The footprint of Seattle’s frequent transit network is expanding this September thanks to service investments funded by the voter-approved Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD). Routes 65 and 67 in northeast Seattle and Route 60 connecting Capitol Hill and First Hill with Beacon Hill, Georgetown, and West Seattle are getting a boost in weekday frequency.
SDOT presented its STBD September investments to the City Council’s Sustainability & Transportation Committee last month. The route selection was informed by a Race and Social Justice (RSJ) analysis that SDOT completed in spring. It identified a lack of 10-minute service in northeast Seattle serving low-income & minority communities and infrequent east-west service in south Seattle.
Route 60 joins the Frequent Transit Network with weekday service improved to every 15 minutes or better from 6 am to 7 pm. Currently service runs every 20 minutes midday and every 15 minutes in the peak direction during peak hours. Weekend and evening service remains every half hour. South Park and Georgetown will now have a frequent connection to White Center, Beacon Hill, and beyond.
Metro’s 2016 Service Evaluation report lists Route 60 second among corridors that need investment to meet target service levels. It is also marked as needing schedule reliability improvements.
Routes 65 and 67 are improved to run every 10 minutes or better on weekdays from 6 am to 7 pm, instead of every 15 minutes currently. This brings the 67 up to service levels Metro proposed in its first draft of U-Link Connections. Both routes will have late-night service as part of the night owl overhaul that also begins this September.
That improvement means 64% of Seattle’s households will be within a 10-minute walk to 10-minute transit service, up from 51% last year and surpassing the 2020 goal of 53% three years early. The city is aiming for 72% by 2025.
Another improvement of note is to Route 50 which connects the Rainier Valley with West Seattle via SODO. Service will be improved to every 30 minutes or better for 18 hours a day, every day of the week. Currently the 50 runs hourly after 8 pm on weekdays and all day Sunday.