In recent years, with the Seattle area financially flush and demand for public transit rising by the week, there hasn’t been much mystery to Metro service changes. Each one has added just a few more service hours, devoted to some combination of improving the network and backfilling for construction-related headaches. And the next one, which starts this Saturday, September 21, is no exception.
Happily, after Seattle Squeeze impacts ate most of last March’s added hours, Metro had a bit more latitude this time to make improvements that riders can see. There are no major route changes, but a generous helping of “peanut butter”-style frequency and span improvements continue the trend toward a better frequent network. The Sunday improvements in Seattle are particularly welcome, and we hope they continue. It would be really nice to stop saying “It’s Sunday. Let’s not take the bus.”
Martin asked me to cover Sound Transit service changes as well, but there is almost nothing changing about Sound Transit service. The very few changes are mixed in below.
All-Day Frequency Improvements
The RapidRide E Line expands its span of at least 10-minute frequency on weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Weekend frequency remains at 12 minutes (Saturday) or 15 minutes (Sunday).
Routes 1 and 14, which are through-routed with each other, gain 15-minute frequency on weekdays. The improvement to route 14 is a key part of rationalizing service to the southern Central District; I hope weekends, which retain 20- to 30-minute frequency for the moment, can follow suit soon.
Route 21, serving the 35th Av SW corridor, expands its span of 15-minute frequency on Saturday to 10 p.m.
Route 40 finally gets 15-minute frequency all day on Sunday, together with a few extra trips on weekdays and Saturdays to improve the span of 15-minute service, which now lasts from approximately 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Route 41 expands its span of at least 15-minute frequency from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (10 p.m. on Sunday). It’s nice to see continued effort to improve service to Northgate even though Link will replace this route soon.
Route 44, the city’s busiest east-west route, improves from 15-minute to 12-minute frequency on Sunday… curiously, only in the morning. Afternoon and evening service frequency on Sunday remains at 15 minutes.
Route 48 in the 23rd Ave corridor expands its span of at least 15-minute frequency from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (10 p.m. on Sunday).
Routes 60 and 107 don’t get all-day frequency improvements on their own. But they finally get coordinated scheduling, to create effective 15-minute frequency over a very wide span in their combined corridor along 15th Av S, between Beacon Hill Station and Georgetown. Riders in this corridor can expect a bus at least every 15 minutes every day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Routes 65 and 67 serving North Seattle, which are through-routed with each other, get 15-minute frequency all day on Sunday, and expand their span of at least 15-minute frequency to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends.
Route 101 trunk service to Renton gets a longer span of service, adding trips to provide hourly service until midnight.
Route 105 in the Renton Highlands gets 30-minute service on Sunday, to match its current weekday and Saturday schedules.
Route 120 through the Delridge and Ambaum corridors expands its span of at least 15-minute frequency from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.
Route 150 trunk service to Kent gets one “owl” trip per night, departing Seattle at 2:15 a.m.
Route 164, connecting Kent and Green River College, gets 30-minute service on Saturday, and a later span of 30-minute service (until 10:30 p.m.) on weekdays. Curiously given its high ridership, the route still has no service at all on Sunday.
Route 183, a coverage route in southwest Kent, gets 30-minute service on Saturday.
Route 346 serving the Meridian Ave N corridor expands its span of 30-minute service until 9 p.m. on weekdays, which also has the effect of extending the route’s 15-minute common corridor with route 345, serving North Seattle College and Northwest Hospital, until 9 p.m.
DART route 906 connecting Southcenter and Fairwood (which replaced regular route 155, for those with long memories) gets 30-minute frequency all day on weekdays, over a span from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The Des Moines Community Shuttle adds half-hourly service weekday middays and Saturdays.
Peak-Hour Overcrowding Fixes
Consistent with its practice in recent years, Metro is addressing all of the overcrowding needs identified in the most recent Route Performance Report. The peak-hour improvements are the following:
- RapidRide C Line gets three new morning and two new evening trips.
- RapidRide D Line gets three new evening trips.
- The Queen Anne end of route 3 gets two new inbound morning trips.
- Route 5 gets three new morning and three new evening trips.
- Route 11 gets two new round-trips in the morning and one in the afternoon, eliminating some minor “gaps” in the 15-minute service pattern.
- Route 17 gets one new evening trip.
- Route 28 gets one new morning trip.
- Route 36 gets two new morning and two new evening trips.
- Route 43 gets two new morning trips headed toward the University of Washington.
- Route 44 gets two new morning trips.
- Route 107 gets one new evening trip.
- Route 218 gets one new trip in each direction.
- Route 252 gets one new morning trip.
- Route 255 gets one new evening trip.
- Route 271 gets one new evening trip.
- Route 311 gets one new morning trip.
- Route 372 gets two new evening trips.
- Route 373 gets two new evening trips.
- Sound Transit route 522 adds one new morning trip, but pays for it by removing the very last night trip westbound.
- Sound Transit route 542 adds one new eastbound morning trip.
As always, there are a few small but noteworthy items tucked into the package.
Route 22 will be rerouted in the south Delridge area, to use Delridge Way instead of the narrow, residential 24th Av SW.
Sound Transit route 554 will revise its eastbound routing to use S Jackson St in the International District, which allows a new eastbound stop at Maynard Av S.
DART route 903 will be truncated to end at the King/Pierce county line at 39th Av SW, with its low-ridership service to Northeast Tacoma deleted. Some replacement service is being provided by an extension of peak-only Pierce Transit route 63, running express to Tacoma.