Route 106 at Rainier Beach Station. Photo by Oran Viriyincy.
Route 106 at Rainier Beach Station. Photo by Oran Viriyincy.

It’s that time of year again!  Metro and Sound Transit service changes begin Saturday, September 10.  If you feel like this is earlier than past years, well, you’re right.  The agencies have moved to biannual service changes, in mid-March and mid-September, replacing the previous late-September timing when there were three changes each year.

The big news is Metro’s Southeast Seattle restructure, which is essentially identical to to the final proposal Metro published in May, and the first midday Sounder service.  Two weeks after the service change, Link’s Angle Lake Station will open.  Changes beyond those headline items are limited to minor tweaks, mostly improving service in the area that went through major restructures in March.  Details below the jump.

Southeast Seattle restructure

106 + 107 Maps
Revised Routes 106 and 107. Map courtesy of King County Metro.

The big news here remains the heavy revision of Metro route 106, which is so different that it’s surprising it keeps the same number.  The only part of the route that remains is the portion in Upper Rainier Beach, Skyway, and Renton.  The route will no longer serve South Beacon Hill, Georgetown, Sodo, or downtown Seattle; instead, it will go north via MLK Jr. Way, Mount Baker, and the International District.

During the day, route 106 doubles in frequency, from every 30 minutes to every 15 minutes, a long-overdue change for what has been Metro’s busiest 30-minute route.  It entirely replaces the short-lived route 38, and extends service into the International District for those MLK Way riders who don’t wish to use Link.

Service in the South Beacon Hill area is replaced by an extension of route 107, which will now run every 15 minutes during weekday peak hours and every 30 minutes at other times.  Instead of going downtown via Sodo, route 107 will take riders to the Beacon Hill Link station; to get downtown, riders can transfer either to Link, route 36 at Beacon Hill, or route 124 at Georgetown.

Route 124, for its part, is also getting doubled frequency, again welcome news for a busy route that serves many economically disadvantaged areas.  This is mostly to backfill the loss of route 106 between Georgetown and downtown, but will have the welcome side effect of improving connections in Tukwila.  The route will now be through-routed with both routes 24 and 33 to Magnolia.

To partially cover the expense of the frequency improvements on routes 106 and 124, route 9 will be cut to peak-only service.  Off-peak riders will need to use route 7, transferring either to Link, the First Hill Streetcar, or route 60 to reach First Hill and Capitol Hill.

Northeast Seattle Restructure Improvements

The dramatic Northeast Seattle restructure that accompanied the opening of Link’s UW Station represented the biggest change to the area’s bus network in decades, and came with its share of hiccups and growing pains.  Metro addressed a few issues between service changes, and is addressing a few more with this service change:

  • Routes 65 and 67 get upgraded Sunday frequency, from 30 to 20 minutes.
  • Route 73 gets Sunday service, running every 30 minutes.
  • Route 372 gets several new peak trips to relieve overcrowding, and a new set of express stops at NE 60 St.
  • Peak-only routes 63 and 77, and all-day route 48, get additional peak trips to keep up with demand.
  • Routes 40 and 62 both get increased peak frequency to relieve overcrowding, backfilling for route 26 and 28 trips that no longer serve Fremont or South Lake Union.  Metro has doubled peak frequency of route 40 since establishing the route less than four years ago, and still has trouble keeping up with demand.

Grab Bag

As always with service changes, there are interesting miscellaneous items to report:

  • New Sunday service on Vashon Island (on-island only), using route 118.
  • New peak-only route 243 between Overlake, Bothell, and Kenmore.  This route is a way to let passengers ride on buses that are deadheading between trips on peak-hour route 244.  Metro’s long-range plan turns a route similar to the 244 into a frequent all-day one, so Metro may be trying to build awareness of the corridor early.
  • New “Redmond Loop” DART service serving Education Hill and Avondale.
  • Routes 186 and 915 in Enumclaw are extended a few blocks, to a new terminal across from Safeway.
  • New peak trips to keep up with demand on Metro routes 8, 15, 18, 21X, and 120.
  • New trips to keep up with demand on Sound Transit routes 545, 555, 556, and 577.
  • New trips to coordinate with Sounder on Sound Transit routes 567, 580, and 596.
  • Routing revisions to speed afternoon First Hill service on routes 193 and 303.
  • A long-term construction reroute on route 249, the Beaux Arts part of which becomes a one-way loop (requiring some riders there to wait through layovers) while South Bellevue P&R undergoes East Link construction.
  • Routing changes on Sound Transit routes 555, 556, and 560 as a result of East Link construction.  Route 560 will no longer serve South Bellevue P&R or any stops on 112th Ave SE, while routes 555 and 556 will serve different stops south of Bellevue Transit Center.

102 Replies to “September Service Changes”

  1. No restructuring to bring people to the new midday Sounder trip nor the opening of Angle Lake. Well then!

    There is a peak hour route (admittedly a PT route, not a Metro route) that should be added in Auburn (497) to get people to the Sounder. I suspect that improving local service in Kent East Hill, Lea Hill, and Covington would help more people utilize the Sounder and help justify additional capacity and reduce parking demands on this already bustling corridor. But, hey, what do I know, I just live here.

    1. The 580 and 596 adds a new route trip to connect to the new midday Sounder trip. This is important, given that the parking at Sumner and Puyallup stations will likely be all filled up from the earlier trains.

      Whether local routes like the 164 happen to have a schedule that lines up with the new train trip or not, I have no idea.

    2. Rather amazing there isn’t a new east-west bus on 200th funneling people into the station from Normandy Park, North Hill and Des Moines proper. Seems like a huge oversight for such a significant rail transit investment. Having the parallel A Line is weak.

      1. I believe Metro is looking to leverage Kent-DM station for more of that kind of feeder service for Des Moines. Not sure about Normandy Park

      2. 200th is not a particularly good corridor for an east-west connector; it really wouldn’t connect to much of anything. Both Airport and the future Kent/Des Moines station are much better candidates for frequent east-west service that helps people. Angle Lake is pretty much a straight P&R station.

      3. Originally the Route 156 was proposed to go up S. 200th St instead of the current routing of S. 188th St. But missing a segment of 8th Ave S and Des Moines Memorial Drive would have missed a residential area and a specialty school that has been served by route 132 and would been missed if 156 went up S. 200th. So, a compromise is to have 156 use 188th instead.

      4. >> 200th is not a particularly good corridor for an east-west connector; it really wouldn’t connect to much of anything.

        Really? Looking at the census map, to the east there is not much of anything. To be fair, the census blocks are so huge as to be practically meaningless. But the numbers are really, really low (100 people per square mile — ouch). But to the west it seems like there is potential. A run that starts at the Burien TC, then heads south would pick up some people before curling around and connecting to the airport. I’m thinking south on Ambaum, then 188th, then a couple different choices. Either a better grid and direct route via Des Moines Parkway and 200th, or an alternate route: via 188th, curving around to the station (thus doubling up service on this important stretch of SR 99).

        But then again, I don’t know. Google maps is really having trouble with their transit layer lately — I don’t what is going on. So I don’t know what exists in the area (it might make sense to just ignore Angle Lake, head north and then east).

        In general, though, I don’t see the big grid generating lines that you see with NE 130th or 145th. There is really nothing worth bothering with to the east (and it is hard to get there).

      5. RossB, you can pick up far more people by sending that route down to Des Moines before going west — that’s sort of what the 166 does today. A route that had Airport at the north end and KDM at the south end would capture all of the transit-accessible population, while a connection at 200th would miss a lot of it no matter what else it did.

      6. Yeah, I suppose, it is just that doing that means a pretty long detour for the folks who live in south Burien (west of SeaTac). I am mostly basing this on census maps, but the numbers look better than average there. Right now they have the infrequent 122, as well as some other options ( I was just thinking of sending that to Angle Lake, truncating it, and running it more often. Folks in Des Moines have other options.

        That being said, I don’t if that is worth it. That little section is just a bit over 10,000 people per square mile, which is better than average in the area, but not exactly Brooklyn. There may simply not be enough density in the area as a whole to try and generate some sort of decent grid. South Burien riders probably have to do what the do today (go north to Burien TC, then over to Tukwila Station).

      7. The problem with census maps is they count people living in an area only, Eg, the prison complex. Granted, you could get some employees and visitors, but some of that census tract is taking 0 trips.

      8. @Glenn — Yeah, but that tends to work itself out. For example, census maps include those living in a nursing home. Generally speaking, residents don’t travel much. But other folks visit them, and a staff has to get there every day. It tends to balance out, and makes for a pretty decent approximation.

        I think the bigger problem is granularity. If you draw the lines too big, it is very misleading. For example, if you look at density per county, King County is not that impressive. It has by far the most people, but it also has a huge amount of land (a lot of mountains). So, from a density standpoint, it isn’t that great, whereas a place like San Juan County looks pretty dense. But if you look at smaller sections, it isn’t even close. There just aren’t any significant concentrations of people. Census tracts might not be as granular as I would like (I think one square mile sections would be easier to read) they are by far the best thing. Of course, for privacy reasons, the census people don’t want to do that.

        In this case I t think the data is representative. The area I think could use some extra service actually has apartments. The area that I think is pretty desolate has only a few hundred people. Even if those people are clustered together (which seems unlikely) it still isn’t that many. As far as Metro goes, the area that I think deserves service does have service. They are connected to the main part of Burien (the transit center) as well as Highline CC. That is pretty good, and arguably more important than a more direct connection to Link. It would be nice to have both, but you can’t have everything.

    3. My husband, who takes the 497 and Sounder, etc. to work tweeted to Pierce Transit about 497 and was told he needed to talk to Sound Transit about it. Which I thought was kind of cranky.

  2. Sorry, why is Redmond investing in a one-way circulator shuttle that has 45 minute headways? I took a look at the routing, virtually all stops are served by decent all-day routes 221 or 248. I thought the consensus was that such horribly infrequent shuttles were confusing for riders and a waste of time?

    1. Tourism? I have no idea really.

      Infrequent, one way loop routes are about as useless as you can get.

    2. Kathy Lambert, the area’s councilmember, has been a leading proponent of alternative service. I expect she is at least partly responsible for setting the LOOP up.

      Brent, the LOOP is separate from the 243 — it’s a DART route that duplicates parts of the 221 and 248.

      1. Maybe these things come and go in phases. I heard something similar planned for Mountain View, CA a year or so ago (with similarly useless frequencies), and the suburb I grew up in (Elmhurst, IL) has started an in-town circulator, operated by those faux-historic trolley-shaped diesel buses (maybe one of the Navy Pier shuttles went belly-up and they were on sale).

        Redmond, Mountain View, and Elmhurst aren’t identical, but are maybe more similar than different overall. I’m sure their leaders would all like to promote to local residents the idea of the town’s particular importance, the idea that what’s central to the town is central to its residents. All three towns have both arterial and express transit, in fairly reasonable layouts for the types of trips people actually make by transit. But… if you’re a suburban city leader you work at City Hall, probably downtown; you know lots of local business leaders, disproportionately downtown; you (and a large portion of people you talk to every day) are likely to live in single-family homes, or at least much more likely than the average user of local-stop transit in the suburbs; your travel is more likely than others’ to end at the city line because your job responsibilities largely end at the city line. You might not actually use a shuttle that loops around in town, because it’s infrequent and slow, and you have a reserved parking space at City Hall, but you can imagine using it.

        Big-city leaders are not immune to this sort of thinking, and they have even more money to throw around. Seattle’s streetcar lines are one manifestation of this; another is the tendency to neglect corridors like Aurora, LCW, Rainier, and Delridge (some of which are considerably more central to neighboring suburbs).

  3. Increased peak frequency on Route 40 is nice, of course. My question would be whether they’re also planning to use articulated buses on this route. I’ve had several non-articulated Route 40 coaches pass me up during peak hours because they were packed to the gills.

      1. I just realized that artic is short for articulated, not a brand of bus as I had assumed. This should be in stb glossary of terms, please.

    1. Also bus lanes and queue jumps at the north end of the line to improve reliability, per the RR corridor plan. I don’t think any 40 drivers are getting a break at northgate from 3 – 8 pm, as crawling through chokepoints at the Fremont Bridge, 15th, Greenwood, and Aurora means the buses run in clumps of 3-4 and they have to live loop the break to attempt to stay close to schedule (but they’re still very late).

    2. We’ve gotten down to two 40 runs not being artics. I don’t know why the 40, as opposed to the 5/21 which operates from the same base and doesn’t have quite as severe crowding issues, is the unlucky loser.

      1. Metro just managed to stop running a 40′ trolley at 3PM on the 44. During the school year, that bus was packed by the time it left the Triangle. They did the swap with a new 60′ trolley, so I imagine they just don’t have the equipment for the 40 with the growth in all their other in-city routes.

      2. There are some trippers on the 40 with 40ft equipment.

        The 5 local is shockingly busy during rush hour. The peak load may actually be higher than what the 40 sees, which has a ton of turn over.

        Regarding the 40ft trolley on the 44 at 3PM – all route 44 runs are scheduled for an artic. If there isn’t an artic, it is because there aren’t any available (and don’t blame this on the Bredas – Metro is having far worse problems with the 4500s than with the remaining Breda fleet).

      3. @K H, the 3PM (westbound) 44 run used a 40′ trolley for years. It’s only in the last month that I’ve seen them using a 60′ trolley. It used to be through-routed from the 43 but I think it changed to a real 44 in March. When it was through-routed it was extra bad, because you already had a full load from Capitol Hill before it ever got to UW.

      4. As I noted above, all route 44 trips are scheduled, and have been scheduled, to be assigned an articulated coach, for more than five years.

        Even if you regularly got a 40ft coach on that 3PM trip (which was likely a tripper, pulling out for PM peak only), it was not what scheduling meant to assign. It was done because it was the bus available.

        Regarding “for years…” I lived on the 44 “for years…” (though I no longer do). 40ft equipment was common in PM peak, but there were many days when all runs were covered by artics – as the scheduling department had designed.

    3. I know I’ve been saying this for years, but I’m still hoping that one of these days, Metro will realize that the 5 should go to Fremont, too.

      Twice now, Metro has modified a route so that it actually reaches neighborhood centers instead of just narrowly missing them (17 -> 40, 16 -> 62). Both times, the popularity of the new route has far exceeded expectations. So it should be reasonable to assume that a modified 5 would be similarly popular, and that it would also help to relieve pressure on the 40/62 for service between Fremont and downtown.

      1. Having the 5 Local go to Fremont would be nice, but I don’t think the bus stops at 34th & Fremont could accommodate yet another route that uses primarily articulated buses. There’s already pretty severe backups at peak hours.

      2. @Skylar: I agree this is a concern, but I think it’s solvable. It’s not strictly required that all these buses share a single stop. I can think of a few possible approaches:

        1. Change the 31/32 to stop at 35th/Fremont instead of the current stop.

        2. Like #1, but also have the outbound 62 use the 35th/Fremont stop instead of 34th/Fremont.

        3. Move the 31/32/62 from 35th to 34th, and have them stop on 34th instead of on Fremont Ave.

        I’m sure there are plenty of other possibilities, too…

      3. @Aleksandra, I like this idea a lot, though one concern would be that the walkshed for the 31/32/62 would be a lot less than on 35th. Right now, they’re at the midpoint of the big hill, but on 34th they’ll be at the bottom, and closer to the water as well. I think it would be balanced out by the addition of the 5 Local, but is something to keep in mind.

      4. Twice now Metro tried to move the 5 Fremont and Dexter, during the 2012 RapidRide C and D restructure and during the 2014 cut planning, but withdrew it because of opposition from 5 riders who thought it would lengthen their trip. Then the 62 idea came along, to get the 26 and 28 off Dexter without moving the 5.

        However, Metro’s long-range plan shows a Frequent 5 on Dexter in 2025, and a Frequent 1005 on Dexter in 2040. (I can’t tell the difference between them, and normally in the LRP changed routes have 4-digit numbers, so maybe the 5 is a mistake, or maybe the 5 on Dexter is a mistake.)

  4. Anyone wanna take bets on how long before Metro puts the 78 out of its misery? Based on the experience of the 61, I’ll say two years of wasting diesel.

    1. It’ll get a restructure when the Ballard Spur is extended to Children’s for ST5, should take place in the year 20XX, when Mega Man 6 takes place.

    2. 2021, or the next recession – whichever happens first.

      It is also possible that an Eastside service restructure (triggered by the closing of Montlake freeway station) could bring back alternative 1 on the 255, which would almost certainly include the death of the 78.

    3. One thing I have suggested (not that it would ever be done) is when U-District station opens in 2021, route the 44 to stay on NE 45th street, then turn right onto 43rd Ave (could also be done at Mary Gates drive), left on NE 41st, then have a small layover loop around 41st to 40th streets, and 48th-50th avenues (NE). Then you get:

      -A Laurelhurst route that doesn’t go hardly anywhere, with a fast connection to U-Village, UW, Link, Fremont and Ballard
      -Lays the groundwork for a RapidRide-ified 44
      -Depending on how slow the 44 is to the hospital and how fast the 45th street viaduct is, they may or may not need to run another bus to also serve Laurelhurst. Even if they had to add a bus, that’s like current service levels with the 78 plus whatever is needed to expand span of service.
      -Speaking of span of service, the weekday-only 6PM wrap-up of service on the 78 seriously hinders its usage, undoubtedly resulting in it being so unused. The 25 also had this problem, so although Metro has given the neighborhood good coverage, they have never given it better than abysmal span of service.

      1. Clever idea as it would provide a much faster connection from the northeast to the northwest. Right now that connection takes place inside the UW, which costs some time for riders.

        That being said, i would worry about a big disconnect on either end. The 44 is a major hauler, which (like the 8) carries a lot of people, all day long. Ridership in the Northeast (with the exception of Lake City) is just not like that, even though they now have stellar service. In other words, a bus like that might spend a significant amount of its time empty, east of the UW. Maybe that connection is fast (I haven’t driven it at rush hour) but I was thinking of instead of that, just truncate the 44 inside the UW. That would mean that again everyone would have to transfer at the UW, but that sounds like a reasonable thing to do.

      2. Distance-wise, it’s not that much further, and requiring transit to take loopy detour routes along a path that would be a straight line in a car along a major arterial, is usually a bad idea. On the other hand, the mere fact that the 44 is a trolley route would make any route changes, no matter how minor, quite expensive.

        The problem, of course, is that the existing riders who take the 44 to the UW Med Center would be out with pitchforks. Going underground at the U-district station, waiting for the train, then going back up to the surface, and waiting for two lights to cross Montlake, then Pacific, would be slower than the status quo of simply staying on the bus.

      3. asdf2:

        When I read your comment in the recent comments page, I thought it was about the 107 Georgetown…..uh…..

  5. We have noticed that the E bus is often crowded with buses filled and not stopping, especially south bound in the morning. Has there been any consideration of adding a few runs starting at about 100th Street?

    1. That’s a good idea. Metro hopefully has data that shows when riders get off. If most riders in the morning get on and don’t get off until downtown, then they should split the line or do express service during peak? I dunno..

    2. Maybe an “EL” – E Limited. w/ framework of serving major stops w/transfers at approximate 20 block stop spacing (46th, 65th, 85th, 105th, 130th, 145th, 155th, 175th)

      1. Unless I’m missing something, the Denver example shows why this strategy doesn’t work as well as it might seem. The 15L comes every 10 minutes, and the 15 comes every 10-15 minutes.

        Let’s say it’s 7:19, and you’re trying to get from 17th/Lawrence to Colfax/Billings. If you take the 15L, it will leave at 7:24, and arrive at 8:08. If you take the 15, it will also leave at 7:24, and arrive at 8:12. That’s a 4-minute time savings.

        But let’s say the 15L didn’t exist, and there was just a single route 15. With ~6 buses per hour on each route, the combined route would come every 5 minutes during peak. So while your trip would take 4 minutes longer, it would arrive 5 minutes sooner, for a net savings of 1 minute.

        The two stops I picked are both served by the 15L. If one or both stops was only served by the 15, then the L would be even less compelling. Riders would either have to switch buses, or walk further (which adds time), or simply forego the L and use only the local service (which means that less than 50% of the service on that street is useful to them).

        Parallel limited service makes the most sense when the time savings are dramatic, and when frequency is so high on both the limited and local, that transferring between the two is meaningfully faster than just waiting for the local. The NYC subway is a great example of this, as are many commuter and intercity rail lines. But for a bus in mixed traffic — even when there are lots of lanes, like Aurora — limited service just isn’t likely to save all that much time.

      2. Aleksandra, limited service makes sense for capacity reasons more than time saving reasons. As SeaStrap alluded to, E buses are routinely too full. Express trains in NYC exist for similar reasons… the time saved by taking an express is usually minimal but they provide much needed extra capacity on the line.

      3. Swift works the same way; it’s more frequent than the 101. That presumably means that most riders are goi0ng between the limited stops, so the other stops are milk-run overhead that people shouldn’t have to endure.,

        Capacity management also makes sense. When I was coming back from Vancouver BC on Cascades one day, the train broke down just as we were about to leave. Amtrak ordered charter buses and thirty hotel rooms for us. It divided the buses into those going to Edmonds and Seattle and those going to the northern stations. If the buses are full anyway, it makes sense to send passengers directly where they want to go rather than making them sit through all the stops in between. In this case, an E-Limited would do the same as the 5-Express and 355 do for the 5: pick up the people who are going from the northern parts to downtown, so that the 5 can pick up the people in the southern parts.

    3. A peak express would be able to avoid the Green Lake diversion, but I would hope it could still stop at 85th to connect to route 45 and at 46th to connect to route 44 to UW. It would also sidestep the wait for more RapidRide livery. The C and D Line restructures required a chunk of new buses.

      Since the E Line is the third-highest ridership transit line in the state, and on its way to passing the Bremerton Ferry for spot #2, hopefully it will start getting some love, and hopefully not the fake variety of how BRT is so much cheaper than light rail, from a group that will not be supporting BRT after 2016 unless trains are on the ballot again.

      For starters, it would be nice to get the counter-peak headway down from 12 minutes (compared to 5-8 minutes peak direction and 10-minute mid-day each way). That’s a lot of deadheading, probably due to limited livery.

      1. Not to mention reverse-peak bus lanes. Shoreline does better than weak-willed Seattle in that regard.

        Regarding a peak-hour “EX” or “EL”, stops could be only at major transfer points (185th, 145th, 130th, Northgate Way, 85th, 46th, and then express to Denny.) The service hour savings might even be enough to do it within current fleet limitations?

      2. How the heck do a couple hundred car parkers get priority over 15,000+ daily riders? If you get passed up, don’t complain to Metro. Complain to SDOT. 206-684-ROAD.

      3. +1 Brent. When you consider the physical infrastructure that exists for #s 1 and 2, and compare it to the lack of infrastructure and full time lanes for the E, it is disrespectful. It’s time to start pushing for some sort of solution for the Linden deviation; it can eat up so much time in the afternoon. Whether that’s a Galer Street styled bridge over Aurora or a bus-only left turn lane onto Aurora off of Linden/Winona, it’s time something is done.

      4. If the 6 was still around, the E line could be made into a must faster route by not needing to do the West Green Lake detour, and the downtown Fremont folks who lost valuable service when the 6 was discontinued would have a much better way to get north (that sketchy stop on 46 and Aurora is not a good replacement), and the Green Lake/Woodland Park sports field areas would again have good service. Sort of like CT’s 101 vs Swift–pretty much same routing but serving different needs. Bring back the 6.

  6. I’m somewhat encouraged by the extra 18X trip in the AM peak, but there are 17X/18X trips with 20+ standees earlier in the AM commute. Maybe next service change.

    The Metro website says trips will be retimed between 7:57 and 8:37 to every 10 minutes with the addition of the new 18X trip, but it doesn’t say where on the route those times are referencing. Assuming that time window is referring to Ballard/Market where the two routes converge, I’m guessing it looks something like this:

    7:57 18X (no change)
    8:07 17X (moved from 8:10)
    8:17 18X (new trip)
    8:27 17X (moved from 8:20)
    8:37 18X (moved from 8:33)

    Perhaps the additional 40 service helps lighten the 17X/18X burden, but the 40 is quite a bit slower to downtown proper so I don’t expect a major shift.

    1. I just hope they have enough drivers. A morning run on the 15 has been canceled a couple of times the past few weeks. (They could probably use more runs between 7:30 to 8am as well)

      1. Agree on both counts. 2 weeks into my new commute I’ve had 3 cancellations already (1 AM, 2 PM).

        Even this morning, the Friday before a holiday weekend, there were 9 standees on my 18X. If you start work around 8am, which seems late for my office, you’re leaving Ballard by 7:30 at the latest.

      2. Only 9 standees? Don’t say that too loudly to Metro. They might take your artic and put it on the 40 where there are sometimes 100+ people on a bus.

  7. You omitted a small but noteworthy change: Outbound routes 11 and 49 will be moving from Pike to Pine several blocks earlier. This should save a lot of traffic-related grief around Boren. It means these routes will no longer serve the stops on Pike/Convention and Pike/Boren. There will be a new stop on Pine/9th. All other Capitol Hill routes (10, 43, 47) will continue their current routing.

    1. That change isn’t actually happening just yet: “Due to construction delays, this route revision will not begin until after the start of the service change. Until further notice, routes 11 and 49 will continue to operate their current routing on Pike St and Bellevue Ave.”

  8. Any word from Metro Planners on how many service hours were added to routes serving primarily Seattle?
    After the 40-40-20 policy was ditched, nearly all the love has been showered on Seattle. This is no different. I suspect Kent Auburn, Fedway and the Eastside communities will have put their big-boy pants back on and yell ‘me-too’ from the back of the room.
    Seattleites need not submit Urbanistic hate-mail.

    1. Two factors underlie this:

      1) The Service Guidelines’ first priority is relief of severe overcrowding. All the severe overcrowding in the Metro network, with the narrow exceptions of a few peak trips on the 218/219 and 255, has been in Seattle.

      2) Seattle voters chose to fund extra bus service themselves. Suburban voters chose not to.

    2. Not sure if this is how Metro actually budgets service hours, but full buses should have higher farebox recovery rates and require less of a subsidy to cover the operating costs.

      Seattle routes tend to be more crowded, so the required subsidy should be less.

      1. That assumes they’re moving as quickly and can be turned around as quickly as a half-full bus. In Seattle, those severely overcrowded buses are likely to be stuck in traffic, or behind a draw-bridge that the Coast Guard has decided to open just for the hell of it (OK, for some yacht owner and his employees), or at a traffic signal that SDOT hasn’t bothered to give TSP. Even assuming the bus is moving, it takes a lot longer to load and unload a bus with people standing in the aisle, though maybe that will get better now that Metro is running 3-door 60′ hybrids on some routes. Of course you still have the people who insist on paying cash (let’s charge them peak fares all the time and give them no transfers), and the people who insist on leaving by the front door (Metro should play something like “To expedite the boarding process, please exit only via the back doors” on a continuous loop until it gets through everyone’s skulls).

        Time is money, and those routes might not be as lucrative as they could be.

      2. You can’t exit the back door when the aisle is packed behind you. You’d have to squeeze past several rows of seats and it would take longer to unload. The aisle can fit only two people: one standing and the other squeezing. Other cities have wider aisles and a shorter distance to the rear doors. The worst buses are those with only one rear door behind the articulation, and five double-seats between you and it, and stairs at the door. Those are the buses I most give up on and use the front door. Because you can fall if you’re walking through the articulation when the bus is moving, the back stairs and gap to the sidewalk are hard on my knees, and the double seats shrink the aisle. Metro’s newest buses have only one or two rows of double seats before going back to single, have rear doors in both halves of articulated buses, and are low-floor. So as the old buses are phased out, exiting rear will become less of a problem.

      3. Yeah, those old high-floor buses are pretty bad. Hopefully they’re on their way out, to be replaced with more 3-door buses. I reserve my ire for the folks who move from the rear of the bus to the front door, but get a laugh when they then just walk back the way the bus came.

      4. Actually, a half full bus during the midday can easily be just as productive in terms of subsidy per passenger than a full bus during rush hour. If the full bus during rush hour is running out of service in the reverse direction or to/from the base, then you have to average the full trips with the empty trips and you get a half full trip. The half-full midday bus already equals this simply by running half full in both directions, but considering that the all-day bus doesn’t require buying extra buses and hiring extra drivers just for 1-2 round trips per day, the half-full all-day bus actually wins.

    3. SDOT is funding a ton of service, and that’s largely responsible for service additions within the city.

    4. On November 8, the suburbs will get their chance to put on their big-boy pants and vote for big-boy transit.

      1. If only! Instead, they’ll get a chance to vote for seat-of-your-pants draw-a-random-line-on-the-map-and-ignore-what’s-actually-needed transit.

    5. Metro round-robins restructuring one area at a time. 2012-2016 have been unusually busy because of all the Link and RapidRide openings and revenue-level changes. The A restructure killed the milk runs from downtown to Des Moines and set up a network of half-hourly routes (hourly evenings/Sundays) with hubs at Southcenter, Kent, and Federal Way. The Eastside is now due for a restructure. Metro was going to restructure the 520 routes with U-Link but felt that it didn’t get enough Eastside feedback so it postponed them. It said the Eastside restructure may come back this year but it hasn’t, so maybe next year.

  9. Nice to see Metro add that trip leaving the Kenmore Park and Ride at 0606 am on the 372 so that there is 15 minutes service in the morning rush hour that they promised when they made the major changes in March. I guess it is better late then never.

    1. New service all weekend, doubled frequency, and you get to keep your chariot of fire downtown (route 522). You’re welcome! :)

      Seriously though, the night owl deadzone needs to end earlier, but Metro has been historically nibbling away at morning span of service. Route 132 is losing a morning counter-peak direction run, which is unfortunate for people working in South Park.

      Some of the things Metro wants to do and even has the money to do, has to wait for more drivers to be hired and trained. Maybe it’s time for Metro to horse-trade a liittle bit more pay for the right to offer open work to part-time drivers, and maybe even to offer non-driving work (like ORCA boarding assistance) under a separate job description. With Uber and Lyft booming, the market for professional drivers has shifted to a drivers’ market.

  10. The 21 Express is getting a whopping ONE additonal run in the morning. The 21E is barely better than no bus service at all, and this is no improvement. The abysmal transit service is why peopel hide-and-ride in West Seattle, they often have no other reasonable option.

  11. Correction: while the afternoon routing of the 303 is being changed, it’s the morning routing of the 193 that is being changed as well. Both remove the Alder street loop. As a former regular rider of the 193, this is a welcome change. Although 193 went directly by Seattle University on Jefferson street, it was faster to get off on Madison and Boren and walk to SU because the Alder street loop took so much time (sometimes up to 20 minutes!)

  12. Thank you for a 73 on Sundays, and for a more frequent 67 and 65. There are reasons to visit Roosevelt on a Sunday!

  13. I read this entire post, and one thing jumped out at me. When you said “… the Beaux Arts part of which becomes a one-way loop …” Shouldn’t the word which be the word it?

    1. It’s a relative clause. “Which” refers to Route 249 in the main clause. English allows the relative pronoun to be buried in a prepositional phrase away from the comma. To move it to the front you could say “whose Beaux Arts part”, but that confuses some people because they’re used to “whose” referring to a person. (“Whose” is the posessive of both “who” and “what” and “which”.) If the word was “it”, then the sentence would have two independent clauses rather than a main-relative pair, and the proper form would be two separate sentences or a semicolon divider rather than a comma. But you knew all that; you learned it at home before you went to preschool, where you were top of the class.

      1. In grammar there is something called ear. What sounds better? The rules in The Elements of Style only goes so far. Hell, to that book, Hemingway was a crappy writer because he didn’t use commas where is was supposed to.

        What sounds better?

        “A long-term construction reroute on route 249, the Beaux Arts part of which becomes a one-way loop (requiring some riders there to wait through layovers) while South Bellevue P&R undergoes East Link construction.”

        Or …

        “A long-term construction reroute on route 249, the Beaux Arts part of it becomes a one-way loop (requiring some riders there to wait through layovers) while South Bellevue P&R undergoes East Link construction.”

        Does anyone know is the new southbound Route 249 bus stop on Bellevue Way across from the South Bellevue P&R an in-lane stop? I didn’t think southbound Bellevue Way at rush hour could get any worse, but we’re about to see that it can.

  14. I want to complain about the service cuts to the 9 Express bus from Rainier Beach to Capitol Hill. This route serves workers, students and people with medical appointments on First Hill. When changes were proposed, the public was informed that mid-day service would be cut, but actually the commuter buses before 9:30 am will be reduced from 15 to 10! That’s 33%! This morning, riders were complaining about the service cut to the first route of the day. That bus serves the following hospital workers: translators, kitchen and housekeeping staff, laboratory workers, nursing assistants, nurses, hotel staff, etc. These are riders who need to punch in early, and the bus was eliminated. Of course, everyone in the Rainier Valley knows about the Rapid Ride buses that serve other neighborhoods and the special buses that bring hospital staff in from the suburbs. All #9 commuters want is a convenient bus to work (just like the North End and suburban riders expect). Does Metro has different service models for different neighborhoods?

    1. agree strongly.
      there was no #9 during my years of hospital work so I would transfer to the 60 or more often walk up from Rainier. the work was strenuous and I remember many tired times stumbling down to the #7 through rain and dark and cold.
      today the #9 works both for workers and students and anyone needing to transit to First Hill.

  15. I want to complain about the service cuts to the 9 Express bus from Rainier Beach to Capitol Hill. This route serves workers, students and people with medical appointments on First Hill. When changes were proposed, the public was informed that mid-day service would be cut, but actually the commuter buses before 9:30 am will be reduced from 15 to 10! That’s 33%! This morning, riders were complaining about the service cut to the first route of the day. That bus serves the following hospital workers: translators, kitchen and housekeeping staff, laboratory workers, nursing assistants, nurses, hotel staff, etc. These are riders who need to punch in early, and the bus was eliminated. Of course, everyone in the Rainier Valley knows about the Rapid Ride buses that serve other neighborhoods and the special buses that bring hospital staff in from the suburbs. All #9 commuters want is a convenient bus to work (just like the North End and suburban riders expect).

    1. You should direct your complaint to the ARCS who insists that a one-seat ride from their front door to downtown trumps every else. Apparently, they are organized enough that the county council feels obligated to give them whatever they ask, in order to shore up votes for their re-election. It is the 106’s extension to the International District that the service cuts to the 9 are paying for.

  16. Maybe I’m missing it, but it appears there will be NO direct connecting bus service to Angle Lake Station by ST or KCM.I was a bit surprised because at one time there was a proposal to route the 574 through there on its way to the airport. Also it appears the 586 change never happened, where it was going to be replaced with a Tacoma-Downtown Seattle bus exiting at Seneca, and forcing a transfer to U link. Interesting.

  17. Where’s the information about the 550 in south Bellevue? If the South Bellevue P&R stop is closed, are the nearest stops Bellevue TC and Mercer Island? Or is there a substitute stop? How can you get from Mercer Slough park near the P&R to the 550?

    1. Mike, I can but guess, but I believe the 249 starts to the south of the ST stops on Bellevue Way, in the parking lot area. I wonder if the construction is actually in the parking lot and not Bellevue Way (yet). I imagine ST will put off giving us the actual scoop until the last possible moment though.

  18. I sure hope that the shakeup changes will include having the eastbound 62 stop on Woodlawn (where the 16 used to stop) instead of on Ravenna Blvd around the corner — a sharp difficult turn that more often than not makes it necessary for the driver to let off passengers–including those in wheelchairs–several feet from the sidewalk. If the southbound 45 happens to arrive at the same time, it’s pure clusterf**k. Drivers have mentioned that they have notified Metro about this problem, so I am surprised nothing has been done yet to make this very simple adjustment in stop location.

    1. @Elbar, I definitely agree about this. They even left the old bus shelter in place, which is now served solely by the 82. I can’t believe that’s a great use of a bus shelter; there’s got to be plenty of shelterless stops with a couple orders of magnitude (10! 20!) more riders than that stop.

    2. The Long Range Plan has a RapidRide 62 that’s more straightened out. Frequent #1202 in 2025 goes on Meridian-55th-Latona-65th, and is upgraded to RapidRide in 2040, If they’ve already decided it’s better that way, why not reroute it now rather than waiting for the 2020s?

      1. That is a long long long time away! I’ll be 99 in 2040. In the meantime, why can’t this simple few-feet-away stop change be made NOW?

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