Happy first weekday of the service change everyone. Let us know in the comments if you’re riding any changed routes and how it’s going for you.

As a reminder, here’s what’s new either over the past weekend or today:

  • Link is in full simulated service for Angle Lake. Set to open in just 12 days, all trains are now running out of service to Angle Lake. This means that all SeaTac/Airport passengers will now deboard from the southbound platform, and all Seattle-bound passengers will board from the northbound platform. No more tourist confusion about which train to board.
  • Mid-Day Sounder is live. A cute 2-car train left Lakewood this morning at 10:18am with just 10 people aboard. The train picked up another 7 in South Tacoma, and another 20 in Tacoma, where I left the train. These loads are roughly what you’d expect on a standard reverse-peak trip. Though the train will surely get more popular as time passes and awareness builds, the new 2:30pm return trip will likely always be much busier than the late-morning trip.

    img_2841
    Inaugural mid-day (10:18am) trip from Lakewood.
  • Route 106 is live on MLK, Rainier, and Jackson. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel is now slightly less congested (2 fewer buses per hour), MLK maintains roughly the same frequency, and Rainier now has 10 buses per hour instead of 6 (though they will always be unevenly staggered due to mixing a 15-minute and 10-minute route). And happily, Skyway residents now have frequent service. It will interesting to follow to see if the new MLK-Little Saigon connection is successful in attracting ridership compared to a (faster AND cheaper) Link ride.img_2846
  • Route 107 now serves Georgetown and Beacon Hill. Route 107 has been extended from Rainier Beach to Beacon Hill via a (likely not so quick) out-and-back to Georgetown. The real benefit to this corridor is that 15th Avenue S now has 66% more service, with 5 buses per hour instead of 3 between Georgetown and Beacon Hill Station. That’s a huge win for Cleveland High students, VA riders, and others.
  • Route 124 is now frequent all-day. Thanks to a somewhat controversial but ultimately successful use of  Prop 1 funds, Route 124 is now frequent all-day. Though Georgetown doesn’t see any additional service (as Routes 124 and Routes 106 formerly combined for an approximation of frequent service), the new service pattern is much more legible. Southbound riders headed for Georgetown no longer need to choose between 3rd Avenue and the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, and having a single route allows even headway spacing. And not to mention the doubling of service for those along East Marginal Way, International Boulevard, and Tukwila.  

Lots of other minor changes were made also, including a needed boost to weekend frequency on routes serving ULink. Check out Metro’s service change page, Sound Transit’s, or our previous overview.

26 Replies to “Reminder: Service Change Started Saturday”

  1. The 556 buses are all leaving 5min earlier than before the service change, I completely forgot about it this morning but luckily left the house early enough that it wasn’t an issue. My bus was unusually empty though, and given that it only runs every 30min, I’m sure plenty of people had their morning ruined because of it.

  2. I went by the Angle Lake station on Sunday. It looks very close to ready. So much so that I was a bit confused I couldn’t get in the garage since they were clearly running trains. Then I saw a sign reminding me the opening is two weeks away. LOL

  3. I took the 193 to Seattle today instead of the 177 to see how people responded to the adjusted routing. The driver actually incorrectly made a right turn onto 8th Ave instead of 9th, and some people were really confused. It’s incredible how so many people miss the big red all-caps “RIDER ALERT” signs.

  4. I read somewhere that the 106 on Rainier would be following the 9’s skip-stops, but I saw the 106 listed at every stop while I was walking from Massachusetts to Bayview.

    1. The 106 does have more stops than the 9. I rode it yesterday morning and there were about 15 people still on the bus as we rode down Jackson Street. The new 106 stops on 5th Avenue, not Jackson Street and the outbound trips to Renton turn left off of Rainier onto McClellan and then into MBTC. The bus then exits back onto Rainier (making the stop at the Link Station and then stops again at the pedestrian bridge as it turns onto MLK. That’s 3 stops in about 500 feet.

    2. The rider alert says it makes limited stops on Rainier. That raises the interesting question of why the 9, 26, and 28 are “Express” when the 106 that does the same thing is not. Since Metro’s definition of express is that it bypasses at least one stop, it would seem that the 106 should be 106X now. But if the route number is at all the stops, then either the rider alert is wrong or the stop signs are wrong. FWIW, I don’t remember the proposal saying it would be limited stop on Rainier. ACRS had better check if their stop is an express stop.

      1. On my maiden voyage on the extended 106 there were no passengers who used the stops closest to ACRS. Yes, I was looking….

        I would prefer that the 106 make all the stops between MBTC and downtown and let the 7 skip some of the stops.

    3. We have a 106X, it’s called Central Link. Central Link skips lots of route 106 stops, and gets you all the way up downtown (and to UW). Since the main criticism of the new 106 is that it duplicates Link, there is no sense in making it skip any stops.

      1. There’s a question whether it does skip any stops since Metro’s indications are inconsistent. It may have been a late decision that was reversed. The 62 had another late decision, an AM peak trip that was added after the schedule was published. Around the transit center it may have extra stops for transfers like the 49 does at Broadway & Pine (one shared with the 60, the other with the 11), but what does it do on north Rainier? During the restructure I never heard a proposal for the 106 to skip stops; I only heard “Rainier needs more service, Rainier-MLK needs a better connection, Jackson needs more service”.

  5. Angle Lake opening will be huge. That, and having the U in session, should drive weekday average ridership over 70k. That is true oh a big number for what is still a relatively short line.

    1. What?? Are you serious? Link is relative short? It is over 20 miles long (without Angle Lake).

      As of June 2011, the Expo Line in Vancouver carried 289,460 people, and it is 18 miles long. My guess is it carries well over 300,000 by now. I doubt anyone calls it short. The Canada line is significantly shorter — less than 12 miles. It carries (wait for it) 136,000 riders (as of the same date) or roughly twice as many riders as Link, despite being almost half the length. I could go on (or you could research the issue a bit).

      Obsession with ridership is really silly and shows misplaced priorities. Having no idea what constitutes good performance in that regard shows a lazy disregard for simple research and readers alike.

  6. My 522 driver (presumably new to the route) missed the exit to Pike / Union. We instead got off at the West Seattle bridge, voyaged through Sodo, and went north on 4th through downtown.

    A rather unexpected service change, to be sure.

  7. I was going to try the Sunday 73 in Jackson Park, but it looks like the stop is on 143rd, rather than 145th. Will try again next Sunday.

    1. The terminal for the 73 is on NE 143rd between 15th and 17th Ave NE and starts its trip to the UW station from there turning south on 15th Ave NE.

  8. I’m liking the 11 and 49 turning north on 8th and then east on Pine – seems to save a couple of minutes getting up the hill.

  9. Classic Metro: The route 249 will not enter the South Bellevue Park & Ride due to the upcoming South Bellevue Station construction. It will stay out on Bellevue Way. Then why are the 550, 560 and 241 still entering the P&R? Answer: The construction and closure of the P&R is still pretty far off. No need to take them out for quite some time.

    1. Classic Sam: Actually, the 560 just got changed to take 405 straight through. It isn’t going anywhere near the P&R.

  10. Not to be forgotten:
    * CT started new service on Highway 9 giving new connections for Lake Stevens and Snohomish
    * Frequent service has finally returned to Tacoma with #1 getting 15-minute headways all day.

  11. My wife and I rode the 14:32 to Lakewood yesterday, about 3/4 full (two car consist). Nice ride as was the 594 bus back to Seattle. Overheard several comments on the train about how this schedule worked out better for the person (and one complaint about how another person had to run to catch the train — and he was winded).

  12. I’ve been hearing whispers from South Sound residents that there’s actually a decent amount of latent demand for a midday Sounder trip. The only issue is that all the lots are filled to the brim for even the peak hour trips and midday transit connections to the stations leave a lot to be desired. I bet if they had some “1 hour parking until 9 AM” spots, ridership would grow.

    1. On the new train service right now. It’s great! This will open up so many opportunities for folks living down here. I can’t help but think of a post-ST3, 4, and 5 future when the oil train (?- not sure if that’s actually what it is) next to me is gone, replaced by an electrified Sounder running every 15 minutes.

  13. Zach: should your trip count on Rainier Avenue South include Route 9? Routes 7 and 106 sum to 10 trips per hour per direction; in the peaks, Route 9 is still alive.

  14. I’m so bummed that my kids will not be able to use the 62 line, which was a Spring change, to get to school. By the time it gets to Wallingford, buses are packed going North/East in the morning and don’t stop.

  15. The 106 takes the left turn at Mcclellan, so it’s useless for me as an alternate to the 7 / 9 / 36 / 60 choices in the morning / afternoon doing the reverse peak to the airport where I work.

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