Photo by zargoman

Yesterday afternoon, King County Metro released a revision to the September 2012 restructure proposal originally made public in November. These changes arise from the introduction of  RapidRide Lines C & D in September, and are guided by Metro’s new Strategic Plan which including new performance-oriented Service Guidelines. For the sake of brevity, I’m going to focus mostly on the revisions, and refer readers who aren’t already familiar with the original November proposal back to my post on the subject.

Before we get into the details, some bad logistical news: Metro has not yet released any maps other than individual route maps and narratives, making it very hard to visualize how these changes will fit together as a network. You can obtain these individual maps (and others as they become available) by going to the System Restructure page on the Have a Say site; select the map you want from the drop-down box on the right. Metro staff tell me that citywide and neighborhood-by-neighborhood maps will be available by the end of the week.

For regular readers who are already familiar with the November proposal, I’ve saved you all a couple of hours of your life by including at the end of this post a summary list of all the significant differences I could find for every single route in this revision. Note that Metro’s route-by-route narratives neglect to mention many cases where frequencies have been cut or improved; my list contains those changes.

We’ll get right down to the nuts and bolts after the jump.

Highlights by Neighborhood

To help make this a little more understandable, here is a link to a map of the November proposal for the northern part of the all-day network. This map is not up to date, but you should be able to read it along with the discussion of changes for your neighborhood below, and see what’s what:

  • Ballard: No major changes to November’s proposed route structure, except some rearrangements on the terminal loops in Loyal Heights and North Beach. RapidRide D’s peak frequency is reduced in favor of maintaining the existing 15X for some peak trips, and evening frequency has been reduced to 15-30. Route 18’s midday frequency has been upgraded to 15 minutes.
  • Fremont, Greenwood and Wallingford: All routes have been returned to their current configuration, except for the replacement of the current Route 17 with Route 18; however, with the introduction of RapidRide E, it’s likely that Metro will reexamine this area next year.
  • Broadview, Shoreline, Northgate: Minor changes to Route 16, but the bus will still travel directly into Northgate TC via 92nd St versus looping around on Northgate Way.
  • Crown Hill, Whittier Heights: Route 28 will stay on Dexter rather than travel on Aurora. No other changes; Route 28 will still terminate in Crown Hill except during the peaks.
  • Magnolia: No changes to the proposed Routes 24 and 33 in Magnolia, but they now operate on 3rd Ave in Downtown and Belltown; however, see the section below on First Hill.
  • Queen Anne: The Queen Anne-Madrona restructure survives, but only with a sacrifice: Route 1 is extended via a crazy zigzag to the current terminal of Route 3, at those times of day when the 2X does not operate. This is done to provide service to West Queen Anne, specifically the area around 6th & Galer.
  • Capitol Hill, Madison Valley: Route 11 will no longer be upgraded to frequent service during the weekday; many other minor tweaks in frequency.
  • Central District: Route 27 restored to all-day service on Yesler and Lakeview, but see below.
  • First Hill: This change really deserves a map:
    Route 27 Proposed Change
    Route 27 Proposed Change

    Route 27 will take over Seneca service from Route 2, then travel down Boren to rejoin its current alignment at Yesler; it will be through-routed with Route 33.

Similarly, here’s the November map for the southern part of the all-day network.

  • West Seattle, Downtown-oriented routes: Just like for the D Line in Ballard, peak trips on the C Line have been reduced in favor of keeping a few peak trips on Route 55; evening frequency has been upgraded to 15-30. A limited number of trips on Route 37 have been retained. Shorewood and Arbor Heights still lose direct service to Downtown except in the peak.
  • West Seattle, crosstown routes: The previously-proposed Route 40 (from Alaska Junction to Morgan Junction and Georgetown) is now Route 20, and now begins in the Admiral District, rather than at Alaska Junction; Route 128 returns to its current alignment. The effect is to create a frequent-service corridor that runs all the way down California from the Admiral District to Morgan Junction and east to High Point and South Delridge before the 20 and 128 diverge.
  • West Seattle, neighborhood routes: Route 22 has now become an hourly shuttle connecting Arbor Heights and Shorewood with Alaska Junction via California Ave. The increases in service planned for the Water Taxi’s 77x DART shuttles have been abandoned.
  • Delridge: Direct service to downtown on Route 125 has been restored on weekdays only; Route 125 will extend all the way into Downtown, rather than requiring a transfer at SODO station.
  • Rainier Valley: Peak and Sunday frequency on Route 50 has been reduced, but the alignment of the route hasn’t changed.
  • SODO, Georgetown, South Park and points south: Essentially unchanged.

Analysis

Here’s my initial impression of these revisions, starting with the good:

  • Ballard and Fremont now have an all-day frequent-service connection.  Ballard and Fremont have become dense, multi-use urban villages with lots of jobs and housing, but transit service has not kept up. Metro needs to aggressively improve this service as funds become available, starting by extending frequent service to Saturdays. Ballard and Fremont are both nightlife centers — it’s important that transit here run late enough to capture those riders.
  • Queen Anne-Madrona restructure survives intact. I’ve written about this topic numerous times, mostly because it’s such an improvement over current service in terms of usability and cost-effectiveness. There will now be frequent service all the way through the dense heart of Queen Anne, filling another big hole in the frequent-service network. The extension of Route 1 (see “Bad” below) is a steep price to pay, but is better than the alternatives.
  • The “Three Junctions” now have an all-day frequent service connection. California Ave, while mostly lowrise, is the most vibrant, walkable and urban street in West Seattle, and to have frequent service connecting all its neighborhood centers will be fantastic. Similar to the 18, Metro should seek to extend the hours frequent of service here.
  • Magnolia routes join the rest of Seattle’s buses on 3rd Ave. For some time, Routes 19, 24 and 33 have been oddball routes, operating on 2nd and 4th Avenues along with regional and suburban services, while virtually every other Seattle-oriented bus operated on 3rd. Fixing that quirk improves usability and expedites transfers.
  • The revised network has “good bones”. There are many routes in these areas that could be designed better, and there are many other routes that need a higher level of service to reach their full potential, but while a number of good ideas from November were tossed out, some survived. This is a better network to build on than what we had before.

The bad:

  • Fremont and Wallingford returned to current configuration. The routes that serve this area have a number of problems, over-serving some areas and under-serving others. I’m putting this down as “bad” rather than ugly, partly because we get to a do-over for this area in 2013 with RapidRide E, and partly because the neighborhood provided valuable feedback that can be used to make future revisions better meet their needs. I plan to write about this in the near future.
  • Route 1 is now the milk run to rule them all. The Route 1 map is really the only way to really appreciate what a mess this route is now. On the other hand, there were two possible alternatives: operate a shuttle service on the alignment of the 2 to 1st & Mercer, or keep the current 2. Extending Route 1 is cheaper than either of those.
  • Route 11 loses midday frequent service. While I’d much rather have frequent service on Route 18 than Route 11, the corridor Route 11 serves is another one where transit quality hasn’t kept up with increasing density.
  • General reduction in frequency on strong routes in favor of coverage on weak routes.

The ugly:

  • Service retained on Route 37. According to the data, two thirds of Route 37’s riders board or deboard at a stop that will be shared with the revised and improved Route 56X. On average, less than three riders per trip are on board the bus when it’s on Beach Drive, which is the only unique segment of that service. This bus should just go away. Failing that, why on earth will Metro be driving this bus all the way downtown? Why not require those riders to transfer to the Water Taxi as other riders in Alki and the Admiral District already do?
  • Meet the next 42. At 60 minute headways during the day, running from Arbor Heights to Alaska Junction, I’m willing to bet that ridership numbers for the proposed Route 22 will be absolutely pitiful, and in three years time, STB bloggers will be writing stories about how Metro wants to delete this route but can’t due to the unwillingness of the King County Council to upset the tiny number of people who do ride it.
  • 15-30 evening headways on RapidRide D. Uptown, Interbay and Ballard are currently connected by 10 minute daytime headways and 15 minute evening headways on the common sections of Routes 15 and 18. These neighborhoods are quite dense — far more so than on the A and B lines, which have frequent service until 10 PM — and the ridership is plenty strong enough to justify frequent service into the evenings. Depending upon what “15-30” translates to in real life, RapidRide will more-or-less halve the level of service these neighborhoods receive. How can this be a sane outcome?
  • Route 15X and 55 retained in the peak. My mind boggles at what Metro thinks they’re doing here. The whole point of BRT is to improve speed and reliability on one service pattern such that it can serve the needs of more riders, both those who are going longer and shorter distances; you can then pour all your service subsidy and branding efforts into one route rather than many. The given reason, that RapidRide buses might get overcrowded, doesn’t pass the laugh test when you consider that Metro is cutting the peak headways on those RapidRide lines: Yes, of course, if you don’t run enough buses on busy routes, they might get overcrowded! I can only assume the real reason is that Metro can’t afford enough RapidRide coaches to meet the expected demand, and is substituting unbranded buses in the peaks.
  • Should Metro even bother with RapidRide C & D? Between the 15X/55 issue above, and 30 minute evening headways, RapidRide C & D are in danger of becoming a service of such average quality as to dilute any value that exists in the RapidRide brand. I realize that canceling or delaying these routes would cause a political firestorm, but it’s getting to the point where delaying C & D until they can be done right might be the best thing in the long run for the RapidRide program.

Once Metro provides complete maps for this revision, I’ll post them, but in the mean time, it’s time for you to have your say here in the comments.

Appendix: Details of Changes from November by Route

To reiterate, this list only contains changes from the November proposal, and is primarily for regular readers who’re already familiar with that proposal. If a route isn’t mentioned in this list, that means there were no significant changes since November.

  • C Line: Reduce peak frequency and resurrect one-way peak trips on Route 55. Upgrade evening service from 30 to 15-30 headway.
  • D Line: Reduce peak frequency and resurrect one-way peak trips on Route 15X. Reduce evening service from 15 to 15-30 headway, presumably to match C Line trips 1-for-1.
  • Route 1: Reduce peak frequency from 15 to 20, extend midday and night trips to current Route 3 terminus via 6th Ave W and Galer St.
  • Route 2S: Reduce Saturday service from 15 to 20 minute headways; also see route 12 below.
  • Route 5: Return to current alignment on Aurora rather than traveling via Fremont.
  • Route 10: Increase peak frequency.
  • Route 11: Increase peak frequency, reduce midday frequency from 15 to 30 minutes; cut evening frequency from 30 to 30-60.
  • Route 12: Reduce Saturday service from 15 to 20 minutes; maintain offset schedule to provide sub-10 minute headways during the weekday, 10 minute headways on Saturday and 15 minute headways during the evening and Sunday.
  • Route 14S: Reduce peak frequency from 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Route 14N: Increase off-peak and weekend frequency from 45 to 30 minutes.
  • Route 16: Reduce peak and midday frequency from 15-20 to 20 minutes.
  • Route 17X: Return to current alignment rather than jogging east to serve North Beach loop at the end of the route.
  • Route 18: Rather than being through-routed, the 18 will turn up Yesler, serve Harborview, and terminate by Seattle University at 14th & Cherry. Midday frequency upgraded from 15-30 to 15 minute headways.
  • Route 20: In the former proposal, this was known as Route 40. See the discussion of Routes 20 and 128 in the piece above.
  • Route 21: Upgrade peak and midday headway to 15 minutes from 15-20.
  • Route 21x: Revise Arbor Heights routing to make a smaller terminal loop and avoid a difficult turn.
  • Route 22: Create daytime hourly shuttle connecting Arbor Heights and Shorewood to Alaska Junction via Westwood Village and California Ave.
  • Route 24: Downtown routing changes from 2rd/4th couplet to 3rd Ave.
  • Route 26: Restored to current alignment and frequency.
  • Route 27: All day service restored to Lakeside Ave; through routed with Route 33. Leave 3rd Ave at Seneca/Spring and serve First Hill via Seneca and Boren before rejoining old alignment at Yesler. Weekends reduced to hourly frequency. See discussion and map above.
  • Route 28: Return southern segment to existing alignment on Dexter.
  • Route 30: Terminates in the U-District, Route 63 on Latona idea abandoned.
  • Route 33: Reduced to hourly on weekends; Downtown alignment moved from 3rd/4th couplet to 3rd Ave; connected to Route 27.
  • Route 37: Restored to current alignment with eight one-way peak trips per day.
  • Route 50: Reduce peak frequency, cut to hourly on Sunday.
  • Routes 56X & 57X: Skip one stop and reduce number of peak trips.
  • Route 75: Cut from 30 minute frequency to 30-60 in the evening.
  • Route 116X: Reduce number of trips.
  • Route 125: Route extended all the way Downtown rather than looping in SODO. All-day service restored during the weekday.
  • Route 128: Returned to current alignment. Some frequencies reduced, but see discussion of Route 20 above.
  • Routes 131 & 132: Peak service increased from 30 to 20 minute frequency; weekend and off-peak frequency set at 30 minutes. 

UPDATE: We heard from Metro staff, who tell us that peak frequency on the C & D Lines did not change, but confirmed that the additional trips on 55 and 15X were primarily motivated by a desire to save money by buying fewer coaches to meet peak demand.

182 Replies to “Metro Waters Down Fall Changes”

  1. interesting about the 27 … I assume that it will stop at the rush-hour commuter bus stops on Boren between Seneca and Yesler (or at least Broadway)?

      1. Yup, although I think most advocates are more concerned with the northern connection to Olive and points north. It’s still totally helpful, though, the neighborhood totally has the density for an extra 30-min headway route.

  2. oh yea … you want to see crazy zigzaging? look at what the 60 has to do because of the South Park bridge being out

    1. Agreed. I have to wonder if 60 ridership has taken a major hit because it has been mostly empty everytime I’ve riden it through that long, expensive jog. And worse, it duplicates the 131 through all of that.

  3. I was very disappointed by what I perceived as back-pedaling on real progress in order to appease a vocal minority of customers from far-flung neighborhoods who want to maintain their one-seat rides downtown.

    In my neighborhood – North Delridge/Yougstown – the initial proposal included three new routings that would lead to better cross-town access in a very transit-dependent neighborhood: the 125 to sodo, the 128 to Alaska Junction, and the 40 going both ways. All three of those were scrapped in the changes, and we’re left with nothing but a diverted 120 through Westwood with no new service hours. While that small change addresses some of the social justice issues (better access to a close grocery store), I’m appalled that the needs of a transit-dependent community like Delridge were so overlooked. No, not overlooked, but sacrificed in order to maintain the status-quo of poorly-performing one-seat rides in other parts of the city.

    1. In defense of the Westwood deviation, I think a sub-15 minute one-seat ride to /some/ grocery store is absolutely essential for any residential corridor.

      Beyond that, though, I feel your pain. I’ve been scoping out housing prospects in the Delridge/White Center/Burien area (as the rental shortage is pricing me out of my current CD digs), and the transit service up there is so goofy. You’ve got to be very careful of location, because a few blocks (or impassible terrain feature) can mean the difference between good frequent service and no service at all.

      West Seattle & NW South King transit service needs some sort of overhaul, I feel like. There’s a handful of frequent routes, mimicking the Interurban High Line and the old Seattle streetcars that dared to reach out that far, but nothing else seems sensibly planned, and many of the routes are somehow geographically isolated from the neighborhoods they ostensibly serve (passing through narrow valleys, zig-zagging down hillsides with broken street grids, etc). At the southern end of the area, there are too many small transit centers in too small of an area (TIBS opening up just a few miles away from Burien TC is an example), and they’re poorly interconnected, so even the basic hub/spoke philosophy starts to break down. Feeding arbitrary sample trips into trip planner or Google Maps from this area comes up with 3+ seat rides just to get into neighboring communities way more often than it reasonably should.

  4. Milk runs are not victimless crimes. Riders around 23rd/Jackson are really getting hosed by the Route 1 loop. The 4 is rightfully being eliminated, but I always thought this would be compensated for with extra 14S runs. By October CD riders at 23rd/Jackson will only have one bus to downtown every 30 minutes, while their 14S makes useless through-route loops in Queen Anne instead of giving them higher frequencies.

    1. The 14 really is getting shafted by losing their extra peak-time trips. Which, as I recall, were funded by Transit Now. Rush hour loads on that route are unbearable once it gets below 14th, and above 14th it’s not exactly empty.

      If they could coordinate the 27 & 14’s schedules to make a single 15-min headway corridor, it would be better. Hell, reroute the 27 onto Jackson from 14th to 31st (why separate two functionally identical routes by 2-3 flat blocks?).

      The Union and Jefferson/Cherry corridors are both getting 15 minute headways through the CD, what makes the 23rd Ave corridor so different? For the foreseeable future, though, the 27 will probably continue to be timed to show up on Yesler within 5 minutes of the 14 running parallel to it on Jackson.

      1. Lack,

        I may be misunderstanding, but doesn’t the 23rd Ave corridor in the area you’re describing already have 15 minute headways via the 48?

    2. Not all of the routes slated for major changes are “milk runs.” Even I find things like the 16’s long trip down Dexter to be annoying. But there’s a difference between an unnecessarily circuitous routing and maintaining service to parts of the city that were otherwise about to be screwed.

  5. This is good news for Metro and for transit advocates. These changes were already beginning to stir up widespread community opposition and had they been forced through over public objections, would have significantly damaged Metro politically. Many of the areas negatively impacted by the proposed changes were supporters of Seattle’s Prop 1 last fall. Transit advocates literally cannot afford to alienate those voters.

    From an operational perspective, it never made any sense to sacrifice these routes, many of which are popular, simply to add service on other routes. Adding service while maintaining existing route coverage is a smart goal. Service and coverage should never, ever be placed in opposition to each other.

    Transit systems should not make their decisions based solely on which routes have the most riders – otherwise you lock yourself into current patterns and make it difficult to ever grow significantly either ridership or density outside existing corridors. The goal of a bus service should be to get as many people in as many parts of the city to ride it.

    STB writers don’t always want to understand this, but most Seattleites don’t want their transit service dictated by ideologues who care only about statistics. They want a bus that gets them where they want to go. The current system does a decent job of it, and though it can certainly be improved, deleting routes or cutting off existing service corridors isn’t how you get there.

    Keep what we’ve got and add more where needed. That’s smart both operationally and politically.

    1. I agree. I also think the idea of keeping the existing network with additional service prioritized for more heavily used routes was what we voted for with Transit Now.

    2. “keeping what we’ve got” means wasting service hours on routes that get but a handful of riders a day. “keeping what we’ve got” means milk runs that zig zag all over the place and that nobody who values their time rides. “keeping what we’ve got” means seeing routes like the 66, 67, 68, 71, 72, 73, 74 operating at crush loads at peak or even most of the day and having to leave people at stops because the coach won’t hold any more.

      The reality is there are currently a fixed number of platform hours. For the most part if we want to improve service in one corridor it means either cutting service from somewhere else or restructuring service to gain some efficiency.

      Even worse is if the legislature doesn’t give Metro a revenue fix, service is going to have to be cut 20% across the board in a couple of years.

      1. My point is that to generate support for a revenue fix, you first have to maintain your current base of support (including your current base of riders) and then expand from there. The changes that people like Bruce were supporting were political suicide because they would have divided the base of pro-transit voters.

        Keeping what we’ve got certainly does not prevent us from adding service where more is needed. Unfortunately some people think it does, and it may be a while before everyone comes around on this point. It is asinine to pit transit riders against each other as you propose.

      2. Will, your perception of reality is so counterfactual, it’s hard to believe you’re not just trolling. The legislature’s additional taxing authority was granted to Metro and not other agencies explicitly because Metro had a plan to drive down the cost per boarding and focus on more productive routes. Suburban Republican council members also explicitly conditioned their votes to drop 40/40/20 and adopt the $20 CRC on the existence and execution of a productivity focused plan.

        Your understanding of past service restructures is similarly ahistorical. The Aurora, Delrige and Shoreline restructures of the last decade all cut back coverage in favor of frequency — and drove major gains in ridership and cost effectiveness. Those restructures were effective precisely because Metro ignored people like you, who don’t know what you’re talking about, and reorganized the transit network around an empirical understanding of where and how people actually use transit.

    3. Will, this line of thinking (in line with your past comments) is simply nutty. Your vision seems to consist of a whole bunch of milk runs with barely any passengers on them at 30-60 minute frequencies. That is dumb both operationally and politically. Sure, its full of one seat rides, but such a network is a horrendous waste of resources. Politically and financially we can’t afford to keep running the route 42s of the world.

    4. As a taxpayer and a transit rider, I want a system that has the highest benefit-cost ratio and that favors service to those who need it most. What your advocating for, Will, fails one, if not both, of these goals.

      1. I would argue that this has much less to do with “statistics” than with “choice” ridership. Those riders will come back because they want to avoid crappy commutes or the high cost of parking.

        Metro is trying to operate under severe budget cutting pressures. There is NO reason why Metro planners want to make cuts. They simply have to.

        So I support cutting peak-only routes like the 37 in favor of more frequency or better coverage elsewhere. It has nothing to do with taking one-seat rides away from people or “forcing” transfers.

        This is about social equity. Unless those riders are trapped in their homes outside of the peak commute hours and on weekends, they have other means for travel. That does not begin to compare to areas of this city where riders have no other choice but to use transit. Where providing better transit means the difference in whether or not one can take a class at a community college, or commute to a job, or get home in time to have dinner with the family.

      1. I am not saying thank you to Archie. First there is an assumption on his part that there are real efficiencies. These may be imagined.

      1. What zef said. Think about it for a minute: the routes with very few people on them == the routes with very few VOTERS on them. Expanding service on routes with crush loads == getting MORE VOTERS riding the buses.

        Politically, it is correct to kill very-low-ridership routes and expand service on popular routes. (Obviously, one wants to take routes with lowish-ridership and improve them so more people will ride them, too.)

        Seriously, how is this even a question?

  6. Heh. I think I like the new crazy 1. It can almost work like our own little neighborhood route – helping riders on far parts of the hill to shop on QA ave. who knows if it will be used like this, but it’s nice to have the option.

    Plus, this is one route that will take a really big snowstorm to take out of service.

    1. I finally pulled up the map. It’s a sequel to the current-24.

      What could be a reasonable compromise would have been to extend the 1 for six blocks along McGraw, thus serving the commercial area around Ken’s Market and connecting the West Slope to Queen Anne Ave. (Precisely three new blocks of wiring would have been needed.)

      But this kind of zig-zag is always silly and wasteful.

      1. What does the 1 have to do with the 24?

        The zig-zag is very unfortunate, but it does provide a gentle way up a very steep hill that can keep running in the snow. It also provides service for 6th Ave W riders that were complaining that they’re killing the 2.

        But yeah, going to QA on McGraw would have been good enough.

      2. Look at that (current) 24 map again. The old 24 and the new 1 are literally mirror images of one another: north, zig, south, zag, north and loop! Pick a bail of cotton.

        Snow routes are for snow days. That’s an awful lot of empty-bus time to waste 365 days a year.

    2. I’m not surprised that the WQA neighborhood complained about the plan to delete the 2N–and I don’t think this new, extended 1 is going to be welcomed either. The fundamental problem with this new proposal is that uphill ridership on the 1 is very low during off-peak hours, while the 2 has better ridership on the hill. But Metro is giving better service to 1 riders at the expense of 2 riders. In the time that it will take the extended 1 to travel from QA/Galer to the new proposed NQA terminal, the trolley could instead head towards downtown and likely be well through Uptown, with quite a few riders on board. This new 1 tail is going to spend a long time wandering around the top of QA with very few riders on board.

      1. Off-peak ridership on the 1 is weak to begin with (which is presumably why it’s being cut from 20 to 30 minute headways) but that’s partly because it’s a bus to nowhere after Howe St, just like the 2N is a bus to nowhere after Galer — neither of them have an anchor at the end of the route, unlike the revised 3/13. That said, having the 1 extended is much better than keeping the 2N, as it doesn’t reduce the efficiency that arises from having a common terminus at SPU. It might also give 1 an anchor (Queen Anne Ave) that gives riders on Olympic / Kinnear to use it going north.

      2. I almost wonder if Metro is sacrificing riders on 10th to employ their favorite tactic to kill a route that engenders community opposition: make it useless. When no one rides the zig-zagging 1, Metro may decide to kill the whole route, or keep it useless with a redirection somewhere else. Then again, if that redirection includes a connection to RapidRide, maybe it wouldn’t be all bad.

      3. The extension of the 1 doesn’t diminish its utility to riders who just want to go towards downtown (which is the *only* thing you can do with it now). Cutting it from 20 to 30 minute headways just brings it down to an appropriate level of service for its ridership, comparable to the service many other neighborhoods get. Neither makes it useless, and adding connectivity to Queen Anne Ave might make it more useful to them.

        No, if there’s a bus that’s being set up to die here it’s the 22. I’m not wild about the 1, and I don’t think it’s going to do particularly well, but it’s not going to get any worse than it is now.

      4. The 1 isn’t going to get any *fewer* riders than it is now (though some may overreact to the confusing map), but I have my doubts Metro will just restore the status quo when the time comes to eliminate the zig-zag.

      5. The consolidated, frequent #13 will have more riders than either the current 13 or the current 2. People who are not riding either route now because they’re half-hourly will take the new 13. People who are staying away from Queen Anne now because of the four half-hourly routes — each at different stops and different directions — will start coming back to Queen Anne to shop. Some existing #2 riders will be inconvenienced, but you have to look at the people who are being shafted now too, especially when that number is larger.

  7. I suspect the re-routing of the 27 isn’t going to be enough to appease those protesting changes to the 2S. It also ignores the highest ridership segment of the 27 (between Boren and Downtown) and gets rid of one of the few advantages it has which is speed and reliability between 3rd and Boren along Yesler. I think Yesler could be a decent corridor if it had service levels that weren’t a complete joke for a dense urban neighborhood.

    To add to the insult Metro wants to cut service frequency on the 14S. The tail may not be all that productive, but the service on Jackson is well patronized and more or less unique East of Boren.

    While I do think service in the CD needs to be restructured, planners need to be very careful here. Service levels really should match other areas of the city with similar density. Even if current ridership doesn’t justify the service level.

    The CD has had to suffer with slow, infrequent, and unreliable service for so long that most choice riders opt to drive and even some of the transit dependent walk for many trips rather than deal with Metro. There is also the perception that the CD gets the leftovers after other wealthier neighborhoods get what they want.

    1. Keep in mind the new 18 will serve Yesler out to 12th Ave every 15 minutes. I agree wholeheartedly with your other critiques.

      1. I was bemoaning the loss of the 27 along Yesler between 3rd and Boren, as I have service right to my apartment building. (Literally, I get off, cross the sidewalk and I’m at my apartment building.)

        I’ll be happy to have the 18, although I also need to keep my own personal wants in check with the greater bit of the system.

      2. I’m really worried about reliability on the new 18.

        In one sense, Holman-24th-Leary through-corridor makes sense, but it’s very long, and 75s sometimes arrive in Ballard 10-15 minutes thanks to the NSCC detour (in spite of the layover at Northgate to ensure they always leave there on-time).

        15-minute frequencies will definitely help reliability, but I worry that southbound bunching between Ballard, Fremont, and downtown is still inevitable.

        All that being said… if the bus is already going as far as 12th before turning around, why not just send it 11 blocks further to 23rd, picking up the slack for cuts to the 4 and the 14, both of which Yesler allows it to be much faster than!

      3. Oh, wait, I didn’t realize the new 18 is now going through Harborview and up to Cherry.

        I’m not sure that this 75-46-17 amalgamation needs any more complicated twists and turns on its tail.

        There would have been something much cleaner about it just shooting quickly out to Yesler/23rd, and then starting its northbound super-slog with an equally straight Yesler shot.

      4. Wait, how is the 18 “serving Harborview”, serving “Yesler out to 12th” and ending at “14th and Cherry”. I’m really confused on the routing. Will it be going up Broadway (to serve Harborview) or up 12th? Or do we consider the Yesler segment near I-5 serving Harborview? Is this really the best route to Seattle U from downtown? If not, I’m with [d.p] on bringing the 18 to 23rd instead.

        I can’t wait for a real map of all these lines, to see what other surprises Metro has in store for us.

      5. From Bruce’s description, I thought it was doing the thing that we’ve advocated for the 3/4 to do in the past (Yesler-8th-9th-James-Cherry).

        But I just checked the map, and it’s actually just turning from Yesler onto 12th to serve Seattle University.

        So Bruce is wrong about Harborview, and this seems stupid because the 2/12 to SU is improving enough to become the major connection between it and downtown. For the exact same length of tail, it could and should continue straight to 23rd, eradicating the need for increased (slower) 14 service.

      6. “For the exact same length of tail, it could and should continue straight to 23rd, eradicating the need for increased (slower) 14 service.”

        Clarification: I’m talking about the new-18 tail here.

      7. Yesler is not Harborview. There’s a three-block hill between them, and Harborview has more disabled visitors than any other place in the county.

    2. I just to remind you that the #2 does not suffer from low ridership. Leschi may have had low ridership, not the Central District. Under the proposal we are cut off from downtown Westlake, tunnel transit including rail, Seattle Center and even Seattle Central Community College. I don’t expect to engage much on this blog again. As the needs of high transit ridership along E. Union traveling to the CD and to Madrona and back is totally ignored, and as far as most on this blog are concerned we should throw ourselves under the bus for some imagined greater good. No facts or actual figures are ever presented for your cases. If we say high ridership, that is not important in this case. If we say service will be cut we are told by you we are paranoid, while even written into the plan is to cut it on Saturdays. And worst of all finding a way to actually make sure these riders (Who by the way did overwhelmingly vote for the transit car tab fees.) are well served. We can just walk another 6 or 5 blocks. Our time is not worthwhile. But, please do not paint the CD as a low ridership area, especially in regards to the #2. That is all I ask.

      1. Feel free to delete the first post as I am redoing this post. I want to get my statement correct since any engagement here by the #2 ridership is looked at as silly.

        I just to remind you that the #2 does not suffer from low ridership. Leschi may have had low ridership, not the Central District. Under the proposal we are cut off from downtown Westlake, tunnel transit including rail, Seattle Center and even Seattle Central Community College. I don’t expect to engage much on this blog again. As the needs of high transit ridership along E. Union traveling to the CD and to Madrona and back is totally ignored, and as far as most on this blog are concerned we should throw ourselves under the bus for some imagined greater good. No facts or actual figures are ever presented for your cases. If we say high ridership and present facts and figures, that is not important in this case. If we say service will be cut we are told by you we are paranoid, while even written into the plan is to cut it on Saturdays. And worst of all finding a way to actually make sure these riders (Who by the way did overwhelmingly vote for the transit car tab fees.) are well served is totally ignored. We can just walk another 6 or 5 blocks. Our time is not worthwhile. But, please do not paint the CD as a low ridership area, especially in regards to the #2. That is all I ask.

      2. The #2/#27 switch on Seneca is makes sense precisely because the Central District has so much higher ridership than Leschi!

        Those with mobility issues who absolutely must have front-door service to Virginia Mason will still have it. But the much larger number of riders headed to the Central District will now get to avoid the horrible traffic and horrible reliability that Spring/Seneca entails!

        Meanwhile, everyone here agrees with you that reducing Saturday frequency on #2 by even an ounce is a horrible idea, and we will strongly advocate along with you — imagine that! — for Metro to reverse this ill-advised budgetary decision.

      3. The Seneca corridor is not really the CD. West of 12th is First Hill/Madison/institution corridor not the CD and does not serve the E.Union Street and Madrona businesses.

      4. Yes, Joanna, I know. I meant the #27 switching onto Seneca and the #2 switching off.

        Thus speeding things up for the Central District riders, who are much larger in number than the tiny minority who need front-door access to Virginia Mason.

      5. Joanna,

        You’re being a bit disingenuous here…

        At the time you were presenting the reduced frequency on E. Union bogeyman as a “fact” there was absolutely no evidence in Metro’s proposal that they had any intention of reducing frequency. I challenged you (and others) on numerous occasions to provide any evidence of this in their plans and never got a fact based reply (just more FUD). Metro has now come out and said they’re going to reduce Saturday frequency to 20 minutes and, while that’s clearly not ideal, it’s a total crock for you to claim that you were unjustly pilloried as “paranoid” and that you were right all along.

        Second, can you point to any comments that anyone has ever made that indicate they don’t believe the #2S is a high ridership route? All the discussions I recall were about the need to make the #2S more reliable. You clearly don’t value reliability as much as you do other metrics, but improving reliability is the crux of Metro’s motivation for this service change. Not to screw over people in the CD…

        Finally, I see you’ve amped up the rhetoric from “no direct access” to being “cut off”. Claiming that folks having to walk 2 blocks to get someplace denied them “direct access” was bad enough, but to say they are now “cut off” is a little heavy on the hyperbole, don’t you think?

      6. I don’t get it. All that’s happening to the 2S is they are straightening it so it runs almost entirely on Madison and Union. Its new downtown segment will be 1-2 blocks (depending on which direction) from its current one. That’s hardly cutting anyone off. I don’t see how that disconnects you from Westlake or the tunnel — it’s right there!

        This bus always confuses me when I take it because usually I’m trying to get to Union/23rd and the Seneca section is absurdly slow. This change makes the 2S about getting people from downtown to the Central District (and everything in between) and adds other service to help those who absolutely can’t get around First Hill from Madison. This seems like a *huge* improvement for people actually living in the Central District. The re-route to me actually says that Metro realizes how important the 2S is to the Central District since it makes I’m guessing this routing will run much more reliably and quickly.

      7. I’m still wondering why Virginia Mason needs front door service on Seneca when the main entrance is actually on 9th Avenue closer to Spring and is about equidistant to the stops for the 12 on Madison.

        Joanna – I’m a Virginia Mason patient and a choose to ride the 12 from downtown because the route is faster, more reliable, and the walk is about the same to the entrance. Who’s being disingenuous?

    3. The 27 redo looks completely idiotic. It feels like a slap in the face to CD riders who don’t like their route being moved, and if the 18 weren’t being made even more of a milk run than it already is (I guarantee you the only reason I will ever use Nu18 to get to SU is because it’s going to be so much emptier and less annoying than the 2, 3, or 12) would make no sense in the absence of trolley wire on Yesler to move the 3 there. I agree with d.p. (imagine that) that if they were going to add yet another thing to the 18’s pile, they should have just extended it to Yesler and 23rd, but it looks like their real thinking was to appease people who were asking for a bus on 12th and Boren – which makes me horrified that this might actually be their long-term plan to serve those corridors, which would be a slap in the face to anyone who seriously cares about transit in those corridors. Worse, because Metro has floated this idea for the 18, they’ll probably be too scared to adopt the Yesler-to-23rd plan because they might antagonize people who are “losing” bus service they never got. Bad vibes all around.

    4. It also ignores the highest ridership segment of the 27 (between Boren and Downtown

      Long-term, the 3 will replace the 27 as the primary bus for this area once the trolley wire is moved from James to Yesler. At that time Yesler Terrace will have double their current frequency at a minimum.

  8. I was glad to see them back off from the proposed changes in Wallingford and Fremont. I think they overshot in trying to include them in this round – it makes a lot more sense to have the restructures focuses around areas that are getting service enhancements so shifting any changes around Rapid Ride E makes more sense. Although I really don’t know how much they’ll be able to leverage the RR E changes to justify shifts in service to the area – there’s only one stop (@46th) that serves both neighborhoods.

    I also see the concern of the folks on the 15x. The RR is essentially following the 15 local route and that can take forever when there’s anything going on at Seattle Center. Going from the 15X to RR would likely result in slower commutes for a lot of 15X riders.

    1. Empirical studies (i.e. not Will Douglas’s daydreaming) show that for urban trips, transit riders chose routes with more frequency over less-frequent routes that are faster. Because the 15X is there, some riders will chose it, but overall we’d probably get more riders if we just put all that money into RapidRide.

    2. This is exactly right. While I love the Rapid Ride D concept, it has a couple issues that will keep it from being a true BRT line and competing with the 15X.

      First, it makes the diversions to Leary Way and Dravis St. These diversions can cost a minute or two a piece, which doesn’t seem like much, but when you then have to get back up to speed and merge back into traffic, it’s a nightmare. The Leary stop is a nightmare when the bridge opens and the bus spends 5-10 minutes just getting to the stop, but this obviously isn’t a problem during rush hour. The Dravis diversion could be mitigated with a flyunder stop, which there’s plenty of room next to the outside lanes. Leary would need a complete reconstruction of the bridge and is infeasible.

      The second and biggest issue is the Queen Anne diversion. I grapple with this, because on one hand, it is linking a two rapidly growing neighborhoods. On the other hand, it is a diversion that probably adds 10 minutes to the ride downtown, once you wait in the left turn lane to get to Mercer and then wind your way down Queen Anne Blvd.

      Currently, the 15X bypasses all of these diversions and probably saves 15+ minutes over what is to become the Rapid Ride D. So for an express bus ride that takes 20 minutes and is used by a ton of people, you’re going to have a lot of convincing to do to tell all these people that they should instead take a bus that’ll take ~50% longer. With some tweaking (and money), however, you could probably reduce the transit time of the Rapid Ride D and make it competitive with the 15X.

      The whole bit about reducing evening frequencies to 15-30 minutes is annoying, but that’s just because I’m selfish and want more service to my area :)

      1. From 15th & Market to 3rd & Pike, the run time is 26 minutes versus 18 for the express versus local. That doesn’t take into account the stop reductions and signal priority that will improve travel times on the D Line. As there will only be six AM and six PM trips on the 15X, they will probably be spaced out at 20-30 minute intervals. So the travel time that you save on the express will most likely be lost waiting for the express. You would be better off if Metro axed the 15X and ran RR D more frequently.

        Bottom line: frequency matters more than speed (within reason) for getting where you want to go.

      2. So the travel time that you save on the express will most likely be lost waiting for the express. You would be better off if Metro axed the 15X and ran RR D more frequently.

        Bottom line: frequency matters more than speed (within reason) for getting where you want to go.

        I’d argue this isn’t true for work trips. Unlike RapidRide (“So frequent, we won’t give you a schedule!”), the 15X will have a public schedule, and folks who work 9-5 can plan to meet a specific bus.

        While it sucks that this means they reduce RapidRide’s peak frequency, an express overlay on RapidRide is a lot more justifiable than say, the 111.

      3. The best solution here is better respect for buses. Put in signal priority for that left turn, and maybe a bus-only turn lane. Put in a bus lane all the way down QA Ave.

        The faster we can move our buses, the more frequency and capacity we can get for the same money. All for little more than the price of paint on road.

      4. @Matt L: Yes, work trips are a little more schedule-able than typical urban trips, but not much more. Can you actually organize your life to be ready to go to the bus stop at the same time each morning +/- 3 minutes without just dawdling? Most people can’t, especially if they have kids. I would be more sympathetic if RapidRide were running at sub-10 minute headways in the peaks, but with this revision, it’s being cut to >10 minutes.

        @Matt the E: I agree entirely. It’s bizarre that Metro’s put so much effort into BAT lanes and frequent service on the A and B Lines, while the D Line, which has far more potential is just getting a little more signal priority.

      5. I’d be more sympathetic if Metro’s idea of BRT was more than a fancy paint job. As soon as I saw that RapidRide buses would have a farebox forward of the yellow line, I knew they weren’t serious.

      6. Can’t decide whether to group my reactions or spread them around.

        One of the few hard-and-fast mandates of RapidRide, as the 2006 TransitNow was written, was that it must equal 15X service speeds (through light pre-emption, off-board payment, dedicated lanes, etc.), yet also must serve LQA.

        We’ve long known that the watering down of RapidRide features meant that it would never meet this mandate. My hunch is that this has something to do with the survival of the 15X.

        That said, I was also informed by more than one planner at the last Ballard open house that the Federal cash infusion on which Ballard RapidRide depended unequivocally mandated 10-minute service for at least 6-8 peak hours per day. Did RapidRide’s other deficiencies cost Metro that cash already, eliminating that mandate?

      7. Yep, I refer you to Jarrett Walker’s post on the subject.

        The New York MTA gives folks in Flushing the QM 3 express bus even though they have the 7 subway line terminus a couple blocks away. Of course, the MTA also gets it right in charging double to ride an express bus than to ride a local bus or the subway. I’ve often complained that fares here bear no relation to the value of the service provided, where a slow, short ride on Metro during rush hour will cost you the same as a quick cross-lake ride on Sound Transit.

      8. Matt, you omit a crucial point: the 7 train is over capacity in the peaks and can’t readily be expanded. Express bus service on the end of the line mitigates that issue. SF Muni is doing something similar with the NX buses due to reliability and crowding on the N Judah. That is NOT the case here — I wouldn’t have a problem if RapidRide D was overloaded at five minute headways, or there was some other operational issue that could be mitigated by Metro reviving the 15X.

      9. I wouldn’t have a problem if RapidRide D was overloaded at five minute headways

        Well, we’ll see how well Metro actually does at maintaining 10-minute headways slogging through Uptown. I guess I don’t share your optimism that whatever priority treatments they’re going to apply will be effective in improving travel times and reliability over the status quo.

    3. As a frequent rider of the 15X, I can see why some people perceive the elimination of their route as bad (i.e., it will stop more and go through Lower Queen Anne). However, I believe eliminating the 15X should happen. Here’s why:

      1—Saving the 15X dilutes RapidRide. Lowering peak headways by a few minutes makes transfers more difficult in Ballard to the revised 18 and 24 (and the 17X and 18X) at Leary (since the 15X does not stop there); this transfer is important for those in the 24th Ave and westward of Ballard attempting to get to Interbay and Lower Queen Anne. RapidRide should be frequent, so why should the A and B lines have better frequencies?

      2—RapidRide will be comparable in speed to the 15X, even over the entire length of the route. (Sorry Anon, RR will not be 15 minutes slower than the Express.) Currently, at about 8:00 in the morning the 15X is scheduled to run 6 minutes faster than the 15 over the entire length of the route; at 5:00 in the afternoon, the difference is 5 minutes. Particularly at the peaks, most people will be able to prepay with Orca, shaving several minutes of the trip (especially at Market St and Mercer/Queen Anne); TSP can save another couple of minutes (esp. at Leary). Additionally, the express routes to Ballard in the afternoon are quite unreliable at 1st/Denny (due to Denny congestion, sometimes due to events at Seattle Center) because they are unable to take advantage of the bus-only lane while the local routes and RapidRide can; this can mean several minutes of reduced time on trips about once a week.

      1. RapidRide will be comparable in speed to the 15X.

        I wish that were true.

        I’ve had plenty of 15X trips that made it from Pike to Market in 15 minutes. I once got a driver who did it in 12.

        That is never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever going to happen on RapidRide as it is currently being implemented.

      2. Also, I’ve yet to here any hard-and-fast promises about Transit Signal Priority at 15th/Leary, 15th/Dravus, or Elliott/Mercer.

        And even if we get “priority,” does that just mean a 5-second hold on an about-to-be-missed green? Each of those lights is red for 3-5 full minutes, which is a much bigger problem.

      3. Similar to what d.p. said, scheduled and actual are two different beasts. Rarely, rarely, rarely is the 15 local on time in the off hours (I take the express in the peak hours obviously). A lot of times, it is due to the Queen Anne diversion, so I can’t imagine what that diversion is like with traffic. The 15X is estimated times, but they are more often than not early I think another thing that hurt the D line is that Seattle opted to not widen Mercer St. all the way to Elliot Ave, which means the bus gets to wind up the hill with all that traffic going towards Seattle Center/I-5.

        Why couldn’t they do to the Rapid Rides what they do to some New York Subway routes? You’ll have a route, let’s say the 7, which makes all stops along the route, which would be similar to Rapid Ride D. Then you have the 7 express, which compliments the 7 local during peak times, which would be the 15X, rebranded as the Rapid Ride D Express or Direct or something clever. I realize that this might make the Rapid Ride D sound “slow”, but isn’t that what this discussion is about?

      4. Anon: it’s called Swift, and Snohomish County has it. An all-day express bus paired with a local bus for the in-between stops. In the D’s case, the express would hopefully bypass Queen Anne. But Metro said it has no money for an additional route, so RapidRide has to be a compromise between the two. And that’s what we’re getting.

      5. I should say limited-stop, not express. In general transit terms, a limited-stop bus stops every mile or so along a corridor, as Swift does. An express bus has nonstop segments generally longer than two miles. But Metro does not distinguish between the two, and calls any bus express if it skips any stops on its street. (E.g., the 7X is really limited-stop because it stops every mile or so on a line, while the 41 — which is not called express — makes no stops between downtown and Northgate.)

      6. For the record, I think that the impending failure of RapidRide to meet the “fast as the 15X” mandate is why Metro feels obligated to keep the express.

        I don’t actually think it’s a good thing.

        Mike, you are always flogging the local + rapid-bordering-on-express overlay thing:

        You tell us it’s okay to build subways with miles-long gaps because we can have shadow routes.

        You tell us every core corridor should have a route that stops ever few blocks + a route that puts half the corridor 15 minutes walk from the nearest stop.

        And you want us to look at Swift.

        So tell us: Who in their right might would take Swift’s local underlay, which only runs every 30 minutes, for a mere mile to connect with a bus that might be as much as 20 minutes later? Who’s going to take Swift part of the way home, if the last mile requires another very long wait?

        You basically create a second-class ridership, those who may actually be better off travelling very long distances on the infrequent local route, because the fast-to-slow and slow-to-fast transfers you think are the height of transit planning never really work out.

        So why subject your citizens to this, when it would be so easy to have Swift stop at every major intersection (about 1/2 mile apart) — Swift doesn’t have perfect signal priority, so it’s stopping at many of these cross-streets anyway. Invest in the platforms and the off-board fare system, and you’re suddenly serving everyone in the corridor and relieving yourself of the costs of the overlay and allowing yourself to stop skimping on frequencies for the BRT itself. It’s win-win-win.

        So here’s where you always trot out the “New York has express and local trains” example. I’m nipping that one in the bud. New York is huge, and the only reason you think “the local goes too slowly” is that you haven’t internalized the fact that New York is huge. Manhattan is 13 miles long. That’s twice as far as downtown to Crown Hill. It’s nearly as far as Shoreline to Everett.

        And still, the local does Manhattan tip-to-tip in 55 minutes. That’s only slightly slower than the 15X or Swift on a per-mile basis.

        Now thanks to its incredible density and transit usage, New York can more than justify running even better express trains adjacent. But it only makes sense because each respective frequency is so high that travelling part way on one and finishing on the other often requires no transfer penalty. When 11:00 PM comes and frequencies drop precipitously… it is for good reason that only the locals still run!

        L.A. is the other likely example, where MetroRapid buses stopping as little as every 2 miles overlay local buses stopping every 1/3-1/2 mile. (It’s worth noting that there are few “ultra-locals” of the Seattle variety in Los Angeles.) This is necessitated by the extreme breadth of the service area; “short trips” in L.A. may still cover more than a few miles.

        But this overlay system has really only proven effective when and where each line is running on an very frequent basis, particularly on Wilshire where the Rapid line alone is running at frequencies of 3-7 minutes all day long.

        The MetroRapid + MetroLocal overlays don’t scale down as well on the corridors with only 15-20 minute headways. And they really don’t scale down to Seattle, where getting Metro to push beyond 15 minutes even for non-overlaid services is like pulling teeth, and where only a handful of non-consolidated corridors would justify doing so anyway.

        So it baffles me that RapidRide would, in your ideal world, stop way outside of most people’s reach, selling short its own ridership potential and shoving many riders who might have walked to it only shadow routes that will never offer a reasonable transfer to the main line.

        RapidRide should be more rapid than it is, we all agree. And a few more stop deletions would be necessary to put it in the reasonable 1/3-mile to 1/2-mile range end-to-end. But arguing for dual service is arguing for doubly less useful service, so please, please shake it from your mind!

      7. “Who in their right might would take Swift’s local underlay, which only runs every 30 minutes, for a mere mile to connect with a bus that might be as much as 20 minutes later? Who’s going to take Swift part of the way home, if the last mile requires another very long wait?”

        A lot of riders travel only between the major stops; they’re the ones who are being slowed down by the locals. In the case of the 15/18, it’s that darn Queen Anne deviation, which is useful only if you’re going to Queen Anne, but most people most of the time are not going to Queen Anne: they’re going downtown, or they’re transferring downtown to someplace further. (Of course, now that the 8 is there, some people including me transfer to it on Queen Anne.) In general I’d argue for wider stop spacing, but that’s not as big an issue on the 15/18 as other routes because 15th/Elliott is a fast street which makes up for it (unlike the 5 or 28, for instance).

        People’s residences are sometimes near major stops and sometimes not, but their destinations are more likely to be so, because major stops are located at neighborhood centers, libraries, shopping/employment concentrations, and the like. And if they’re transferring, their transfer point will be a major stop. So that means they’re travelling between major stops (where they can use an express) in most cases. The times when they may need a local are for their own house, or when they’re visiting somebody else’s house that’s not near a major stop.

        I’ve ridden the NYC, London, and St Petersburg subways among others, and when you have to sit through ten stops on a daily or frequent basis, you begin to wish there were express trains, or at least I do. NYC has express trains, but I haven’t seen them anywhere else. The London District Line is one in particular that I think would benefit from an express train.

        Anyway, with buses, ideally both the limited and the local would run every 10-15 minutes. Swift runs every 10 minutes, and the 101 every 30, which is the opposite of how express/local routes are usually set up, but which I think is more useful. Of course, it would be even better if both the limited and the local came every 10-15 minutes. And yes, Metro has limited money and can’t achieve this right now. But the point is that it’s wasting a lot of people’s time by not having this, and is one of the major reasons people drive rather than using transit. People say, “Oh, the limited buses won’t be used enough,” but (1) few cities have implemented anything resembling it, (2) few cities make it frequent enough when they do — so how can they say people won’t ride it when they’ve never tried it. They give people slow transit with too many stops, and then wonder why people drive so much.

      8. I’ve ridden the B line a couple of times and if there’s any signal priority at all, I couldn’t tell. I can also see it out my office window at work and several times, I’ve seen a light turn red right as the bus approaches.

        The only transit signal priority I’ve seen around here that really works is Link traversing the Ranier Valley. The past year or so, each time I’ve ridden Link, we didn’t have to stop for a single red light on MLK in either direction.

        While there’s nothing inherent about trains vs. buses with respect to signal priority, the result is indisputable that, at least around here, the humans who run the system take signal priority far more seriously when the vehicle is a train than when it’s a bus, at least when it’s branded “light rail”, as opposed to “streetcar”.

      9. “While there’s nothing inherent about trains vs. buses with respect to signal priority, the result is indisputable that, at least around here, the humans who run the system take signal priority far more seriously when the vehicle is a train than when it’s a bus, at least when it’s branded “light rail”, as opposed to “streetcar”.”

        If by “around here”, you mean “the United States, and also Australia, Canada, most of the UK, and many European countries”, you are correct.

        Oddly enough London seems to be truly serious about bus lanes and bus priority, but I’ve never been anywhere else which was.

      10. Anyway, with buses, ideally both the limited and the local would run every 10-15 minutes.

        [buzzer sound]. Wrong, Mike. Overlaying an express and a local at 15-minute headways would be the height of absurdity.

        If you set up a system where a rider half-way between two distant limited-service stops would do better either to walk 25 minutes to the rapid stop or to suffer the ultra-local their entire journey than they would to transfer between the two (waiting up to 15 minutes each time), then you’re doing it wrong.

        Again, the moment New York subways drop below 10-minute headways (after 11:00 pm), everything runs on the local track. Through decades of experience, they understand that switching back and forth between express and local would be moot at that point.

        People’s residences are sometimes near major stops and sometimes not, but their destinations are more likely to be so…

        Any corridor busy enough to justify speed and frequency investments should (and usually does) have some adjacent demand its whole length. Giving all of that demand access to frequent and reasonably swift service gives them all a reason to use it. More potential stop-pairs means geometrically more chances that the line will work for your trip.

        By bypassing people along the way, to the extent that they couldn’t reasonably walk to a station even if they wanted to. and leaving them only some milk-run level underla, makes them 2nd-class citizens along their own route.

        NYC, London, and St Petersburg subways among others, and when you have to sit through ten stops on a daily or frequent basis, you begin to wish there were express trains, or at least I do.

        None of those cities have subway stops in places without demand. Basically, what you wrote here translates to, “every day, I wished the trains were designed solely for my needs, at the expense of everyone else’s needs.” The logical extension of this is that, “if only I had a car or an unlimited taxi budget, then every trip could be an express trip.” This is one of the least enlightened things you’ve ever written.

        As we all know, if everyone followed that line of reasoning and drove everywhere, those cities would cease to function at all. This is why core mass transit must be consistently as fast as (and easier than) the driving alternative, which it can do by bypassing/overruling the city-street signals to which cars are subject and being less congested than the highways. This means making sure that high-volume routes have those advantages, and don’t have speed-inhibiting milk-run routings or stops every 2 blocks. But it doesn’t mean running lines with such wide spacing that only a chosen few can use them, while pushing everyone else onto locals that have only disadvantages compared to driving.

        Mike, the real-world examples do not back you up!

        Every city that employs full-corridor-access rapid transit, with stops every 1/2-2/3 mile, be they old (Chicago) or new (Vancouver), is rewarded with high transit usage that becomes a part of the urban culture. Meanwhile, the (generally new) rail systems built on wide stop spacing with limited access and crappy local bus connections (Dallas, Seattle) linger in transit-footnote land.

      11. DP, it’s not just me personally who travels from 45th/UWay – 45th/Wallingford, or 45th/UWay – 46th/Aurora, or 45th UWay – Market/Ballard. It’s a lot of people going to central Wallingford or central Ballard, or transferring to the 16 or 358. That’s half or more of the riders on the 44 who would benefit from a limited-stop bus.

        Ballard is unusual because it doesn’t have one obviously central point where everything meets. Instead it has a triangle where every point misses something (Market/Ballard misses the 15, Market/15th misses Ballard Ave, and Leary/15th misses both Market St and Ballard Ave). But most neighborhoods have one center where everything converges, like Wallingford, Fremont, Beacon Hill, Greenlake, etc. That’s where a limited-stop route should stop.

      12. Why does the NYC subway have express trains? By your logic, it shouldn’t have built them because anybody who gets annoyed at stopping at all the local stations in dense areas is asking for a personal taxi. Somebody is using the local stations, so by that logic everybody must stop at them.

      13. 1)

        You just proved my point. A line from Ballard to the U District with stops at Wallingford, Fremont Ave, East Ballard, and 15th would have a stop spacing of 3/4 mile. Makes it two Wallingford stops rather than one, and you’ve got stop spacing of roughly 2/3 mile across the route.

        That’s totally different than the argument you try to make for current Link plans, for Swift, or for Ballard rapid transit that doesn’t stop for two straight miles.

        2)

        New York has expresses because many people are using it to travel 15-20 miles, which is how far it is from outer Brooklyn or central Queens to many parts of Manhattan.

        You can’t travel that far in Seattle. A single New York-style express jump would skip over most of Seattle’s density. Oh, wait, not “would,” but IS.

        If Manhattan existed in a vacuum, you wouldn’t have the express trains, because there wouldn’t exist nearly the volume of long-distance passengers to justify running them at frequencies that make them work!

        Meanwhile, trips across the Lake Washington (10-13 miles) or to Lynnwood (15 miles) happen once or twice a day, at most, and at tiny volumes compared to New York movements. Building express tracks would be asinine. Making the lines useless for less long-distance movements is asinine.

        Meanwhile, as I’ve now written twice, New York’s expresses stop running the moment any line’s frequency falls below 10 minutes. Your “15 minutes on each” paradigm is a recipe for a lot of waiting for no additional average-speed benefit.

        3)

        By your logic, people would avoid the Canada Line or the Boston subways like the plague, but BART would primary way people move around the Bay Area and Dallas DART would be the second coming of Jesus.

        Yet again, the actual world proves your ultra-express + ultra-local fantasies demented!

      14. Today I rode the 72X, which barely had space for one more person to stand. Why are the 71/72/73X running? By your logic people should be riding the 70,43,49 instead and not expecting more. But people are voting with their feet. Why are these crowds not seen on the 70,43,49? If people like the downtown-UW express, wouldn’t they also like an all-day UW-Ballard express, Ballard-downtown express, and Ballard-Northgate express too? But they don’t get that choice.

        You support the same thing when you ask for more subways. The beauty of a subway is it can make more stops without dragging down travel time to unacceptable levels, compared to a surface bus. If we had the 45th, Ballard-downtown, and Aurora subways I wouldn’t ask for Swift because the subways would be it. But we don’t have subways, therefore there’s a gap in service. Those who say people should just accept local-only buses aren’t being realistic about what people’s actual trips and mobility needs are.

        I said 15-minute headways only because Americans freak out when I suggest 5-minute headways. We need to get to minimum 15-minute headways on core routes, then bring it down to 10 minutes, then 5. If a lot of people seriously stopped driving, we’d need 5-minute service, as in countries without a lot of cars.

      15. Mike, I really do love debating with you, but your ability to miss this particular point never ceases to blow my mind.

        Yes, the 70-series expresses can’t even keep up with their current demand. But if they all stopped at the same 5 semi-express stops between the U-District and downtown that the 66 does, they would also absorb all of the 66’s demand, all of the excessively-local 70’s demand, and then some. And they would be essentially no slower than any current express run on Eastlake.

        Do you have any idea how much of a total time savings that represents from, say, central Ravenna to Lynn Street, versus waiting for a 71 and then waiting again for a 66 or 70 local?

        Let’s go back to the route 44 example. Put in a subway — hell, put in a bus that only stops 5 or 6 times along the route and has signal priority the rest of the way — and you can kiss the current 44 goodbye. The end. Dunzo. No need for the fucking overlay, because people can and will walk to something faster and better.

        So — and here’s the key that you’re always, always missing — so then you can take all of that local overlay money and apply it to the perpendicular routes, improving RapidRide and the 5 and the 16 to the point where they too contribute to vastly improved total mobility.

        With your ultra-local + ultra-express paradigm, and gigantic pile of money gets wasted on a single corridor, and many people get where they’re going slower (having to wait twice, or wait for a less frequent one or the other) than they would at the in-between ideal!

      16. “Yes, the 70-series expresses can’t even keep up with their current demand. But if they…”

        The point here being — and I should have made this explicit — that if all those routes demand were absorbed, then suddenly there’s enough demand for really, really, really frequent service of the kind that the 70 expresses have never justified alone.

        (This is why Link, stopping twice more that the 70 expresses don’t, and stopping two more times in an ideal world, manages to justify 4 times the frequency and 20 times the capacity of the 70 expresses even at those buses busiest times.)

      17. Late-night speed-typos aside, Mike, you really need to stop pointing to the 70-series expresses as evidence of anything.

        Those buses are about making lemonade out of a lack-of-subway lemons. But they are not in themselves a model of flexible transit of multi-purpose usability. They leave a lot of trips unserved in their wake.

  9. So looks like most of these changes are peanut-buttering service hours all over the place, which is probably why the RapidRide and 11 frequencies were reduced.

    1. The old summary page never mentioned that the frequency on the 11 was being improved — only the numeric table did. I still think it was a typo.

      1. It must have been a typo since the new sheet says there are no changes from the November proposal, but the mid-day frequency is clearly different.

      2. There are a number of places where Metro’s narratives note no changes, but there are changes to the headways.

  10. Maybe we don’t need to delay the re-branding of the Line C and D, but allow the features to be watered down in one more way: Deploy 2-door low-floor passive-restraint buses from the existing fleet, and paint them rave green for the new RapidRide brand. Then, redeploy all the three-door buses to tunnel routes, and paint all tunnel buses sausage red.

  11. Those neighborhoods getting their empty routes saved shouldn’t pop the cork just yet. There will be future route cut lists, and if they don’t start filling those buses, their routes will be on that list.

  12. I certainly think Metro staff deserves praise for the portion of the restructure that survived intact (with the exception of continuing to run the 132 on its cicuitous route all the way to Burien, at great expense to taxpayers, serving a veritable desert of ridership, instead of completing the shorter straight line to TIBS, thereby denying South Parkers easy access to a wide swath of south King County and Pierce County without backtracking downtown).

  13. The new 27 is, frankly, bizarre.

    First, I thought the 2 was being rerouted off Seneca because Seneca is slow. So why move the 27 from a super fast street (Yesler) to a slow and unreliable one (Seneca)?

    Second, what happened to avoiding turns onto and off of 3rd Ave?

    I hope that Metro comes to their senses and simply restores the 27 to its current state. As it stands, this change flies in the face of everything else they’re doing. If VM needs front-door service, then reroute the 60.

    1. Completely agree. The 27 is awesome, and I with they’d have more routes cross I-5 as Yesler.

      Every day I walk an extra 3 blocks to take the 27 because it’s so much faster than the 14.

    2. +1 – I don’t take the 27 so can’t comment on those changes specifically, but I spent a lot of energy defending Metro’s plans for the #2S and totally bought into their vision of “Spring/Seneca bad” and “left turns on 3rd bad” when apparently those axioms only hold true if you’re talking about the #2S. Hell, at this point I’m tempted to join the “Save the #2” camp and lobby to preserve my one seat ride all the way to Seattle Center for the 4 or 5 times a year I need it…

      1. I’m ready to start a campaign to move half a dozen routes to Yesler. Sure, there’s nothing on Yesler itself. But it’s by far the fastest way across the freeway.

      2. I think the difference is that one is a frequent and high-volume route, while the other only runs twice per hour on weekdays and once per hour in the evening and on weekends.

        Those who absolutely must have front-door service to Virginia Mason can continue to suffer the Spring Street nightmare if they so choose. But they will cause many, many fewer 3rd Ave blockages and waste many, many fewer bus-hours by doing so. It is likely that the elderly will be the primary users of this route.

        The Leschi tail of the 27 is very poorly used outside of rush hour; the primary argument for keeping it was for the benefit of aging residents. Having access to First Hill via Boren may turn out to be a great benefit for those users.

      3. d.p.: It’s about the precedent. If Metro says, “Every route on 3rd goes straight between Stewart to Yesler”, then riders know that it’s safe to board any route on 3rd without worrying that it will suddenly make a crazy turn to nowhere, and traffic signals can be heavily optimized (since you only need 2 phases per cycle).

        But if Metro says, “well, we’ll allow this turn”, then you’ve instantly defeated the usability argument, *and* you’ve emboldened every other constituency which wants their bus to continued turning on 3rd.

        This is one place where “compromise” can cause serious issues.

      4. This thread kindles another thing about the “left turns on 3rd are evil” philosophy that has always bothered me. During peak hours, where a bus having to wait to do the left turn is presumably most disruptive, isn’t all the oncoming traffic other buses? Couldn’t there be some sort of gentleman’s agreement that the oncoming buses simply yield to the one turning left? If 3rd is for all intents and purposes a busway during peak hours, seems like the rules of the road could be tweaked to help system wide reliability…

      5. During peak hours, where a bus having to wait to do the left turn is presumably most disruptive, isn’t all the oncoming traffic other buses? Couldn’t there be some sort of gentleman’s agreement that the oncoming buses simply yield to the one turning left?

        Don’t forget about the pedestrians. Volumes are often high enough that buses have to wait for the flashing hand, and even then some folks will ignore it.

        @Aleks: unless it’s the 21, 113, 120, 121, 122, 125, or a weinerbus, in which case it will turn on Columbia to get on the Viaduct.

      6. Even right turns can be problematic. At rush hour it can take the 14N several light cycles to make the right turn from 3rd to Pike. That’s one of the reasons splitting the 10, 11, 12 and 14 is also a great improvement — they’ll be able to live loop on 2nd between Pine and Pike, avoiding both 1st Ave and 3rd Ave altogether.

      7. [Keith] Good idea. Except instead of a vague agreement, put in a turn signal. Trigger the turn signal only when a bus is in the left lane.

      8. A serious suggestion:

        I’m not nearly as swayed as Bruce is by the importance of “Seattle-oriented” routes being consolidated on 3rd.

        Indeed, one of the great pleasure of OneBusAway has been the many times it has clued me in to an impending transfer opportunity from the 15/18 to the 24/33. Not only do I get to skip the LQA detour, but if I get the 24, I get a clean, unimpeded ride through Belltown with none of the stop signs and badly-timed lights that make 3rd take 7 or 8 minutes even with no traffic. It feels like I’ve won the lottery, every time.

        Point being: Consolidating on 3rd isn’t the be-all-and-end-all. So…

        Why not put the 33/27 southbound back on 2nd, and have it access Spring that way? It still provides direct access to University Street station (via the beneath-Benaroya ramp), and then it can cross 3rd rather than having to turn off of it!

        Rather than a 2nd/4th couplet, the northbound 27/33 can still use 3rd (turning on is less disruptive than turning off).

        Even better: have it turn up University to 5th, and then swing around from 5th to Spring in the left lane, avoiding the Spring Street slog entirely!

      9. +1 to d.p.’s suggestion. The deviation to Seneca/Spring is already against the notion of “3rd Ave as end-to-end transit mall.”

      10. Matt L.: My understanding is that, in the near future, viadict buses will switch to the new ramp at Atlantic, or something like that. The Columbia ramp isn’t long for this world.

      11. “It’s about the precedent. If Metro says, “Every route on 3rd goes straight between Stewart to Yesler”, then riders know that it’s safe to board any route on 3rd without worrying that it will suddenly make a crazy turn to nowhere”

        That’s a goal, not a current policy. The 3/4 will still be turning on James. And most passengers are not even aware of the “straight between Stewart and Yesler” goal yet. Metro has not mentioned it except in the service-change proposals, and most riders never read those. In the future, passengers will may expecting all 3rd Avenue buses to go straight between Stewart and Yesler, but not this year and probably not next year.

      12. Mike: All I’m saying is that, if the 3rd Ave transit mall is a goal of Metro’s, they shouldn’t be making it worse by adding more turns. If Metro changes this route now, it will be much harder to change it again a year later (or whenever the new viaduct ramps open).

    3. I think Metro sees the 27 as a low-priority add-on route, whose highest-ridership portion is duplicative with the 3,4,7,14,36, while the 2 has a more unique walkshed and higher ridership. There’s a mismatch between the 27’s nominal purpose and what people use it for. Its nominal purpose is to connect Leschi/Lakeside to downtown. Its hidden purpose is as an east-west express. So the best way to “save” the 27 is to get this goal written into its mission, with one of those whereas clauses saying, “Whereas congestion on James and Jackson is so severe that the 3,4,7,14,36 can’t maintain acceptable service, therefore a bypass route on Yesler to 23rd is necessary.”

      1. I’d rather see the 27 running north-south on 12th Ave between Yesler and Madison. At Madison it could take over the 2’s route into downtown. Trying to fight traffic on Boren will only throw the 27 schedule into chaos.

      2. No, please, let’s not create another infrequent bus route two blocks away from parallel service, in this case on Broadway.

        I agree that Boren is a mess in the peaks, although reliability is fine in the midday. The ideal solution to that is to use 9th to serve the front door of Harborview and traverse First Hill and then jog down to 8th Ave to cross I-5 (under the Convention Center). 8th Ave is reliable at all times — the intersection almost never backs up in the peaks. The pedestrian environment on 8th and 9th is much less like a freeway than Boren.

      3. The rerouted 27 is proposed to run at 30 minute headways weekdays, so I don’t see it as being infrequent. During the discussions of whether the First Hill Streetcar could run on 12th Ave instead of Broadway, most people argued that the hill between 12th and Broadway was too steep of an obstacle for riders. During those discussions, most people agreed that the commercial district adjacent to Seattle U on 12th Ave deserved some sort of transit service. Boren to downtown is already well served with plenty of east-west trolley routes. If the 27 is going to be rerouted off Yesler, I think the 12th Ave option would gain more ridership than Boren.

      4. @Bruce, Totally agree about using 8th. I think it is an underutilized street, especially for transit.

    4. Hmm. What would you think of the 27 simply continuing up Boren and ending at the tail of the 14N? Summit and Leschi lose one-seat rides to downtown, it still doesn’t connect to Olive buses directly, and the way Virginia Mason’s expansion went down (seriously, what were they thinking putting a blank wall on First Hill’s main north-south arterial?) it kind of loses front-door service to there, but it’s close enough. If not, divert it to 8th between Seneca and the convention center.

      1. On the other hand, I think going all-8th as Bruce proposes is further away from Virginia Mason than Boren is, obviating much of the point of rerouting the 27.

  14. The watering down of RapidRide in both corridors is completely unacceptable. I rather not have the buses upgraded to a “BRT” brand if metro waters it down every single time it does it.

    1. They really are making a mockery of the concept. I’m curious what they’ll propose for the Aurora line – likely it will be the same route at a similar frequency with a few fewer stops.

      I can see a case for making the capital investments while they have the funding – but if that is what they’re trying to do it might behoove them to be more transparent about it.

      1. I’m familiar with the current proposal – I’m curious to see more details in the next round. Currently it’s essentially a slightly faster 358.

      2. The way C and D have been watered down this much already, I really hope Metro seriously considers postponing the E and announcing it pretty soon to minimize the protest (unless they think they can preserve more of its BRT features, but if so they should really apply them to C and D instead).

  15. Aren’t the electric trolley bus route layovers today exclusive to each route? The proposal to combine the #2 and the #12 puts them both at the Colman Dock. If they don’t arrive on sequence, a buses will physically have to hopscotch off of the wires? Isn’t this an operational headache? Isn’t laying over there to maintain this frequent service spacing going to be a nightmare?

    That being said, I still see no advantage for Route 2 to go all the way to the Colman dock, and the time lost in hopscotching will be greater than if the buses turned and made a loop to get to Pike/Pine and the University Street Station. Why do Colman Dock ferry riders get a doubling in service, while other areas get reduced?

    1. There are some broken links at the Metro website, so I can’t verify, but I thought that the new #2 would turn around on 1st Ave. and not go all the way to Colman Dock. Does it layover there, or is it live-looped?

      1. My concern is about having two high-frequency electric trolley buses laying over at the same point Downtown. The specific location isn’t as critical as the fact that this is going to be a major operations headache.

      2. I think the live loop concept means that the bus doesn’t layover, it will go down to 1st Ave and then head back up the hill without a layover. But those 2 left turns that the bus has to take on and then off of First Avenue will be very difficult when First is congested. I expect schedules to get screwed up and that the 2 and 12 will bunch up on the trips back up Madison. I know Metro wants to eliminate turns off of Third, but left turns at First Ave aren’t going to be easy.

      3. aw – you’re correct, the proposal for the #2 has it turning on/off 1st, not going all the way down to the ferry terminal. Apparently all the folks opposed to the changes to the #2 aren’t fans of that great little Irish bar down that way (Fado). :-)

      4. I think the live loop concept means that the bus doesn’t layover, it will go down to 1st Ave and then head back up the hill without a layover. But those 2 left turns that the bus has to take on and then off of First Avenue will be very difficult when First is congested. I expect schedules to get screwed up and that the 2 and 12 will bunch up on the trips back up Madison.

        It can’t be worse the the 10/12 live-loop we have today. At least this way the buses will only be exposed to the First Ave disaster for a single block.

      5. For three blocks of additional new wire Metro could have the the buses live loop on Western, with a stop eastbound on Marion just west of First where the walkway starts. There’s relatively little traffic on Western and riders between Coleman dock and either bus would not have to cross First and make the climb half a block toward 2nd to the stop.

        The special work on Madison is a half block east of First and there’s only a trailing point junction at First and Marion, so the cost of the additional wire would be pretty modest. Instead of turning onto First the existing left hand wire would continue another block to Western.

        If future gentrification of the area along Western south of Madison continues, there’s an opportunity for a stop just south of Madison in a current yellow zone.

      6. In addition to the new wire, I’m pretty sure they’d have to go through the red tape of getting Western’s “transit classification” changed. Plus if I do recall correctly a lot of Western downtown looks like swiss cheese.

  16. Is the #27 a diesel route? Someone on the Central District News blog pointed out that it probably was, which means folks on Spring/Seneca will be losing their trolley route. Plus I hate to think of all that wire going unused…

    1. Yes, the 27 is diesel. Riding the 2 when it’s motorized gives a preview of what’s to come: a bus climbing the hill at 5 MPH sounding like a jetliner.

      1. Forget that, just ride the 27 up Yesler from downtown today. That hill is as bad as any on the new routing, and as a bonus has a stop sign right in the middle of the steepest section.

    2. But that gets into the larger picture, that Metro is fundamentally downgrading Seneca. Ideally it wants to remove all buses from it, but it’s leaving an infrequent bus as a concession. “Trolley” inherently implies frequent route or at least long-term route. So it would be natural to remove the wires after this. Metro may leave them there for occasional use or backup use. If a corridor becomes infrequent, it’s kind of natural to switch from trolley to diesel if the end-to-end wire isn’t already there. (The 14N may remain a trolley route until it dies, simply because the wire is already there.)

      So yes, you’re right, Seneca is losing a trolley. And if that were the only change (i.e., if the 2 were extended to add an unelectrified segment), then I would be unhappy with that. But in this case it’s part of a larger change, so if you’re going to be mad about something, it’s better to be mad about the larger change. :)

  17. Just want to say I agree with keeping the 55 as a peak hour only route. This route needs to kept as a one way peak hour trip, because of the number of passengers it carries. Every time I’ve done the 55 in the mornings, you have almost an entire seated load, on an 60′ bus, before even arriving at The Junction. With the proposal, this would overcrowd the 128 (on a 40′ bus) and would force an entire bus load off to make the transfer to Rapid Ride at The Junction. Same thing in reverse. I totally believe in reducing the number of one-seat rides, but an inbound AM, outbound PM type of service would be great on this route, to handle the large number of commuters using this route on California Ave, north of Alaska Junction. At all other times of the day, I think using the combination of the 128 and RR C is good.

      1. It could be solved, but I’m saying if you have a route with that much ridership in the peak directions, those commuters deserve a one seat ride to downtown. For all other times of the day, less demand on that route warrants a transfer to RR C Line.

      2. This is a case where “keep the route because it’s full” makes some sense. Of course, Renton and Kent and Shoreline would also argue that the 102 and 159 and 301 are full (if that’s true), so that only gets you so far…

      3. Renton, Kent, and Shoreline get a different definition of full: at least one passenger standing for more than 20 minutes on a regular basis.

        However, there is a solution for the 101/102, at least, to solve that problem: Terminate the route at Henderson Station, and there won’t be anyone forced to stand on the bus for more than 20 minutes. ;) Then, getting on at Henderson Station, most of them will get to sit on the train.

        Same goes with the 158/159, and Kent Station. But I’m not sure if Sounder has reached SRO on its non-game runs. Still, kudos to the council for having the guts to eliminate the 162.

  18. Wait, they are now keeping the 355 the way it is? The revision to it was going to make it so much better! Faster to downtown, no more 15-minute detour through traffic in the U-district to serve all of 3 passengers…I am so frustrated.

  19. The all day map for North Seattle has an error, the 31 show it running down Dravus St to 15th, but the comments on the revised proposal say there’s no change to the 31. Currently it runs down 22nd Ave W and by Fisherman’s Terminal to 15th.

    Also, the last run of the 31 is at 6:50pm. Sad that they consider this “all day”.

  20. I guess at least they’re keeping the change to the 5 that eliminates the Northgate version.

    It’s just so frustrating that they dangle all these great proposed changes in front of us and then take them away again.

  21. I agree with keeping some front-door service on Seneca in First Hill (on the new 27). But does it really need to stay on Seneca into downtown? Could it cut back to Madison before crossing the freeway, and thereby allow passengers to transfer there?

    1. rather than cutting from Seneca to Madison, It would be better for the Madison buses to cut over to Seneca below 7th, because Seneca has the superior tunnel transfer stop.

  22. From a system design perspective it really looks like the D Line needs to extend to the Northgate Link Station, or at least in the shorter term, Aurora when the D Line is opened. I don’t have any idea of how strong the demand would be, but it looks like a gap from a system design perspective.

    1. The runtime and cumulative unreliability of the through-routed C-D is such that an extension to Northgate wouldn’t be sufficiently reliable. The fix is s to split the C/D downtown and then terminate the revised 18 at Crown Hill, and extend the D to Northgate. You will notice that the current revised 18 terminates on First Hill rather than go through to another route.

  23. In the spirit of accepting multiple-seat rides, I hope Metro can do the following to make transit more tolerable in South Park:

    1) Have a timed transfer between the 128 and 132, each way, just north of the Riverton medical campus. This is now possible given the matching headways. Be prepared to discipline operators who forget the timed transfer and leave passengers stranded in Riverton for a half hour.

    2) Have a timed transfer between the earliest two runs of the 60 and the 22 to get students going to Denny Middle and Sealth High that last half mile to the front doors of those campuses. HOLD STUDENTS HARMLESS in whatever game of chicken is going on between Metro and Seattle Public Schools.

    3) Can we have a temporary southbound bus stop on 4th Ave S, around the corner from SODO Station, for all the buses crossing over to 1st on Lander? Pretty please? I don’t enjoy sprinting ten blocks to beat the bus over to 1st, especially when the next 132 comes an hour later. But thanks for at least giving us a northbound bus stop.

    Thanks also for Euthanizing the current 131 druggie mobile, giving us (if passed) a straight shot up 4th, and ending the ten-minute loop-de-loop stop in the congested VA parking lot. I’m quite pleased with the progress in this restructure.

  24. I am disappointed to see the 16 is now going to start meandering through the North Seattle Community College parking lot for the alleged purpose of “make transfers easier between route 16 and routes 18, 316, 345, and 346 that provide service on Meridian Ave N between 92nd St. and Northgate Way.

    There is already bus stop on 92nd St – why can’t those who wants to make a transfer there can just use that stop? Is it really worth making the bus waste people’s time in a loop-de-loop because people making a transfer are unwilling to cross a street (and 92nd really isn’t even that major of a street)?

    1. +1

      at least until the buses circle around to the east side of the parking lot, and pick up at the other end of the Northgate I-5 pedestrian bridge. BTW, does that bridge have to wait until the station?

      1. From what I’ve heard, unfortunately yes. And I haven’t heard definitively that there’s actually money to build it all. Ideally, this bridge should have been built 50 years ago as part of the original I-5 construction.

    2. As someone who occasionally uses the 16 to access NSCC, I think this is a stupid plan. The current street stops work fine, although it is kinda goofy that it runs in the opposite direction as all the other NGTC-bound routes.

    3. What is it with Metro having bus routes in the Northgate area meander through parking lots? I’m looking at you, 345.

  25. The 27 restructure seems similar to the old 2 Madrona and 12 (E Cherry and 26th S) that Seattle Transit used to operate. Instead of climbing the hills at Madison, they would go east on Pike St; then south on 7th Ave; then east on Madison. The 12 then turned on 9th Ave and joined the current 3/4 routing at Harborview. The 2 continued up Madison to E Union.

    Personally, instead of having the 27 serve Virginia Mason, the 60 should have continued down 9th to Seneca St, then return to Broadway.

    1. instead of having the 27 serve Virginia Mason, the 60 should have continued down 9th to Seneca St

      It’s a solid plan, and I endorse it. The core purpose of the 60 seems to be providing front-door service to medical facilities, so this would fit right in.

  26. The new 18 may actually be as fast or faster than “Rapid”Ride. The only place where it has congestion or slow streets is a couple blocks in Fremont and the Fremont Bridge. It also follows the route of the proposed downtown-Fremont-Ballard streetcar, so it would prebuild ridership for that, which may be Metro’s intention.

  27. Bruce,

    Thanks for your time and effort in putting this together. As I have stated before, the loss of route 51 that runs right in front of my house will be missed by some, but I rarely see more than one person on that bus. These are resources that should and will be used elsewhere.

  28. It is interesting to note that the proposals for bus service reduction occur in the densest parts of the region, where the urban area is built for transit and where population is growing, in part because there is good transit. It seems as though the Metro planners and the Council Members are favoring the less dense areas of the County at the expense of the central City. For instance, the tops of Queen Anne and Capitol Hill are growing and have become more dense while the response is to gut existing frequency. You need to give folks an assist getting up the hills but instead the proposed service “improvements” are being made with ill-suited diesel coaches that groan noisily up the hills at pathetic speeds and can’t stop because they can’t start on the hill. In addition, bus stops have been removed (and will be moreso with the plan) so that the increasingly aging populace must walk greater distances to less frequent services. Makes you want to shop in the U Village in your auto rather to take transit to Downtown. Seems short-sighted. There ought go be an effort to better serve this growing population with transit. As an example, the West Side of Queen Anne, a definitely densifying area, does not have any way excepting the automobile for folks to get up or down the significant hillside to access to the Number 1 or 15/18 services. Perhaps a route extension into that void would be of utility. It would also appear that access to Seattle U., Virginia Mason and possibly Swedish will be diminished for patients, students and employees by the proposed changes. The City’s routes are the more heavily used and therefore the more efficient to be operated by Metro.

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