Photo via Zargoman (Flickr)

September 28 is service change day, and while it’s nothing as contentious as last year’s overhaul, there is nonetheless a considerable amount of added service on key routes, major construction detours, and significant changes to corridors such as I-90. We’ve written about these previously here, here, and here. Check out the service change pages (Metro, ST) for full details, but a summary is below the jump.

Sound Transit

  • 510 and 511 become peak only.
  • 512 expanded to weekday off-peak, Saturday, and Sunday. Provides consolidated service to Lynnwood and Everett every 15 minutes on weekdays, 20 minutes on Saturday, and 30 minutes on Sunday.
  • 513, 545, 550, 567, 578, 596: Trips added.
  • 540: Trips reduced
  • 522, 532: minor stop changes
  • 554, 566, 586, 590, 594: minor schedule changes
  • 592: Select trips serve Olympia in the peak direction
  • Sounder: New South Line round-trip added. Peak frequency now 20 minutes.


Frequency Upgrades

  • 5, 10, 21, 40, 41, 48, 49, 120: Better early morning and late evening service, better weekend service (Bridging the Gap purchase)
  • 330: Upgraded from peak-only to all-day service.
  • 358: Mid-day Saturday service upgraded from 15 minutes to 12 minutes. No longer serves 5th/Jackson, first northbound stop will now be at 2nd Ext S/Main.

Frequency Downgrades

  • 152: Loses one round trip
  • 250: Loses two round trips
  • 246: Service changes from 30 to 60 minutes.
  • 249: From 30 to 45-60 minutes.


  • 234: No longer serves Northshore P&R
  • 311: No longer serves Duvall.
  • 935: No longer serves Northshore P&R

Major Reroutes

  • 16 and 66: Major 3-year reroute due to Waterfront construction. No longer serves the ferry terminal, but serves 1st Ave before terminating in the Intl District.
  • 99: 3-year reroute will run two-way on 1st Avenue between Jackson and Wall, no longer serving Alaskan Way. Service will also be adjusted to meet Sounder trains.

Minor Reroutes

  • 64, 193: Rerouted in First Hill to avoid traveling on James St. Inbound will operate on Boren, Broadway, and Spruce before serving Harborview and Swedish Cherry Hill.
  • 70, 71, 72, 73: Will operate on 15th Ave instead of University Way on Saturdays due to the relocation of the UDistrict Farmers Market.


  • 140: Extended to Renton Landing in anticipation of Rapid Ride F. Bus bay changes in Renton TC.


  • 155: Becomes DART route 906, and is decoupled from 156, which will operate as a standalone route between Highline CC and Southcenter.

Snoqualmie Valley Service: Major changes.

  • 209 will be downgraded to just 3 peak-hour trips serving Fall City and Snoqualmie between North Bend and Issaquah.
  • 208 is a new route providing all-day service between North Bend and Issaquah via Snoqualmie Ridge.
  • A 5-year pilot project will operate a Snoqualmie Valley Shuttle on a 90-minute fixed route between North Bend and Duvall.
  • 224 is truncated back to Duvall and will serve more of Redmond Ridge.

I-90 Corridor: Major changes.

  • 210 will add 8 trips.
  • 211 will skip Eastgate P&R, Factoria and South Bellevue, but will serve Eastgate Freeway Station, saving about 10 minutes per trip.
  • 212 has 8 trips converted to 210 trips.
  • 214 adds 5 trips (2 morning, 3 afternoon) to Issaquah TC.
  • 215 no longer serves Issaquah TC.
  • 216 skips North Issaquah but adds Issaquah Highlands before continuing to serve Sammamish.
  • 218 has 14 trips converted to route 219.
  • 219 is a new DSTT route that will operate on the 218’s routing to Issaquah Highlands before continuing on to Sammamish and Redmond.

Trips adjusted due to new Sounder schedule

  • Routes 110, 154, 180, 186, and 913

Minor trip or route revisions on routes 139, 152, 187, 221, 342, 909

50 Replies to “ST and Metro September Service Changes Roundup”

  1. Also Pierce Transit will run route 1 every 15 minutes during peak times thanks to a grant (AKA, free money). And, of course, there are no service cuts for PT this month :-)

  2. Community Transit also has some changes coming on Monday, September 30, summarized here.

    Washington State Ferries has some fall service reductions and fare increases summarized here.

    1. I’m pleasantly surprised to see that the 201/202 continues running between Everett and Lynnwood all day, despite the 512 also connecting those cities on express. Does anyone know why?

      1. The 201/202 serve Mariner P&R which is a critical hub for the local routes serving Bothell and Mill Creek and which is not served by the 512 (it would be a serious time-wasting diversion for it to do so). They also provide local service to and from Ash Way which would have to be replaced.

        One scenario where keeping these routes is useful is parking at Mariner after the other lots have filled and connecting to the 511, 512, or 532 at Ash Way.

      2. Now that makes some actual sense; I was hoping the Everett-Alderwood Mall service wouldn’t vanish. But in other words, there was absolutely no reason for ST to wait until September to consolidate the 512 instead of doing it at their last service change?

      3. ST said it delayed the change to allow CT to coordinate simultaneous changes. I assumed that was about east-west routes — the ones people would actually transfer from. Have any east-west routes changed?

  3. Is the public as confused as I am about dire service cuts just around the bend if massive new taxes are not enacted immediately? Yet, little is being done to cut or restructure unproductive service, and new services are being added.
    How loud will transit have to yell FIRE next year to get some attention, or has the economy fully recovered and the Good Ship Lollipop will just keep chugging along?

    1. I’ve heard that the first draft of the cut proposal will come around November. We’ll see how much restructuring it has.

    2. Call your legislature and scream fire, or go to the WSDOT meeting and scream fire. That’s the only way we’re gonna be able to do something.

      On the topic of the Good Ship Lollipop, CT and Pierce Transit seem to be leveling out in the cuts department. Maybe KCM will improve in the coming months.

      1. Both PT and CT have made significant cuts over the last five years. KCM has not made cuts anywhere near the magnitude PT and CT have made. PT and CT changes are a result of an increase in sales tax dollars, while KCM has had extra help in not making the original cuts. It should be noted that the cuts KCM is facing is not nearly as dire as what CT and PT has had to go through.

        CT route 435 riders: It appears that the NEW route 435 will have a different routing than the OLD 435 before it was truncated at Canyon Park. So don’t assume that the new will act like the old.

      2. The 435 will start at hwy 527 and 164th st. and stay on hwy 527 using the same routing to canyon park as the 105. Not going thru mays pond like the old old 435.

    3. Nothing has changed my mind to support a highway construction package, especially when the state still doesn’t have a plan to maintain existing highways.

    4. People are screaming fire, especially in King County. Senator Tom received a 1000-signature petition. I wish I had know about it so I could sign it.

      Realistically, no matter whether the cut stays at 17% or gets reduced to 10% or 5%, it’s the evening and weekend frequency that’s most in jepordy, because it’s just barely holding on now. That and the second tier of feeders like the 107. I assume the least-productive routes are goners in any case (61, 25, 4S, maybe 47), and probably the night owls. The citizens and Metro have come a long way from the across-the-board evenly-distributed cuts that would have been plausable a decade ago. I just don’t see that happening now, not with overcrowded trunk routes and the need for feeders to Link and RapidRide. Even the County Council would probably laugh Metro out of the room if it proposed that now.

      1. I am wondering how the County Council will laugh themselves out of the room, since they are Metro. :)

  4. Information given above for Route 210, no longer serving Factoria, is incorrect.
    210 will still use it’s current routing and all current bus stops, still serving Factoria, before traveling(new routing) via Eastgate Way to Eastgate P&R & Frwy Sta and accessing I-90 using the direct access ramps in the AM. PM routing uses the Eastgate Frwy Sta only, then serves SE 36th St down to Richards Rd/Factoria Blvd and resumes the current 210 route and stops to Issaquah TC

    1. Are you sure that the new 210 routing will serve the Freeway station westbound… I simply can’t find an explicit statement to this effect in Metro’s materials. I agree that the only sensible routing takes the bus that way, and that actively skipping the flyer stop makes no sense; but this is Metro we are talking about.

      One of the the very nice things abvout the 212 in the morning is how well it avoids bunching of buses. It will be interesting to see if the 210 will manage the same level of reliability. It’ll also be interesting to see what capacity looks like once teh bus gets to the flyer stop. I’m really afraid that this years changes will be a reapeat of last year’s degradation of the Eastgate P&R service.

      1. Casey is indeed correct. The 210 will service Eastgate Freeway Station both inbound and outbound.

      2. From Metro’s service change announcement

        Route 210 trips to downtown Seattle will be revised to serve the Eastgate P&R, Bay 1, in the morning and will no longer serve the bus stop on the westbound on-ramp to I-90 just west of Richards Road. This deviation to the Eastgate P&R will increase travel time by 5–8 minutes. Eastbound trips to Issaquah will serve the Eastgate Freeway Station, Bay 4, in the afternoon.

      3. @Zach: it says that it will serve Bay 1 (i.e. downstairs at the P&R) in the morning and bay 4 (Eastbound) in the afternoon. It doesn’t mention serving Bay 3 in the morning. I’m not saying that EB Operator is wrong — on the contrary, I strongly suspect he actually knows — just that quoting Metro’s site (which I had already looked at) doesn’t help answer my question.

      4. I am sure. I’m looking in my route book and the turn by turn directions and map reflect what I wrote above. Also, the passenger loads prior to arriving at Eastgate shouldn’t be a problem. This route is currently served by 40 footers and isn’t very full. This change is making a route that has only marginal ridership and allowing Eastgate passengers to take advantage of these route 210 buses that are already headed into and out of downtown by only adding a few minutes to each trip

      5. Thanks for the confirmation Casey (and EB Op). It’s good to know for sure that I’m not going to have to change my riding habits. Also good to hear that capacity isn’t going to be affected. I suppose I should have inferred this from the fact that while they went into loving detail about how afternoon 210s ere not going to serve the P&R (just the flyer stops) they were entirely silent about this.

  5. Note that the added Seattle service is a purchase from unspent Bridging the Gap money, not a Transit Now partnership with matching funds from Metro. Seattle used up all its Transit Now partnership matching funds with the original purchase shortly after the passage of Bridging the Gap.

  6. As a daily 16 user, I’m really digging the rerouting from the Ferry Terminal to 1st and ID, as well as the current routing of not going by east Seattle Center. Ironically, the SR99 Tunnel construction has made the route better!

  7. From the ST schedule book: “A non-ORCA RRFP is not good for fare payment on any Sound Transit service.”

    Does that mean the cardholder has to pay with loaded ORCA product, or does that just mean ST won’t honor pre-ORCA versions of the card for discount purposes? Do the non-ORCA counties give out all their new RRFPs on ORCAs?

    1. Non-ORCA RRFP’s (as well as ORCA RRFP’s with insufficient funds) ARE valid for proof of eligibility. They will still pay cash, but at a reduced rate.

  8. It definitely means they have to use an ORCAized reduced-fare permit. Users were transitioned a year or two ago. I don’t know whether they can pay cash with the permit, but I would guess not. ORCA doesn’t exist outside King/Pierce/Snoho/Kitsap, so other counties would have non-ORCA permits, and I never heard that they were ever valid in the four-county area anyway.

    1. The RRFP is the creation of an inter-local agreement. Agencies that join the compact are required to honor each others’ RRFPs. That’s why Metro insists on letting RRFP holders pay the same reduced fare with cash. And so, for the sake of the occasional Olympia rider coming here and taking a Metro bus while here, we incentivize all RRFP holders to fumble cash.

      Perhaps Sound Transit isn’t actually a party to the agreement, but simply voluntarily honors ORCAized RRFPs, since ST doesn’t issue RRFPs of its own. If that is the case, ST could require electronic fare payment in order to get the reduced fare.

    2. The RRFP’s are valid across the entire region for discount purposes. The ORCA versions serve two purposes: (1) Fare payment and (2) proof of eligibility. If there are no funds in (1) then (2) can still validate lower fare eligibility. I see on Link people handing both their ORCA RRFP’s and a valid ticket for this reason.

  9. On the comments of a recent piece, someone posted that Metro would be improving afternoon peak service on the 44 to every 10 minutes.

    Is this true? And, if so, why isn’t Metro mentioning it in the service change announcement?

    1. It’s in the new schedules, which started being distributed today. 10 minutes in PM peak, both directions. I guess Metro just forgot to announce it.

  10. Regarding the 70-series reroutes, I think it would be good to elaborate a bit more. As currently written, the description makes it sound like the 71/72/73 will not be using University Way at all. Instead, the 71/72/73 will be using University Way between Campus Parkway and 50th, but will detour to 15th Ave NE between 50th and Cowen Place.

    Also, the 70 is on a different reroute. The problem with the 70 is that the 50th St turnback uses University Way for one block. The 70 will be modified to use the 43/49 turnback on Saturdays instead.

    1. I was curious about that so I looked at the farmer’s market website: “starting Oct 19, the U-District Farmers Market will take place on University Way between 50th and 52nd”. I guess the University Heights Center has other plans for its parking lot.

    2. Is the reroute all day, or only while the farmer’s market is actually operating? Also, if you’re going to use 15th north of 50th, why not just use 15th all the way to campus parkway and save a couple of 90-degree turns?

      1. Is the reroute all day, or only while the farmer’s market is actually operating?

        All day. Frankly, the reroute is confusing enough as it is — doing it for only part of each Saturday would be even more confusing.

        Also, if you’re going to use 15th north of 50th, why not just use 15th all the way to campus parkway and save a couple of 90-degree turns?

        Two possible reasons.

        First, between 45th and Pacific, 15th Ave NE is one of the busiest bus corridors in the state; Metro may consider that segment to be at capacity already. North of there, it’s pretty much just the 48.

        Second, if you consider that the vast majority of riders are using the bus to get between the Ave (e.g. 50th and south) and downtown, then the current reroute has the benefit of basically not affecting those riders. In contrast, the full detour would affect virtually all riders. It would be one thing if this were a long-term everyday change, but I can understand Metro’s reluctance to remove service from the most popular stops on some of the most popular buses one day each week.

  11. It’s disappointing to see that none of the added trips on the 545 are in the Eastbound AM peak. People routinely get left behind because there’s no room to board, despite some drivers letting people cram in all the way up to the windshield. I’d emailed back and forth with Sound Transit about it but only gotten vague “we’re looking into it and making changes in September” responses. So much for that, I guess.

    What makes it particularly irksome are the fleets of empty “East Base” and “To Terminal” buses rolling by and going almost all the way to Overlake. If just a couple of those were put into revenue service as far as SR520 & NE40th it would alleviate a lot of the problem, and I can’t imagine it would have a significant impact on costs.

    I always find it bizarre to see the “Metro’s AM commute has ended” tweet show up when I’ve just been turned away from an overcapacity bus. For many routes, peak doesn’t end until 10am.

    1. I would think turning some of the eastbound 545 buses deadheading back to East Base into revenue buses only going as far as Overlake TC would be revenue-positive. There aren’t that many of them, so why not give a try?

    2. I definitely support that. In general, ST needs to have a notion that it’s ok some peak trips on certain routes to only serve the more popular section, and not bother with the weak tail, especially routes that are on their way back to base.

      545 eastbound is a great example on this – packed buses from Seattle to Overlake, mostly empty buses from Overlake to Bear Creek P&R, yet not a single bus goes only to Overlake. In the late morning, every day, there are tons of buses that drive mostly empty from Overlake to Bear Creek, only to deadhead back to East Base when they’re done.

      Another great example is routes 555/556. The last 555 bus leaves Northgate for Bellevue, as early as 8:00, but 556 buses pull into Northgate as late as 9:30 every morning, only to deadhead back to East Base. If they could just put these deadheading buses into service under the 555 label, at least to Bellevue Transit Center, they could carry a lot of riders. Considering that the TC is only a mile away from the base, the marginal cost would be small enough that the change might even be revenue-positive. But, alas, ST does not operate like this – instead, every trip on the 555 has to go all the way to Issaquah, so if the money isn’t there for the empty segment between Bellevue and Issaquah, the bus has to deadhead all the way from Northgate to Bellevue, leaving everyone who wants to leave home after 8 AM the choice between either driving or taking another combination of buses (like 41->550) which takes twice as long.

      1. @asdf: agree 100%. It’s not even as if ST doesn’t have inconsistencies in it’s routings: look at the 554 service up the Eastside of Lk Sammamish, or the evening only diversions of the Eastbound 545.

        In theory, a deadheading bus can save time because it needed follow all the crenellations of a route or serve intermediate stops, but especially on the 545, it’s hard to see that this would be a meaningful issue. I don’t know the 555/556 route well enough to say if it might be an issue there.

      2. The eastbound 555 makes no stops between Northgate and Bellevue Transit Center, except for Montlake, Evergreen Point, and Yarrow Points Freeway Stations (which deadhead buses stop at anyway to carry bikes across the bridge). The only marginal cost of being in service is waiting at the stoplights in downtown Bellevue to get to the transit center, plus the one-mile drive east, from the transit center to the base, plus however long it takes passengers to get on and off the bus. Overall, I would expect a stop at Bellevue Transit Center on the way back to East Base would cost about 10-12 service-minutes per trip, above what deadheading to the base would cost. Given all the new Microsoft buildings that have opened up in downtown Bellevue in recent years, I’m sure there would plenty of ridership during the 8-9:30 period each morning to justify this very tiny additional cost.

        After Bellevue TC, route 555 continues on to South Bellevue P&R, followed by Eastgate P&R (for some weird reason I don’t understand, it loops through the bus bays, rather than using the freeway station), then Issaquah Transit Center and Issaquah Highlands. Once you get each of Bellevue TC, ridership becomes almost nil outside of the peak direction, so there is little reason to run any 555 all the way to Issaquah, unless it is preparing to turn into a peak-direction 556, 554, or some other route. That is why I propose that these additional 555 trips be truncated at Bellevue TC.

        Another thing I wish the 555 did (but doesn’t do) would be to serve the I-5/45th St. Freeway Station on the way between Northgate and Montlake. Given that I-5 is usually backed up in that area anyway and that the 555 can’t use the express lanes anyway, the marginal time cost of reaching the stop is almost nothing. It’s a cheap way to provide some sort of transit connection between Wallingford and the Eastside. Currently, the only direct service between Wallingford and anywhere on the Eastside is the Microsoft Connector (and only to Redmond, not Bellevue).

      3. @ William- The 554 routing late night up the eastside of Lk Sammamish, are due to ST wanting to serve the S Samm P&R on selected trips at night, since there previously was no service to it after PM peak when the 216 cuts off. ST introduced about 6-7 night trips to S Samm P&R a couple years ago to give S Samm commuters more options. All of the trips scheduled to S Samm P&R then returned to East Base. The base route was the current extended route 554 to Redmond. If the bus was going that was anyway, why not serve the corridor with express stops? Keep in mind, this routing adds no extra time to route than when it was just a deadhead, so it made sense.

        @ asdf- I like your idea of 555 service to NE 45th Frwy Sta. I will suggest it to the higher ups at Metro. Also, to answer your question about the Eastgate routing for the 555. Not too long ago the 555 served SE 36th in Factoria then looping through Eastgate P&R before getting back on I-90 and reverse in the PM. This was for all the employees working along SE 36th (T-Mobile), Richards Rd, or close to Eastgate P&R. The 555 has been since streamlined to operate on Eastgate Way with stops at Richards Rd and inside Eastgate P&R. This gives employees working in the Eastgate area better transit options to Bell TC and Northgate.

    3. @ David- Adding trips, even short trips, cost money. Deadheading straight back to the base is a lot quicker than running a revenue trip. Keep in mind, all of those buses heading back to East Base via 520 in the AM are coming from either Northgate TC, U District, Green Lake P&R or from I-90 routes coming north through downtown and terminating at north CBD terminals. In order to add trips to eastbound 545’s, even a short one to Overlake only, would require these terminating I-90 routes to deadhead back to SODO and it would require these buses to have a built in break or recovery time, to insure the bus to leave its trip on time. Or you could turn back the 520 peak trips terminating in ID or SODO before returning to East Base, but it would still require scheduling recovery time for these buses. This would take up way too may service hours and require the schedulers to take hours from other service to make it happen. Schedulers have a tough job juggling all these hours to deliver them to what service needs what. I know it seems like an easy fix, but there’s a lot more to it. Hope that makes sense.

      Now, another option would be to have some of the coaches going to East Base help serve Overlake TC in the AM by having some of the deadheading buses pick people up at Montlake Frwy Sta, but these trips might not be on the schedule and come by at random times on their deadheads. That could work, but at the same time, these buses would still be passing East Base and adding more service hours that the Metro scheduler doesn’t have to work with.

      1. Perhaps a little bit of creative thru-routing downtown could solve the problem. For instance, an inbound 210 or 212 that would otherwise be headed to East Base after downtown could simply change its headsign to “545” as it pulls into downtown. This avoids extra cost for the 30+ minutes it takes to travel from one end of downtown to the other (although the stop at Capitol Hill is a must, as it picks up a ton of riders).

        By having it just go to 40th St., rather than all the way to Bear Creek P&R, you can keep the cost down on the other end, while still serving the bulk of the riders. By truncating some existing eastbound 545 or 542 trips at OTC during the late morning (trips that would be deadheading back to base at the end of the run), this could be done in a way so that the total number of service hours would remain the same, or perhaps even decrease slightly.

  12. An observation regarding the 16/66/99 changes… The stop on 1st at Jackson has a rider alert that it’s going to be closed, but everything I’ve seen – including the service change pamphlet I’m holding right now – says the 16 and 66 will stop there. Unfortunate oversight, or did they decide to keep the stop open now that more buses will stop there?

  13. What’s the difference between the 216 and 219? Does it have to do with downtown routing, whether they serve Eastgate, how far through Sammamish they go, or what? And does the 219 obviate the desire to send the 216 through the Highlands instead of North Issaquah?

    1. 216’s/219’s will both follow the 218 routing to Highlands P&R. Then follow Issq-Pine Lk Rd to S Samm P&R, then head north on 228th SE/NE, Sahalee and Red-Fall City Rd. Same reverse routing in the AM. The only difference is the 216 will continue it’s current routing between Red-Fall City Rd and Bear Creek P&R, via 188th Ave NE, NE 65th, 180th Ave NE, NE 68th, and 180th Ave NE. The 219 will stay on Red-Fall City Rd and terminate at NE 185th Ave NE. (219 follows the exact same routing as the early morning/late night extended 554 trips, minus the express stops)

  14. I just got on the 210 and looked at the schedule. The 210 is NOT adding 8 trips per the article. Instead, the 212 will have 8 of its trips replaced by existing 210 trips, which is being rerouted to the Eastgate Freeway Station.

    The total number of 210 trips (8) will remain the same, it will just be modified slightly to replace 8 trips on the 212.

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