Thanks to Metro’s Jeff Switzer, we have a bit more information on the Metro cuts starting Monday. Metro was able to tell us the total number of trips cut from each route on weekdays. While that gives a very incomplete picture, it allows us to start drawing a few conclusions about how the “Reduced Schedule” will affect riders, below the jump.
Peak commuter service is taking the brunt of the cuts. This is not surprising given that peak service is designed to handle far more volume than Metro is experiencing today. But many peak commuter routes are losing between 25% and 70% of their trips, while major all-day routes are typically losing less of their weekday service than you might expect from the headline 25% number. Peak express routes that are shadowed by local all-day service are especially targeted.
Many major routes are near-unaffected on weekdays. The following core routes not on Metro’s “spared list” are taking either no cuts or very minor cuts to weekday service (weekends will likely be worse):
A few major routes will see real retrenchment. The following are core routes that will stay in operation, but see weekday cuts of 20% or more:
- 225 (new starting tomorrow; replaces parts of 234, 238, 243, 244)
- 239 (new starting tomorrow; replaces part of 235 and northern tail of 255)
Seattle and the Eastside are affected worse than South King County. Metro promised to put equity considerations at the forefront in making these cuts, and the effect appears to be that South King County routes suffered a bit less than those elsewhere.
Metro is protecting frequency on core routes over coverage. While there will clearly be some frequency setbacks as a result of these cuts, in general, the service that comes out with the least loss is the core service with the highest ridership. Low-ridership service is taking more cuts, even where it may affect how well an entire neighborhood is covered.
It will probably be worse on weekends. The weekday schedule has roughly 15% of total trips cut. 15% of trips does not equal 15% of hours, because long commuter routes that chew up hours per trip are absorbing more than their share of the cuts. But Metro will still have to cut more than this on weekends to make the total cut add up to 25% of hours.