Bus Path in Red, Key Stops Circled

Now that a number of West Seattle-bound buses have moved from 1st to 4th Avenue, there is now a nice opportunity for an intermodal connection with Link at Sodo. From northbound buses, there is a straightforward one-block walk to reach the station, allowing easy transfers to the Rainier Valley, the airport, and (eventually) UW.

Unfortunately, there is no such easy transfer to southbound buses. The only options to pick up a bus are all the way up at Walker or several blocks west to 1st Avenue. Because the only through east-west pedestrian corridor is on Lander St,  in either case it’s just under half a mile. The coming Route 50 is being diverted from Spokane St. largely to serve the station, and will turn before it reaches the existing stop north of Lander.

The obvious solution is another southbound bus stop, possibly just after the turn onto Lander. Metro’s Linda Thielke tells me that during the viaduct closure last year there was a temporary stop at Lander and 3rd, but could not confirm that any such stop is in Metro’s permanent plans.

Getting from West Seattle to the Rainier Valley is hardly the biggest deal in the system, but a new bus stop is a trivial accommodation. Although there are other reasons for the 50 to come that far north, a better connection would strengthen the case for keeping the 50 on Spokane St, creating a more direct connection between two sectors of the city.

23 Replies to “A Missing Intermodal Stop”

  1. I suggest that the new 50 route’s southern tail be extended to Georgetown area to connect with a number of bus routes there.

      1. Umm. Seems a little redundant with the North portion of the new “50” route and wouldn’t get some people to where they’ed want to go.

        Extending the 50 to Georgetown would allow for transfers to a number of routes to West Seattle, White Center, Tukwila, Boeing Field, South Seattle Community College (multiple campuses) with out having to travel north to SODO.

      2. I’m having a little trouble envisioning what you mean by “extending the 50 to Georgetown”. Could you specify the path you are contemplating?

      3. Sure, instead of terminating at the Othello station, the route should continue west on Othello –> Myrtle curving north on Swift Ave to Albro, left into Georgetown. I envision that it would connect with routes such as present 60 (White Center), 131 (Burien TC, Highline CC), 134 (Burien TC) at a stop near Ellis and Warsaw. (don’t know if that is a correct direction), then proceed to East Marginal Way to connect with the 124 (Tukwila), 154 (Boeing Industrial), 173 (Boeing Industrial) and then loop by the South Seattle Community College (Industrial Trades Campus) then return to Rainier valley.

        I haven’t taken the time to research which routes would be present in the reorg but this list gives you the idea of what kind of connections are possible to get people to work places and schools without going long distances in the opposite direction.

        And yes, I recognize that the section along Swift avenue is served by the 106 Renton line.

      4. I agree with adding this connection, but on a different route: the proposed 20 (previously the proposed 40). That would be a little more linear. Having that route double-up with the RapidRide along California Ave SW seems like a waste of service hours that could complete the connection you/we seek.

      5. I was surprised at the idea to terminate the 20 in Georgetown rather than making it a southern West Seattle – Rainier Valley route. But it does allow a transfer to the 106 to complete the journey. (For whatever it’s worth, given that transferring between two half-hourly routes is lame unless they’re timed, especially if the transfer point is in a low-density area.) I would more likely turn the other way and take the 50.

        I’m skeptical that West Seattle – Georgetown itself is worth that much service off-peak. On the other hand, the 60 has been popular in spite of its slowness, so maybe there is unmet demand between West Seattle and Georgetown.

        Another factor is that there was a West Seattle – Rainier Valley route earlier that died for lack of ridership. So I understand Metro’s restraint in testing the waters with just one crosstown route rather than two at this time.

  2. Why would you need a southbound intermodal connection here? Any of the major stops from downtown to the ID will put you practically on top of Link. If you want your intermodal stop, look to the half dozen others where the route ‘originates’.

    1. If you’re going from West Seattle to the Rainier Valley or vice versa. It’s silly to make people go further north.

      1. If you’re southbound, you aren’t coming from West Seattle. You already note that from West Seattle (northbound) that connection exists, it’s no good for intermodal-sake to put a stop at 3rd and lander. Use a more useful argument like Seattle Schools Headquarters, or parity with the stop across the street, but coming from downtown to there to switch to Link just shows you missed getting on link the past 6 stops.

      2. You could be coming from the Rainer Valley and want to transfer to a West Seattle bus without going to downtown first.

      3. Ahh! Der. Can’t imagine that trip in my mind for some reason. okay, reading comprehension…FIAL!

    2. I try to make the connection between Rainier Valley and the 132 fairly frequently. I’ve whined about my missing stop ad nauseam.

  3. Couldn’t some of the routes be diverted to the Busway between Lander and Royal Brougham? That would take advantage of existing infrastructure. Or is there not enough capacity? Or perhaps a problem with left turns on and off the busway?

    1. That lengthens the routes and adds extra turns. It also crowds the busway during peak. I’m happy to walk one extra block to save the bus routes some time. A half mile, not so much.

  4. I don’t understand this. If the 50 stays on Spokane Street it’ll be a solid 10 minute walk to SODO station. I was looking forward to taking Link partway to Alki rather than having to take the 56 from downtown. But if the 50 doesn’t stop at SODO I’d have to walk from Lander to Spokane, or transfer in Columbia City and backtrack. Which is not the end of the world, but it’s not the same thing as making Alki and the Admiral district better accessible from Link.

    1. Mike,

      You could take any number of buses down the busway to Spokane St, or as you say go to Columbia City, or take multiple other routes to Alki and the Admiral District.

    2. The original problem was making Link turn at Lander rather than Spokane, thus necessitating this detour. The detour is just following through with the facts on the ground.

  5. Does anyone know why the buses don’t get caught behind the freight trains more often? Is there a permanent arrangement between Metro and BNSF that prevents this?

    1. Having worked right next door to the Seattle Schools building for about 2 years, I can say that the rail crossing delays in Sodo aren’t as big of a problem as people make it out to be. The worst delays are like missing a couple of long lights, and most crossings are less than a normal light cycle.

      BNSF hates them because they’re such accident prone crossings, though. Long term, they want them all grade separated, like Royal Brougham.

  6. One of my earlier posts suggested combining the old “40”/new “20” with the 106. This would connect with Link at Rainier Beach Station. The thing that made this work was Route 124 going to Airport Way – which is the same path as the current Route 106.

    1. That’s useful for people in South Rainier Valley, but not so useful for the people north of Rainier Beach.

Comments are closed.