Route 70: 15 Minute Service, 7 Days Per Week, 6am-Midnight (Atomic Taco – Flickr)

[Correction: In the original post I incorrectly stated that Routes 522 and 577 were only gaining 2 trips and 1 trip, respectively. They are actually gaining 3 trips each during peak periods. The table below has been updated.]

While June’s Prop-1 funded transit service additions were welcome and badly needed, many of them were the unsexiest of fixes: more layover time, schedule stretching for reliability, added trips here or there. But beginning next Saturday, Prop 1 will fully be in effect, and if you care about spontaneous mobility through frequent transit it’s truly a red-letter day. Beginning September 26, Seattle will be the closest it’s ever been to being a place where you can count on frequent transit service, 7 days per week.

In another ‘growth dividend’, the booming regional economy is also enabling Metro to add service on its own, doing things such as boosting Rapid Ride E from 12 minute service to 10 minutes. Read the whole package here, but below are some highlights of what you have to look forward to:

More Link Service: Sound Transit will run 25% more peak-hour trains, arriving every 6 minutes instead of every 7.5 minutes. To make room in the tunnel, routes 76, 77, 216, 218, 219, and 316 will move to surface streets. All Issaquah service will now share a common pathway on 2nd/4th avenues.

No More ‘Reduced Weekday’ Service: Buses will now run regular weekday service on minor holidays such as Veteran’s Day, the Day After Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, MLK Day, and Presidents Day. That means more service on routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 33, 36, 40, 41, 43, 44, 50, 56, 60, 64, 70, 76, 77, 124, 131, 132, 522, 540, 542, 545, 550, 554, 555, 556, 560, 566, 577, and 578.

Massive Systemwide Frequency Upgrades: Most core routes will now feature frequent service on Saturdays, and many (such as 5, 21, 40, 41) will have frequent Sunday service too. The 70-series gets a huge boost and is simplified, with the 70 running frequently 7 days per week, and the 71/72/73 becoming full-time express routes. There’s even brand new service that doesn’t exist today, such as Saturday service on Route 67 and Sunday service on Route 68.

Many other small changes are in store too. Community Transit will not add any service, but will stretch its peak commuter schedules at a cost of $2M, strictly due to congestion on I-5. Sounder schedules will stretch a bit to account for Positive Train Control, providing later departures for the 4 daily trains that originate/terminate in Tacoma rather than Lakewood. Downtown Seattle layovers and peak alignments will shift significantly, with many routes no longer using Stewart St, different routes using 9th/Pine for layover, and more. Please check your route to be aware of your specific changes.

But the overall picture is more transit for more people, and we’re just getting started. Consider this your pre-ULink appetizer, and thank you to Seattle voters for approving Prop 1.

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137 Replies to “More Trains, More Buses: September 26th is a Historic Day for Seattle’s Transit”

  1. They still didn’t fix the schedules on the 70, so you can expect to stand out in the winter wondering where your bus is. Riders need to put pressure on to have realistic schedules, because that is the only way to get reliable service.

  2. “Seattle routes with added, restored or revised service, or adjustments to improve on-time reliability: 1, 2, 5, 5E, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15E, 16, 17E, 18E, 19, 21, 21E, 24, 25, 26, 26E, 27, 28, 28E, 29, 31, 32, 33, 37, 40, 41, 43, 44, 47, 48, 49, 55, 56, 57, 60, 64E, 66E, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74E, 76, 83 Night Owl, 99, 120, 125 and the RapidRide C & D lines. In addition, the Proposition 1-funded Regional Partnership program is helping fund new commuter Route 630 from Mercer Island into Downtown. – See more at: http://murray.seattle.gov/seattle-celebrates-largest-metro-expansion-in-40-years/#sthash.PiDuow5m.dpuf

    When it was passed (and proposed to voters) it included the 15,17,18, 21, 64, and 66 Express services which aren’t listed above, when will we see service enhancements?

    1. The 66 is listed above, gaining early morning and late night trips. The 15, 17, 18, 21, and 64 were included in June’s rollout (see here.

  3. Metro 903 will be replacing PT 62 in NE Tacoma. PT has not yet issued any schedule changes, including for the very obvious change of dropping route 62, dropping the ball, as usual.

    1. Yeah, I don’t like how not obvious some of this info is. For example, not all trips on the 903 are extended; only a handful of morning peak and evening peak ( weekdays only) are extended.

      For people who use the 62 now, most of their bases are covered. They can get to downtown faster with the timed connection to the 63, and if they used the 62 to go to S. Federal Way, 903 was redundant with 62 in most of that area.

      But yeah, it’s not terribly obvious that the 62 is going away.

      1. Pierce Transit is paying Metro for the incremental cost. It makes sense, too, given that the current 62 is spending about half its time in King County.

  4. The 13 looks like it already has 30-minute Saturday night headways until ~11:30pm. Maybe Metro is adding 1-2 late night trips, but I don’t think that is particularly useful.

    Frequency is improving from 60->30 on Sunday mornings (6am-9am) and Sunday night (after ~10:00pm), however.

  5. I still find it strange that the 76 and 77 have been separated from the 71/72/73/74 out of the tunnel. I suppose this way makes sense that all the buses serving the Ave stay together. But it means that someone trying to go from downtown –> Wedgwood at rush hour has to choose between the 64/76 on 4th Ave and the 71/74 in the tunnel, especially strange because once you hit NE 65th Street, the 71 and 76 are identical. Though at least this way the 64 and 76 can share some of the same stops downtown before serving NE 65th together.

    It’s great that 25th Ave NE finally gets Sunday service with the 68, but there is a quirk – assuming the specific times listed on Onebusaway are accurate, the 68 will now have more service on weekends than on weekdays. Weekdays, the last 68 leaves UW for Northgate at 6pm. Weekends, the 68 runs past 7.

    But overall, I’m happy with the improvements. Getting rid of all local 71/72/73s and getting 15 minute Sunday frequency on the 41 will be good.

    1. I agree, the tunnel choices are unfortunate, and they seem to be political. The 255 hardly benefits from the tunnel and would be better with all other SR 520 service on 4th/5th, but it was kept in there. The 71/76 should be together to provide a common path to NE 65th, but were separated. At least the 76/316 will be together using Pike St, keeping a common pathway to Green Lake P&R.

      1. Zach, I suggest you make time these next few weeks to personally observe actual DSTT operating results when a joint use system that’s never been able to handle current rush hour headways has to cope with shorter ones.

        Guarantee you’ll wish you were doing your reporting clinging to a palm tree in Florida in three hundred mile an hour winds. Today’s worries about commuting to Wedgwood or Route 40 schedule performance will be forgotten by bus passengers desperate to reach their outbound portal before the end of the eon.

        That’s why STB needs its best journalist on-site. All you’ve got to do is find a cartoonist who is the reincarnation of WWII’s Bill Mauldin. Communications will be dicey, but past DSTT upsets have featured clouds of pigeons fleeing the tubes. So all you have to do is grab one and tie dispatches to it.

        First transit blog to get the Pulitzer.

        Mark Dublin

    2. The 71 is so much slower than the 76, I would hardly call the two routes a “common path to 65th”. At least the 76 will still be using the Pike St. exit, rather than sitting in traffic on Stewart.

      1. Is there that big a difference? The 76 is faster, but it can get stuck in some pretty bad traffic getting back on I-5 after 45th Street.

        Looking at a timetable:
        71 leaves University St station 5:23, arrives 65th/35th 5:59 = 36 minutes
        76 leaves University St station 5:25, arrives 65th/35th 5:54 = 29 minutes
        64 leaves 4th/University 5:33, arrives 65th/35th 6:05 = 32 minutes.
        I’d consider those all broadly comparable, especially with how unreliable the 70-series buses are about being on time..

        Though on further inspection, apparently the 64 and 76 will be taking different routes through downtown to I-5, so the only stop they’ll share is University and 4th. So there will be 3 different routes to get to NE 65th, all using different stops.

      2. I got on the 76 yesterday in the tunnel at 6:30p and there was a 71 directly in front of it. When I got off the 76 at 65th & 15th, guess which bus was waiting to turn right onto 65th? I was quite surprised to see identical trip times but on the schedule it’s a 27 min trip for the 71 vs 24 min for the 76. I’m sure the 71 is more prone to delays, however, especially once UW is in session.

      3. All is not lost. U-Link will end that long slog on I-5 for tens of thousands of commuters. But the county council needs to vote Yes on the restructure so that there are enough buses, going to as many neighborhood destinations as possible, within walking distance of UW Station to carry them the rest of the way.

        I’m now feeling guilty that I talked up having more service on route 76, when worsening freeway congestion and U-Link (plus a little help from the county council) will probably turn these runs into ghost buses.

      4. That’s what I wondered at first too, but given the similar scheduled run times, and the fact that the NE 7th, the I-5 mainline, and the Ravenna exit ramp were all going pretty slow while the Ave was probably moving smoothly, it had to be the same one.

    3. “assuming the specific times listed on Onebusaway are accurate, the 68 will now have more service on weekends than on weekdays. Weekdays, the last 68 leaves UW for Northgate at 6pm. Weekends, the 68 runs past 7.”

      This is probably to compensate for the fact that weekday runs are supplemented by the 372, while on weekends, the 68 is the only service along 25th. Really, though, 7 PM is still too early to stop service on 25th. If a choice must be made, I would rather give up some early morning trips in exchange for service later into the evening. There are far more people visiting Northgate and the U-Village at 8 o’clock on a Saturday evening than 7 o’clock on a Saturday morning.

  6. This will be great indeed. Looking forward to a nearly complete Rapid Ride frequency for the 40. I hope we can pass the move Seattle levy too so we can see appropriate infrastructure investments too.

    The frequency boosts to E Line were unexpected but very welcome. :-)

  7. I assume that this schedule’s been built to accommodate the start of “full-service simulation” burn-in testing at some point; does anybody know when that is supposed to begin?

    1. If you mean when will the expected dwell times actually be simulated, the tunnel was closed for the weekend to do that a few months ago.

      But we don’t really know for sure until U-Link actually opens for service. And then it will be quite crowded and sloggy until the March Metro restructure pushes routes 71, 72, and 73 out of the tunnel, leaving just eight bus routes in the tunnel. Metro could administratively decide to move any route upstairs (except ST Express 550) to unjam tunnel traffic, so don’t be caught off guard if 71-73 end up upstairs for a few weeks in 2016.

      1. Brent, your mission, should you accept it, is to see what happened to Zach. Mainly, be sure “Apocalypse” is spelled right. “Now” will be difficult to define. But he zombie part will fit in fine, though passengers will have to be high speed ones like in the Brad Pitt movie.

        The slow underpaid-sugar-cutting Haitian ones should be safe so long as they’re kept to Routes 7 and 44. Speaking of which, this would have been much better action scene if Tunnel buses still had trolley poles.


  8. These charts make it seem like Prop 1 is funding all of the changes in Seattle and Metro is alone funding all non- Seattle changes. Is that correct? If so, does that mean Metro is short changing Seattle by not adding even more service to Seattle?

    1. I’m not sure of that answer, but the non-supplantation clause of Prop 1 would prohibit those sort of antics. The chart (my own) splits the services the way Metro does on their site, and don’t underestimate the service hour impact of 10-minute service on Rapid Ride E relative to the non-Seattle service listed.

    2. Some of the improvements are funded by WSDOT mobility grants, as listed on the links for each route. I’d list them here, but I have a paying job to run to.

  9. This answer is probably really obvious, but I’m bad at math, so bear with me. As a former QA resident, when the late night northbound 2, which currently runs every 30 minutes and carries about 7 or 8 people … when it’s frequency is cut in half to every 15 minutes, will each late night trip then have half the number of riders of around 3 or 4 passengers?

    1. More frequency tends to lead to more people trusting the service as a viable route to and from work. Induced demand at work.

      1. The regular bus stops at 3rd between Pine and Pike reopen at the same time with their new “security enhancements”. We’ll see how much less crime there is.

    2. I don’t think QA needs more evening service on the 2/3/4. The tails don’t see much night ridership. If I’m interpreting this right, Taylor will have 7.5 minute frequency on Saturday evenings. That is the rush-hour service level, but QA is hardly a nightlife destination.

      I like the 13 additions (though as I posted above, it seems to already have ~30-minute Saturday evening headways) because the 13 was at painful 60-minute headways on Sunday mornings. The 13 has the most important catchment areas and has SPU at its tail, which provides some off-peak demand. It could probably better use the service hours than the other QA routes.

      1. Alex, transit advocates would say spending money inefficiently or wastefully on more frequency on sparsely ridden trips is a good thing because it will draw more people to transit.

      2. The frequency increase is probably for the head segments, and the tails just came along for the ride because Metro didn’t want to do another restructure at the same time. Like the 12, which is probably more about adding service to Madison than for 19th Avenue. Prop 1 was rather rushed because it was approved in November and service had to start in June to show voters they’re getting something for their money, and it also contained a provision recommending that the highest priority was restoring existing routes that were cut. Then there’s the fact that short turnback runs require a turnback and layover space, and sometimes the cost of adding that wipes out the gains of not going all the way to the original terminus. Plus there was the U-Link restructure up in the air, which was in early planning when the Prop 1 hours were assigned.

      3. In the case of the 2N tail, I’d argue that more 13s would be a better use of the money because of the SPU and Queen Anne Avenue demand. Same trunk route, but a much busier tail for the 13 than the 2N.

        Maybe I’m missing something since I moved away, but I don’t see any demand on the 3/4 to require rush hour levels service on Saturday night. 15-minute headways should be sufficient, considering the route passes exactly 0 businesses that are open Saturday nights between Queen Anne Avenue/Boston and the bottom of the hill.

  10. I like how the Issaquah peak expresses were surfaced. No more gambling whether the street or the tunnel will get you home faster if you commute from Issaquah.

    1. Yes, but it ruined my idea for an app: “Tunnel Or Surface – There’s An App For That!”.

    1. Should have happened years ago, but better late than never!

      After those 6 months, I still want an aggressive reorg, especially for those who suffer from ‘express’ service that really means a slow crushloaded slog down Eastlake and Stewart in mixed traffic. From 65th/35th, the reverse peak 71X comes every 30 minutes and takes 40 minutes at 5pm to get to Westlake. It’s extremely popular service, but it’s not good service, and to me that distinction is crucial. Route 65 -> Link would take 14 minutes to Stevens Way, 5 minutes to walk to UW Station, 3 minutes average wait, and 8 minutes on Link = 30 minutes. Even after accounting for all the flaws at Montlake, that combo is still 10 minutes faster, with the bus leg twice as frequent and the train leg five times as frequent.

      1. Zach, it would NOT be “crush-loaded” on Eastlake any longer. Everybody on campus will walk to Link. Except maybe for folks at the Law School it’s little farther to Husky than to a stop on the Ave or in many cases actually closer. So they’ll definitely go for the frequent quick Link trains. Which would mean that crowding on the 7X’s down Eastlake would evaporate immediately.

        Especially in the evening this will be VERY UNPOPULAR. Montlake and Pacific is far from anywhere folks would feel comfortable waiting for the bus. Sure, riders in the know will time their arrival on Link to the nearest train before a connecting bus or tarry in the station, but they’ll still have to stand there by a six lane arterial for a few minutes because most buses won’t be laying over there.

        As I said above, I could live with eliminating the 71 and 72, because they serve areas directly north of Husky Stadium. Give more hours to the north-south buses on 25th and 35th and you’ve given them a great alternative. But the corridor west of 20th over to the freeway is much more heavily populated and deserves to have direct downtown service.

        SDOT recognizes this; soon after everyone in the corridor is forced to transfer the City will fire up Roosevelt BRT, and the folks will switch to it en masse instead of putting up with the ride a mile and transfer option you’ll be forcing on them.

        Once Brooklyn and Roosevelt are open so it’s not a crappy place they have to transfer and maybe they just walk on a nice day, SURE, chop the 73 back to a shuttle. But not yet.

      2. And if Stewart gives unacceptable travel times use the new reserved lanes that will be on Westlake and the SLUT tracks along Valley. They’re paved, presumably thickly enough for buses to use since the concreate is encasing track support pads that are at least three inches thick and there’s a four to six inch slab under them.

        Then follow the C Line and 40 to Third Avenue.

        Voila! Full time express service to Amazon and the new towers being built along Westlake from Northeast Seattle.

      3. Roosevelt BRT is for the circulation demand on Roosevelt and around it, and secondarily as a partial local Link shadow. There’s an argument that Roosvelt/Eastlake is underserved now and could have significantly higher ridership with a full-time frequent route. That’s separate from whatever happens on 15th or University Way or Link. High-ridership cities have parallel frequent routes every half mile, and they’re all full. So likely the same would happen with BRT on Roosevelt and the 45 on 15th. Because that doesn’t exist yet, people aren’t taking transit as much as they would: they find it too much of a hassle so they drive or go to another location or forego the trip, or they take transit part of the day but not all the day.

      4. Mike,

        I don’t think we disagree on the need for a bus from the corridor between 15th NE and Fifth NE (I-5) to go downtown. Eventually Roosevelt BRT will be that bus, but it’s not coming until what 2019 or so? And two years later comes Link to Northgate. In the meantime EVERY Metro bus from north of 50th and south of Northgate Way in that corridor except the 16 extension (62) is planned to divert back east a half mile and dump people at Husky Stadium. Now southbound that’s not the end of the world; the rider crosses takes the hike across the landbridge, heads down to the platform and waits an average of five minutes. But northbound it is because (yes, beating a worn-out drum), ST did not do what it needed to do to make it a decent transfer.

        Now maybe UW was so stony-faced about “those people” that ST just threw up its corporate hands and said “OK, OK, OK. They can cross the street and stand on that narrow sidewalk. They’re only bus riders and the buses don’t have our logos on ’em.”

        Once Link is open the flood of students getting on south of 45th will wane and having a semi-express run through Maple Leaf and Jackson Park that turns into a “real” express at the University Bridge will be a good supplement to the FS bus on Roosevelt (67) which goes to Husky. Maybe you make it only stop where the 373 stops. Whatever it takes to make it attractive, there are a lot of people north of 50th who will appreciate having it and folks in the U District who will appreciate its “expressness”. Especially at night.

        Look at the contortions Metro went through to serve 15th to the north and Roosevelt/12th to the south of 65th. Both buses

        Bluntly put, it’s sadistic to create ten minute 6:00 AM to midnight seven days a week express service from 65th and 15th NE (and 20 minuteto downtown and then six months later to wipe it all away!

        And one last thing; according to the interactive map, the 73 will stop on Stevens Way along with the 373. The 67, the “frequent service bus in the area” will travel on Pacific and lay over at the Triangle garage. So there will be no opportunity to take the “first bus” of two except at the peaks when the 373 runs.

        Given the propinquity of the 73 and 67 the 73 should be kept as an Eastlake express; let it be a preview of Roosevelt BRT. Give people in that dense corridor a choice and, if it went via the Westlake bus lane it would give direct access to Amazon and the other new big towers along Westlake from the U District and north.

      5. “Eventually Roosevelt BRT will be that bus, but it’s not coming until what 2019 or so?”

        I don’t think it’s scheduled, and it’s not funded yet. The schedule depends on the funding. I wouldn’t call it “soon”.

        I ride the 71/72/73X at least five days a week, and often take it or a transfer as far as 50th or 65th or occasionally Lake City. The express one-seat ride you speak of is not excellent. It’s almost half an hour to 45th, and an hour to Lake City, and the places in between are mostly 30-40 minutes. Link will almost match the fastest I-5 runs when there’s no traffic. (I’ve taken it throughout the day, so I’ve experienced all the different traffic conditions.) The detour to UW Station is ten blocks at most, and I have moderate hope SDOT will keep it free from traffic jams. Even if there are still occasional traffic jams, that’s much better than the 71/72/73 experience on I-5, Eastlake, Stewart Street, 9th Avenue, or in the DSTT — which are every weekday, with a major traffic jam at least once a month.

        The new evening trips after 7pm are when Pacific Street and the U-District are least crowded, so you’ll barely notice the detour.

        Roosevelt BRT is an alternative mainly for trips between 40th and 80th. It will secondarily go downtown, but I don’t think many people at 50th or 65th will take it that way. For trips from Roosevelt to Eastlake or SLU, Link and the 7x don’t serve at all, either now or in September or March, so they’re irrelevant.

  11. Things are finally beginning to happen.

    The 6 min headways for Link is great news.A 25% increase in capacity is nothing to sneeze at. Can hardly wait for 2016 and U-Link.

    And when the DSTT closes to buses in 2017/18 ST can start to get really creative with LR. Good news all around.

    1. Yeah, there is going to be a significant ridership bump with the move to six minute service. Not sure how they are going to achieve it though even after dropping a few routes — the bus tunnel is backed up during every single rush hour.

      Any insight on why ST is only expecting a bump of 17k weekday riders for U-Link/Angle lake in 2017? I thought it was a mistake when I saw it in Lindblom’s piece today. We found out it wasn’t a mistake when we asked him about it – they are expecting a VERY slow behavioral change, I guess.

      Bold prediction: That estimate is off by a multiple.

      1. The projection probably assumes no changes to the bus network. If the bus network doesn’t change, connecting to Link becomes more of a hassle than taking the slow slog down Eastlake to downtown, so behavior’s won’t change.

      2. There were two other mistakes in the article, BTW. The Times has a correction today: “The trains carried an average 40,442 passengers per weekday in July, not weekly as the article stated.” It also says, “[The article] incorrectly state that trains will run without passengers to the University of Washington Station starting September 28. The trains won’t go that far until December.”

  12. These changes are great, but I’m a little disappointed not to see any extension of hours on the 8. Capitol Hill and LQA are both pretty busy areas at night. Currently the last 8 runs around 12:15/12:30. If the 8s ran a little later, at least past bar closing time, I suspect it would be well-used, and probably cut down on some drinking and driving as well.

    1. I continue to be baffled by how little Metro seems to care about improvements to the 8. Even the U Link restructure will only add a handful of midday trips. Nothing new in peak, nothing new in evenings, nothing new in weekends.

      Your point is slightly addressed: weekend span of service extends by 1 hour from midnight to 1AM. No change in span on weekdays though.

      Maybe after it gets split at Mount Baker it will be easier to add more trips.

    2. Night service in Seattle is abysmal. Is Metro colluding with Uber to force everyone with a social life to take a cab?

    3. Hardly any regular routes run past bar closing time, though. It’s not just the 8.

      I think the DUI risk is greater with people coming from areas with not much transit service at all, or from much further away, not driving from Lower Queen Anne to Capitol Hill. A decent percentage of the close-in residents don’t have cars at all.

      1. I’m painfully aware how crappy all the night service is. That doesn’t seem like a reason not to improve it. Unlike a lot of routes, that corridor seems like it would actually have a lot of ridership in the wee hours.

        You’re right that a lot of those folks might not have cars. That’s all the more reason they need some night service. Plus you’ve got people travelling back to other places from both LQA and CH–that’s probably where more of the DUI risk is.

      2. Forget about running the buses past the 2 AM bar closing time. Half-hourly service on the 8 as early as 7 PM on a Saturday night is pathetic for a core route so close to the city center.

        The connection between the Monorail and Link, as an alternative to the 8, should, in theory, have some appeal, as both ends are frequent, and completely immune to traffic woes. Unfortunately, the monorail still requires cash fare, and has no OneBusAway support. And the integration with Link on the Westlake end is not as good as one would like – going up and down all those escalators between the Monorail and the transit tunnel eats up a good several minutes, in and of itself.

    4. It’s not that Metro doesn’t care about the 8, it’s that it has a limited number of hours and it assigned them to higher-priority corridors, and it ran out of hours when it got to the 8 evenings and nights. This shows that Prop 1 is a significant improvement but it’s not the final answer. Other cities like Chicago and San Francisco have 5-10 minute daytime service and 20-minute evenings on their frequent routes every half mile, and 30-minute night owls every mile. So we have a long way to go before we reach comprehensive transit and maximum ridership.

      But every time I mention night owl, people scream with convultions that it’s a waste of hours, or should only be on Friday and Saturday. Metro can’t expand night owls while the daytime service has so many holes. But hopefully it will be able to in the future.

      1. On the other hand, the 8 is such a colossal waste of money during peak that maybe it’s better not to add service. I know today is a particularly bad day, but according to Metro’s tracker the 8 s headed East are 30 – 50 minutes late before they even get to Aurora. They’re 20 – 30 minutes late before even trying to turn onto Denny from Queen Anne Ave (a backup that also affects the 1, 2, 13, and RapidRide D/C).

        SDOT’s transit money would be much better spent on capital improvements on Denny, or on other routes.

      2. David,

        I find your comments about the 8 most interesting given the Metro restructure that is in the hands of the County Council.

        1. What does the Route 8 gain by going up East Madison versus East John/Thomas?
        2. What is to be gained by having the 11 go down Olive which gets the bus in the Denny mess overflow?
        3. What is going to happen to the 43 hours that will be available after the route is cancelled? Why is Metro adding service in now only to be eliminated 6 months later?
        4.Is there a loss of accountability for the Prop 1 funding after the restructure? Based on comments in the STB the 43 hours are needed for the 11.

      3. It’s not a colossal waste. People pack the 8 full even though it’s 30 minutes late and crawls, because it’s better than walking up the hill. And as for walking down the hill, if you walk from Broadway to Seattle Center it takes 45 minutes.

      4. “Why is Metro adding service in now only to be eliminated 6 months later?”

        (1) Because the June and September assignments were made at the beginning of the year when Metro was just starting to decide about the U-Link restructure and didn’t know which way it would go. (2) They didn’t want to do a restructure in June or September, they just wanted to get the hours out there, and then deal with the U-Link restructure and whatever other changes happen next year.

        I don’t know where the Prop 1 hours are in the restructure. Metro should tell us because we need to know what the base network is: what will be left when Prop 1 expires.

      5. I totally concur and have asked the same question. Metro needs to held accountable by the City of Seattle so that they use the funds for the benefit of Seattle bus riders!

      6. Metro should tell us because we need to know what the base network is: what will be left when Prop 1 expires.

        Does it really matter? When Prop One expires – if it’s not renewed – presumably Metro can do a restructure based on the lower number of service hours.

        (And regarding the 8, I agree that Seattle’s money can be better spent on route improvements. Though, would significant improvements to Denny really be worth it, given that it could probably move to Thomas as soon as the Deeply Boring Tunnel is finished? How long are they now predicting for that?)

      7. “What is to be gained by having the 11 go down Olive which gets the bus in the Denny mess overflow?”

        (1) It replaces the Pine-Olive-John service that was lost with the 43. (2) It connects Madison Park directly to Capitol Hill Station. (3) It gives double-frequency in the segment between Summit Ave and 28th Ave. (4) It’s a compromise between all the contradictory ridership markets.

      8. And what replaces the gap on East Madison/East Pine from 19th Avenue West, and please don’t tell me the 12? Oh and BTW, what are you going to tell the handicapped riders who transfer at 17 going east ad west. Please don’t tell them to walk or find another way to get there.

        I’m also sure that people can walk the two blocks from Broadway and Pine to get to LR. I myself walk ove 4 blocks to get my bus coming, give me a break!

      9. Does anyone realize the 11 is not for the sole use of residents of Madison Park, despite the fact that some there think it should? There are a lot of other users of the 11 and Metro and some on this blog have forgotten that fact.

        Please the egos of some in Madison Park is already big enough!

      10. People pack the 8 because it’s the only way to get from SLU to Capitol Hill, not because it’s an effective route. On paper it’s great, most of the time it’s decent, but in PM peak it’s practically useless for any able-bodied person who values their time.

        I’m very interested to see what happens to ridership on the 8 in SLU once Capitol Hill Station opens. I know I won’t be riding it through there anymore, instead I’ll catch a frequent bus (or walk, or Pronto) to Westlake, catch Link up the hill, then transfer at CHS. A three-seat trip is better than the current 8 service.

        Reconnecting the street grid across Aurora is one of the few things I like about the Deep Bore Tunnel project. I just hope that we can get some significant transit priority on one of those streets for the 8.

      11. “Does it really matter? When Prop One expires – if it’s not renewed – presumably Metro can do a restructure based on the lower number of service hours.”

        We need to know how much of the frequent evenings/Sundays are being propped up. We know that for the current network because we saw the runs being added in June, and Metro published a list of how the hours were distributed. But it’s hard to tell from the restructure because we’ve never had that kind of network before, so it’s hard to guess how many routes will revert to 30-minute evenings, and even if you guess you’re not sure if you’re right. Metro has this data so it can tell us exactly: it knows which runs are funded by the base and which ones are funded by Prop 1.

      12. “Does anyone realize the 11 is not for the sole use of residents of Madison Park, despite the fact that some there think it should? There are a lot of other users of the 11”

        Of course. I originally wrote, “It connects Madison Park/Valley directly to Capitol Hill Station”, but I realized somebody would say the 8 already connects the valley to the station so I erased the “/Valley” part. I take the 11 from Summit to Trader Joe’s, City People’s garden store, Luc (once), and Madison Park. I see a lot of people take the 11 from downtown to Capitol Hill. In fact, when I’m at 4th & Pike, I’m surprised at how often the 11 comes, how many people get on it, and the fact that it’s articulated, even though the 10 and 43 duplicate part of it (either to the same stop or within five blocks of the stop).

      13. Mike,

        You are right, a lot of people use the 11 from downtown to get to 17th ave East and East Madison and vise versa. But a lot to these people are senior or handicapped and unable to walk 5 blocks. Ask the drivers about how often the lift is used at 17th Ave East!

      14. Reg, In response to “And what replaces the gap on East Madison/East Pine from 19th Avenue West, and please don’t tell me the 12?” Easy. Use to the 12 to get to Madison (transfer from the 11 at 19th/Madison) and the 10 to get to Pine (transfer from the 11 at 15th/John).

      15. Drew,

        I would dare you tell that to an senior or handicapped person. You solution is not reasonable either!

      16. Reg, it’s impossible to have a one-seat ride from everywhere to everywhere. Can you please explain how a senior or handicapped person is to get from Madison Valley to… oh, the Seattle Downtown Library? Or Northgate Mall? Or City Hall? Would Drew’s option be any more difficult than any of these trips which already involve a transfer?

      17. William,

        The problem is that there are several places on Madison with seniors and handicapped that are now served with a one seat ride. Changing that to a two or three seat ride with up to 5 block distances between (some up hill) will not work and can’t be explained away.

      18. William,

        Leaving the 11 on Madison/Pine and asking people to walk 2 blocks to LR at Broaway is much fairer that asking seniors to walk and transfer multiple times! BTW, BTW, the walk on Broadway is a level walk too!

      19. But what about the seniors who want to transfer from the 11 to light rail? Or are you saying that the places that are now one-seat rides for seniors must continue to be served indefinitely with one-seat rides, even while other trips and transfers that’re made by seniors can be ignored?

      20. William,

        That is not what I’m suggesting, but the Madison Corridor has some unique challenges. If there are to be no more one seat rides, then I can SDOT implement one seat BRTs?

        I am a senior and I’ve had the fun of being on crutches for months with a fractured hip! The real problem is that the trolley buses on Capitol Hill can not be moved since Metro won’t move lines. You can’t fix half a grid with half of it frozen in place. In addition. moving the 11 to 19th then to BRT solves no problem and the LR is not an access problem on Broadway with a two block walk! This fix for something that is not broken creates more issues that it solves!

        Again, I’m willing to have the 11 turn north on 12th or 15th Ave East to LR and I’m suggesting that the 8 be put back onto John/Thomas for now! I CAN LIVE WITH THIS, so what are this issues with this plan? The best part it mitigates most of the issues and reduces duplication, the fix at 19th for bus turns and simplifies the transferring to the 10 or 12.

      21. If that’s not what you’re saying, I don’t understand what principle you’re trying to argue for. Why is the senior who wants to travel from Madison Valley to Pike/Pine more important than the senior who wants to travel from Madison Valley to the south side of downtown, or to Northgate? Why must one be given a one-seat ride but not the other?

        And I’d be very interested in a map of Capitol Hill service with the trolleybuses no longer frozen in place, if you’d want to outline one.

      22. William,

        Lets try this again, why should we create a problem where there isn’t one today for seniors and handicapped on Madison, especially when there is an easy fix for the proposed Metro Plan?

        Secondly, the issue of the 2, 12, 43 and 49 should be raised before the County Council. Metro has been trying to adjust half a system around several the trolley routes that can’t be moved. For example, the 12 could run to 23rd ave East and East Madison and then West? This was suggested by another blogger here.

      23. If you’re talking about me, I didn’t suggest having the 12 go to 23rd and backtrack to 19th. I just suggested going to 23rd, and then it could terminate or do something else. The backtracking from 23rd to 19th is in Seattle’s Transit Master Plan as the default option for the Madison HCT corridor (now Madison BRT). I don’t think the city was really recommending that; it was just illustrating how the corridor could be implemented with the least disruptions to existing routes, since they didn’t know what Metro wanted and there was no Metro long-term plan to consult.

      24. Mike,

        I’m suggesting the the 12 to 23rd and then up East Madison. The route would be 19th Ave East East John to 23rd Ave East then west on Madison all the way as it does today. This makes transfers between the 11 and 12 almost seamless, but requires some wires to move/added.

    5. “Does anyone realize the 11 is not for the sole use of residents of Madison Park, despite the fact that some there think it should? There are a lot of other users of the 11 and Metro and some on this blog have forgotten that fact.

      Please the egos of some in Madison Park is already big enough!”

      Exactly. Reg N is not the only rider on route 11 who matters. Metro has just been cowed into treating it as if that were the case.

  13. When you said more trains, I got excited thinking the first hill streetcar was finally gonna open….
    But more link is great news! Sounder should be next for an upgrade though.

      1. The FHSC opening schedule is a disgrace. SDOT should be rightfully embarrassed. Someone needs to light a fire under their a****…

      2. Do you think SDOT builds the streetcars itself? The reason the streetcars are late is that so many American cities are ordering streetcars that the manufacturers have a backlog. Then there was a quality issue with the fire system or something. Then there’s the Buy USA act which prevents us from ordering current-generation European streetcars off the shelf.

      3. USA transit safety requirements are different than European ones. One of which is the fire burn through rate of the floor, because giant pools of flaming oil in the middle of city streets are so much more common in the USA than Europe. The cars didn’t pass this test, so they had to have a new floor design.

        That said, the Brookville off-wire streetcars for Dallas were delivered without such parts shortage as the cars for Seattle, and those are mostly USA made cars.

    1. They’ve been doing test runs for about a month for the First Hill trolley. I see test trains often at the Pioneer Square station, usually late at night. Hopefully the service will start soon.

  14. Bids at work went out for training for the upcoming Sounder service. I sadly won’t be able to hold it (and not for another 20 years) but its coming!

  15. I’m so glad that the elimination of the Reduced Weekday is now confirmed and imminent, but now we need to get rid of the exception that allows parking in bus lanes on those holidays.

      1. Well of course that’s the ideal, but these things happen incrementally unfortunately and it isn’t much to ask for.

  16. >>In another ‘growth dividend’, the booming regional economy is also enabling Metro to add service on its own, doing things such as boosting Rapid Ride E from 12 minute service to 10 minutes.<<

    That's good to hear. They could actually stand to go to 8 minutes. From my experience it's standing room only even around noon as it is.

  17. In the comfort of another boom it’s worth remembering the recession. How did it happen? Oh yes, reckless mortgage lending, liar loans, and $150/barrel oil. The next one will be something else, possibly events we can see now, possibly not.

  18. When does the Spring Street bus lane get installed for the #2? Holy cr** those east-west buses around I-5 get so delayed by all the SOVs so this is so needed now.

  19. Okay. I’m willing to accept the new all-express 71-73’s (so much for my years of saying “NOT ALL tunnel routes HAVE to be freeway expresses”), but I have one question:

    When the I-5 Express Lanes finally close up shop for the night at 11PM, how will the remaining Northbound 71-73 Expresses get to the U-District? Eastlake? I-5 mainline?

    P. S.: I’m kind of surprised that they didn’t make other changes, such as making northbound I-5 mainline trips stop at Roosevelt & 43rd or even have Eastlake trips stop at Stewart/Howell & Yale (considering the vast majority of trips will use Eastlake).

    1. When the express lanes are going the wrong way, northbound buses use the regular freeway between 6 – 7:30am and 9 – 11:30am (or whenever the express lanes open), get off at 45th, and backtrack on Roosevelt to Campus Parkway. Between 7:30 – 9am they use Eastlake. Southbound runs always use Eastlake. I don’t understand your question because both the regular freeway and Eastlake are available at 11am. And aren’t the express lanes open northbound all night and weekend?

      1. According to this , no. It says they close every night at 11 PM, and remain closed until 5 AM on weekday mornings or 8 AM on weekend mornings.

        P. S.: I still think it would have been a good idea to have the I-5 mainline trips serve the stop at Roosevelt & 43rd.

  20. As a light rail operator from the very beginning, I can tell you during rush hour we can’t even maintain the 7 to 8 minute headway we have now. They now want us to run a six minute headway, with five minutes of recovery at each end. Today I ran 12 minutes late southbound. Be prepared to see this not work properly.

    1. Thanks for the information. How much recovery time do you have now? From what I see at the Seatac end, it seems to be about 8 minutes off-peak?

      1. Peak anywhere from 12-5 minutes. Off peak 14 minutes at SeaTac. 5 minutes at Pine St. Starting September 26, nine minutes each end. Peak five minutes each end.

    2. Right — They would really need to remove more buses (or change bus follow rules and move to all offboard payment in the tunnel, but we all know that isn’t happening) to make this work properly at the times when its most important that it works properly.

  21. At some point I remember reading that the 522 might be making an additional stop at 80th and Lake City Way. Did that fall by the wayside, or may it possibly happen with the spring Link reorg when the 72 disappears?

    1. It’s proposed for the spring re-org, not the September re-org. As far as I know, it’s still in the plan.

  22. The following is the response that a 70 year old rider of the 43 got from Kevin Desmond the head of Metro when they expressed concerns about the elimination of the 43 route in of the March 2016.

    For a few riders, the proposed changes may mean for a longer walk that would make transit inaccessible. For these residents we offer a number of options: our Rideshare service, Vanpools, Access service for people with disabilities, the Hyde Shuttle, and our taxi scrip program. You can learn more about these alternatives on Metro’s website at metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/accessible/programs/index.html.

    I this that this response says it all and yes I have the full email from the 43 rider!

    1. That’s what Metro usually says when somebody complains about routing service away from an area. Another response, more common in the suburbs, is the suggestion to buy a car and drive to a P&R. People are sometimes incredulous when they receive this, how can Metro be advising people to drive? But a bus network can’t serve everybody; it has to aim for the largest number of people and widest cross-section of trips. Inevitably that leaves a few people outside the circle, and all Metro can do is suggest what alternatives it knows of.

      1. Brent,

        I may have a solution, but Metro isn’t listening, but will the County Council. What do YOU think they will do or will they take the same attitude and Kevin?

      2. If Metro didn’t listen, Alternative 1 would have already passed, which would have been a much better result. But Metro did listen to you, and changed the proposal, again and again and again.

        I still think the 8 will revert back to its current path, because nobody wants it moved to this new path.

    2. Metro’s primary job is not to provide every senior and disabled rider in King County or even Seattle with front door service and a one set ride using scheduled routed buses. Even preserving current front door and on-seat ride service some seniors and disabled riders currently enjoy is not and should not be a primary responsibility.

      Emotional appeals built around how a particular change affects an individual senior or disabled rider are a piss poor way to plan a transit system. Particularly one the size of KC Metro that serves many riders other than just the transit dependent ones who are the only ridership for many smaller transit systems across the state and country.

      1. Chris,

        I am a 73 your senior and I have a big problem with what Kevin email and especially your response. I walk over 4 blocks to get to and from the 11 every time I take it. I’m not asking for door to door service to be the 70 year old in the post. We are NOT asking for one seat rides, but when a one seat ride becomes a three seat ride right after Metro has implemented Prop One funding for improved service that is mean spirited.

        The problem is made worse by the implementation of Prop One changes 6 months before they are scrambled and in many cases made worse. You someday hopefully will be a senior too and maybe then you will understand that telling people to finds other modes of transportation because they are a drag on the system is mean spirited and unacceptable!

        Last year I had to look into Access for rides for radiation treatments 5 days a week and was told that I don’t qualify and I’m willing to bet that most of Kevin’s suggested alternatives would reject us or cost us a lot more money.

        If you don’t want seniors, the handicapped and parents with young kids on the bus state that outright since they do slow down the buses. Kevin is very close to stating that and that is unacceptable too!

      2. He did not say Metro doesn’t want seniors/disabled/parents/children on the bus. He merely said that this is one trip pattern the network can’t acommodate. There are many trip patterns it can acommodate, hopefully the majority of them that aren’t buried deep in single-family land, and many seniors/disabled/parents/children do find the routes work for them. Somebody is asking for Metro to route the 11 up to Capitol Hill Station, otherwise Metro wouldn’t be doing it.

      3. Mike,

        Kevin didn’t needs to understand that a current rider will be in trouble with the new routes and specifically the cancellation of the 43 and an attempt to have the 11 fill part of the 43 usage. This leave s the area around 17th Ave East and East Madison without the 12 which goes west on Madison.

        I happen to be on the 11 and an 87 year old got on the bus at 17 to go to the Pike Pine area downtown and he nothing about the lack of direct service next March. Please don’t suggest that he walk several block west to catch the 10! This is an 87 year old man!

        Please look at the number of seniors and handicapped that get on and off of the bus at 17th. There are senior housing places there plus places for the handicapped including the deaf and blind plus mental health facilities. I don’t think Metro is read for Access to handle these people!

        So what Metro has done is removed the 43, partially replace it with the 11, but this patch leaves a gap on John (19th to 23rd) and the gap on East Madison and East Pine to Broadway! LR is not the excuse since it is a TWO BLOCK walk from Broadway and Pine to LR. Again, I walk over FOUR blocks to and from the 11!

        Kevin’s solution for the 43 is insensitive and rude in my view and I will be telling him that. It would have been better if he had a planner contact the 70 year old to see if there was a solution! This is not too much to ask, especially since she has the bus access today and it’s gone in six months. And how about all the others that don’t even know what’s going to happen. I’ve found the most on Madison don’t believe the Metro would remove the direct service we have today.

        For hope the last time, I am NOT asking for door to door service or one seat rides. Just look at the alternatives I’ve proposed, the required a transfer, but a seamless on that can be sold and workable for seniors and the handicapped!

        Final point, you can’t restructure Capitol Hill routes while leaving the 2, 10 and 12 as is because they are trolley runs. This point may explain the valiant attempts in the last 6 months to come up with a workable restructure. I hope that the County Council sees the problem with the Metro proposal and that it creates more problems than it solves!

      4. I disagree that Metro’s planners should have to make personal calls to everyone who comments negatively on a route restructure proposal. They’ve talked to thousands of stakeholders and been to probably over a hundred meetings, during the course of this restructure.

        I don’t get that kind of service from elected officials, I certainly don’t expect it from professional planners. (And, no, I have never, ever gotten a personal call from a Metro planner.)

      5. Brent,

        I beg to differ, I have had personal contact with Metro Planners on site, by phone and email for months and some days I’ve had up to FOUR emails. The meeting that I’ve attended have been at Metro center and not just since March this year. Do you want proof, then give me your email and I can send your evey email that I have had this year!

      6. I believe you when you say Metro has given you lots of attention. I’m not sure that is a good process when one person can take up so much of Metro’s time.

      7. Metro has caused its own PR problem by not hold public outreach sessions with the public as they did with the first two of the four plans that have been proposed since March of this year. I know for a fact that there a lot of people who ride the bus who know nothing about the proposed changes for March 2016. You can disputer this, but I’ve met them

        Metro forced this 70 year senior to contact Ken Desmond since they did not hold any public outreach on what they sent the County Council. In my view it is now up to Kevin to fix and not just by sending an insensitive email, but by reaching out in manor that we should expect from public officials.

        I will be responding to Kevin’s email shortly and if that doesn’t work it will be forwarded to the entire County Council. This is not a threat or a bluff on my part either!

  23. I almost cried when I saw that we’re getting Sunday service on the 68 and Saturday service on the 67. It’s LONG overdue and looking at the schedule, service on the 68 on both Saturdays and Sundays starts around 6 AM-a far cry from the later Saturday times we’ve had. Also the last trip leaves the terminals around 7 PM on weekends, which is amazing for me as it works perfectly with my work schedule.

    I just wish now that they would have extended service by an hour on weekdays to 7. It’s weird that the weekends will have a longer service span than the weekdays, but that’s life I suppose.

  24. Where are you getting the 577 adding 3 additional runs?
    The updates I get from Sound Transit only mention:
    “Minor schedule changes to two morning trips and one afternoon trip added.”

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