Add peak service, reduce off peak to hourly.
    205 Delete Route
    213 Delete and revise Route 203 to serve Covenant Shores

    Newcastle
    Route Change to service
    114 Revise to serve S. Bellevue P&R (transfer to Route 550) and end/begin in Bellevue CBD
    925 Delete Route

    Auburn
    Route Change to service
    910 Delete Route
    917 Extend to serve North Auburn (replacing Route 910). Operate every 90 minutes

      1. Yes, eliminating night owls would force a few graveyard-shift workers to buy cars or move next to their place of employment. But the current night-owl routes could really stand to be redrawn from scratch.

        If I leave my neighborhood, I’ll depend on 124 night-owl service to get to work (assuming there is a bridge to get between the 124 and South Park).

      2. Yeah, I totally agree. I think the night owls provide a vital service to the community. I think having some sort of skeleton service at all times should take precedence over productivity in almost all scenarios. Although from a pure numbers perspective the night owls are not productive I think metro has a responsibly to have some sort of service at all times, even if it means reducing frequency on more productive routes.

      3. Not to mention that people complain about not being able to get to Sea-Tac early in the morning and now you are taking away the routes that connect to the first Link run of the day to get to the airport.

      4. Whilst I lament the passing of the existing night owl service, the one owl route they’re proposing to add (Northgate U-District Downtown) will probably have more riders than the rest of them put together, and will look a lot less like a child’s doodling on a street map. I would much rather see owl service on the proposed route 80, RR corridors C, D and E and a handful of other trunk routes (7, 48, 124) at some point in the future, and I’d be willing to sacrifice the current mess if it helps us get there.

      5. So if they replace or restructure the current night owl structure that’s fine. But RR C, D and E won’t all be in place for years. You can’t just cancel those people’s service with a vauge promise that at some point in the future they will return service.

        Now, if on the other hand they made the night owl routes today what the RR routes will be once they’re done, that’s perfectly fine, arguably, a better use of resources than the current design. Frankly, I’m not sure why they just don’t create all of the RR routes tomorrow (minus the headway and capital improvements), and then ramp up the services increases and new stops/stations as they come available.

      6. I’m not sure the 80 is intended to be an owl route. On the other hand, I wonder if Metro may press some during-the-day routes into owl service. I’d like one of the people involved to comment more on this.

      7. Yup, my bad, the 80 is not an owl route. It’s going to be the Downtown-U District-Northgate express trunk line. Very fast and frequent.

      8. Frankly, I’m not sure why they just don’t create all of the RR routes tomorrow (minus the headway and capital improvements), and then ramp up the services increases and new stops/stations as they come available.

        All of the Seattle RR routes already exist. C is called 54, D is called 15, E is called 358, and F is called 140.

        It’s in Metro’s interest to reserve the RapidRide branding until the service improvements come online. Otherwise, RapidRide means nothing.

    1. Thanks [josh].

      I see some good ideas in there from the routes I know well (1, 2, 3, 4, 13, 15, 17 – at least the north and central parts of those routes).

      Pump up the 2X for express and 13 for local and kill the 2, plus connect the 2X to the bus stop on 15th and Nickerson – that should both be much more useful and cheaper (for example, few people really need the 2 if they have the 2X and the 13).

      Combine the 3 and 4 – fine. It’ll make people on the hill walk farther, but still not that far. Plus people served by 4 and not 3 can generally walk to a 13 or even 2/2X.

      1. Yeah, I see a similar pattern in SLU, moving 5 to Dexter, deleting 26/28 local on Dexter, adding trips on 26X/28X. Same for 17/30.

        5 Eliminate Northgate variant, operate via Fremont/Dexter

        26 Delete Route (see U. District below as well)
        26 EX Add trips
        28 Delete Route
        28 EX Add trips

      2. The only bummer with Queen Anne service is reducing the freqency of the 1. It’s a good 15 minute walk uphill from parts of Olympic place to Queen Anne Dr, and your only other alternative is to walk all the way to 15th Ave W.

      3. I’d rather see more trips on the 13 than extending the 3. Otherwise you have two ways to get from SPU to downtown, with the 13 serving more destinations and probably being faster, so that there will probably be 5 & 10 minute or 5 & 25 minute headways rather than every 15 or 30 minutes.

      4. I think there needs to be a distinction between ridership from downtown to Lower Queen Anne and ridership to Upper QA. Ridership numbers for the 1 are very good, but outside of peak hours, that ridership is going only to LQA–not to Kinnear. Also, the 1 thru routes to the 36 and has at least 3 frequencies per hour. The Counterbalance routes (2 & 13) only have 2 trips each per hour, so their ridership numbers look lower than the 1’s, but in reality there are more people who want to go up the Counterbalance than people who want to go to Kinnear Park.

        Once Rapid Ride is available for downtown to LQA riders, service up the Counterbalance should be a higher priority than trips to Kinnear.

    2. My favorite so far: “48 Extend to downtown Ballard via 24th Ave NW.” Just sounds funny to extend the 48.

      1. The 48 would be extended in order to eliminate the (non-express) 18.

        Unfortunately, there would be lots of service, poorly interlined, between 85th and Market on 24th (since the 62, replacing the 75, would presumable also serve the same route from Crown Hill to downtown Ballard that the extended 48 would), and the need to extend that service down Leary Ave to reach the Line D appears to be getting overlooked.

        There is also the matter of the Blue Ridge loop on the 18 that would get cut off. I think that loop would be a better extension of the 48, as a short-cut for the families in that neighborhood wanting a shorter path to Ballard High.

        I’m all for eliminating the (non-express) 18, but that 48 extension needs more time on the drawing board.
        .
        .
        BTW, I also support renumbering the portion of the 75 from Lake City to Ballard as the 62, since some of the 75’s on the other portion become the 330 to Shoreline. The renumbering will help pre-empt confusion among riders taking the 75 north.

      2. They’re reusing the route 62 number, which from a 1999 Metro map I have, ran from Northgate along the 75’s path to Ballard, then on to Magnolia.

      3. The old 62 would become the 68 when it reached NTC. So the 68 has always been connected to a bus that went to Magnolia, it’s just that those routes took completely different ways to get there.

      4. I agree, that’s ridiculous to fix the mess that is the 75, but then extend the 48 so it is even more of a mess. Why not have it then go east on Market to Wallingford? Then it would be a huge spiral.

    3. Is there a reason you didn’t include the Priority 3 reductions? And, as a related question, what does priority mean? Are all these cuts planned, or will they happen according to priority and the lower-priority cuts won’t necessarily happen if revenues recover at some point?

      I notice that among the Pri 3 cuts is the termination of the 312 at Kenmore to match the 306. This would mean that only the ST 522 would serve Bothell to downtown Seattle. As a Bothell-Seattle commuter I don’t actually mind this.

      1. I believe they are saying that everything on that spreadsheet will happen if they need to do the full 600,000 hours of cuts (assuming the Council adopts these criteria). If we pass the $20 car tab fee and they only need to cut half of that (or whatever it ends up being), they will go in order of these priorities. I would imagine a lot of the restructuring will happen anyway as Link and RapidRide come online.

  4. I’m really surprised how the sub areas came out under the new service cut policies.
    Instead of the West Sub taking a 62% hit under the old system, they take a 55% hit. That’s not as big a change in policy as I expected to see.
    So the choice is to lose 20% of all service if the council or taxpayers can’t muster a 2/3 vote for new taxes (most likely scenario IMHO), or a 12% reduction in service if they can.
    Since 2008 total transit taxes in the region have increased from about 1 to 1.5 Bil per year, as we contemplate how best to cannibalize our bus systems.
    WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

    1. We’re investing more in transit capital projects, Mike, especially after passing ST2.

      1. Yes, it’s all about trades.
        $10,000 per inch of tunnel buys a lot of bus trips.
        I guess the voters have decided that one.

  5. As a frequent 132 rider, I’d like to suggest a restructuring change to save more hours: Just send the route to TIBS.

    Perhaps keep the route going down Des Moines Memorial Highway longer to cover most of the turf (but not path) previously covered by the 132 north of Burien.

    For South Parkers, TIBS is a bigger destination than Burien, but we have no direct line there, and three direct lines to Burien.

    Also, unless the Line C has a stop in White Center, the new-and-improved 131 would not connect with the Line C. Nor would the 60. There may be other examples, but I’m not going to list them all.

    The Line C largely replaces the 54, but is not currently designed to serve the high-transfer-volume stop at White Center.

  6. For the 124, I do have to question the logic of sending it up Airport Way, along the east edge of the SODO, instead of on 4th Ave, down the middle of the SODO. If the route is on 4th Ave, its walkshed covers most of the SODO.

    Georgetown doesn’t need a bus route to go *through* the neighborhood. The entire neighborhood is within the walkshed of the 124 already. Plus, the 60 will continue to go through Georgetown, and on up 15th Ave S.

    Perhaps Airport Way could get a 2-way peak-hour route? e.g. keeping the current 106 as a peak-hour route?

    1. I think Metro is trying to leverage the excess capacity and high speed of Airport Way. That’s undoubtedly why it moved the 106 from I-5.

      Although I agree that local service in the industrial district should be centered on 4th.

      1. More service on 4th would be nice, for sure. But on a map, the busway isn’t far from 4th, and there’s a lot of service on the busway. Of course, it’s service no one in Sodo knows about or can see.

    2. Not providing Georgetown a regular peak/off-peak bus route that passes through the main commercial district along Airport Way between Lucille and 13th (parts of which are about a 3/4 mile, intimidating walk from 4th Ave) would be doing that neighborhood a serious disservice.

      1. Forcing a bus route to go down Carleston Ave, around those traffic circles, is a serious disservice to Metro, taxpayers who have to foot the bill for the tire and rim changes, and riders who have to put up with the crawl down Carleston.

        But I’m sure the owner of the Carleston Ave Grocery Store will do his darndest to make sure the buses continue to suffer that damage in order to stop in front of his overpriced establishment.

        And there are lots of riders and businesses that will suffer greatly from not having an all-day bus route on 4th Ave S.

        I’ve spent a decent chunk of my life on buses going out of their way through Georgetown. !Ya basta!

      2. Agreed. Cutting the number of peak buses to Georgetown from 9/hour (106-4 131-1 134-1 60-3) to 5 (124-2 60-3) hardly seems equitable for such a close-in neighborhood. The current 124 is really only an option for the residential area south of Michigan St.

      3. I doubt the plan to truncate the 106 and turn it into a milk run between Rainier Beach High and Othello Station will survive the political upheaval from ending bus service on south Beacon Ave.

        The 131/134 need to be euthanized. I really like the plan to give riders on the Burien portion of the 131 a more direct path to downtown. (And if it doesn’t connect with the Line C, then don’t bother with the jog to White Center, since its connection to the increased-frequency 128 will take care of access to most of West Seattle.)

        Moreover, the Link+60 connection provides awesome all-day service to Georgetown — which would be even more awesome if it didn’t have to take 10 minutes looping through the VA parking lot.

        I like the 106 as it is now because it gives Georgetowners and some SODO workers a path to southbound Link, and some service to Airport Way.

        The one thing I would beg of Georgetown, regardless of which routes end up going through the saloon district: Please get the buses off of the traffic-circle streets!

  7. Good riddance to the 38, 42, and 14S stub. Can Metro just make that happen? Is the city subsidizing those route, and if so, could the city yank its funding?

  8. “255 Shorten to Totem Lake TC”

    I live north of Totem Lake and losing the 255 will hurt. If I could move I would (even under the status quo) but it’s not just me. I saw it coming when they proposed that a few years ago. Oh well, there’s still the hourly 236, 238 and 535 (until they cut them).

    “271 Operate between Bellevue and the U. District”

    So it’s now like the UW’s version of the 550 and focusing Eastside routes on Eastside destinations.

    71 turned into a shuttle to replace part of the 26. 72 & 73 deleted. Dismantling the 70 series UW-Downtown routes is a big restructure. To be replaced by a route 80 between Northgate-UW-Downtown. I wonder what such a route would look like, like 66/67 Northgate-Roosevelt + 71/72/73 Roosevelt-Downtown? It’ll probably improve reliability and build ridership for North Link.

    1. I’m assuming the 71/72/73 eliminations are planned for 2016, and that many of the priority 2 restructurings are planned around new RapidRide lines and Link stations.

      It sounds like Metro listened to our howls about continuing to run duplicative service between downtown and the U-District.

    2. Does this mean there’ll be no bus on NE 65th Street? So the 30 (55th) will be the only route? Or will they split the 71?

      1. “71 Operate as shuttle to U. District via Thackeray/Latona”.

        I imagine this means the route will be: current tail of 71 + 65th + Latona + Thackeray/Latona + 40th?

        A lot of these restructurings are far from what transit nerds were hoping…

  9. I read the PDF report last week and it looked pretty good… now I see the details and it looks even better. I’d vote to execute the priority 1 and 2 changes tomorrow if I could. In particular, fixing the maze on the top of Queen Anne hill (p13) will vastly improve the utility and comprehensibility of service there.

    I’d also like to draw attention to p25, the priorities for adding service. If we did the reductions I mention and then added the service on that page, we’d be much, much closer to the performance-oriented bus network we want. According to Erica, Metro is drawing up a 350,000 hour cut that with any luck will be something like that.

    The only two things I’m disappointed with: no mention of axing the 19th Ave section of the 12! This has to be the most painless cut imaginable.

    1. Oh, and the other thing: no mention of adding a turnback route of the 2S at MLK or truncating the 3 at Cherry & 34th. Those long tails aren’t terribly productive and aren’t on the UVTN.

      1. Are you talking about eliminating the tail on the 2S altogether or just have less frequent service on it? Even if you were just making the service less frequent, I suspect you’d need to keep the full-time service out to at least 34th to get the Madrona retail core (what there is of it).

        The 2S is a pretty popular route and I suspect any attempts to change it (e.g. routing it on Madison) will be met with pitchforks and torches…

      2. I doubt the Madison routing will cause consternation, at least compared to all the other stuff in this proposal. It’s only two blocks off from Seneca. I don’t even know why it exists.

        I was suggesting making it a turnback routing for half service. That tail needs some service, but not every 15 mins all day.

      3. There is a 2 turnback at 34th/Union. Not sure how the roads are at 34th/Cherry to turn a bus around.

      4. I remain in shaking-my-head mode that the 101 won’t be truncated at RBS on weekends in order to restore span of service.

    2. Bruce, I very nearly concur with your sentiment about lobbying the council to enact all those priority 1 and 2 service changes, right now. However, a lot of them are designed around RapidRide introduction and Link station openings, if I am reading properly between the lines.

      That new route 80, I presume, would be a new *night-owl* route between downtown and Northgate, via the U, not a replacement of the 71/72/73 superline.

      1. There’s a lot of things on here that can’t be implemented right now, the through routing of the 70 and 36 being just one. The deletion of the 43 is another.

      2. No, the route 80 would have to replace the 71/72/73 since the spreadsheet says those routes would be deleted! The route 80 would then be eliminated once Link opens to Northgate.

      3. This document NOT suggesting elimination of the 71/2/3 express which is what you’re taking about. I think we’re assuming Metro is following its current convention of having 8x busses be night owls.

      4. Since the tradition is that 80-series routes are night-owl only, that’s why I presume the 80 would be a night-owl route.

        If it is intended to replace the U-District daytime supertrunk, then it should have a different number.

        But I do hope the 80 still exists after North Link opens, so that transit service between the stations can continue during the hours Link is shut down for maintenance.

      5. Cuts are going to happen within the next 3 years if Metro doesn’t get emergency funding. They can’t afford to wait for U-Link.

        I’m still not sure what Metro’s thinking here. It’s very confusing to have routes of the same number go different places, unless Metro changing the routings of replacement routes as well.

        71 Local: Wedgwood-U District via Latona, 71 Express: Wedgwood-Downtown via 15th NE
        72 Local: Deleted, replaced by 372 UW Campus-Lake City via 25th NE, 72 Express Downtown-Lake City via 15th NE
        73 Local: Deleted, replaced by 373 UW Campus-Aurora Village, 73 Express: 145th St-Downtown via 15th Ave

      6. Ok, I get it now. Seems really weird though, as Oran points out. They should wait until 2016, then eliminate the expresses, have a new route (like the 80) express between Downtown-UW-Northgate, and have 71, 72, and 73 local be feeder routes. That would be way less confusing than this hodgepodge of routes they are proposing.

      7. That’s great! I guess since they want to eliminate night owls anyway, they feel free to use the 80-series for something else. Thanks for clearing this up.

    3. The Queen Anne changes seem strange:

      Why would the 3N need to extend to SPU? The loss of the 17 on Nickerson is already covered by the proposed service increase on the 13. When other parts of QA (the current 2N/3N/4N tails) are getting cut, I’m confused as to why SPU would get a service increase.

      The 4N tail is obviously inefficient because of the circular routing, but the 2N/3N tails are direct.

      Adding offpeak service to get headways under 15 minutes on Taylor (page 25) is really odd – whenever I ride the 3N/4N offpeak, I’m usually one of a handful of riders going beyond Seattle Center. Service is already pretty good with the 15 minute headways.

      1. Whoops, replied in the wrong place:

        As I wrote elsewhere in this thread, ‘the cumulative obstacles of traffic on top of the hill, counterbalance speed limits, and wildly unpredictable ridership levels (including plenty of drunks, fare arguers, wheelchairs) between LQA and Belltown make the 13 a nightmare.’

        My bet is that an extended route 3, from SPU, skirting the Queen Anne Ave business district, then descending the east side of the hill and skipping half of the Belltown slog, will save 10 minutes over the current 13. All while providing more connectivity than the 17. It’s actually a fantastic idea!

  10. It’s kind of funny how the 342 is an extremely resilient route in the face of both cutbacks and holiday ‘H’ service reductions.

    1. It is surprisingly productive for an Eastside route. Not sure where the ridership comes from as most trips I rode when I lived in the area were just a handful of people at any given time. Lots of short on-off trips which might account for the decent productivity stats.

  11. re: “2S Revise to use Madison Street, live-loop Seattle CBD”
    Does this mean 3rd Ave to Madison to Union? If so, that will improve things by avoiding the freeway traffic mess on Spring St and the 11th/Madison/Union zigzag.

    1. Yes. People at Metro have wanted to axe the Seneca/Spring routing of the 2 for ages.

      1. Isn’t Madison one way (downhill) west of I-5? Would the 2 go up Marion out of downtown and then cut north over to Madison(basically the same as the 12 does now)?

        I agree that the freeway traffic on Spring coming out of downtown and the bowtie at 11th/Madsion/Union is a mess, but there seems to be a lot of folks getting on/off on Seneca around First Hill.

      2. They can walk two block south or take paratransit. The 2 is actually Seneca/Spring and the 12 is Madison/Marion so both are just shifted by two blocks.

      3. I keep seeing suggestions that more trips could be converted to paratransit. Do people realize how expensive each paratransit trip is?

      4. What percentage of riders can’t walk two blocks south on First Hill? It’s probably not zero but I doubt it’s enough to make a difference.

      5. Paratransit is a sticky issue. By law you are required to have it serve 3/4 of a mile from a fixed route. Also, you cannot have any dougnut holes where an area is bounded by paratransit but theres nothing in the middle. So most of seattle would fall into the doughnut hole clause. My understanding is the rough cost for paratransit is about that of fixed route, so if you put an hour of fixed route out, than you are putting an equivlant hour of paratransit out. So say if you had 600,000 hours of service total to put out, you’d only get about 300,000 of that for fixed route – the rest would go to paratransit. Now, thats real simplified of course, if you already have paratransit service in the area your amount of trips probally wont change too much, and you can put more towards fixed route vs. paratransit but its a lot of math i dont want to think about.

      6. Paratransit is also not equivalent in frequency or convenience to conventional transit. It doesn’t even make the “separate but equal” bar. Paratransit must be scheduled in advance and is segregated transportation.

      7. Paratransit is more equal than fixed-route, if you think about it.

        Fixed-route is scheduled up to four months in advance. Paratransit can be scheduled as little as a day in advance.

        Paratransit provides curb-to-curb service, or at least very close to it. Fixed route might not even get you there with a two-seat ride.

        To say paratransit is “segregated” really diminishes the term. Under segregation, a group of people is told they cannot have access to a public space or service the rest of the public has. Many paratransit riders do actually ride some fixed-route service, depending on their abilities, and take paratransit where they cannot. To the extent paratransit riders don’t ride fixed routes, it isn’t because they are barred from the routes, but because they have a mental or physical bodily impediment to being able to do so safely, which is why paratransit is offered as an alternative.

        Moreover, Metro provides paratransit service 24/7/365 throughout most of its service area, even though it doesn’t legally have to. Vashon may be an exception.

        I suppose I should point out that the provision of night-owl fixed-route service means Metro has to spend money keeping a paratransit bus base open and keep a staff up to support the drivers. At least in theory, this is part of the marginal cost of night-owl service, even though I suspect the county council would do the right thing and keep paratransit service going 24/7 even if fixed-route service does not.

  12. One of the interesting stats from that Publicola pdf is how late the 81 and 83 are running. I ride the 85 once a week and have a hard time finding where the bus would ever run late. What is happening in the North end of Seattle causing these routes to fall behind? (I realize it doesn’t take too many trips running behind to raise the percentage when you only have 14 runs/week per route.)

    1. If you look at the schedule, some of the 8x routes are daisy chained. So there’s a ~2AM #7 run that becomes a #49 which becomes an #84 and then an #83 or something like that. I could imagine any delay would propagate in a routing like that.

      1. I guess I can only go by my route so there may be aspects to the other routes I don’t know about. I know that the schedule for the 85 is padded very heavily. It gets to White Center on average about 7 minutes early each Saturday morning. So even if the trip that I take (which is the one that started as an 81 earlier) is delayed leaving Downtown, there is ample opportunity to make that time up. My short-sightedness is what is making it hard for me to believe that any Night Owl bus would be late 20% of the time.

    1. I think the point is that it’s lower on the list than #1 and #2. Why you’d cut productive routes: because you don’t have the money to run them. Why they probably put #4 after #3 is that they’re saying they want to keep underserved routes going at all costs. Though I’m curious what makes a route “underserved”.

      1. “Underserved”, I believe, refers to the demographics of the neighborhoods served by the routes.

        As recently posted about, we can’t really get out from under sub-class equity and sub-ethnicity equity the way the county council could simply vote to ditch sub-area equity (and the pernicious sub-sub-area equity defined by council districts).

      2. It refers to a combination of land use patterns (residential/job density and other things like hospitals and community centers), social equity (low income, minority and a couple of factors) and how geographically important it is (providing some coverage of all urban areas).

    2. It’s “higher” not “high”, and it’s purely to save money.

      How I read it is that the reductions under “3” are an important step to do before “4) Reduce low‐productivity services in all areas identified as underserved”. The reasons for this are are Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and geographic equity:

      The policy guidance for making service reduction and service growth decisions should be based on the following priorities:
      1) Emphasize productivity due to its linkage to economic development, land use, financial sustainability, and environmental sustainability
      2) Ensure social equity
      3) Provide geographic value throughout the county.

      https://seattletransitblog.com/2010/11/05/rttf-final-recommendations/

  13. Last remnant of the George Benson waterfront streetcar is eliminated – route 99 gone. Of course the low ridership of route 99 buses proved that streetcars, which charged fares, attract more riders than a free bus on the same route.

    1. Hmmm…

      The cars get 1st Ave.

      Does that mean the buses get 3rd, and perhaps 2nd and 4th, all to themselves?

      1. I just don’t see the utility of a streetcar downtown that doesn’t continue on a high-capacity route outside of downtown. All it does is reduce the space for the through-routed buses on the limited downtown streets, with less likelihood of transit-only lanes if there are fewer remaining lanes for private SOVs.

      2. The 1st Avenue streetcar would connect to the First Hill line to the south and the SLU line to the north. No one is seriously considering this as a stand-alone line anymore. Most of the outcry previously came from Belltown, so the new idea is for the 1st Ave streetcar to turn onto Stewart, then Westlake and continue as the SLU streetcar. All one line.

      3. What!? Half the point of the Central Line was to serve Downtown-Belltown-Lower Queen Anne. That’s a massive ridership corridor, much bigger than anything through SLU. Belltown is going to be the densest part of the city and the best transit it will have is trolleys! WTF?

      4. Hey, I totally agree with you, but Belltown threw a fit when it was suggested they might lose parking to a streetcar. That combined with a desire to connect the 2 streetcar lines spells doom for the Belltown-Uptown segment. It could happen someday if Belltown as a neighborhood can get its act together. I do think someday in the far future we will have a Downtown-Belltown-Uptown subway (then going through interbay to Ballard to replace RapidRide), but it would be nice to have some rail there in the meantime.

      5. So in affect, the Seattle Streetcar would run from the SLU area at Eastlake/Aloha to downtown, Pioneer Square, the ID, First Hill and Capitol Hill ending at 10 Ave/Aloha. Too bad they can’t run it down Belmont and connect it there but that would be impossible with the steep grade and all. At least connect both ends at the UW.

      6. Really, this is a case like with people complaining about trolley wire in the Madison Valley: the city should just build it and tell them to shut up. Once Belltown gets some high quality transit, they’ll wonder how they did without.

      7. It boggles my mind when my neighbors complain about losing parking. You can’t walk a block down 1st without seeing a DMR/C 125/65 lot being used for off-street parking. Plus the city just reduced the street parking cost because the study determined it was underused.

        The city expects Belltown to absorb 9,000-12,000 new residents over the next couple decades, so I think it needs high-capacity transit. And a supermarket, dammit. Ralph’s just doesn’t cut it.

      8. [Matt L] Fight harder for the streetcar to connect to Queen Anne and you’ll have access to 2 to 5 (depending on if the streetcar climbs the Counterbalance*) grocery stores.

        * not really that tough – they did it 100 years ago. Plus it’s in QA’s community plan to someday get a streetcar on that hill.

      9. Send messages to SDOT telling them to take up the fight again and not let NIMBYs that might be a vocal minority dissuade them from taking underused parking. And try to rally support within the neighborhood as well.

      10. Forget about the counterbalance. No manufacturer is making cable cars (as far as I know) and the cost would be tremendous. Better to build a gondola at that point.

      11. I’d like to point out that a Tacoma Link style streetcar (center running, semi-exclusive ROW, signal priority) to 1st & Mercer with a transfer to a gondola up the counterbalance would be an unbearably awesome way to get to the top of Queen Anne from downtown, including transferring from the ferry terminal or Link at IDS. We could then drop the frequency on the 13 down to the 1’s levels and tie them together to run as a neighborhood circulator.

      12. [Mike O] and [zef] The Counterbalance was a streetcar with effectively a metal loop on the front and back to insert a hook. Underground there was (and still is!) a track with a weight on wheels (the counterbalance). At the top of the line a car would hook up to a cable on a pulley, and pull the weight up the hill as it went down. The next car would hook up to the cable at the bottom of the hill and ride up. I know that hook and loop technology has become unaffordably expensive, but let’s not let that stop us.

  14. Are there more precise definitions of “peak”, “off peak” and “night”? Since my route (119) features “delete” or “reduce” in all three, I’m keenly interested in details here.

    The 118/119 are inefficient as they stand. They work reasonably well if you commute off-island (Vashon) in the morning and return in the evening at “normal” commute times. Outside of that, they are minimally useful for on-island users, despite being “all day”. The mid-day service either needs to be restructured to be actually useful (like, you can actually make a round trip journey in under, say, 4 hours), or just admit service is only viable for off-island 9-5 commuters only and ditch everything outside of that. I’d love to see the former, but I understand the latter. Alas, I don’t get a sense from the report that the changes will progress either position, but rather make an inefficient all-day service even less useful and diminish the peak services as well.

    But as I said, the details are vague.

    1. Peak: 6 AM-10AM, 3PM-7PM weekdays except “Sunday service” holidays.
      Night: After 7PM
      Off-peak: Everything else.

    2. Eliminating 118/119 night service would likely cut back the hours that paratransit operates on Vashon. Indeed, that paratransit savings may be a major impetus for that fixed-route service elimination.

      So, if you were King of Vashon, how would you design the Vashon bus routes?

      1. It didn’t occur to me that paratransit would be linked. Hmm. That would be a real hardship for some. Thanks for the heads up to that possibility.

        I’m not enough of a transit nerd to have solid suggestion of Vashon transit, but it is clear that the service has to meet some minimum service level before it becomes a viable option for many people. I find the service for weekday commutes off island quite satisfactory. But for sub-day round trip, there are dramatic shortcomings. I live in one of the largest, densest developments, yet in the morning the only service is northbound. In the afternoon, there is only southbound service, and something like a 6 hour gap between the two when the development is bypassed entirely. 118 destinations south of Burton have similar issues of being able to get one way or the other, but being difficult to orchestrate a short round trip, say up to the town center for errands or an appointment.

        I think the routes are geographically sensible, but the service just isn’t at a level where it is viable as a car replacement. And that just may be the price of living rural.

        I understand that at some point the was a locally run bus service on the island that even covered the west side.

      2. That’s not the price of rural living. That’s the price of a transit agency preferring to deadhead buses instead of provide 2-way service.

    3. As for the deletion of the 118 EX and 119 EX peak trips, I wonder if that would be just the deletion of the Seattle side portion of the trips (from what I’ve observed, it looks like ridership on the Seattle side has dropped since the water taxi went into service) and replacing the Vashon portion with shuttles or deleting the trips entirely.

      1. My guess would be simply to have coaches come on the island in the morning, stay there in whatever fashion (loop etc), than leave at night. No more peak trips, vashon base, etc. Seattle passengers would have to either board the water ferry, or transfer to the 54 i think it is in west seattle to head downtown.

      2. The 119ex, at least, has dropped a lot island side too. Three years ago it was standing room only by the time it got to the north end ferry in the morning. These days two thirds full is a lot. But that is a very casual observation on a single run.

        If RR route C comes online with greater frequency than the 54, the 116 and 118/119 EX routes don’t make much sense.

  15. It is somewhat difficult to see the full impact in a given area since some deletions are done by the productivity criteria, and then others in the same area are listed as restructuring.

    If I’m reading it right, Metro is essentially proposing to eliminate all Metro-branded service across the 520 bridge except the 255, 271 (both of which are shortened) and the 311. Routes 250, 260, 265, 268 and 277 eliminated by productivity criteria. Routes 243, 252 and 257 deleted as part of restructuring. And route 242 to Microsoft/Overlake is targeted under priority 3.

    At the same as the imposition of tolls on 520, which is promoted as bus transit corridor.

    There isn’t available capacity at S. Kirkland P&R to take more car commuters, and the Houghton P&R would only have very inconvenient service inbound on route 311.

    1. I believe that this report also assumes that the Eastside RapidRide B changes have been implemented. These changes already included eliminating routes 256, 261, 266, and 272. So you really have to piece all kinds of things together to see the full impact.

      The 250 and 265 will be revised as part of the RapidRide B process. It’s really not worth doing the revision if they are going to be eliminated anyway.

    2. Route 311 doesn’t serve Houghton P&R. Brickyard P&R was recently expanded and now has a bunch of empty spaces. Most of the routes serving Houghton P&R, would be deleted leaving 245 and 342.

      1. Houghton P&R will be a ghost-town with no real service, while other P&Rs are overcrowded.

      2. Which came first? Poor service leading to poor ridership? Or poor ridership leading to poor service?

        The way it was designed makes it difficult to serve efficiently. Given that is so close to 405 it would have made sense to attempt to design it to work with freeway stations. But they built center HOV lanes with stations on outside off-ramps, and the walking path to/from the southbound station is very indirect, first heading downhill and to the west.

        This is an example where system design is needed. In designing the infrastructure, operations needs to be considered. We keep designing infrastructure that can’t lead to good service. The Montlake proposed design is a future example, as is the fact that the new HOV ramps at 108th are uni-directional – if they were bi-directional they would allow 520/Redmond buses and I-405/TotemLake buses to permit a transfer to north-south local service, as well as access S. Kirkland P&R. The new station at Totem Lake, on the other hand, looks like it was done right.

      3. Ditto everything Carl said. I’d add that there are a lot of apartments adjacent to the Houghton P&R and it’s on Old Redmond Road which has a lot more apartments/condos (like Sixty-Oh-One) along it’s route to the (far) north end of the Microsoft campus on 148th and Redmond Town Center. With all the land there owned by WSDOT and Metro I think it’s ripe for something like the Kingsgate (aka Totem Lake) flyer stop design. I wonder how much of the Kingsgate ridership is because of the Medical Center though?

    3. It also means getting rid of any reason to use the Overlake Park and Ride. I know it would cost service hours, but I would like to see a 275 variant brought back from the dead. Basically, you would start at the Overlake Park and Ride, go across the NE 36th bridge, get onto 520 at 148th and liveloop through South Lake Union. Coming back, the service would go from SLU straight to the Overlake Transit Center…SLU is a burgeoning neighborhood which would take some demand off the 545.

      Alternatively, Metro could retain service on the 250 through West Lake Sammamish/Interlake neighborhood and get rid of service on the 249 in that neighborhood. The revised 250 would start at the Overlake Transit Center as revised, but instead of ending in Downtown Seattle and deadheading back to East base, it would liveloop through SLU (with a connection to multitudinous frequent buses when getting off of I-5) and layover at the Overlake Transit Center before repeating the run. In the PM, the revised 250 would start going Westbound and return to the Overlake Transit Center through West Lake Sammamish.

      In my experience, residents of the West Lake Sammamish/Interlake neighborhood tend to support peak only Seattle service through their neighborhood instead of the all day 249. Let them chose between a connection to the 545 or get rid of all day service.

      1. Apparently Metro won’t run service from SR-520 to SLU due to having to cross 4 lanes of traffic on I-5 to make the exit. So for now 9th and Stewart is about as close as you could get.

      2. I believe the 275 concept would have gotten off at 9th and Stewart and looped through SLU back to 9th and Stewart

      3. Metro won’t run service from SR-520 to SLU due to having to cross 4 lanes of traffic on I-5

        Which is why I was hoping that in the multi billion dollar corridor do over WSDOT would have routed at least HOV/transit lanes under I-5 and connected to Seattle Center via Westlake. But then I wouldn’t have had any connection from SR-520 westbound to I-5 southbound. I-5 is already at capacity through DT with little that can be done to increase it. Eventually it has to be realized that cars, and to a certain extent transit, should be routed to DT but not through DT. During peak hours the streets are already at capacity. The DSTT is close to capacity for number of vehicles but not number of people.

    4. Is route 242 really needed anymore now that 542 is available, on top the Phinny Ridge connector route? Whatever time advantage it saves by taking the freeway and skipping the U-district is canceled out by time spent sitting in traffic on 148th and making the grand tour of Microsoft.

      Even for employees of the West Campus buildings, unpredictable wait times negate the travel time advantage that the route has over the 542 on paper.

      The biggest losers of a 242 elimination would probably riders from the Northgate/Maple Leaf area that would have to transfer, although, with 66, 67, and 542 all running very frequently, that wouldn’t be too bad. Perhaps if the 242 were cut, Microsoft might even create a Northgate connector route to make up for it.

      As to the riders from really far north (which are probably very few anyway), an express to downtown, followed by the 545 would probably be at least as fast for them as the existing 242 anyway.

      1. I believe the 242 is at least partially paid for with Microsoft money (like the 269 which is a partnership between Microsoft, Metro, and Sammamish)

  16. I have to wonder whether these service cuts take into knowledge the difference between marginal costs and actual costs of reverse peak routes. Obviously a 217 will be less effective than a 218 or 212, but the marginal cost of carrying passengers over returning back to East Base is inexpensive compared to another run of a 212.

    One of the best ways to save operating costs in the East subarea (granted, in my limited experience in Bellevue…I do not have knowledge of Kikrland services) is to use Snoqualamie River Road instead of going through Bellevue College for Eastgate services. Obviously this will not happen in the near-term, but significant operating savings would be established by having routes service Bellevue College stay on 148th instead of diverting through the College. For the time it takes to go through the College, it is almost as fast for College originating passengers to walk to the Eastgate Park and Ride.

    Another way to save better performing services would be to get rid of lower performing services such as the 246. It’s ridiculous to run a route in Bellevue with headways of two hours. Might as well kill it and reinvest in the network, such as keeping the 245 at 15 minute frequency at peak times.

    Furthermore, I am hesitant to support a change to the 271 which would make it only run from Bellevue-UD. For one, it is an incredibly short route and neither Bellevue nor the UD have good layover spots as evidenced by the 532 laying over by Bellevue Square in Bellevue and the 542 laying over in Greenlake. In addition, the 271 at the transit center includes many people staying on the bus. It’s not like the 230 where nearly the entire bus empties at the transit center! What if Metro kept every 30 minute service on the 271 from Eastgate-UD, but live-looped the 271 through the transit center and UD? The driver would go Eastgate-BTC-UD-BTC-UD-BTC-Eastgate with a short layover in the bay in the middle stop in Bellevue–and possibly in the UD depending on scheduling. This would keep 15 minute service on the 271 from BTC-UD while retaining a direct bus from Eastgate-UD.

    Finally, I like the idea of moving the 114 terminus to Bellevue. It’s about time there’s a peak hour express bus from the Renton Highlands! Maybe the 114 could be labeled the 240 Express and the 240 could deviate into the Eastgate Park and Ride Freeway bays to serve the Renton-Bellevue College market, probably a 3-4 minute deviation…

    1. I guess you could also revise the 271 to go from BTC up Bellevue Way (or 112th) to get rid of the slow-ride in Medina on the way to 520. You could also move the 249 to go from the South Kirkland Park and Ride, onto 520, pass Yarrow Point Freeway Station, and then get off at 84th before going to Bellevue on the 271 path. This would cause the 249 to become even more of a milk-run, but would probably save a substantial amount of operating time for the 271, considering it runs every 10 minutes in peak and 15 minutes other times.

      1. Metro already plans to move the 271 onto Bellevue Way (or onto 112th) and then use the new HOV ramps. They need to do that because the 84th Ave ramps will no longer reach the Evergreen Point freeway stop.

        They probably don’t want to talk about it because the neighborhood reaction might be too intense if they heard they are losing the 261, losing the 271 and downgrading the 240 all at the same time. The 261 gone permanently, Metro’s website these riders will use the 271 and transfer. Then when the Eastide 520 improvements are done, the 271 disappears. Bait and switch.

      2. Thanks Kaleci! I always assumed there was a westbound exit at 84th…

        And Carl, I know the 271 will move to Bellevue Way eventually with the new 520, but with the financial crisis at the moment, we should not wait to save operating costs.

      3. “They probably don’t want to talk about it because the neighborhood reaction might be too intense if they heard they are losing the 261, losing the 271 and downgrading the 240 all at the same time.”

        They should, and they should be blaming WSDOT for not allowing an 84th-Evergreen Point connection. That way the neighborhood can pressure WSDOT to fix that problem and allow Metro to continue quality service to the area.

      4. Morgan, given that the HOV lanes are now in the center, with the center stop, they would need to add an extra set of ramps at 84th Ave NE to allow bus service to access the Evergreen Pt station. I don’t think the right of way is wide enough to allow that.

        I think the lack of an efficient Montlake Freeway station is a far bigger shortcoming in the design. In fact, the combination of a a good Montlake Freeway station, and a good transit corridor going north-south above might even make HOV ramps unnecessary at Montlake and could enable a more efficient grid transit system.

        The current design at Montlake is truly terrible. The core north south routes (43, 48, maybe 25) have neither protected exclusive routes through the corridor nor convenient stop locations (southbound stop is at the Hop In grocery). There should probably be center exclusive bus lanes with island stops instead. And 520 buses should have stops just like at the Evergreen Point and Yarrow Point lids. The main operating plan should be the east-west buses with frequent headways allowing qualtiy transfers to north-south buses. It’s the opposite of what they designed, no transfers and forcing split dedicated routes.

      5. I’ve not convinced that a Bellevue Way routing would really save an appreciable amount of time. 84th Ave may feel slower, but the total distance is actually a little shorter, which makes up for it. FWIW, Bing maps driving directions indicates that a Bellevue way route would save a whopping 1 minute of travel time. I real traffic, I could envision 84th Ave being faster, as fewer drivers know about that route.

        Also, the current 271 routing provides coverage to the Medina area, avoiding the need for a dedicated shuttle route that would cost money and carry almost zero riders.

        I think if anything is going to be done to the 271, we need faster service around Eastgate and more frequency on evenings and weekends.

  17. What’s a “live loop”? i.e. in priority 2, for route 2S it says “Revise to use Madison Street, live-loop Seattle CBD”

    Would the 2 still go through Madrona and down to the lake in that case?

    1. It means loop around downtown without stopping and head back out. No changes for the 2 are proposed east of Madison & Union.

  18. Delete the 15 and the 18? How does that work? Most mornings the seats are nearly full before the local 18 hits Market, the rest fill at Market, and it’s a crush load by the time we hit Queen Anne. How do you delete both this route and the 15? Is this dependent on RapidRide being in place?

    1. It looks like the 15 would indeed be replaced by the RapidRide D line. The 24th Ave portion of the 18 would be replaced by having the 48 turn south on 24th Ave from 85th St to downtown Ballard. You would then have to transfer to another bus at that point if you want to go downtown. Annoying, but not so bad.

      The people who would be really hurt by this would be the people who ride the 28, who would have to walk up to a half mile to catch the RapidRide or the 5, whichever one is closer.

  19. It seems crazy to propose deleting the route 43 at all, much less years before U Link opens. The 49 will be a mess if they do that. I know people can transfer at John/23rd/Madison, but that area is a bad place for a transfer hub and the frequencies aren’t enough for it to be useful.

    1. That one was a stunner to me, too. Especially with the 14N gone and the only service increase on Capitol Hill being the 11.

      1. Deleting the 14N is a really bad idea. That area is incredibly dense. Without the 14N and the 43, how would they get downtown? Climb up the hill and catch the 49? This would kill ridership in Capitol Hill.

      2. Yeah, I’m going to try and find out more about this. You can get away with deleting the 14 if you’re willing to accept standing-room-only 43s until U-Link enters service, but deleting both is going to *suck*.

      3. Not only that, they’re moving the 10 off of Pike/Pine as well (to Madison). That service increase on the 11 had better be a hell of a lot of hours. They ought to throw more frequency onto the 8 as well for the segment of John/Thomas from 23rd to Denny.

        Aside from the fact that it’s being deleted at all, I was very surprised that the deletion of the 43 is only mentioned in the excel sheet and *not* in the report. Add to that the fact that the report shows the 43 being one of the top 25% of routes and this is just astonishing.

      4. Without the 14N and the 43, how would they get downtown? Climb up the hill and catch the 49?

        The 43 is 4 (or fewer) blocks away from the 11, and the 14 is 4-5 blocks away from the 49. So there’s your answer.

        I’m not endorsing this idea, but don’t forget that they’re deleting the 28, which is 8 blocks away from the nearest replacement. So by a pure route-spacing metric, the 43 seems like an easy loss.

        It’s also important to remember that, as popular as these Capitol Hill buses are, none of them are actually profitable. It’s hard to justify having two routes which are 4 blocks apart in Capitol Hill, when the spacing in North Seattle is more like 16 blocks apart (between the 5 and the 15).

        Finally, I’d like to point out that this spreadsheet is far from authoritative. Among other things, it proposes keeping the 12 (which fails the all-day corridor test). To the extent that the spreadsheet contradicts the report, either generally or in specific details, I’d say we should definitely trust the report.

      5. You can’t use blocks and ignore the grade of the hill. 4 blocks on a steep uphill grade is at least equivalent to 8 level blocks. Plus you have to take into account the bias people have against going backwards in order to go forwards. I very much doubt someone living on Harrison & Bellevue will trudge up the hill to Broadway in order to go back down the hill to downtown. There is a good reason they built a streetcar in the first place on Bellevue and Summit, and we still have a good reason to keep the 14. I would begrudgingly support eliminating the 14, but only if the 43 is kept and frequencies increased. At least people have a level walk to the 43. The 43 is less useful, however, since it doesn’t go through downtown like the 14 does.

      6. zef,

        Like I said, I’m not endorsing the idea, just trying to explain it.

        Going from 8th NE to 15th NE isn’t exactly level, either, and going from 8th to Phinney/Greenwood definitely isn’t.

        If we could only have one of these routes, my vote would definitely be to keep the 14 and axe the 43. The 43 does not have any unique stops: it’s basically a combination of portions of the 48, 8, and 14. Removing the 43 means that no one loses bus service entirely. It’s a pretty level walk from John to Pine/Madison at all points. And the most important stops (Broadway, 15th, 23rd) will continue to have bus service to downtown.

      7. I actually just walked from 8th to 15th the other day and I remember it being very level, but you’re correct about Phinney Ridge. There is a pretty big gap between 8th and Greenwood. I think the idea of forcing people along 8th to catch RapidRide on 15th could work if RR was slated have much higher frequency, since people are always willing to walk farther to catch frequent rapid transit. Unfortunately RR is not going to be all that frequent.

        As long as we’re talking about distances, how about the 1.5 mile gap between Market and 85th with no east-west bus service? When is Metro going to address that?

        I agree that if I had to choose, I would keep the 14N and eliminate the 43, but only if the 8, 11 and other east-west routes are beefed up substantially.

      1. I don’t think that area can be fixed to be a transfer hub. Two four-lane arterials meeting at an awkward angle with a third arterial (John). The pedestrian experience is terrible and there are few businesses to speak of. Look at Portland. One reason their grid system works is that the forced transfers occur at places where people might not actually mind waiting for another bus. There is usually a cluster of businesses around and it is an interesting place in its own right. Queen Anne and Mercer is a good place for a transfer hub because it has lots of stuff going on. If I have to wait 30 minutes to transfer, I’ll just hang out at a coffeeshop or bookstore. Madison/23rd is an unpleasant place with nothing going on.

      2. I agree that this area is extremely pedestrian unfriendly. So much so that Metro used to have route 48 stops on both sides of Madison (I don’t know if that’s still true.)

        I would be weird to lose a well-used trolley route.

      3. Carl,
        The 48 still stops on both sides of Madison going south, but not north. It looks like the stop immediately north of Madison was deleted awhile back. The first stop northbound after Madison is the shared stop with the 43 between John and Thomas.

        A few weeks ago the southbound stop between Madison and John was closed due to some construction, and they actually bothered to put up a temporary stop just north of John. During that time the 48 had *2* stops on the single block of 23rd between Thomas and John. It was ridiculous.

      4. No, the 48 stop between Madison and John was closed a while back. 100% agreed it is a lousy area to try to create bus transfers. I don’t see how you do it without significant land-use/street grid changes.

      5. I answered this question in the Capitol Hill Mobility thread. If you want to go downtown, there are a gazillion routes the 48 crosses that do so (11, 2, 3/4, 27 currently, 14, eventually East Link), at potentially better transfer locations. Ditto routes that go to Capitol Hill (8, 11, 2). And once U-Link opens the 48 will connect to Link on two ends, with only Stadium, Sodo, and Beacon Hill not having good bus service to them from the 48’s route – and Beacon Hill isn’t an inconvenient backtrack. THAT is the value of a grid system. The 43 makes ZERO sense from a grid perspective. ZERO!!!!!!!!1111111!1!11!!!111!!!!eleven!

      6. If you are along the 43 route between Roanoke and John and want to go downtown, you think they should take the 48 and transfer? The 11 runs every half hour most of the day, and the Madison intersection is neither safe nor pleasant. The 2 runs every 15 minutes but is pretty far out of the way, and 23rd and Union isn’t going to be a pleasant place for many people to transfer.

        Once Link opens, you might consider transferring at the Husky Stadium station, but it sure hasn’t been built for a convenient transfer. First your have to ride across the Montlake Bridge, then wait for the bus to make a left (or in the other direction cross an extra street). Then you have to climb a bridge before descending into the station. It’s not designed as a convenient transfer (I don’t understand why the station doesn’t have a walkway from the mezzanine that goes under Montlake Blvd with an entrance in triangle.)

        Given what our agencies have designed, it really justifies keeping the 43, unless the 48 & 11 move to 10 minute headways.

      7. Morgan, I appreciate your enthusiasm about the grid system. This is just a problematic area to completely utilize it. As you say, there are plenty of places to transfer from the 48. However, none of them are pleasant, safe, or interesting enough to be proper transfer points. The frequencies are also a major issue. If the 8, 11, 2 and 3 can all operate at 10-minute frequency along with the 48, and the city invests a massive amount into those intersections to make them more pedestrian-oriented and mixed-use, then it could work. How confident can we be of that outcome?

    2. I agree. IMHO the 43 is a vital part of Metro’s late-night service. After the 48 stops running, people in the Central District can walk up 23rd (it’s mostly level) to E John St and catch a northbound 43 to the U-District, then connect to other routes (e.g., the 44) if they need to. If Metro axes the 43, maybe they should extend the hours of the 48 to preserve connections to points north of the ship canal.

      1. I think that late-night service is a huge opportunity for Metro to try out a grid system. What I’ve proposed before is to completely scrap the current system, and replace it with extended hours on the RapidRide corridors:

        – 15th NW (D/15)
        – Aurora (E/358)
        – I-5/15th NE (Link/7x/41)
        – West Seatttle (C/54)
        – Broadway (49)

        As the single most popular Metro bus, adding the 48 to this mix seems reasonable as well.

    3. Somehow I doubt they took grade of hills into consideration at all.

      If you look at the current frequent transit map, filling in the 11 and removing the 43 sort of makes sense; nearly all the 43 route is duplicated by either the 8 or 48 (and once Capitol Hill Link Station is open, that’ll be a preferred transfer) :
      https://seattletransitblog.com/2011/01/18/seattle-frequent-transit-map/

      I think you’d still need a frequent lower Capitol Hill to downtown routes, though, such as the 14.

  20. I’m a little confused about the Ballard configuration here. Are they really going to eliminate all-day downtown service on 24th ave nw? That seems crazy. Ridership is really high on the 18. Ballard has a nice 1/2 mile grid working for it, which would be messed up by this restructuring. I would love to believe people will walk farther for RapidRide, but it doesn’t seem like it offers that level of service. At least they are keeping the 18 express, but it still seems like a bad idea.

      1. That would definitely improve the situation. Extend the 48 even more?;) In their proposal people outside of peak times would be expected to ride the 62 or 48 to Market & Ballard, then catch the 17 local to downtown. Ask anyone in the area and they will all tell you the 18 is way better than the 17. I love the idea of routing the 17 through Fremont (as we currently lack a Ballard-Fremont connection), but it will make the 17 even slower and more out of the way for people going downtown.

      2. In response to zefwagner:

        I don’t really think routing the 17 through Fremont would make it any slower. It would just turn down Leary and then over the Fremont Bridge instead of going over the Ballard Bridge and then turning to go down Nickerson St. It might get delayed occasionally by the Fremont Bridge opening all the time, but the distance traveled would remain essentially the same, and this service on Leary would partially compensate for the loss of the local 28 (which is currently the only bus that travels along that road other than the infrequent 46).

      3. I don’t really ride the 17 much so I was just speculating on the time difference. Even if it adds a bit more time dealing with the Fremont Bridge, it is completely worth it to add that (West) Ballard-Fremont connection.

  21. Does anyone know what the 10 would do in this scenario? It says it will run on Madison. Where would it cut over to Pine?

    1. It wouldn’t. It would be just like the 12 is now except up 15th Ave rather than 19th. It would loop around downtown.

    2. Hmmm, I guess it could mean that the 10/12 would be the same Madison route which splits off to 15th and 19th. Then the 11 is increased in frequency to serve Pine. Interesting, but it’s exactly the opposite of how I would do it. What’s so bad about having one route that goes the whole length of Madison?! Why does Metro love winding routes?

      1. Yeah, it’s going to seem pretty silly to have 2 different routes on Madison that go to almost the same place.

      2. With the turnback routing on the 12 it’s even weirder. After this change, if you see a bus going up Madison it will either:
        1) Turn down 15th and run all the way to Volunteer Park (the 10)
        2) Turn around at 15th and return to downtown (12 First Hill)
        3) Turn down 19th and run all the way to Interlaken Park (the 12)

        Since they’re reducing frequency on the 12, though, I guess in practice it will be more like:
        1) Madison South of 15th/Pine: the 10
        2) Madison North of 15th/Pine: the 11

      3. You forgot the new 2, which will turn right on Union.

        The 19th Ave routing is inexplicable…

      4. I knew I’d missed one! Hadn’t paid as much attention to the 2 since I rarely ride it. :)

        Maybe Metro thinks they need to keep the 19th routing on the 12 now to make up for cutting the 43 off of 23rd. Not a very good replacement IMO.

      5. I think David is right, but really this just points to the absurdity of deleting the 43, one of the most productive routes in the city. Maybe after light rail is here it would work, but certainly not until then.

    3. The biggest impression I get from all the buses getting switched to Madison is that there’s going to be 10 minute headways over First Hill, with the 2, 10, and 12 all interlined and running at 30 minute headways.

      This is a Good Thing. First Hill is booming, and an intuitive frequent-transit corridor is needed in this dense neighborhood, rather than half-hour headway routes spaced every few blocks.

  22. At some point at both the federal and the local level, we are just going to have to accept higher taxes. We don’t have a spending problem in the United States (well we do with military expenditure which is way too high for any country’s needs) but a revenue problem and until we face up this, we will continue to get offered cuts that don’t make any sense either.

    As I have said before, a good transportation system needs to be dedicated, predictable and reliable and service cuts threaten all three basic principles by driving people towards other modes of transportation they deem more predictable – such as cars.

    1. Agree on all counts. Robert Reich makes some great points about taxes, crediting our prosperity from the ’30s through the ’70s to strong government services based on well structured taxes. The last time the rich had taxes as low as they are now we were headed into the Great Depression.

      If the current batch of tax-cut republicans and tea partiers get their way we’ll have services at the or below level of third world countries.

  23. I must say (partially for selfish reasons) that I would hate to see the local 28 go away. With that change, people who live near 8th Avenue NW would have to walk a half mile to the nearest bus stop. The 5 on Greenwood/Phinney and the new RapidRide on 15th Ave would both be a half mile from 8th Ave.

    There still would be the express to downtown during peak hours, so it’s not as bad as it could be. Still, for people who need to go to Fremont (like me) or South Lake Union or anywhere else between Market Street and Belltown, the transit system would get a whole lot less appealing. The local 28 buses that travel during peak hours just minutes before or after express trips are often quite full, so there is clearly demand for service to and from these intermediate destinations.

    With the current transit system I can either walk about 500 feet to the 28 for a convenient bus ride, or if it’s a nice day I can ride my bike in to work and save my bus fare. Either option takes about 15-20 minutes. If the 28 went away, the bus would now require being outside in the rain for the same amount of time as biking (due to the longer walk to the bus stop), would take longer overall than biking, and would still cost more. I would probably never ride the bus at all, and may eventually decide to buy a second car if I get tired of being rained on for at least half an hour every day.

    1. Yeah, they seem to be using RapidRide as a way to reduce the grid in Ballard from 1/2 mile to 1 mile, hoping the service will be so attractive that people will walk farther than the normal 1/4 mile. As you say, that might be okay if downtown is your destination, but cutting the local routes will hurt the general usefulness of the transit system for other kinds of trips. They should really keep the 28 local and eliminate the 28 express if they want people to take RapidRide.

    2. As in favor as I am of this radical restructuring, the issue you are both having is that you can’t do such a restructuring while leaving the remaining service insufficient-to-skeletal on the remaining routes.

      Need to get from 12th West-ish to Fremont. Well, now the RapidRide + 17 will get you there! Great!

      Oh, wait, the 17 is still half-hourly, and hourly after 7PM? Not so great!

      The fatal flaw in the plan outlined above is that it still devotes obscene amounts of service to keeping — and expanding — one-seat, one-way, “white collar specials” at the expense of everything else.

      Those people need to take the hit, too, or else they’ll never understand what the rest of us go through just trying to get around!

  24. Seattle Public Schools’ move away from yellow buses for high school students could throw a big kink in this well-thought-out plan.

    For those of you with kids in SPS, do you know how they’ll get to high school? and back?

    1. Wrong answer. The correct answer is: Their parents, inconsiderate of the safety of the general public, will buy them cars.

    2. What I would most love to see is SPS eliminating school buses – and then Metro assigning supervisors or transit police to strictly enforce the official standee capacity of buses at school stops. Like they sometimes do after sporting events.

      Then we can let the citizen outrage take care of the problem.

    3. Personally, I’m hoping for a high school location with more convenient transit access. :)

  25. My impressions, starting with the Priority 1 cuts and focused primarily on Seattle:

    Make 14N peak-only: Others have mentioned that, to the extent this route isn’t popular, it’s mostly because it’s often delayed. This would make it a lot harder to cut the 43 later. I believe I have suggested interlining this route with the Lakeview segment of the 25 in the past.

    Cut Route 22: What? Why??? I guess the thinking is that the 54 and 55 provide the same service to the Junction, but it has been suggested to use the 22 to provide more service from Delridge to the Junction. This is probably the start of RR C restructuring, but most of those changes are saved for Priority 2, and the 22 isn’t entirely duplicative of 54/C. Is service on Thistle that unpopular?

    Cut Route 38: Could be politically unpopular, forcing people on the slope to walk to one of the Link stations. It has been suggested extending it to the tail of the 14. Truncating the 14 to Mount Baker TC in Priority 2 could set the stage for that to happen once Metro’s budget situation improves.

    Cut Route 42: Okay, this one was a gimme.

    Make Route 51 peak-only: IT’S A LOOP! Route 57 already serves the west part of the loop during peak hours! Why not just cut the whole thing if you’re going to cut it to peak-only?

    Cut Route 53: Reasonable, especially since the 39 already serves most of the loop.

    Eliminate night-owl service: This seems like a very shortsighted move, as others have mentioned; I myself have used the 83 and the 2:15 run of the 49 in the past. (Note: the 83 and 85 are not listed as eliminated under this priority; however, the 85 is duplicated by the C. On the other hand, the 81 and 82 are partly duplicated by RR routes as well… the 84 must really suck.) However, it could set the stage for a rationalization and modernization of the night bus system once Metro’s budget situation improves, including service to Aurora Village on RR E as well as Northgate and Lake City.

    Eliminate Route 99: All indications are that Metro is permanently moving most of its downtown buses to 3rd Ave, so this would greatly diminish connections on 1st Ave and Alaskan Way outside the ferry terminal and the 10/12 interlining segment, if the latter even survives.

    Eliminate Route 200 and 927: The 200 is an oddity. I wonder if its service might be better provided by more long-haul routes.

    Eliminate Route 201 and 203: The latter is a slight surprise. It’s a local loop and a good chunk of it is also provided by the 213, but I would think the 213 is the more redundant route.

    Eliminate Route 34: Duplicative of the 7 and 39, but it does short-circuit Martin’s Rainier Valley plan in the short term.

    Eliminate Routes 45 and 46: Reasonable, with the caveat that good local service on Leary is still a good idea long-term.

    Eliminate Route 79: Reasonable, as there isn’t much not covered by the 522.

    Eliminate Route 116/118/119: If this is just the elimination of the Fauntleroy segments, this is reasonable, as it’s duplicative with the 54 and soon RR C.

    Reduce night 23 service to hourly: What’s the point?

    Eliminate Route 118/119 service at night and reduce off-peak frequency: Reasonable.

    All told, these moves are all understandable, with the most questionable changes being to the 14N, and to a lesser extent the 22, 34, 81, 82, 84, and 99. But Priority 2 is where I have to start scratching my head…

    1. Queen Anne: North of McGraw the same argument that Bruce uses to cut 19th Ave service on the 12 could be used to cut the 2, but is it really unpopular enough to replace it with peak-only express service? Extend the 3 to SPU? Why?? If it’s to replace the 17, as pointed out increased 13 frequency will take care of that, and while the 17 serves Westlake and SLU, the 3 serves… nothing appreciable on Taylor Ave N. I’d rather keep one of the loops.

      Ballard/Fremont/Magnolia: Eliminating the Northgate variant will improve the legibility of the 5. The 17 will finally provide Ballard-Fremont crosstown service on Leary, but what will provide service on Nickerson? The 3 WILL NOT work for this purpose, and the 2X even less so. I don’t get the proposed 24 revision, as in, “what is it?”. Where’s “Arts”? Not a fan of deleting the 28 local entirely. Truncating the 30 to U-District-Sand Point makes some sense but so far I don’t see replacement service to Seattle Center. With the 31 being increased in frequency in span mostly through the “turnback” trips it looks like Nickerson service will be provided by several different routes. Why not just keep the 17 on its current routing, maybe along the 31 routing, and move the 31 to serve Ballard? The new 32 providing peak-only service on 28th Ave W suggests the 24 will stop serving 28th (the corridor with arguably the best service on the route!) and instead connect to the Ballard Bridge on Emerson (partly justifying the partial truncation of the 31). Reducing the 33 to peak-only makes sense. Will the 48 or 62 connect to RR, as suggested? Both are redundant enough on 24th that I wonder if the 62 will inherit the 18’s North Beach loop and connect it to RR.

      Central Seattle: I think the 2 is well-served by staying on Seneca, and I do not like the idea of moving the 10 to Madison and bump up the current 11 service on Pine at all. I’d rather create an all-Madison route for the 11. Delete the 14N entirely AND the 43? Why??? My experience trying to respond to Zach’s Capitol Hill plan suggests making the 27 peak-only may be the best approach.

      U-District/NE Seattle: Truncating the 41 to stop serving Lake City? Will there be replacement service on 125th? If you delete the 68 I’d make the 372 inherit local service on 25th. The elephant in the living room is the deletion of the 66, 67, and 70-series and replacement with the 80. Please try to keep all those routes alive until 2016; then the 67 can serve the same purpose by connecting to Link. And support efforts to add bus lanes to Pacific and provide a high-quality pedestrian connection from UWMC to UW station. Moving the 70 to all-day suggests the 80 would operate via I-5 and replace the 70-series expresses. If the 71 is routed as I suggest above I have to ask for a reconsideration of the purpose of the 48 north. Would it be better to make it a crosstown route on N 85th and NE 80th to Wedgwood?

      West Seattle: I’d just make the 35 an intra-Harbor Island shuttle. I guess truncating the 21 to Westwood Village may serve the same purpose as eliminating the 25. Adding peak local service on the 56 makes sense in conjunction with deleting the 37 (which also makes the 51’s elimination make more sense), as does eliminating the 55 and replacing it with increased 128 service. Am I reading that the 125 would no longer leave the Seattle City Limits at all? Shouldn’t it be renumbered then?

      Rainier Valley/Duwamish/Burien: Which direction would the 7X operate from, north or south of Othello Station? The rerouting of the 39 implies south. Is said rerouting preparing for the return of the 50? I’m disappointed that truncating the 101/102 to RBS doesn’t seem to be being considered. I agree with someone above that 15-minute or at least quality service on 4th Ave S is important. Maybe have the 134 join the 131 on 4th?

      Mercer Island: “213: Delete and revise Route 203 to serve Covenant Shores.” DIDN’T YOU JUST DELETE 203?!? So I guess the 204 will be the only other service on Mercer Island other than just-passing-through service to the P&R…

      1. Priority 3 moves:

        Delete 51 entirely: Odd that you’re only doing this now; it effectively turns the 51 into a circulator for connection to the C line after Priority 2.

        Make the 53 peak-only: Pointless, the 37 serves the same purpose.

        Delete 280: Funny that this route only gets cut now. Maybe they are going to rationalize, not cut, the owl system after Priorities 1 and 2.

        Reduce 2X service: You really don’t like the 2 corridor, do you?

        Delete 7X: No comment.

      2. What possible purpose is served by keeping the 2 on Seneca? Spreading routes over four blocks is precisely the kind of rubbish we should remove from our bus system.

      3. Bruce, I know you love griping about everyone in East Seattle being able to walk a measly four blocks all the time, but honestly, I’m starting to tune you out. I’m not sure I support cutting 19th Ave service from the 12 either unless someone other than you is backing it and not just agreeing with you.

      4. It is always a contentious issue how far people are willing to walk. The standard for infrequent bus service is 1/4 mile, which means the bus grid should be 1/2 mile. That is basically how the grid is in North Seattle, but on the hills it is different. On a hill you need to account for the grade which acts as a deterrent. In this situation 1/4 mile might be warranted. That’s why it makes sense to have a bus route on 12th Ave even though the streetcar will be on Broadway. That’s why the 14N makes sense. 19th Ave is about 1/4 mile from 15th and 23rd and is on a hill, so it does make sense to have some service. It could probably be cut substantially, however, since ridership is probably pretty low for that segment.

        The argument for the 2 on Seneca is much weaker. Seneca is a mere 1/10 mile (totally flat ground) from Madison and 1/5 mile up a hill from Pine. The only reason for Seneca is to serve Virginia Mason and Horizon House 2 blocks closer, which seems like a weak argument if running it up Madison will help operations in some way.

      5. As I wrote elsewhere in this thread, “the cumulative obstacles of traffic on top of the hill, counterbalance speed limits, and wildly unpredictable ridership levels (including plenty of drunks, fare arguers, wheelchairs) between LQA and Belltown make the 13 a nightmare.”

        My bet is that an extended route 3, from SPU, skirting the Queen Anne Ave business district, then descending the east side of the hill and skipping half of the Belltown slog, will save 10 minutes over the current 13. All while providing more connectivity than the 17. It’s actually a fantastic idea!

      6. Anyone who isn’t willing to walk four blocks to a frequent service corridor can just sod off, and that’s true unless the intervening grade requires them to bring an ice axe. I have to walk three blocks up Marion to get from work to the #2 and I don’t see why people on the far-less-busy 19th Ave can’t do the same.

      7. Zef,
        Using half-mile spacing of routes and trying to get people within a 1/4-mile of a bus stop only works if there is a stop at every block. Sometimes you might have to walk a block or two along the street the bus runs to get to the stop.

    2. The 85 is not duplicated by the C. Anywhere on 35th between Morgan and Barton, there would be no bus service once the 21 stops for the night.

      1. I can tell you it is not. But of the few people that get on the bus between the terminal in White Center and where I get off in Alaska Junction, almost all of them get on on 35th or on Morgan.

  26. I’m a bit confused by all i see. I wonder if the idea to eliminate the 43 wont free up enough rolling stock to have artics on the 36/70 pair. Of course i still wonder about the reason to get rid of the 43, even with U link i think it would still be a useful service. Also im not clear if the intention is to force transfers between whats left of the 70 series and the 70 at the UW. That would make sense, albeit an added transfer. It seems like the cuts to seattle are a bit deeper than other areas, mabye to do with the 40/40/20 nonsense that the county council has adopted. I’ve wondered for years if it wouldent be in seattle’s intrest to form their own PTBA and break off from Metro. You’d have another CT/ET situation, but Seattle could be more in control of their own destiny. Of course i’m not sure how much funding from outside seattle comes into providing service in the city as well.

    1. The 43 almost entirely duplicates other routes. What use is left of it if the 14N doesn’t get crippled or cut?

      As I mentioned, I think the 80 would use I-5 between the U-District and Downtown, but I’d like to see it delayed until U-Link opens so people can transfer to Link.

      1. If the 43 is cut the transfer from 48 8 at 23rd and John really needs to be improved. I ride the 43 (and 48) between this stop and Montlake frequently to commute, and there are a lot of riders coming from John/Thomas and heading to the U-District (and vice versa).

        The East -> North transfer requires crossing two arterials (John and 23rd), and the South -> West transfer involves a couple blocks of walking (some uphill). As someone said in an earlier post this area is not great for transfers, but if you’re already on foot there’s a lot of service available.

        Without the 43 making the right turn onto John it might be possible to move the Westbound 8 stop to be next to 23rd, and the Southbound 43 stop closer to John (removing the stop between John and Madison). SDOT could also change the intersection signaling slightly to let pedestrians cross 23rd on the South side of the intersection during the protected left phase for John -> 23rd traffic, which would reduce wait times. Getting those traffic lights equipped with car sensors seems like it would help too.

    2. The 43 always carried a good load, enough to warrant 15 minute-off peak headways, and shorter peak headways, with articulated coaches. Downtown & Cap Hill destinations for 23rd/24th Ave riders, Cap Hill to downtown etc. U-Link does not affect its ridership very much as most rides start or end far from a station. The 48 really isn’t a replacement as there aren’t good, frequent east/west transfers. And it has trolley infrastructure in place.

      1. The trolley infrastructure is a good point. In order for the 44 to continue as a trolley Metro will still need to run buses on the 43 wire (or the 70?) to get to the U-District/Ballard. The 43 and 44 are already through-routed all day Sunday and in the mornings and evenings the rest of the week.

        Those buses will be driving by anyway, might as well be carrying passengers to make them revenue miles rather than just platform hours.

      2. I also doubt they looked at trolley infrastructure for this. Maybe they could electrify along Denny Way make that the “new 43”, which then wouldn’t duplicate 10/49 along Pike/Pine into downtown.

      3. I like this idea to have the 43 and 8 share Denny/John up to 23rd, then split. This would perfectly capture the much higher demand on that portion. In this scenario, though, the 14N has to stay in operation.

  27. Okay, wow. Five years in Seattle, and this is the first hint Metro has ever given of intent to rebuild the system from scratch, as I have always argued was necessary.

    Though it may surprise the S.T.B. regulars who know me as the “Metro can’t do anything right” guy, I think there are a lot of great ideas in here.

    The 80 is long overdue, especially if it runs express to the U District at all times (the current evening Eastlake slog is so overcrowded and slow that it likely drains more resources than a separate express and local would).

    The creative re-imagining of Queen Anne service makes a lot of sense to this observer, who once lived above the SPU campus and lamented the present-day options. The combined obstacles of traffic on top of the hill, counterbalance speed limits, and wildly unpredictable ridership levels between LQA and Belltown make the 13 a nightmare, and the 17 barely exists at night. A through-routed 3 will provide much quicker access to more destinations, while it and the 31 “turnbacks” will offer more connection options.

    In fact, the new emphasis on turnback services — beefing up frequencies along major corridors without wasting countless service hours on the tails — is brilliant enough to warrant its own paragraph!

    Unfortunately, my gut (and the scarcity of the words “add trips” for anything but peak expresses) tells me that the remaining routes will be of such gross infrequency as to negate any positive effects of the route streamlining. You can’t replace a one-seat ride with a two-leg ride (plus a 1/2-mile walk) when each of those legs could require a half-hour wait! And with remaining services are thus overloaded, without additional stop consolidations and pervasive ORCA adoption, reliability is likely to get even worse.

    Case in point: We now have confirmation that Metro intends for the RapidRide to supplant the 18. But as I’ve pointed out on this blog a dozen times, RapidRide plans call for a service frequency equal to or less than current 15/18 combined frequency! That’s right, less! So Downtown Ballard (the urban village itself) loses its direct connection to downtown, has to walk 1/2 at all times, and the service doesn’t even improve?

    And that’s for RapidRide! The other consolidations will certainly fare worse.

    (A related aside: Yesterday, I got stranded on a cold, windy, dark street corner for 25 minutes because my 5 just barely missed my 44. I got off the 5 in time to wave frantically at the 44 driver, but he either didn’t see me or didn’t care. When making transit connections, you have literally no control over your ability to “arrive at the stop early,” as Metro’s website hilariously advises. Connection-based service + permanent low frequencies = system death!)

    “But this is a financial necessity,” you remind me. “Where would you find the money to implement the consolidations, which you like, at frequencies of which you would approve?”

    Well, JoshuaDF’s list contains your answer:

    5 EX Add trips, begin in Blue Ridge
    17 EX Add trips
    18 EX Add trips, extend span of peak trips
    26 EX Add trips
    28 EX Add trips
    21 EX Add trips.

    This is the plan’s fatal flaw.

    Not only do those dozens of one-way, peak express buses — which I’ve taken to calling the “white collar specials” — take few hits in the proposal, but they actually increase! No, they don’t start running bi-directionally or at other times of day (that would be too egalitarian). They just make sure that car-owing, downtown-9-to-5-working citizens don’t have to notice any change.

    There’s so much waste there that’s it’s difficult to fathom.

    Cut them, cut them, cut them, and maybe there will be some political will to make the remaining, bold new system meet its potential.

    But if the “white collar specials” remain the Metro administration’s paramount (sole?) priority even in times of austerity, to the point of expansion, then the rest of us are all pretty well screwed.

    1. Well said! Transit agencies around the country are slowly beginning to realize that we are moving beyond the 9-5 downtown-centric world. Reverse commutes are growing everywhere, but especially in the Puget Sound where we really have 4 downtowns, plus corporate campuses like Microsoft. Companies are also moving to more flexible hours, to the point where “peak” commutes have less and less meaning. Plus commute trips account for a tiny percentage of total trips! Sure, they are the easiest to tackle with transit, but an over-reliance on peak commuter express routes guarantees that most of those riders will still choose to own a car for their other needs. Metro should be reducing their peak routes in favor of all day frequency.

      1. Yes and no. We’re building out urban and quasi-urban environments that allow us to balance transit demand, and that’s a great thing and we should keep doing that and building transit that supports that. But look at the busses d.p. mentions: none of them fit that mold. And whilst I’m not wild about running those extra expresses, we have to compromise between the bus system we want and the transit demand pattern we have now and will have for some time into the future*. If we don’t meet their needs, those people on the 26 route will go back to driving cars — not an improvement.

        * Note that this critique is not directed at anything else d.p. said, like the fact that many busses are still too infrequent to be good transfers.

    2. Metro is cutting at least 31 peak-direction-only commuter routes, if the plan goes through.

      1. Well, good. But I think you’re mostly referring to peak-routes-from-the-boonies, which are a somewhat different phenomenon that in-city peak routes in areas that should have comprehensive service all the time.

        There a about a dozen in-city routes getting nixed except for the one-way peaks, plus the six I mention above getting their one-way peaks expanded.

        For non-car-owning urbanites (as opposed to mostly car-dependent fake urbanite), this is a step in the wrong direction.

      2. Well, good. But I think you’re mostly referring to peak-routes-from-the-boonies, which are a somewhat different phenomenon than in-city peak routes in areas that should have comprehensive service all the time.

        There are about a dozen in-city routes getting nixed except for the one-way peaks, plus the six I mention above getting their one-way peaks expanded.

        For non-car-owning urbanites (as opposed to mostly car-dependent fake urbanites), this is a step in the wrong direction.

      3. The number of peak-hour trips is based on ridership demand, not politics.

        However, there might be an argument to make that a lot of deadheading could be converted into counter-peak-directional service.

        Plus, that 3-bus ride from 24th Ave NW to downtown is totally unacceptable. Whichever route(s) come down 24th have to connect with the Line D, on the downtown side of those routes.

      4. “There might be an argument to make that a lot of deadheading could be converted into counter-peak-directional service.”

        No kidding.

        Wait at the intersection of 15th and Leary between 5:30 and 6:30 — when the inbound buses are late, crowded, and frequently take 35-55 minutes to get downtown — and you’ll see deadheads pass the in-service buses at a ratio of about 5:1.

      5. Here’s the kicker: Thanks to the Magnolia Community Club’s antagonism toward transit, there are cars parked in the BAT lane, so those deadheaders have to navigate general traffic.

        I hope that by the time the ribbon is cut for the Line D, that the parked cars will be kicked out of the BAT lane.

    3. Yes, frequent grid first. The peak-only express buses can stand to take some hits. There is a lot of service hours in them-thar one seat rides.

      1. If those routes are SRO beyond fire-chief capacity (such as the 522 I’ve ridden many mornings), then, no, they can’t take a hit.

      2. You can’t fix one part of the problem (as much of this plan does!) without fixing the other problems that turn our urban system into the 1-door shortbus.

      3. The slow-down on the crushload buses heading downtown in the morning isn’t really the payment system. It’s the jostling around and repeated requests by the operator for everyone to please move to the back to make way for more passengers.

        That said, I think the 522 would be a fine candidate for double-decker buses. It has the ridership. And it’s scenic. Some choice riders would abandon their cars just to sit on the upper level of the 522.

        Going home, the payment system does become a problem, as people push their way to the front to pay as they leave. POP will save significant service hours on crushload buses like this in the afternoon.

      4. People won’t move back because either:

        A) It’s really too much of a hassle to squeeze by all those legs and potentially mud-covered shows into the great “where will I stand” unknown at the back; or

        B) Some of them are actually getting off soon, have no idea if the driver “got the memo” that they can use the back door now, and don’t want to suffer the arduous squeeze back to the front.

        Open floor plans, along with a friendly reminder that back-door exit is now standard and driver’s aren’t allowed to “prefer the old way,” would solve both.

    4. Possibly “add trips to the peak expresses” means to make them two-way and extend them a bit into the mid-day. If so, that would help reverse commuters (e.g., those working in Ballard), and it would start to make up for the lack of limited-stop routes I’ve long complained about.

      1. It says the 18X in particular would increase its timespan. At minimum that means extending into the hour before and after the peak. If we’re lucky it could mean a few reverse-commute trips to partially offset the loss of the 18. Even one southbound trip at 5:15pm would be better than nothing.

    5. On a Sunday you waited 25 minutes for the 44? It runs every 14-16 minutes until Midnight. How often would you like it to come on a Sunday?

      And at that corner, unless they have changed it recently, the 44 stops have shelters. Surely, you could have avoided a little bit of the wind? If it had been 75° and sunny out, would you have minded the wait? Otherwise, I don’t see what the weather has anything to do with your transfer.

      1. If you’ve ever used the 44 (and I assume you have), you know that 10 minutes late is hardly uncommon.

        And yes, if it had been 75 and sunny, I probably would have been annoyed for a second and then walked the rest of the way to Ballard.

        There’s no excuse, in any weather, for unreliability + long transfers + tone-deaf reminders to “arrive at your stop early.” But I’d be lying if I said it weren’t more acute in the chilly months.

      2. As a long-time 44 rider I have absolutely no doubt that someone may have waited 25 minutes. It’s notoriously unreliable – especially headed westbound.

    6. There’s a disconnect between the report and the spreadsheet about the 26. The only mention I found in the report is around how it’s one of the most productive routes. It’s not listed on any of the cut lists until you get to the spreadsheet. Wondering if anyone else saw any differences,

      1. The 43 deletion was the same way. Not in the report, shown as one of the more productive, then axed in the spreadsheet.

  28. The current bottleneck of the 71/72/73 routes is not so much the stretch along Eastlake (although, that too can be a problem if the bus is crush-loaded and every stop takes 5 minutes), but simply getting through the U-district, along Campus Parkway and University Way. There are simply too many stops and too many traffic lights. Even the so-called “express” buses still have to go through this stretch, negating whatever time advantage they can get by going down I-5 (and if the express lanes are running in the wrong direction, they can’t even do that).

    I currently try to avoid these routes whenever possible, taking 510/511/66 instead. Even if, on paper, the extra walking cancels out the time saved on the bus, my way often works out better in practice when the 7x’s run late and is a much less stressful experience.

    So, if the 80 can keep the frequency and span of service of the combined existing routes, as well run faster through the U-district, and provide better reliability with less bunching, this sounds like a win to me, even if it’s a stopgap solution until Link arrives.

    1. The 71/72/73 really aren’t so bad when they are in I-5 express mode. Even when traffic in the U-district is at it’s worst. An option for the 80 superroute would be to run on 15th through the U-district which doesn’t back up as bad as University Way.

      That said, there is a noticeable delay and reduction in reliablity on the 71/72/73 when they are in Eastlake Express mode no matter what the traffic is like. It gets even worse when they do the Fairview/Eastlake local service. Sheer unadultrated bus hell is just after PM peak, when the traffic is still bad, the buses are crush-loaded (“front door only”), and the 71/72/73 become Eastlake locals.

      1. That really depends on where you’re going. A few months ago I was taking an evening class in Wedgwood and was making a 542->72 connection in the U-District. Even at 6 PM, the 72 only runs half-hourly and it was consistently 15-20 minutes late. I’m sure getting to the U-District from downtown is fast, but actually trying to get anywhere north of there is a nightmare during the evening peak.

      2. I do hope and pray that the 80 will take the long way around onto and off of I-5, rather than down Eastlake, when the HOV lanes aren’t available.

        Additionally, I would like to see ORCA readers installed at all the DSTT bus bays, so that the tunnel buses can be POP inside the tunnel and become pay-as-you-board after leaving the tunnel. The 80 will become the perfect example of why this is needed, as it crawls down the Ave.

      3. That is precisely why I appreciate the 510/511 buses so much. Once, I left downtown at 7:00 on a weekday evening on a 510, got off at 45th St. and walked northeast. When I crossed 50th and University, I noticed a 73 express going by that was scheduled to leave downtown a good 20 minutes before I did.

        The fact that the 510/511 buses have empty seats while the 71/72/73 are packed is an indication that either:
        a) People hate walking so much that they’re willing to endure a 45-standing-room ride to save a 10 minute walk.
        b) People don’t know about it because the 510/511 buses are marketed at people going to Lynnwood and Everett, not people going from downtown to the U-district.

        I’m betting that the real reason here is the latter.

      4. It’s because not everyone wants to devote half their mental energy remembering half a dozen route numbers for a simple trip like downtown to the U District.

        And then check each of them to find out which is coming soonest.

        And then make sure that particular trip even stops at even 45th (lest they end up in Everett).

        They want to go to the highest-frequency stop, on a route that is unmistakeable, they want to get on the next bus, and they want it to work.

        How hard is that, really?

      5. It’s like the Ballard-to-Madison nightmare I was recounting a few weeks ago. You have about 5 options, all of them slow, none of them any more frequent the others, none of them particularly reliable.

        So you’re playing “route roulette” with any choice you make: anything could happen along the way to screw up the option you’ve picked and turn your routine trip into a nightmare. And only clairvoyance could have prevented it.

      6. @Eric – The 510/511 are great but don’t serve the U District during peak hours. I think that creates confusion which reduces the number of folks who are likely to use it. If you got one at 7pm you likely got the first one that serves the U District after rush hour.

      7. My parents live on the 71 near its north terminus and I grew up riding that bus. At first when I saw it was being turned into a shuttle route, I was a little concerned, but seeing that it will connect with a better service through the U-District and to downtown makes me think this is actually a win for the neighborhood. It takes away the one-seat ride to downtown (although, for typical downtown commuters, who are the folks who want that one-seat ride mostly, there’s still the 76), but it could make that trip to downtown a lot faster if the 80 is efficient, and might also improve service to Northgate for the neighborhood if it’s better than the current U-District to Northgate service (i.e., not having to walk as far to transfer).

        I am assuming the 80 will be shortened to just a Northgate-U-District routing after U-Link opens, then discontinued after Northgate link opens?

    2. University Way is fine. The bus bulbs and stop diet in the early 2000s cut the travel time in half. The bottlenecks southbound are 43rd to Campus Parkway where 3/4 of the riders get on, and at Stewart/Denny when there’s traffic congestion. Eastlake is slower than I-5 (except when I-5 is having a really bad day), but that’s only a secondary problem for the route.

      Interestingly, from southwest Capitol Hill, the 71/72/73X is by far the best mid-day and historical-commute when they go on I-5. Reverse-commute the 71/72/73X are still better than the 43/49, even including the walk from Convention Place. But evenings and Sundays the situation is the opposite: the 43 and 49 are faster than the 71/72/73 local, and because they’re more laid-back routes (less crushloads) they’re easier on the nerves.

  29. Commentary on projected cuts/changes to “my” routes, i.e. near my home:

    3: Probably OK. Adding turnbacks will work to replace missing 4 trips, especially because of the excellent transfer from the 48. But I’m opposed to same-number TBs in general. They’re one of the most confusing and annoying things for new/inexperienced riders, and the first time they unknowingly end up on a bus that “doesn’t go all the way” is often the last time they ride that route. For the love of god, just give them their own number.

    4: And nothing of value was lost. The 4 has been redundant for a while now; it’s sad, because it’s actually a really productive route, but there’s duplicate service that’ll soak up the demand, if requiring an extra transfer.

    14: I’m ok with this. The north leg of the route is good on paper, because it runs through the heart of a dense residential area, but in the end those residents usually choose to take a 5 minute walk and catch a different route with twice the frequency. On the south end, the old Mount Baker turnaround section is a very underserved area, but that tiny stub into the neighborhood was not significant. I have some thoughts on this involving the 27, below.

    48: Works for me. It’ll hurt reliability, but not much, and the 48 has had pretty decent reliability anyway since they eliminated the MLK leg.

    27: WHOA WHOA WHOA, BACK THE FUCK UP. This was not thought through. The 27 is a screwed up route, to be sure, but cutting it to peak only is the wrong approach.

    The 27’s problem is that from 32nd Ave to Downtown it is completely redundant. 3 out of its 5 miles are duplicate service. Riders can walk 2 blocks south and catch the 14 instead – and usually do, because the 27 hasn’t been reliable ever since it was through-routed to the 17. However, it’s the only service available east of 32nd, down the hill. Rather than cutting it to peak only, couldn’t we shorten and redraw it?

    Keep the current routing from Alder to Coleman Park, but eliminate the west leg, Lake Dell to downtown. Instead, extend it southward to McClellan, and terminate at MBTC. Ideally, you might even be able to continue it all the way down to Alaska via 38th to terminate at Columbia City station, filling in a long-standing hole in service while cutting service hours overall. The “long version” is about a 4-mile route, short enough to do 30-minute headways with only 1 coach, about a mile shorter than the current route, and eliminates about 3 miles of duplicate service. The short version is only 2.3 miles.

    Currently, we’re simply cutting off residents east of Rainier in this area from transit. We should be trying to figure out how to cheaply connect them to Central Link.

    1. “The north leg of the route is good on paper, because it runs through the heart of a dense residential area, but in the end those residents usually choose to take a 5 minute walk and catch a different route with twice the frequency.”

      Peak hours, the bus fills up in the first three stops. In the evening people walk to the 43 BECAUSE the 14 is infrequent. Or they walk to Westlake (1 mile to 1.5 miles depending on where you start) because they don’t want to walk to Pine & Bellevue and wait for another bus.

      Northbound, the 14 is scheduled 5 minutes after the 43 and is usually 5-15 minutes late. So a lot of would-be 14 riders take the 43 because they don’t know if the 14 will be on time. So these problems with the 14’s ridership do not mean the route is unproductive; they mean its scheduling and unreliability are driving away riders.

      Still, if full buses are the main criteria, you could make the 14 peak only.

      Having said that, emergency cuts are emergency cuts, and if the 14N and 27 and 28 are gone, them’s the breaks.

  30. I’m confused about service frequency on the 5 once the 26/28 locals are gone. For those of us going downtown-Fremont, right now there are 5 options (the 5/16 up at Bridge Way, the 17 on Nickerson, and the 26/28 at 34th/Fremont). I understand this plan re-routes the 5 to Dexter, but will we have 15 minute headways?

  31. Bruce, can you get any indication of Metro’s intentions for night owl? Would they eliminate all service after 2am? That would certainly save a big chunk of money in night drivers and keeping the base open. Or would they shift some hours to the C, D, and E? The spreadsheet doesn’t say what would happen to the other routes with owl runs: 7, 49, 120, 124, A. Would those disappear too?

  32. I am shocked at the lack of impact on my neighborhood, Bitter Lake. A drop in Saturday frequency on the 345, and that’s it? I guess we’d be marginally impacted by the 5 no longer having its Northgate variant, but since folks in Bitter Lake have to transfer off a southbound 5 to get to Northgate anyway, it doesn’t seem like a huge loss.

  33. Oh, I had a chat with a Metro planner familiar with this process this afternoon and here’s my takeaway:

    * “Everybody calm down.” The spreadsheet was intended to paint a very broad, very preliminary picture of the kind of cuts and restructures that could happen if the 600,000 hour scenario comes to pass. It wasn’t really intended to be released to the public in this form or subject to scrutiny at the level of detail it received here. It was a starting point, made by one planner, that might then move forward through the process and be revised and improved internally before even coming close to seeing the light of day.

    * In addition to all that, many of these (tentative, preliminary) proposals were designed to be rolled out over time. Metro’s planners have noticed, for example, that lots of people live on the Western Slope, and the 43 isn’t going anywhere until U-Link enters service at least.

    * The proposed route 80 would essentially have the same frequency and span of service as the current 7x’s combined, i.e. 10 min or better all day, 15 at night. Its routing would be the same as the 7x through the U-District but after that it’s pretty much up in the air. North of the U-District it will not be express, but if it goes up the 66 corridor there will have to be major stop reduction there.

    * Again, reiterating all disclaimers about uncertainty, it seems unlikely that all night owl service will go away. Planners are aware that these routes have value beyond what appears in the statistics. It’s possible that owl service might start looking more like normal service, with the current loops 8xs replaced with runs on the 358 and other trunk routes.

    * It’s very likely, regardless of what happens, that Georgetown will keep a frequent service corridor on 4th Ave S.

    * A turnback routing of the 2 on 34th was considered in the 80s, but one old lady in Madrona raised a fuss at a public meeting and the council bailed on the idea. It hasn’t come back up since.

    * Regarding an all-Madison routing of the 11. The Madison/Marion couplet has a crappy Link transfer, compared to walking from the south exit of CHS to Pine St. MV riders will be served better by a fast two-seat ride than a slow one-seat ride, and the much smaller number of people going from First Hill to the MV will have two low-headway options (streetcar and interlined 2/10/12) to get to the 11.

    * The 19th Ave section of the 12 could get the chop, essentially eliminating it. Apparently there used to be really good ridership there, but that part of the neighborhood’s population has shrunk while the rest of the Hill has boomed.

    * The planner I spoke to regarded the extension of the 48 with some skepticism. Like I said, this was a preliminary exercise, had not gone through any review process or formal internal discussion yet.

    * Metro did consider totally rethinking the 27 along the lines described elsewhere (extending it south for a transfer at Mount Baker, cutting Yestler). There’s a turn on Lakeview south of Colman park (I don’t know where) that a 40′ coach can’t make safely, and Metro didn’t ask SDOT to rebuild it. Outside of peak, demand on Lakeview is nonexistent; almost all that demand comes from Yestler which is within walking distance of Jackson or Jefferson. The 27, in its current form, is very likely to become peak only.

    I think that’s about it.

    1. Drat! I thought a lot of the priority-2 cuts (even more so than the priority-1 cuts) were nearly ready for prime time.

      South Park could use a doubling of the frequency on the 132 sooner rather than later. It’s our only route that doesn’t do the loop-de-loop inbound and the Figure Eight outbound. Once the new 16th Ave Bridge is open, demand for the 132 will dissipate somewhat. Right now, that bus reaches its seating capacity most of the time, which is painful for an hourly bus.

      The 131 could stand to be straightened out sooner rather than later (assuming South Park gets a second run of the 132 each hour to make up for losing the 131).

      With the Argo Bridge north of Georgetown scheduled to be shut down for several months, that would be the ideal time to begin transitioning the 131, 132, and 124.

      The 106 idea, I have to say, is politically DOA, given that service would be eliminated on south Beacon Ave.

    2. Thanks for checking in with Metro. It makes sense this was one scenario that wasn’t ready for any kind of release. I imagine when the cuts come they’ll look at options like cutting way back on Sundays in Seattle rather than disturbing some of the major routes. I think the older hands at Metro get the connection people have to their routes (and how change resistant most folks are). The idea of getting rid of the 26 and 28 locals seemed especially wacky to me. I used to live on the 28 and have been on the 26 for years. Both routes have pretty good ridership along the routes as well as connecting a number of neighborhoods to employment nodes in Fremont and South Lake Union (not to mention Downtown).

      1. Yes! Cutting back on Sunday and holiday service makes very much sense. What terrible waste of Metro dollars to have empty articulated 71s rumble through quiet residential neighborhoods in Wedgwood/View Ridge every half an hour on a Sunday, even more so on a Thanksgiving or Christmas morning.

      2. Then again, Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel days of the year. So some service like Link to the Airport may actually warrant special service ala “game day” in SODO. Likewise with travel plans before Xmas day and after New Years and of course shopper specials on Black Friday. The NYSE treats Good Friday and the 4th of July the same but transit shouldn’t.

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