First peak-only, then later eliminated.
First peak-only, then later eliminated. (Image via Leschi Community Council)

For some time we have known that the coming Metro cuts would not fall all at once, but would be implemented in 4 phases corresponding with the normal triannual service change process. At a press conference yesterday, Metro released details of all 4 phases. The phasing is thoughtful and clearly attempts to minimize rider pain and inconvenience as long as possible, with each successive round of cuts being relatively more painful than the last. Each of the phases has a distinct theme, very roughly as follows:

  • Phase 1  (September 2014) could be called the lower-hanging fruit, delaying any systematic restructures while eliminating duplicative peak routes, express variants of core routes, some First Hill peak routes, and all the old night owl milk runs.
  • Phase 2 (February 2015) restructures service in Central Seattle, South Seattle, Renton, Kirkland, and to the peak network in South King County.
  • Phase 3 (June 2015) restructures service in North Seattle, including a complete overhaul of service in Fremont, Ballard, the UDistrict, Roosevelt, Maple Leaf, Northgate, and more. All-day service in Magnolia is essentially gutted, down to a single loop.
  • Phase 4 (September 2015) is the final phase and brings the West Seattle restructure.

Route by route details of each phase below the jump…

Phase 1: September 2014

Eliminated: 7X, 19, 47, 48X, 61, 62, 82, 83, 84, 139, 152, 161, 173, 200, 202, 203, 205X, 209, 210, 211X, 213, 215, 243, 250, 260, 265, 280, 306, 909, 919, 927, 935


  • Routes 27, 30, and 931 become weekday peak only.
  • Route 200 becomes off-peak only.
  • Routes 236, 238, 249, 331, and 903 will lose evening service past 7pm (6pm for Route 249)


  • Route 212 adds one daily roundtrip to compensate for the loss of Route 210.
  • Route 204 gains span of service but loses mid-day frequency to compensate for the loss of the 202. It will run half-hourly during peak and hourly off peak between 6am-6pm.
  • Route 312 adds one daily roundtrip.

Phase 2: February 2015

Eliminated: 4, 27, 158, 159, 178, 179, 190, 192, 237, 238, 916, 930


  • Route 1 loses weekend service and weekday service after 11pm.
  • Route 2 shifts to Madison and does not continue to Queen Anne.
  • Route 3 is extended to SPU and boosts frequency to every 10-15 minutes all-day.
  • Route 7 is cut back to every 15 minutes and no longer runs 24 hours (service will end at 2am).
  • Route 8 terminates at Group Health in Capitol Hill, with Central District/Rainier Valley service eliminated.
  • Route 9 becomes weekday peak-direction only.
  • Route 12 becomes peak-only, and service to 19th Avenue is eliminated.
  • Route 13 gets a frequency boost to compensate for the loss of Route 2.
  • Route 14 loses weekend service and weekday service after 11pm.
  • Route 29 discontinues its Ballard-Queen Anne segment and loses 3 trips.
  • Route 60 becomes a south-end crosstown route and will no longer serve First Hill or Broadway, instead running from Westwood Village to Othello Station via South Beacon Hill.
  • Route 106 no longer serves South Beacon Hill, Georgetown, SODO, or the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. Instead, it takes over for Route 8 on MLK Blvd, supplements Route 14 on Jackson St, and replaces Route 27 in Yesler Terrace.
  • Route 107 is extended to Beacon Hill Station, taking over for routes 60 and 106 in South Beacon Hill.
  • Route 157 shifts slightly in the Lake Meridian area to consolidate service after the loss of the 158 and 159.
  • Route 168 adds peak trips timed with Sounder.
  • Route 177 becomes the South King County workhorse, adding 12 daily roundtrips and adds stops at Star Lake P&R and Kent Des Moines Road, and using the Seneca/Atlantic ramps instead of the SODO busway.
  • Route 181 is improved to every 15-30 minutes during peak.
  • Route 187 moves slightly to compensate for losing the 901.
  • Route 193 will serve the north end of Downtown.
  • Route 197 will be truncated and will no longer run west of Federal Way TC.
  • Route 221 will not run north of Overlake.
  • Route 234 will no longer serve Kenmore but will serve Totem Lake and Education Hill.
  • Route 235 will not run northeast of Kirkland TC.
  • Route 236 will run a more direct route between Brickyard P&R and Totem Lake.
  • Route 255 will not run north of Totem Lake.
  • Route 271 will no longer serve Bellevue College or Issaquah.
  • Route 311 will lose one daily roundtrip.
  • Route 342 will no longer run from Renton to Bellevue or from Kenmore to Shoreline. It will only run from Bellevue to Kenmore.

Phase 3: June 2015

Eliminated: 5X, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, 66, 67, 68, 72, 242


  • Route 5 is cut back to 20 minutes off-peak.
  • Route 16 moves to Dexter and frequency is improved to 15 minutes.
  • Route 24 becomes peak-only, no longer serves 28th Avenue W
  • Route 26X becomes a full-time route, running 20 minutes during peak and 30 minutes off-peak.
  • Route 28X becomes a full-time route, shifts from 46th to 39th in Fremont.
  • Route 32 serves lower Wallingford Ave instead of Stone Way and sees a peak frequency boost.
  • Route 33 becomes a clockwise loop in Magnolia, with off-peak service to Magnolia Village.
  • Route 40 retains its weekday 15-minute frequency but is cut to 20 minutes on Saturdays.
  • Route 65 loses service after 11pm.
  • Route 71 becomes a 65th St shuttle, running hourly from Sand Point to Roosevelt.
  • Route 73 becomes Northeast Seattle’s workhorse, running from Downtown to Northgate via the UDistrict every 8-15 minutes.
  • Route 75 is no longer through-routed with the eliminated 31.
  • Route 355 runs on Aurora instead of I-5, and add five round trips, compensating for the loss of the 5X.
  • Route 372 no longer runs east of UW-Bothell, but peak frequency is boosted to every 6 minutes.

Phase 4: September 2015

Eliminated: 21, 22, 37, 57, 99, 154, 167, 200, 201, 217, 244, 277, 304, 308, 910, 913


  • Route 11 loses service after 11pm
  • Route 21X gains two peak round trips
  • Route 36 reduced to 10 minutes peak, 15 minutes off-peak
  • Route 50 no longer serves Admiral and Alki, serving Westwood Village via 35th Ave SW
  • Route 56X gains two peak round trips
  • Route 64 loses two peak round trips
  • Route 70 is through-routed with Route 36
  • Route 111 no longer runs east of 156th Avenue SE in Renton
  • Route 114 loses 2 morning trips and 1 afternoon trip
  • Route 116 loses 2 morning trips and 1 afternoon trip
  • Route 118 loses 2 round trips
  • Route 118X loses 1 round trip
  • Route 119 loses 2 round trips
  • Route 121 loses 3 morning and 5 afternoon trips
  • Route 122 loses 1 roundtrip
  • Route 124 no longer runs 24 hours, with service ending at 2:00am
  • Route 125 becomes peak-only
  • Route 128 is extended to Alki and peak frequency is improved to 20 minutes
  • Route 143 loses one roundtrip
  • Route 148 is reduced to hourly
  • Route 156 is reduced to hourly, service ends at 7pm
  • Route 181 service ends at 9pm
  • Route 182 is reduced to hourly
  • Route 186 is reduced to hourly
  • Route 212 adds 3 daily roundtrips to compensate for the loss of the 217
  • Route 214 loses 5 morning and 6 afternoon trips
  • Route 226 service ends at 9pm
  • Route 232 loses reverse-peak service, and loses one peak-direction roundtrip
  • Route 240 service ends at 9pm
  • Route 241 is reduced to hourly
  • Route 248 service is reduced to hourly from 7-9pm, service ends at 9pm
  • Route 249 service is reduced to hourly from 7-9pm, service ends at 9pm
  • Route 269 loses reverse-peak service, and loses 2 morning and 4 afternoon trips
  • Route 915 loses 3 trips

Lastly, potential reductions to the South Lake Union Streetcar will not be subject to this County Council ordinance, but will be negotiated via a separate ordinance governing the operating agreement between the City of Seattle and King County.

197 Replies to “Metro Cuts: When and Where”

    1. Center Park pays for the Center Park shuttle. Have you actually been on the CP shuttle? If you have then you’ve seen how that coach is set up. There is no other coach in Metro’s system, DART or anywhere else that can accommodate this particular customer group. You should be truly ashamed of yourself for even bringing this bus up.

      1. Incorrect. Neither Center Park residents nor Seattle Public Housing pay for the Center Park shuttle. It is a service that is provided 100% out of Metro’s pocket (aka King County taxpayers). Service hours are taken from the fixed-route system to provide the service. Cutting the service would restore hours to be used on the fixed-route network.

      2. Also, I can’t get on the shuttle. It’s a private service for just Center Park residents. Why is a public transportation provider giving Center Park residents a private ride, anywhere in the County, for just $1.25???

        That sounds like a taxi to me… On my dime.

    1. I think that the to/from Queen Anne refers to route 4. 3 sees a frequency increase at the expense of route 4 and at the expense of span of service.

      1. What I see that confuses me is that it says “PROPOSED (to/from Cherry Hill or
        Madrona),” but not a “PROPSED (to/from Queen Anne)” section which lead me to believe that the north portion of the route won’t see a frequency increase.

    2. Speaking of the 3, why is it shaded on the PDFs as “lowest 25%” but is the one being saved? Is it because there are more options for replacing 4’s coverage?

    3. The 4 is being merged into the 3, and the combined route is being extended from Queen Anne & Boston to Seattle Pacific University. The northern half of the 2 is merging into the 13, and the southern half is moving from Seneca to Madison Street. The net result will be:

      * Two frequent routes from SPU (3 and 13).
      * One frequent route along Queen Anne Avenue (13).
      * More frequency on Jefferson/Cherry/34th (3).
      * More frequency on Madison/Union (2).
      * More peak frequency on the downtown/First Hill part of Madison (2 and peak-only 12).

      The losses are 6th Ave W (2), 23rd Ave S (4, which is redundant with the 3 and 48), and 19th Ave E/middle Madison (12). And the tiny Queen Anne tails of the 3 and 4.

    4. lakecityrider: the 3 as is is a low-performing route. But the new 3 and 13 are expected to be high-performing routes and attract new riders. I rarely go to upper Queen Anne because of the spaghetti of half-hourly routes, but I’m more likely to go if there’s one or two frequent routes to the same area, especially if it’s consistently frequent evenings and weekends.

  1. Lots of blood, but oddly enough my wife’s bus commute is unaffected until June of next year and then it actually gets better. I guess it pays to live in a core urban area and work downtown.

    Somehow I think all the suburban and rural transit haters just shoot themselves in the both feet.

  2. While I didn’t want it to happen like this, it’s good to see the 61 and 62 get chopped and the Ballard segment of the 29 disappear. They should have never been instituted.

    There’s quite a few shockers that stand out: the 66 and 67 getting canned is pretty surprising. The 26 and 28 getting replaced by all day 26X and 28X is weird.

    Also interesting to see some routes get revised in one phase, only to get canned in a later phase.

    Still no splitting of the 48, with the north segment continuing to downtown Ballard, like I’ve dreamed for so long!

    1. Thing with the 28 is that the express, I believe, will now run down 8th and Leary and cut over to aurora on 39th, which basically splits the difference between the two routes. This should provide a significantly faster ride midday by skirting central fremont and hopping on the aurora bridge, though the 28x will be a bit slower now inbound (but potentially faster outbound due to the bus-only exit lane at 39th). Overall it may be a net positive.

      1. And the 16 will shift from Aurora to Dexter to replace both the 26 and 28 locals. I assume the 16 will turn right onto 35th and then left onto Stone Way to pick up its current routing at Stone Way and 38th. I’ve seen something at work or on KCM’s website (I’m an operator at KCM) that indicates the 16 in the north end will continue across 92nd to get to Northgate TC instead of the left onto Campus Way (North Seattle Community College) and Northgate Way. If so, this could help keep the 16 on time, especially during the holiday season. 5th Ave NE and Northgate Way can be an absolute bear. While the north side of the mall might lose service, the east side doesn’t as there are other routes that serve 5 Ave NE.

        The 48 is funded by another tax, transit now, I think. That may be why it isn’t being sent to DT Ballard, but, DT Ballard is served by the 44 out of the U District. The cuts are eliminating duplication of service. Bringing the 48 into DT Ballard may be viewed as duplication.

    2. The 66 and 67 eliminations are part of a massive reorganization of northeast Seattle routes, resulting in an essentially new very-frequent route 73 (which ought to be given a new number, since it is ditching most of the outgoing 73’s neighborhood path) serving downtown, Roosevelt Way up to Northgate Way, and Northgate TC.

      Metro underhyped the pain by failing to describe the 73 as being eliminated, which, for all intent and purposes, the neighborhood portion will be. This is the route 80 we saw in various previous restructure proposals.

      1. Yikes, I didn’t catch the 73 restructure, that sucks for people in Pinehurst and north. Although, it’ll be nice to have the UW express at all times. With the demise of the 66, the 70 is about to become Eastlake’s Last Hope.

      2. Brent,

        I think you are implying something in your post which you don’t want to say. You stated “serving downtown, Roosevelt Way up to Northgate Way, and Northgate TC”. You should make it clear that the 73 will stay on the Ave as far as Ravenna. It will shift over to Roosevelt there. (That should be popular with the folks on Ravenna which currently has no bus service, won’t it?)

      3. Three blocks is not “Ravenna service”. It’s the distance people normally walk to a bus stop. And anyone looking for Ravenna service there is going west, not north or south.

      4. Eastlake service looks interesting, hopefully the transition won’t be too terrible with bike share opening stations there too.

      5. I like the 73 change. Roosevelt is 5 blocks from 5th, covering the 66/67 deletion, covering the 68 deletion and 5 blocks from 15th, losing the current 73 routing. The 73 used Roosevelt for two year during the Thornton Creek Bridge work and it worked well. North of Northgate Way, 73 isn’t really high ridership off-peak anyway, and getting rid of the time consuming back tracking to Jackson Park terminal is good. In Pinehurst and Jackson Park have good service alternatives with the 347/348 and connecting to revised 73 at Northgate Way/Roosevelt or the 41 at NTC.
        Don’t forget 77 and 373 will still provide current service to both UW and DT during peak times!

      6. Mike,

        I was trying to be ironic, though quite unsuccessfully. No, there will probably be no stops along Ravenna between Roosevelt and University Way. But there will be buses running on a street which currently has no bus service at all even five to ten minutes one way or the other until late in the evening. The folks on the boulevard are going to be very unhappy.

      7. What folks? The section of Ravenna Blvd. between the Ave and Roosevelt is mostly a city park and a corner store. There can’t be more than a couple houses in that stretch.

        That said, my biggest concern about a U-district restructuring was and still is that this is scheduled to go through just 6 months before the Link stations at Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium are scheduled to open. Is Metro considering what they want the bus network to look like between 2016 and 2021, or are we going to be stuck with a network that essentially ignores Link for 5 years, shunting people onto a slow #73 instead just because the big restructuring happened to happen 6 months before the extension opened.

        As to the restructuring itself, weekend service on the 372 is long overdue and moves in the right direction of connecting Ravenna to Link, when the station finally opens. But the elimination of the 30, 66, 67, 68, and 72 will leave some significant gaps. For example, east of I-5 will have no crosstown service whatsoever between 45th St. and Northgate Way except for the hourly 71. The proposed 71 routing looks an awful lot like the current 61, and I’m expecting it to have similar ridership.

      8. @asdf,

        One side of Ravenna is a park for one block between The Ave and Brooklyn and there’s a short triangle “parklet” on the other side for a half block between Brooklyn and Twelfth. So, there aren’t a large number of houses; they number a total of thirteen. Not a huge number, but not nothing.

        And they’ve never had a bus on them.

        That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a bus on them, but it’s going to be a shock to have a frequent service diesel line with what will most likely be articulated coaches.

        Have a little compassion for your neighbors.

      9. Actually that section of Ravenna had the 73 on it for about a year while the Thornton Creek bridge was rebuilt.

    3. The 26X is getting additional midday service but will end at 7pm and have no weekend service. It looks like they’re making the 16 the main local connecting the north central part of the City to Downtown (Northgate – Green Lake – Wallingford – Fremont).

    4. For a long time I’ve advocated all-day expresses to north Seattle. Northeast Seattle has the 71/72/73, and northwest and north-central Seattle should have the same thing. I envisioned it as making the 15X all day, and doing something around the D and 16. But Metro’s all-day 26X and 28X is backing into the same concept, and I didn’t realize it until later.

      For some reason Metro thinks the 26 and 28 are not the best Fremont local routes (compared to the 40 or the earlier 5-on-Dexter proposal). At first (in the failed 2012 reorg), I didn’t understand why the single-family 8th NW got the express rather than the multifamily-and-commercial Greenwood/Phinney. But then I realized that any all-day express in north Seattle was better than none. The 28X will benefit the entire area from 15th NW to Aurora, and the 26X will benefit the area from Wallingford Ave to 5th NE, because people would walk to the expresses and be relieved they’re not slogging down Dexter and Seattle Center East. So if Metro wants to choose the 26 and 28 for the expresses, that’s fine. It changes them from lower-performing milk runs (compared to the 5, 16, and 40) into a new level of service (almost like Swift in Snohomish County, or the limited-stop routes in SF and LA).

      1. Mike,

        I agree with your analysis, Mike. These are real service improvements for folks from north central Seattle heading downtown.

        The 28X’s benefit won’t stretch all the way to Aurora; folks won’t climb Phinney Ridge and then scramble down it on the other side. But certainly everywhere west of Greenwood to 8th NW they’ll appreciate having two routes that use Aurora south of the ship canal. They’ll be able always to walk downhill and get a fast ride to the CBD. For folks who do want to go to Fremont from farther north along Eighth NW, it isn’t too terrible a walk from 39th or 38th and Fremont Way.

        Those between Eighth and Fifteenth NW will have a choice between the very fast 28X and the fairly fast but very frequent D Line.

        And anyway, the folks downhill from Phinney Ridge north of the zoo have the E line which is even better because of its greater frequency. West Green Lake is in a very sweet spot for bus service now.

        For the folks in southern Wallingford the 32 provides a connection to Fremont and for riders along Latona north of say 43rd or so the walk from 38th and Fremont Way is no farther than the walk down to the 32 on 40th.

      2. But folks heading to Fremont from north central Seattle will have a much worse situation, don’t forget.

      3. William C,

        Any bus route change will advantage some people and disadvantage others; that is inevitable. Do more people along Eighth NW want to go to downtown Seattle or to Fremont? Do more people along Latona north of about 43rd want to do to downtown Seattle or Fremont? Those are the plangent questions. Presumably Metro has done origin-destination studies and concluded “downtown Seattle” in both cases.

        They’re certainly not doing this to irritate riders.

      4. The section of Wallingford close to I-5 is a reasonable walk from the 512 express, which just got a lot more frequent during Sound Transit’s service restructuring last year.

        On the other hand, a 50% service cut between the U-district and Fremont is going to be painful. The 31 and 32 used to combine for 15-minute headways 6 days a week. Now, the half-hourly 32 is all there is. I also often use the 26 to travel from Fremont to the U-district if I see it coming first, since it’s a relatively short walk across I-5. Now, that option is going to be gone too.

        I really wish Seattle Bike Share would hurry up and put a station in Fremont, as it would greatly mitigate the impact of these cuts.

      5. @William: Depends on your definition of “north-central Seattle”. Local access to Fremont from 8th and from Latona goes away, in favor of access from central Wallingford, Tangletown, NSCC and Northgate. That’s more central than either 8th or Latona.

  3. It actually doesn’t look as bad as I thought, at least for Ballard. For instance, when I heard they were eliminating the 28, I was worried, but it looks like they’re just combining the 28 with the 28x and moving it to 39th (which was proposed but rejected as part of the last round of restructuring, and should be much more efficient overall, although crush loads might be a problem). The 40, D, and 44 are basically staying the same.

    I’m starting to think that metro is indeed using this as an opportunity to do some cuts and revisions they’ve wanted to enact for a while but didn’t have the political capital to do so until the voters gave them the green light with this rejected ballot measure. That said, there will certainly be pain, and some of the one-seat and convenience rides will disappear, but some routes may actually speed up.

    1. It is good to see that the proposed bloodbath in Fremont has been reversed. The 16/Dexter and 40/Westlake will retain 15 minutes frequencies, instead of dropping to 20 minutes as proposed in the previous cut iteration.

      1. If you look on Metro’s website the latest info on the 16 is the increase to 15 minute frequency is peak only.

    2. It’s not that bad for Ballard as long as you don’t live west of 28th Ave NW. Yes, they are keeping the 40, 44, D, and 28, but all-day service on 32nd Ave NW is being completely cut. That means my parents’ house on 34th Ave NW is now a 15 minute/0.75 mile walk from the nearest bus stop, except for a handful of rush hour trips on weekdays. Those holidays when Metro decides to take the day off, but the rest of the world still has to go to work, is going to suck for my dad who takes the bus downtown for work everyday.

      1. I was thinking the same thing. There is now an area in western Ballard that will only have peak service. As your post points out, this means even some folks that work downtown in the morning will be out of luck (not to mention everyone else). This isn’t a high density area, but it isn’t super low density either (it isn’t Western Magnolia). There are a fair number of duplexes in the area and a handful of apartments. We are basically telling all of those people to go get a car (or be prepared to walk a long ways).

        I also think it is sad to see a short, efficient route get cut. This is exactly the type of route that a lot of people want (a route like that means more transfers but a lot more reliability). Those who think this will somehow get Metro to provide us with a more efficient, more reliable system will be quite disappointed. The slow, lumbering routes that go downtown (and get stuck in traffic) will stay — the short, quick routes that can provide a nice grid system will be killed before we get used to using them.

      2. So can you guys suggest something that’s more than the 61, but less than a parallel milk run all the way to downtown?

        Ultimately, Ballard Link would improve the situation phenomenally, but it should have been built twenty years ago when were screwing around with the monorail. Now it’s not an option until at least 2026 (if it gets approved in 2016).

      3. We have a couple threads going on about much the same issue. I’ll repeat myself a bit here, just because it will make things easier (although this comment is slightly different):

        We really should have a system that works like this:

        1) You can’t guarantee a one-stop ride downtown unless you live close to a major corridor (and Link is a major corridor).
        2) Along a major corridor, you should have very fast, very frequent service.
        3) For everyone else, you should have fast, and fairly frequent service to that corridor.

        This means that folks that live on 32nd have to transfer to the ‘D’ Line. But the ‘D’ line should be fast enough, and frequent enough, that transferring is no big deal. At worst, you time the other bus (the 61) not the ‘D’ line. So basically, the problem isn’t the 61, it is the ‘D’ line. It should be twice as frequent (five minute headways) and a lot faster. I’m not sure the best way to do it, but the key is to somehow make the ‘D’ line faster. Maybe another bus tunnel. That probably doesn’t make sense (since we aren’t sure where the Ballard rail line would go) but maybe the other problems could be alleviated (the Dravus stop probably costs a couple minutes, maybe another route through downtown would be faster, etc.).

        It sucks that we have to wait until 2026 for light rail to Ballard (although I’m not sure that it would take ten years to build something like this: I think tunneling takes a long time, but cut and cover as well as laying rail above above ground can be done quicker (if I’m not mistaken).

      4. Metro only has Sunday schedules for the major holidays. Veterans Day and Presidents’ Day I think see a normal weekday schedule. MLK day sees trip reductions off of a normal weekday schedule. The only times they go to a Sunday schedule are days that most everyone has off anyway.

      5. IMHO, the best way to provide coverage to Sunset Hill would extend one out of every #44 trips (one bus per hour) an extra two miles and terminate it at 32nd and 85th. It would provide the same connection to Ballard and the D-line as the 61 does, but would also provide a one-seat ride to somewhere useful (the U-district) and a 2-side ride to almost anywhere in North Seattle, due to the myrid connection opportunities along the 44.

        A #44 extension would serve Sunset Hill in a way that resembles an actual grid. The #61 is more like a a shuttle route that does the bare minimum to connect to other routes in the system.

        Because only one out of every #44 trips would be extended, it wouldn’t cost anymore than the #61 does today – just one more bus. And, while one out of the every 4 #44 trips would have to be diesel, at least one out of every 4 #44 are probably already diesel anyway, so it shouldn’t matter. Also, 32nd Ave. is never congested, so it shouldn’t impact the #44’s reliability for the more important segments.

        As an aside, I also think the delay factor of making the D-line get off the viaduct to way 2+ minutes at the Leary stoplight just to receive transfers from the #61 simply wastes the time of thru-riders, which constitute the vast majority of the passengers. If the Sunset Hill->D-line connection were moved to market street, the D-line could simply blow through on the viaduct like the 15X does and skip that stop. There is nothing around there and I don’t think anyone would miss it.

      6. @asdf,

        GREAT IDEA to skip Leary. As you say, there is no there there, and there will probably never be any there there. If somehow a there does materialize, some bus can be routed to serve it.

      7. @asdf,

        Sorry for the quick reply. We’re wrong; the 40 goes on Leary and must have a connection to the RapidRide, so the D Line can’t skip the Leary ramps.

      8. Leary is easily the 3rd busiest stop anywhere along 15th, after only Market and Dravus. This in spite of its sorry physical state, and in spite of its minimum 1/4-mile distance from whence any significant number of its users come (a situation shared by Dravus.

        Most buses, after the triple discharge of these three stops, continue north with a tiny fraction of their prior load.

        [ad hom]

      9. Where all the hordes of people who get on and off the D-line at Leary are going, I can’t fathom. There is virtually nothing around there. As to transfers, once you throw out the 61, all that’s left is the 40 and, if you’re transferring from the D-line to the 40, one has to ask why you aren’t just riding the 40 all the way from downtown (or staying on the D-line further down 15th and walking).

      10. asdf, not everyone is going downtown. I make the D-line to 40 transfer quite often. When starting out near 15th and going to Fremont, this transfer is usually faster than walking over to 8th to wait for the 28. When they move the 28 to Aurora (necessitating a walk on the Fremont end of the trip as well), the D/40 combination will be even faster in comparison.

  4. So if Plan C passes this November, it would be in time to stave off the worst of the cuts, which appear to be in February and June 2015, while being able to reverse the cuts made in September 2014.

    Go Plan C!

      1. It looks to me like there aren’t any reorganizations in the September 2014 cut, those come in the 2015 cuts. So presumably those reorgs wouldn’t happen at that time since Metro will know in November 2014 whether Plan C has passed.

      2. Robert, that isn’t a good thing.

        If Plan C passes the City should work with Metro to make sure the reorganization goes through. Just because we decide to restore cut hours doesn’t mean we should freeze the (inefficient) status quo of routing in amber.

      3. Regardless of whether a Plan C is on the ballot and passes, route reorganization and rationalisation MUST continue . This should be seen as non-negotiable now.

      4. As a big transit fan, I actually agree that we should let these cuts go through, and add any new service based on solid planning. This reorganization actually does a lot to reduce waste and improve efficiency, at least within the city of Seattle. I’d rather see a tax increase go to improving stops, increasing frequency on the new restructured system, buying new vehicles, and adding more transit priority throughout the city. Even better would be to put that money toward expediting light rail planning and construction.

      5. Plan C is not just replacing the funding. It’s buying specific runs on specific routes, which may be pre-reorg routes, post-reorg routes, and/or their own new routes. The inertia factor will be to just keep the pre-reorg routes. But if the council sees sufficient benefit in certain reorgs (such as how they move toward the transit master plan), it can keep them and sprinkle mitigation hours around them for the areas that are losing service. Ideally, the mitigation routes would be feeders to the new trunk routes (such as making the 71 shuttle more frequent than hourly), or at minimum reevaluating the old milk runs before reinstating them. But it all depends on the councilmembers’ convictions and the political winds they’re in. That’s where we come in. Now is the time to push for the better reorgs, and Aleks’ South King County proposal. They may say, “No, it’s too late/it’s too much work/it’s too controversial/this is not the right time.” But we should at least try.

      6. Tying my last thoughts with the 61 issue above, Metro generally tries to replace weak routes by extending a stronger route that terminates nearby. Or it tries to join two weak routes to make stronger crosstown route, or just joins them anyway to make them more viable. But sometimes there are just tails with nothing to connect them to, as in the 61 and 47. The 61 can’t be joined to the 40, D, 31, or 32 because they don’t terminate nearby, and there are no other routes available to join it to. (I guess it could be joined with the 48.) Metro’s original plan was to route the 61 through Magnolia to downtown but that was defeated by status-quo advovates. So it just left it as a shuttle, probably hoping to revive the Ballard-Magnolia-downtown route later. But the cuts superceded it.

      7. It would, as others say, probably be preferable if the “buy back” of service hours was done with restructured routes rather than to the existing “force of habit” route structures.

        “The inertia factor will be to just keep the pre-reorg routes. ”
        Oh, that’ll be really strong. Good luck overcoming it!

      8. Thanks for the info, Mike. Having the 61 also to to Magnolia makes a lot of sense. Both areas would then have shuttle service to more frequent buses (on 15th) as well as some service to local areas of interest. I doubt many people would ride a bus from western Magnolia to western Ballard (unless they just wanted to go out for a walk and not walk back). But folks from Magnolia might want to go to Ballard or people in Ballard might want to go to Magnolia Village or Fisherman’s Terminal without having to transfer.

      9. The 61 should be joined to the 44. No diesel/trolley excuses.

        As to U-district restructurings, we should be doing it as U-link opens to take advantage of the new service, not 6 months before.

    1. Once routes are deleted they are gone. It’s unlikely they will be revived as other routes are restructured to fill the voids. So the key is to avoid the cuts in the first place.

  5. So what does it mean when it says servcie ends at 6pm — no bus is scheduled to be running in service after 6pm?

    The 204 will run hourly during the day. That’s 28 service minutes. Is the plan to just sit around for half an hour per hour or is there some cunning plan to interline it with some South Bellevue bus?

  6. There are now no changes in store for the 180, even though it runs past 2:30 AM. The 181, on the other hand, will be ending before 9 PM? Look, I know service reductions are bad for everyone, but surely there has got to be more people on the 181 past 9 than there are people on the 180 at 2:30 (am). Especially now that metro cut the last two 187 trips, all nighttime transit trips west and southwest of the Federal Way Transit Center are nicely consolidated into one efficient and short route.

    It’s also worth noting that route 150 is now getting no changes, so it will still operate every 15 minutes, then every 30 minutes, then, at night, every hour, until 1 am. And yes, every single trip still goes to downtown Seattle.

    1. The 180, A, and 574 have weird night owls corresponding to shift changes at SeaTac airport.

      My roommate used to work nights at a Kent warehouse and took the last 150 to it (1:30am). There were several other people on the bus. The cut would have forced him to take an earlier bus and wait around longer for his shift to start, except now he’s on a day shift and takes the first 150 in the morning (5:15am).

      I am generally for truncating the 150, but it’s a borderline issue and there are legitimate arguments on both sides. South King County is wide and populous, and the 150 is one of the most-used routes there.

      1. The idea is that at least if you need to get from auburn to federal way or vice versa past nine you can take the 180 and then the a line. It’ll just take a long time. The 578 does have service southbound (or eastbound on that segment) until at least 1030

  7. I’m annoyed particularly at the Sunset Hill service, since I grew up there and am most familiar with the service history there. First, they take an all-day route that goes downtown (#17) and reduce it to a peak-only service, putting a route that runs less frequently and only goes to Ballard (#62), forcing everyone to transfer to another bus after a few miles. Then they cut that route all together because of “low performance.” Of course it’s a low-performing route! It doesn’t go anywhere and is extremely infrequent! Give us a bus that we can reliably ride more than just a few miles and the ridership will come!

    They did this same thing with a route on NW 65th St in the mid-nineties. They put in an experimental route that ran once per hour only during the middle of weekdays, then dropped it when not enough people rode it. The reason nobody rode it is because there is no demand for riding a bus in that area during the middle of a workday. The attraction to riding that corridor is on evenings and weekends. It could serve Golden Gardens, Ballard High School, the bars on 65th between 8th and 3rd, Green Lake, Roosevelt High School, and Magnuson Park. If they had run the bus during evenings and weekends they would have had so much more ridership. But because nobody rides it in the middle of the workday, they conclude that nobody would ride the bus ever.

    Ok I’m done ranting….

    1. Metro needs more off-peak service across the board, and is missing out on ridership because of it. Several people here have suggested a crosstown route on NE 65th, connecting either to south Greenlake and NW 65th, north Greenlake and NW 65th, or north Greenlake and NW 85th. But Metro has no money for service expansions.

      I can’t sympathize with the 61 (17), however. The 40 (18) is just eight flat blocks away and is more productive. We need to focus service on a few all-day frequent corridors that have the most pedestrian destinations, not on parallel half-hourly routes that are almost but not quite close enough to use interchangeably. The 17 took the slow Nickerson way to downtown rather than the faster 15th Ave W way. And it almost but not quite reached Fremont, another near-miss. Those last two things were always maddening. The only part of losing the 61 I feel bad about is the area north of 85th. But that is also the lowest-ridership, most-large-house part of the area.

      1. The 62 is redundant, but the 61 is exactly the kind of bus route we should be adding. It just needs to run more often, along with the other buses. Yes you have to transfer, that is the point. The D Line should run every five minutes and ideally the 61 should run every fifteen. The 61 doesn’t run very far, it shouldn’t take that long to make that loop (if it does, then adjustments should be made to it (turn around at 15th, not 8th). Since the run is quick, it shouldn’t cost that much to run it.

      2. the 61 is exactly the kind of bus route we should be adding


        Nobody rides the fucking thing! It’s a waste of time, money, and diesel.

        Extend the 48 to Ballard/Market via 32nd. Done.

      3. See above. Nobody rides it because it is too infrequent. We really should have a system that works like this:

        1) You can’t guarantee a ride downtown unless you live close to a major corridor (and Link is a major corridor).
        2) Along a major corridor, you should have very fast, very frequent service.
        3) For everyone else, you should have fast, and fairly frequent service to that corridor.

        This means that folks that live on 32nd have to transfer to the ‘D’ Line. But the ‘D’ line should be fast enough, and frequent enough, that transferring is no big deal. At worst, you time the other bus (the 61) not the ‘D’ line. I wouldn’t mess with the 48, because it should have much higher frequency. Frequency should increase on both, but the 48 should still be a lot more frequent.

      4. Don’t extend the 44; it would be a huge capital expense for very few riders. Don’t extend the 48; the frequency just doesn’t match up.

        The right answer is the one that David Lawson shows on his Frequent Network Plan, and the one (I believe) that Metro originally proposed for Fall 2012:

        – Modify the 24 so that it goes from downtown to Lower Queen Anne, then on a tour of Magnolia, then over the Ballard Bridge to Leary to 32nd to Sunset Hill.
        – Pay for the extension by eliminating the RapidRide D deviation to LQA.

        This change would have a ton of benefits:

        – Riders from Ballard to downtown get a faster and more reliable trip.
        – The one-seat ride from Ballard to LQA is preserved, though it becomes longer and less frequent.
        – There is a direct connection from 32nd Ave/Sunset Hill to downtown.
        – There is a direct connection from Ballard to Magnolia, a trip that is very difficult today.

        It’s also the closest to a N-S ‘grid’ service that Magnolia will ever get, short of building a new bridge. (E-W service is easier: the 31/32 and 8N corridors both “naturally” lead to Magnolia.)

      5. Sorry, but Sunset Hill to Magnolia is not direct. While it technically would be transfer free, it would be so slow that nobody who knows what he/she is doing would ride that route all the way from Sunset Hill to downtown. Even a transfer to the 40 or D-line would be faster.

        Extending the 44 need not be a huge capitol expense. Not every single #44 bus has to continue on to Sunset Hill – one bus an hour doing it is plenty to meet demand there. Nor is it necessary to add more trolley wire – at least one out of every 4 #44 trips is diesel anyway – just coordinate the schedules so that the diesel trips correspond with the extended trips.

        The main point here is if you’re going to provide service on Sunset Hill, and you want people to ride it, the bus needs to go somewhere worth going without a humungous detour or a 20-minute wait transfer.

      6. Correction – Sunset Hill to downtown via Magnolia, even if technically transfer free, would be anything but direct. Nobody would ride such a route all the way like that, just like nobody rides the 271 all the way from the U-district to Issaquah.

  8. One weird thing. It seems like the 73 will be a full time express, using I-5 at all hours. But the 70 does not gain night service until step 4. What happens to local service on Eastlake between restructures 3 and 4?

    1. That’s an interesting point! It appears that Eastlake will lose all night service during that time period.

    2. No, the 73 will be running the same concept as the 71/72/73 combined are now. Express when 70 is operating, local when no 70. Still will be no 70 at night, but will be added Sunday service. And really there will be no loss of service between Univ Way and the tunnel as 71/72/73 will all be combined into the single route.

      1. Casey,

        The PDF linked from the article says this about the 73 (page 22):

        “Revise routing… to I-5 from Eastlake Avenue during the midday weekdays, on weekends and at night.”

        You seem to be asserting that the above is not true. Do you have a source for your claim?

      2. It would be a significant improvement to the U-district to have the express routing on evenings. Those buses are often packed. However, I find it somewhat hard to believe that Eastlake, being so close to downtown, would be left with no service whatsoever after 7 PM.

        Of course, if the restructuring could wait a couple of years, you could let Link be the all-day express line and focus buses on local service along Eastlake. (You would probably still need some 73X runs until 2021, but not anywhere near a bus every 8 minutes).

      3. The restructure in Sept 2015 is going to beef up 70 during peak hours and add Sunday service, but never was getting night service. It’ll continue to operate on it’s current span of service. And as far as theway the proposal was worded, it think it’s wrong….. not sure why “and at night” was added to the end of the sentence you quoted.

        Just pretend the new revised 73 is just like the current 71/72/73, except it’s one route, with only one branch. Everything else as far as Downtown-U District will be the same. Same frequency, same hours of express and local, same hours for the 70. Only thing that will change is the addition of Sunday service on the 70, (mostly likely similar to Saturdays span of service) and the addition of Express service for the 73. And the 73 ending an hour earlier, I think.

        Got this info from work (I’m a KCM driver) from the schedulers. They wouldn’t just leave Eastlake high and dry after 7pm. I’d be nice for Express service to run later into the evening, for busy outbound trips, but the inbound service at night isn’t all the busy and really doesn’t take much longer than an Express via Eastlake for the 73, meaning there’s no need for inbound 70’s. So unless they planned on running outbound 70’s and deadheading them back each time(which would require a diesel), I don’t see the night situation between the 70 and 73 changing.

      4. My question is, it you’re going to operate the revised 73X every 8-10 minutes through-out the day and revised 73 Local every 15-30mins at night, how many of these revised 73X/73Locals will turnback at NE 65th, considering the current Roosevelt service on 12th/Roosvelt (66/67) and 5th Ave NE going to Northgate is 15min day/peak and every 30-60min night. I don’t see them running every 73 the whole way to Northgate, and I think it would be a waste of service hours, don’t you guys think?

      5. Well, if it’s wrong, it’s wrong. Though that’s disappointing to hear, given that this appears to be an official-ish document. I hope these errors are fixed before Dow signs the authorizing legislation…

        I don’t see them running every 73 the whole way to Northgate, and I think it would be a waste of service hours, don’t you guys think?

        As I said below, I don’t think it would be a waste. If you factor in the 66, 67, 68, 72, and 73, there are 10 buses an hour going in that general direction. The reorganization will simply shift most of these service hours a little bit to the east or the west, creating a common super-frequent corridor, instead of 5 parallel infrequent corridors. Not to mention that Metro is extending the 3 to SPU precisely because it’s more operationally efficient to operate fewer terminals (assuming that you want even headways); I don’t see them keeping a turnback here.

      6. While running express on an inbound evening run wouldn’t save that much time, it would save a lot of time on an outbound run with the direct connection between the tunnel and the I-5 express lanes which would actually be open in the correct direction.

        Also, outbound trips on the 71/72/73 in the evening are typically very full, with only a small number of passengers getting on or off along Eastlake. In some cases, people out Eastlake get outright passed up because the bus is so full. I generally try to plan my trips to avoid riding a 71/72/73 home from downtown in the evening whenever possible.

        Not sure what the best solution is – my vote would be to just extend the service hours of the 70 at least to 10 PM and pay for it by running it a little less frequently (perhaps every 20 minutes instead of every 15 for a few hours a day).

        However, just 6 months after this restructuring is going into effect, Link will provide a new downtown->UW express service, making the issue largely moot, so I’m not sure this is worth quibbling about.

  9. Rainier Valley gets some interesting changes.

    The 9EX will be reduced to peak direction/peak hour service only–even though the numbers show that it’s more productive off-peak. The headway reduction on the 7 will be on Saturdays only. If the 7 is going to carry the bulk of Rainier Valley’s riders, it’s time to think of ways to make it faster and more efficient. If Yesler is wired for the 3, maybe the 7 could use that wire to Boren>12th Ave>Jackson St. That routing would likely save a few minutes by cutting out the slow running between 3rd/Prefontaine and 12th/Jackson.

    Is the 14 going to stop service both the MBTC and the old Mt. Baker terminal? Also, no service on weekends(!), but the restructured 106 will partially replace weekend service from downtown on Jackson St.

    The 8S is gone. Partially replaced by the 106. Renton to Rainier Valley riders will be happy, but Madison Valley/CD to Capitol Hill riders won’t. I’m not sure the 106 between Renton and Rainier Valley is productive enough to support 15 minute headways and the 107 still runs one of the crookedest routes imaginable. Skyway needs a better restructuring plan.

    The 60 will be replaced by the 107 between Georgetown and Mt. Baker Station with a reduction in service from every 20 minutes to every 30 minutes. Headways on the 36 will also be stretched to 15 minutes off-peak. Those are going to be some very crowded buses.

    1. 7 does get bogged down on Jackson, but there is a fair amount of on/off passenger activity through there — so I doubt Yesler would work for ID users.

      The 7 also gets really delayed when the on-ramp to I-90 is active. The right lane is used as a feeder lane to the highway ramp, and the 7 sticks it out in that slow right lane as there are two stops after Rainier crosses 23rd (Plum and then Grand). Neither of those stops are super active during peak time, from my experience.

      Ditching at least the second stop at Grand (during peak times) could shave around 3-8 minutes during peak times, and add only a couple blocks walk to the stops users.

    2. I’m surprised there is not more mention of the loss of 8S on this and other sites. I ride that route from MLK/Madison to Stewart/Denny. No one may care about riders from Madison Park, but there are many individuals on that bus in the early morning who have boarded somewhere on MLK and get off at Group Health. The buses are generally full long before they get to 16th going westbound, and packed by the time they get to Denny. 8S is the only way across north Capitol Hill without going downtown. east/west transit options are extraordinarily limited as it is. Are the people who will be affected by the elimination of 8S just not the type to complain on blogs?

      1. The pain for #8 riders between 16th/John and MLK/Jackson is real, as there will no alternative service provided. (I’m one of them, living near MLK/Cherry.) But the status quo for the #8 riders has been so unacceptable for so long, with crushloaded buses languishing for 30-60 minutes on Denny, that something had to be done. And at least in your particular case, the #11 gets you to within 6 blocks of Denny/Stewart at either 9th/Pine or Melrose/Pine, taking 15 minutes to do so, compared to 14 minutes to Denny/Stewart on the 8’s best days.

      2. The 8 truncation has been discussed here, when Metro released the first draft of the cuts six months or so ago. The the worst affected, it seems to me, are those in the blocks south of Madison, because the hill is very steep there up to the 48. The Central District has long had too little service east of 23rd, and the 8 was finally mitigating that but now it’s going away.

        If it seems like people are only talking about a few routes now, it’s because we’ve been discussing many of the others over the past several months, and it’s just too overwhelming to dive into dozens of routes in one article, unless somebody else mentions a particular route they’re interested in first. In my case, my apartment is up for renewal now, and I’ve been waiting for the prop 1 result before deciding whether to renew it, because its failure makes me less willing to move from my central (but expensive) location to someplace about to lose its evening service or frequency.

    3. The 107 should be extended to 12th & Jackson. There are plenty of people riding the 60 from south and central Beacon Hill to Capitol Hill (Broadway/SCCC/hospitals). That trip will now require 3 buses (107>36>Streetcar) instead of one bus (60). Terminating the 107 at Jackson will eliminate one transfer.

      Also, here’s a better restructure plan for Skyway. Route 107 leaves the Renton TC and serves the West Hill neighborhood as far as Renton Ave. At Renton Ave, the 107 would then stay on Renton Ave. and follow the 106 route to RB Station instead of running through the Rainier View area. At RBS, the 107 would do the Henderson/MLK/Trenton/Renton loop, change its number to 108 and then serve the Rainier View neighborhood as far as Renton Ave. At Renton Ave., the 108 would then follow the 106 path back to the Renton TC (skipping the West Hill neighborhood). The 106, 107 and 108 would all run on 30 minute headways, but all of Renton Avenue would get 4 buses per hour. The 106 would then continue on to Cleveland HS and cover the 60 route to Jackson St (instead of the 107). The 8S between Rainier Beach and the CD would then be a stand-alone route.

    4. If the 7 is going to carry the bulk of Rainier Valley’s riders, it’s time to think of ways to make it faster and more efficient.

      That’s been a constant project for the past decade or so. Metro has done a stop diet, and SDOT just finished a huge transit improvement project. Not sure how much TSP they were able to implement, though, it’s still pretty ugly & unreliable.

  10. Are the Owls really that underutilized or are they just very expensive to operate since they run overnight? The few times I’ve been on the 84 and the 280 have been 50% to 75% full. I guess in an era of funding cuts, we can’t have a 24-hour bus network. Will the Owls be eligible to be saved if Plan C makes it?

    1. What Metro did in evaluating the Night Owls was they counted on and off boardings during the route. Any passengers who stayed on the round trip were not counted.

      Based on that research, they came up with the service proposals you see.

      This is just a proposal at the moment, and public hearings will happen. The only owl cuts that are pretty much set in stone are the 82,83,84 and 280.

      1. @Brian Bradford. If I understand you correctly, they made some effor to determine what percentage of the “passengers” were raelly using it as a place to get out of teh cold rather than transportation. Is that what you had in mind? What did they discover?

      2. I rode the length of the the 280 once, and I recall a lot of rather scruffy looking individuals sleeping in there along the entire ride. A couple of people got off every now and then, but it was largely sleepers who only got off once it got back to the CBD.

      3. I was hoping you wouldn’t say that the 80s were set in stone. I use the 84 and 280 infrequently but often enough that I’ll have to drive on those days. If it was possible to get anywhere before 5am that isn’t the airport, that would help but it looks like more car trips for me.

      4. What did they discover?

        Going off of old data from 2009, the 81 (Ballard), 83 (U-district) and 85 (west seattle) seem to have plenty of churn, the 82 (green lake) and 84 (Central District) not so much, and the 280 (eastside) has basically zero churn, but is full the whole way.

        They are all terribly designed long one-way loops that are too inconvienent to be used as anything but emergency-lifeline service

    2. The current owl network just doesn’t make that much sense. The city doesn’t stop at 85th St anymore.

      The 81 and 85 were replaced by late-night runs on the C and D, to great success. (The C and D’s night productivity blows the 81 and 85 out of the water.)

      For the same amount of money, we could have a much better owl network:

      – Keep existing owl service on the C, D, E, 7/49, 36, and 124.
      – Replace the 83 with owl service on the restructured 73 (through-routed with the 124).
      – Replace the 82 and 84 with owl service on the 3S/13 (through-routed) and the 11 (live-looping on Pike/Pine), and an extra trip on the E.

      1. It doesn’t, but it also baffles me that Metro didn’t even make a token stab at trying to preserve the overnight bus service. Perhaps the few of us who are awake during that hour outweigh the hours needed elsewhere or they just didn’t think of it. Your suggestion makes a lot of sense* so I’m going to start campaigning in what little way I know how–by e-mailing various people at the County. (I can’t campaign during the day; I’m asleep!)

        * How do you know that it is the same amount of money? Is it based on service hours?

      2. It’s unfortunate that the 124 will no longer be a night-owl. Does this mean that there is no longer 24×7 transit service to the airport? If so, Sound Transit really ought to consider running a few early morning Link trains to the airport. Even once every 90 minutes would be useful for those of us with early flights, and for workers with odd schedules.

        I think 90 minutes would be enough time to run a loop from downtown to the airport and back, and they could use the same train all night until regular service resumes.

      3. How do you know that it is the same amount of money? Is it based on service hours?

        I haven’t rigorously calculated it. But let’s take a quick look:

        – The 82, 83, and 84 each require one bus (looping) for about 3 hours, including going to and from the base.
        – Late at night, it takes about 35 minutes to get from 3rd/Pike to Northgate via Eastlake and the 67 route. So two round-trips would cost 140 minutes plus recovery time and getting back to base; in other words, 1 bus and 3 service hours, the same as the 83.
        – Looking at it, the 358 appears to go out of service from the north, so the current service pattern is probably optimal. There’s already a late-night trip heading north at 3:30.
        – The 11 has a late-night cycle time of 50 minutes, and there’s a trip that gets to 3rd/Pine at about 2. So you could have three trips (!): leaving downtown at 2:10, then at 3:00, and then at 3:50. The final trip would get back to downtown at 4:40: only 20 minutes later than the 84, and just in time for the first regular trip of the morning (so no need to go back to base just yet). This costs 1 bus and 3 service hours, the same as the 84.
        – The round-trip late-night cycle time on a combined 3S/13 is 90 minutes, with 45 minutes for each half. So you would have one trip leaving downtown in one direction (let’s say south) at 2:15; then back to downtown and heading north at 3:00; then back to downtown and heading south at 3:45; then back to downtown at 4:30 and heading to base. Queen Anne gets one late-night trip (at 3:00), and the CD gets two (at 2:15 and 3:45). Or you could reverse it, since the 11’s three trips do serve the northern border of the CD.

        Total cost remains 3 buses and 9 service hours.

    3. Both. The owls are in the bottom tier of ridership and I think the drivers get a night shift differential. If you care about owls you should be concerned about deleting them, because one gone it will probably be a long time before they ever come back, because there’s a practically endless supply of higher-priority underservice needs ahead of them.

      The owls would probably have to come back under the “coverage” portion of the budger rather than the “ridership” portion, which means they’d be competing against routes like the 27. They do have a strong case, because 24-hour service is a factor in whether people are willing to downsize their number of cars, and whether they’re able to take an evening/day bus one way and an owl bus the other. But that’s hard to tell people who have no daytime bus near them, or only a peak route.

      1. I am very concerned about keeping the Owls, for exactly the reason you point out. Once they die, they’re never coming back, ever. Places like the Central District are never going to see light rail or a streetcar or even Rapid Ride so it’s frustrating to need to make trips through there and see that east of essentially Rainier will have nothing. It’s already annoying enough that I can’t get anywhere earlier than 5am, but that’s been worked around (even under the restructure). To have no Owl service means, essentially, I’m driving. (However, good luck finding a place to park, since the street meter won’t take my money before 7am but my car would be there after 7am.)

        It is hard to tell people who will go lacking during the daytime, and I don’t have a very good answer except to point to Aleks’ proposal above. Seattle is a 24-hour city, so having some living area options for the people who fulfill those hours and rely on transit is needed.

      2. No owl shift differential.

        With the source routes for the owls being cut back to 11pm-12am, the current service structure doesn’t allow for continuous service through the owl network schedule times.

        There are things Metro could do to alleviate this, such as having the owls as first runs of the day rather than the last. This is already done for the Rapid Ride A.

        Now, I’ve been operating under the assumption that Metro doesn’t have everything fleshed out past September 2014, and maybe not even that far.

        In my many years of riding Metro (since 1985), I’ve never once seen a comprehensive service proposal or cut go through without significant changes. We haven’t even gotten to the public hearing phase on these cuts yet. I can assure you that the current proposals as they stand are up for significant adjustment before their implementation. September 2014 may not even happen as presented. You may see a much larger adjustment in February 2015 instead.

        Gotta Love the Federal Government, the FTA, and Title 6.

      3. That’s an interesting possibility. Didn’t Metro have a whole pile of “Have Your Say” meetings once the initial proposal was announced back in November, 2013? Wouldn’t those count, at least for the September, 2014 revisions?

        It also brings up more questions upon which I’d pontificate if I knew more: If Metro does have to push Sept, 2014 back to Feb, 2015, how does it pay for those trips? Even more, would punting it affect how to campaign for the property tax initiative in Seattle? It seems like Metro having to move the deadline turns the property tax vote into another Prop 1 vote: “pay more to keep what you have.” (That message worked once in Seattle; I think it will work again but what do I know?)

      4. Brent:

        The owl service cuts if they aren’t mitigated by added service on other routes to retain service coverage.

        If Metro cut ALL owl service then there would be no Title 6 issue.

        However, the fact that the A,C,D,E,7,49,120 are all retaining their owl service while the 82,83,84,280 are being cut brings up transit equality issues.

      5. Brian:

        But don’t they “resolve” that problem by saying that they’re, technically cutting all Owl service since all Owl routes are being deleted? That other routes “just so happen” to have late night service doesn’t mean they are Owl routes? Or is that not how that works? That is, you’re saying that if _every_ route that operated in the 2am-5am period was halted at, say, 1am, and that happened to mean the deletion of the 82-84/280, then OK.

      6. I don’t think any of the night owl routes serve neighborhoods with much ethnic color. Even the 84 serves the whiter area north of the CD. The largest impact is on shelter seekers, but there is plenty of night owl roving shelter on other routes, including some without the threat of fare citations (which only happen between 7 am and 7 pm, anyway).

        I hope there will be some decent night owl service in the CD, designed to get riders from point A to point B, some day, but the 84 ain’t it.

        Cutting the 83 will mean pain for some late-working UW students, but that pain would be more than made up for if the neo-73 were to have some night-owl runs.

      7. As far as equality goes it doesn’t mean that it’s not ok to delete some but not all routes. If this were the case we’d have to delete the entire system. If you look at the routes who keep their night service those are not only the more productive routes but the ones who serve a diverse population more so than the night owls.

    4. The owls are set to be deleted in the fall. If plan c passes it’s unlikely that they would be saved. The 280 is doomed anyway as it’s designed for the king county zone.

      On metros faq it states once a route is deleted its unlikely to return even in better days. This means that any night service remaining would be tacked on to existing routes.

      1. The 82/83/84 really need a huge restructure. While they are better than nothing the routines haven’t changed in decades and the coverage doesn’t really reflect actual transit use.

        The two current largest holes in OWL service are Northgate and Lake City. Over the years I’ve run into a lot of people trying to get to one of these destinations late at night (North Aurora was also once common but RR E solved that problem).

        OWL service on the 41, combined with replacing the 83 with a re-structured 73 or the current 66 would largely fix the problem. If the service hours aren’t there for a separate run of the 41 then perhaps the 41 routing between Northgate and Lake City could be tacked on for OWL runs.

        Not sure what could be done about service on Queen Anne or to the CD. I seem to recall there are a few passengers on Queen Anne during the OWL runs but when I rode the 84 I was often the only passenger.

  11. I find it interesting reading all of the proposals in this thread and other threads before it in how Metro can improve their service at least in the mind of the individual posters. Now some of the proposals make sense but I see a problem in making these proposals at this time.

    Right the emphasis should be on getting this initiative on the November ballot and when it does the campaign to pass it should have the theme that it would maintain current Seattle service or as it is in April of 2014 with the provision that it will allow Metro to make changes in the future and become a more efficient operation.

    Even though this blog is unofficial and does not represent Metro any opposition groups to the initiative could use any suggestions from this blog on route changes as ammunition against it saying that this is what Metro is proposing to do if you vote yes. By these opposition groups doing that you could have communities affected by changes proposed on this blog become opposed to the initiative on the premise that even if the initiative passes it will not restore service to the service and routes currently provided.

    You want to have as may yes votes as possible and not give opposition groups any kind of weapons to use as a way to urge no votes.

    The main goal is to maintain current service in Seattle and pass this proposed initiative and if it does certainly changes can be and probable should be made in the future. But right the emphasis should be to pass the initiative.

    1. That’s one argument, but there’re two countervailing factors

      * Metro really does need restructuring. If we run our campaign promising to preserve current routing, it’ll be much harder to restructure afterwards.
      * What’s more, there’s some constituency – I’m not sure how big it is, but we know from d.p. that it exists – that’s reluctant to fund Metro precisely because of its poor current service. Promising no restructures will drive them away; speaking of restructures will draw them in.

      I’m not saying yet to run our campaign under the banner of restructuring, but we shouldn’t resolve too quickly to keep silent on it.

      1. If you read the last sentence in my 2nd paragraph I said that will allow Metro to make changes in the future and become a more efficient operation. That to me says Metro will make changes and some of those may not be popular with some people.

        The people who post on this forum are transit people who look at this different then everyone else who just want the ability to use Metro to get where they are going. If you start to talk about what Metro should do in the future you may get these people so upset that they are going to vote no and that is the last thing you want. Right you want that initiative to pass and restore the money that Metro needs.

        By talking about changes or suggestions on what Metro should do is just providing ammunition to groups that will be against the initiative Although this forum is not official and not representing Metro opposition groups can take what is being suggested on this forum and put it into advertisements and brochures and claim this is what Metro is going to do. Right now most people just want to retain the service level that is currently being provided and you don’t to give any idea that is not going to happen.

        Yes Metro needs to make changes but the emphasis should be to pass the initiative and not do or say anything that could hamper that effort. If the initiative passes then Metro can start working on making changes and say that this is in response to the people who want them to become a more efficient operation.

      2. In an ideal world we get a Seattle service map that looks a lot like the City of Seattle TMP. It works something like this:
        1. Metro re-structures/cuts service to meet its service reduction goals.
        2. The city of Seattle buys service in accordance with its TMP goals which either go to increase span/frequency of service in existing corridors or for new corridor routes.

  12. How are all those routes in the bottom 25%? I’m assuming it’s a metric that they are falling below on and isn’t clearly explained, otherwise the math simply doesn’t work.

    1. Peak express routes are big money losers if they have to run an empty bus back to base or the terminal. That explains how a bus can be packed to the brim but still be a money loser.

    2. – Not all routes have the same number of service hours. It’s possible for the bottom 25% of routes to represent much less than 25% of all service hours. In fact, this is likely, because less frequent routes are almost by definition worse performers.

      – There’s more than one way to calculate the bottom 25%. Most importantly, Metro distinguishes between three time periods: peak, off-peak, and night. A route that is in the bottom 25% for any one of those time periods is subject to reduction during that time period. Imagine that you have four routes: 91, 92, 93, 94. Route 91 is the least productive during peak; Route 92 is the least productive during off-peak; Route 93 is the least productive at night. Then 75% of your routes are in the bottom 25% of routes during at least one time period.

  13. Come on, Sound Transit, have your already existing bus #522 stop along your existing route on Lake City Way at an already existing bus stop on 95th street! I take a bus between that area and downtown daily, and just having the 73 outside of commuter hours won’t cut it, the walk to get to the stops for that bus is not short and it’s up a very steep hill, through an area that’s very dark during the fall and winter. The stretch of Lake City Way between NE 125th st and 95th st will be losing its connection to downtown outside of the commuter hours, pretty much.

    It really won’t be a big deal, as I see it. Have an existing route make a stop at an existing bus stop that’s right along its route anyway (heck, the bus is even in the proper lane for that, usually). Will be very helpful after the 72 bites the dust…

    1. It’s not ST’s responsibility to provide local service within the City of Seattle (or any other city, for that matter). No, it’s not fair to folks along Lake City Way, but that’s the way ST’s enabling legislation is written.

      What’s worse for you is that the “73” as it will still be called won’t be on 15th NE; it will be an additional two fairly long blocks to the west on Roosevelt. You’ll probably be more interested in the 64 along 35th NE, especially if you’re a block or two east of LCW.

      1. Perhaps the City of Seattle (or King County Metro) can pay ST a nominal sum for this nominal deviation from its mission, then. Pierce Transit and Intercity Transit have paid for much more substantial deviations from its mission to serve areas outside its district.

      2. Oh, scratch that; the 64 is peak only like the 77. The 65 is the bus on 35th in the middle of the day and it’s only UW to 145th. You really are in a transit-free zone so far as convenient access to downtown in the off-peak goes. My sympathies, truly.

      3. The 550 has local service on Bellevue Way. Adding one or two stops the the 522 is no big deal if you can convince ST to do so. But not every five blocks.

      4. It would be good if the 522 would stop at 20th Ave NE since there now is no bus close by. There is already a stop there for the 306 and 312. I agree that if the 522 also stopped at NE 95th and NE 115th it would be helpful.

      5. To clarify, I meant that there is no all day bus close by to 20th Ave NE since the 312 is only peak service. Also if you need to go northbound to Bothell to the business park east of 405 or to Woodinville, the only option from that area is to walk to 25th Ave NE to get the 372 which now stops at UW Bothell, and then transfer to a 522.

    2. Yes, you’re loosing the 72, BUT…… You’re getting beefed up service on the 372. I know it’s not direct service to downtown, but hours when 312 aren’t running, you’ll have beefed up service on the 372 running every 6 mins peak, increased night frequency and later, and added weekend service (weekend service only UW to Lake City 72 terminal). From Lake City Way & Ravenna Ave, it’s roughly the same amount of time to Campus Pkwy via 25th Ave NE and through Campus, as the current 72 routing.
      Then it’s a transfer to the 73X or 73 local running the same frequency of the combined current 71/72/73.
      But yes, adding a couple stops, say at 95th, 115th for the 522 would be beneficial, but who knows what ST would be willing to do.

    3. ST’s East subarea pays for the 522 in its entirety, and it’s already at capacity during extended peak hours and in the evenings. ST’s Seattle service area would have to pay for additional frequency if ST were to add a bunch more Seattle stops. Not gonna happen, at least in the short term.

      From a network planning perspective I completely agree that a stop near 15th/80th would be excellent. (95th is in the middle of SFH nowhere and I don’t think it warrants service beyond the 306/312/close-by 372.)

  14. The basis for the elimination of the portion of the 60 from North Beacon Hill to Broadway is that various portions of that route will be covered by either the restructured 107, the existing 36, or the new 1st Hill Streetcar. Ignoring the fact that it’s ridiculous to have to transfer twice where none was previously required, do we know if the Streetcar will actually be up and running by February? I’ve heard it’s behind schedule.

    1. The original streetcar schedule was to open this spring. It was changed to this fall due to a design problem with the cars that has been resolved. The construction is already starting to wrap up.

  15. Now that Route 73 will a workhorse in NE Seattle, one area of concern is the bottleneck southbound on Roosevelt Way at NE 80th St. especially at rush hour. Some parking may need to be eliminated to help the flow of traffic through this intersection. I saw a post by Martin Duke a couple days ago saying there will need to be some tough decisions made to improve the traffic flow especially on the main trunk lines, and this is one of those areas.

  16. Seems to me the south end gets the worst of the deal, as usual. Very limited service to Georgetown and the 106 and 107 now dumping people on the light rail instead of continuing downtown. How is the Light Rail going to handle all the extra riders going downtown? My 106 bus is full every morning. Sometimes I take the light rail now and it’s full. The light rail is currently jammed every afternoon. All the 106/107 riders now have to cram on the light rail? How is the light rail going to handle that?

    1. The 106 is going downtown, it’s just taking a more easterly way to get there. Rainier Beach – MLK – Jackson – Boren – Yesler – 3rd Avenue. So the hour-long milk run will be preserved.

    2. There is plenty of extra capacity on Link. Unless they run one-car trains or there is a game, the seats are often full, but it’s almost never jammed.

  17. Just wondering, is it necessary for the section of the 73 in Maple Leaf to run every 8 minutes? Current service there is only every 15min. It should save money to run the 73 every 7.5 min to 65th St and then every 15 min beyond that: the savings could be used to keep the 71 shuttle at every 30 min, as well as to restore coverage to areas like Wedgwood, western Magnolia, western West Seattle, etc.

    1. It’s more than 15 minutes, no? Right now, there’s Route 66/67 (4 buses/hour), Route 68 (2 buses/hour), Route 72 (2 buses/hour), and Route 73 (2 buses/hour). In total, that’s 10 buses/hour going in that general direction. It’s true that this region of Seattle has almost no frequent corridors, but that’s a problem with the route network, not with demand. (In fact, the 41 and 73 are two of Metro’s absolute most productive routes, by a long shot.) That would suggest that Metro is doing the right thing by consolidating all this service into a single super-frequent corridor.

      Not to mention that, when North Link opens, this corridor will have even more frequent service, with over 4x the capacity. So you can think of it as a proto-Link.

      There’s another issue, which is that if you care about frequency, it’s surprisingly expensive to operate multiple terminals. Consolidating terminals makes it easier to consistently schedule routes with even headways. For example, Metro is extending Route 3 to SPU as a cost-saving measure. It’s unclear whether the time savings from a Route 73 turnback would actually pay for itself, when you factor in the scheduling difficulties.

  18. For those who want to reorganize the 71/72/73 with U-Link, what are you talking about? Do you want to extend them to UW station? Truncate them at Campus Parkway? Or something else?

    Extending them down the west side of campus would likely overload Pacific Street, which already prone to bottlenecks of cars going to the 520 entrance. Truncating them at Campus Parkway would force those from the north to transfer twice within a mile, once to the 43/44/48 and again to Link. Sending them through campus would lead to zigzagging on Pend Orielle Road, and going down Montlake Boulevard they’d get stuck in more traffic. So what other options are there?

    1. Extending them to UW Station via Pacific St would be the most logical option. If capacity on Pacific St during peak is a problem, why not through-route the 71/73* with Eastside buses on 520? For example, the 73 could be through-routed with the 271 or a modified 255 serving UW Station. If reliability becomes a problem, the 271 could be split at Bellevue TC. This would give residents of Maple Leaf, Roosevelt, and the U-District:
      1) a frequent and direct route to UW Station
      2) a faster trip to Downtown Seattle (at least when the I-5 express lanes are not open)
      3) a bonus one-seat-ride to Downtown Bellevue.

      *The 72 will most likely go away as it duplicates the 372 and proposed 73. I’m not too sure about the 71–Metro proposed truncating it at Roosevelt, but once the 73 is truncated at UW station as well, residents of Wedgwood would need to take 3 buses to Downtown, which is ridiculous.

      1. Wedgewood residents would not take three buses to get downtown. They would be taking one bus (probably the 65) to Link. Ideally a version of the 65 without the Children’s Hospital detour.

        As to what to do with the 73 once Link comes along, there are several options. Extending it down Pacific Street is certainly one, but I think a better option might be to retain the 73’s routing for 5 more years, but with less frequency and fewer hours of express service alongside the 70. Then, re-invest the savings into additional trips on route 65 and 75, and 372. It might also be worth rerouting at least some of the 372 trips (possibly under a new route number) to take Montlake directly to the station, rather than meander through campus. The assumption behind this approach is that there’s still enough demand on the west side of the U-district to justify an express line, at least during the day, but the 73 won’t need nearly as much capacity because people that are walking to the 73 from campus or transferring to the 73 from the 372 will end up taking Link instead.

      2. There are areas in Wedgwood that are more than 800 meters (0.5 mile) from bus stops on 35th Ave or Sand Point Way, although I guess a 10-13 minute walk for a few people isn’t too bad. I think that answers my main objection for turning the 48N into a new crosstown route on NW 85th/NE 65th.

        Anyways, I don’t really see the point of having the 73 continue all the way to downtown after U-Link opens. Currently, it takes the 71/72/73 between 20 and 35 minutes to get from 45th/University to International District Station (depending on time of day and if the express lanes are open). The 44 takes 7-8 minutes to get from 45th/University to UW Station, and Link will take 14 minutes from UW Station to International District Station. Assuming the connection takes 6 minutes (walking time + some padding), the total time from 45th/University to Int’l District would be 28-29 minutes.

        Yes, this is slower than the 71/72/73 in the peak direction when the express lanes are open, and it could make sense to retain a peak-only variant of the 73 that goes downtown instead of to UW Station. However, at other times of day, Link will be faster (especially in the reverse-peak). In addition, shortening the 73 (and through-routing it with the 48S) would also save service hours that could be reinvested in making the 75, 71, 65, and/or 372 more frequent, which would improve mobility overall.

      3. My gut feeling is that once the Husky Link station opens, at least half the 73’s ridership would disappear. People walking from campus would walk the other direction directly from Link. People transferring from Northeast Seattle would transfer at a different location directly to Link. Even people waiting for the 73 somewhere like 15th and 65th will likely choose to hop on a 48 a transfer to Link if the 48 happens to come by first.

        That said, even if half the 73 ridership does switch to other services, the other half is still pretty big in its own right – the stops on the Ave and along Campus Parkway get a lot of activity, which is why I think truncating the 73 would be, politically, extremely difficult, if not impossible.

        That said, one reasonable compromise might be to continue running the 73X during the peak period, at least in the direction where the bus can use the express lanes, and rely on the 70 at other times, boosting frequency as needed to accommodate additional demand (for example, peak/midday frequency of 10 minutes instead of 15).

      1. Do what with the what now? Maybe I’m missing something–it’s likely–but what do you mean through-route the 73 with the 48S?

        Then again, I’m leery of anything that refers to “the 48S” because if there’s anything the Central District doesn’t need, it’s more transferring to go anywhere but downtown in this new age of reduced headways.

      2. The 48S is the segment of the 48 that goes between the U-District and Mount Baker. It’s the most productive and busiest segment. Metro has often discussed splitting the 48 in the U-District; the 48S would terminate near where the 43 and 49 and 70 do, while the 48N (the other half) would terminate near where the 44 does. But there’s always been an issue with finding layover space.

        Once U-Link opens, one possibility would be for the 48 to run every 10 minutes between Northgate and Mount Baker, via 23rd, Pacific, 15th, and then the route that Metro is proposing for the 73. This would create a stick-straight route that provides a direct connection between the CD and Northgate, as well as maintaining the connection to the U-District, Roosevelt, and almost everywhere else that the 48 currently serves. The only thing you lose is the one seat ride to Greenwood and Crown Hill, but is that really better than Northgate?

        The biggest advantage of this change is that there’s a huge overlap between the 73 and the 48 from 65th to Pacific, and that will only get worse if the 73 is rerouted to UWMC. Merging the two highly productive routes would allow Metro to save money by avoiding the overlap, and use the money to improve service elsewhere (such as by upgrading the 48S to 10-minute frequency or better).

        As far as the north half of the 48, the logical extension is to connect it to the stub tail of the 71, creating a common east-west corridor like the 44. That gives up the direct connection from Crown Hill and Greenwood to the U-District, but there’s an easy transfer at Roosevelt, so it’s not the end of the world. It’s also a huge improvement for Ravenna compared to the current proposal for a dead end 71.

      3. Sorry, I was on my phone. Let me elaborate a bit.

        Right now, Pacific Street near UWMC has the 25, 43, 44, 48, 271, and a handful of peak-only routes. Further north on 15th NE, there’s also the 49 and 70, and the 70 will soon come every 10 minutes.

        In total, that’s 17 all-day buses per hour on Pacific (which is a congested street to begin with), and 27 all-day buses per hour on 15th. That’s a ton of buses, especially when you consider that a lot of corridors in the city have only 2 buses per hour.

        Suppose that the the 73 were moved to Pacific. Even if it were downgraded to coming every 10 or 15 minutes, that would still be a major increase in demand on an already busy street.

        The biggest problem with this situation is that a lot of buses begin and end in the U-District. This means that there’s a lot of overlap between routes that mostly go north, and routes that mostly go south. Terminating the 73 at UWMC would just exacerbate the situation.

        So let’s say that we made the following changes once U-Link opens:

        – Extend the 44 to Children’s all day. It never turns south on 15th, except if it’s going back to base.
        – Delete the 25 and 43, and use their service hours to improve other routes.
        – Reorganize the 48, 71, and 73 into two new routes. The new 48 goes from Northgate to Mount Baker, via the 48’s route to Pacific, and the reorganized 73’s route to Northgate (e.g. it uses University Way instead of 15th). The new 71 goes from Sunset Hill to Ravenna via NW 85th St and NE 65th St. The 48 comes every 10 minutes; the 71 comes every 15 minutes.

        With these changes, Pacific Street would have the new 48 and the 271, a much more reasonable 10 buses per hour (6 on the 48, 4 on the 271). 15th NE would have 14 buses per hour (4 on the 49, 6 on the 70, 4 on the 271). But meanwhile, we create a new super-frequent N-S corridor on the eastern side of Seattle, and a new frequent E-W corridor in North Seattle. And we’ll be spending a lot less than we’re spending now.

      4. Aleks for Metro’s next service director! Another brilliant idea. A combined 48/73 would serve a large pecentage of the trips from the U-District or through it.

      5. I like you, Aleks, and I like your ideas. You’re right, my biggest concern with splitting the 48S is the CD winds up being able to go to the barren side of the University District (e.g. the route stops at NE Campus) and downtown and that’s it. Yes, southern-end destinations are served but, let’s face it, a lot more stuff is north of Ezell’s than south of it.

        A reorg like you describe would be amazing, both for me personally and for the region at large. Everybody has to transfer right now to go to Ballard, it’s just a question of where. Opening up Northgate would be a major improvement in connectivity to much-north Seattle (Lake City, Bitter Lake, Shoreline, Aurora) without having to go via downtown.

        There’s just one problem: Metro is supposedly highly motivated to electrify the 48S. I suspect that’s why 48 hasn’t been split, since Metro wants to do it with electrification. Given that there’s virtually no chance we’ll see trolley wire all the way to Northgate, well…

      6. There’s just one problem: Metro is supposedly highly motivated to electrify the 48S. I suspect that’s why 48 hasn’t been split, since Metro wants to do it with electrification. Given that there’s virtually no chance we’ll see trolley wire all the way to Northgate, well…

        For what it’s worth, this is one of my least favorite things about trolleybuses. If the 44 were a diesel, it could have been rerouted to Children’s a decade ago. The 13 could have been extended to Fremont, or Ballard, or at least to the base of the bridge. The 1 could have been extended to 15th Ave W. The 10 could have been extended along Boston St to connect with the 49. The 49 could have been sent down 12th Ave. Et cetera.

        Metro has not reorganized service as quickly as many of us like, but they do make changes. The 40 is fast becoming one of Metro’s most popular routes, even though before the 40, there was no service along many parts of Leary Way. If the 17 had been a trolley bus, this couldn’t have happened.

        I’m not saying that we should abandon trolleys entirely. They’re better for the environment, and better at hill-climbing, which is hugely important in Seattle. I just don’t want to put the cart before the horse. Don’t electrify routes in ways that will cause problem for the service network. The network is more important than the technology.

        FWIW, I have the same complaint about our streetcars, though it’s not quite as bad since they’re much shorter. The lack of rails north of Fred Hutch creates an unfortunately bifurcated service pattern between the SLU streetcar and the 70; the same will soon be true on Broadway with the FHSC and the 49. The streetcar is hugely popular, and I don’t think we should get rid of it. But I do think that we should be wary of building more of them, to the extent that doing so will create artificial service boundaries.

      7. “Given that there’s virtually no chance we’ll see trolley wire all the way to Northgate”

        I was actually thinking the opposite, that this would be such a strong route it would be a good one to electrify. The 48S is just missing the gap between John and Jefferson Streets, and that will be one of the next ones to be filled in. As for 45th to Northgate, it would only be done in an era of significant trolley expansion, which who knows when that will be, but it may be a contender for it then. Vancouver seems to have almost all its routes electric, and the distance is no more than Mt Baker to Rainier Beach.

      8. “The 48S is just missing the gap between John and Jefferson Streets, and that will be one of the next ones to be filled in”

        Also missing the portion from Judkins Park to Rainer Avenue, where the trolley wire makes some bizarre detours. That would be a logical thing to fix soon as well.

      9. (Notably, the current trolley wire for the 4 avoids the location of the future East Link station, while the route of the 48 goes right past it.)

    2. I don’t think it is worth doing any link re-structures for U-Link that you aren’t going to want to keep once link opens to Northgate and Lynnwood.

      So assuming the restructures proposed for reducing service hours go through I wouldn’t truncate the 73 at husky stadium. Wait for 2021 and truncate at campus parkway instead. Use the service hours to run the 70 in the evening/weekends

      1. Why? Why keep everyone on a slow(-er) bus for five years just to leave the maps the same?

      2. I don’t think truncating the 71/72/73 to Husky Stadium would be faster during much of the day. Furthermore I’d prefer to spend the political capital on re-structures only once if possible.

  19. Mike Orr says:
    April 25, 2014 at 8:03 pm
    Um, me getting home from Fred Meyer.

    Starting a new thread but along the FM theme; why does Metro avoid the FM at Overlake? You basically can’t get there from here even though that’s a place lots of people want to go. And ST wanted to bulldoze it and put in a maintenance yard. There’s got to be something behind the scenes.

    1. I feel the avoidance of that Fred Meyer gravely, but it’s very hard to get to Overlake TC, there, and Crossroads without going the long way around a superblock. Any route serving Overlake TC is going to be on 156th. If it continues straight south from there to Crossroads, like the 245 does and the B-Line should, it serves one side of the great 20th-24th shopping complex and a number of apartments on the way. If it diverts to 148th (which no route does), it serves the other side of that shopping complex and a very few apartments – and then it can either avoid Crossroads entirely or divert back east again. The third option, which the 221 takes, is to not serve Overlake TC at all – which means you miss most of the Microsoft campus.

      So in short, there’re many better options that Fred Meyer forecloses. I wouldn’t send any route down 148th and miss 156th, either.

      1. I’d always assumed that the B ran the way it did to better serve Safeway, and at least make a token effort to serve Sears and Freddies. In short, while it’s an annoying diversion — I’ve only ridden the B off-peak, I can imagine that in congestion the loop adds time to the journey [although the signals on 156th and Bel-Red/24th seem to be timed so that you have to stop at both E-W streets going south, so only about 5 cars make it through each light cycle, so I’m not sure how much of a delay the loop really adds.] — it does have a legitimate purpose.

      2. I have confirmed through experimentation that I can jog along 156th from 31st St. to 24th St. in virtually the the same amount of the as it takes the B-line to traverse that stretch with its detour. In other words, time-wise, doing the detour is equivalent to crawling on 156th for a half-mile or so at 7 mph.

        And, during peak travel times, it can be worse. The stretch along 31st and through the roundabout puts the bus right in the path of tons of Microsoft employees driving in and out of the company parking garages.

      3. One thing Metro could do is route the 249 all the way up NE 24th to 148th instead of taking the NE 29th bypass. Yes, that intersection is a mess and bus priority isn’t really an option so it would add a couple of minutes to the route. There’s the 226 on Bel-Red but east bound you have to cross Bel-Red, NE 20th and 148th. West bound you only have to cross NE 20th but the “far side stop” at 148th and Bel-Red is a heck of a long way down the hill.

      4. Or, the 249 could even stay on 20th to 148th instead of heading north on 140th. The westbound Bellevue College stop would be moved a tiny bit, and you’d miss the small shopping center and office complex at 140th and 24th, but gaining the Fred Meyer, Sears, and Safeway would be well worth it. (It would also be a minor loss to me since I attend the church up that hillside, but only a minor loss because bike’s much more convenient for me than the 249.)

        Also, if you wanted to reroute the 226 north on 148th instead of staying on Bel Red – 20th – 156th, I think it’d be a toss in terms of destinations if not a slight gain.

      5. Will-C, I think you’re right. Just staying on 20th makes a lot more sense. It avoids the cluster F at NE 24th and 148th. I use the 7-11 stop in the AM going to S. Kirkland P&R because it’s a little bit shorter than the ARCO on NE 20th but it’s pretty much a wash. The east bound stop on 140th being under 520 and not having a stop between there and 148th makes eastbound routing pretty useless. Conversely, there are a lot of jobs in the strip malls on both sides of NE 20th to attract riders vs virtually nothing with the current routing. Bottom line, way more people want to use the bus to shop at Fred Meyer than at Cash & Carry (not that I don’t love Cash & Carry for some things).

    2. I grew up in east Bellevue so we were always going to the Overlake Fred Meyer and Sears. (Trivia note: originally it was White Front, then Valu-Mart, then Leslie’s, then Fred Meyer. Later Fred Meyer tore down the building and replaced it with a much bigger one.) It’s a reasonable distance from the B given the big-box scale of the area.

      But the Fred Meyer I was talking about was the Ballard one. I take the D from it, so eliminating the Leary station would affect me. I could take the 40 but it’s less frequent and doesn’t have a real-time display. (I’m the opposite of d.p., haha.) And I’m annoyed that the D and 40 stops are far enough apart that you can’t take the first bus that comes, you have to choose which one beforehand. Earlier I lived in north Ballard (65th) and used to take the 15 down to Fred Meyer. So Fred Meyer is a draw for both residents and non-residents, and one of the main reasons for going to Ballard.

      1. I’m a bit curious – what are you shopping for at the Ballard Fred Meyer that you can’t get at a Safeway or QFC closer to home?

      2. I personally don’t shop at Fred Meyer. I live in Ballard and there are QFC and Safeway (and Ballard Market) stores closer. But a lot of people travel some distance to shop at Fred Meyer because it seems to be substantially cheaper than the others.

      3. Housewares, plants, shoes. I don’t go to Fred Meyer for groceries, although if I’m there anyway I sometimes load up.

        (For groceries I usually go to places that eschew high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated stuff: Costco, Trader Joe’s, Central Co-Op… plus produce stands and Chinatown shops.)

  20. I drive the B Line a lot, and I gotta say the routing to 152nd Ave NE and the amount of passengers using the bus stop outside Overlake P&R and Safeway, justifies the couple extra minutes the routing takes, verses a straight shot on 156th Ave NE. Even during peak, it really actually moves through there pretty well.

    1. Fine – then have the 245 bus do the 152nd St. detour instead. Any bus labeled “RapidRide” needs to move in some semblance on a straight line.

    2. The B Line makes it’s jog down toward Safeway to serve the idiotic Overlake Village P&R and it’s Ron Sim’s era TOD. It could stay on 156th and turn either on NE 31st and take the new 36th street overpass or if MS traffic is a big problem take NE 40th over to 148th. I’d lean strongly toward the NE 36th route because it’s a quarter mile of apartments and condos between there and NE 40th. That said, the current routing makes sense looking forward to when the Group Health site is developed and the East Link Station is put in. Both of those though are probably 10 years away and the roads will be significantly different.

  21. As far as impacts on Kent East Hill, I can only see two.

    1. Route 157 shifts slightly in the Lake Meridian area to consolidate service after the loss of the 158 and 159.

    Truth be told I never understood why they had all these routes that essentially did the same thing. If anything, I found it more confusing to figure out one from the other. I prefer this consolidation!

    And I still don’t understand why these buses have to continue all the way to Seattle when they stop at Kent Station at exactly the time that the Sounder is running! It seems like they should all just unload their passengers there and put them on Sounder. Why is this not the case?

    2. Route 168 adds peak trips timed with Sounder.


    I like this consolidation. Please keep it coming!

    1. By “keep it coming”, are you still supporting Aleks’ restructure plan for the 101 and 150? or at least the 101?

      1. After Angle Lake Station opens, I would prefer if the 180 just shuttled people back and forth to there from Kent Station. We could drop all the I-5 bound bus routes then and focus more on our circulators.

        I wouldn’t mind if Sound Transit then added an express bus that went Covington-Kent East Hill-Renton-Rainer Beach LINK.

      2. That seems like a tailored plan for you. I have one for myself. Nonstop from my house to downtown seattle. How’s that? Point is that neither route would be highly successful because it wouldn’t serve a major corridor. The 169 largely duplicates your “express” and would be redundant. We are cutting not adding service. Good news for kent station is that weekend service is unchanged except for the axing of the 916 and the 914 being restricted to the valley.

      3. Sorry misread that. If sound transit pays for it great. But they wouldn’t add the Covington service as they are not part of the sound transit district.

      4. Slyfield:

        Not really sure why you say that a plan that serves two major networks — Kent Station to Seattle and Kent East Hill ridge from Covington to Renton is “tailor made for me” when it would help tens of thousands of users.

    2. JB is 98% right in this thread. The 2% is that Covington would have to be part of an east-west route, not a north-south route. A route from Renton would naturally go south to Green River CC. However, the 169 turns west because Kent Station is a compelling transit center. Covington has a commercial center but there’s nothing compelling about it enough to deviate a north-south route. If we imagine a route going south from Renton that does not go to Kent Station, the next most major destination is Green River CC. Such a route would partly turn east (104th – KK Road – 132nd), so it would happen to run close to Covington although not all the way to it.

      As for sending bus routes to Angle Lake Station and Federal Way Station, there’s nothing wrong with it but JB seems to be underestimating the travel time. It would take about as long as the 180+Link currently does, so it would still take an hour like the 150 does. So why is JB so excited about it? It is a train, but that hour will still take a large chunk out of your day.

  22. Even with all the trips streamlined into the 177 peak trunk route, I suspect many riders will let the 177 go by, and take the 577, which will continue to avoid the short stop at Star Lake P&R and the looong stop at Kent-Des Moines P&R (an ill-conceived addition, IMHO, for so many trips – why not just let the 193 and 197 handle that time-sink of a stop?).

    ST is going to get stuck with increased ridership demand on the 577, 522, 550, and 545. 522 and 550 riders are long-since used to standing. I’m guessing it has become the same for 545 riders. 577 riders, if you want a seat, take the 177. If you want a faster ride, be prepared to stand. There is no money to add ST Express trips. (If you truly need a seat, ask the operator for assistance.)

    But not to drift too far off-topic: Wouldn’t it be cool to add Kent-Des Moines P&R as an OFF-PEAK stop on the 578 and 594? … and add Star Lake P&R as a stop on the 592 and 595, so riders from Lakewood and Gig Harbor can connect to South King County destinations without having to take a local PT route or backtrack from downtown Seattle?

      1. When ST gets political pressure to add more service on the 577, that will work against expediting Link construction.

    1. The 578 is off peak only (sounder and 577 cover during peak hours) so we could just change it for that route. It’s already a long route though that’s my only concern. It would provide another option for metro riders.

  23. There sure are a lot of complaints from Seattleites today, and hardly anything for the suburbs.
    “If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?” (Bill somebody wrote that)
    Were’s Alexs’ reorg proposal in the chatter. Will Metro listen to some fresh ideas, or just whack away for the next 3 years?

    1. My prediction: Metro will preserve four separate routes to Enumclaw and one to North Bend. Because, amazingly, that’s the proposal after all the cuts are implemented. Whack routes in the city, whack routes in the suburbs, but preserve poorly used “lifeline” service (and the associated ADA paratransit requirements).

      Due to the way the paratransit rules work, the savings from dropping service to an entire outlying area are truly substantial.

  24. Has anyone made a route map after the proposed changes take effect? It would be useful to see how everything fits together now.

    1. Metro has such maps on its “cuts” website; unfortunately they don’t distinguish routes by frequency.

      1. Yeah, it was a map based on frequency I was hoping. Hopefully they release one once they get things more finalized.

  25. Why does the 342 still exist? At this point it’s 95% duplicative with the 535, the only difference is a couple extra stops on SR 522. And riders at these stops that want to get to Bellevue can just take ether the 522 or the 372 (both of which are frequent at the times the 342 runs), and connect to the 535. Given the length of this route it seems like an easy cut that could be spent on other services that are more painful cuts.

    1. I agree with this–the proposed 342 would only save a few minutes for Kenmore-Bellevue commuters compared to the 372/522 > 535 (although the connection would have to be timed since the 535 only runs every 30 minutes). There are some relatively obscure trips that would require a lot of connections if the 342 was deleted (say, Ballinger Way to Renton Landing, which could be a 4-seat-ride (331-372/522-535-560)), but these types of trips are very rare and could be improved with timed connections.

      1. The 535 runs more often during peak which is when the 342 operates. Not so concerned with timing connections.

    2. I’ve been wondering why it existed even before the cuts were proposed, since I’ve never seen too many people on it when I’ve taken it. I can’t remember who said this, but they mentioned something about it replacing what would be a deadhead otherwise.

    1. I’ve heard that it is because the bridge across I-90 in Preston does not have sidewalks and would be unsafe for pedestrians to cross (even though there are shoulders). This prevents buses from just stopping on the I-90 ramp, and deviating off the freeway into Preston would waste quite a bit of time for little benefit. It is too bad that Preston is losing all service, but it is a very small town and there doesn’t seem to be any way to efficiently serve it with the 208.

  26. In regards to Queen Anne service, whynosnt Metro considering an all day shuttle between 1st Av N/Thomas St and 1st Av W/W Raye St that operates current route 1 to Kinnear, then along the graveyard to current route 2N to Queen Anne Ave, then north on QA Ave to current route 3 terminal at Rodgers Park? This service could operate with 30-40 minute headway, bridge service gap areas while bringing passengers to major transfer points like QA/Galer (13), QA/Boston (3) and QA/Mercer (D, 8, 13, 32).

    The same type of argument could also be made for the 14. At 23/Jackson (106), operate north to Jefferson St (terminal at 21/James) for transfers to frequent 3S service. While there’s a cost of adding two switches at the 23/Jackson intersection, the long term savings benefit would make it worthwhile.

  27. Perhaps it’s time to consider a WA state income tax, to address the issue of using regressive tax entities such as sales tax and auto tabs.

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