A 3600 coach running RapidRide E.
I once drove an Americana on Route 358. Passengers were as confused as I was. Photo by LB Bryce.

It wasn’t so long ago that Metro service changes arrived in the dead of night, accompanied mainly by dread about whether your favorite route would be on the chopping block.  But it’s amazing what a few years of explosive economic growth will do.  County Executive Dow Constantine trumpeted Metro’s service changes starting next Saturday, September 23 in a press release, which noted that this will be the sixth consecutive service change in which Metro adds new service.  Between Seattle voters’ approval of Proposition 1 and increased Metro revenues, Metro will be running the most service it’s ever run.

The headline news with this service change is the welcome replacement of the last three “Night Owl” routes with expanded late-night service on selected regular Metro routes.  But there are other good changes too, including some real frequency improvements and an encouraging number of well-thought-out “bug fixes.”  Learn more about what’s happening below the jump.

Better Night Owls

For decades, Metro had six special “night owl” routes, each running two nightly trips in a loop starting and ending in downtown Seattle.  They always had poor ridership, at least partly because they were confusingly different from regular service and few people knew about them.  In the major 2012 west-side restructure, Metro replaced owl routes to Ballard (81) and West Seattle (85) with late-night trips on RapidRide C and D and route 120.  In its 2014 cuts, Metro eliminated its lone suburban owl route (280), to Bellevue and Renton, without replacement.  The survivors are three routes serving parts of north and central Seattle (82, 83, 84) which the City of Seattle saved from elimination in 2014.  The City also funded some additional late-night trips on regular routes 7, 36, 49, and RapidRide E.

Now Metro, with additional City of Seattle funding, will eliminate the remaining owl routes and replace them with regular service on major routes.  The new service will expand late-night coverage considerably, especially in North Seattle; Northgate and Lake City each get late-night service for the first time.  Late-night service (* = new service) will be available on the following routes:

  • RapidRide A
  • *RapidRide C
  • *RapidRide D
  • *RapidRide E
  • *3 (both north and south portions)
  • *5
  • 7
  • *11
  • 36
  • *44
  • *48
  • 49
  • *65
  • *67
  • *70
  • 124 (extended to Sea-Tac Airport)
  • 180

In general, this represents a major improvement in late-night service, serving more destinations in a way that’s easier for riders to learn about and understand.  But there’s a catch.  Although RapidRide C, D, and E will run hourly all night, trips on other routes are timed largely for Metro’s convenience.  Frequency on non-RapidRide routes is less than hourly, with some major schedule gaps, especially in the 4:00 a.m. hour.  While certain key transfers are well-timed (for example, between routes 70 and 65/67 in the University District), less common transfers may not be practical.  The long-term goal of Metro and the City should be to have true hourly service on all high-ridership routes.

Fixing Silly Problems

Perhaps the most encouraging sign in this service change is that Metro has fixed several minor routing annoyances.  We love stuff like this, because it makes bus service faster, smoother, easier, and less expensive.  Let’s have more of these.

  • Route 62 will finally become usable for View Ridge and Sand Point riders nights and weekends!  Different routing is needed nights and weekends because Metro is not permitted to access the NOAA campus, where weekday buses lay over and turn around.  For the last year, Metro has used a horrific loop, which required View Ridge riders to walk half a mile, and eastbound Sand Point riders to walk nearly half a mile or wait through a layover.  This nightmare is over.  Route 62 buses will use NE 65th St in both directions all the way to Sand Point, will lay over at Sand Point Way and NE 74th St, and will use 62nd Ave NE to turn around.  This is such a sensible solution that it probably ought to be used on weekdays for consistency
  • Speaking of Route 62, it will drop its unique northbound routing through downtown on 1st Ave to make room for Center City Connector construction.  This should improve northbound reliability, but may inconvenience some riders who need to use an accessible route to climb from Colman Dock to 3rd Ave.
  • Route 60 and Route 124 will no longer use Carleton Ave S, a residential street with several traffic circles, to travel northbound through Georgetown.  Instead, they will use arterial Corson Ave S, one block to the west.  Southbound, they will remain on Ellis Ave S.  This change should speed service and improve access to South Seattle College’s Duwamish campus.
  • Route 106 will stay on Rainier Ave S near Mount Baker Transit Center when going southbound, instead of deviating through the transit center.  This will save up to 3 minutes per trip in the southbound direction, without any significant drawbacks.

15-Minute Routes 60 and 169

Route 60 is an L-shaped route connecting Capitol Hill, First Hill, Beacon Hill, Georgetown, South Park, and White Center, with connections to Link at Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill.  It currently runs every 20 minutes during most of the day weekdays, but will improve to every 15 minutes between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.  Weekend and night frequency won’t change. Unfortunately, this frequency increase is not quite as useful as it could be.  15 Av S in Beacon Hill is one of route 60’s higher-ridership segments, and shares that part of its routing with route 107.  The schedules of routes 60 and 107 are not well coordinated along this segment, even though both will now run every 15 minutes during peak hour and every 30 minutes at night.  Good trip spacing in this segment would make for much more usable Link connections in Beacon Hill.

Route 169 is a major trunk route connecting Kent East Hill and Valley Hospital to both Renton and downtown Kent.  It has been one of the highest-ridership routes in South King County for many years, and serves areas with a high and increasing proportion of low-income residents, but has never had frequency higher than 30 minutes.  Metro will finally begin providing 15-minute service on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

There are a couple of other Kent-based routes that, based on ridership, warrant the same improvement: routes 164 and 180.  Neither is known to be slated for 15-minute service, but we can hope.

All-day Route 269

Route 269, connecting Sammamish to Issaquah and Overlake, is one of four peak-only routes that currently serve Sammamish.  (It also provides a fast express connection between Overlake and Bear Creek.)  Despite all the peak coverage, Sammamish currently has no all-day regular service.  Metro will now provide 30-minute service during weekday middays on route 269, offering connections to all-day trunk routes at Issaquah Highlands P&R and Overlake.  Sammamish will still have no weekend or night service.

Minor improvements

Metro, with some funding assistance from the City of Seattle, is sprinkling quite a few additional trips throughout the network to relieve overcrowding, improve span of service, or improve frequency.  Those are as follows:

New peak trips to reduce crowding: 3S, 7, 17, 28, 40, 44, 55, 62, 65, 67, 114, 131, 240, 301, 346
New night (non-owl) trips to improve night frequency or span: 3S, 4S, 41, 50
New trips to provide earlier weekend morning service: 3/4N, 8, 14, 41, 48, 65, 67, 70

71 Replies to “Metro Adds Service, Fixes Broken Stuff”

  1. While we’ve got the 124 on the mind, can we please discuss the fact that its Link connections — indeed, overall connection structure — is awful and makes it exceedingly difficult to service the E Marginal Way S job centers? Why not run in the busway and leverage SODO and Stadium stations?

    1. I think the reasoning – love it or hate it – for keeping the 124 on Airport instead of the busway is to maintain some baseline of service on that road. Very few east/west walking paths exist between Airport and the busway, thanks to railroad sidings running between 6th and 7th (not to mention Link itself). Many locations served by the 124 on Airport Way are a half-mile walk or more to the nearest Busway stop.

      The best of both worlds would be to have the 124 serve airport way south of Lander, and a current busway route serve airport way north of Lander. That way everyone gets a Link connection at SODO station. But all the zig-zagging would create delays and be expensive. The status quo will have to do until the BAR infill station comes online.

      1. I agree with that logic but I still don’t quite get it, and I definitely don’t like it. It’s a situation where all things to all people ends up being good for no one.

        My perfect-world, king-for-a-day scenario splits the parts into two routes: the 124 runs from Tukwila to Stadium Link via E Marginal and 4th Ave S; Georgetown gets its own new route (127?) from downtown/3rd via Airport (and pick a convenient candidate for interlining if you must).

        And you’re darn right about east/west walking paths — if literally any effort were made to connect Airport Way to Link and 4th (Lander street being an obvious option), it would already be more than what exists now.

  2. Holy cow!! I’ve been advocating for the extension of the 124 to the airport for years! and the 106 staying OUT of the Mt Baker TC?? This is great news!!

    1. I heard the 124 will serve the airport terminal, not the Link stop at 176th, as that ped bridge is closed overnight. Even better!

      1. When you say “will serve the airport terminal”, is that the terminal loop or the A Line stop at 182nd that provides terminal access, but with a somewhat longer walk? The terminal loop would be more useful for passengers and many airport workers, but the A Line stops would be more useful for people working elsewhere along the corridor. I’d guess the large concentration of jobs and activity at the airport tips the scale that way, but I don’t know everything that goes into this kind of analysis.

      2. Also, somehow the bus has to turn around at the ends of its run to go back the other way. The airport loop provides the bus with a turnaround spot. Staying on the street does not.

    2. To be clear, the 124 will only serve the airport during late-night trips when Link is not running. During Link hours of operation, riders will still need to transfer at TIBS to Link or RR A.

    3. Goofy corollary, but shouldn’t route 180 also be re-routed during hours Link is closed to serve the airport terminal stop?

      1. My gut says no, because the 180 is not duplicative of Link in the way that the 124 is. Plus the 180’s stops on Air Cargo Road serve the majority of off-hour employee needs as-is.

        A simpler solution for airport passengers would be to stop closing the International Blvd skybridge at night.

      2. Terminal access is available from the 180 at the 182nd Street stop. Moving it to the terminal loop would cause it to miss stops it usually makes along 99.

  3. Thanks for this posting, David. But, not to complain about something that’s been fixed, a question. In your opinion, am I right that over the years, Metro has always had a problem making simple decisions. Not being sarcastic. For its own good, is there anything those of us who like the agency can do to help?

    Mark Dublin

  4. Very minor improvement, but one that is personally very helpful:

    The additional 17X AM peak trip fills the existing 18-minute gap in the 17X/18X headways at Market St / Ballard Ave. Now there will be a 17/18 trip every 7-12 minutes from 6:49am to 8:37am.

    The extra capacity is very much needed. I gave up trying to take the 7:28am 18X because I couldn’t consistently get on. Now the 7:16am 17X is almost as crowded and the 6:58am 18X has ~20 standees on a normal day.

    Hopefully this evens out the loads better. Thank you to Metro for listening to my (and probably others’) comments!

  5. … Metro has always had a problem making simple decisions.

    I think we could spend the rest of the day talking about that comment. I’m actually impressed that Metro has fixed a clear and obvious error–route 60’s Mt. Baker TC deviation–so quickly. Maybe things are improving at Metro HQ.

  6. I see the Night Owl 44 and 48 will be through-routed; good!

    The midday 269 still keeps up its routing through Microsoft campus, just missing the Overlake Transit Center – not so good.

    1. I’m also glad to hear that the late 44 and 48 will be through-routed, but unfortunately the schedules don’t actually say that anywhere. The Metro service change page says that the late 44 trips will “connect with” 48 trips, while the schedules…

      The last three northbound 48s say they “continue to and end at University of Washington Station,” while the last three eastbound 44s appear to vaporize at 45th & the Ave. The “To Route” column for the 44 is blank for these trips. If you scrutinize the times you can make a reasonable guess that these trips are through-routed, but it’s not actually written anywhere.

      Hopefully the GTFS data that powers Google Maps and OBA will be more accurate, otherwise these will be “secret” through-routes that only a few people know about.

  7. That 60 frequency boost is great! I’m so grateful that my North Beacon Hill transit is so incredibly frequent. I rarely look at OBA anymore, but instead I just stand on the corner of 14th/Massachusetts and take whichever comes first in either direction, either going directly or backtracking to Link, which effectively doubles already-generous frequency. It’s fantastic.

    1. They were going to /reduce/ service not long ago, terminating the 60 at Beacon Hill. I guess the reaction made them realize how important it is.

    2. I think that was part of the cuts. Cuts mean no money, so they happen regardless of demand. Now Metro has money so it’s reversing some of the cuts. There’s still an argument that the 60’s east-west portion does not have to be the same route as the north-south portion, but Metro is not pursuing this at this time. Presumably if the east-west portion were separated, the north-south portion would get more service on other routes, especially getting more service further south (to southern Beacon and 15th), so that they would have a more frequent one-seat ride to downtown or Broadway or somewhere.

      1. It was due to the street car. The 60 was deemed “redundant.” But cutting it off would have been a big inconvenience for many.

      2. I don’t think so. It’s really obvious that the streetcar can’t replace the 7, 14, 36, or 60 because it doesn’t go south of Jackson. The streetcar is for people going from Sounder to First Hill, or between Jackson and Broadway generally. That was considered an important enough transit market on its own, on top of the corridors the other routes serve.

      3. It may have been a pie-in-the-sky idea at one point but I never heard of it. It must have been dismissed very early.

  8. Routes 60 and 107 both run half hourly all day and evening on weekends as well.

    I haven’t seen the new schedules, so I don’t know if the planners are thinking of the halved headway the two can create in the segment between Georgetown and Beacon Hill Station.

    When I checked in last year, they said the headways don’t match during the day, so they can’t interline their schedules. They didn’t answer the question about evenings and weekends, when the failure to coordinate schedules is a much more painful miss.

    I mostly ride route 60 to head south from Beacon Hill Station in the evening. Inevitably, a 107 starts up and pulls up to the bus stop just ahead of each 60, picking up the bulk of the riders who were waiting for whichever bus would come first.

    7.5-minute headway on 15th Ave S might be a scheduling fantasy during the day, but with the very good reliability on both bus routes, getting 15-minute headway on 15th Ave S in the evening and on weekends is just a matter of the schedulers paying attention to that segment.

  9. Thank you for moving route 60 off of Carleton Ave S, which reduces the bus to a crawl to try not to scrape on the traffic circles, and onto Corson Ave S! This is another fix we’ve been trying to get for years and years.

    Now, students at South Seattle College – Georgetown Campus will have near front-door service on routes 60 and 124 in the northbound direction. Southbound will still be a few blocks’ walk.

      1. Mostly because there’s no left turn from S Bailey St onto Corson, and using Corson all the way from Airport Way would be subject to train delays and skip the most important stop in Georgetown.

      2. Which stop is the most important in Georgetown? And is it so important that it can’t be served equally well around the corner on S Albro Pl, about fifty feet away, where people will know that they are getting on the bus that goes the right direction?

      3. Bailey/13th. What I’m saying is that if southbound buses used Corson all the way from Airport Way, they would skip that area entirely, and people would have to walk four blocks along Bailey.

        Edit: I should add that I’m mostly talking about the 124. The 60 would have to do something even more awkward to use Corson southbound, unless it switched from Albro to Lucile to cross the freeway.

      4. I assume there’s also some good reason to not run two-way on Ellis… is it just lack of sidewalks on that side of Ellis? The current arrangement makes it so riders from the residential area don’t have to cross arterials to get to the bus in either direction, which is sort of nice?

      5. Most of the residential properties in Georgetown are between Corson and Ellis. South of Ellis lies Boeing Field which generates zero ridership and north of Corson is mostly industrial or empty except for the SSCC-Georgetown campus which is a fairly small campus. Corson might be a slightly better candidate for 2 way service, but, as mentioned, the turn from Bailey to Corson would require reconfiguring a major intersection (I don’t think left turns are even currently allowed).

        Historically Georgetown was served via a Flora/Carleton couplet on the 23 South Seattle route.

    1. I wish southbound 60s would stay on Albro rather than the turn on Stanley and then on 13th. It only amounts to about 1/2 block from the existing stop. And if they were willing to do this, maybe they’d run northbound 60s up Ellis instead of Corson. Much more direct.

      Alternatively, north and southbound buses could use Corson and Lucille, though they’d miss the stop at Swift/15th and the intersection at Lucille and Airport can get pretty backed up sometimes. Maybe the Lucille bridge S-curves are too tight southbound too.

  10. As for route 50, I’m happy to see it finally get some love.

    Now if we could just add its number to the bus stop in front of Seattle Public Schools HQ, so employees there and riders transferring from SODO Station don’t have to guess which bus stop to wait at …

    I assume if that stop were added to route 50, it would be mentioned in the service change packet.

    All-in-all, these little fixes are a sign that Metro is improving on taking care of the little details.

    1. +1

      I expect this to happen when the Lander Street Bridge is done, to unify West Seattle-bound service on the 21 and 50 at the same stop. The plans call for moving the current 21 stop a block to the east, between 3rd and 4th

  11. There is a lot of discussion here on how bad the 80s night owl routes are. But isn’t tailored service that meet specific needs better for sparse night-owl ridership than simply running routes that are meant as part of a frequent grid late into the night?

    And if there is one thing that these routes did well, that is timed transfers to each other. Timed bus-bus transfers in general are usually out of sheer coincidence, so its great that with the night-owl routes, such transfers were by design, and it seems unfortunate that metro thinks that hourly service that is more or less randomly timed is better than a timed transfer arrangement?

    It’s great that some connections to the 4:42 Link trip from Stadium station remain (though it’s unfortunate that it’s not more universal).

    It’s also great that the night owl 44 and 48 are through-routed. I think the transfers are done really well in the U-district, if they are executed well. There are potentially problematic ones (like the 1-minute transfer window between the 65 and 48) where I really hope that Metro has a system where outbound buses wait for inbound buses to arrive with enough time for people to transfer before leaving.

    1. The biggest problem with the night-owl routes is that they were undiscoverable. People look at the schedule for “their” routes, and have no reason to go looking for some other random route number with two trips a day. And then, even once you know about the night owls, you don’t necessarily understand which direction the loop runs or where the stops are on either end. Owl trips on regular routes have always done better on ridership than owl routes, despite the issues you mention.

      And beyond discoverability, the night owl routes were way out of date. They served the City of Seattle as it existed circa 1950, and left out some of the most major destinations in the process.

      I do think Metro will need to refine the schedule to pick up a few more of the most common transfers, though. For this round, they seemed to concentrate attention to transfer timing in the U-District, with less of it elsewhere. When service drops to hourly, transfer timing does get important.

      1. And the way the old night owl routes were structured, transfers between them,even if we’ll timed, meant going way out the way. Very few people are going to be willing to go all the way downtown and switch buses to move between Ballard and Green Lake.

    2. The 80-series routes weren’t tailored to meet a specific need; they were tailored to have coverage with fewer routes to save money. Each side of the loop follows a different daytime route. But serving two parallel streets a half-mile apart was excessive when Northgate, Lake City, Bitter Lake, and Shoreline had no night-owl service at all.

  12. And yet we still have to worry that service will be discontinued at our stop, and we might have to walk uphill to get our bus when that’s a problem for us. I”m really disappointed that there’s nothing that goes from 1st Ave. to 3rd Ave. now that the stops on 1st for the 62 have been moved to 3rd. I know eventually we’ll have the Center City Connector, but that’s a few years away. I wish they could have some kind of shuttle in the meantime.

    1. Yes, I see there’s a route accessible by escalator. The last time I tried that, I nearly got stuck in a building between 2nd and 3rd Ave., and IIRC it comes out several blocks from my stop (though that may have changed — it’s been a couple years.)

      1. Last time I used the escalator (with my family, coming from the Bainbridge ferry at the beginning of PM peak), it worked fine; maybe try it again? Though, it’s not perfect given its limited hours…

    2. There’s still one option, which is to take the 12 up the hill, but it won’t work for everyone. It’s a steep half block just to get from 1st to the 12 stop, and the stop is at a severe angle.

      There’s also the 99 for six more months, if you’re traveling at peak hour and willing to wait.

      Metro is in a pretty awkward position right now with respect to the part of town around Colman Dock. It can’t use Alaskan Way while the waterfront is under construction, and now it won’t be able to run buses where the schedule matters (i.e., other than the 99) on First Avenue during CCC construction.

      1. Thanks David, I’ll check into the 12. A steep half block might be doable! Better than two blocks. Also the 99, as I see it goes up Jackson and may be near where the 21 stops. Or the hills might not be as steep near some of its other stops. Although it’s a temporary solution, it’s something.

  13. Maybe it’s time to invest in a public escalator up one of the sidewalks, rather than rely upon buses that coat $150/hour to operate and get stuck in traffic, just to go two blocks.

    1. Given Metro/ST’s record on escalators, it’s difficult to see an escalator as a viable alternative here — it would last 5 minutes and then be broken for three months. Additionally, would it actually be fit for purpose? My impression is the only real need is for service for those requiring accessible transit up the hill here.

      1. Plus the Center City Cinnector will eventually serve the purpose, so it might not make sense to build something permanent like an escalator. It’s just that the CCC is a few years away.

    2. Or maybe a Tacoma Escalade-style moving sidewalk. Wheelchair compatible if you have really strong locks.

  14. The 169. . FINALLY a frequency boost. I would’ve been just fine with 15 min service during peak because it’s overcrowded with high school students, primarily in the afternoon. I’m surprised that Metro is paying more attention to South King county and hope it will continue.

  15. I live in “Georgetown Heights” (just down from Cleveland HS between 15th and Georgetown). While I”m glad to hear the 60 has increased frequency, the comment about 107 and 60 not being well coordinated really makes evening commutes tough for me. If I leave work at a reasonable time, I get to Beacon Hill station after 6. I have a long time to wait for the next 60 or 107, which adds up to 30 minutes’ commute time. Better spacing in the evenings would have me riding the bus/train instead of vanpooling.

  16. Now that Route 62 runs in both directions on 65th, Route 71 should be moved to 75th. It would provide a new service without deploying more service hours.

    Also, there are many more stupid deviations that can be removed. The best examples are the northbound 26 in East Green Lake, the 120 in White Center, the 8 in Central District. These routes should just use the more direct routing on Woodlawn Ave N, 16th Ave SW, and MLK respectively.

    1. I’d bet my extensive collection of useless old Metro paperwork against any change coming to the 71 before North Link opens. Restoring it in its current form was the price one particular Councilmember exacted for not blowing up the entire NE Seattle restructure.

    2. I’m confused about your 26 comment. You want it to jog back west from Latona to service the 62 pathway? Or not serve Latona at all?

      Last I asked 8 deviation seemed to be political, the businesses want the front-door service. I’ve never understood the 120 on 15th.

      1. In East Green Lake, the northbound 26 runs via Green Lake Way, while the southbound 26 runs via Woodlawn. It should run both directions on Woodlawn. It will still serve the portion of Latona it serves now. All these changes I suggested are only between 65th and Ravenna.

      2. I can’t comment to what a change would mean operationally or for stop access, but I ran into a half-hour delay on the 26 a month or so ago because some contractors left two dumpsters on Latona while they were doing renovations on a property, and articulated buses don’t really back up.
        Probably best classified as a fluke or bad judgement on the contractor’s part, but it only having the one lane is still a bottleneck.

      3. The 120 on 15th is a deviation to provide front-door service to the DSHS. That’s it.
        17th makes a lot more sense from a time perspective, and I suspect most of those transfers would happily move 2 blocks over. But disability access to DSHS may overrule all, coupled with the inertia of having 15th & Roxbury be the busiest stop south of Westwood.

      4. Are the businesses on 23rd paying extra for the service hours expended by the 8’s stupid jog to and from MLK? It’s pointless and more than a little annoying to add 5+ minutes to every run on that frequent route (and otherwise it’s a nice way for Madison Park and north MLK riders to cut out downtown when traveling south on Link). I’d gnash my teeth a bit less were I to know that they were paying for it, but of course that’s very unlikely to be the case.

        The only area of town that this diversion serves that is not served more directly by another route passing through 23rd/Jackson is Madison Park itself and the single family residential neighborhood immediately to the south of Madison. West of Madison Park the 48 is a straight shot on 23rd from the UW to Mount Baker station – so the 8 gains those people precisely nothing. The 14 on Jackson and the 27 on Yesler serve downtown directly and, for those 8 riders who won’t/can’t walk 1/4 mile, provide crosstown service there. How many people are actually traveling by bus from Madison Park to 23rd and Jackson, to shop or for anything else?

        It’s a four-block, mostly flat, walk from 23rd to MLK on Jackson; 5 blocks on Yesler – less than a quarter-mile in either case. Yet the bus must wait to turn at four signalized intersections to make that tiny diversion. My guess is that for most people it’s actually faster to walk from MLK to 23rd than it is for the bus to make the diversion.

        I would bet that far more residents in that area who ride the 8 are annoyed by the out-of-direction jog than actually use it – I can’t remember ever seeing anyone get on or off the 8 on the diversion; and although I’m not a frequent rider on that part of the 8, I do use it occasionally.

      5. Once, I actually got a chance to ask a Metro planner the history behind it. Apparently, a long, long time ago, the 8 used to end at Jackson, and it went around the block as its turnaround loop. Later, when they extended the route south to Mt. Baker, Metro was a strong believer in the Hippocratic Oath of service changes – which meant every existing stop along the route – including the stops in the turnaround loop – had to remain regardless of use. The extra time for thru-riders didn’t matter, since for the primary objective – avoiding pissing off existing riders – there were no thru-riders.

        Today, it’s all about inertia. Basically, Metro doesn’t feel like going through the full-out Seattle process of posting signs about the change and submitting public feedback for it – in particular, they don’t want to deal with inevitable Mrs McGillucuddythat arises out of virtually any route straightening.

        But, it could be worse. At least the 48 doesn’t also twist and turn.

      6. It’s like having painful dental work done, Metro would rather do it once rather than multiple times, so it’s saving it for the East Link reorganization when it can blame it on the train. Metro’s solution is to keep half of the detour: the 2025 8S goes from Madison & MLK to MLK – Jackson -23rd (Judkns Park stn) to College St and Mt Baker stn.

        MLK south of Jackson loses all bus service. As we’ve said, the gap between 23rd and MLK is steep in the north part but flat in the south part, so it keeps bus service where it’s steep.

      7. That’s a fair point re politicians and Mrs McGillicuddy, asdf2, but I find it difficult to support Metro and their service hour allocations/re-allocations if they feel it’s worth spending a bunch of extra hours for what is in effect no purpose on things like the 8 diversion. They should be able to stand up and state why it makes no sense to retain service like that, and what the actual transit alternatives are for anybody who might be affected (is there anybody?). The inertia from some sort of route termination 30 or 40 years ago is a red herring; during the lengthy construction process on 23rd recently the diversion was eliminated only to return when the construction was completed. They had the perfect cover THEN to not return to that routing and I was frankly shocked to see them put it back. That’s willful on Metro’s part and it shows little regard to service efficiency. Unless you’re in Madison Park/Valley there is no reason for the diversion – and I’m pretty damn sure nobody from there is riding the bus to 23rd/Jackson who couldn’t get there by walking from MLK, transferring to the 14 or 27, or driving and parking for free. Unlike much of the city there is an actual grid of reasonably frequent transit service in that area and if you need to transfer, you can transfer. No need to make a N-S route travel E-W when there are already E-W buses there!

        I get – to some extent – re-routing the bus to serve the Judkins Park station once it opens, although again it’s a short, flat walk from MLK to the station. I don’t necessarily agree with it as it’s removing service from MLK, but it’s a reasonably short stretch and the re-route will open up direct service to the eastside for a good portion of the area. However, that’s another 6+ years of service hours lost on that diversion for what? Yet we have high fares compared to many peer cities, and apparently can’t afford to discount cash fares for ORCA users. Frustrating.

  17. Yes thanks Metro for the 50 frequency and span boost, this can eliminate the need for hide and ride for evening/late night downtown trips. However, northern West Seattle still has to detour 2-3 miles out of our way and then wait around for a transfer to get downtown most of the day. How about some love for the 56 to start to return us to the service we had in 1908 (when we had street car lines on Alki and Admiral Way) or prior to 2012 when most day and evening direct downtown trips were cut? Not all day but maybe up until 10 am downtown and a few evening direct downtown trips for the 56.

  18. The 124 schedule desperately needs a map of the airport extension. All it says is “C: This trip ends at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport nine minutes later.” That doesn’t tell me anything about where to catch the bus, and 90-minute nighttime service is not the time to guess the wrong stop and miss it, or go to a stop and realize it really stops a half-mile away and you have to run for it.

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