King County Metro’s spring service change begins next Saturday, March 11. There are few major changes this time around, but quite a few incremental additions to service. Full service change information from Metro is here; the following are a few highlights.
Routes 3 and 4 to serve SPU
The sole major routing change affects the Queen Anne portion of routes 3 and 4. Both routes will follow a common routing in Queen Anne, serving Seattle Pacific University via 3 Ave W — a solution we have long favored. The new routing will provide a major improvement to SPU-downtown service frequency, and will allow connections to routes 31 and 32 to Fremont and the University District. The vestigial “tails” of both routes, on small neighborhood streets, will lose service. The new routing will be a very short walk for the few current riders using the route 3 tail, but some riders on the route 4 tail may have to walk a few extra blocks to reach service.
Although there will be just one route north of downtown, Metro is keeping both route numbers around for now. The decision could be revisited if Metro ever restructures away the redundant and expensive southern end of route 4, as it proposes to do by 2025 in the Metro Connects long-range plan (and also in earlier proposals). After such a restructure, the number 3 could be used south of downtown and the number 4 north of downtown, for much improved legibility and the flexibility to decouple the two parts if warranted.
The best news in this service change is that Metro is adding a significant amount of additional service, both in the city (with some assistance from Seattle Proposition 1) and in the suburbs. The service additions are spot additions, with few all-day frequency improvements (although we understand that some of those are coming in September). The focus appears to be reducing overcrowding. Many of the additions are in northeast Seattle, as Metro continues working to address pain points from the U-Link restructure.
Routes with New Peak or Shoulder-Peak Trips
C Line, E Line, 5 (local), 15, 17, 18, 21X, 26, 28, 31, 40, 41, 62, 63, 65, 67, 70, 74, 75, 101, 102, 121, 158, 212, 216, 218, 255, 257, 271, 311, 355, 372
Routes with Evening Frequency Improvements
8 (15-minute service until 9 p.m., weekdays)
65 (15-minute service until 10 p.m., weekdays and Saturdays)
67 (15-minute service until 10 p.m., weekdays and Saturdays)
75 (15-minute service until 9 p.m., weekdays)
372 (15-minute service until 8 p.m., weekdays)
Routes with Sunday Frequency Improvements
8 (20-minute service)
372 (20-minute service, between U-District and Lake City only)
As always, there are a few other miscellaneous changes.
- The northernmost portion of Route 106 will become local, serving all stops between Mount Baker and the International District.
- Route 241, and Metro-operated Sound Transit routes 550, 555, and 556, will change their routing to avoid going inside the South Bellevue P&R once the P&R is closes for East Link construction later in the spring.
- A new Black Diamond-Enumclaw Community Shuttle will replace the part of DART Route 907 south of Black Diamond.
- South King County commuter routes 121, 122, 123, 157, 158, 159, and 192 will no longer serve stops on Bell Street.