One Center City Potential Service Interventions page 20

Sound Transit had the right idea when it proposed a new route, ST Express 591, from Tacoma to north downtown Seattle via the Seneca St exit from I-5, in its 2015 Service Implementation Plan (page 94).

The proposal included forcing riders from Tacoma currently riding ST Express 586 to transfer to Link Light Rail to get to UW. In light of the congestion downtown faces from 2018 to 2021, keeping route 586 for the time being makes sense.

Since the elimination of route 586 was ST’s reason for proposing route 591, route 586’s continuance after U-Link opened would explain why the awesome route 591 proposal vanished from the pages of the SIPs.

However, stop-level boarding and alighting data from the 2017 Service Implementation Plan (See page 221) gives strong justification not only for route 591, but also giving such a new route the majority of service on the Tacoma-Seattle bus corridor. Add two more Sounder round trips coming in September, and it should be clear that route 591 ought to be the dominant peak bus path between Tacoma and Seattle. Throw in having route 591 continue into South Lake Union to take advantage of the new transit lanes (as is proposed for route 592 — See the solid teal line in the map at the top of the post), and some organic lemonade could be made out of the One Center City restructure proposals.

The Potential Service Interventions (page 20) being discussed by the One Center City Advisory Group include the possibility of truncating route 590 at International District / Chinatown Station. Having route 590 truncated at ID/CS would have hundreds of riders transferring there daily to get across downtown, on buses and trains already packed to the gills. However, if Tacoma-Seattle service were split into routes 590 and 591, riders coming from Tacoma would be able to get relatively direct service to whichever part of downtown they are headed toward. Such a proposal would make a lot more sense than truncating all route 590 service or all route 550 service (page 17) at ID/CS.

53 Replies to “ST Express 591, More Necessary Than Ever”

  1. Living in Tacoma, this 591 proposal is way better for another reason – transit riders going anywhere but downtown Seattle.
    For example. I once went to an all-day training session next to South Kirkland P&R. I spent more time slogging thru downtown than it actually took to get across the lake, and then the 590 spent as much time slogging downtown Seattle as on the freeway to Tacoma. Skipping most of downtown would save a load of time for non-Seattle travelers.

    1. Donde, sounds like somebody, like either Customer Services or KC Metro website, gave you some very wrong information. Why not 590 to Fourth and Jackson for IDS, and 255 through the Tunnel and directly to South Kirkland?

      But at first glance, 591 looks like a good deal. I still think keeping the 550 in the Tunnel is worth whatever effort it’ll take. But I’m also really getting the idea that the 550 could also swing onto northbound I-5, and come into Downtown same way as the 591.

      Like with the 591, considering what-all is going to be in the way of buses at south end of CBD re: EastLink, might be best for passengers just to ride ST to Westlake Station area, and take LINK both directions. Or surface transit, including streetcars. Absent an aggressive transit lane program, walk through Downtown might also be fastest and healthiest.

      It’s true that if I wanted to be bullied by forces that won’t debate me in public, I’d become a Federal judge. And I’d love for DSTT joint ops to get the chance to finish up on the note of success the concept should have earned. If our two heaviest routes still work best underground, it’s worth the wrath of well, whoever. Anybody named Kahn anonymously involved here?

      But considering hybrids have never had air-conditioning, if there’s no longer any serious operating advantage in the DSTT, getting passengers to the surface is a human rights issue.

      Mark Dublin

      1. In the morning I took 595 (which stops near the narrows where I live) to 255. The return was 255 to 590.

        It took some 15 minutes to get from the freeway into the tunnel. The tunnel takes a bunch of time because there’s so many stops. A single stop at Westlake then straight back on the freeway would be a huge help. And the SODO busway is painfully slow when you’re going as far as Tacoma.

    2. Considering the mess on I-5 through Seattle at peak periods, it seems like it will depend on the routing. Except for freight trains, it may be better to route it on Alaskan and Broad to get it up there.

      1. When the Deep Bore Tunnel is finished, we’ll know a lot more about Alaskan’s transit capacity.


  2. “Downtown congestion” delays are not a reason to keep the 586 around. UW riders can already avoid those delays entirely by transferring to the 590/594 at SODO – with the 586’s limited service, that’s the most reliable way to get between the UW and TDS. And if the 591 was implemented, those same UW riders could transfer to it at Westlake, a few blocks from the freeway ramps, avoiding the bulk of the peak-time tunnel crowding on Link.

    1. One benefit of boarding the bus north of downtown like my favorite stops in the vicinity of Stewart street is that you get a seat. If you boarded at IDS and the bus went through downtown there is a very good possiblty of not getting a seat.

    2. I wasn’t looking out for travel time for 586 riders. I was just not wanting to add their bus to the number trying to get in and out of downtown during the PM peak mess.

    3. Not if Link gets overcrowded. There are several other routes being considered for truncation, and Link has only so much spare capacity given the limited number of trains right now and the single downtown tunnel. A 3-car train has a theoretical capacity of 600 and a Pugetopolis capacity of 390 (the point Pugetopolans are unwilling to board until they someday start turning Japanese). Spare capacity peak hours is in the 0-200 range, and a single full articulated bus has a hundred people or more. Link’s capacity downtown will more than double when a fourth car is added and East Link doubles the frequency, but it’s still not absolutely certain it will be able to handle the entire load from everywhere until the second tunnel opens. The 586 situation foreshadows other ST Express routes that ST might have to keep running longer than expected in order to avoid Link overcrowding, For instance, buses from Everett to keep them off the train between UW and Intl Dist. (There’s is no way to truncate a route at Lynnwood without adding to Link’s capacity demand central in Seattle.) And similarly for Tacoma, Federal Way, and the Eastside. They can certainly truncate some routes, but whether they can truncate all routes is another question.

      And if they have to keep some downtown running, then it arguably makes sense to choose longer origins in places Link doesn’t serve and that have lower volume; e.g., Everett and Issaquah. An alternative would be to run buses from Lynnwood TC and Tacoma Dome. That would give people a direct choice between bus and train for the same destination (which they already get at Tacoma Dome and Everett with Sounder). That would please people who think the bus is faster, but it would hurt ST’s rail image if that’s true. So it would arguably make more political sense to have the buses come from other places and not stop at Lynnwood Station or Tacoma Dome, and siphon off people that way.

      1. The 586 is not very frequent, even when it does run – about half-hourly, at best. And, if it were eliminated, with the 590 series running every 5-10 minutes, peak hours, the riders would be dispersed among many trips, not all concentrated into one trip. Also, peaking in the windows of route 586 buses in the Montlake area, during the PM peak, after having passed the last stop in the U-district, I can tell you that the route 586 buses are not full – they look about half full, at best, maybe 20-30 people per trip. Divide that among five 3-car Link trains in each 30-minute window, you’re looking at an additional 4-6 people per train, or an additional 1-2 people per train car. Compared to the capacity that Link offers, this is negligible.

    4. I vote for SoDo truncation, since these routes already drive by SoDo. It pulls buses out of downtown and frees up service hours to fund congestion elsewhere. I’m unconvinced Link will be so overcrowded people will literally be unable to ride.

      If Link truly becomes overcrowded between UW and SoDo, then ST should sacrifice peak frequency in RV and run turn-back trains to boost capacity in the core. The trains are never overcrowded south of Mt Baker, correct? Everyone has to make sacrifices in this plan, and if it means RV looses 3~4 minutes of Link frequency at peak, so be it.

      1. There are trade-offs with every proposal, that’s for sure. I like this proposal, because it is a good mix of service for Tacoma, and arguably the long term ideal. Having buses serve the north end of downtown (including South Lake Union) and the south end every ten minutes (for combined five minute service to downtown) is very good service, and as good as they will likely ever get. The only plausible significant improvement at that point would be the addition of more right of way (e. g. HOV-2 to HOV-3).

        Truncating at SoDo is reasonable, but you could say that about a lot of lines. West Seattle and Burien lines could be truncated at SoDo, and might make more sense. For those buses, sending them to the north end of downtown (this proposal) just won’t work. It would take too long to get over to I-5. So those buses really don’t have an alternative — either they get truncated, or slog through downtown. The option proposed here is an option only for buses that are on the freeway, and it is a very good one, as for many riders, it actually *improves service*. You just can’t say that with truncations.

  3. Here’s a crazy thought. What about making Seneca bus-only and creating a Seneca-Spring loop once the new bus lane is in? That’d require SOVs to get into the collector-distributor lanes and use James/Madison/Olive, or stay on the mainline and use Mercer. Bus traffic would be on the left through downtown, through-travel would be unimpeded by merges, and downtown car access would be in the C-D lanes. Would that make things better or worse?

    1. Analogous thought:

      Revive the shelved project to shoehorn another lane into northbound I-5 at Seneca, make the Seneca exit and the new lane HOV-only up to the merge from University St. Further south, where the left-side HOV restriction ends to allow people to queue for the express lanes, extend the HOV restriction north only during the times when the express lanes are not open to northbound traffic. Because the express lanes serve the Snohomish peak direction, this would give Tacoma buses and HOV traffic priority during the times when they need it most, and fix the last fixable gap in the Seattle area I-5 HOV network.

    2. I think pushing more traffic onto the collector-distributor (C-D) would not work well. As it is, those lanes (the two right lanes of I-90) regularly back up into the Mt. Baker tunnel and have line cutters that block the 3rd lane trying to get into the exit at the last moment. This slows down both the 3rd and 4th lanes because traffic trying to get to I-5 south, Edgar Martinez Dr, and 4th Ave have to get around the stopped cars. If you move even more traffic onto the C-D, I think you’ll see the exit lanes backing up well onto the floating bridge and even more line cutters. This will lead to unsafe situations on I-90 and will cause major problems with the I-90 buses.

  4. I still don’t know what the 591 alignment is….. might be helpful to include a map or write a few sentences on its route beyond that it’s a Tacoma to Seattle route that ends in South Lake Union.

  5. Yes. And especially since the 590 at peak-of-peak runs every 5 minutes, even before you add the extra service hours from the 586, you could run both the 590 and 591 at frequent 10 minute headways.

    1. Excellent point. I was thinking the same thing. Ten minutes for a commuter run is very frequent, and means that folks who have a strong preference will plan their day around it. But if you miss your bus by a couple minutes, it is probably worth it to take the other one, and find your way to the other stop. Sounds like excellent service really — only thing missing is HOV-3 for the freeway lanes.

      1. Yes, and current 590 frequency is the highest current transit line frequency in the region, even beating Link. The runner-ups are (of course) Link, and peak ST 550 at 6 minutes. Which gives me an idea.

        Since OCC plans on truncating 550 to IDS, I wonder if it would be worth splitting peak-of-peak 550 runs at the same time. ST 551 would terminate at Westlake station, and since it would have to exit the freeway at Rainier ave, it could simply continue onto Boren, make a couple first hill stops, then take a left into Pine street toward Westlake. That way, Westlake passengers wouldn’t have to transfer or walk father, it would still basically serve the Convention Place station area, and would expand direct service to first hill, saving an excruciatingly slow streetcar ride.

      2. 551 could also skip Mercer Island to gain back some lost time from Rainier/Boren routing, and reduce duplication with route 630.

      3. Another great idea! I really like that. Split both the Tacoma and Bellevue buses, serving two different parts of downtown. Unlike a lot of the proposals, I think most people would view these as net positives. 12 minute frequency — especially for an express/commuter type bus — gets to the point where it doesn’t matter much. The time spent waiting is small compared to the time spent as the bus slogs through downtown, walking or catching another bus to the final destination. At worst someone takes a 591, wishing for the old 590, and finds their way to their old stop (instead of waiting six minutes in Bellevue for the 590).

        In general it makes sense to “experiment” or send the very frequent buses to these other parts of town, instead of re-routing the only bus that goes there (e. g. the 41).

    2. And if 591 is popular, when East Link is open ST or Metro can run a route from Judkins station down Boren, basically the 1074 in Metro’s long range plan

  6. In my experience riding the 586 to the UW, most people get off the bus on 45th or 15th. Taking away the route is going to add significant travel time if the best alternative is LINK to UW Station…and then a long walk or bus transfer. Going to the medical center everyday takes me between 50 and 140 minutes on the bus. Taking the 590 sometimes saves time if traffic is really heavy north of Spokane St., but then depending on if I catch a LINK train right away and including the walk to UWMC from the station, usually ends up costing time in the end.

    My trip is likely the best laid out for having a new route like 591 as a (less ideal) alternative, but I’m the minority and a lot of people that currently rely on the 586 are going to get hosed if it’s eliminated.

    1. Not “a lot of people” — a handful. The 586 doesn’t carry a lot of people, less than 500 a day (total — that counts the return trip as well). The folks are spread out all over the place, with the two most popular stops in Seattle being Campus Parkway and the Hospital (AKA, Husky Stadium). Some will make a three seat ride to the north end of campus (or take the 49 to avoid a transfer) but join the club. If you want to make a trip to say, First Hill, from the U-District, you are looking at a similar trip (and a lot more people take that trip).

      The 590 on the other hand, carries five times as many people, and it stands to reason that a fair number of them are headed to the the north end of downtown (including South Lake Union). So, basically, some people will come out behind, but it is quite possible that more will come out ahead, especially if some of the money saved is put into extra service (such as filling in midday frequency).

  7. Brent,

    Are there stops on Sixth? This is a great idea but if there are no current stops I think you’ll see huge pushback from the tony retail shops on the street.

    Just a heads up.

  8. I have to wonder if the whole I-5 mess should be skipped by configuring a new ST bus route to use the new SR99 tunnel, accessing SLU, ending at either UW or Westlake. Thoughts?

    1. Thanks for raising this for the first time since the Deep Bore Tunnel was even proposed, Al. Has anybody ever done any planning whatsoever for the Deep Bore Tunnel as a transit route? Where exactly will be the first possible northbound station?

      Considering routing through from SR99 down to Westlake, and through Wallingford to UW (I hope you mean the areas, not the downtown LINK stations!) might make most sense to aim for Ballard. Seriously the Green Lake and Greenwood areas could grow into major centers that justify a north end DBT terminal.


      1. Another option would be to use the SR99 tunnel northbound only, and drive a loop southbound for Downtown Seattle stops.

    2. I’ve thought of that as well, but unfortunately, there are no bus lanes in the tunnel. Amazing, really, and reason number 17 that the SR-99 tunnel is one of the stupidest projects ever conceived. Not good for car traffic, not good for transit, a huge waste of money when it comes to improving the pedestrian experience (it would have been much cheaper to cap I-5 downtown).

      1. I suspect that the bottlenecks won’t be the tunnel themselves, but will be where traffic backs up into the tunnel because of a congested off-ramp or a horrible merge from an on-ramp. I would also add that tolling may create a diversion of traffic, so that variable tolling rates may keep the tunnel from ever getting really horribly congested.

        For South Lake Union, I was thinking o something like a Republican bus-only lane westbound, and a Harrison (not yet open) bus-only lane eastbound (looping north at to 6th Ave N and to get to the southbound 99 ramp). I’m not an expect on traffic in South Lake Union today or when the new tunnel bore traffic patterns develop to say how best to move traffic through there. Use the Westlake Ave lanes to get to Westlake station? Try to get to UW? Interline with a 520 bus somehow?

        Using the tunnel is an intriguing idea.

      2. It doesn’t need bus tunnels to work. If the tolls are high enough, and there is some signal priority onto 99 by the stadiums, using the tunnel could be a compelling option for buses coming from south and east to serve the northern half of downtown.

        For example, there could be a “552” that say on I90 all the way to the stadium, turn into the tunnel, and then has a few stations in SLU

      3. RossB, bus lane here is a matter of law, not construction. If tunnel is worth as few tolls as it could be, tunnel could carry a lot of bus passengers between the Ballard, Green Lake, and Greenwood of the future to similar new centers to the south.

        Doubt it’d be any problem to convert lanes to rail, either. Definitely a very fast express ride to Sea-Tac, maybe joining present Central LINK at Boeing Access. Or continuing southeastward toward the mountains.

        If it doesn’t leak or crack in an earthquake, a tunnel that size will always find some future use.


      4. It’s good for what it’s designed for: a bypass from north Seattle to the airport or West Seattle or the south end, without I-5 traffic or port trucks. The state has concerns that the toll can’t be set as high as originally estimated or too many people will divert to other streets to avoid the toll. If people divert, that means the tunnel will be emptier, which means transit lanes are less necessary.

      5. Um, er, Ross. If “it’s no good for traffic” then it will have plenty of capacity for a half dozen buses per hour. That would let you have Junction-SLU-UW, White Center-SLU-UW and Burien-SLU-UW routes completely independent of I-5, especially if 45th gets transit lanes.

        Otherwise use 40th.

      6. @Mark — Yes, in theory the lane configuration (HOV or general purpose) is a matter of law, not construction. But from a practical standpoint, it matters a great deal as to how it is actually designed. The new 520 bridge, for example, is designed as two general purpose lanes, and one HOV-3 lane. In theory they could change all the lanes, but in practice, they won’t. Same with the SR-99 tunnel. In theory they could designate one lane as HOV, or even bus only, but in practice, that ship has sailed, and while it was part of the original design, we won’t see an HOV lane in the tunnel.

        As such, it will only carry two lanes of traffic. That is puny compared to the large number that go on I-5. So, Richard, that is what I mean when I say, it is “no good for traffic”. It will have a minimal impact on I-5 traffic (or north-south traffic in general), because it is actually *smaller* than what has existed for years. Not only will it fail to carry a huge number of people (something only likely with an HOV lane, since HOV lanes carry way more people) but it won’t carry as many as it did back in the 1950s. From a cost/benefit standpoint — it is a terrible, no good, waste. Billions of dollars, and traffic won’t be much better, because it is only two general purpose lanes. You could spend that money on improving I-5 or dozens of surface streets and get better results for general purpose traffic, let alone moving people.

        It is possible that the road will be so unpopular that driving on it will be a breeze. I doubt it. Like 520, things will balance out. The tolls will discourage some, but not all, drivers. Traffic might not be terrible, but it will still be heavy. Unlike 520 though, everyone will be in the same boat, so buses will have no advantage. The difference is huge. Someone who wants to go from Kirkland to the UW knows traffic can be really bad, so the disadvantage of a bus (infrequent, not quite where they want to go, etc.) can be made up by the improved speed. But that will never be the case with SR 99. An “express” would only be popular by folks who are headed to one part of downtown (South Lake Union) from the south end, and unfortunately, that is a very small subset of the population. You could run a bus like that, but it would have very few riders, and would cut into the already relatively weak frequency of south end buses.

      7. I wonder how soon people will realize that “no exits downtown” is not really true because the exits at the edge of downtown are close enough.People look at not having a direct exit at Seneca Street, but the Pioneer Square exit is just a mile away and if you’re in a car that’s not much. Of course there’s traffic in between and that’s a bummer, but there’s not as much traffic mid-day and weekends and evenings. There’s still a lot of trips during those times, when drivers will hardly be bothered that there’s no Seneca exit.

      8. I agree Mike. I think the lack of exits “downtown” is not a huge deal. I think the lack of ramps for Western is. It will mean that folks headed to the airport from Magnolia or the west side of Queen Anne (by car) will use Mercer, or slog through downtown traffic. Likewise people in Ballard will do the same, or maybe drive through Fremont (thus making traffic in Fremont worse). In general, it is not going to be very good for drivers, despite the very high price tag. Drivers would have been much better off with either of the two alternatives that the committee came up with: either a new viaduct or a combination of improvements. The new viaduct would have been quieter (it wouldn’t have been stacked) and could have had three lanes (one for HOV) along with ramps for Western. The alternative would be to make improvements on I-5, along with transit. Both would be better for drivers, let alone people who take the bus.

        Like a lot of things in this town it will work for a handful of people (e. g. freight from Aurora to West Seattle will be a breeze) but it will be a terrible deal overall.

    3. That could be really helpful for this whole mess, but I wasn’t convinced it would be open in time before the Comvention Center stuff started.

      1. I like the name “Comvention Center”. Think big halls for large crowds of loyal Marvel and DC fans, Trekkies, Anime junkies, gamers, etc., so we don’t get razzed by Loki.

  9. How about making the 591 become the all-day, and the SODO slog of the 594 become a peak-only thing? Very few people actually travel between Tacoma and SODO, and off-peak the Seneca St. exit isn’t that bad. If Federal Way can get the privilege of a bus that stays on I-5 all the way into downtown, all day long, why can’t Tacoma get that too?

    I like this much better than truncating the 594 at SODO, forcing an additional transfer for virtually all riders, in an area that is not particularly welcoming after dark.

    1. So, how does Tacoma riders get to the stadiums during the off peak if you make the 594 peak only. Don’t forget those event only riders too.

      1. The same way Federal Way riders get there?

        (But, you’re right, that’s one thing that’ll have to be taken into account.)

      2. There is also a decent number of teal-jacketed Safeco Field employees that ride the 594 to every home game. I’d keep the 594 route through the Busway for off-peak service, which would include most game times.

        In my opinion truncating the Pierce County routes at IDS is a terrible idea. If it must be done, the so-called 591 option would be much better. It would also preserve connections between the Pierce County and Snohomish County routes. The current proposal has the 594 terminating at IDS and the 512 terminating at Westlake, which breaks the north-south spine of the network.

  10. The headline – more necessary than ever – makes my head spin.

    During peak periods we have frequent Sounder train service that can carry 1200+ passengers per train. The Sounder trains have a pretty easy connection to Link.

    We are talking about trying to reduce buses going through downtown, and truncating routes like the 545 and 255.

    And this post advocates to run buses on short headways that duplicate Sounder – not only that but very expensive to operate buses because they only operate a single peak direction trip and either need to deadhead or layover all day while the operate deadheads – and we have Sounder expanding service.

    During periods that Sounder operates the 59x service should not be shadowing Sounder – it should operate only when Sounder doesn’t operate. Passengers can connect at IDS/King St. And the fares should be unified.

    1. Your post is so clueless.
      Sounder does not stop at Commerce street. 590 does. Sounder does not offer any frequent service. 590 does during commute hours. Sounder mostly doesn’t travel both directions. 590 does.

      I’m sure you’re not including this, but Sounder doesn’t serve Olympia like 592, the Gig Harbor & West Tacoma locations of 595, or Bonney Lake like 596 does.

      1. Feeder buses to Sounder
        The Express buses should operate during when Sounder doesn’t. But when Sounder operates, feed Sounder instead of duplicating it and competing with it with lower fares. That avoids some of the most expensive to operate service, and takes some buses off the streets of Seattle during the rush hour – all of which are justifications to truncate service. This truncates service at Sounder stations instead of Link stations. Same thing should be true of Kent to Seattle express routes and Auburn to Seattle (if there are any left.)

      2. Except that the most important service, downtown Tacoma, is not part of Sounder.
        Also, only running buses when sounder isn’t running adds a lot of complexity for riders with minimal benefit. You basically have to tell riders that the 6:20 is a train but the 6:30 6:40 6:50 is a bus and 7:00 is a train again, etc. An easily understandable network is important.

        That said, if sounder frequency can greatly improve, I’d be up to cancelling or greatly reducing 590 service.

    2. I’ve long wondered why a ton of Tacoma buses parallel Sounder. I thought it was people who couldn’t afford the train fare, didn’t think the premium train fare was worth it, and the buses are less expensive because they don’t have a BNSF slot fee. But what I’ve heard is that it comes down to Sounder’s capacity: Sounder doesn’t have the capacity for everybody from Tacoma to take it. And beyond that, it still needs space for riders from south King County and Puyallup, which are actually its biggest ridership market because there Sounder has a larger time advantage over buses there. If that capacity constraint is true, I doubt that two more round trips would be enough to mop up all the demand.

      1. We are adding more Sounder runs and I think lengthening trains. In any event, does running 50 passenger buses that duplicate 1200+ passenger Sounder trains really make sense? Does it provide material capacity? And today – even though those most of those bus runs cost 4 hours of pay for an operator for each run, and that’s the only run the operator does in a part-time shift – we give the passengers on those buses a discount compared to the train fare: $3.75 for the bus vs. $5.25-5.75 for the train to Tacoma and Lakewood. Perverse incentives.

      2. I don’t know. The thing to do is to find out from ST the real reason the peak 59x are running, rather than just speculating and casting judgments on our speculations. For some reason ST thinks ST Express is necessary paralleling Sounder but will not be necessary when Link gets to Tacoma and Everett.

        There is one case of non-parallel service: the 578. It does not run the peak direction when Sounder is running. And it doesn’t run reverse-peak southbound. (I assume that’s a ridership imbalance: AM is commuters only, PM is commuters plus everyone else else doing things.)

  11. I really like this idea, because unlike some of the other proposals, I think it will be popular. A commuter from Tacoma may, at worse, lose a bit of frequency to the southern end of downtown, but given the very good headways (especially for a commuter run) it won’t be a big deal. Just as many will benefit — as Brent showed. Given the frequency, it seems highly likely that folks from Tacoma will actually come out ahead.

    As far as eliminating the 586, it is long overdue. It doesn’t carry that many people, and while a transfer may be annoying to some, given how poor the bus performs (22nd of 27 for ST), that is is a small price to pay. One argument for keeping it is that it relieves some of the pressure of off Link, but in this case it really isn’t an issue. If the SR-520 buses get truncated, the big pressure will be in the traditional commute direction, especially in the evening, heading out of town. The 586 doesn’t run from Tacoma to Seattle during that time. The number of riders who transfer to Link won’t matter, because if the train is crowded, it will be crowded going the other direction.

    We would be better helping out the other runs, like improving the 590 in the middle of the day.

    1. Actually, route 586 runs in the same direction as Link’s peak direction: northbound in the morning and southbound in the evening.

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