Map of Metro's 2040 network showing Renton, east Kent, and east Auburn.
A part of the Metro Connects 2040 map with some dramatic expansion in coverage. Map by Metro.

We’ve devoted considerable coverage to Metro Connects, the long-range plan that Metro first published in 2016 and the King County Council adopted in January.  We’ve focused mainly on the massively expanded frequent network Metro envisions, with 26 RapidRide lines and frequent service slated to serve most King County residents.  But the plan’s vision goes well beyond adding more frequency and red buses to the busiest parts of the network.  Separately, Metro also hopes to expand service to lots of places (and people) that don’t have it today.  That includes places that lost service in Metro’s multiple rounds of cuts, and also many places that have never seen a Metro bus.

We talk a lot about the frequency versus coverage tradeoff that’s inherent in designing transit networks.  Maximize frequency (and therefore transfer feasibility) for the most riders, and you inevitably leave riders in less dense areas—including youth, seniors, and riders with disabilities—without needed service.  But if you run buses to everywhere, there likely aren’t enough resources to provide enough frequency to make transfers easy.  Without spontaneously usable transfers, transit for everyone is much less useful.  Metro clearly hopes that it can marshal sufficient resources over the next two decades to avoid this tradeoff altogether, a dream which many transit advocates share.  But until the past couple of years, when the region’s newfound wealth has enabled service expansions, that seemed like a fever mirage, not a plausible solution.

Metro 2040 map of east Bellevue and Sammamish
Sammamish, slated for major growth, gets a lot of new coverage. Map by Metro.

In 2013, I proposed a network that cut coverage service heavily to improve frequency and transfers for most riders.  Many of Metro’s restructures have done the same thing.  That choice of priorities is correct in a low-resource environment, but the result is unfortunate: coverage is less expansive than it was three decades ago, even as high-ridership routes have seen major improvements.

It’s nice to see Metro dream a bit more about expanding coverage.  Land use changes and further development will be necessary to make most of Metro’s proposed routes work—but, for the most part, the new routes would be in places where municipalities are planning more development.  We can hope that credible transit proposals from Metro will encourage developments that are transit- and walking-friendly, allowing for transportation options beyond cars.

Below the jump, a long list of areas that would see new coverage (either on conventional buses or alternative service) by 2040 under the Metro Connects plan. Again, this list is only new coverage — improvements to areas that already have service are not the subject of this post.


1st Av S: The industrial area along 1st Av S south of S Lander St, unserved since 2012’s restructuring of route 132, would gain service on two local routes connecting to Sodo Station and South Park.

South Lake Union/Capitol Hill: A new crosstown corridor would open, connecting Harrison St in SLU to E Roy St and E Aloha St in Capitol Hill.  Two infrequent routes would combine to provide frequent service.  This corridor would require major road work on Belmont Ave E, E Roy St, and E Aloha St to be feasible.

Montlake: Two new coverage routes.  The first, a heavily modified route 43, would use Boyer Av E and Fuhrman Av E between 24th Av E and the University Bridge.  The second, an extended route 47, would use Delmar Dr E and E Montlake Pl to connect to UW Station and SR 520 service.

Leschi: Route 27 would be extended to Mt. Baker Station via Lake Park Dr S.

Mt. Baker:  The current vestigial “tail” of route 14 would be replaced by a modified route 50, which would provide service along all of Hunter Blvd S and 38 Av S, connecting to both Mt. Baker and Columbia City Stations.

Seward Park: Seward Park Av S between S Othello St and S Henderson St would regain service on a new local route connecting to Rainier Beach and Mt. Baker Stations.

S Graham St: A new frequent east/west route would take riders to the new Graham St Station.

South Park/Glendale: Two local routes would combine to provide frequent service along 8 Av S, currently unserved.

Metro Connects 2040 map of West Seattle.
West Seattle gets lots of new coverage connecting to Link. Map by Metro.

Seaview: A new local route would connect this neighborhood, now poorly served by a few trips on the indirect route 37, to Alaska Junction Station and Morgan Junction.

Genesee Hill: Current peak-only service would be upgraded to all-day.

North Admiral: The southeast portion of the neighborhood, unserved since route 51’s cancellation, would regain service on a frequent route serving Avalon Station and Westwood Village.

Alki: Alki Av SW/Harbor Dr SW would be served by a frequent all-day route connecting to Youngstown Station.

Wedgwood/Roosevelt: NE 75 St would gain service, connecting to Roosevelt Station.

Bryant: NE 55 St would regain the all-day service it lost with the cancellation of route 30.

W Green Lake/Phinney Ridge: New frequent service would serve NW/N 65 St and Linden Av N (between N 65 and N 80 Sts), connecting to Ballard and Northgate Stations.  This corridor would require major road work on NW/N 65 St between 3 Av NW and Linden Av N.

Sunset Hill: Frequent service would return to 32 Av NW, connecting to Ballard Station.

Broadview: All-day service would return to 3 Av NW (without the “jog” to 8 Av NW made by current peak trips on route 28X).

Haller Lake: Crosstown service would connect N 130 St with the NE 130 St Station, Bitter Lake, and Lake City.

South King County


NE Auburn/Lea Hill: Two new all-day north/south routes would flank existing route 164, one running on 112 Av SE and one on 132 Av SE.  Both terminate at Green River College and serve Kent East Hill.  These are relatively undeveloped areas today, but the City of Auburn expects further development.

West Valley: All-day service would be provided on West Valley Highway north of 15th St NW, connecting to Auburn Station.

Lakeland Hills: All-day service would be provided on Lakeland Hills Wy SE for the first time.  Years ago, a few peak trips on route 151 served the area.


4th Av SW: Residents on this corridor still remember their all-day service on route 137, and then its short-lived peak replacement on route 134.  Frequent service would return, connecting to Burien TC, Westwood Village, and several neighborhoods in West Seattle.  Link connections would be available at Avalon Station.

Boulevard Park: New all-day service serving 8 Av S would connect to all-day express bus service at S 128th St Freeway Station, to Burien TC, and to Link at Sodo Station.

Gregory Heights: All-day regular bus service would return in place of alternative Route 631, connecting to Burien TC.

Des Moines Memorial: All-day service would return to the portion of Des Moines Memorial south of S 152 St, once served by route 132.


Meridian Heights/Wax Road: New all-day east-west service would be provided on SE 256 St and SE Wax Rd, connecting to Kent Station and Wilderness Village.

Des Moines

Woodmont: New all-day service would serve 16th Av S near Saltwater State Park and S 260 St, connecting to downtown Des Moines, Angle Lake, and Star Lake.

Federal Way

Steel Lake: Steel Lake and the residential area directly north of it would get all-day service along Military Rd S.

Lakeland North:  New all-day service would be provided along Military Rd S to the west of Lake Doloff.

Lake Killarney/Lakeland South:  These areas of SE Federal Way would get service for the first time, connecting to Link at S Federal Way and Federal Way.


Tudor Square: New all-day north-south service would serve the southern part of Kent East Hill via 104 and 108 Aves SE, connecting to Green River College and Renton.

Soos Creek: New all-day service would serve 132 Ave SE, connecting to Lake Meridian, Green River College, and Renton.

South West Valley: New all-day service would serve 68 Av S and S 277 St, connecting to Kent and Federal Way.  This area is currently devoted to agricultural use but is likely to be redeveloped for industrial or residential purposes.

Maple Valley

West Maple Valley: New all-day north-south service would use Witte Rd SE and 216th Ave SE, and serve the west side of Lake Sawyer, connecting to Wilderness Village and Kent.


Renton Highlands: A new all-day north-south route would serve Edmonds Av NE and Windsor Wy NE, connecting to I-405 BRT at Kennydale and to S Renton P&R.

Lake Kathleen/Maplewood Heights: All-day service would serve a loop similar to the one currently served by peak-only route 111, and connect to Renton Highlands, South Renton P&R, and Rainier Beach Station.  Separately, new all-day service would serve 156th Ave SE and connect to Fairwood.

Benson Hill: New all-day service would serve 116th Ave SE, connecting S Renton P&R, Lake Meridian, and Green River College.

Lake Youngs: New all-day service would serve 140th Ave SE and SE Lake Youngs Wy, connecting to Renton Highlands, Fairwood, Lake Meridian, and Green River College.


Riverton/Riverton Heights:  New all-day north-south service would connect 24 Av S with TIB Station, South Park, and Sodo Station.

McMicken Heights: Local service would be expanded considerably, going from today’s route 156 to four separate all-day routes mostly connecting to Airport Station.  Coverage would be newly provided to S 170 St, both northern and southern segments of 42 Av S, and the portion of Military Rd south of S 176 St.

Angle Lake: New all-day service would be provided to the south and east sides of Angle Lake via Military Rd, connecting to Link at Angle Lake Station.

S 200 St:  Three local routes serving Normandy Park and Des Moines would be reoriented to connect with Link at Angle Lake Station, providing new service to S 200 St in the process.


Foster/Thorndyke: New all-day north-south service along 42 Av S would connect to Link at TIB Station.

Tukwila South:  New all-day service connecting to Tukwila Station and Kent would be provided to this area south of S 180 St, currently in the early stages of major greenfield residential and commercial development.



Bridle Trails: All-day service would be restored to 140th Ave NE for the first time since route 220 was discontinued, connecting to Link at 132nd Ave NE, and to Rose Hill and Totem Lake.

Kenilworth: A revised route 249 would use 180th Ave NE to connect NE 24th St with W Lake Sammamish Pkwy.  Separately, a new local route would also serve the area of Ardmore Park and 172nd Ave NE, connecting to Link at Overlake Village.

Vasa Park: New frequent service connecting Issaquah, Bellevue College, and Eastgate would use SE 34th St, which currently has no service.

Cougar Hills/Lakemont:  New all-day service would serve a wide swath of currently unserved territory in these neighborhoods, via 164th Av SE and Village Park Dr SE.  Link connections would be available at Eastgate and Issaquah.


Tolt Hill: All-day service would connect Tolt Hill Rd with Redmond and Carnation.


Mountain Park: New all-day service would connect to Issaquah Station and downtown Issaquah.

Talus: All-day service would connect Talus to Issaquah Station.

Providence Point: All-day service would be restored to Providence Point, connecting to Issaquah Station.

Cougar Mountain: Express service would connect to Issaquah Station and Renton .

Tiger Mountain: Express service would connect to downtown Issaquah, Issaquah Station, and Maple Valley.


Juanita/Holmes Point: Would regain all-day service along Juanita Dr NE, unserved since Route 935’s cancellation.

Rose Hill: A RapidRide route and an all-day local route would serve 132nd Ave NE between Old Redmond Road and NE 80th St.

Mercer Island

North Mercer Island: All-day loop-style service to North Mercer Wy and SE 40th St, similar to deleted routes 203 and 213 and serving Mercer Island Station, would be restored.

East Seattle/Town Center: All-day loop service would connect West Mercer Way north of SE 40th St to Mercer Island Station and the town center.

South Mercer Island: Route 204 would be extended to serve SE 78th St.


Newport Hills: New all-day service would cover 116th Ave SE south of Newcastle Wy.  The service would connect to downtown Newcastle, I-405 BRT (at Kennydale), The Landing, and downtown Renton.

North Bend

East North Bend: Local service would extend east on SE North Bend Wy to 436th Ave SE, serving the Mt. Si trailhead.


English Hill: All-day service would serve Sunrise Elementary and the surrounding neighborhood.

Union Hill: All-day service would connect NE Union Hill Rd, downtown Redmond, and Sammamish.


Allen Lake: New all-day service would serve Inglewood Middle School and 244th Ave NE, connecting them to downtown Sammamish and Redmond.

Pine Lake/West Sammamish: A modified route 269 would serve a north/south corridor west of 228th Av, using 212th Av SE and 216th Av NE.  It would connect to Redmond and Issaquah Highlands.  (Existing route 269 service along 228th Av would be replaced by an all-day expansion of route 216.)

Klahanie/Beaver Lake: Two separate, new all-day routes would serve Klahanie, both connecting to Link at Issaquah Station.  One would use SE Klahanie Blvd, connecting to downtown Sammammish and Issaquah Highlands.  The other would use SE 32nd St, connecting to North Issaquah, and would serve Beaver Lake as well via SE Belvedere Wy.

North King County


Westhill/Shelton View: Would regain all-day service, connecting to 522 BRT, for the first time since the cancellation of short-lived route 334.

Hollyhills/North Creek: Would regain all-day local service along the route formerly followed by route 251.


North Kenmore: Would gain all-day service connecting to 522 BRT through several neighborhoods north of SR 522.

Simonds Rd: Would gain all-day service connecting to 522 BRT and 405 BRT (at Totem Lake).


Briarcrest: Would regain service not seen since the 2004 cancellation of route 314, connecting to NE 185 St and Northgate Stations.

Echo Lake: Would gain service along 5 Av NE between NE 185 St and NE 205 St.


Wine Country: Would gain all-day local service, connecting to downtown Woodinville and Redmond.

73 Replies to “Metro Wants to Serve Lots of New Places”

  1. Recommend a correction: Lakeland Hills in Auburn currently does have peak service, provided by Pierce Transit 497 rather than Metro and connecting to downtown Auburn. So Metro’s proposal must be to expand it to all-day service, and possibly to take it back from Pierce.

    1. Thank you. I wasn’t aware PT had started providing that service.

      I’m sure neither PT nor Metro loves having PT provide service from an area that’s mostly in King County to a King County transfer point, most of which sort of overlaps with a Metro route.

      1. 497 has been in place forever it seems, and has been literally untouched all decade (though I’m not sure if trips were added to meet September 2016’s new Sounder round trip), even during the PT service cuts. Even the PT service area, which doesn’t cover any portion of the cities of Sumner, Bonney Lake, and Lake Tapps proper, has a thin gerrymander-like wind through unincorporated Pierce County to include the 497 service area while remaining contiguous.

        My guess is that Metro wanted Piece Transit to take over the 151 since it goes into Piece County, and so is subsidizing the King County portion of Route 497(essentially an express along A St SE to the Sounder station). Now I’m a bit curious. Is there a map and schedule available for the old 151?

        It seems like Metro wants to become more liberal in buses crossing the county line, with the 180 taking over PT 497, a new route duplicating PT 402 to Puyallup, and, interestingly, two routes in NE Tacoma, including a straight straighter, frequent, and all-day 903 extension, and a 182 extension, giving midday service to a part of Tacoma that hasn’t had it since PT 61 was cut.

      2. I believe both metro and sound transit subsidize that route to a significant extent so it would not have been good business to cut that route. It was probably done that way so those pierce county residents of auburn can see their tax dollars at work.

      3. I envy you, David. You’ll undoubtedly live to see an end to anybody having to care what any agency thinks about what any other one does. Or gets.

        Fortunately, in transit work, there’s always work available driving at times and in places where nobody middle, let along top management is going to come bother you.

        Or either know or care what you’re doing, let alone scheme to get your job. Even if you get to drop poles and drive the Route 7 all the way down the hill from Prentice Street.

        Which somebody needs to do, just to see how far north you can get with gravity + momentum+batteries. My call would be IDS if you didn’t have to stop.


      4. Pierce Transit, Sound Transit, and the City of Auburn fund 497. Metro pays nothing.

  2. Would the the extended 47 stay on trolley wires? That’s the best thing about the 47.

    1. Seems exceedingly unlikely it would have wire. That would be a major capital project, and likely tick off some folks in very wealthy neighborhoods, for a route that is likely to have low ridership even if it succeeds.

      But the route (together with the revised 43, with which it would almost certainly be interlined if the plan happened exactly as Metro envisioned) would be a very good candidate for battery-electric buses.

      1. Could there be battery-electric buses that run on partially electrified routes that could charge their batteries on portions of the route that are electrified?

      2. My understanding is Metro is primarily looking at battery buses that charge when they are back at base, but I don’t see why not.

      3. To my knowledge there has not yet been a battery-electric bus with sufficient range to operate all-day assignments, even on short routes. My understanding is that Metro is looking at more buses similar to the Proterras it operates now, that have chargers located at terminals so that buses can charge up for each trip. Chargers at the existing 2nd/Pike terminal and one of the terminals in the U-District would be sufficient to run both of Metro’s proposed new coverage routes.

      4. I didn’t know Metro had battery buses. Are there many of them? Which routes have them, and are they most of the buses on the route?

      5. They currently have three, and have an order in process for eight more. They are running on routes 226 and 241, which together form a loop service in Bellevue. Layovers are at Eastgate, and the routes are through-routed on the other end at Bellevue TC. Chargers are located at Eastgate and Bellevue Base. The additional order for eight will allow the 226/241 to become fully electric.

        They recently said they are pleased enough that they want to order 120 more by 2020. Unless there is a significant range expansion, it will be a challenge to find appropriate routes for that many. But coverage routes between the CBD and the U-District would be perfect.

      6. Yeah, but could a notified modified Proterra be charged while running on trolley wire? If so, then Metro has chargers hung above streets all over Seattle.

      7. That seems like a physical challenge because the battery buses’ charger pad is in the same place as the current collectors on trolleys. There’s also the issue of having stops to get off and (especially) back on the wire.

      8. The order for 120 battery buses includes both short range and long range technology, so expect them to be deployed across different types of routes as new technology is rolled out.

      9. The existing order for 73 buses is for short-range buses. Metro hopes to order more longer-range buses to get to 120, but they don’t exist yet.

      10. Based on their statements on Twitter, Proterra isn’t interested in producing a hybrid battery-trolleybus. Quote: “Our buses are 100% battery electric. Our vision is to see cities eliminate fossil fuel and visual pollution & outdated infrastructure.”

        The traditional bus makers might. Gillig recently rolled out a battery bus with the induction charging on the underside of the bus and charging pad embedded in the pavement. They also produced trolleybuses for Dayton, Ohio.

        I thought we solved the rewiring problem with what we did when the old dual mode buses entered the DSTT.

  3. The Metro larger coverage area assumes that transit technology won’t change. It almost certainly will. With bus drivers being a majority of transit operating cost, more people can be served by more readily-available vehicles if they are driverless.

    Public driverless vehicles operating from a nearby Link station or RapidRide hub appears to me to be a much more desirable long-range strategy to provide both coverage and frequency. It should be another alternative that Metro should consider.

    1. Metro is already on it. The section of the LRP concerning what local service would look like explicitly mentions “automated vehicles” and “Pilot new and innovative services and technology applications” in addition to traditional fixed-route service.

    2. I think we need to lower our expectations for autonomous transit. There are no products on the market today that are intended for cross town or intercity service. And while I for one welcome our new robots overlords, I do not want Metro to be a test bed for this technology.

      1. I strongly disagree. I think medium frequency, low ridership, fixed route “coverage” service from a transit provider is a much better use-case for shared autonomous vehicles than anything Uber would start with.

        The service implications are huge. It would result in both cheaper operating costs and higher frequencies for local routes.

      2. There are already several vendors operating systems of driverless low-speed shared vehicles. Easymile is operating in San Ramon today as a pilot. It’s not a question of if but at what speed by 2020-2025. They will be as common and familiar as elevators by 2040.

      3. All of this is obvious. What’s not obvious is how this transit network expansion can benefit from emerging or future tech. Let’s develop plans with proven solutions instead.

      4. @Jack, so you want to plan tomorrow’s service using yesterday’s technology?

        I’m all for Metro being the test bed for future technology, assuming it’s done is a safe & responsible manner. Metro is pushing the envelope with battery powered buses, I don’t see why it can’t do the same with driverless vehicles in a few years.

      5. Been away from transit for about the minimum lifetime for anybody behind a Metro steering wheel. So not sure if we’ve had any comments on human-driverless buses from anybody that’s ever driven anything bigger than a van.

        Around an empty parking lot. So it might be good to put the Seattle Center Monorail to full automatic, and let one more generation of transit operating personnel observe, comment, and advise 21 more years of technical development.

        About battery charging in service, if we’d had that technology available, we wouldn’t ever have needed trolley-poles or negative wire. Or present mostly-bad-training-related trouble getting a hybrid 550 restarted at Westlake, and backing up buses all the way into the future Convention Center basement.

        We could also have found enough bidders we’d never have needed rolling props for “The Walking Dead.”


      6. The Roosevelt BRT project is targeting not the vehicles available today but the vehicles that will be available when it opens. You can project a couple years ahead. What you can’t do is project ten or twenty years ahead, which is Metro’s timeframe. Uber’s self-driving car test had a crash in Arizona a few days ago and it suspended testing nationwide, although now it’s back. Who could have predicated a week ago that this crash and suspension would occur? Who can predict what other crashes, suspensions, technological breakthroughs, market adoption or non-adoption, recession, war, or shutdown of intercontinental shipping might occur in the next ten or twenty years — yet we need to know this in order to reliabliy predict what kinds of autonomous vehicles will be available for Metro fleets in 10-20 years — or how much they’ll cost or how reliable they are. Metro should not chase cutting-edge technology. Let Dubai do that. We don’t have enough tax money or a cooperative enough legislature to risk buying a dud or something that will be obsolete and incompatible a year after it starts. The advantage of mainstream technology is it’s well proven and tested, and its problems are well known so it can be reliably repaired, and you can find a large number of people who can do the repair.

        “What’s wrong with two or three alternative 2040 scenarios?”

        Do you mean the network or the vehicles? The vehicles — and what additional opportunities might come from inexpensive autonomous coverage vans — are unpredictable as I’ve said. The network, well, you get into whether three network scenarios can be equally good. Metro put all its effort into this one; it represents what Metro’s planners think is best. Bu definition, any other scenarios would be worse, so is it worth spending time on them, especially since it would suck up 2/3 of the time it took to produce this scenario?

        If you really want to pursue this, it’s worth stepping back and asking two larger questions. On what principles should the three scenarios be based? All the same, with just some tweaks in termini or mixing-and-matching segments? Or three different paradigms, such as grid, radial, multi hub-and-spoke, or something else. When Metro started the U-District restructure it began with two scenarios: a maximum frequent-corridor network, and a minimum-changes network. In that case it was trying to get people to appreciate and accept the maximum frequent-corridor principle. In this case it’s not bothering with a minimum scenario, it’s just going for maximum. If there should be other scenarios, what should they be based on?

        The second question is, are there any general transit needs that aren’t addressed in this plan? If so, articulating them would lead to another scenario. So what are they?

        Another answer might be that Metro’s overall plan is fine, but certain routes should be adjusted, or a few segments should be reconnected to others. That’s not really worth another scenario. Instead it’s worth articulating what those problems or opportunities are and telling Metro to adjust this plan. Which is what the rounds of feedback over the past year did.

      7. “Who could have predicated a week ago that this crash and suspension would occur?”

        Just about anyone with programming experience.

      8. A general crash. Not when it will happen or how many there will be. And more importantly, whether the public or regulators will turn against autonomous vehicles.

      9. Ah, I see what you mean.

        That all depends on how much “Production Testing” the general public will tolerate.

  4. Wow, long overdue, east-west service in Ballard, north of Market?!? And all it’s going to take is a $3 billion light rail line and 20 years?!?!??1? Color me tickled!

    But seriously, with the 45-48 split, why the heck haven’t they turned the 45 towards downtown Ballard (even on 32nd if necessary), where it can layover where the old 75 used to?

    1. That would cost quite a few service hours, given the sheer number of 45s and we’ve already got frequent transfers with the D and 40. It would be convenient for me; I often go from Greenwood to Ballard, but I’m not sure it’s an urgent priority. (Of course, a lot of the stuff on this list probably shouldn’t be an urgent priority either.)

      A service hour-neutral(ish*) approach would be to have the 40 serve downtown Greenwood. This would probably add a couple of minutes to the total journey, but it seems like such a no-brainer; it’s a brilliant connector of three growing North Seattle urban villages, but currently avoids a 4th, while duplicating the D’s service to the Holman area.

      * I saw “ish” because I could see a couple of minutes, and possibly some reliability lost with such a routing, but I think the additional usefulness would be worth it. It wouldn’t add any time to anyone’s trip downtown, because there’s no reason not to use a more direct route–E, 26, 5, 41, etc–for that journey.

      1. I like your thinking. Have the 40 cross 15th on 85th, turn up Greenwood and then right on 105th. You’d lose service on Holman, between QFC and Greenwood, but between the D terminal, 28 service on 3rd and 5/40 service on Greenwood, you’d have plenty of options. Reduced service on 15th/Holman between 85th and QFC would be taken care of by added RR D hours from ST3.

        In the future, if RR D ever goes to Northgate, you could have the 40 continue down 85th, zig-zagging towards the Northgate Station/TC.

      2. The current Metro LRP thinking is to have the north half of the D take over the Ballard/Greenwood function, running from Ballard Station along 15th NW and NW 85th, then continuing east on N 85th to Wallingford N, where it would head to Northgate. The 40 would keep its current routing. Would be interesting to see whether the connection from Greenwood to Northgate via the revised D or from Greenwood to Roosevelt via the 45 would be faster in the real world.

      3. David–thanks. I like that too. (I think I didn’t consider the possibility because my mind treats RR routing as more permanent than other routing.)

      4. So in short, Metro wants to have two routes turning at 15th & 85th (plus the unchanged 45), rather than three routes all continuing straight? Why?

      5. Presumably to make the Ballard-Greenwood connection, which Metro seems to expect to be high-volume, as direct as possible. I think Metro is expecting off-peak Greenwood-downtown riders to save time by using new-D + Link rather than the local 5, which will use Dexter rather than Aurora.

      6. @David: Is the LRP timing for the RR D changes on the scale of Link to Ballard or is it something that may happen in the coming years with ST3 funding? Is it also contingent on the RapidRide-ization of the 40, which I presume would inherit those two stations north of 85th?

      7. Hard to know exactly. Metro’s LRP shows it all happening around the time Link opens, but SDOT’s transit plans are a bit different from the plans in the LRP, and SDOT may want to act sooner.

    2. My ultimate is to have a combo 40-44 route, where its a 40 north of Market and a 44 on Market to the U district.

    3. The U-Link restructure was revenue neutral. This is revenue positive, so more service-hours are available. It’s spending the windfall coming from the jobs/population increase, projected into the near future (5-10 years) and far future (10-20 years). It also explicitly says it will require contributions from the cities to realize all these goals. A future recession or trumpcastrophe would require scaling back these ambitions. I think the plan anticipates this possibility, in that some new areas like Aloha Street would only be realized in a best-case scenario.

      Note that some of the proposals are for 2025 (really North Link (2021), Lynnwood Link (2023), and Federal Way Link (2024)), while others are for 2040 (really 2026-2040 as various ST3 projects open). So don’t get your hopes up that the rich folks in Mt Baker will be able to visit their rich friends in West Seattle on the 50 until the late 2020s or 2030s. The map shows there will be a gap between deleting the 14’s tail and adding the 50-ish service.

  5. I live in King County and Metro LRP for 2040 doesn’t include a route that’s within a half mile of where I live. So while I’m glad they are considering making sure that everyone has a route that’s within walking distant, reality shows that they can’t achieve this (at least for where I live).

    So consider yourself lucky if you’re area is getting more service.

    1. Which area is that? If you tell us where it is and where you think it should go to, we can evaluate whether Metro is missing anything important and whether we should tell Metro so. For instance, a couple people speak up every few months about service in Lakeland Hills and parts of south Federal Way, which have peak-only or no service.

  6. Bryant can get some NE 55th St service right now, by rerouting Route 71 via 40th Ave NE, then NE 55th St to University District. That would get rid of the excessive duplication of service on NE 65th St now with the Route 62 (between 15th Ave NE and 40th Ave NE). .

  7. Still no Metro love for the northern border King County Communities.
    Bearing, Skykomish

    1. It would be much cheaper to pay CT to extend their Highway 2 service than to get Metro vehicles up there.

      1. I totally agree, Metro should fund the extension of the CT line that goes out to Gold Bar the rest of the way up to Skykomish. I started saying this in 99 when I moved out to Gold Bar.

    2. There’s maybe 500 people total in that area, and it’s miles from anywhere. Do you really think there’s enough demand to support regular service?

      1. Hmm… Maybe two round trips a day timed for both skiiers/hikers heading out to the summit and commuters heading into Seattle?

      2. My understanding it that the taxes that pay for Metro are countywide. If so then Skykomish and Baring are being taxed for something that they they have never received. (There may be a couple of towns in SE King that fall into to same group, I’m not familiar enough with far SE King county to be sure).

        Running this twice a day (morning and evening) is all that would be needed, and if CT runs it as an extension to the line to Gold Bar, then CT could also add Index to the route.

      3. But how far can we take this principle? There are always going to be people out of the service area. Any attempt to serve literally every single taxpayer with regular bus service is going to necessitate running a lot of empty buses while degrading service where it’s actually used and badly needed. This kind of service pattern would (rightly!) degrade public support for transit, further imperiling Metro’s funding down the line. We should certainly support some low ridership routes for equity purposes, but to take this principle to Its logical extreme is suicidal madness for a transit agency.

        I pay taxes for lots of public goods I don’t actually use. So does everyone. Each of the towns you mention has about 200 people. What fraction of them actually want to take a bus?

        If some preliminary research showed any demand at all, and it’s cheap enough, I could be convinced that paying CT to extend the 270 to Index/Baring/Skykomish a few times a day might have merit. (Throw in a stop at the Bridal Veil Falls trailhead and I might even ride that bus a couple times a year.) But that’s still an additional 20+ miles in each direction for a what would surely be a tiny number of riders.

      4. Actually, thanks to park-and-rides, Skykomish residents are actually getting some value for their tax dollars. They can drive to Woodinville, park their car, and ride the 522 to Seattle.

  8. So I’m a bit confused by some of the weird express service, like Auburn to Snoqualmie via SR18. Is it all day, peak only, peak directional (which direction isn’t clear either), but mostly, why? Has Metro been getting letters from Auburn and Maple Valley residents who wish they could take the bus to the booming metropolitan job center in the core of downtown Snoqualmie?

    1. Those routes confuse me too. The Express category has a general minimum standard of half-hourly until 7pm weekdays, but in talking to a Metro rep last year at an open house, he said it hadn’t been decided how many would be all-day and how many would be peak-only. So routes like Auburn-Snoqualmie might be peak-only or might start with limited hours and be allowed to expand as ridership/development warrants. Reading between the lines, for Enumclaw and such it could mean just keeping the existing peak service.

    2. The thing about Auburn->Snoqualmie is without an express route down SR-18, it would take over two hours with today’s service for what’s only a 15-20 minute drive. You’d pretty much be forced to go west all the way to downtown Seattle before getting on Sounder if it’s running, or the 578 if not. Theoretically, you could change to the 240 at Eastgate and catch the 169 in Renton, followed by yet another local bus in Kent, but that would be even slower.

      1. The question is whether there’s even a single passenger who actually wants to make that trip by bus. In my view, some of the wilder express routes are the only major weak point in the LRP network.

      2. KUOW’s Region of Boom series spent a month in Black Diamond chronicling the growth there. A greenfield development that has divided the city council is expected to triple the town’s population, similar to the situation with Snoqualmie Ridge. Even without that there’s been tons of growth in the Maple Valley if that’s the right term, filling up the highway. In one of the episodes I think somebody mentioned a growing demand to get to Highway 18 and Snoqualmie and Issaquah where jobs are. They talked about buses as a possible solution but one resident said, “Buses won’t help; they’ll get caught in the same traffic the cars are.” There’s a movement to put something like a county measure on the ballot to widen the highways in exurban areas to meet this kind of demand. So some people want to go from the Black Diamond area to Snoqualmie and Issaquah, much as I find it hard to believe.

  9. Is “Ballard Station” a thing yet or do you mean “future station within two blocks of 15th and Market”?

    1. Why do you think that by the time the station gets built, nobody will mind a walk across the two-block-wide park to reach it? Or ride the local streetcar line? Because I think same forces and pressures will make both happen pretty much same time.


  10. Won’t say “Elephant in the Room”, because these are intelligent animals. And fertilize the land they cross, not deplete it. But from Tacoma to the mountains, Pierce County makes Lynnwood’s worst look like a Sound of Music set.

    Next half century’s backbreaking job: How do De-Sprawl a whole region. I think nationwide we missed a terrific opportunity after 2008, when we had foreclosed megamansion parks to the horizon to demolish.

    And rebuild so transit is any use at all. Though given how much our financial system learned from that, we might get another chance halfway into ST-3. Meantime, I’ll go on advocating for transit to join some current expansion trends precisely so we can “lick” what we can’t prevent.

    If the law doesn’t allow us to do it directly, pretty sure we can find a developer to partner with for at least one experimental “streetcar suburb”- a brand new development with transit built into it.

    Best either near an ST-3 LINK line, or an already bike-trailed former railroad spur we can restructure of both modes. So that new residents can literally board a streetcar that’ll go “interurban” at development city limits.

    Okay, start it with buses. Provided its every surface corridor has both fully-reserved bus lanes and hundred percent signal pre-empt. Federal Way transit center would be a lot more use to LINK if it didn’t de-rapidize at every single stop light all the way to Tukwila International.

    At least next time, we’ll have an example to show the rest of the world how to cure the sprawl-and-fall virus that all of Europe picked up from us in 2008. Maybe southern Sweden will give us several dozen giant white wind turbines for our own cows to graze under.

    And also to make the program into the national defense project everything in public transit should be. Saab Gripen jet fighter planes waiting in their hangars disguised as barns with a wind turbine in the yard, waiting ’til call comes in to snap SR’s 512 and 167 into runway mode. And whatever Swedish is for “Scramble! Scramble! Scramble!”

    Mark Dublin

  11. Glad to see a plan for all-day service between Woodinville and Redmond. The 2 1/2 north-south roads between these two cities are bumper-to-bumper during peak hours. I question how well bus service can perform given the morning and evening backups without dedicated busway. Replacing the Redmond-Woodinville Eastside rail spur with a busway would be fantastic.

  12. “East North Bend: Local service would extend east on SE North Bend Wy to 436th Ave SE, serving the Mt. Si trailhead.”

    And asdf2 rejoiced. Do the other Issaquah routes put more trailheads on bus routes or will there still be a lot of gaps?

    1. While an extension down 436th Ave. would be nice, I would consider frequency improvements to the existing 208 to be much more important. At a minimum, we need to get it back from one bus every two hours to one bus per hour and, ideally, add Sunday service. Even with today’s service, you can use it to hike Mt. Si, by getting off in downtown North Bend and walking the Snoqualmie Valley Trail to the real trailhead.

      Also, this should go without saying, but if the bus ever goes get extended to go by the Mt. Si trailhead, the bus needs to have a stop there. The old 209 passed by the Preston-Snoqualmie trail without a stop (and no safe way to walk from the trail to the nearest stop on Preston-Fall City road, which lacks sidewalks), which was definitely a missed opportunity.

  13. This is a great plan, but only a fraction of what we should be doing. I only take issue with your assertion that resource limitations inherently force a trade-off of frequency and coverage. It depends on what resources are available. We’re spending roughly $35 billion to $40 billion for a fairly low-capacity light rails system (planned for max 4-car trains). If we were to “only” spend, say, $7 – $8 billion on buses, we could have a system that really made a difference for a huge proportion of the people who need transit. I get it — there are lots of people who support trains, because they’re less susceptible to traffic (except, unfortunately, a part of our train system runs on grade through Beacon Hill), and they theoretically can move lots of people (except, unfortunately, our trains are much smaller than, for example, BART or the NY subway trains).

    More money for buses, use best available technologies, for my money, the most sensible way of addressing our transit issues.

    1. The development of high-capacity, reliable rail corridors is essential to even the network we see here. Buses cannot scale to the demand expected in most of the light rail corridors. We are already seeing their limits today, before 20 more years of growth, on services like the 41, 51x, and 550. (And RapidRide E, but that’s a topic for another post.)

    1. Here’s the budget projections from page 7 of the LRP: “By 2025 just over 25% of the additional capital costs and more than 70% of the service hours… could be funded [from Metro’s existing sources[. By 2040, revenue currently forecasted could fund almost 30% of the additional capital costs and 50% of the additional service hours.” So expect half the frequency increases and a quarter of the capital improvements if nothing further happens. The rest of the improvements would have to come from unspecified county, city, state, and/or federal investments. Or a philanthropist. Since these are countywide averages and Seattle is already making an investment, I assume Seattle would come out above and the rest of the county below these percentages.

  14. Putting service back on 4th Ave SW in Burien is a mistake, it was cut for a reason… It is entirely single family housing with garages, and the zoning does not provide any room for growth on that corridor. All new density planned in Burien is between 150th and 158th, south of the route’s logical terminus.

    The area is not unserved; it is well within the walkshed of the 120 on Ambaum to the east, and the 131/132 on 1st Ave S to the west, both with all-day 15-minute service. I walk between Ambaum and 1st regularly; the walksheds of both routes overlap. A route on 4th would give denser coverage than many neighborhoods in Seattle – not a good use of resources.

    There is some density and zoning for growth in the unincorporated area between the cities, which is deserving of the added service this would provide. However, the 128 (Alaska Junction TIBS) already goes directly through the heart of that existing/growing density patch. These transit resources would be better spent upgrading the 128 to 15-minute headways, rather than adding a new 30-minute route on 4th.

  15. I’d like to see electric shuttle buses circulating in the neighborhoods no longer served by Metro due to recent cut backs. Those shuttles would bring riders to routes still operating frequently. Recharging the electric buses via solar power would lower costs to Metro thus permitting more of these shuttles to operate.

    1. Problem is, the biggest expense is actually the driver, which is a fixed cost per vehicle.

      Until self-driving busses.

Comments are closed.