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.