A particularly aggravating deviation for many 50 and 60 riders is the loop into the Veterans Administration Parking Lot. Although most riders presumably are not churlish about providing services to old or disabled veterans, Route 36 is equally close, a one-seat ride to the downtown transit hubs, more frequent, and wouldn’t require such a detour. Unfortunately, it doesn’t directly serve the hospital’s main entrance.
It isn’t for the most environmentally sustainable reasons, but relief is in sight. Lisa Mizumoto of the VA:
Due to construction of a 1000 car parking garage there will not be enough maneuver space, at the VA, for the 50 and 60 bus, so it will have to drop off at points along S. Columbian way. The 36 bus however, will continue to run down Beacon Ave S. where employees and Veterans will continue to have access to the South Entrance.
This is a VA approved and funded project that was designed to address our parking shortages. The project is expected to begin sometime between November 2013 and February 2014. Construction is expected last to between last 18-24 months.
Ms. Mizumoto confirmed in a followup email that the service change is temporary, until construction concludes. Regular through riders on these routes can only hope that the Route 36 solution proves to be satisfactory enough in the long run.