Last Wednesday, King County Metro announced two public meetings to solicit input on the last two planned RapidRide lines, E and F, which will supersede current Metro Routes 358 and 140 in Spring and Fall of 2013 respectively. RapidRide is Metro’s improved local bus service, with branded stops and buses, off-board ORCA payment and arrival time displays at busy stops, and service “so often, you don’t need a timetable”*. Mark your calendars for the following dates:
|RapidRide E (Shoreline to Seattle)
Wednesday, Jan. 25, 6-8 p.m. at
Green Lake Presbyterian Church
6318 Linden Ave N, Seattle 98103
|RapidRide F (Burien to Renton)
Thursday, Jan. 26, 6-8 p.m. at
Renton City Hall
1055 S. Grady Way, Renton 98057
Due to budget constraints and the sheer volume of changes to the bus network Metro is undertaking in 2012 and 2013, Metro has replaced the sounding board process with more direct public outreach, using online and paper surveys in addition to public open houses to gather feedback, along with direct mail, social media and blogs to get the word out as widely as possible.
Maps and discussion of the some of the main issues and choices Metro would like input on, after the jump.
First up, the E line. Click here to see the full map of proposed stops and routing: it’s basically today’s 358 with fewer stops, except in one place, west of Green Lake between Green Lake Way and Winona Ave. Between those streets, the 358 turns off Aurora Ave to serve Linden Ave; this is known as the Linden Deviation, and is shown in dashed purple in the map extract to the right. Metro is considering eliminating the deviation and staying on Aurora; either option would have one stop, at 68th St. Eliminating the deviation would significantly improve travel times and reliability for virtually all riders, but ADA access and pedestrian safety are an issue for the Aurora option’s northbound stop.
The part of Aurora Ave between Downtown Seattle and Winona Ave is described by SDOT as the “freeway-like segment of Aurora”, because it’s six lanes wide, has relatively high average speeds and no signals except for one crosswalk by Greenlake, just north of 68th, which riders would have to use to access the northbound stop. As a safety measure for cars, SDOT has installed concrete barriers in the middle of the road, and safely navigating the crosswalk currently requires walking through a narrow gap in that barrier — easy for sighted people, but possibly difficult and dangerous for blind riders. A textured strip on either edge of the crosswalk to provide a non-visual cue is an example of the kind of technique that might be used to address this problem.
On the east side of Aurora, there is curb, but only a gravel sidewalk, so upgrades to pedestrian infrastructure will be required in order to provide a path from the northbound stop to points north and east that is navigable and accessible to all riders. Metro is working with SDOT to examine potential solutions these problems, and props to those agencies if they can make it happen in spite of their financial straits: the speed and reliability benefits of this change would be tremendous, and it has no other disadvantages I can think of.
Elsewhere on Aurora, I’m told there will be 17 intersections with newly-installed signal priority for the E Line, and by my count there are roughly 25 signalized intersections between the Ship Canal and Aurora Village TC, so if the priority is sufficiently strong, that’s enough to make a real difference in travel times. Currently, the 358 has no priority at any intersections outside of downtown. Readers interested in the history and ridership patterns of the current 358 can dig in to my magnum opus on the subject.
Next up, the F Line. I have rather less commentary about this route, as I’ve never ridden the 140, and I’ve not spent much time in this part of the county. Metro wants feedback on three possible alignments for the segment east of Tukwila Sounder Station to Grady Way. The potential extensions to Renton Landing identified on the map above are unfunded and no estimate is given as to when they might be funded, although the extension is strongly desired by the City of Renton. Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes will be added on Rainier Ave S, and 20 intersections throughout the route will be upgraded with transit signal priority.
As always, you can have your say here in the comments, and Metro staff do read them, but if you want to be certain that your feedback is officially considered, you should email it to email@example.com, show up to a meeting, or include it in your response to the surveys on the RapidRide pages linked to above.
* Although the proposed RapidRide C and D lines will operate every 20-30 minutes in the early evenings, obviously inadequate to meet that promise, and somewhat undermining the whole point of special service branding, as Oran pointed out a while ago.
73 Replies to “Have Your Say on RapidRide E & F Lines”
will the “E” line be timed to connect to Swift? (which ends at Aurora Village TC … right?)
They will connect at AVTC, but it’s not a timed connection. Weekday daytime, SWIFT is every 10 minutes, every 20 other times (no Sunday service). RR E will be every 15 on evenings and weekends, 15 or better (based on demand) during the day.
that’s kinda sad that the “E” can’t match SWIFT’s service levels … out of curiosity … compared to the 358 service we now have … how many seats/hour are / will be available in the Aurora corridor (assuming 60′ buses)
SWIFT weekday daytime service is being reduced to every 12 minutes next month.
I’m not sure about seats/hour, but my understanding is that most of the new service hours spent on the E Line will be to improve Sunday and evening baseline headways to 15 minutes from 20 and 30 minutes respectively. Currently, the 358’s baseline headway during Mon-Sat daytime is 15 minutes, but to meet demand, there are lots of additional one-way trips added in the peaks.
Due to the improved speed, reliability and policing of the E Line vs the 358, there will probably be more demand, so there will probably be yet more peak trips added during the week, but Metro doesn’t have the cash to do what’s really the right thing, which is to improve the weekday baseline headways to 10 minutes.
Riding #358 nowadays, I rarely look at the schedule. Usually the bus is so late, it doesn’t matter when you arrive at the bus stop. I just love it when there are two or three buses all within two minutes. Hopefully after the conversion to RapidRide, it will become more dependable and more people will ride it. Really looking forward to having real-time info at each stop!
Long term, is there any possibility that RR E and SWIFT could just thru-route each other, going straight through on Aurora? It seems absolutely ridiculous that someone going three miles in a straight line down a major arterial has to transfer just because the trip happens to cross a county-line. After all, nobody driving has to put up with a 10 minute delay each time they cross the King-Snohomish county line.
I know the two routes are operated by different agencies with different buses with different branding and different spans and headways, but if the agencies can work together, that should be a solvable problem.
Even with off-board payment and other natty BRT features, a route can only be so long with so many stops and still maintain reliability (unless you pad the schedule with hold time, somewhat undermining the point of the exercise).
I suspect the ridership patterns on SWIFT are quite different to most of the E Line — much weaker overall. Nothing between AVTC and Everett is really that dense. That SWIFT runs at 10 minute headways and the E Line at 10-15 is an artifact of politics and geography, not ridership patterns.
Do we have numbers on how many people ride the current 358? We have those numbers for Swift we could compare them to get an idea. Currently the Swift is CT’s busiest route (not saying much).
There’s a chart of weekday boardings here:
Not sure offhand what CT publishes for SWIFT.
Service “so often you don’t need a timetable”? Or “We don’t give you a timetable because we think you are too stupid or lazy to use one, and we don’t want to be accountable to operate on any schedule”?
Or “The buses are usually so late a timetable is as worthless as an articulated bus in a Seattle snowstorm.”
To any metro planner reading this: take these comments seriously! There is no legitimate reason not to publish those schedules. ST staff, think the same about Link.
The swift has a schedule and it’s usually on time but I’ve never looked at it except for one weekends. A ten minute headway doesn’t need a schedule. For 15 minutes I wouldn’t mind but it’s not that important. It’s not like any other bus will get you there faster anyway. At 20 minutes and on I want a schedule.
Replying to my own topic. It looks like the Swift and 101 carry about half as many people as the 358. The SR-99 corridor north of AVTC has roughly equal the ridership of the 358 (Swift/101/ET9). Actually those numbers don’t really add up because Swift/101 only provides 5k riders a day so I’m guessing the 9 provides the rest?
Much of Rapid Ride is every 15 minutes (and less evenings)
Even every 10 minutes a schedule is useful. If you know that the bus comes “on the 4’s” you can time when you get there a few minutes before the bus will be there, so you have a 2-3 minute wait and not a random wait and sometimes see it drive off.
It would be nice understand the dynamics of why RapidRide A is doing well in some areas and poorly in others before getting too jazzed up over additional lines. Supposedly, Metro plucked the low lying fruits offered by ‘BRT-Light’ service to have a good poster child going further.
Yes, ridership is up about 50% on the A line over the 174 it replaced.
No, all the performance enhancements didn’t save 25% on the schedule. Only 10%
Yes, operating hours allocated were nearly double, over the 174.
So in effect, the new route is not as productive as the old route, even with so many new riders.
That’s a huge question to get answers to before plunging ahead with marginal routes, like the F line.
When Bruce did a study of a past route restructuring on Aurora I believe it took a couple years for the added/more efficient service to generate new riders.
The issue with the 174 -> A comparison is that it is a route oriented for very-long-distance rides and traveling entirely through a low-density corridor isolated from parallel corridors by I-5 and other topographical obstacles.
Simply put, the corridor has a relatively fixed ridership ceiling. Doubling service could never double ridership; there simply aren’t enough new potential riders nearby, nor new ridership needs met, nor inferior parallel services to consolidate/siphon riders from.
City needs, and ridership potentials, are different. And that’s the problem with RapidRide’s “network” (read: scattered red marks on a map) of one-size-fits-all service principles. It’s the same as giving size Medium t-shirts to a fashion model and the world’s fattest man and then telling them how much better they both look.
Put in a network of 6 or 7 well-branded, well-marked 5-minute-frequency routes that reach every corner Seattle’s urban-scaled portion, and new ridership would come flowing out of the woodwork. The city offers exponentially higher consolidate-able demand, as well as boundless untapped demand that could be drawn onto the system by actual high-quality service as part of an actual high-quality network.
Unfortunately, RapidRide C, D, and E have been scaled back to “I guess we’ll never know” levels.
RapidRide A’s example of 2x the service yielding only 1.5x the ridership has no relevance to any future project except for RapidRide F.
Human Transit book
Human Transit site
…and definitely some other consolidated master post on the topic that I’m having trouble Googling.
I ride in Renton, so here’s some opinions for the 140/F Line on the Tukwila/Renton side. (I’m going to post these in an email to Metro, too.)
1. Can’t miss Tukwila Sounder Station, especially after the new station gets built next year. Multimodal connections to Sounder and Amtrak are too good to ignore.
2. Avoid the temptation to bypass Lind Avenue. There’s loads of employment (and existing ridership) up and down that stretch, from a DSHS office at SW 7th to lots of office-park employment south of Grady Way. Grady Way itself is nothing more than a stretch of car dealerships anyway – what’s the need for transit there? Lind Avenue, however, could be slow.
3. Stoplights on Rainier Avenue and the downtown couplet need serious work, with or without Rapidride – the traffic is bad all hours, and the lights aren’t coordinated. Consider moving the South 2nd stop closer (east) to the high school; buses turning left have to cross two busy lanes of traffic in only a few hundred feet.
4. Beg, borrow, and steal to fund the Landing extension. The place is an up-and-coming destination in Renton, packed with local employment and new shops. (Consider routing along Logan instead of Park, though.)
Question about the F: there seems to be one hell of a deviation to the west of the Tukwila Sounder/Amtrak station to reach Southcenter Mall. This seems very undesirable. Is there any way to simplify this path? Obviously, skipping Southcenter would simplify it, but that seems unwise.
Are the 62nd and 66ths stops essential? Could the 53rd stop be moved to 51st? Going from Southcenter Blvd to Klickitat Drive to Southcenter to Strander Boulevard *looks* like it would simplify the routing immensely. Or is there some traffic problem with that?
My thought for less of a Southcenter diversion would be to use Andover Park E instead of Andover Park W. I doubt that idea would be well thought of by actual potential users of RR-F who wanted to go to Southcenter.
Indeed. So how about, as I suggested, getting rid of the northern run to 62nd and 66th and running straight down 51th and Klickitat to Southcenter Parkway, and from there down Strander the whole length?
Someone with a better understanding of the routes in the area might be able to suggest expanded/rearranged bus routes to better link this RapidRide to the “orphaned” area. There seem to be enough routes in the area to do it.
It makes no sense to try to have RapidRide both serve Southcenter directly *and* serve the Southcenter Boulevard area north of the expressway directly. That way lies “not at all rapid”.
Unfortunately, 51st Ave S. passes directly over Southcenter Blvd. You can’t turn from one street to the other.
Ha! More trouble from excessive grade separations…
Well, I guess it has to take that crazy route. It’s not going to be particularly rapid, is it.
How important is it really that the F-line bus deviate to serve the Sounder station’s front door? If the Sounder train ran all day every 10 minutes like Link does, I could maybe accept it, but the reality is that Sounder is a peak-only service and during the midday, evenings, and weekends, everybody who wants to go from the airport or Southcenter to Renton will have to waste time going through a loop-de-loop in order to serve zero passengers.
Even during the peak, I don’t think there’s that many people that are going to be making the F->Sounder connection. If you’re going downtown from Renton, in the time it takes to ride the F to the Sounder station, wait for the Sounder, then ride the Sounder to downtown, you may as well just take a one-seat ride on the 101. If you coming from west of TIBS, you’d do better by just getting off at TIBS and riding Link – whatever time the Sounder saves by getting downtown faster gets wiped out when you consider the extra time on the bus, plus the longer wait times (peak headways are 30 minutes on the Sounder vs. 7.5 minutes on Link). And in between TIBS and the Sounder station, you’ve got Southcenter mall and a few suburban business parks, with virtually no residential housing to speak of. Making the F-line do an expensive deviation simply provide a faster ride to downtown for a few homeless people camping out at Southcenter simply does not make sense.
Off-peak, yes, there is Amtrak. However, the Amtrak schedule is so limited (~3-4 hour headways), that the bulk of the F trips to Tukwila Station are still going to be complete waste-of-time detours that don’t connect with any train. Even for those that do want to make Amtrak connections, an F-line stop at West Valley highway and Longacres Way is only a flat 0.2 mile walk – no worse than what we already expect riders to be able to do who are transferring from Link to an airplane at SeaTac. With proper signage “Amtrak/Sounder – this way” or “Bus to Renton and Burien – this way”, wayfinding should not be an issue. Disabled people who can’t handle the 0.2 mile flat walk can ride paratransit or pay for a taxi. A one-mile taxi ride is a relatively small expensive, compared with the train fare for Seattle->Portland. Plus, the reality is, whether the F bus deviates to the Amtrak station or not, the large majority of the passengers getting on and off there will be picked up and dropped off by friends and relatives and won’t even be using public transit.
I would think that the Tukwila Sounder station would be more important for folks from the south going to Renton or to the airport than connecting with downtown from Renton.
Some other things to consider:
– There are also a couple of reverse-peak trips. Is there demand for going from Renton toward Tacoma?
– Within a few years, two more Sounder round trips will be added.
– Will the diversion be easier when the permanent Tukwila Station is built?
– When the Strander Blvd extension gets built, can it be used to straighten out the Southcenter — Tukwila Station diversion?
Having ridden the A line many times what they need to do most of all is have as limited a number of stops as practicable. All that slowing down, speeding up, & added dwell time wipes out much of the rest of the speed improvements.
Looks like the E Line will have .4 miles between stops. The Swift has 1.2 miles between stops. Quite a difference. There’s a couple of places where the Swift could use more stops but overall it’s not bad.
As to the F line, frankly I wish it had less stops. I suppose this isn’t possible given they are replacing the 140, so as with other RapidRide routes, they are trying to straddle the line between a local route and a true BRT line. Its more like a fancy X (express) of a local route, while cancelling the local.
The line is circuitous enough that maybe all the stops don’t much matter, but limiting it to stops at BTC, TIBS, South Center, Tukwila Station, RTC, and the Landing would be ideal. Maybe a stop at the Boeing buildings near the landing too although they’re only a 10 min walk from the Landing. Perhaps this would limit ridership such that the line would be a failure. It would suit my needs better though!
What you are describing is more of a regional express. Typically, you can expect riders to walk 1/2 mile or maybe a little more for high-quality, frequent service, so if your stops are more than 1/2 mile apart, you’re giving up riders. I think I would look to get rid of some of the closely-spaced stops east of Burien TC and Grady Way, but I don’t know which are the best.
Certainly, the E Line could stand to lose four or five stops.
At TIBS, please make the bus stay on the street and don’t waste everyone’s time driving into the parking lot.
Eric is right. The time it takes the bus to pull through the TIBS parking lot is longer than the time to walk from the street to the foot of the elevator.
Further thought: seriously, a stop at 32nd AND a stop at TIBS? No way.
Stop at TIBS on the street east of Pacific Highway (east of Pacific Highway when going in both directions). Build a proper bus bay and station there, and a proper sidewalk through/around the TIBS parking lot to TIBS Link.
I’m curious why there’s no Fremont-oriented stop at Bridge Way. There isn’t one for the 358, either (I think), but it seems like it could be useful as a transfer point and potentially as a destination for people coming from the north.
Fremont’s not a huge employment center, but there are a decent number of jobs, between tech and retail. It’d seem like there might be a market for people commuting from, say, Bitter Lake to Fremont. Not to mention another possible bus for people from Fremont to take downtown.
Meanwhile, 85th/90th/95th/100th/105th does seem like too many stops too close to each other.
I suspect it’s mostly history and a legacy of Downtown-orientation. That area has always been served by the 16 and 5, both of which turn off Aurora at that point. The 358 and its predecessors have always been oriented towards longer trips from Greenlake and points north. Most Fremont-oriented service has always been on Dexter or Westlake, and from points south, that works quite well, as it takes you right into the heart of Fremont.
It would be hard to make a quick and safe transfer point there. The stop would have to be north of the 38th St exit, and riders would have to walk quite a way, crossing at least one intersection, to reach the nearest 5 or 16 stops.
If, as proposed in the Fall 2012 restructure, the 5 were routed off Aurora and onto Dexter, through Fremont, it might be worth it to walk from Bitter lake to the 5. That part of the proposal has been jettisoned, but the Northgate arm of the 5 will still be scrapped in favor of frequent service to Shoreline CC. People will walk further to more frequent service.
I had imagined siting the stops south of the 38th overpass and north of the on/offramps. From an overhead view, it looks feasible, though I think it might require widening the bridge, which obviously moves the idea into non-trivial cost. And it’d still require crossing the on/off ramps to transfer to the 5/16 and a short-ish hike to DT Fremont or lower Stone Way. So it’s not clear it’d be a good idea even if there weren’t a history of downtown orientation, as you mention.
Thanks for the response.
The Rapid RIde E line needs to stop on 39th and AUrora, as did the old routes 6 and 359, to serve those who need to get to downtown Fremont from farther north. The 45th stop is much too far away.
I live in Bitter Lake, getting from there to the 5 is not difficult at all. I used to take the 5 all the time when my son was going to daycare on Phinney Ridge. If I were going to take the bus to Fremont, it wouldn’t be a problem to take the 5. So I think adding a stop to Rapid Ride at Fremont is unnecessary. Especially with the change to the 5 that is happening in the fall (hopefully).
I wrote in my feedback to add a highway stop with an elevator down to Fremont. Even if Metro can’t afford this now (which it can’t), it could at least make it a goal and start loooking for funding. This has the benefit of giving Fremont a faster trip than Dexter, without slowing down the majority of riders who are not going to Fremont and do not want to go down to an exit and a stop sign.
I also wrote that there are too many stops around 90th and 130th, and Metro should set a goal of cutting the travel time down to 30 minutes (currently 45).
I would love it if they get rid of the stops at 90th and 95th. No stops between 85th and 100th, please! Then a stop at 105th, then no stops until 130th. Maybe a stop at 135th(137th? I can’t remember where that light is).
Ditto Cinesea except I think they should keep at stop at 115th, for access to NW Hospital (which appears to be growing rapidly the last few years). And I don’t think they need a stop at 135th–I think that stop is only there to serve the nursing home, which has its own shuttles AND the 345. I really don’t think that many people are using the stop at 135th.
Keep the Linden deviation.
The greenlake running path is where runners fly by. The paved path by the lake is for skaters & dog walkers to see and be seen.
It would be a mistake to pave the area, or to have large quantities of people milling about.
The crosswalk at 68th is dangerous. I doubt any remediation could make the aurora drivers stop on time for the red light.
Photo-radar enforcement of the posted speed limit would fix that right quick.
I don’t like routes that run along bodies of water (and thereby have a poor walkshed) or couplets, in general.
However, consider a couplet of Aurora southbound and Linden northbound. Riders rushing to work would get the fastest path southbound, and riders around the Linden Deviation would have an extra block to walk, but still have a bus stop that is safe to access.
Northbound, riders are mostly going home and not in as much a hurry. Those riding the E to access Green Lake can do so further north. Having the northbound stop on Linden would serve the neighborhood better.
Also, people wanting to get to the businesses on Aurora would have a downhill walk from the Linden stop, while commuters trying to get the route southbound would also have a downhill walk.
The real slow-down of the Linden Deviation is northbound, where the bus has to wait at a light before turning left and going under Aurora. So if you’re going to run it northbound on Linden, you might as well run it southbound on Linden too.
Is a stop at 68th really that necessary? Winona is at 73rd, which is just five blocks away.
That is a good point, I hadn’t really thought about that. Also, folks in the Linden Deviation area can also walk to the 5 up on Phinney. I used to get off the 358 at 68th and then walk up the hill 3 blocks to pick up my kid from daycare, then walk one more block up to catch the 5 home to Bitter Lake (it was less crowded than the 358, and a more pleasant ride with a wiggly toddler). If I were lazy, which I am, and I lived in that neighborhood, I’d probably take the 358 in the mornings so I could walk downhill to get to it, then take the 5X in the evenings so I could walk downhill again. :) But, I guess my point is, that neighborhood is also served by 5 and 5X.
Bruce, as to the Greenlake and other crosswalk/pedestrian improvements, you might want to ask SDOT about federal grants. I know they were working on a small starts application for ped improvements along that whole corridor about 18 months ago. No idea what they heard or if they’ve heard yet.
Good tip, I’ll put in a call to SDOT once the snOMG is over.
How much would it cost to upgrade the crosswalk at 68th St. to a full-scale pedestrian bridge?
$2m+ for an ADA-compliant bridge would be my guess. The slope has to be very shallow for wheelchairs. This being Seattle, you’d probably have an epic legal fight to do it, because all the people who’d lose views of Green Lake would sue the City to death.
If $2 million is the price for the elimination of the Linden deviation, I would guess that it would probably pay for itself in saved service hours alone over the years. And it’s not just the bus system that would benefit. People living in the neighborhood would use it to go jogging in the park. And drivers would also benefit by not having to stop at the crosswalk.
As far as I can tell from Google street view, only 1-2 single family homes would be forced to suffer a minor obstruction in their view if such a bridge were built. This is not a lot of people.
Odd, because Metro has a bunch of licenses for mini transmitters along Aurora.
Depending on the dates of the licenses, that might be the legacy TSP system that’s being ripped out in favor of the newer, smarter TSP system that’s being installed now (or over the next few months). Hence the qualification “currently”.
I’m curious whether anyone has thoughts on the effect of abandoning sounding boards?
“On the east side of Aurora, there is curb, but only a gravel sidewalk, so upgrades to pedestrian infrastructure will be required in order to provide a path from the northbound stop to points north and east that is navigable and accessible to all riders.”
I don’t follow why this is the case. If you want to north and East, wouldn’t it be easier to just stay on the bus for one more stop and get off at 75th? Even if you wanted to go north and east on foot (or by wheelchair), there is already a paved path that connects with the main, paved, Green Lake jogging trail. The only real upgrade to the pedestrian infrastructure I see a need for is the immediate area around the would-be bus stop. We need to set the bus stop further back from the road so people waiting for the bus don’t block the gravel trail and, also, so the roar of the traffic is a little less loud. Currently, there’s a hill slope there, so we’d need to do some grading work.
While not ideal, the crosswalk seems good enough to me for now, although if money were infinite, I’d investigate replacing it with a pedestrian bridge. If there’s problems with cars not stopping for it, we can add warning signs further south, so northbound drivers in freeway mode can be made aware sooner that there’s a crosswalk coming. Also, the #5 bus is less than half a mile west of Aurora, so anyone who is really uncomfortable with that crosswalk can always opt to simply take the 5 when traveling in the northbound direction.
So, my vote is to remove the Linden deviation and continue in a straight line down Aurora.
That half mile is up/down a very steep hill.
My say is RR F is an utter and complete joke. Don’t bother. Please delete the 140 route altogether.
If the suggestions above are incorporated (fewer stops, more direct routing), would you think better of it?
I think the entire RapidRide program seems to have been a half-assed job. It’s odd, with SWIFT as a not-very-far-away example to follow.
Maybe, but the entire routing is highly unreliable. Frequency can not make up for that. The route is a cluster.
I believe the major fault with RR, is that KCM didn’t move fare payment, completely off-board.
How else would you get from Burien to Southcenter or Renton without going through downtown? The 140 is one of the few east-west routes that exist in south King County.
Fine, real solution. Two local routes (you already have the 150) to Southcenter and an actual RR avoiding the absurd deviation with respective transfer points. Put in tons of Transit Priority lights and bus lanes at key points (large lengths of Grady Way and Rainier Avenue). Delete the South Renton deviation and have people use Rainier stops for access to the P&R. Go to the Landing via Logan Ave (it’s underserved). You have your rapidride. Anything short of that might as well not see any change. RR F is a doomed venture full of false scheduling, slow buses, and non-using ORCA riders.
I hope there is some route restructuring that goes along with the rollout of the F Line.
Having the 560 duplicate the trip from Burien to Renton as an express, and then end up taking longer than the 140/F, suggests it is time to euthanize the 560.
The 122 could provide 2-way service between TIBS and all the employment sites along the tail of the 122 (which are not served well at all by peak-direction-only service), while saving a lot of service hours from not having the 122 go all the way downtown. Those along the 122 line tail who actually just want to get to Burien will have a short wait for a transfer to the F Line.
Give the 139 a timed transfer from the F Line, and try to time the F Line departure to transfer loads from the 139, so that the 139+F+Link makes the 123 obsolete.
Likewise, give the newly-improved 166 a timed transfer with the F Line, so as to reduce demand for the duplicate-heading 121. Investment in F Line frequency is cheaper than investing in more 121 runs.
Once the F-Line is rolled out, I hope it becomes cost-effective to have late-night fare inspection by having one team work both the A and F Line.
Either that, or have the team float among all the RapidRide lines, working different lines each night.
Grant and Bruce are on the right track. The standard for BRT is stops no less than 1/2 mile apart. In Shoreline’s 3 miles of Aurora, there are 12 stops. Clearly, some of the stops need to go, but the city transportation folks think that people won’t ride without all of the same stops. No doubt, part of the problem is that Metro isn’t planning to run any local service underneath, such as the #101 does for Swift. Metro planners even agree that the time savings vs. the #358 won’t be much, in my view this makes using “rapid” in the name a misnomer. IMO, this is because of having too many stops in Shoreline plus the Linden deviation, which adds two turns, two traffic lights, and a possible wait to turn going north, a turn, a stop, and a merge going south. In general, a BRT route stays on major arterials, not providing door-to-door service, and the stop on Aurora at 68th should suffice. As for Shoreline, the stops that should be eliminated would be 180th, 170th, 152nd, and perhaps 165th. The one at 198th would be tempting, except that with the last mile of Aurora getting the funding to add the BAT lanes to it, the likelihood is that Swift will go south to 192nd to connect with RapidRide, hopefully with a station at N. 200th (no word whether RR would continue to go to Aurora Village), and this could happen within the next couple of years. Metro could alleviate some of the angst of those wanting local stops by straightening out some of the #345’s route by staying on N. 115th past Northwest Hospital (vs. touring the parking lot), then heading up Aurora (deviating to Four Freedoms on demand) to N. 160th or even N. 165th, then over to Shoreline CC. The changed parts of this route are covered by the 316 and 346 around Haller Lake (to N. 130th) and the 5 and 355 along Greenwood Ave. N.; the latter would lose a single-seat ride to/from Northgate, however. Looking south, I could see them skipping the stop at 95th, there’s no light there, adding ones at N. 50th (for the zoo) and N. 38th (for Wallingford/Fremont folks).
I completely agree, especially about the 345. Seriously, could that route be any more detour-laden and wasteful?
Also, about losing the single-seat ride to Northgate: it takes so ridiculously long to take the 345 from Greenwood north of 130th to Northgate that it is faster to take a 5 down to N 105th and transfer to the 75 (or, for now, the 5 that goes to Northgate), even with the transfer time. Because, folks north of 130th have to suffer through the detour to Four Freedoms AND the detour through the NW Hospital campus. If the 345 ran along Aurora instead, folks who live between Greenwood and Aurora would probably just walk to Aurora to catch the 345 for their one-seat ride, so it’s only folks on the west side of Greenwood who would “suffer” by losing access to this route.
Variety of comments. @ Gordon Werner. The week after this, on weekdays Swift will be 20 minute intervals between 5 and 6 a.m., then 12 minute intervals during the day, 20 minutes again between 7 and 10 p.m.
@Eric Eventually, the hope is for Swift and Rapid Ride to come together at N. 192nd, and my hope wouldn’t be their being at opposite ends as they are now (the bay assignments at Aurora Village leave a lot to be desired (folks from Swift routinely transfer to SB/358 and EB/331 primarily routes).
@Bruce Nourish I know that boardings by station are tracked north of Aurora, but I don’t think they’re online. I’ll ask them. Thanks for the info on N. 38th, that seemed to be a natural location for a stop. Another one that Metro shies away from is N. 50th, which would provide close-in and relatively-easy access to the Woodland Park Zoo destination. Long ago, I was told by a planner that I could get off at 45th and catch a 5 a couple blocks away. Right. If I was in a wheelchair or had a cane, extremely difficult travel, and the so-called “connection” doesn’t even work for an able-bodied me. I’m glad to see that a stop is in the works closer to the Seattle Center destination though. Let’s not assume that people will walk further to more-frequent service: the word “able-bodied” might make this sentence correct for many people, and our aging and larger population is becoming less and less this way. Your choice is closer-to-destination bus service for them or higher transportation costs – in the form of Access paratransit trips – to Metro. BTW, the timed lights on Aurora have been noticeable for quite some time, starting at N. 145th if one goes ~35-37 mph and (most importantly) doesn’t have someone cut in front of them, I’ve gotten greens all the way to 77th many times, ever since past Executive Sims got it done.
@Grant McWilliams The minimum standard for BRT spacing is 0.5 miles, yet Shoreline is being allowed to have 12 stops in its 3 miles. I’ve suggested to Metro that they get rid of at least 4 stops and consider re-routing the #345 to provide local service along the N. 115th – N. 165th stretch of Aurora (since its travel on Greenwood is largely duplicated). Example: instead of it duplicating the #316 and #346 routing north of 115th (and they all duplicate N. 92nd to N. 130th), have it use N. 115th, no tour of Northwest Hospital even, continue west to Aurora (on its NB trek), route deviate to Four Freedoms (on demand) or route that way and return to Aurora on N. 135th. Or, a lesser commitment would be the NB #316 (peak only) veering west on N. 90th (from Wallingford) and staying on Aurora to N. 175th. This would alleviate the crowding on the red-painted #358 that’s in our future. That’s what the Rapid Ride A line has now (due to Highline CC and Sea-Tac destinations along its journey).
@Nathanael I agree with you to some extent (RR has seemed…). However, I think Metro was working on a shorter timeframe, yet they’ve gotten theirs up and running much faster. Part of this is probably fewer jurisdictions to deal with, having a larger staff, and getting dedicated funding. They are ahead in having real-time information and on-board announcements from the start (this should be trickling in for the north this year or next), signage, and only stopping when the bell rings. The cons are continuing traditional wheelchair (only operator-assisted) and it looked like bicycle (off-board) handling, and partial on-board fare collection, all working to slow down the service and make it sometimes-unreliable. And, a refusal to have underlying local service to alleviate the crowding, even for part of the segment.
As for the Linden deviation, I initially favored staying on Aurora because it was supposed to be a BRT line. Reading the comments, and having commuted to/from that area in the past, the safety issue at 68th is/are real. My reluctant preference would be keeping the SB stop on Aurora and placing the NB station just north of the traffic light where the #358 exits Aurora now, along with widening the sidewalk on the north side of the underpass and greatly improving the lighting there. I walk 1/2 mile to my #358, and I’m sure others do similarly. My last choice would be keeping the SB stop on Aurora and putting the NB stop around 63rd/64th, on the east side (around where the present stop is).
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