Walker Creek, Along Bus Route 132
Walker Creek, Along Bus Route 132

Route 132 has long been one of King County Metro’s most circuitous neighborhood milk-run routes. Since Link opened, route 132 has undergone several changes, including moving up to half-hourly all-day frequency, and changing its southern terminus to Burien Transit Center.

Whenever it was suggested that route 132 be re-routed to serve Tukwila International Boulevard Station, a couple of major hurdles stood in the way. One was the continuing portion of the route south of Burien TC, which has since become part of route 166. The other hurdle was a major trip generator, the Navos Clinic at 1010 S 146th St., or, to be more accurate, the clinic formerly at that address. Now, the site is just a pasture with a stormwater detention pond.

Perhaps the stretch of Waller Creek along Des Moines Memorial Way from S 128th to S 144th, the series of stormwater ponds along S 144th St / S 144th Way / S 146th St, the pocket park at the top of the hill on S 146th, and that one block of single-family homes which are well within the walkshed of route 131 on 1st Ave S are not the best place to use scarce service hours.

Very few people would lose service if route 132 is re-routed to serve Des Moines Memorial Way from South Park down to S 128th St, then S 128th over to Military Rd S, and then Military Rd S, S 144th, and Tukwila International Boulevard down to the train station. Many would gain significant connectivity to South King County and beyond.

13 Replies to “132 Lacking Ridership Source in Northeast Burien”

  1. Sounds like a good idea, however

    (1) need to find a layover place at Tukwila Int’l Blvd (TIB) Stn, since layover space is limited there (Rapid RIde A already terminates there, and all are artics). Route 129 (since gone) terminated there, but always used a 30 ft bus, so they could use one of the small layover spots. Not so for the 132, which uses 40 and 60 ft coaches. Also, the drivers won’t like the TIB layover (the shared restroom is a big issue there, unlike Burien which has a separate Restroom for drivers).

    (2) having the 132 operate via Military Road between S. 128th and S. 144th Sts duplicates Route 128. Suggest using a revised routing. Operate regular route to S. 128th St/24th Ave S, then operate on 24th Ave S to S. 154th St, then S. 154th St to TIB. This revised routing would return service to 24th Ave S (which the former 129 and 170 served), not duplicate 128 and serve a Boeing/Port of Seattle Facility along 24th Ave S. plenty of single family housing along 24th.

    Of course, research has to done to see how many riders are riding between Burien and South Park/Boeing (though the reroute is done, there are options via Rapid Ride F and routes 124/132 via transfer at TIB).

    1. On (1), last I checked, the restroom at TIBS is for transit employees only, and has been since at least 2010. Also, I haven’t seen layover space come close to getting used up. Buses pull to the far left along the loading way when there isn’t space east of the load zone.

      Your prososed route in (2) seems worthy. Thanks for the suggestion!

      The research will show that I take a lot of rides between Burien and South Park. It won’t show why. I would gladly give up my one-seat ride to Burien to gain the connectivity of a direct bus to TIBS, the A Line, and the future Link extensions.

      1. The restroom with the prison toilet is available for the public use.

        Female operators avoid driving the 124 because of the toilet situation.

      2. The walk from the layover area to the restroom is about as far as the walk from the layover area to the nearest fast-food restaurant that is loose about customers-only. The men’s room there might be good or bad on any given day, but hopefully the ladies’ room is up-to-standard.

        Long-term, ST ought to be able to build an employee-only facility when the surface parking lot hopefully goes away, and gets replaced by TOD. Or, just get some anchor tenants to promise accessibility to their customer-only restrooms for transit employees.

        There are other issues with route 124, including the assault rate. Regardless of where route 132 terminates, I think there is a fear factor built in about some of the riders on the route. But long-term, I expect more of an all-hours security presence at TIBS than at Burien TC. Regardless, there are more fare patrols passing through TIBS.

        Not to drift too much farther off topic, but the safety record of TIBS, and the large number of unsupervised kids hanging around, ought to justify a 24/7 staffable security office as well, similar to the one at Federal Way TC.

    2. If they can’t find layover space at TIBS something has seriously gone wrong. I’ve only ever passed through that particular location high above on LINK, but it’s a huge parking lot. Take away a few spots if you need more layover space.

  2. Brent, I’ve come around to this view 100 percent. The clinic closure definitely made this more realistic.

    I agree exactly with your suggested routing, as well (in fact, it’s the exact same routing that I devised for the south end of the 132 equivalent in the next iteration of my network plan.) 144/Pac Hwy is an important neighborhood destination, worth a slight deviation to serve.

    I’ve also abandoned my idea of combining the 132 and 124 into one very frequent route after looking at Metro stop data, because it’s just flat unworkable. Although the combined route would be marvelous for about 85% of the riders of both routes, there are just too many destinations with significant ridership that would go entirely without service. But the 132 and 124 should be interlined just like the 131 and 132 are today, and the 124 should change at its south end to increase coverage.

    Rather than continuing straight down 99 between Boeing Access Road and Tukwila — where there is no ridership source at all except for one apartment complex and USCIS — the 124 should use E Marginal Wy S all the way to S 130th and then rejoin 99 at 130th. That would provide new service to the edge of Allentown and all-day service to Group Health Tukwila, while maintaining a stop a very reasonable walk from USCIS at 130th/99. The time penalty would be about 2 minutes.

  3. It’s a shame you can’t get from the 132 to the museum of flight & Boeing plants. Would be nice to have more frequent service.

    The bathroom situation is no excuse and something they can certainly address.

    1. Yes.

      Stainless steel, all in formed toilet seat (permanently down).

      Its deplorable. And as it is for the public and the operators to use, the operators, understandably, don’t want anything to do with it.

      1. Why is it even open to the public? Nearly no other transit center anywhere near has a bathroom.

      2. ST’s policy is to have public restrooms at transit center stations.

        Unfortunately, we see how well restrooms are treated even in affluent areas: Bellevue transit center’s looks like it belongs in a ghetto.

        I notice Seattle has started putting a few more porta potties around town. That must be its latest solution. The problem is, people don’t know where the are. Is a potty nobody knows about really there?

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