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Metro’s newish service change website format is great. The October 1st change details are out:

  • Total restructure of Eastside service to accompany Rapid Ride B.
  • West Seattle-Sodo routes move from 1st Ave S to 4th Ave S. That’s better connectivity to points south and Link, if nothing else.
  • Viaduct construction mitigation brings the 54 to 15-minute frequency midday and Saturday.
  • Children’s Hospital buys some new trips on the 75; new trips on the 193, 211, 303, 309, 522, 545, 577, and 586.

32 Replies to “Details of Oct. 1st Service Change”

    1. I just read the new ST book when I was on the 594 earlier today. There is only a tweak here or there.

      Now, Pierce on the other hand: the new bus books are out (again, when I was on the 594 today) and you better live near ST service or prepared to get screwed!! When they say “approximate hours of service” referring to 5 PM being the end of service, they mean it. Bus off the road BY 5 PM!!

      1. [sarcasm]Thanks Pierce County voters for saying No on Prop 1[/sarcasm]

        Maybe the moderators would do a thread for the huge service reductions coming to Pierce Transit on October 12th? (I don’t feel like venturing too far off topic)

      2. Span and Frequency aside, the routing ideas seem to form a solid base from which to expand service in the future if and when new funding is found… No more exurbs sucking down dollars with expensive to operate fixed route and shuttle bus service. Now if we could only get RapidRide “A” extended to tacoma…

    2. From the linked page click the “Schedule and Route Revisions” tab, then scroll down below the “Metro Service Revisions” box and click the “Sound Transit Service Revisions”

      1. Kudos to ST for providing lots of info on obtaining and using ORCA, and for the following two policies:

        From page 14: “A non-ORCA RRFP used alone is not valid for fare payment on any Sound Transit service.” I hope they mean ORCA product on the RRFP has to be used.

        From page 15: “… Access passes are valid for full fare on all Sound Transit services.” My understanding is that the Access card is not a fare card, but a card that shows a rider is qualified to use the service. So possession of the card, it would appear, would allow the holder to ride Sound Transit for free. This is actually one of the goals in the fare consolidation report, along with charging full adult fare for Access rides. It makes sense financially to encourage Access riders to use the fixed routes when they can.

      2. Correction: The Access pass is a $45 monthly pass specific to Metro and ST, but not valid for other agencies.

        At that level, it automatically covers all Metro services, but not the multi-zone ST Express or Sounder all the way from Seattle to Tacoma. According to the new ST book, it will cover the full value on all ST services as of the new pick. Up until now, it was to the benefit of Access-qualified riders to use a standard $45 RRFP. For those who avail themselves of inter-county ST fixed service, the Access ORCA will now possibly be a better deal, as long as they don’t take any PT, CT, or ET routes.

        I hope the various agencies are working toward agreement to honor each others’ paratransit passes, once in an ORCA form, to allow each others’ paratransit-qualified riders to ride all non-paratransit services for free, and develop a unified paratransit ORCA pass.

  1. How does the ORCA pre-pay system work? I’ve never been on a Rapid Ride bus or really seen the stops up close, so I’m confused about how they know who has paid when they’re being let on the bus through the back doors.

      1. If it did that, the fare inspectors wouldn’t need portable readers. You just scan your card. The “proof” of payment comes if/when an inspector scans your card and it shows up as having paid.

        I think a legit PoP system w/printed tickets will be necessary if we ever want to convert downtown surface stops to all-door off-board payment areas, but Metro doesn’t seem to have any interest in it.

      2. Adding a surcharge for paying with cash would be very cheap, and bring in new revenue. Use some of that to buy some cheap SWIFT-style TVMs.

        Even if TVMs aren’t affordable, institute the cash surcharge anyway, and the number of cash payers should go down drastically.

  2. I’m interested to see what the new schedule will look like for the 255 during reverse-commute hours (I just got roped into a cross-lake commute, after thinking I’d got myself into a 4-block walk commute). Currently it runs every 15 minutes except between 8 and 9 AM, when it runs 3 trips during the hour instead of 4, with spacing of 25, 15, then 20 minutes. The gap between 8 and 8:25 is exactly the time you don’t want a 25-minute gap! There must be some good operational reason for it, but it’s a long wait if you miss the 8:00 bus!

    1. I recommend taking an East Base bus to Yarrow Point and biking the rest of the way. During rush hour, the East Base buses come about every 3 minutes or so, so whenever you arrive at Montlake, you can expect to hardly wait at all. So far, the bike route between Yarrow Point and Bellevue Way has remained open through the 520 construction. (For the return trip, you either go 255 the whole way, or do the same thing in reverse, depending on what mood you’re in and what the weather is like).

    2. 10 minute headways reverse commute after October, 1. The timetables are not online yet to my knowledge

  3. Taking a look at the schedules, routes 54 and 55 appear to be identical for most of the route, and already appear to be staggered so, for the common section, the combined headway is already 15 minutes, even if each route is 30 minutes standalone.

    This begs the question of what the extra #54 trips are supposed to accomplish, as each of the new #54 trips are simply going to be bunched with a #55 that’s already there.

    Unless there’s a lot of ridership after the 54 branches south (I don’t think this is the case), or the common 54/55 section desperately needs extra capacity to avoid overcrowding (again, I don’t think this is the case during off-peak hours), the decision to add new trips here the way they did feels a little questionable.

    If the goal is to improve service to West Seattle, they could have at least re-adjusted the schedules so the 54 and 55 come at regular 10 minute intervals during the common section, albeit at the cost of giving Lincoln Park 20/10 headways, rather than 15/15.

    1. The 54 and 55 being connected to the two branches of the 5 make for terrible bunching as it is. At least now that the 55 is by itself, it may be able to keep a more consistent schedule.

    2. The 55 is now going to be a stand alone route. And all route 5* will through-route with only 54’s (with the exception of some of the 5 trips that don’t continue to W Seattle)

      These extra peak hour 54’s that start and end at Westwood Village already exist during rush hours and are currently the stand alone trips, currently starting and ending in Downtown. These trips will now connect with route 5, and will be continued through mid-day service.

      The reason for the extra trips isn’t just for over-crowding, but also for more options wen the viaduct comes down next month and more importantly, getting people used to the RapidRide C line headways.

      1. I wonder why Metro hasn’t changed the through-routing in advance? My understanding is that either RRC and RRD will be through-routed, or both will be stand-alone routes. So why not link the 15 to the 54, and figure out some new scheme for the rest (which Metro will have to do anyway once C/D come online)?

  4. The 55 splits away at the Junction and heads north to Admiral, which is pretty key… That said, there is talk of doing away with the Route or reconfiguring it in some way in the context of a major overhaul of SW routes happening as part of the Viaduct mitigation. Public planning meetings are supposed to happen some time in October, I believe.

  5. Ok, how did they miss the “B-LINE” under the ‘service added’ section? Its there under the “Introduction and Highlights”, but it sure would help tell the story to plop it in the ‘service added’ section too.

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