Metro Service Planner Jeremy Fichter
Metro Service Planner Jeremy Fichter

We appreciate the careful attention the Seattle Transit Blog, riders, and advocates are giving to how service is performing since we implemented the major restructure in Northeast Seattle. We’re watching closely, too, listening and logging customer concerns about specific overcrowded trips, or gaps in service riders would like us to address, and analyzing ridership and performance data that helps us operate the system.

With this restructure, Metro focused on improving service in areas and during time periods with greatest demand. On routes affected by U-Link integration, ridership on Saturdays and Sundays is about half and one-third of ridership on weekdays, respectively. The changes made are consistent with Metro’s Service Guidelines and were made in concert with service investment choices made by the City of Seattle using Proposition 1 transit funds.

Our work has only begun. Given the extent of this service change, Metro anticipated that refinements would be needed following the service change and set aside a reserve of service hours for this purpose. Metro is monitoring customer feedback and has been observing routes that we’re hearing about in key locations where we know passenger loading could be at its highest point. Once we’ve seen a consistent pattern of crowding, we’ll make adjustments as soon as possible and as resources allow. Although our first priority will be to address overcrowding, we may also be able to address limited gaps in the span of service as well, again as resources allow.

Adopting a template used by writer Zach Shaner, the updated table below lists the earliest trips at each location noted in Zach’s table, before and after, and the routes. It shows how Metro service was maintained at each of the specified locations. It also illustrates improvements as a result of including all the routes that serve each location, namely Routes 62 and 76, which do not provide service to the U District but do provide early morning one-seat rides to downtown Seattle.  Route 62 is a new route providing a one-seat ride to downtown Seattle every 15 minutes or better, seven days-a-week from many NE Seattle neighborhoods, including Sand Point, Wedgwood, Ravenna and Roosevelt.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 8.18.32 AM

There are concerns in the story that some trips have become harder. In each case, we have identified that riders have alternatives to the service that was previously available.

  • “Early morning weekend trips from Wedgwood/Ravenna to the UDistrict via Route 65 (20 minutes later on Saturday and Sunday) and Route 71 (90 minutes later on Saturday and no Sunday service).”  Historical demand in this neighborhood and time of day is limited.  For example, in Fall 2015, the first trip on Route 65 had a maximum load of 12 riders.  Those destined for downtown from Wedgwood/Ravenna on weekends will have service as early or earlier than before on Route 62, as shown in the table above.
  • “Early weekend trips to SeaTac Airport via Link.”  Riders can take early morning service on Routes 41 or 62 to transfer to Link downtown.  On Sundays, Route 62 will come twice as often as Routes 65 or 71 before the change.
  • “Sunday trips to Downtown via Link and Routes 8, 65, 67, 75, and 372, all of which require bus/rail transfers at 30-minute headways.”  Residents in Sand Point, Wedgwood, Ravenna and Roosevelt who are destined for downtown will have service as early or earlier than before on Route 62, as shown on the table above.  Route 62 provides a one-seat ride to downtown and does not require a transfer to Link.  Sundays on Capitol Hill, Routes 10, 11 and 12 provide direct trips to downtown Seattle before the first trip on Route 8.  Also, Route 8 was improved to operate every 20 minutes between noon and 7 p.m. on Sunday.

In a similar fashion, here is a revised frequency table reflecting service frequencies at the same locations as the table above, before and after Metro’s service change.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 8.18.16 AM

Again, we appreciate any and all feedback about the changes implemented on March 26. We welcome readers of Seattle Transit Blog to submit comments and suggestions to Metro Customer Service at 206-553-3000.

46 Replies to “Metro’s Response on Weekend Bus2Link Transfers”

  1. I would like to see 75th/15th added to this table, as service there is noticeably worse after Ulink.

      1. Thanks for the suggestion. Trip Planner has never suggested that for me. Ah, there’s a two bus 67 -> 355 approach with a 10min wait time between buses. At my usual time I get either a half mile walk (north or south) or a Link connection to downtown that takes about an hour door to door. It’s quite frustrating because in the 10 years I’ve lived in the neighborhood, my bus commute time has more than doubled. And public transit was one of the reasons I moved there. Once Link gets to Roosevelt I expect there will be big improvements, but that’s 5 years out.

  2. The 75 can be late and uncomfortably full. Last night a 4:30 bus was beyond bearable. Driver said he got stuck behind Fremont bridge which put him about 10-15 minutes late.
    The solution might be to eliminate the 78 and restore the 30 with an added stop at U-Link. This bus would turn left at Pacific instead of right on campus parkway. This would give NE residents an option around campus with a direct drop off at station. The new station stop would spur several new boardings and hence top the bus off.

  3. Metro’s answers sound somewhat like mine have been to neighbors. Seems like people are not “seeing” new route 62 or other new services. Ideally we could afford to have service good enough to *attract* more weekend and non-prime shift work and workers

    I rarely use the Trip Planner because it gives options that require hills when a longer walk is better and so forth. It will give me transfer(s) to route 62 when walking directly is more logical time and “risk of missing connection” wise. Usually I just use One Bus and work backwards from what buses are running to where I want to be, and what connects them to me wherever.

    What are Metro standards for distance residence to bus stop ? Is there a presumption of walking speed or effect of of terrain ?

    1. I just don’t use the Trip Planner much because it makes assumptions I wouldn’t make and doesn’t let me compare alternatives they way I want to. I look at the route schedules to see what options are available and piece together an intinerary. If I don’t know which routes are in an area I use the neighborhood route list to find the closest one.

    2. It used to be that you could select 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, or 1 mile maximum walk. If you use Sound Transit’s trip planner which uses the same data, it still has those options.

      1. Good point.

        It was silly of Metro to get rid of this, particularly for people who have mobility issues or just don’t want to walk a long distance to transit when they ostensibly live in the city. I recently tried to piece together trips to see if someone here who was upset about the NE Seattle changes could get a better routing, and Trip Planner would force up to a 0.8 mile walk between buses depending on where on the alleged grid I tried to start my trip. (You also had to force the first route to be the 372 in this case to even get it to find the transfer at UW to Link, but that’s a different story.)

        A walk of just short of a mile for most of us on a day like today can be quite pleasant (I pretty much end up doing this at Capitol Hill since the 11 is so horrible that I can easily walk at least that far before one shows up). However, it’s not so pleasant in a 38-degree driving rain, nor is it pleasant or even possible for many of our fellow citizens who may not be so mobile.

        Metro really needs to fix Trip Planner and make it more intuitive and with more and varied options. It seemed during my planning exercise that it often didn’t even remember there was a new grid and potential transfers.

  4. I’m glad Metro responded to the article. The response makes some good points, but I also think it misses the big picture.

    Should the 62 be used as a primary route between downtown and NE Seattle? That seems to go against the whole idea of Link opening up NE Seattle to direct service downtown, and makes the 62 seem like a slow, inferior version of the old 71.

    Yes, on Sundays, the earliest 62 gets to the airport 15 minutes earlier than the first 372, 30 minutes earlier than the first 65, and 45 minutes earlier than the first 75. That’s 1,2, and 3 trains respectively according to Google Maps. But is it a mistake not having buses that connect to all Link trains? There’s no bus service at all for the first 4 Link trains of the day. The 62 beating the 372 by 15 minutes might not be enough for someone to choose not to drive or take a taxi.

    And getting to NE Seattle from downtown is a pain any time of day on Sundays. Let’s say I’m coming from downtown to Ravenna or Wedgwood. I could either take the 62 which means a relatively short wait downtown and no transfer, but a guaranteed long bus ride – as long as I live near 65th St. Or I could take Link. An even shorter wait, but a huge gamble at UW. Maybe I get lucky and only have to wait 5 minutes for a 372. Maybe I get unlucky and see it drive by while I’m walking up Rainier Vista and will have to wait 25 minutes. And if someone isn’t going to 65th St, they will have a bad transfer whether they take Link or the 62. When a journey requires gambling on a transfer, that’s poor route design.

    1. I understand that choosing between multiple routes can be a hassle. Fortunately, UW Station was equipped with real-time bus arrival information signs to help riders decide which bus to catch for their connecting trip. On Sundays, when Routes 65 and 372 each provide 30-minute service, outbound trips from the University District are staggered somewhat; between the two routes, headways alternate between 10 and 20 minutes for most of the day. Some riders in Ravenna and Wedgwood – particularly those who live between 25th and 35th Avenues – may be able to use these routes interchangeably.

      On Sundays, scheduled running times on Route 62 between 35th Ave/65th Street and downtown Seattle are 40 to 50 minutes. The corresponding times for Route 71 prior to the service change were 25 to 35 minutes. Looking at overall travel time, the difference is even less pronounced, since Route 62 operates twice as often, and wait times are therefore lower.

      1. Jeremy, thank you for providing such a detailed analysis of the changes in service that happened last week. It appears that for many customers there are good alternatives that can provide a connection similar to what existed previously, not to mention the new possibilities opened by Route 62. One area that seems to be coming up in comments both here on Seattle Transit Blog and on buses themselves is the lack of early morning (before 6:30am on Weekdays), evening (after 10pm on weekdays), and Sunday service on 73. While many riders have the 67 as an alternative, many others don’t and extending the span of service would fill a large gap created in this restructure.

        From what I have seen here and in person, it’s not the connection to Link, which most seem to appreciate because of the overall faster service but the lack of the same span of service from prior to the change. For the most part, 71 and 72 riders have alternative options in similar corridors with just one transfer. Do you know if this is one area where Metro might be considering a resource boost?

      2. @ Xander B: Thank you for this additional feedback. As stated in my post, our first priority will be to address overcrowding, but we may also be able to address limited gaps in the span of service as well, as resources allow. We are still monitoring the service change and determining what needs to be done to address crowding issues we have heard about and observed. So, we do not yet know the level of resource that might be available to address other needs. We will certainly keep these and the many other customer comments we have received in mind as we consider refinements going forward. Thanks again!

      3. I would add that overcrowding and addressing the gaps that have been created are not separate. When the 79 was eliminated the 72/73 became much more crowded (nearly crush loaded in the U-Dist) and I’ve heard from colleagues that use the 77 that there are more people on that route now. My point being that some restoration of service will in all likelihood reduce overcrowding as well. This could be achieved by considering transit corridors rather than bus routes in isolation.

      4. Jeremy, I’ll second XanderB’s thanks for your appearance here. It’s informative to see Metro’s side of things and is encouraging to see that Metro is listening and willing to provide some feedback. I’ve noticed a lot of new commenters here (a good thing) and I think that when people are looking for answers or are frustrated they may find their way to STB. Kudos to you and to Metro for interacting here.

      5. I am in the situation mentioned – I have to decide between the 372 on Stevens and the 65 on Montlake. However the realtime displays only show departures from pacific and montlake – so no no use at all! I plan to abandon link for my evening commute – my old ride, the 74, takes the same amount of time and I don’t have 20 minutes of walking/transfers.

    2. The 62 looks to me like it was positioned as a crosstown route and a downtown milk run. So I would not use it for going downtown at normal times, but other people prefer a one-seat ride over speed. However, the early morning is not a normal time; it’s more like a night owl. Since ridership is much lower and congestion is nonexistent, it may make sense to have a few milk runs rather than more other routes. The lack of early connections to UW Station would be one thing if it were permanent, but this is just a stopgap until Roosevelt Station opens and the network will be better.

    3. Should the 62 be used as a primary route between downtown and NE Seattle? That seems to go against the whole idea of Link opening up NE Seattle to direct service downtown, and makes the 62 seem like a slow, inferior version of the old 71.

      This is an extraordinary. One could only make such a strange claim if they think having decent crosstown service is of no use to anyone–that people East and West of the freeway never cross it unless they’re on their way downtown or back. The 62 dramatically increases the quality of crosstown service in N Seattle relative to the status quo ante. If that’s not of any particular use to you, OK, but think beyond your own immediate travel routes from time to time. Most network improvements don’t tangibly benefit me, but I don’t use that as an excuse to pretend they don’t exist.

      1. The 62 was meant to be an east-west neighborhoid connector, not as a fast way of getting downtown. And a great and much needed neighborhood connector it is.
        Areas south of Northgate — East Green Lake and Wallingford– need a much faster way to get downtown, such as an all-day 316.
        The new 26X needs to run more frequently, at least every 20 minutes, as did the 16.
        And I wonder why the northbound 26 still makes that loop to its former East Green Lake layover space instead of turning right onto Woodlawn from Latona, keeping the routing of the 16. Nothing ‘express’ about that,

  5. One leg of my daily triangle (23rd/John – UW – Broadway – 23rd/John) that has gotten slightly worse post restructure is EB from Broadway to ~23rd/John in the after 10pm period. With the 43 gone, there is just a 30 minute headway 8 (no more 43 redundancy up John), which means I have to pay closer attention to OBA (or walk). One night after just missing an 8, I took Link to UW, then a 48 back up the hill to John. I could have walked faster (only because of the longish 9 minute transfer at UW), but it’s doable if not efficient.

  6. Couple of observations from my experience.

    The 62 is a helpful option for a family member getting to/from Roosevelt HS (i.e. more service).

    The options to heading to UW Husky Stadium/downtown in early AM hours from 65th and 15th definitely seem diminished. Although as mentioned above walking over to Roosevelt can help.

    On my bike commute on Eastlake in the AM it really seems like more people are waiting for buses even with what I assume is increased service on route 70.

    What a shame the UW did not embrace a station right on campus, I can understand the security concerns, but man there sure are a lot of pedestrians walking up and down from the Husky stadium station. Nice scenic walk though.

  7. I’m interested in how your modeling works. It totally makes sense that you’re tracking overcrowding and actual riders. But Northeast Seattle has lots of choice riders and lots of squeaky wheels who are resistant to change. So I wonder if/how you reach them, and if your modeling does anything around people that might ride if they were to discover that service was more convenient than they thought?

  8. Jeremy, since I moved out of Seattle several years ago, and my only U-District travel has been on the new LINK line, I’ll keep my comments to a couple of things I learned in 13 years of transit driving, and many more as a passenger.

    First of all, if I were you I would ride several round trips from Downtown and back on the Route 62 before I’d ever again refer to that map as a single seat ride either way. Technically. no argument.

    But on an important route, passengers care a lot less about the number of seats they sit in than about speed and reliability. Peoples’ most usual complaints about transfers are first, the added trip time, and second, discomfort of most transfer points.

    From direct and hateful experience, in any traffic at all, there is no way Metro’s best driver can keep a local route that length on schedule. Chances would get better with a bus-only lane on every block, and every traffic signal pre-empted.

    Otherwise…what do twenty thirty-second delays add up to? Let alone the usual much more. For a future scenic streetcar ride, the 62 would be great. But if you’d just moved into Sand Point, your first ride Downtown on the 62 might have begun your last day on a new job.

    Second, I can think of one ride that absolutely must be single-seat. The Route 43 provides one for the whole length of 23rd Avenue between SR520, then turning right down Thomas, passing Group Health Hospital two minutes before arriving at Capitol Hill LINK station.

    But the route’s really critical single seats carry passengers to the Hospital and the station. Without having to wait in a Metro shelter-in-name-only at 23rd and Thomas, for a route whose on-time performance merits at least a coffee shop to wait at.

    For a three-minute trip to its two most important destinations. Especially for sick or injured people 80 years old. In the winter. But based on some train delays these last few weeks, U-Link needs to be ready for “Bus Bridge” response, STAT. No, the 49 won’t do it! ‘Til diesels can get there, new “artics” on the 43 will be good PR. With the help of several hundred thousand dollars of electric overhead the whole trip.

    Including between rush hours. And putting it back under the wire full schedule whole calendar. With an Express sign on the inter-office order.

    Leading to some discussion about Routes 8 and 38- starting with explanations of a sudden routing change. Which could have some repercussions for above transfers.

    So from additional personal experience observing brand new service, I’d suggest that anybody in your position spend a lot more time in a passenger seat than a desk chair. Sneaky of them not to tell you, but that’s main reason they gave you your pass. Ask Martin for my e-mail.

    Mark Dublin

  9. “Historical demand in this neighborhood and time of day is limited. For example, in Fall 2015, the first trip on Route 65 had a maximum load of 12 riders. Those destined for downtown from Wedgwood/Ravenna on weekends will have service as early or earlier than before on Route 62, as shown in the table above.”

    Statements like these really demonstrate a lack of forward-thinking and general assumption that this particular quadrant of the city only has an appetite for public transportation during peak commuting times. Why are we quoting ridership data and basing future service decisions on the previous subpar network? I understand NE Seattle largely consists of affluent, single family homes with access to more than one personal vehicle but it sounds as if Metro is already throwing in the towel when it comes to growing ridership. What if key routes were to provide 15 minute frequency all day, everyday?

    Metro needs to take a long, hard look at consistency and frequency of the network on ALL days. This is especially true if the mantra of making more connections, walking farther, etc continues.

    1. That is what Metro is doing: trying to raise the bar on frequent grid routes and hoping that “If you build it, they will come.” But the limited service hours don’t go far enough for full-time frequent routes everywhere. If Metro had the hours for evening & Sunday 8 and 372, evening & weekend 75 and 65, and a Lake City – UDistrict route it probably would, for the same reason it did make some routes frequent. Your complaint is with the voters who won’t raise enough taxes for it, and the state that won’t allow it.

    2. Wedgwood is surreal in how almost all traffic dissappears between 11 and 6. I don’t think it was 12 riders because everyone else drove at that hour for lack of frequent network. I think it was 12 riders because all 12 people out were on that same sad bus.

  10. My experience with the restructure. The 62 is a welcome frequent crosstown route, yaaayyy! However, it often gets late eastbound in the daytime. Transerring from the 71 northbound to the 62 eastbound doesn’t work because the 62 goes by while the 71 is waiting at the light. Taking the 73 would have less of a wait, but then you lose your same-stop transfer which was the advantage of the 71 in the first place, and using solely the 72 makes you dependent on a half-hourly schedule which this restructure was supposed to minimize. Transferring to/from the 372 seems to have less of a wait, and I haven’t seen it crowded although others have. The 45 and 71/73 from UW Station go northbound at different stops, which makes it impossible to use them interchangeably to 65th. The 10 is more frequent on Olive Way than the 43 was (10-15 min daytime/15 min evenings, vs 15 min daytime/30 min evenings) so that has been a welcome benefit. But losing it on 15th & Pine means the only route is the 11 which drops to half-hourly evenings & Sundays, so that’s a bummer. Although I’m not complaining because it’s a 5-minute flat walk from 15th & John and other people have longer waits and less frequency. I haven’t ridden the 26X/28X/131/132 yet so I don’t know if they’ve gotten more reliable: the old routes were so often late I never saw them on-time once in the daytime. However, some people have complained about losing the 16/16 frequency between Latona and downtown and Greenlake and Northgate.

    PS. Metro’s long-awaited Long-Term Plan draft is finally done. Open houses April 19-May 3. I haven’t read it yet, but two things in the bullet points: “More buses arrive at Link stations every 1.5 minutes”, and the percentage of people living near frequent transit goes from 20% to 70%.

    1. “The full draft plan document will be available online on April 18th.” There doesn’t seem to be any details yet. Just the 60-minute ridesheds from Ballard, Overlake, and Highline College. And “20 new RapidRide lines and upgrade existing lines”. That will exhaust the alphabet.

      1. Thanks, I wouldn’t have found it otherwise. I doth believe I see a frequent route on Sand Point Way-125th-Roosevelt to the maybe-station in 2025, and a full 125th/130th frequent route in 2040. And a frequent route on 30th-145th in both of them. And a Renton Avenue RapidRide, and Benson-240th SE, and KDM-Meeker-KK-132nd-124th SE. And a Metro all-day express route to Federal Way on top of Link; hmm, I wonder who that’s for, wasn’t Link supposed to take care of that? That 60-minute transitshed from Highline College to Renton and Highline College to Alki still bothers me; is that the best we can do? Not that I expect a lot of people at Highline College want to go to Alki directly, but it’s representative of how fragmented our county will still be.

      2. This also tips Metro’s hand on the North Link and Lynnwood Link restructures, which I realized after William C said ST2 and ST3. And the kind of thing we wish we had when debating ST1 and ST2 and waiting for their construction.

      3. Yes, this’s huge. I see a lot of good ideas here, like an 85th-Northgate Rapid Ride, two Boren Ave routes, a Rapid Ride to Renton, an 8 to Madison Park, a 12th Ave route in Capitol Hill… I’m wondering how many more service hours this would cost, though. There seems to be a lot of near-duplication among the Local routes. Maybe Metro’s just throwing out every idea there so nobody gets upset this early, but maybe this’s their vision of an ideal network? Or, maybe this’s what they get when Link lets them reclaim almost all the express buses?

      4. It’s probably a combination of that and asking the cities to cough up matching funds. It incorporates Move Seattle from what I can tell, and Bellevue has a Transit Master Plan which it could act on if it was so motivated. The other cities have their own ideas but somebody needs to integrate them together. If Metro does the integrating maybe the cities can get on with funding them, since the last countywide proposition failed. Maybe people are more willing to fund something in their city than a countywide thing they may go “Blah” about.

  11. Jeremy, I wish you would give us the reason for the extremely sudden change on the Route 38. Because on the positive side, it indicates that Metro is willing to change a route in a hurry if necessary.

    But we would be interested in the reasons why this particular route has been changed. And what effect this is expected to have on the important transfer from the 48, to get passengers west from 23rd to Capitol Hill station.

    I don’t think you and I have ever met. But I’m asking you in all honesty: Has your department included any Metro drivers on your team? And I don’t mean “input.” Because I’m getting the strong sense that someone is making critical decisions on the basis of statistics alone.

    I’ve personally driven routes where passengers have cursed at me because I could not keep an extremely long local route on time. But evidently, whatever my passengers and I thought, from nightly experience, the route statistics left it unchanged for years.

    I’m also afraid Uber and Lyfft will cheerfully reveal stats on how many former transit passengers voted for them instead of ST3. In which passengers will vote not only on Sound Transit rides, but Metro connecting service too.

    ATU Local 587 has a fair number of drivers who could be “detailed” to help. This would also be an excellent assignment for “light duty” operators, who are temporarily unable to drive after being hurt on duty, but able to do work besides driving.

    Metro has a history of employee advisory groups. Should be even faster to get one than those changes on the 38.


  12. The 62 does not serve Wedgwood in the early morning. Passing by the neighborhood center a mile away (65th St vs 85th St) means that for most people, a transfer is required to reach the 62 from Wedgwood; a transfer that is not available in the early morning because the 65 is not running. I’m able and willing to walk a mile to catch a bus (I’ve done it a few times in Pierce County), but most people are not.

    Also, the 62 is of no help to someone trying to get from Wedgwood to the U District by 5 am on a weekend, but since I may be the only person making that trip, I’m fine with the service gap; my bike works just fine.

  13. I live in the northeast along NE 65th and 40th NE and have been testing out the new routes in the area. I work in SLU, so I was hoping the 62 work provide a great link to the area with its relatively frequent service. It needs some work…they are almost invariably behind schedule…and holy mackerel, they c r a w l through Green Lake and Fremont…and finally, bunching.I saw three 62s within 6 minutes tonight around 6:30, which means many people must have been waiting 30 minutes or more to catch one. I really wanted this route to stick around but not an option for commuting to SLU. The 71 is ok, but now that ends up being a long walk at some point or a three vehicle ride 71 -> LINK -> 8 (Cap Hill) or C Line (University station). So after all that, I think the fastest ride is still the 76 with a better connection to the C Line…

    1. Have you tried the 64? It’s a peak express, so obviously it’s no good outside of the normal commute time (I don’t know when you are making your commute). It will pick up at 65th/35th and drop off along Fairview in SLU. If you don’t want to walk up the steep hill from 40th, you can take a short ride on a 62, 71, or 76 and then transfer.

  14. Route 67 definitely needs improvement during the PM rush hour in the NORTHBOUND (to Northgate). Strangely enough it was improved in both directions in the AM peak, and only in the reverse direction in the PM peak (so the 65 northbound to Jackson has improved service). It remains at 15 minute frequency (that means no improvement north of 42nd St). Before, when it was the 66/67 combo, there were a mix of ARTIC and Standard coaches to accommodate the loads. Now it is just STANDARD with a 35 foot thrown in, meaning some riders along 11th Ave NE being left behind, due to overloads. Not a good thing if you are trying to get people to transfer from LINK to 67.

  15. Thanks much, Jeremy, for the reply.

    At least one theme that seems to me to keep repeating in comments is timing unreliability, which is obviously a huge problem on a transfer-oriented system which doesn’t have the funding for the saturation solution (extremely high frequency). A transfer-based system pretty much collapses when 15-minute frequency really means 2 bunched buses every 30 minutes (or 3 every 45 minutes).

    Schedule unreliability obviously has multiple sources (e.g., in no particular order, cash fumbling, use of front door for exit at busy stops, bad signal timing, traffic gridlock, inability to merge into traffic after stopping, loading/unloading disabled passengers, leaving the terminal late at the start of a run, driver trying to explain the transit system to lost souls, etc.). Obviously, some of these are easier to ameliorate than others.

    Being something of an engineer, I seek data. Can anyone quantify how much of a problem each of the various sources of delay represents? Obviously, some of the sources are relatively route independent, while others are highly route correlated (e.g., traffic gridlock on the eastbound #8). I would suspect data from other transit system(s) would be of some, but limited, use.

    Assuming such data doesn’t already exist, might there be some way, that wouldn’t break the bank, to obtain it, perhaps by utilizing volunteers?

  16. What do you about the idea of moving the 71 from 65th St. to 75th St.? It would result in better coverage by not being redundant with the 62, as well as address the long-standing gap in cross-town service between 65th St. and Northgate Way. And all without costing any new service hours over the existing 71?

    1. That might work. It might even benefit some former 72 riders who had a route on 80th. It would get at least part of the 72’s walkshed to the U-District.

      (Although I realized, I kept saying the 372 doesn’t go to the U-District, but it does, since its terminus is Campus Parkway which is four blocks from 45th.)

  17. I live near the intersection of 35th and Wallingford. The Link extension and bus restructure has had a significant impact on my daily commute to downtown. I’m a data/spreadsheet guy, so I started recording how long it took me to get to work/back home before the restructure and after the restructure.

    Previously, the old 26 was pretty much my only bus option downtown. It was almost always on time in the mornings and afternoons and reliably got me home in about 33-36 minutes. The downside is that it isn’t very frequent, so I would often have to wait if I couldn’t make my usual pickup time. I usually left in the morning about 7:20 and in the afternoon at about 4:05.

    With the restructure, the 26 was merged with the 26x and no longer served the 35th and Wallingford stop. The 31/32 was rerouted and now serves that spot. Since the restructure, I’ve time tested a few different options.

    Bike to the Link station
    Take the 31/32 to the Link station
    Bike all the way to work
    Catch the 26x at 40th and Wallingford
    Catch the 62 at 35th and Stone

    Here is what I’ve found

    This method has been the most reliable method so far. The average time in the mornings has been 33 minutes and 35 minutes in the afternoon. So far, there has always been room for my bike and most of the time, there is space for me to hang it on the hook. An interesting note, I’ve been asked 3 or 4 times by other train riders how the bike hangs. I show them the hook then they usually say something like “Oh. I thought it was a magnet”

    This method has not been very good for me so far. The morning average has been 45 minutes and the afternoon average has been 50 minutes. The main reason has been the bus has been consistently delayed. Also, there is a northbound bus that shows up to the 35th/Wallingford stop at about 7:20 which never shows up on my One Bus Away App.

    Bike Only
    The average so far has been about 37 minutes. It would be about the same as bike+train but when I bike all the way, I need to change and rinse off. The bike+train has a much shorter bike leg which I can do in work clothes.

    I have not taken the 26x in the afternoon yet, as there is no bus scheduled at a time that I want to leave. Hopefully I’ll give it a shot soon. I’ve taken it in the morning 3x. Twice it was delayed and it took me over 40 minutes. The 3rd time, it was on time and took only 32 minutes. If they’re able to iron out the delays, this might be my best bus option (in the morning, at least)

    From 35th and Stone to downtown, the 62 (pretty much) follows the same route as the old 26. So, in theory, this route should take me the same as before, plus the time it takes to walk to the stop (about 5 minutes). The data so far supports that. 39 minutes in the morning and 38 minutes in the afternoon. I excluded the 1 morning where I waited 20 minutes at the stop and then 2 showed up at the same time. That was (hopefully) an outlier. The other times, the bus was a couple minutes late.

    I miss the old 26 and a reliable single seat to work. But if the buses nearby can arrive a little bit more reliably on time, I like that have more options to get to work that take about the same time.

  18. Reporting here from Lake City at 125th. The increased frequency of the 65, 75, 372 in the morning heading south to downtown has been extremely helpful. I haven’t been able to take all buses at all times, but all of the buses that I’ve been on have been at least 1/3 – 1/2 full. This includes the 312. I don’t whether others have figured out that they can take the 372, easing the loads on the 312, but maybe so. I think my neighborhood is using the frequency you are giving to us.

    You might want to think about a stop diet on 125th – there is one on LCW (would be 31st), one on 33rd and one on 35th. Those are very short blocks. While I like the 33rd stop, I have got to think that that one should go.

    If I take Link in the afternoon, slightly different story as I have to ‘decide’, okay gamble, at the mezzanine inside HSS whether to take the 65 at street level or go up one level to the ramp to catch the 75/372. Somehow I’m missing where the OBA screens are. Is it possible that we could get OBA in the elevator (or even place the screen where it can be viewed from the elevator) or in the lower mezzanine? I know that’s an ST question…

    Seems like the 65 is getting more business as it is a shorter walk. I saw a 65 fill up and pass up riders Wednesday night at around 6pm.

    I’m turning my NW Seattle co workers onto trying the 45/Link combo if they are stuck on the 40. At least its different and its another option. Taking Link from Pioneer Square to HSS, I’m now starting to perceive that my commute starts at HSS, rather than downtown. Kind of a cool reset.

    Weekends, I haven’t noticed frequency changes. In LC, I’m considerably further north than the Maple Leaf fans of 72 and 73, and I do not mourn their loss particularly but when I did catch them I did use them. Did try the 373, and I’m a fan but boy I can see the hole in service in the Maple Leaf area. Noticed that I did have to wait longer for Sunday buses in the Roosevelt area. I tried the 62,372 combo instead waiting an extremely long time for the 67,41. That combo worked reasonably well but a more frequent 372 would have been much appreciated.

    1. The bus displays are up near the ceiling at the first (upper) mezzanine level. Check both sets of escalators if you can’t find them; maybe they’re only on one. It shows the northbound Pacific Street stop and the northbound Montlake Blvd stop. It doesn’t show the Stevens Way stops, at least not that I’ve seen.

  19. My response on Link to bus transfers: what happened to the concept of “wayfinding,” Metro???

    Last week, well after U-Link opened, but on the same day as my being whisked there (!), I emerged from the dark of the tunneled University of Washington station. Immediately upon surfacing, I was looking for a board of some kind that would have something like possible destinations for rows, e.g. Northgate, the various nearby stops as the columns (with a map above so that you can see where they are relative to you).

    Instead, there was a temporary tent with an employee way at the back, showing zero interest with those of us congregating around a small rack of Metro timetables on the desk about 10-15 feet in front of them. After a time of waiting, I decided to go out on my own. As a regular transit user, I had heard about there being more Metro stops in the vicinity, and I figured that I needed to take the overpass to get to a bus stop that was served by a line(s) headed west. At the apex of the walkway, an elevator. Again, no signage that indicated anything other than a “bay” down below, i.e. no destinations. Fortunately, this was the correct stop for a line headed west, perhaps the best of the bunch, as I was headed northwest, and this one went close to that direction.

    Still, I was amazed given all of the PR that Metro put out on their restructuring that they couldn’t think of putting some wayfinding such as I described. This should have been a no-brainer! Yet, this is typical. For instance, I heard from insiders that Sound Transit had to be convinced to put destinations in their signage at Lynnwood Transit Center!

    To be fair, Metro’s newest bus stop signs have been a great upgrade to their “route number only” predecessors. However, they’re falling far short of reasonable expectations on wayfinding at major transfer points, where a modest investment would improve the rider experience substantially, vs. leaving them to figure out things on their own, which can quickly become frustrating to the newbies to transit.

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