One thing I neglected to mention in my recent suggestion for better span of service on restructured Metro routes was that Metro had already set aside a cache of service hours within the restructure to proactively respond to overcrowding and reliability issues. Several STB writers have seen Metro staff in the field tallying riders on key routes, and it appears they have enough preliminary data to start tweaking.
Beginning next Monday four routes – 28X, 62, 373, and 73 – will see a total of 6 additional trips.
Route 28X has seen the highest number of complaints of overcrowding, with the restructure retaining its midday frequency but cutting its peak frequency by 26% – going from 23 to 17 trips between 5-9am. The 28X will see two additional morning trips in the 8-9am hour, with the aim to retain 10-minute headways until 9am. One trip will be added in the 5pm hour to allow 6-7 minute headways in the peak of the peak.
Route 62 has also received overcrowding complaints, though only for the southern half where it has taken over Wallingford-Fremont service from Route 16 and Fremont-Dexter-SLU service from former routes 26 and 28 local. Accordingly, Metro will add two morning trips between 7-8 am, originating at Ravenna/65th instead of Sand Point. This will provide 7-8 minute service between 8-9am from Green Lake to Downtown via Fremont.
Route 373 currently begins service from Aurora Village at 6:00am, and Metro has heard complaints from riders wishing to connect to Link a bit earlier, and has also observed “standing loads on all morning Route 373 trips.” It will add a single trip at 5:45am, arriving at UW Station at 6:30. Because the 373 and 73 live loop together at UW Station, Route 73 will see an additional trip also, leaving UW Station at 6:30 and arriving in Jackson Park at 7:00am.
Bravo to Metro for being responsive in adding trips just 3 weeks into the restructure, and let’s hope it’s the start of more tweaks to come as riders’ trip patterns settle over the coming months.