Map by the Author
Map by the Author

Last week at the Mountaineers, public testimony was decidedly split, with angry and opposing testimony at the beginning of the meeting slowly giving way to riders more supportive of the proposed ULink restructure. But it has become clear in public comment that Route 43 riders feel particularly aggrieved, as with each iteration of restructure alternatives their options have gotten worse. In other parts of the city, such as on Route 71, those who oppose the restructure are upset about their route changing to connect to Link, whereas a Route 43 elimination would uniquely disconnect riders on 23rd/24th from Link. Even though defensible from a gridded network perspective, for a project named Link Connections, residents not tuned into every iteration of policy can be forgiven for their apoplexy.

It is exceedingly likely that a compromise is in order, and numerous sources have hinted that a restored 43 is in the cards. So what should such a route look like?  A few principles I would bring to discussion:

  • Keep the rest of the restructure as intact as possible
  • Don’t waste thousands of service hours sending the 43 on its current routing Downtown when Link would be faster.
  • Use a trolley-friendly route if possible.

This leads to an interesting idea to run an all-day, weekday only local service overlay between UW Station and Capitol Hill, with a terminus at Broadway/Aloha. But, you say, Route 9 currently terminates there, and there is no room for another bus?  Happily, there is an unused bus layover space at Group Health (16th/Denny) leftover from the days before Route 8 was extended to Rainier Valley, and it’s perfect for Route 9. (see inset map).

Such a service would connect Route 43 to Capitol Hill Station (CHS), provide even more frequency between 15th and CHS, and not waste a single service hour serving Downtown Seattle unnecessarily. The shortened 43 could be a 40′ diesel coach for zero capital cost, or for the cost of two switches at Broadway/John, it could remain a trolley.

It wouldn’t be cheap, but neither would it be exorbitant. The current Route 43 costs Metro approximately $7.3m per year to operate over 47,000 service hours. Imagine a two-bus operation with a 15-minute travel time between UW Station and Broadway/Aloha, plus a 10-minute layover at Aloha. That’s a 40-minute cycle time, meaning that a two-bus service could offer 20-minute frequency. If you ran the service weekday only from 6am-8pm, that’s approximately 7,400 annual service hours, or $1.1m per year. Add in unavoidable inefficiencies due to deadheading, occasionally longer driver breaks, and the occasional extra tripper, and the service could cost $1.5m per year, or about 20% the cost of the current 43.

While the entirety of the 43’s service hours were reprogrammed into the proposed network, my guess is that $1.5m could be found, given the political imperatives.

Thoughts on this idea?

134 Replies to “Options for Route 43”

  1. I thoroughly approve of exploring options like this! However, I think your idea needs further tweaking. First, based on the current 43 schedule, I’m skeptical of the 15-minute travel time. Second, evenings and weekends are exactly when the 8/11 – 48 transfer will be less reliable, making the 43 more useful… though I suppose the 48 to UW Station would become more reliable then.

    Finally, might it be possible to extend the 43 south rather than north for a layover? That’d be a better grid, and if we extend it a little further, we might be able to connect First Hill. The John-Aloha distance would only get us to Union… but maybe spending some more service hours would be worth it here?

    1. where would you have it loop on First Hill? we are quite pressed for space here.

      Note: I am all for more N-S bus service for First Hill unless it negatively affects the 60 which is an important route for First Hill

      1. To throw out an idea: Broadway – Marion or Cherry – 9th – Madison. Layover somewhere near St. James Cathedral. You’d need to kill a bit of onstreet parking, and the Marion alternative would get caught up in parking garage traffic, but I think it’d work.

      2. I was thinking the same thing. Heading south makes more sense. There are more people there (although north isn’t too shabby) and clearly bigger destinations (hospitals and Seattle U). As you said, it makes for a better grid as well (making a ‘U’ is hardly ever a good idea).

        What about essentially turning around (and laying over) on Boylston? So, basically, a bus starts in Montlake, heads to Broadway as shown, Takes a left (south) and goes down Broadway until Marion. Now you have a series of rights. First Marion, then another right on Boylston, followed by a layover. Then a right on Madison, then a left on Broadway to complete the loop. That’s a pretty fast bus — the only left turns are with a traffic light. It dumps you out in a very popular area.

        Of course you could just go further south. Just go down Broadway until Boren, take an angle left on Boren than follow it until Yesler. Take a right on Yesler, a right on Broadway and you are headed back north. I have no idea where to layover, and I have no idea if any of those intersections are a mess when busy, but that seems quite plausible to me, and just seems to make more sense (connecting busier places by heading basically the same direction.

    2. I suggested almost exactly the same thing in one of the open threads. In my idea, the route was a loop that ran from Broadway and John (the link station) along John to 23rd, then along 23rd to E Cherry street, then along cherry to Broadway back to the station. I didn’t factor in layover space. I also didn’t consider making this a trolley, since Cherry doesn’t have trolley wire. I figured that while we are making a new connection to Link, we could provide service on Cherry street, which currently doesn’t have any bus service in first hill. My original idea was to make it either clockwise or counter-clockwise, but it could be both.

      We could change the routing to make it a trolley route, but that would seriously restrict where it could go. Metro would have to weigh the pros and cons of having it diesel versus electric, but keep in mind that it is a relatively small route.

      Also, the 43 above that goes all the way to the U-district is completely redundant. People along 23rd can still take the 48 to UW, and people along john street can connect to Link. There is simply no reason to keep the UW routing of this 43 shuttle.

  2. What’s the distance difference between Broadway/John and Broadway/Aloha vs Broadway/John and 3rd/Pike? I can’t imagine running the tail up Broadway would be vastly more efficient then just running it downtown. Not that I want it to stay alive, but it seems like people would fight for it to be extended just a bit further to maintain it’s current routing and save their one seat ride.

    1. Oh dear, “than” not “then”.

      I also wonder if investing more heavily in transit priority on 23rd would fix the issue. The crowd most left out is in the Montlake area. Couldn’t some reasonable priority be given to the 48 to ease the out of direction portion of their trip for less money than continuing to run the 43 in perpetuity?

      1. It wouldn’t totally fix the issue, but it’d go a long way – and it’d also help all the Eastside SR520 routes be truncated, which as an Eastside rider, I thoroughly support.

        That being said, it’d be a large capitol investment which probably couldn’t be done by March.

        And regarding Aloha v. downtown… the big difference, I think is not distance but traffic.

    2. The idea is that the new 11 provides good local mobility between Summit-Downtown, and that anyone traveling from Downtown to east of CHS would be better off taking Link and transferring. The trip from 4th/Pike to Broadway/John takes 8 minutes at 5am, and 17 minutes at 5pm. It’s a huge time suck that wouldn’t save anyone any time. Comparatively, not having a 43 at all means those riders have either a 2-seat ride via Link at UW, a 3-seat ride via Link at Capitol Hill, or any number of 2-seat rides each with their own flaws. The 48 to 8/11 transfer is decent but was just made 4 blocks longer via 19th/Madison, 48->2 and 48-> 3/4 would get riders stuck at SPL and Harborview, respectively. This idea is a relatively cheap shuttle that would greatly improve the speed and reliability of 23rd/24th to Downtown trips via Link, especially for those headed to Pioneer Square or the Stadiums.

  3. While this would kill the reliability of the route, (not a strong start of the argument, I know) I feel like having the 43 continue on the 8’s route down Denny, then run both the 8 and 43 every 20 minutes (possibly improving to every 15 if the capacity were needed) on staggered routing would give us the best solution. People on the northern part of 23rd E would not only keep their connection to Link, with a roughly similar trip time downtown, they’d also gain a SLU connection. We’d retain frequency on the heaviest used part of the 8 route (maybe improve it a little). Of course the big issue is the traffic problems on Denny, and I can understand why no one would want to make more routes suffer through that.

    1. If you are going to have something stuck in traffic, it’s better for it to be a trolley bus. They don’t consume much when stopped.

      So, maybe do this and convert the 8 to a trolley route too?

  4. whereas a Route 43 elimination would uniquely disconnect riders on 23rd/24th from Link

    I think it’s important to be clear that these riders are being disconnected from CHS, not from Link. The 48 will still take them to UW Station. Depending on where along 23rd they live, this could even be a faster route downtown.

    That said, it’s clear that people along the southern portion of the route, at least, would prefer to go to CHS. And that’s understandable.

    1. Particularly during peak hours. Northbound 43s and 48s get backed up sometimes to and past the library at McGraw St, and because of the trifecta of nonsense light cycles at Roanoke, Lk Wash Blvd, and now, the WB 520 offramp, it’s a nightmare. 15-20 minutes to cover the space of a few blocks, at speeds measurably slower than walking.

  5. I like the routing, and the solution to the layover problem, but I still think that rather than a very short shuttle we should extend a route that is truncated at UW station. For example, have the new 78 continue from View Ridge, Laurelhurst, to Montlake and Cap Hill. The 78 is already a relatively short route anyways.

    1. The 78 and 73 will operate as one route, but I suppose a 43-78 combo could work at 30-minute frequency and have the 73 run on its own?

      1. I doubt may people would stay on the 73-78 pairing, it’s essentially a 180 degree turn for the route. Whereas a 73 or 78 continuation south on the 43 would keep the route going in the same general direction.

        Actually you could continue either (eg continue the 73 to cap hill), I just figured the shorter 78 would mean more reliability.

      2. If I recall, the 73-78 thru route is to preserve the one-seat ride between Wedgwood and the northwest part of the U-district (e.g. 50th and the Ave). Joining the 78 with the 43 would lose this. It would also subject southbound route 43 to the vageries of Montlake Blvd. traffic and force the route to be operated with diesel buses.

      3. Preserving a one seat ride from Wedgwood to the north part of the U-District seems like a pretty weak argument for the route. There will be a caravan of buses heading to the U-District, so if you want to go that way around, then you can (I think a lot of people headed that way would take the 76 and then transfer to a bus headed south). Either way, it is a very easy surface transfer, unlike the transfer to Link (which will take anywhere between five and ten minutes).

        I think the big issue is the one you mentioned — traffic on Montlake Boulevard. It can back up a very long way southbound, and the current route for the 78 avoids all that by going through campus. That isn’t great for those trying to get from Wedgwood to downtown via the train, but again, they can take the 76.

  6. This route’s right, Zach. Mapquest isn’t cooperating, so I can’t see if any special work needs to be added for turn southbound Broadway and eastbound Thomas- and back. Aside from that, I doubt you’ll have to order a single porcelain insulator.

    And re: ridership, by driving and passenger experience I think passengers will be grateful enough to put up with the likely standing loads. Absolutely no reason not to route the 43 exactly like this.

    Failing a dozen blocks’ Transit Oriented Development around Thomas and 23rd, Lyft and Uber will handle every passenger forced to do 43-48 transfer there.

    When 48 electrifies, there’ll be a line crew shift or so installing straight crossovers. Aside from two intersections’ overhead adjustments, I really think your plan will pay back whatever it costs.

    I’d really love to drive this configuration two nights a week alternating with three on the Route 7 after the Bredas drop their machetes and decompose in some Haitian sugar-cane field and we get new buses.

    But best thing of all would be that it will never through-route to Ballard. Where I’d never again use the 7-11 bathroom until my former landlord and all his life’s evil work join the Bredas as per above paragraph.

    Mark Dublin

    1. I agree that this is a *very* well designed route, Zach. Slick and clever design.

      This is one way of ameliorating the lack of stations on Link between CHS and UW — a trolleybus line which runs directly from one to the other along this route.

      It should be very effective.

      It may possibly require a little bit of alteration at the intersection of John and Broadway to allow for the turn — I can’t tell. With the new buses having off-wire battery capability, that might be avoided entirely.

  7. Alternatively… How much of a reliability killer would it be to through-route this shuttle with the 9? That’s already on a 30-minute off-peak headway with the same span of service suggested for this new!43, and it’d expand the existing Capitol Hill – First Hill connection. I don’t think it’d be much longer than the old 7 before the 49 got split off, at least.

    1. and yes … I missed the part about this new “43” being weekday only … in that case it is an interesting idea.

      1. For a neighborhood which is certain to change for the busier and more populous the day Capitol Hill station opens, why in the world would you shut this route down on weekends?

        Mark Dublin

    2. I’m glad somebody suggested extending the 9, as I was thinking the same thing. I haven’t done the math, but I suspect that requires only 1 additional bus, as opposed to 2, not to mention that it would provide better connections between Montlake and First Hill.

      However, I am not convinced that it is a good idea to extend the route across the Montlake bridge. The purpose of the route is to provide a connection between the 24th ave corridor and CHS. Areas north of about Lynn st. are better off walking to the Montlake flyer stop or using U-Link to get Downtown while riders on 24th trying to go north can take the 48. Thus, compared to the downside of sending the route into Montlake traffic and bridge unreliability, the upside of extending the route past Lynn doesn’t seem to be high enough to me. Terminating the route closer to Roanoke street or even having it turn west on to St. Demetrios. makes more sense if layover space issues can be resolved.

      1. Truncating it well before then would also make sense. Population density drops very quickly and steadily north of Roy. If it can be done, then a left on Roy, followed by a right on one of the side streets and then a right on Aloha would make a lot of sense. But no bus uses those streets right now, so there may be practical concerns. If a bus could turn around anywhere in that general area, though, it would make sense.

        As has been mentioned, the folks in Montlake have another option — that option is the 48. Neither this 43 nor the 48 go downtown. It doesn’t make that much difference which way you go if you end up transferring to Link (since the time between UW station and Capitol Hill station is so small). If I lived in Montlake, then I would definitely want a one stop ride to Capitol Hill (whether these was a station there or not) but compared to the rest of the route (including an extension to the 9) not that many people live in Montlake which means that not that many people would ride it for that purpose.

      2. Studies show that people don’t like to backtrack. People heading downtown or south will be more comfortable connecting to Link at CHS than at UW. It is best to accomodate that preference.

      3. People don’t like to backtrack. They don’t like to transfer. Tough. There simply aren’t enough people in Montlake to justify such special service.

        Or, to put it another way, Montlake is just a typical Seattle neighborhood that got screwed over because Sound Transit doesn’t know how to create reasonable stop spacing. Welcome to the club. There is no reason why they deserve a special bus just because Sound Transit has failed them.

      4. No, really, the anti-backtracking bias is *very* strong. It’s stronger than the anti-transfer bias.

        Look, there are psych studies about this stuff. Do you want high ridership or low ridership? If you want high ridership, you have to work with the documented psych profile of the typical rider.

  8. A reminder to those unfamiliar with the good ol’ 9X … especially those who live up near Group Health …

    the 9X is a non-holiday, week-day only express bus. It would only be using the 16th/Denny layover from about 6:30a to 7:30p on non-holiday weekdays …

  9. I’m curious–what’s the idea behind calling this the “Route 43 Shuttle?” Isn’t that just another name for a “circulator route”, which the Seattle Transit Blog is on record against?

    That said, I am all for routes like this, as they help solve the “last mile” problem for transit riders that live further than convenient walking distance to Link stations.

    1. Shuttle is a general term for short routes, especially those that don’t go to the biggest destination (downtown).

    2. This isn’t a circulator in my opinion, but rather a local-service overlay for a subway route with >1 mile stop spacing and a 400′ altitude change. I think in this case it’s entirely appropriate. If we had Alternative 1 – which had a 10-minute 48 on 23rd and a 10-minute 8 on Thomas Street all the way to 23rd – I’d be more likely to support the required transfer for the relatively small number of riders on 23rd Ave E. And in any case, I think the rest of the restructure is meritorious enough to look at mitigations that help it get the political support it needs, even if it introduces inefficiencies. A year from now, if the shortened 43 were empty and riders were walking to the superior frequency of the 8/11 combo, then it could be deleted and the restructured network would remain intact. If the route were successful, we could keep it.

      The thing I don’t want to happen is for a wasteful ‘full 43’ to steal frequency from elsewhere in the network. We’re lucky enough that we have the finances to do it right now (those damn developers boosting our sales tax revenues…), and Metro is on record saying they could restore the entire 43 at least temporarily, though they seem rightfully loathe to do so. (and to be clear, I speak only for myself in this post)

      1. Broadway is only about 52′ gutter to gutter out to Aloha. Do you expect the 43 and the streetcar extension to share the roadway with all the other competing interests for lane space?

    3. Also, shuttle is more a term used by transit insiders than on Metro brochures, as in “The 30 is a shuttle” or “The 348 is a shuttle”. Metro used the word shuttle for the 15, 26, and 55 night service, and for various temporary routes during snowstorms and bridge closures (Queen Anne shuttle, Mercer Island to South Bellevue shuttle), but doesn’t use it much otherwise. What people care about is where the route terminates, not what it’s called.

      Circulators have a bad reputation because neigborhood loop routes usually fail or are little-used. People either walk or drive rather than waiting for a half-hourly route. But if they were frequent they’d probably do better. And if a loop is really two routes interlined that could be justified on their own, then it would be more likely to succeed.

  10. I doubt any of these band-aid approaches to transit planning will do significant good, but will do no harm either – So sure, WTF, let’s fix the 43 too.
    The root of the problem was building a HCT line from Westlake to Huskie Stadium with only one stop. Not only that, bus routes to compliment the new rail system were deferred to just before Links big grand opening on the N. end, rather than plan this from a systems perspective. The 3 agencies involved have not done well for transit riders and really screwed over all the tax payers on the hook for this.
    The streetcar will be a poor replacement for the missing 1st Hill station (thank you SDOT).
    The closure of Convention Station screws over Denny to lower Cap Hill riders (thank you Metro).
    The missing station NE of Broadway creates all these fix-me shuttle routes (thank you ST)
    The lack of vision, purpose and execution is shared by many, including the PSRC (thank you all).

    1. Mic, exactly where would you put a subway station anywhere near the north end of Broadway? Paris and other European cities have transit stations in city parks the size of Volunteer- in cities old, huge, and crowded. But from Aloha north, is there any Capitol Hill location that makes any sense, regarding either passenger counts or connecting buses?

      Next, the decision not to build the Swedish Hospital stop was a lot more geological and hydrological than administrative. SDOT has a hard time with regular snow, let alone steering sand trucks and snow plows through a time warp to redirect a glacier.

      I think that it was wrong for anyone to consider the First Hill Streetcar as a one-for-one replacement, though. It would have been better, and truer, to say that the money budgeted for the lost station could be redirected to a connector between the International District and the Capitol Hill station.

      Though I think it’ll be a fair, and effective point in a fully-justified demand to take whatever traffic-adjustment measures are necessary to get trains past Swedish Hospital before the next ice age.

      We’re looking at a much taller Broadway, making for a ground level with more people than cars. And again from observations in crowded old Europe, people are a lot more comfortable in close quarters with streetcars than with rubber-tired vehicles of any length.

      When the DSTT closes to buses, Convention Place Station won’t be very much use to any kind of transit, or its passengers. Whether the Convention Center gets expanded or not. Considering the few blocks’ distance between Westlake and CPS, the straight shot out of WLS will give somebody a faster ride if they have to walk a few blocks than a shorter walk to a train that has to stop twice three or four blocks apart.

      Finally, Market Street in San Francisco carries hundreds of trolleybuses and streetcars in the same lane. Since the historic streetcar fleet has poles with shoes or wheels for power collection, the two vehicle types can share the same positive wire.

      Unlike LINK, small surface streetcars can be fitted with a narrower pantograph than LINK’s, permitting the same thing.

      As for competition, necessities like moving people through a compact public place would have been considered public domain by the guys that temporarily turned Boston Harbor into salty Earl Grey.

      After their votes made the resulting monopoly tyranny free. Considering the local traffic situation for more than twenty years, if Broadway were a person’s artery, Harborview could never have saved them.

      Also have a feeling that the average resident of the kind of neighborhood that’s swiftly going to result from the Capitol Hill station will hands-down favor a street designed for two moving sets of vehicles instead of three stuck ones.


      1. Mark,

        If d.p. were still here he’d put you through the wringer about the geology on First Hill. He was pretty certain that it was an excuse to cut the station because of budget concerns.

      2. If you go back through the literature at the time, you’ll find that d.p. is basically right. It was more about fear of losing federal grants.

        A station around HIlltop/Volunteer park would have made a ton of sense. True, there’s a lot of SFH and park space directly adjacent, but the 1/2 mile walkshed would have included lots of multifamily housing from 19th ave to the north end of Broadway.

        Oh, and compared to many of the other stations Sound Transit is building, Volunteer Park station wouldn’t have been in the middle of an 8-lane freeway. Compared with Paine Field or any of the Tacoma Link stations, Volunteer Park station would have been a bonanza in terms of all-day ridership.

      3. But Sound Transit has always been concerned about building BART, no more no less, and transit advocates that don’t realize this and try to make it into actual urban rail just frustrate all parties involved.

      4. The logical conclusion to that, Morgan, is that the currently most urgent need for Seattle transit is to defund and destroy Sound Transit so we can replace it by an agency that does care about urban rail.

        My hope is that we can instead force it into changing. Given SDOT’s letter regarding the Ballard line, it seems possible.

      5. It is interesting to contrast our current alignment with the one for Forward Thrust:

        I can’t quite figure out where exactly the three stops are (in between downtown and the UW) but they are roughly:

        1) Broadway and Union (and Madison)
        2) 23rd and Union
        3) MLK and Madison

        I think if we built something like that, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion. By that I mean, we wouldn’t be wringing our hands trying to figure out how to make this work. It becomes fairly easy. You certainly wouldn’t need a bus like this new 43, it would be redundant.

      6. @Morgan and William — Yes, I agree. My job is to frustrate Sound Transit into building what makes sense for the city as well as the region. Unfortunately, I am getting frustrated with my efforts in getting them frustrated enough to reconsider their misguided assumptions (with regards to the spine, West Seattle light rail, terrible stop spacing, etc.).

      7. Hey Ross, look closely at the map just north of downtown. Betcha we now know where SDOT got the idea for the Harrison station on Ballard-Downtown Link. There it is in exactly the same location. The line doesn’t wiggle as much as their proposal because SLU didn’t even exist as a dream at that time, but they recognized that the east side of Seattle Center was being wasted. Also, the line to the CD and UW had a station proposed for about Eighth and Westlake (e.g. in Amazon’s basement!) so the Denny Triangle was well covered.

    2. Excellent point. I agree with everything you said except for one thing: It is Husky Stadium, not Huskies Stadium. Husky Stadium, where they yell “Go Huskies!”.

      Bow Down to Washington …

      1. Opps, me bad – Go Husky’s. :)
        European cities and Broadway have little in common and never will. Station stops in Europe are never miles apart unless we’re talking TGV-RER stuff. DSTT stops are 1/3 mi apart, so perhaps we should close a couple more of them because, you know, riders will happily walk a dozen blocks to Link platforms? No Mark, this is not the Europe I’m familiar with.
        Narrow pantographs, or Historic Trollies on Broadway to mix it up with streetcars? That’s even a stretch for you trying to gin up yet another fix for not having another station. Eventually the band-aids piled one upon another cease to stop the initial damage done by poor planning.

      2. Funny you should mention the DSTT. It makes for a fun argument. If, for example, you were to criticize our light rail line for its stop spacing, a logical rebuttal would be “but the stops downtown are good.”, to which you can reply “Yes, but Sound Transit never built those!”.

        Or how about this trick question. How many additional stations will there be between Westlake and Husky Stadium versus the original bus tunnel?

        Answer: Zero. They are adding Capitol Hill Station, but removing Convention Place Station.

    3. Agreed, though I’d be willing to take a Pike/Boylston station, infact a station maybe could have been incorporated into those two new mid-rise apartment projects wrapping up now.

  11. If we start with a blank slate and say, “What is the first route we should put on Capitol Hill?”, the 43 would be the primary contender. It connects the most commercial/multifamily areas together, it goes to the primary destinations (downtown and the U-District), and it also serves the community center on 19th. Metro decided to make the 49 the primary route on Capitol Hill and showered it with service hours, but arguably it should have made the 43 the primary route instead, and put coverage service on north Broadway. Then the 43 would also function as Link’s local shadow. Of course, if we’d added those other Capitol Hill stations (Bellevue, 15th, 23rd), then perhaps Link itself could function as the 43. So I can understand the desire to keep the 43. On the other hand, a half-hourly route (as in Alternative 2) defeats the purpose of it because you can’t use it for spontaneous trips or just show up at the bus stop whenever, so at that point we might as well kill the route. I believe even more strongly in frequent corridors, wherever Metro puts them.

    A daytime-only 43 is unfortunate, but that is when the bulk of unique ridership is. At night the ridership becomes even more concentrated on downtown to Broadway, and other routes exist for that. So just as the 47 was reduced to daytime only to avoid deleting it entirely, I could see a daytime-only 43. The issue of longer transfer waits at night depends on keeping up the frequency of the 8, 11, and 48.

  12. I like it. Seems like a good compromise to keep the 43 corridor connected.

    What are the reasons as to why layover space is so hard to set up? Obviously if this became a trolley route then the layover decision is moot, but for diesel buses, it would be great to layover closer to CHS if possible. The tail up to Aloha isn’t necessary from a service standpoint. A shorter tail would help with reliability by extending the breaks.

    1. The only other option would be to swap the tails and have the 60 use Aloha and the 43 use Broadway/Mercer, but the savings would be minor.

      1. Why not have the north tail of the 60 take over from the 47 — a diesel bus could loop up Summit and return on Bellevue using the current layover in front of Top Pot — gives these riders a direct link to Capitol Hill Light Rail, removes one not very well ridden line, etc.

        Second point — the 43 should remain as is or terminate on Broadway where the 60 does now. Second issue solved. The 43 should also run all hours – it exactly what SF’s F line street car is – an overlay with intermediate stops to serve those who don’t want to (or can’t) walk the mile and a half from a light rail station.

        Third point – as long as transit agencies are divided, as long as we don’t have a single overall transit agency covering all of the Cascade corridor that will determine an overall transit strategy we will continually have a disconnect and dog fight between competing interests. Lets grow up and be real.

      2. In that case, to minimize turns, I’d keep the 60 on its existing routing and have the 43 go to Summit. (That’d also allow the 43 to stay a trolley, if we add in a couple switches.) The problem is that downtown is a more major destination than Capitol Hill Station, so if the 47 has to go to one place or another, it’ll be downtown.

    2. The same reason it’s hard to site a building. All the land is in use, and you have to pay somebody to acquire it, or eject two parking spaces with the usual backlash.

      1. I was thinking parking spaces, not purchasing something off-street. Surely removing ~5 parking spaces is within the power of SDOT, considering the city owns the street. We’re not talking about removing entire blocks of parking, after all.

        Or is SDOT so addicted to paid parking money now that it doesn’t want to play ball with Metro?

      2. You also need to determine if the pavement is up to handling ongoing loads from buses, and street designation comes into play as well; Metro can’t just run a bus down any street it wants, they need to be designated as acceptable for transit (existing routes are grandfathered).

  13. To add a little bit of craziness to this idea, it would be kind of cool if the shuttle also hauled bikeshare bikes up the hill, cutting down on single-purpose rebalancing trips that are probably quite common, given that many more people would be willing to ride down from Capitol Hill than back up it. Just hitch something to the back of the bus and away it goes; drop it off at 15th/Broadway and spread them out from there.

  14. It’s kinda meh… Good idea, but poor execution from my view. I think you would be better to live loop it rather than find a terminal in Capitol Hill for it. Maybe 15th to Pine to Broadway and back outbound If the run time is anything like you suggest Zach then I would push further into the U-District and layover along NE Campus Parkway. I think you would get better service out of it rather than a route that almost but not quite serves a neighborhood. That route otherwise dies out within a year or two.

      1. Perhaps not Nathaniel. IIRC there is a trolley loop at NE Campus Parkway and if not a couple of switches there would not be a huge expenditure. If you were to keep the route a trolley some switchwork is unavoidable. If you were to follow Zach’s suggestion you would need to add switches around the triangle and across NE Pacific St to keep the bus a trolley anyhow.

  15. Seeing how only a negligible amount of new trolley wire would be needed for this shuttle, I think it’s a good idea. But I am unsure that artic trolleys would be able to maneuver through the right turn from John to Broadway. A test coach would probably be needed to get the answer.

    1. 43’s currently do that turn all the time, only going left, when heading back to base without going downtown. (To the confusion of many, many riders who thought they were on a regular 43.

  16. There are merits to having local bus service that follows light rail. However, Route 43 is a place where I think the merits are pretty weak:

    1. The John Street segment of Route 43 already will have frequent service with Routes 8/11. Those heading to UW from this corridor segment will be able to easily get to the CHS station or get to 23rd Avenue to board Route 48. “I have to walk 1000 feet further” is about the only complaint that these riders could have for 90+ percent of their tripmaking.
    2. The 23rd/24th Avenue segment will have great, frequent service on the 48. Rather than accessing Capitol Hill on a one-seat ride, riders will be forced to transfer.
    3. Except for the Group Health facility and nearby shopping district at 15th/John (served by many routes) and a small business district near the Montlake library, there is either single-family houses or low-rise townhouses, condos or apartments. There are plenty of other corridors in Seattle with similar or higher residential densities — and much less frequent and less direct bus service.

    It would be nice to have buses run from everywhere to everywhere, but let’s be fair to everyone in town! There are plenty of denser residential areas of Seattle that have lost or should lose direct bus service now that rail is here. I am just not convinced that Route 43 needs to be saved while others get much worse service.

    In fact, I get concerned that the public involvement process leading to routes that get “saved” end up being mainly those where residents have more time and familiarity with the public decision-making process — and frankly those are usually white, American-born, better-educated and usually less transit-dependent. I understand that riders do not like to “lose” something, but what the 43 corridor riders gain in terms of service at frequencies that approaches continuous access is incredibly wonderful — and is so much better than what most of Seattleites get.

    1. In the abstract I totally agree with you, but I’m proposing this in the context of hundreds of letters and petitions being received by Councilmembers.

      1. Yeah it’s quite amazing how Montlake residents will go from 15 minute to 7-10 minute service on Route 48 AND a fast rail connection to Downtown — yet whine that they are losing something.

        Actually, I think one area where the route structure is a bit overly optimistic is in fact Route 48. The route today is a direct, fast connection between Mt. Baker Transit Center and UW, where this won’t be an attractive transfer once U-Link opens because riders will just stay on the train. If that is the case, It may be reasonable to move some of those trips to be Route 43.

      2. Say you live at 24th/Galer and you want to go to Pioneer Square during peak. Of the following options, which would you take?

        Backtrack to Link via the 48: Wait 5 minutes, #48 for 6 minutes, 3 minute walk, 3 minute wait, 12 minute train. Total time: 29 minutes

        48 to 8/11 to Link: Wait 5 minutes, #48 for 5 minutes to 23rd/John, walk 5 minutes to 19th/Thomas, wait 4 minutes, take 8/11 for 6 minutes to Capitol Hill Station, wait 3 minutes, 8 minute train ride. Total time: 36 minutes

        48 to 2: Wait 5 minutes, #48 for 10 minutes, wait 7 minutes, #2 for 17 minutes, walk 5 minutes. Total time: 44 minutes

        48 to 3/4: Wait 5 minutes, #48 for 14 minutes, wait 5 minutes, #3/4 for 18 minutes. Total time: 42 minutes

        “43 shuttle” to Link: wait 10 minutes, #43 for 12 minutes, wait 3 minutes, 8 minute train. Total time: 33 minutes

        Under the “show up randomly at the bus stop” scenario, the 48 -> Link is fastest by 4 minutes, giving a 29 minute trip. If you have access to a real-time info platform, however, and can reduce all but 2 minutes of the expected wait, 43->Link would be 4 minutes faster still, at only 25 minutes.

      3. You’re neglecting the wait time for the 43 Shuttle. If it runs every twenty minutes – a slightly optimistic plan, as I pointed out above – the ten-minute average wait would push that trip up to 33 minutes.

      4. “The route today is a direct, fast connection between Mt. Baker Transit Center and UW,”

        I wouldn’t call it fast. I sometimes take the 48 from the U-District to Columbia City, and it takes 45 minutes, at least in the afternoon when it stops at every single stop.

      5. Sorry to tell you this, Zach, but you added a 5 minute initial wait time to every bus except the 43 option. Given that most of these other options will have higher frequencies than a 48 would, that’s counter-intuitive.

      6. I just (6:18PM) searched (Google Maps) on 24th / Galer to 4th / James using CURRENT service. Results: 43 (single seat) – 41 minutes (arrive 6:59). 48 + 4 – 36 minutes (Arrive 6:54).

        So on this showing the value of 43 TODAY is single-seat convenience, not travel time.

        Presumably, if/when there is Madison corridor BRT a 48 + BRT connection will be even better.

        It’s great to have a hip-pocket compromise that wastes less $$ than totally capitulating to squeaky-wheel complaints, and thank you for that. But if we’re going for the frequent network, we really ought to go for it. If eliminating 43 looks defensible on frequent-network principles, we ought to defend it.

      7. Zach: people have a well-documented anti-backtracking preference.

        So backtracking to Link at UW is 25 minutes, while your proposed route 43 to CHS is 33 minutes. People will take your proposed route 43 in preference.

        This is due to behavior which is technically called “hyperbolic discounting”. Hyperbolic discounting actually makes a lot of sense — basically it’s working out the worst-case scenario and minimizing the harm in that situation. If, for instance, the bus breaks down on the way. If you were backtracking to UW, you’re actually *further away* than when you started and will be even *more* delayed when you get out and walk. Whereas if your bus was going in the right direction, you’re closer, and will have saved some time by taking the bus when you get out and walk

      8. I also agree with Al S. — it is very likely that ridership on the 48 will drop when U-Link opens, because end-to-end riders from Mt. Baker to UW will disappear.

      9. Al & Zach, as someone who lives in Montlake I’m tired of being labelled as “whiny.” The increased service on the 48 does nothing for me, as it doesn’t go where I need to be. Any perceived time savings is eaten up with the need to walk and wait to transfer.

        And that fast light rail trip downtown will be, in my opinion, not going to be reliably workable from this neighborhood. I have been caught in traffic on northbound 24th to Cafe Lago – and even past Boyer – at all hours of the day. The 48 bus will sit in the same. Montlake’s arterials and side streets are now clogged with traffic that did not exist a few months ago, AND we are losing more than half of our bus service. Might I suggest that if this proposal meant that you were losing your main bus route to get to anywhere you’d be complaining?

        The problem with this proposal – as with Metro’s – is that it assumes that everyone wants to go downtown. My kids and I need to get to the Pike/Pine corridor for school, work, meetings and appointments. By the time we walk 1/2 mile to the bus stop, take one bus, get off, wait, transfer, and walk at the other end we’ve gone way past the tipping point (and that doesn’t take into account the weather and dark of winter). I can drive there in 10-12 minutes. When the 43 is gone I will be driving to Pike Street 2-4x/day, as simple as that. this proposal will put another car on the road, when the goal should be the opposite.

      10. *sigh* So

        (a) how common are trips to the Pike-Pine Corridor from your area?
        If you’re atypical, then you should be driving, bluntly — mass transit is for the mass.

        (b) How bad is the transfer really going to be? There should be gobs and gobs of frequent buses at the transfer point at CHS station, unlike today….

      11. Nathaniel, here, you’re wrong. A gridded bus system should enable trips from anywhere to anywhere within a city, or it’s failing. But it should do this by transfers – and if a single transfer makes the trip not worth taking, the bus system is also failing.

        And if B is literally walking half a mile to get to the 43/48, I can definitely see why things are failing. That would put him around Boyer and Lynn, or even further west, which is the least transit-ready part of Montlake – I can readily agree our bus system does not serve that area well, and after the well-deserved elimination of the 25, it’ll be even worse for B and both the other people there who ride the bus.

        One other option, B – I know it’s a steep climb, but have you ever tried walking half a mile in the other direction to the 49?

    2. If anything the 43 corridor loses service in the restructure. Not counting Prop 1 additions, the 43 is 47,000 annual service hours. There aren’t that many additional service hours in the changes serving the 43 corridor. Much like getting rid of the 7x buses, getting rid of the 43 is part of how everyone south of ship canal is sacrificing for north east Seattle.

    3. Here’s another option:

      Split the 48 into two routes.

      1. Deviate some/half of the 48 at John over to CHS and Broadway (Route 43), then up/down Broadway to Jefferson, then back to 23rd. This would link Swedish Cherry Hill, Garfield, 23rd/Jackson to CHS as well as address the 43 issue.

      2. Put the remainder of the buses on the existing 48 alignment (perhaps with fewer stops and/or conversion to a “RapidRide”).

      1. I do kind of like this idea. Call them something different, like the 48 and the 48C, and run them frequently enough and I could imagine this being useful. It would satisfy the folks on 23rd wanting to connect with CSH, but it would also connect Capitol Hill with the Central District a bit better, which is something we don’t have today.

      2. It’s an idea. Put up the wire for a “straight through” all-trolley 48 while you’re putting up the wire for the loop.

    4. I live the near the intersection of 15th & John/Thomas. I’m all for transfers, but getting an 8/11 to 48 to 545 to B line, for instance, stretches the limit of reason. Getting an 8/11 to Link to 542 to B line is not not much better. Both are worse than what I have right now, which is the 43.

  17. Zach, are you only in favor of this idea if it can be added on top of the current restructure? As opposed to another weekday-only route sapping resources from the (only nominally better than we have now) all-day frequent network?

      1. Seems like the service hours could come from the *49*’s downtown-Capitol Hill portion. And the 10’s…and the 12’s…

        But we already lost that battle.

      2. Metro is focused on avoiding possible underservice on either Pine or John, which could happen if it miscalculates how much remaining demand there will be to the in-between stops, or new demand transferring from Link. Keeping both corridors frequent is insurance until we see how ridership patterns actually change. Adding a limited-stop express and keeping a complementary local route that also serves some other areas often ends up increasing ridership on both. The faster service increases due to pent-up demand, and the riders lost from the slower service are replaced by other riders going to other destinations. That’s especially likely as the population on the hill continues to increase.

        I expect that after a couple years we’ll see ridership drop on either Pine or John, and at that point one of the routes can be consolidated to the other street.

  18. I don’t have the time at the moment to dig into the details of the hours/days of service, but what stands out to me is the furtur truncating of useful North-South service on Broadway for the 9.

    I remember reading something a while back regarding sending the 49 down Broadway, instead of downtown (Madison? again, lack the time to track back to find details).

    Seeing as the FHSC is no near-term ‘solution’ (or a real solution at alll, but that’s another matter), maybe preserving the 43 downtown service wouldn’t be all bad, if the 49 could instead play the role of FHSC/shuttle. A connection at CHS between this 49 and the 43 would tie together a good chunk of the hill without relying on Link, and in a rather pleasant location for transfers.

    While I’m musing, I wonder what ridership on a frequent 9 (or this 49 proposal) would look like in the face of all the development that’s gone on in the auto-era corridors and around Seattle U.

    Also, I’m probably one of the vanishingly few that the FHSC could potentially be remotely useful for, as I live near SU, commute to eastgate via I90, have season tix for the Sounders, and visit my dad every few days who lives just downhill from Broadway and Roy on Belmont. Still, the frequency is going to be misery, and I bet that I’ll continue to just walk. Oh, for a bus route instead of all this wasted track… *sigh*

    1. I expected the 9 to go away with University Link, but Metro seems to think it’s a complementary corridor rather than duplicative, so it’s increasing it. I’ve always thought the 9 should go to the U-District as the 9-local used to do, and to replace the 49. Maybe when U-District Station opens Metro will be less reliant on the 49. There’s also the U-District – Broadway – Beacon corridor in Seattle’s Transit Master Plan that will need to be addressed someday, and could affect the 9 and 60.

      1. I try and catch the 9 from Rainier and I-90 to Broadway and Marion, but I’m usually aimed at the last reverse-commute trip, and traffic on the bridge is frequently uncooperative. I can’t speak much for the southern portion of the route, but it’s nice that the northern chunk is there, albeit for me only occasionally.

        Despite the connection between Beacon Hill Station and Capitol Hill Station (and on to the U-District), going through downtown might be enough of a drag to keep the surface streets competitive for buses.

        The CD, First Hill, and Capitol Hill seems like the one area of the city where East-West travel is easier than North-South. A lot of the discontinuity seems arbitrary and historical. But its frustrating nonetheless. As the neighborhoods increase in density, I wonder if the boundaries get fuzzy enough to compel improved service for the residential core.

        Seems like a little boost in span and frequency to the 9 and the 14 would have obviated the need for the problematic trams and their tracks. But that’s a painful rabbit hole, for all of us. *sigh*

        If anything, the restructures as proposed will yield the benefit of disrupting the present institutional inertia.

  19. What about interlining the 43 & 49 via Capitol Hill Station?

    In the current restructure, the 10, 11 and 49 will offer quite frequent, yet redundant service along Pine St. Along Broadway, the 49 and the streetcar are planned to offer redundant service along Broadway. Why not have the 49 turn onto John St and become the current 43 (vise/versa)?

    Riders can easily walk the remaining blocks on Broadway between John and Pine Street. If they need to continue downtown, they can take the Link.

      1. Keep it intact. Essentially, nothing would change on either route north of CHS. For example, the 49 would run south on 10th and continuing on Broadway. It would then turn left on John St and become the 43. Same goes in reverse.

      2. OK, that’s a very smart suggestion too. You practically end up with a circle route: UW to CHS via two separate local streets. You’d have to do some thinking about where to put the layover, but it’s a sweet design which would provide some new (if not terribly useful) one-seat rides.

    1. I like this idea. You could even add a second interlining in the U District, and essentially make it a circular route.

  20. Could look at extending the route 60 to Montlake as a replacement for the Route 48. 20 minutes weekday service and 30 minutes nights and weekends.

  21. It would be nice if there was a one-seat ride from Capitol Hill/First Hill to Fremont and Ballard.

  22. I would like to propose a simple solution:

    1) move the 8 back to East John/Thomas
    2) restore the 43 as it is today with at least 20 minute service
    3) have the 11 run on a 20 versus 15 minute service and keep it on it’s current (Sept 2015) route, and note it’s only a two block walk to Light rail from Pine to John, BIG DEAL. I walk 4 block to and from my bus stop!

      1. The walk from Broadway and Pine to Broadway and John where the light rail is a TWO BLOCK walk. In addition, users of the 11 have a seamless transfer to the 8 east of 23rd Ave East and the 8 will continue to go to the light rail station.

      2. Only because Olive and Denny are cut off.

        Pine – Olive (cut off by SCC) – Howell (cut off on one side by SCC) – Denny (cut off on one side by station construction) – John. Four blocks, or three if there’s going to be an entrance at Denny.

      3. There are entrances on both sides of Broadway at Denny, the walk from Pine to Denny is 5 min according to Google.

      4. There are entrances on both sides of Broadway at Denny

        Hallelujah! That’s what real subways do.

  23. I like Zach’s original idea, because I’d very much like to keep the wires along 23rd/24th and on John east of 15th singing. And, it may be a test run to see if there really is a demand for the “last (half) mile” to Aloha for the Streetcar. Will people actually take the bus to the Link station?

  24. ” But Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels said that “even if we had enough money, the construction-related risks of the First Hill station would put the entire project at risk.

    What’s more, he added, retaining First Hill could cost $1 billion because it would threaten $650 million in federal grants the agency is counting on to build the line.

    The Bush administration has recently tightened cost-effectiveness requirements for projects seeking federal money. Sound Transit says that, with a First Hill station, the project wouldn’t qualify.” The Seattle Times, July 29, 2005

    Frank, the link says that the Federal grant was a strong consideration. But considering subsequent underground events under the Waterfront, a few malevolent unknowns- which large number of miners worldwide believe in by various names- could easily have cost us a lot more than the lost grant money.

    Comparing the two locations, Big Bertha might have been buried in a wide flat sand-box by comparison with the Swedish Hospital neighborhood on top of the First Hill machine. With or without d.p., I really would like to discuss this question with any of the engineers on this project.

    Because the matter may very well have been decided by some highly specific underground conditions that wouldn’t show up on a schematic soils or hydrology map. The Mighty northbound DSTT Mole found a river under Third Avenue at Century Square.

    Considering the value of that station to the whole LINK system, I’m skeptical of the idea that ST wouldn’t put up a stronger and more public fight to keep it in the project. But for that exact reason, both ST and Seattle owe the two “Hills” a lot better than the streetcar looks ready to deliver.

    For starters, a firm decision that whatever compromises traffic between Swedish Hospital and Capitol Hill Station has to make, the no-build decision on First Hill Station has already settled transit’s portion of the account. Not that there’s any hurry. Capitol Hill’s next crop of residents will have the means and motive to re-adjust SDOT’s mode preference as needed.

    Station spacing is a two-sided coin, especially underground ones in residential neighborhoods- which unfortunately are a lot harder and more expensive than in the middle of a freeway. And however park and residential friendly, a permanently daylight-only station may not justify digging.

    Seattle is still a very small city, and we are building a section of regional railroad.The more stations, the slower the trains. For the distance we’re tunneling, much better idea for us is to finally let Broadway carry surface passengers at the speed I daily wished my 4000 on the Route 7 could have had .

    Mark Dublin

    Mark Dublin

    1. Madison BRT is coming, which will at least mitigate the gap between First Hill and Link. I lived near Harborview for two years, where the closest routes were the 3 and 4. They were so slow and unreliable that I’d often walk down the hill while waiting for them, and uphill I’d take the 27 if it was coming soon (which only happened sometimes because it was hourly). The 12 and 2 were not good options because they were half-hourly and at different stops, so you’d have to guess which route would come next and go to that stop. If Madison BRT had been running then, I’d have taken it a lot.

      1. The problem with Madison BRT is that it won’t connect with Link very well at all. Now if SDOT decides to live-loop the west end and go eastbound on Spring instead of Marion, it would be only a block; folks transferring to Link in a rain storm could ride around the box at the bottom of the hill.

        But if they use Marion eastbound in order to get closer to the ferry terminal, it’s three blocks to a station entrance from Marion and two from Madison.

  25. While I think that this represents some good thinking and creative problem solving, I cannot really support it. First, there is no attempt to justify the route in terms of the service guidelines, instead, it’s mostly justified as pacifying the people whining the loudest about a (rather good) restructure. The whole point of the service guidelines is to avoid this sort of politically driven policy making. Is this really a precedent we want to encourage? Second, there is no discussion of where the long term funding is going to come from. In the short term, of course, the booming economy means that there’s almost certainly enough money to pay for it, but we can’t depend on that in perpetuity; moreover, even in the short term, spending it here means that it cannot be spent elsewhere. Third, There’s no discussion of projected ridership, nor a commitment to kill the route if it proves to be a bust. Finally, Metro currently has a shortage of drivers and equipment. Where are the drivers and equipment needed to provide these service hours going to come from?

  26. I like this idea, but I have another…

    What if Metro took all of the current service hours dedicated to routes 43 and 49, and redirected them towards a new combined route. This new combined route could be a loop along existing trolley wire (going in both directions of course) following 23rd/24th Ave E, E Thomas/E John St, Broadway/10th Ave E, and Campus Parkway/NE Pacific St.

    This loop would provide all of the benefits of shuttling people who currently rely on these routes to the new light rail stations, while avoiding the duplication of sending either of these routes to Downtown Seattle.

    1. This is really the best way to do it. Saves service hours, ends the insanely long through-routing of the 49 and 7, and provides true local feeder service for three LINK stations.

      1. And with this new continuous loop, with no bathrooms along it, just think of all the time and bus hours are saved by keeping Mark moving forward. We’ll have to bestow ‘Iron Man’ to his long list of titles.
        Just withhold your FlowMax 48 hours before each shift.

      2. mic,

        It doesn’t have to be continuous for the drivers; there are layover facilities at Husky Stadium. Do two loops (45 minutes each give or take) then take a fifteen minute break. If the buses go every fifteen minutes, which they should in this scenario where there’s no other service on Broadway north of John, every fifteen minutes a driver deboards and the driver who deboarded fifteen minutes earlier takes that coach. Yes, people who are going say from Campus Parkway to Capitol Hill or Montlake to North Broadway have to wait for the driver change, those trips will be relatively few in number; most people will be headed to the Link station.

        I realize this means that two ETB’s (one in each direction) are sitting still at the Triangle garage most of the day, but these would almost certainly be 40 footers of which there is no shortage I believe. A relief driver would be needed around noon so that folks could switch to a double break for lunch. If everyone takes two slots for lunch the relief driver slots in when the first driver taking a lunch break deboards and then the driver who took the last fifteen minute break starting just before the relief entered service takes the next bus out. Then the driver for whom the relief substituted would be ready to take the next bus out.

        The relief driver is the last one to switch out of the 30 minute break cycle and take a 30 minute break before heading off on some other line like the 372 afternoon peak runs.

        I realize the problem with that example: 372 is North Base and trolleys are Atlantic. But there are bound to be trolley-qualified drivers who can also do a couple of diesel runs to finish out a relief shift.

        A coach can probably only do one loop per hour because of the driver change, so four buses would be required in each direction.

      3. I could see this working out quite well. My favorite solutions are either the occasional 48 turning on John, Broadway, Jefferson, and back to 23rd to service both CHS and the Central District (connectivity of which, or lack thereof, is something people rightly complain about a lot) or this. I like this because it also pulls the 49 from it’s Capitol Hill to downtown portion, leaving only the 10 and 11.

        I know Metro is worried about underserving Pine, but I really can’t imagine a ton of people relying on that corridor after Link. While I’m a fairly able youngish man, I’ve lived off various streches of Pine and I almost never took the bus up or down, I usually opted to walk to either Westlake or Broadway.

      4. The particularly nice thing about this is that it eliminates one more bus route (#49) which is trying to slog its way slowly through downtown, and makes it connect to Link at CHS instead. This should save a lot of resources.

        Of course, perhaps the most efficient reroute for the #49 would be to continue to through-route the #49 and the #7 but to run them straight up Boren and Broadway (the trolley wire is all there, even for the turns) rather than through downtown. I don’t know how many minutes that would cut off the trip, but it would certainly save some service hours! Only a few people, those on the #7 between Jackson St. and Mt. Baker, would be forced to add a bus-to-bus transfer (it’s been demonstrated that people are much happier with subway-bus and bus-subway transfers than with bus-bus transfers), and that number will drop even more when East Link opens.

        That may be a step too far at this time, but it makes sense, and would improve service along First Hill.

    2. Haha Dave0, thanks for bringing my idea into more spotlight – and I genuinely mean that. It seems like it’s getting a lot of positive feedback. Zach Shaner, what are your thoughts?

      1. Zach, there’s going to be another round of restructuring when “U District” station opens, and another round when East Link opens.

        It might be worth preparing lists of possible restructurings to stop the trend of “all buses slog their way through downtown” which might be implemented at any of these later restructuring dates. Because with Link operating, you shouldn’t have buses paralleling Link into downtown — that’s wasteful.

  27. That’s a shame about the form the amendment took. I really liked the idea of a 43-49 loop! But I’m grateful there will still be service along 24th/23rd up to 15th and Broadway!

  28. Only 1.5 million…that is 150,000 $10 cab rides. There are so many almost overlapping bus routes here. Can we please just give the disenfranchised cash for for taxis or uber? If folks had to file a legit claim for their free fare, I would guess the amount would be far less than the 1.5m.

    1. Your idea is totally crazy and may be a violation of ADA rules. We already have ADA equipped buses and you want their users off of the bus, so I must ask who’s next parents with kids. Your imaginary solution would also put a lot more cars on the the road great idea and just what we need in Seattle.

      Your ideal bus system devoid or people you deem unnecessary bus riders goes beyond the pale! You too could be in that position some day and you will regret your words. ADA says these people have a right to ride the bus and that is the law until you and your friends get it changed!

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