About a year and a half ago, I wrote about SDOT’s efforts to improve reliability for buses leaving the International District via southbound Rainier Avenue. The idea is to move buses to an exclusive center lane queue jump, thereby avoiding a couple of particularly congested blocks of traffic.
Well, it’s been over a year, and recently reader YZ wrote in to ask what the status was. The red paint has been there for quite a while (it’s even on Google Maps!), but the buses haven’t moved. In the meantime, Metro has added even more service along that stretch of Rainier, as the re-routed 106 joins the 7 and 9.
I emailed Metro’s Jeff Switzer to see what the story is. Switzer told me that trolley wire will be installed next month, October, along with a temporary bus shelter at Rainier & King to replace the decommissioned stop at Dearborn. A permanent bus shelter will follow some time after that. Metro expects an average savings of 30 seconds, rising to 60-90 seconds during the PM peak.
With many more buses now trolling that corridor, the improvements are coming just in time.