Proposed Route 580
Proposed Route 580

Every year, Sound Transit goes through a process of producing an annual service implementation plan (SIP). Staff takes the previous year’s final SIP, and adds the current year’s performance measurements and any new proposals. The community gets time to offer input. Then, the Board of Directors makes the final decision on approval of the SIP.

Highlights of the 2015 Draft SIP include:

  • A new ST Express route between Lakewood Station and Puyallup Station — dubbed route 580 — is proposed. Route 580 would provide 20 new trips each day, mostly timed connections with both peak-direction and counter-peak-direction Sounder. Route 580 would also serve SR 512 P&R, South Hill P&R, and the Puyallup Fairgrounds Red Lot. (p.86)
  • Link peak frequency may improve to every 6 minutes during peak as early as September 2015. (p.92) The projections still show Link running out of standing room during the peak of peak by 2018. (p.93)
  • South Sounder is still scheduled to add a peak-direction round trip and a reverse-direction round trip in September 2016, and then an off-peak round trip in September 2017. (p.94)
  • A wish list (subtly styled “Immediate Needs”) of additional service on ST Express includes suggested, but unfunded, added runs on routes 510, 511, 512, 522, 532, 545, 550, 554, 556, 560, 566, 567, 574, 577, 578, 590, and 594. (pp.99-100)
  • Elements of the Transit Integration Report have been rolled into the SIP, including a restructure of SR 520 service around the opening of U-Link. (p.94) However, staff is still working on these proposals, and they will be presented to the Board in the form of amendments to the 2015 SIP, in May or June of next year. (p.8)
  • The previous proposals for 2016 to restructure route 574 to serve Angle Lake Station, and to replace route 586 with a new route between downtown Tacoma and north downtown Seattle (now proposed to be numbered 591) still stand. (p.94)
  • Inter-agency teams are working out plans to deal with long-term construction re-routes. (p.95)

As per tradition, the SIP contains reams of data on ridership, and other performance measures. We’ll dig in deeper in later posts, especially into some of the route performance trends and the mysteriously conservative revenue forecasting.

Again, this is only a draft SIP. Ultimately, it is up to Sound Transit’s Board to act on the SIP’s wish list for additional ST Express runs, and to approve the “final” version of the 2015 SIP.

Check back here for a list of open houses on the SIP.

A public hearing on the SIP will be held Thursday, November 6, 12:00-12:30 pm, in the Ruth Fisher Boardroom at Union Station, 401 S. Jackson St.

54 Replies to “Sound Transit Releases 2015 Draft Service Implementation Plan”

  1. I wonder if the third main project and King Street construction will affect the September timeline for the 2 additional trains. May guess is that it very well may as there simply isn’t any additional room for another train until the third main between Tukwila and Pacific is built. Now supposedly, construction on that is supposed to begin in June, along with the bridge over the Green River start sometime in January.

  2. I think rerouting 574 to S. 200th Street to serve the Angle Lake station, then continuing on International Blvd. is smart, but it’s slightly unclear how this would benefit anyone other than local residents and businesses of S. 200 St., since route 574 already serves the link station at SeaTac. I suppose it would make more sense if Metro added new routes that serve the new Angle Lake station, but I don’t think Metro is in any position to thing about adding new service.

  3. Nice. 6 min headways on Link in late 2015. Even though they (you?) use the word “may”, I am sure with the ridership gains we have all been watching that it is highly likely that this will happen.

    Good news indeed. Now we just need KCM and ST to work out which bus route to surface to accommodate the increased frequency. But this is progress.

    1. 6 minute headways are fine.
      2 car only trains until 2020 is not at all fine.

      If they don’t run longer trains in a testing phase, it won’t work when we need it.

      I’d like to hear some kind of rationale for upfront planning to be under capacity (for already lowballed growth estimates) for all of 2018-2020.
      This sounds like some harebrained idea to help sell some future vote, while trainsets bought for east link rust.

      If ST can’t smoothly put longer trainsets in and out of service for peak of peak, then ST needs better engineers.

  4. Six minute headways is awesome news. It pretty well eliminates the transfer penalty, making link useful to people from a much wider range of neighborhoods. Plus it makes excellent use of the investment we’ve made in the track/tunnels/stations

    1. Staff will evaluate the feasibility of at least two bus-rail service integration concepts: Restructuring ST Express Route 586 (Tacoma to UW) to operate via I-5 and the Seneca Street exit to Westlake Station (New Route 591), where connections would be made to the UW via light rail; and a potential restructure of SR-520 bus service that would make connections with light rail at UW Station and begin to develop ridership on the Northgate Link extension.

      So, they promise to look into doing that and maybe extending service to Northgate. No word on how.

      1. Seems like either the 545 could be extended to Northgate and/or the 555/556 could be made all-day routes.

    2. I surely hope not. Or would you like to turn the ridership and financial performance of the 545 into the 542. Riders who want to go towards the U already have the 542, so they can sit on the Montlake ramps and bridge. Seems like most riders want the stops the 545 provides instead.

      Even with I-5 congestion there will not be travel time improvements for riders given the time penalties of Montlake-area congestion and a poorly designed transfer experience. And given the lack of layover space and U-District congestion, it’s hard to imagine that there will be significant service hours saved.

      If you want to be really depressed, compare the 540 to the 255.

      If ST wants to prepare for Northgate service, then send the 542, 540, and/or 555/556 to Northgate via UW Husky station.

      1. Carl,

        You must not have seen the plans for the montlake redesign.
        Its no gold plated flyover (like Yarrow Point), but it is dramatically better for buses.

        The downtown 255/545 and capitol hill 545 ridership will switch to transfer to the UW Link station in a heartbeat, so long as bus frequency is the same.

        The trip in the PM peak from Montlake flyer stop to downtown is routinely 30 minutes.

      2. Oh, I have seen the designs, and that is what gives me worry. There is no transit center at the Husky Stadium station. The expected traffic pattern for buses is that they will turn westbound at NE Pacific St, and then stop across from the UW Medical Center. A transfer to Link will require crossing the Montlake Triangle, then climbing up to an elevated pedestrian bridge, then descending two levels to a mezzanine and then a deep descent to a platform. If exiting Link to catch an eastbound bus you would do the reverse plus have to cross NE Pacific St at a traffic light before catching an eastbound bus directly in front of UW Medical Center. It’s realistic to expect this transfer to take 8-10 minutes. Outside of Peak periods the Montlake Bridge opens on demand for boats twice an hour, so you can add that unpredictable delay.

        That doesn’t yet account for the time it will take a bus to get from 520 over to NE Pacific St. Since there is no plan to build a new bridge, and no plan to make any existing lanes transit only or HOV, all buses will have to use general purpose lanes at least across the bridge.

        Of course no one knows when the Montlake end of 520 will be built since it hasn’t get been funded. So the present configuration is what will be in place in 2016 and for the foreseeable future. It often features backups on the exit ramps and it generally features southbound backups as well. It’s not at all clear to me that when the new design gets built it will be much better for buses. Although general purpose westbound traffic that heads north at Montlake will have a clear shot, the transit route will have a stoplight on the lid for general purpose traffic headed south to cross. Then a second light at Montlake, and then it will basically be in general purpose traffic.

        It’s neither reliable not time-efficient. If the goal was to truncate 520 routes at UW/Husky, instead of having the HOV lanes cross the lid, there should have been a direct flyover from 520 that landed in the stadium parking lot, with stops above the station, and an intersection that had a straight shot to NE Pacific St. I believe that could have been done without needing any land from Montlake, and it could probably allow for both terminating trips at UW Husky or letting them continue into the U-District.

        The actual design is neither passenger-friendly nor operating-efficient for

      3. The original plan was clearly for downtown buses to continue going downtown. But that’s really only relevant for the 545, 255, and peak-hour routes because everything else has already been eliminated. So it’s more an issue of giving the 540s, 542s, and 271s of the world access to Link, which may in turn boost their own ridership, especially if they continue to Northgate creating a new corridor. Come to think of it, wasn’t there a proposal in the last cut scenario to extend the 271 to Northgate? That must be inspired by the same goal.

      4. And, when North Link opens, they could be rerouted to Ballard, and when 45th Link opens they could be rerouted to Lake City.

      5. Having 271, 540 and 542 (and 555/556) connect with Link and beefing them up makes plenty of sense. Although not much needs to change for that beyond consolidating the 555 and 556 so that they both serve the UW Husky station and perhaps make them all day. I wouldn’t call that restructuring SR-520 service, although as others have pointed out SR-520 service isn’t much more than the 255 and 545 (plus 252/257) any more. I think all that’s left if the 268 and 311. I wonder why the 268 wasn’t folded into 545.

      6. I disagree with Carl’s assumption that a restructuring of 520 service would result in an abandonment of downtown-bound riders. I-5 is often severely congested, especially during peak, as it Stewart St., and virtually any street downtown. Even during the off-peak, it routinely takes the 545 a good 15 minutes to get from the Stewart St. exit ramp off of I-5 to the bus stop at 5th and Pine. Even with the transfer penalty, this is about a wash with Link. However, during the peak period, when Link and 520 buses are running most frequently, Montlake bridge openings are disallowed, and congestion on I-5 and downtown is at its worst, the time calculus clearly favors the transfer.

        While there are some aspects about the station design that would make the transfer less than ideal, there are ways to mitigate it. It can think if at least a couple schemes that would even allow stops right in front of the station, at the expense of a couple minutes of travel time for those headed to the western part of the U-district.

        What may ultimately force the issue, though, is the looming closure of Montlake Freeway Station. While buses may eventually be able to stop on top of the Montlake lid, once it’s finally completed, there will inevitably be a period of several years during construction when any bus headed to or from downtown will be unable to stop in Montlake at all. Metro and Sound Transit need to find a solution for what to do here. especially during the off-peak, when there are no service-hours available to run the 255, 540, 542, and 545 together, all-day long, 7 days a week, without severely compromising the frequency of each route. Forcing everybody headed to the UW (or north Seattle in general) to go all the way downtown (and sit in congestion down Stewart St.) is simply not an acceptable solution.

        It should also be noted that WSDOT’s interim plan starting in 2017 does call for Montlake exit ramp to be widened to two lanes. The current plans call for both lanes to be general-purpose lanes, but perhaps a service restructure to send more buses down that ramp could strengthen the case for making of the lanes bus-only. (The primary source of congestion is the exit ramp – once the buses get to Montlake Blvd. itself, it’s slow, but it at least moves).

      7. The scheduled time from the Montlake Freeway station to 5th & Pike ranges from 9 minutes to 18 minutes. During the morning peak it ranges from 9 minutes to 13 minutes. Only between 4pm and 7pm do the scheduled times exceed 13 minutes. People’s perception of how long it takes is often considerably exaggerated, especially if there is an occasional accident or really bad day that colors the perception. It may well take 9-13 minutes for the bus to exit at Montlake, cross the bridge, wait for the signal at NE Pacific, and finally get to the stop, then the walk across the triangle, up the stairs to the bridge, back down to the surface and down to the mezzanine and platform – in most cases other than afternoon peak you’ll be at 5th and Pine before you could board a Link train at UW Husky.

        Metro and Sound Transit will have a service problem when the Montlake Flyer station closes if there is no way for the 255 or 545 to stop at Montlake during the hours that the 540 and 542 don’t run, which is when the travel time to downtown via I-5 is short and reliable and the Montlake Bridge does open. The vast majority of 255 and 545 riders are headed downtown. It’s probably less disruptive for riders to the U-District to transfer to Link or the 71/72/73 at Westlake than force everyone to transfer at UW Husky..

      8. Typical poor to non-existent ST station design. Has anyone ever noticed at the NON bus specific stations (Sounder and LINK), ST buses are an afterthought? Typically not enough bay space, layover space, tight turns, etc.

  5. The projections still show Link running out of standing room during the peak of peak by 2018.

    [obscene self-gratification gesture]

    1. With them planning to run 2 car trains, they’ll have a 48% spare ratio. I’m sure they’ll be able to figure out something to revlieve the overcrowding.

      1. Well, not preparing for the option of 3-car trains certainly seems less than ideal, I will concur.

        On the other hand, given Seattle’s incredibly suburban idea of “personal space”, and given that the peak loads referenced will only be seen in the 120-second stretch between Westlake and Capitol Hill, it doesn’t seem especially callous to suggest that Seattlites should figure out how to move the frack in, and how to negotiate space with their momentary neighbors, for the brief period when headways remain limited and trains remain too short.

      2. What kind of spare ratio is needed? If they can operate with 10% spares, then there are 38% extra cars, and given that the existing trains are 2-cars, they could operate 76% of the trains as 3-car trains, the remaining 25% as 2-car trains, and maintain some spares. So every fourth train is a car short. You could mitigate that in the schedule by operating the short train 5 minutes after its predecessor instead of 6 minutes.

    2. @d.p.

      Have you taken Link southbound during the 5-6PM rush lately? When U-Link opens, the trains won’t just be packed between Capitol Hill and Westlake- there are already a lot of people going to the International District, Beacon Hill, Mount Baker, Columbia City, Othello, and Tukwila stations.

      I usually don’t ride Link at the peak of the peak, but on Thursday night , I got on Link going SB on at University St a bit after 5PM and got off at Beacon Hill, picked up a book at the Beacon Hill Library Branch, then got on another train going SB. At least in the sections I was in, the first train was around 85-90% of being packed full when we left International District Station, and the second train was about 90-95% of being packed full when I got back on at Beacon Hill.

      Maybe I happened to ride on an abnormally busy day, but based on my experience riding earlier and later in the peak hours, I would be surprised if Thursday was too abnormal.

      Yes, I’ve been on trains in Chicago and NYC where people were packed somewhat tighter, but at least on peak-of-peak Link trips, Seattlites are figuring out how to “move the frack in, and how to negotiate space with their momentary neighbors” and adopting a less “incredibly suburban idea of “personal space””, and even so, the trains are approaching the point where ST will need to consider some combination of shorter headways before U-Link opens, and longer trains before Northgate Link opens, especially if double-digit ridership growth continues.

      I can imagine southbound Link trains being truly absolute packed to their theorical maximum load next summer during weekdays from 5-6PM while running at 7.5 minute headways. As Brent has pointed out, this doesn’t mean ST should run trains at 6 minute headways during the whole 3:30-6:30 “peak” period, but it might be necessary to run an extra train or two from 5-6PM.

      1. Yes, I’ve seen the peak-of-peak. You’re lucky if those “declared full” trains see a single person standing in the upper sections, or in the segment between the articulations.

        We ran the math in a prior thread. Seattle’s definition of “packed” has yet to resemble a situation in which there is truly no more boarding capacity.

        Listen, I agree that it is folly not to have a game plan to allow 3-car trains, nor to squeeze an extra run or two onto the core segment (UW-Rainier Valley) at the height of peak. It is also folly to continue to allow multi-minute dwell times on buses — that is the true source of any perceived overcrowding on the next train that follows.

        But I stand by the contention that Capitol Hill-Westlake loads will significantly exceed loads anywhere else on the line, with turnover at Westlake expected to remain significant enough that any train that pulls in from the north will continue southward with a lighter load. The 49 and 43 are uncomfortable and laborious even when empty; I have no doubt that a little uncustomary packing-in will seem a reasonable price to pay to cover the trip in less than two minutes.

      2. d.p. I’m sorry but you are just flat out wrong. This last summer* I’ve had countless trips with half a dozen people in the upper section with me (I always enter the last door of the first car, and head to the upper section*) as well as people standing on the steps. Yes more people could be squeezed in, but when you state that there are hardly any people in the upper sections you display just how out of touch you are with the reality of the situation.

        *It’s calmed down considerably in the last month or so. Now there will only be 2 to 4 people in the upper section.

        **I can get motion sick if not facing forward. The rear section has the highest concentration of forward facing seats in the car. Also there is a high seat to standing room ratio so as people get off the likelyhood of getting a seat are high.

      3. The next time I’m downtown in the peakest peak hour, and not rushing to any particular destination myself, I shall be sure to update my observations. I’ll hop a north-to-south tunnel train — 5:01? 5:15? 5:35? — and watch it fill.

        I’ll be sure to pick one that gets “held due to traffic” before it can even leave Westlake, since that seems to be the real crux of the problem.

        Oh, and I will enter the second car. Because even on trains, Seattle can’t seem to self-distribute to the back.

        But, really… 2 to 6 standees? For a maximum of 14 to 18 passengers? In a section that covers roughly 1/5 of the train car?

        Ladies and gentleman, I think we have found the source of our mid definition of “packed”.

  6. This is the first time that I’ve seen ST give an actual month for the opening of University Link. Previously I’ve only seen “First Quarter of 2016”, now I see on pg 93 of the SIP, “revenue service anticipated to begin with the March 2016 service change.”

    Darn, I was really hoping for January.

  7. So, question about route 580. If its primary purpose is to introduce a timed bus connection from one Sounder station to another Sounder station, what’s the point? Why wouldn’t people just take Sounder all the way? (I can see it being useful to connect with Sounder trips that don’t go all the way to Lakewood, but that’s not 20 trips per day. Unless the plan is to run at least a couple of midday trips during hours when Sounder isn’t running).

    1. It also connects a couple P&Rs Sounder doesn’t serve, so more people have access. That would usually be the local agency’s job, but Pierce County is really not in a position to add new routes, especially routes that are about bypassing Tacoma for Seattle-bound commuters.

      I think it should also be somewhat faster than taking Sounder from Lakewood to Seattle, and certainly compared to backtracking from SR-512 to Lakewood, so it could be a step toward running fewer express buses to Seattle by making Sounder transfers more attractive.

    2. The report gives the reasons. It’s replacing PT 495 (South Hill – Puyallup), and filling in Lakewood service for trains that don’t go all the way to Lakewood.

      Replacing PT is probably just more PT shrinkage and focusing on core all-day service. ST needs a shuttle because Sounder’s existence was predicated on those areas having access to the train, and if they all drove to Puyallup Station it would overwhelm its parking capacity.

    3. Not all Sounder trains go to Lakewood, and I think one of the reasons for its existence is that ST’s own internal policies prevent them from running a service within a city, such as a P&R shuttle like the 495. So in order to meet their own policies they extended the service to Lakewood. From experience the 400/495 connections already are full so this may be a good route for some of the new Artic coaches that ST is getting. In fact, the 400 in the morning already has a ST second section departing from the “Red Lot” before the 400’s arrival. I wonder if this will be retained with the new 580 route. The 580 would also do better by having a couple of “Flyer Stops” added at Pacific Avenue (Connection with the 1) and possibly Canyon Road. This was the downfall of the 585, it made no stops along the 512 corridor in-between South Hill and Lakewood. I’d also think adding a P&R lot on Puyallup’s South Hill (160th or 176th Street) and running a feeder from there would also be beneficial.

  8. I’ll be interested to hear about “the mysteriously conservative revenue forecasting”-

    It’s odd that ST expects Link’s fare revenue to fall by about 12% from 2014 to 2015, then return to 2014 levels in 2016, even while forecasting ridership to increase by 5.5% from 2014 to 2015, then by 42% from 2015 to 2016. (Tables 16 and 18)

    1. Perhaps ST expects to lose some money from implementing the low-income fare, even with the fare increase on non-low-income riders. I suspect this is an instance of conservative budgeting, though, as Metro and ST only have a ballpark idea how many riders will qualify for the low-income fare.

      Failure to implement the low-income fare would probably result in a larger hit to fare revenue, as riders divert to cheaper but slower (and therefore more expensive to operate) Metro bus service.

      1. My guess was that it had something to do with the low-income fare, but my impression was, at least for Metro, the combination of creating a low-income fare and raising the standard fair by 25 cents was supposed to be revenue-neutral. It just be that ST is being prudently conservative in budgeting here though.

  9. Given the number of bus routes that are short of capacity and need immediate action, isn’t it insane that ST continues to operate 40-45 foot coaches between Lakewood/Tacoma and downtown Seattle that overlap with Sounder?

    Route 592 only has productivity of 16 boardings/revenue hour and 13 passenger miles/platform mile with a subsidy of $10.27 per boarding.

    Route 590 is 23 boardings/revenue hour and 16 passenger miles/platform mile and a subsidy of $6.46 boarding

    Route 594 is 17 boardings/revenue hour and 20 passenger miles/platform mile and a subsidy of $6.66 per boarding

    Put those passengers on Sounder instead. Only operate into Seattle when Sounder isn’t running. If you need to make it fare-neutral address that instead of running duplicate service.

    Then put these service hours into overcrowded routes with higher productivity.

    1. ST is locked into providing those trips on the 592 from and to Olympia for another year, due to an agreement with Intercity Transit. IT is just paying for the portion from Olympia to Lakewood. Er, rather, the state is paying for that extension, since IT did the work to get a mobility grant. I hope the 592 gets reduced to simply running when Sounder is not running from/to Lakewood, once the agreement expires.

      My vote is to just send the 590 and 594 all the way to the Seneca St exit, rather than doing the SODO crawl. Want to go to the south end of downtown? Take Sounder.

      Sending the 594 to Seneca St, and adding the stop at Federal Way, ought to be a wash or better for travel time. The 512 has been a success so far, so why not apply the same treatment to Federal Way and Tacoma?

      When Angle Lake Station opens, just send the 595 that far, Gig Harbor, which doesn’t pay sales tax into ST, is getting a gravy deal only paying for the cost of the 595 to get to Tacoma Community College. Er, rather Gig Harbor is getting a gravy deal having Pierce County pay for that extension. I’m fine providing that extension, but for ST to pay for it the rest of the way to Seattle is not really fair to those communities that do pay sales tax to ST, and aren’t getting an express route to the far end of the ST service area.

      1. This is indeed in the plans, albeit for a replacement of the 586, not the 590s. The new ‘591’ would go Tacoma Dome straight to the Seneca exit and serve Westlake, like the short-turn 577s do today. I’d love to see them serve SLU too.

      2. PT pays for the extension of the 595 to Gig Harbor out of local funds, or at least used to since the route existed before ST took over funding of the service. One of the reasons the 594 does not serve FWTC is there is little extra capacity to spare on those routes (when I seem to ride that is). Ideally, the off-peak I-5 route network would get a full re-structure and conversion into a BRT like operation and frequency, however I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

    2. Carl, using pax per hour to measure the effectiveness of commuter service is entirely inappropriate. Try using passengers per trip and tell me how underutilized those routes are.

      1. I fully recognize that these buses may carry full seated loads. It’s 40 and 45 foot coaches that may only do a single revenue run in an entire part-time shift. It’s crazy expensive to operate, and it’s crazy to self-cannibalize by competing with Sounder (which has very low marginal cost/rider) and under-pricing it to boot.

        Pax per platform hour is an entirely valid measure of the productivity of providing transit service. You can redeploy service hours that are generating 13 riders/hour to overcrowded routes that generate 45 riders/hour, then you provide service to three times as many riders at the same cost. And you don’t leave the riders high and dry since there is a parallel service.

      2. You also have to look at overall system capacity. Sounder cannot absorb any more extra riders without extra trips and cars. And if you were to eliminate the peak 590/592 service you would have to double or even triple the number of trains to accommodate, something that would be very expensive as it would require adding yard capacity, adding equipment, and buying more track time from BNSF, who themselves are short of capacity. I have a personal suspicion that ST thought they could migrate riders over to Sounder fifteen years ago, however both services kept growing (Sounder attracted riders that would not ride the bus, and bus riders who were happy stayed with the bus), which is why the original vision for ST included all this mid-day two way service that never came to be.

      3. Are the trains currently completely full? If they are, you can add cars to existing trains. ST is gradually increasing trips already. The incremental cost per rider – real cash, not allocating a fixed cost – should be much lower on Sounder than on adding a 40-45 foot coach which can only do a single revenue run in a shift.

  10. I’m skeptical of the 580 route. It seems like a re-hashing of the old poor-performing 585 line. Wouldn’t most riders want the one seat ride from Lakewood to Seattle on the 592 or Sounder instead of transferring at Puyallup?

    As for the 2016-2020 changes:
    – 6 min peak headways on Link are a welcome change.
    – Route 574 stop at 200th St doesn’t seem like it will change travel times too much. Not sure how much ridership it will attract, but perhaps it’s worth it.
    – Route 591 is a good idea too. Not only does it have the possibility of replacing the 586, it can utilize a good amount of the resources of Route 590 for riders who want access to the north end of Downtown.
    – SR 520 construction will require closure of the Montlake Station. It is important to modify the 271 route to serve Evergreen Point and Yarrow Point to allow transfers between the Downtown and the UW bound lines.
    – East Link construction will be interesting too. Considering the direct connectors to I-90 will be closed, the 550 should be bumped up to the surface and restructured to use I-405 to Bellevue instead of Bellevue Way.

    All the big restructures in the North and East will happen in 2021 and 2023. So we won’t get any mention of that from ST until next year at the earliest, there are a lot of possibilites:

    In 2021,

    – Truncate Route 512 (and perhaps all Snohomish County expresses) at Northgate. May or may not be possible, depending on capacity at the Northgate bus loop.
    – Truncate Route 522 (and Metro 306/312) at Roosevelt Station.

    In 2023,

    – Truncate Route 512 and all Snohomish County expresses at Lynnwood.
    – Reallocate Route 545 resources to Route 542.
    – Eliminate Route 550.
    – Combine 554, 555, 556 and Metro 271 into 1 line serving Issaquah, Eastgate, South Bellevue, Bellevue, SR 520, and UW.

    What’s missing from the picture is the South Sound restructure. I think that there are a lot of changes that could be healthy for the structure of the network here as well.

    – Routes 577 and 594 combined to provide a 15-minute frequency off peak line between Seattle, Federal Way, Tacoma, and Lakewood. The stops in SODO and Downtown Tacoma should be eliminated to improve travel times.
    – Route 578 modified to provide a fast connection between Seattle, Southcenter (?), Kent, Auburn, Sumner, and Puyallup every 20-30 minutes.
    – When the Link extension is opened to Federal Way, the 574 can be combined into the new 594.

    1. I just posted the reasons for the 580 above. It’s to replace a PT shuttle route, and to provide a Lakewood – Puyallup connection for trains that don’t go all the way to Lakewood (they terminate at Tacoma Dome).

      ST and CT have already indicated they’ll truncate all express routes at Lynnwood or Mountlake Terrace. Not Northgate. That would doubtless require more layover space and exit-ramp enhancements that would only be used for two years. The 550 was always intended to go away with East Link, and ST and Metro are in negotiations with Mercer Island about truncating the remaining I-90 routes there.

      The 522 is a different animal. ST has not said what it intends to do with it, and will probably keep mum until 2019 or 2021. It’s like the 150 and 101: far enough away from Link that it’s debatable whether it should be truncated. And if it is truncated, where? It could be 145th, or 130th, or Northgate, or Roosevelt.

      “Combining” the 271 with ST Express s possible only if Metro gives ST the 271’s subsidy, or ST has enough extra funds absorb the cost itself. ST did absorb earlier downtown-Issaquah routes and downtown-Bothell routes, but that was when ST was in a major expansion, not a revenue-neutral change.

    2. I think the 580 is geared to those who live on south hill and also need access to lakewood station.

      As far as the 578 restructure I’m not sure it would be a good idea. Where’s the money for it? It would extend both 578 and 594 to unacceptably long routes unnecessarily. Kent and Tukwila both have sounder service and kent has good st express service to Bellevue and overlake. So the question is where’s the money for the 578?

      Kent needs it’s own express bus service. The 578 revision thst everyone is pushing for would take too many resources away from south king subarea that are needed to make much needed improvements in the area. Like light rail and sounder.

    3. Actually, given that PT has withdrawn from Sumner and Bonney Lake a few years ago, I wonder if restoring a 585 type route from Bonney Lake to Tacoma hourly in the off-peak would get appreciable ridership. Route 578 could also be truncated at Sumner, with timed transfers to Tacoma and Bonney lake. Peak service could be taken care of by Sounder and the existing 595.

      It would be nice if this was on the table, because I really think this route could do pretty well now that PT doesn’t provide any redundant service at all east of Puyallup. I could also see route 400 being truncated or deleted if ST does this, meaning that PT could partially fund this route.

      1. Oops… meant 582. In case you’re confused. Come to think of it, the proposed 580 is a lot like the old 585.

    4. As for the South end, If the money was available, I think the 578 should have its terminus changed from Puyallup to Bonney Lake, Then extend the 577 to Puyallup’s South Hill (160th/176th) roughly paralleling the 402 route. Both services have 30 minute headways for a combined 15min from FWTC to Seattle. On-top of that I’d re-add the 582 back, albeit extended further into Bonney Lake to a new P&R on the east side of town (a church or something) to provide a modicum of transit service to the rest of Bonney Lake (realizing of course ST is about regional connectivity vs., local service – something that seems inconsistently planned). Of course the 577 would make “Major” stops en-route. Milton, and Major stops along meridian (although it would serve the red-lot and SH P&R all day, and probably continue along 9th to 136th at least to avoid the traffic).

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