Back in April we supported, and the County Council soon after passed, revisions to Eastside transit service as part of the RapidRide B-Line roll out. It was a largely an uneventful process minus some disagreement between the City of Bellevue and the College of Bellevue over the 240. We supported the process Metro followed, but we were also particularly fond of the proposal because it emphasized frequent, all-day service in the highest ridership corridors.
Well now I have a map that succinctly shows just that point. The image above shows frequent, all-day service before (red dotted lines) and after (blue lines) the service change. The map actually understates the point, since the 255 from South Kirkland P&R to Totem Lake TC currently goes to 30 minute headways in the reverse-peak direction during peak periods, much to my annoyance since this is the bus I take to get to work.
Currently the only frequent, all-day service is the interlined segment of the 230/253 (Bellevue TC to Crossroads) and ST 545 and 550. After the service changes are implemented this level of service will be expanded to the B-Line, 234/235 interlined segment (Bellevue TC to Kirkland TC), 245,255,271 and ST 545 and 550, an increase from 3 to 7 routes. Combined these routes do a much better job of linking the largest activity nodes on the Eastside and better integrating Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland with frequent service. Most importantly, besides the additional 23K platform hours to the B-Line, no additional service was added. All service hours were either transferred from eliminated routes, or gained through consolidation of routes.
With the launch of the B-Line and more concentrated and frequent service on major corridors, the new network brings a level of service to transit supportive areas of the Eastside that starts to allow for a low or car-free lifestyle, something that is currently hard to do on the Eastside.