Route 10 change map
Metro’s map. The revision is no longer “potential” — it’s coming in March.

Metro announced today that, as part of the U-Link restructure scheduled for March 2016, it will change route 10 to use John St and Olive Wy, rather than Pine St, between 15th Ave E and Bellevue Ave E.  The change comes in response to concerns that the previous final restructure plan, as modified by Metro after turns at 19th Ave and Madison St proved unworkable, did not provide enough connectivity to Capitol Hill Station and removed service between the dense Summit neighborhood and downtown.

We advocated for the change, but were hardly alone.  Lots of people independently suggested it, and it played prominently in many different discussions of the restructure.  While it’s not perfect — it compromises north-south connectivity within Capitol Hill and may result in some overcrowding on route 11 — the change will improve connections to Link and preserve service for the many downtown riders in Summit.  Metro should be commended for its flexibility in implementing this change at the very last minute.

37 Replies to “Metro to Move Route 10 in March”

  1. Am I the only one who thinks it’s worth a serious fight to keep the 43 exactly where it is? At least three really critical reasons:

    1. An established and important length of 23rd Avenue loses a transfer-free ride to Capitol Hill station.

    2. A transfer from the Route 48 to the Route 8 at 23rd and Thomas requires waiting in at an isolated stop for a schedule known for being unreliable. A ten-minute max ride from the Group Health Hospital, the15th Avenue shopping area, and most of all, the Capitol Hill Station.

    3. As is, the 43 can provide “first responder” bus-bridge service between UW and both Capitol Hill and Westlake Stations.

    The one hopeful thing about proposed Route 10 adjustment is that it proves that “trains” are still being shuttle around the freight yard, and none has yet “left the yard.” Let alone the station.

    How much money are we talking about to leave the 43 alone? And while we’re at it, the Route 10, too?

    Mark Dublin

    1. It would require rejoining the 45/48 and 8/38 and losing the 12-minute frequency on the 49 and the 20-minute evening frequency on the 8.

  2. I disagree. What this has shown me is that Metro will listen to whoever yells the loudest and makes the most fuss which in this case was the Seattle Transit Blog. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Metro isn’t immune to special interests because no other part of our government is, but this change has made me feel so jaded towards Metro. Looking forward to car ownership in 2016 since the new 10 won’t work for me and the 11 is going to be ridiculously crowded.

      1. I think it’s more likely that people will end up having to sit on each other’s laps in order to squeeze more folks on the bus.

      2. Good question, Mic. Google “Double Deck Trolleybus”, and I think you’ll find one of London’s tallest, on steroids. With poles. It was in South Africa.

        I’m not sure how high the traction power lines had to be. Since last dual-power bus with poles left the DSTT over 20 years ago- problem already solved there.

        Though for theoretical West Seattle Transit Tunnel, do us a favor and get back to STB, ST, and KCM. Oh, also call CT- I think their double-talls come from Scotland.


      1. Oh never mind. I’m over my internet tantrum for the afternoon.

        p.s. I can go wherever I want – it’s just going to be a hell of a lot more inconvenient.

      2. how much more inconvenient? you’re not giving us enough information to evaluate your claim, let alone muster sympathy for you.

      3. Nobody needs to prove that moving a bus route is going to make some trip harder. This sort of change has winners and losers almost by definition. Even if more people benefit that doesn’t mean we can’t have some sympathy.

    1. a., did Seattle Transit Blog advocated trashing the 43? Maybe I didn’t hear this happen for all the other yelling. I don’t think STB asked for the reroute on the 10, either.

      I drove the 43 for some years, so I think it’s an important route to keep. Points like the ones I just made- and the question I asked, are further testimony.

      But I also think no firm decision on any of these routes can be made until this whole length of LINK runs long enough for anybody to know what works or otherwise with the buses.

      Years before Metro went to King County, the agency decided that the whole 43 had to go. A few months of intense public comment put it back. Sop politically, most effective thing you and your fellow passengers can do is find out names, phones, and e-mails of your County Council rep and ST board member.

      Stay in touch reasonably and very often, and good chance your 10 will be fine too.


    2. We advocated for this proposal, but we certainly were not the reason it got adopted.

      Also, let’s keep things in perspective: you will still have 15-minute downtown service (although it may be overcrowded) after this change, while without this change, the neighborhood of Summit (which is denser than yours) would have been left with no downtown service at all.

      1. Also, trip to San Francisco or anyplace with really good public transit, and will show you that in the world’s really great transit systems, an overpacked sardine can in Seattle would get pulled for lack of ridership most places.

        So sadly, when the 10 comes back to its people, walking could be a lot more comfortable. Though by then, ridership numbers themselves could politically guarantee reserved lanes and signal pre-empt the whole 3-minute headway route.


    3. The new 11 could be ok, or it could be brutal. Outbound from downtown, the 11 already gets a lot of the 49/10 crowd who are only going as far as Broadway or 12th just because the 11 arrives first. That often causes severe overloads.

      Hopefully Link siphons off a lot of the Broadway/Pine-bound crowd.

      1. Lets hope that SCCC students especially the international students who tend to travel in groups all start using link to get to and from downtown. Otherwise the 11 will be hell for anyone boarding after downtown and before Broadway.

    4. They didn’t even yell that much louder. 45% of the people wanted this change. 43% did not. This despite the fact that at least one blog (this one) was solidly in favor. Public input was largely meaningless with this change. I’m not sure why Metro wanted to make this change, but they obviously wanted to. They didn’t even get a majority in favor.

  3. Based on an email exchange today about the peak-hour problems on the 11 I can say that they are listening. The announcement on the route 10 states:

    “To address concerns with bus capacity on the Route 11 in the Madison and Pine Street corridor we are planning to use 60-foot-long articulated coaches when ridership is at its highest. We will also actively monitor ridership after all changes are implemented and make adjustments as needed.”

    They also are looking at the current problem, but they are having capacity problems on a lot of routes.

    1. Reg-
      When our comes to overcrowding on the 11… blame your neighbors.

      The 11 is a Ryerson Base route. The only 60 foot coaches Metro has assigned to Ryerson are old and obnoxiously loud. When Metro has used 60 foot coaches, your neighbors in Madison Park complain about the noise.

      So it sounds like Metro is going to do what they already do on the 24… use 60 foot buses during peak (when ridership is supposed to be highest)… but use the quieter 40 foot buses during off-peak hours to keep the neighbors happy and hope there aren’t too many riders.

      1. Let’s try again, Metro went from 60 to 40-foot buses in peak hours in the September 2015 revision of the 11 schedule for peak-hours. Yes, the riders are responsible for this since the want to use Metro. Would you rather have them use their cars instead?

  4. 45% of people supported this, 43% opposed it, so it happens. I really don’t know why Metro wanted this change, but they wanted it. Less of a grid, slower buses, but in the grand scheme of things, not that important either way. Transit is a mess in this town, despite spending billions trying to make it better (right under this very spot). Some things change, some things stay the same.

    1. That’s an inaccurate portrayal of the survey results. In fact, 45% liked it, and 24% didn’t like it. 19% didn’t like it, but could live with it.

      That’s not the same as “45% supported it, 43% opposed it.”

      How do I know? Because I was part of that 19%. I live right by the part of 15th that will lose service from the 10, and this will make me walk slightly further to catch the bus. So yeah, the change affects me negatively.

      But you know what? I felt like the rerouting makes sense, so I have no problem with the change. So I answered the survey honestly, and in the comments explained my reasoning. But according to your misreading of the survey results, I apparently oppose the change.

    2. It is human nature for people that oppose a change to take the time to express their opinions, but people who support it to not bother. If 45% of the survey takers responded that they like it, the opinion of the overall population is probably overwhelmingly positive.

  5. Any chance of throwing the token 43 service that was going to happen at peak periods onto the old 10
    route instead?

    1. Glenn, this is exactly what I suggested to metro in the comments. Moving the remaining 43 peak trips over to Pine as far as 15th would go a long way to eliminate the 11 issues. Maybe it’s just me, but I think returning to 15 minute frequencies on the 48 might be worth it to keep the 43. If anything 43 ridership would increase as Link opened, not cannibalize it.

    2. Glenn,

      Check out a Metro route map for the 43 and you’ll see what I mean about its merits. Take a marker and trace the route from UW station southbound along 23rd to Thomas, and then west past Capitol Hill station and on downtown.

      Also trace the Route 8 past the station, and the 49 along Broadway past the station to Pine and downtown. You’ll see that all these routes provide a single-ride along major corridors to different neighborhoods.

      Mainly, the present route of the 43 provides a one-seat ride between UW station past Capitol Hill station- doing away with the transfer at Thomas and 23rd.

      Check the satellite view of that corner, noticing the lack of anything that would make that stop anything but forbidding after dark. And a transfer is forced a few minutes’ ride from Capitol Hill station.

      This isn’t a matter of budget math. It’s an important service being treated as expendable,or tradeable for things of lesser importance. You wouldn’t do this in Portland.


  6. Anandakos, I’m concentrating on the 43. To me, one of the chief recommendations for the 43 has been wired for years on exactly the same route it still needs go. Its main recommendation is that the service area along 23rd will have a single-seat ride past Capitol Hill station.

    In addition, it’s able to “Bus-Bridge between UW station and Capitol Hill. Avoiding in either ase a very uncomfortable transfer a few minutes uphill from the station itself. The only thing that would change my mind about this route will be if the service area itself tells me they don’t think it’s needed.

    However, since when Metro tried to shut down that route 20 years ago, the neighborhood got it re-installed after a few months. Between that and the advantages I listed, I’m really not worried that the 43 will be permanently lost.

    Like with the bus service out of the UW station, I think actual LINK operations will straighten out a lot of things.


    1. Yes, but you were responding to a post about having to take the overcrowded 11 with a post about trolleys, which the 11 bus has never been.

      I think that the idea of running peak 43’s via Madison and Pine west of 15th would be a good one to solve two problems (23rd Avenue direct downtown service AND overloading the 11). It would even give the bit of 15th losing service some for peak hour riders.

      Big win,

      1. Trouble is that perhaps the most important reason for the keeping the present 43 is that the de-transfered line go past Capitol Hill station.

        After the station, best route west is still same as now. Meaning that the 10 can also keep present route, where it also works just fine.

        Also every time reality hits the Route 8, passengers can walk or take other routes northward the other side of the freeway. Or stay on 8 route ’til the bus catches up with them.

        Giving Metro the advantage of leaving two routes that work exactly where it already are, saving a lot more besides budget.


      2. I know I may be dating myself, but the 11 was a trolley run in the 1950’s and will hopefully be again for the BRT!

  7. I believe trolley buses operating route 44 have no physical way to get to or from the base except to follow the path of route 43. The only choice is whether to have these buses run in-service or out-of-service. Some of these in-service-deadhead trips happen late at night, after Link has stopped running. It would be a shame if the deletion of route 43 means that these buses, which will have to run anyway, will no longer stop to pick up passengers.

    1. Part A of the final said the 43s would be through-routed with the 44, and there would be extra runs to get the other 44s to their route. Then part B (an amendment) said only a couple of the 43’s would be through-routed, and I’m not sure if it mentioned the extra runs. So it’s unclear. Maybe the difference is whether they go the entire route or turn at Broadway. The extra runs currently turn at Broadway, and maybe Metro doesn’t consider them significant enough to pre-announce them. Hopefully they’ll at least stop for people even if they’re off the schedule.

      1. Hopefully, but if they’re not present on any formal schedule and OneBusAway doesn’t know about them, there’s hardly going to be any takers at the bus stops – especially during the late night hours when Link isn’t running and the only options to get between the U-district and Capitol Hill are 44’s headed back to base and the 49…

        Which does bring forth an interesting idea. Since the 44 and 49 are both trolley routes, how about having late-night #44 trips travel back to the base as route 49, rather than route 43? This would lead to a much more legible schedule than the 43 pathway. It would also extend the hours of operation for 15-minute service and 30-minute service on the 49. Eventually, the 49 should simply run 24 hours, in lieu of the 83. At 3 in the morning, downtown->Capitol Hill->U-district matters a lot more than serving neighborhoods like Eastlake and Ravenna.

  8. It has been particularly troubling that while regularly riding the 10 during this entire (one week) process, there has been no mention of this potential change from Metro on the affected buses, the stops, or anywhere in the neighborhood. The survey was a sham, totally biased to get a specific outcome, and no outreach was done to solicit feedback from individuals that will be negatively affected by the change. Metro should not be “commended for its flexibility.” It should be admonished for obscuring the process.

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