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Some Metro routes have minor deviations from a more direct routing. Some of these deviations make sense, and some don’t. If a deviation I said does not make sense actually has a reason, please put that in the comments section. Also, if you guys have been able to identify more deviations, feel free to write them down in the comments section.

deviations that make sense

Instead of going via Northgate Way and 1st Ave NE to Northgate TC, Route 40 runs via Meridian Ave, College Way, 92nd St, and 1st Ave to Northgate TC. This deviation is used to serve North Seattle College.

Route 65 deviates to 40th Ave NE instead of going directly on 35th Ave NE. This deviation is used to serve Children’s Hospital. Out of all the deviations I have been able to identify, this one makes the most sense.

deviations that might make sense now but could be removed

Route 107 has a deviation to Georgetown at S Albro Pl. Maybe later Metro could delete it if there is another route that can provide the connection between Georgetown and Rainier Valley.

Route 120 has a minor deviation to Westwood Village. Though it might add extra travel time, it does provide a connection to the transit center at Westwood Village. However, I think the deviation could be removed when Route 120 becomes a RapidRide line, and the transit center can be moved to White Center.

Many West Seattle routes deviate to 44th Ave SW instead of going directly on California. This deviation is used to serve Alaska Junction. I think Metro should improve connections at Alaska Junction so that routes do not have to deviate.

deviations that do NOT make sense

Route 8 deviates to 23rd Ave instead of going directly on MLK. This used to be a turnaround loop, but there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly important along this deviation.

Route 22 deviates to 41st Ave SW instead of going directly on California. Metro had considered deleting this deviation before, but voters voted against it. There does not seem to be anything particularly important along this deviation, and a more direct routing is only 1 block away from the deviation.

Route 26 (northbound) deviates to East Green Lake Way instead of going on Woodlawn. Unlike some other deviations, there is only one stop along the deviation. This used to be a turnaround loop, but using the direct routing will basically change nothing for riders except for more efficient travel times.

Routes 60 and 113 deviate into Olson-Myers Park and Ride instead of going directly on Olson Pl. Olson-Myers P&R used to have more purpose, but now Routes 60 and 113 are the only routes serving it, the latter being a peak-only express. I will discuss this in a different post, but I think Routes 60 and 113 should just go straight on Olson Pl.

Through Georgetown, Routes 60 and 124 run via Carleton and Ellis. A more direct routing would be along Corson Ave. This isn’t exactly a deviation, but it is just a weird routing where I have found a more direct solution. Plus, my direct solution would serve the Georgetown campus of South Seattle College.

Route 62 deviates to Woodlawn and Ravenna instead of going directly on NE 65th St. This deviation might provide some connection to East Green Lake, but I do not think such a deviation is necessary.

Route 120 deviates to 15th Ave SW instead of going directly on 16th Ave SW. There doesn’t seem to be anything particularly important along this deviation, and a more direct routing is only 1 block away from the deviation.

Route 128 deviates to Tukwila Int’l Blvd between S 144th St and Tukwila Int’l Blvd Station. I would guess that before TIBS opened, Route 128 ran straight on S 144th, but now it might make more sense for Route 128 to run straight on Military Rd to TIBS.

Route 132 deviates to Military Rd between S 120th St and S 128th St. It should just go straight on Des Moines Memorial Dr.

Route 347 deviates to 5th Ave NE instead of going straight on 15th Ave NE. This is more than a simple deviation, but I have thought of a more direct solution. I think Route 347 should go on 15th and Route 348 should go on 5th.

10 Replies to “Deviations”

  1. I think it would make more sense for route 60 to go straight up Broadway instead of deviating to 9th to the door of Harborview, and have the current terminal at Republican street move up to Roy street like the 9. In fact, there may be enough hours saved to route it to Kaiser Permanente (at the seldom-used route 8 layover stop) like I think you have before.

    And the 9 could probably just continue from Boren Ave directly to Rainier and not detour to Jackson street. While short, it’s three turns on every trip, when it could just continue straight on through.

    1. @Alex, the 60 being there provides some important connections to the heart of First Hill instead of having them hike over to Broadway. Ideally, you could replace it with another Madison-Broadway route coupled with an 8th or Boren route to SLU, but I wouldn’t just move it without replacement.

    2. When the 60 was created it was going to be all along Broadway but the neighborhood asked specifically for it to go through the center of First Hill and Harborview because the area was underserved and has a lot of elderly and disabled people. With RapidRide G and the streetcar and the 3/4-Yesler it may be less necessary, and Metro’s LRP has other intentions for 9th Avenue.

  2. The Jackson/23rd/Yesler deviation on Route 8 was never part of a turnback loop. When the 8 was extended south along MLK in 1997-1998 it ran to a terminal on Walden Street (just south of Franklin HS). The 8 deviation has always been a part of the 8S route and as much as I like to encourage straight route paths for Metro buses, the stops along the deviation always seem to have plenty of on/offs.

    In the perpetual debate about deleting the 4S, I argue that the 8 that should be terminated at Jackson or Yesler and the 4S should be retained but its route path should be straighter and more rational: Mt. Baker TC > MLK > Jackson St. > 23rrd Ave > regular route to downtown. That way there would be no 8 deviation but the stops along the deviation would still have good bus service from the 8 to Madison Valley/Capitol Hill and via the 4S to Mt. Baker or First Hill/downtown Seattle.

    1. I’m not sure about the demand for MLK service between Jackson and McClellan, but I would guess Judkins Park residents like frequent service there, and Route 4 would not be frequent enough. At first I was thinking Route 14 could be moved to MLK and Route 4 could be sent to 31st, but then I decided it was too complicated. Maybe instead Metro could use your 4 idea, and also send Route 27 down MLK. After all, Route 27 does have rather low ridership east of 23rd, so moving it to the MLK corridor could increase its ridership.

      Though the deviation might have a good number of on/offs, it still does not make much sense, especially considering MLK is only a short walk to 23rd in that area.

  3. “Route 120 has a minor deviation to Westwood Village. Though it might add extra travel time, it does provide a connection to the transit center at Westwood Village. However, I think the deviation could be removed when Route 120 becomes a RapidRide line, and the transit center can be moved to White Center.”

    Westwood Village is destined to become a hub urban village, the largest in West Seattle besides the Junction. That’s why the transit center is there. It used to be a bunch of ad hoc bus stops in White Center. I also use Westwood Village when I’m coming north from Burien to transfer to bus to the Junction. I don’t think the deviation adds significant delay.

  4. There are plenty of stupid deviations in Bellevue too. Look at the routing of 271 for example. Deviations just punish all those who are going through.

  5. More deviations…

    * The westbound 545 deviates to Overlake Transit Center in the weekday PM, instead of continuing straight on the 520 ramps like the 542. This deviation does have some purpose in the PM peak, because the crowds waiting to board then would probably overflow the freeway station platforms, but it does this all day and evening from noon on. It should be limited to after 3 PM, or perhaps just 3-7 PM.

    * The 226 deviates down 156th and 20th, instead of continuing straight on 24th to Bel-Red. The only justification I can think of for this is to share a southbound stop with the B-line; it’s skirting the edge of the commercial area even more than Bel-Red would. If anything, it should continue on 24th to 148th, which would hit more of the commercial area and share a westbound stop with the B-line.

    * Every route serving Bellevue College deviates back to 148th instead of continuing straight south to Eastgate Freeway Station. A project to correct this has inexcusably been on hold since 2009, even though the City of Bellevue has estimated that Metro would recover the capital investment in four years of saved service hours.

    1. And even a few more on the Eastside…

      * The 234, 235, 255, 249, and 540 all deviate into the South Kirkland P&R. Instead, the 255 and 540 should stop along 108th Ave and the other routes should stop along 38th Pl. Perhaps, depending on the volume of people boarding there, the 255/540 could still go into the P&R, but I’ve hardly ever seen anyone boarding the other routes there – and my change would put them on a quiet street just one short block south.

      * Instead of continuing straight on 24th, the 249 deviates up 29th – 148th – 36th – 152nd. At its core, this’s a good thing, because it serves the south end of Microsoft. However, going east, there are no bus stops on 29th Place. Either a stop should be added there, or the deviation should be revised to run 20th-148th-36th instead of 20th-140th-24th-29th-148th so as to serve more of the commercial area along 148th. (And I say this as someone who frequently goes to the corner of 24th and 140th.)

    2. 20th was the center of Tech Row not very long ago, while parts of 24th were practically devoid of businesses. So bus service on 20th made sense, and Metro has alternated between 20th or BRR for the most service. It’s now moving to BRR with the development of the Spring District and the fact that it’s more direct. So there is a purpose in service on 20th generally, and that particular segment may just be tradition. I looked on the map to see if it coincided with the greatest shopping density, but that’s actually west of it, the Sears block and Fred Meyer block and Sternco block (India Supermarket block).

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