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In the mid-1970s, Metro had 2 routes that partially served the corridor that is today’s route 60 between Georgetown and Broadway. The 38 – 15th Ave S was a legacy route from the 1940s that connected Georgetown/Boeing Field with Beacon Hill via 15th Ave S. By 1975, the 38 schedule showed Monday – Saturday service with irregular headways and an infrequent tail to the King County Airport terminal. Metro had also created a new route, the 60 YESLER – BROADWAY that offered very infrequent and unbalanced service between Broadway and Jackson St. In 1975, a trip from Cleveland High School to Seattle Central Community College without transferring downtown would have required 3 buses (and a great deal of luck): the 38 – 15th Ave S, the 3 JEFFERSON PARK, the 60 YESLER – BROADWAY. Eventually, Metro realized the potential ridership on the Broadway-Beacon Hill-Georgetown corridor and by 1979, the 60 BROADWAY – GEORGETOWN bus was established. The trip that previously required 3 buses in 1976 could now be made with 1 bus. The span of service on the new 60 wasn’t good, headways were strangely irregular and the useless tail to the King County Airport remained, but more Beacon Hill residents had a one seat ride to Broadway or Georgetown.

The sad irony is that the 2015 service reorganization proposed by Metro will eliminate the one seat ride between Georgetown and Broadway and re-establish the 3 seat ride of the mid-1970s.

The cover of the 1976 YESLER – BROADWAY features a north-facing shot of Broadway taken from somewhere near Broadway and Madison. There is some distortion in the shot caused by a strong telephoto lens, but you can see a 9 BROADWAY trolley making the turn from Pine onto Broadway. That’s St. Mark’s looming in the background, but there are very few other notable landmarks that identify the dreary looking, traffic choked, early 1970s version of Broadway with the hip strip it is today.

4 Replies to “The Evolution of Route 60”

  1. The first thing that jumps out from those route 60 schedules is how many hospitals have changed names or just simply don’t exist anymore.

    Thanks for doing this, btw. I love looking at old timetables. As a kid I used to collect as many as I could but don’t have any anymore. This is a nice nostalgia trip.

  2. On 9th Avenue near the Frye Art Museum, there is trolley wire above the route 60 where only the Route 60 and 303 currently serve. Was all or part of the route 60 at one time a trolley route, or is this the remains of some other route? There doesn’t seem to be any trolley bus route that currently goes that way.

  3. The 60 has always been a diesel route. The 9th Avenue wire was used by the 3/4 during the digging of the transit tunnel, but no modern trolley route (since the mid-1970s) has ever used that wire on a permanent basis . The old 12 E. Cherry/26th Ave. S. (today’s 3/4) operated between Harborview and Virginia Mason via 9th Avenue.

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