passengers leaving Beacon Hill Station / photo by SDOT

One of the best improvements in the recent Metro service change was the one that cost essentially nothing: re-timing route 60 and 107 schedules on evenings and weekends to create combined 15-minute headway on the 15th Ave S corridor between Beacon Hill Station and Georgetown.

There is more scheduling cleverness still to be milked out of scheduling inefficiency on this corridor.

The Georgetown diversion

The most obvious opportunity is to remove the Georgetown diversionary loop on route 107, which currently has the unfortunate effect of adding several minutes to the commutes of students going to and from school at Cleveland High School and Mercer Middle School. Even when Cleveland students get out at the stop before the Georgetown diversion and hike along the narrow sidewalk the last few blocks, it still adds a few minutes.

The Georgetown loop increases the total time it takes to drive each run by approximately 10%. In the process, it likely causes a non-trivial loss in ridership, for reasons similar to the old Veterans Administration Medical Center loop on route 60, but not quite as pronounced.

Weekday headway alignment

A less-obvious point of waste is the 15-minute all-day weekday headway on route 60, which doesn’t mesh well with Link’s 10-minute all-day headway, and meshes even worse with route 107’s 30-minute between-peak-periods weekday headway.

During peak, route 107 runs every 15 minutes, and route 60 runs even more frequently, but not on a clock-face schedule, based on ridership demand.

It may surprise some that route 107 now typically takes a few minutes less than route 60 to complete the length of its trip. If there were a politically-non-complicated way to move some platform hours from route 60 to route 107, like, say, one trip per hour per direction during the between-peak period on weekdays, then both routes would be running 20-minute headway all day on weekdays. Assuming the schedules were to be set to intersperse 60 and 107 trips evenly on the 15th Ave S corridor, that would mean a one-to-one match between train and 60/107 weekday bus trips in each direction, between the peak periods.

During peak, it is possible to have the schedules mesh to provide a 60 or 107 trip match each train trip, once south line Link peak headway rolls back to 7.5 minutes after East Link opens. In the meantime, it would take additional buses to match the trains’ 6-minute peak headway, which, due to limited base space and operator availability, is only doable by scavenging the service hours wasted on 107’s Georgetown loop. In practice, even the best scheduling runs into the problem that buses get stuck behind long lines of cars picking up and dropping off students at Cleveland. But the exercise would still be worth it to even out busloads better.

What to do with the savings

As mentioned above, the peak savings from route 107 not doing the Georgetown loop could be plugged directly into improved peak headway, using the same number of buses as are running today.

That still leaves the off-peak savings from not doing the Georgetown loop. Let’s assume plugging it into more peak service is not on the table.

The next priority would likely be all-day 20-minute headway on routes 60 and 107 on Saturdays (scheduled to provide combined 10-minute headway on the 15th Ave S corridor). If enough platform hours are left over, add Sunday to that list, and then increasing 20-minute span of service on each route into evenings.

The Seattle Transportation Benefit District and its politics

The more platform hours are moved back into 20-minute service on route 60, the less politically-complicated such a service change would get. This is because a chunk of route 60 service is funded by the Seattle’s Transportation Benefit District, a pot of money approved by Seattle voters in 2014 to add more bus service within Seattle. Along the way, the City Council updated the rules on which routes are eligible for such funding to include some routes that have a few stops outside of Seattle. This flexibility enabled city funding for high-ridership routes like the E Line and 120 (the future H Line).

Adding complexity to the politics is the fact that the Seattle TBD taxes are set to expire in 2021 unless re-approved by Seattle voters for an extended term, or replaced by a different set of taxes. Frank recently discussed the politics of the City waiting for the County to decide whether the County is going to attempt another countywide TBD measure.

The threat of Initiative 976

Looming over this opportunity to improve service on routes 60 and 107 is the possibility I-976 eventually gets implemented, either by a decision of the state supreme court, or by the legislature. Frank discussed the hit to Metro. Route 60 service (mostly weekday service) would also take a hit from losing its city funding.

Metro could still enact savings on route 107 by eliminating the Georgetown loop-de-loop, but that savings could simply be that corridor’s share of the austerity Metro and the City will have to impose. Even giving up those hour, the county could transfer hours from route 60, post-City-austerity, to route 107 to end up with each at 20-minute headway during the day, between peak periods, timed for roughly 10-minute headway on 15th Ave S. There just wouldn’t be leftover hours to improve weekend and evening service.

Or, Metro might cut routes 60 and 107 deeper than that, given how deep the cuts will have to be.

30 Replies to “Improving 60/107 frequency to match Link, virtually for free”

  1. It does seem like there ought to be a way to go east/west between Georgetown and the Rainier Valley without having to detour north all the way to Beacon Hill Station and then back south again. This is probably what the 107’s detour was meant to address, but I don’t think it accomplishes this very well, with its long slog to Rainier Beach Station, not to mention significantly delaying everyone else on the bus in the process.

    Assuming the existence of the MLK/Graham Link Station, my first thought would be to resolve the issue like this:
    1) Eliminate Georgetown detour on route 107
    2) Create new east/west route down Graham from Rainier Ave. to Georgetown. Move the western tail of the 60 over to this route, so it goes through to Westwood Village, and the 60 terminates at Georgetown.

    Without Graham St. station, though, it seems very hard to construct an east/west route (2) that’s effective, but not redundant with something else. Maybe you just leave this route out for now, and just leave Georgetown with the 60 (to Westwood Village, as present), and if they want to go straight east/west, they can call Uber.

    I would also seriously consider revising the 60’s northern tail to serve South Lake Union, rather than Capitol Hill. Sending the 60 down Broadway feels mostly redundant with other routes. We have a streetcar and #49 bus, both every 15 minutes, down Broadway, plus Link service between Beacon Hill Station and Capitol Hill Station, while not a single bus exists to connect First Hill to South Lake Union, two huge areas in the middle of the city, just one mile apart from each other. The 60’s existing behavior feels a route that was chosen back when South Lake Union was a dump, and persists today only due to inertia. It should be fixed.

    1. There is a big hill with no streets from top to bottom, just some stairclimbs, that inhibit the straightness of any east-west bus path between Georgetown and Rainier Valley. Nor do I think a gondola would serve much purpose.

      The first street to the north that goes through between 15th Ave S and Beacon Ave S is S Columbian Way (which is served by route 50). The first street to the south that goes through between S Swift St and Beacon Ave S happens to be S Graham St.

      When (and if) Graham St Station opens over a decade from now, a route that runs the length of Graham St seems likely, and it will have to go through Georgetown to continue west. Going through South Park via Cloverdale or going up Highland Park Way (with another loop-de-loop) are both options to continue further west from Georgetown.

      For South Parkers trying to head south on Link, transferring to frequent route 124 at Boeing is a superior option to riding over to the future Othello Station. For South Park riders trying to get downtown or further north, route 132 remains an adequate, if infrequent, option. Having to transfer on Swift to get to Beacon Hill Station would pretty much kill the 60/107 as a path to get downtown for most Georgetowners and South Parkers. The current route 60 is the fastest path to get to Beacon Hill, Mt Baker, and Columbia City Stations. A 60 to Graham St Station would improve travel time to get to Othello and Rainier Beach.

    2. There used to be such a connection with route 106, which ran followed the current 107 route from Rainier Beach Station to the end of the Georgetown spur, then ran to downtown Seattle via 6th Ave and the DSTT. Give that east-west connections in Seattle are so poor, Metro likely sought keeping the value of the Georgetown connection by including this spur, which was combined with increased frequency on the 124 to make it easier to transfer to access Boeing Field and the southern parts of SODO.

      I think this is a weird way for Metro to have its cake and eat it too, but it is a relatively cheap way to get the connection. Making the diversion is much cheaper than running a separate route, and if they did run a separate route, it might be so short that it would require a transfer anyway.

      I think the spur is actually probably worth it for the way the network is right now, since otherwise it would be really cumbersome to work your way around it. In a more comprehensive network though, I think it would be better to think about running an east-west route from Seward Park through Georgetown to Westwood Village (taking over parts of the 50, 107, and 60), like some have suggested on Page 2.

      1. I think the spur is actually probably worth it for the way the network is right now, since otherwise it would be really cumbersome to work your way around it.

        Wait, what? From what I can tell, the little lollypop loop simply eliminates a transfer on the 60, which for many riders, isn’t even a transfer. Am I missing something?

      2. It’s not for the 60, but for the 124. The fact that the 124 frequency was boosted to 15 minutes while introducing the loop was probably not a coincidence.

        The 60 does take care of that for the north branch though. And the loop doesn’t connect to any other route. It could connect to the 131/132 if it were extended, but that’s ridiculous, unless the terminus is moved to where the 132 is. I guess I just view it as a lifeline connection until a decent east-west route through that area happens, but that’s kind of what the 60 is anyway (even though the 60 is mostly north/south).

      3. My understanding is that every stop on the 107 loop is shared with the 60. That is my point. This basically does a couple things: adds frequency to the stop, and for some, avoids a transfer. As far as frequency is concerned, the 60 is so frequent (and the 107 so infrequent) that the loop benefits only a handful. Miss the 60, and you might get lucky and catch the 107 (most of the time you just catch another 60). But that’s it from a frequency standpoint.

        From a transfer standpoint, it also benefits only a handful. The 60 and 107 overlap for most of their route. There are only a couple cases where you would prefer the 107. One is if you are headed southbound (Georgetown to Rainier Beach). The other is if you are headed downtown. But even then, you can take the 124 (which is more direct) or simply take the 60 until Jackson. No one in their right mind would let the 60 go by if they are headed north. If they are headed downtown, they would catch the 60, and transfer where buses are extremely frequent (7, 36, etc.).

        So really, the only thing this adds is a one seat ride from the south end (Rainier Beach, Renton, etc.) to Georgetown. Those riders can transfer.

      4. Oops, I just remembered that the 107 doesn’t even go downtown. So that makes the case for the Georgetown lollipop loop even weaker. All that loop does is increase frequency (in a haphazard way) to Georgetown, and eliminate a one seat ride from Georgetown to Rainier Beach. If they could manage better frequency on the 107 (every 15 minutes) my guess is no one would miss the loop.

      5. The only transfer enabled by the 107 Georgetown loop is with route 124. Or to put it more specifically, it saves a 4-block walk through a pedestrian-hostile / non-wheelchair accessible stretch of arterials, or having to wait for route 60 to make the connection, probably at a less-scary bus stop further north with a crosswalk nearby.

        Again, it comes down to balancing this small set of riders (if there are any at all) against all the riders whose trip times are increased by several minutes, or who end up walking a couple long pedestrian-hostile blocks (possibly in the street) to avoid having to ride around in that loop.

      6. I doubt there are any. It’s hard to imagine someone transferring between a 30-minute slow neighborhood route and a 15-minute slow neighborhood route. Their most likely destination is the center of Georgetown itself so they wouldn’t have to transfer. And if they’re going to the industrial jobs along the 124, they’d be just as likely to take 107+Link to SODO and on from there. That could be a 3-seat ride in some cases, but it may be a 2-seat ride if their destination is close enough to SODO, or there might be another better option like the 131/132.

    3. Metro has been trying repeatedly to connect Georgetown to south Beacon and Rainier. Every attempt has had abysmal ridership.

      When the 106 was created in 1990 with the opening of the DSTT, it went south on I-5 to Swift Ave, east on Myrtle/Othello, and south on Rainier Ave, thus providing an all-day express to Rainier Beach. The 107 did the same, but then went on a different route to Renton (via south Lake Washington). Rainier View was still covered by the 42 and didn’t go to Renton.

      The first change I remember moved it off the freeway to Georgetown, so it was no longer an express but a long milk run. When Link started in 2009 the 106 may have had that configuration.

      The second change moved the 106 to MLK to replace the 38, enabling a one-seat ride between Renton and most of the valley, which are culturally and economically similar and have common families and churches. There may have been a gap with no Georgetown service, but at some point the 107 was extended from Rainier Beach Station to Beacon Hill Station, and either then or later it added a Georgetown detour.

      The last change to the 106 was extending it from Mt Baker Station to Intl Dist Station.

  2. “In the process, [the Georgetown deviation] likely causes a non-trivial loss in ridership”

    This is actually an empirically answerable question: you can email Metro and ask for the stop-level data. The service guidelines have criteria for when deviations are called for. If you get the data and show the deviation doesn’t meet the service guidelines, that’s much more likely to effect change than mere speculation.

    1. The data will show how many get on and off in Georgetown. I’ve ridden around that loop a few times, and each time been the only one getting on or off there, but that was always in the evening. I don’t want to be the cause of keeping the loop.

      The data won’t show how many more riders would be getting on or off at other stops if the Georgetown loop went away.

      Drop-offs northbound before the Georgetown stop may help get a ballpark figure of how many Cleveland students are getting off the bus there and braving the last few blocks of pedestrian hell to get to school. Boardings at the southbound stop before Georgetown might be similar, but probably less because they are less likely to get seats that way.

      With all due respect to the Service Guidelines, the only real way to know the impact is to take the loop away and compare before and after data. Given that route 60 no longer runs in front of the high-priced grocery nook on Carleton, the owner there might be less interested in whether his imaginary loyal customer or employee from Renton has to walk three extra blocks. He was the lobby for keeping the loop.

      The one other source of legit concern may be from “They Shall Walk”, which is located about a half block from the de facto Georgetown Transfer Center. Weigh the possibility that they have a client who has to get through the three blocks of pedestrian badness to get there, against the possibility that kids will get maimed on the pedestrian badness between the stop to the south and Cleveland, and that some of them some day may no longer be able to walk, at all, because cars win in pedestrian collisions.

      Really, the big part is just stationing someone at the stop to the south before and after school, and counting how many people are walking there or away on the narrow sidewalks or in the street, from where or to where.

      Thanks for the suggestion. I will follow up.

    2. This is actually an empirically answerable question: you can email Metro and ask for the stop-level data.

      If you can get the data for one route, it seems like you should be able to get the data for all routes. That sort of data dump would be fantastic. If the folks that run this blog can get that, please do, and copy it somewhere on this site. It would be like the BART reports ( It isn’t to read, but if you dig through the data (like Dan Ryan did) you find some interesting things — enough to make for a very good article. I personally, would love to read about various routes, like the 73 and 67. This would bolster or refute my ideas for the area.

  3. I thought at first you meant interlining the 60 and 107 to Broadway. That would be an interesting idea. Metro has in the past talked about splitting the 60 and sending the southern part to Othello. Metro’s 2040 plan sort of does this although it sends it to the future Graham station. What are the pros/cons of splitting the 60 and does it make sense to do it earlier? Are there a lot of people in South Park and West Seattle going to First Hill, or would most be satisfied with a station in Beacon/Rainier somewhere?

    1. I can say there is significant ridership turnover on route 60 buses at Beacon Hill Station. Parsing out where they are coming from or going to would be a job for ORCA data, and probably not easily available.

      There is also through-ridership, which, from my observations, is about half the riders on the bus at the station.

      West Seattle riders have better options than riding around the 60 crescent to get to First Hill. South Park riders pretty much do, too. All involve transferring downtown, though. I have no idea how many nevertheless choose the bendy one-seat ride.

      For riders along 15th Ave S, route 60 is a pretty good path to First Hill, and splitting the 60 would introduce a transfer. I have no idea how many people use the Harborview stop.

      1. It doesn’t have heavy use at Harborview, but it’s very convenient for people who live and work there. Metro proposed terminating the 60 on Beacon Hill when the street car was implemented, and there was a big howl.

  4. There are several bus routes that wander around the south end of Seattle without generating high ridership: 107, 124, 50, 60 (between Westwood Village and Georgetown). If Initiative 976 is ultimately implemented, Metro will have to find efficiencies in the system. I’d look at some of these options:

    1. Eliminating the Georgetown deviation for the 107 seems like an obvious way to save service hours.
    2. Split the 60 at Georgetown. The Capitol Hill to Georgetown corridor deserves 15 minute service, but the Georgetown to White Center corridor hasn’t generated as much ridership.
    3. I would look at creating a Route 61 at that runs at longer headways from White Center to Georgetown and then continues to Othello Station via Swift Avenue. Routing bus service on Graham Street between Beacon Avenue and Swift would require an enormous amount of civil engineering work. That segment of Graham is narrow, steep, crooked and it lacks sidewalks for most of the distance, it would be better to use Swift for a connection to Rainier Valley.
    4. The 61 could be extended to Rainier Beach and the Prentice loop when Metro removes the Prentice loop from the 7. Or, it could be attached to the Seward Park segment of Route 50, if Metro decides to revise the 50.

    1. All of these options, except 1. will be painful to some rider. One of those riders is me. Having to take the 132 from downtown more often won’t be the end of the world, so long as I can stick close to an RTA sign. I will not hang out at the dark stop on 4th Ave S at Lander. About the only time I would take your 61 is if I am actually going to Othello Station (which I do from time to time because I found a vegan-friendly Vietnamese restaurant there and I also do some of my shopping at that Safeway) or Columbia City (PCC or Rookies to watch Sounders away matches, the latter being a transit market of one and very infrequent). As it stands, Beacon Hill Station accounts for almost half of my boardings/alightings on Link.

      Martin’s suggestion of making the 50 an express from Beacon Hill to West Seattle still seems like a winner to me, especially while we worsify the pedestrian environment on Lander St.

      There are more loop-de-loops to look at removing (North Seattle College comes to mind), more tricks to reduce dwell time (e.g. an electronic fare discount), other stop diets to consider, and some routes that are the most pointlessly duplicative (route 71 comes to mind) before cutting into the muscle.

      Also, any organizing to beg the county not to cut service seems like a lower and less effective use of political capital than begging the legislature not to enact I-976. We have an uphill battle to stop the Legislature from enacting I-976, given how many districts across the state voted Eyman’s way.

  5. Route 107 is quite a long route, with a winding tour of Lakeridge / Skyway included. Trying to set up spacing with Route 60 may not work well in practice. The all-day reliability (the most relevant measure of routing) of Route 107 already falls below Metro service guidelines in 2018.

    1. Route 60 is even longer than 107, FWIW. It used to do pretty well on reliability until the Harborview construction started.

      I’ve watched route 107 start its southbound run in the evenings pretty reliably about the same time route 60 came before the September schedule fix.

      The biggest hurdle on route 107 has been getting stuck in Cleveland traffic, which happens to the 60 too. Theoretically, having the same blockage on the routes should end up leaving them reasonably-spaced, except that they aren’t scheduled to be reasonbably-spaced to begin with during weekdays.

      The tour of Lakeridge / Skyway largely avoids the most congested arterials.

  6. I like this idea. I don’t think it matters how often Link goes — it is very difficult to time transfers. But I do like this idea for several reasons:

    1) Going from 30 minutes to 20 minutes is a much bigger change than going from 20 to 15.

    2) Combining frequencies to 10 minutes is very nice.

    3) The detour is not only tough from a service standpoint, but it delays through riders (as you mentioned).

    There is a trade-off though:

    1) For the rest of the 60, frequency goes down. But the 60, despite good frequency, does not have that many more riders than the 107. My guess is if they both ran every 20 minutes, it would lead to a net increase in ridership (for reason number 1, above).

    2) Eliminating the detour would be made worse because the alternative (transferring to the 60) would be worse (since you would simultaneously drop frequency on that route).

    Assuming the next Seattle transit levy passes, I could see the following as an alternative:

    Run a new bus that starts at the main 7 terminus, by Rainier Beach High School. The bus would go west, and overlay the 107. It would follow the exact same route as the existing 107 from there to the northern terminus, except that both would skip the Georgetown detour. It would run every half hour, opposite the existing 107. That would 15 minute service from Rainier Beach to Cleveland. If timed right, it would mean 7.5 minute service from Cleveland to Beacon Hill Station. Even if a bus gets delayed, it wouldn’t matter that much, since there would be plenty of buses along that corridor (effective frequency would be 10 minutes at worst on the key corridor).

    With more frequent service between Rainier Beach and Cleveland, the transfer to go to Georgetown wouldn’t be that big of deal. Many riders heading there would come out ahead.

    The new bus would be entirely within Seattle, which means that paying for it would be simple. It would also be fairly cost effective, as it poaches the best part of the 107. It wouldn’t be a very expensive bus — it doesn’t take that long to travel, especially if it avoids the detour. My guess is ridership on the northern part is much higher than the southern part. It is easy to lump all of Rainier valley together (because of the obvious cultural ties) but population density drops off as you leave the city border (and that is more the case now, as Seattle proper has grown faster than the surrounding suburbs). It is only in the heart of Renton (close to downtown) that it picks up again. But the southern part of the 107 is largely a coverage route. You could take it to get from downtown Renton to places north, but the 106 and 101 are much faster, better options. Thirty minute frequency seems appropriate. It just needs an urban overlay.

  7. “If there were a politically-non-complicated way to move some platform hours from route 60 to route 107, like, say, one trip per hour per direction during the between-peak period on weekdays, then both routes would be running 20-minute headway all day on weekdays.”

    I’m a scheduler for a very large North American transit agency. It’s not as simple as moving one trip an hour from one route to another. The frequency of a route is determined by the total round trip time (cycle time) divided by the number of available buses. Realistically, the cycle time fluctuates throughout the day and the higher it goes, the more buses that are needed to maintain any particular headway. Removing one trip an hour from a route is essentially removing an entire bus off the route, which would affect the frequency of the entire route for the entire day. Ridership is what planners use to justify moving resources from one route to another. If the case can’t be made that route 107 needs more service based on ridership, then it’s a hard sell to upper management, let alone any outside politicians.

    That being said, the goal should be to minimize the transfer penalty by increasing frequencies across the board. That seems to be what has occured in Seattle over the last decade.

    Perfectly synced routes sounds good on paper and can actually be pulled off in small cities (with little traffic and padded schedules), but the traffic in a booming city like Seattle would throw a wrench into any synchronized scheduling efforts.

    1. Routes 71/72/73/74 for years provided reasonably-evenly-spaced service between the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and the U-District. Then a consultant who didn’t realize these were all the same route with four (really five) different neighborhood tails somehow convince Metro to squeeze out savings on each route, which destroyed the even distribution of ridership on the main trunk, until lots of riders dealing with crush-overloaded buses pointed out the oversight.

      Timing those four (really five, as one of them had a version that merely terminated at Cowen Park) routes to provide the evenly-spaced trunk was a marvel of scheduling and studying data to keep each sub-route reliable. Timing 60/107 to show up evenly-spaced at Beacon Hill Station is child’s play by comparison, and Metro has already shown it can do it with the evening and weekend spacing of 60/107 schedules, once Metro schedulers realized that they are two variations of a trunk route serving the 15th Ave S to Beacon Hill Station corridor.

      Yes, my math was rough, and just to give a ballpark figure since I don’t know exactly how many buses are used on each route during each service period. Metro’s schedulers know, and are quite capable of performing the balancing act.

      1. Having a balanced/synced schedule of two routes is definitely possible. The current evening and weekend spacing of the two routes is made possible due to lower and much more stable traffic and ridership volumes, which is what I was implying in my original post. Applying even spacing on weekdays is where things get very tricky. Traffic volumes and ridership fluctuates so much more during the day on weekdays when everyone is out and about. Since Metro didn’t sync the weekday (midday and peaks) schedules, I’m inclined to believe that Metro concluded it would be detrimental to one or both routes in some way.

      2. Metro didn’t sync the weekday 60/107 schedules because they have different frequencies. There may be other reasons, too, but that one is enough.

    2. I spent two years on the other end as a Bus Operator in Portland, OR. Scheduling is tricky, sure, but let’s not pretend it’s an all-or-nothing dichotomy. I regularly worked split shifts, with different routes on each shift, and also regularly had shifts where I changed routes at a transfer station in the middle of a shift, or drove an empty bus a short distance to start a new route. It’s not perfect, and adding more degrees of freedom to the scheduling puzzle certainly makes it more complicated (and potentially more prone to failure), but it also means that you can tweak a schedule to do more with less. If the best thing for a route is to re-time it to make every one’s wait at a major transit change be 5 minutes assuming normal traffic conditions, then that is likely possible and should at least be looked into.

      I haven’t ridden either of these busses, but I do know about diversionary loops, and I don’t, generally, have nice things to say about them. While I recognize the need for neighborhood bus service, the majority of bus riders are trying to get between major points, and secretly (or not so secretly) despise places on highly utilized routes where the bus stops too often in a stretch, goes through a neighborhood and so looses time (especially making left turns) or is not clearly routed or has inconsistent timing. I know, “duh”, but you’ll notice a slow consistent bus that serves a main route is not on that list of peeves. People who use public transit get that it probably isn’t the fastest option, but just want consistency as much as possible, ease of use, and to avoid two people having more convenient stops (saving, say, a five minute walk) resulting in 20 people loosing three minutes of their life (aka 1 person-hour) every day. Obviously this can be taken too far, and neighborhood service (though maybe in a form other than “bus”) has a place, but when we are talking small convenience, the cost of that convenience to the other riders should be considered and weighed, and rather than balking or whining, scheduling should do their best and then be as transparent as possible with their reasons if things don’t look obvious (remembering that drivers will have to help lost or disgruntled passengers if schedulers are a black box and pass the buck when something doesn’t quite fit right)

    3. That being said, the goal should be to minimize the transfer penalty by increasing frequencies across the board. That seems to be what has occurred in Seattle over the last decade.

      Yeah. It is worth noting that most (if not all) of that has occurred within the city. There are three reasons for this. Density has been increasing much faster in the city than in the suburbs. Second, Seattle has shown a willingness to pay for extra transit. Third, most of the big service savings from Link have occurred in Seattle, which has truncated very productive, high frequency routes (71/72/73) and put that service into more frequency.

      That is why I go back to my comment made above. The 107 is flawed for a couple of reasons. First, the lollypop loop is bad. Second, it mixes a solid route in the city with a very weak coverage route in Renton. This is the only service between Rainier Beach and Cleveland. That route is not the strongest in our system, but it at least follows the main thoroughfare, which makes it very cost effective (making the detour all the more irritating). Eliminate the detour, and the section between Rainier Beach and Cleveland (and on to Beacon Hill) can justify more frequency. I don’t think you can do that for the part in Renton — it is a pure coverage route, curving back and forth in very low density areas so that riders don’t have to walk a long distance to the more frequent (and much more direct) 106 (or 101).

      That is why I think the best solution is to add a new route that is essentially a variation on the 107, starting at Rainier Beach High School. This would run every half hour (and thus be quite affordable). It would be timed with the 107, which would be fairly easy to do, since they would overlap more than the 107 and 60. That would mean 15 minute frequency from Rainier Beach to Beacon Hill based on just those two buses alone.

      Of course you would try and time those with the 60 as well. That would mean, in theory, 7.5 minute frequency along the most popular section (Cleveland to Beacon Hill). But realistically, it would mean frequency that typically varies from about 5 to 10 minutes, with worse case scenario of 15 (if a bus breaks down).

      This would not be revenue neutral, even after eliminating the Georgetown loop of the 107. But it would be a huge increase in frequency for the most popular parts of this line, at relatively little cost.

  8. Here’s hoping the new guard in Sound Transit listen to advice (like this) even if they don’t always take it. There are a lot of smart people in the area who have much more intelligent opinions on how the system works than the normal “the whole thing stinks” or “more transit at any cost” opinions that often take up the public sphere. Thank you for being a major source of those ideas.

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