I have a substantial post coming up later this week about the 2004 Ambaum/Delridge restructure, which lead to the creation of what is now one of Metro’s workhorse frequent-service routes, Route 120, serving Delridge, White Center and Burien. To whet your appetite, I’ve obtained stop-level data from this summer; analysis and discussion after the jump.
- Great overall performance. Most times of day, the bus seldom has less than 15 people on board, all the way out to Burien TC; most stops are well used, and many exhibit the steady turnover of riders that characterizes strong routes which connect ridership centers.
- Best performance in White Center, South Delridge and northern Burien. All the stops between Holden and 136th St are very busy, surprisingly more so than North Delridge; 15th & Roxbury stands out. I don’t know the area well enough to say why, although my guess would be a demographic difference.
- Dovetails beautifully with SR-509 peak express service. In the peaks, ridership in Burien is very light, particularly the AM peak inbound, probably because riders have chosen to backtrack to the TC for the copious express service. This is smarter than simply throwing peak trips at the 120, as it gives Burien riders a faster trip and relieves crowding in Delridge.
One of the many unfortunate actions related to the Viaduct replacement project was the
Governor’s veto legislature’s decision not to enact MVET authority for Metro, which would (I’m told) have paid for the 120 to become a RapidRide route. It should be clear from this chart the 120 has excellent potential to benefit from RapidRide-like improvement, as it’s a service with strong, bidirectional all-day demand (like the 358) that will only get stronger with the planned deviation to Westwood Village. This should be the first major improvement project on Metro’s list when long-term funding authority is forthcoming to replace the temporary $20 CRC.