As reported by the Mercer Island Reporter Thursday, the Mercer Island City Council is again preparing to sue Sound Transit.
In an open letter, the City Council contends:
It is essential for all Islanders to understand that the Bus/Rail Interchange, as currently proposed by Sound Transit, is in breach of the 2017 Settlement Agreement between Sound Transit and the City with the potential to adversely impact traffic patterns and public safety for all of our residents. We have notified Sound Transit numerous times that its current plan, which includes new curb cuts to accommodate bus layovers along North Mercer Way, fails to meet the terms of the Settlement Agreement which explicitly forbade these features. We have also voiced concerns over future operations that this plan enables, including the high volume of bicycles and pedestrians that will be expected to mix with cars and buses adjacent to the busy Park & Ride location once East Link light Rail is operational. Despite the City’s reasonable objections and requests for essential information, Sound Transit has repeatedly ignored our concerns and insisted on unilaterally implementing its design plans.
However, the purported ban on curb cuts [They seem to be referring to bus pull-outs, not ADA wheelchair cuts in sidewalks at intersections.] along North Mercer Way is not in the settlement.
Sound Transit is expected to seek final construction permits for work around the station in September. The Mercer Island City Council is likely to oppose the permits unless the new lawsuit is settled. Delaying the permits could hold up the opening of East Link. But in order to delay the permits, the City would have to prove that Sound Transit has broken the terms of the settlement.
The City Council is pondering a utility tax increase to fund the costs of the lawsuit.
In 2017, STB covered the lawsuit by Mercer Island and the counter-suit by Sound Transit, as well as the settlement that allowed Sound Transit to proceed with station and track construction. The settlement removed from the table the bus-to-train / bus-to-bus transfer plan using 80th Ave SE, centered on rider convencience around the station, that ST and King County Metro had planned. It limited the number of buses allowed to serve the station to not exceed the number of buses serving Mercer Island Park & Ride at the time of the settlement, including specific peak-period limitations. It also banned scheduled layovers outside of PM peak hours. However, Metro was not a formal party to the settlement.
The inclusion of King County Metro in further talks is a point of contention, with the City wanting to go straight to mediation with just ST, and ST wanting Metro included in any further talks, since Metro, which operates all the public buses that would serve the station, would be the agency most impacted by any additional agreements. The apparent attempt to bypass Metro appears to go against Subsection 4.1 of the settlement:
The 2017 SEPA Addendum identifies two configurations for transit integration for when East Link is operational: (i) the 77th Avenue SE Configuration; and (ii) the goth Avenue SE Configuration. Pursuant to and as modified by this Agreement, the Parties agree to implement the 77th Avenue SE Configuration. To the extent that King County Metro buses are necessary to coordinate service, the Parties agree that the 77th Avenue SE Configuration cannot be implemented without King County Metro·s agreement. The Parties will work collaboratively with King County Metro to obtain its concurrence where necessary and document such concurrence as appropriate.
The peak-hour bus-volume limitations listed in the settlement could impact the termini of several Metro express routes slated to terminate outside of Seattle once East Link opens, including routes 111, 114, 212, 214, 216, 217, 218, and 219 (of which all but route 216 currently bypass Mercer Island P&R). The paths of all-day routes 204 and 554 could also be impacted, although the City saw fit to exempt local routes (now just route 204) from the limitations. Sound Transit Express bus 550 is slated to go away when East Link opens, which could allow some of these routes to start serving the station.
Some of these routes could also be forced not to serve the station due to the ban on layovers outside of PM peak. (See subsection 4.3 (b) of the settlement.) The reasoning for the ban on AM peak layovers seems pretty clear due to heavy peak Seattle-bound traffic. The reasoning for the off-peak ban is less clear.
Peak bus-volume limits could impact the viability of the Mercer Island to First Hill express route 630, since, as a route that serves more than Mercer Island, it is not excluded from the peak-hour bus traffic limit.
Update: The Mercer Island Communications Manager got back to me. He is not able to answer questions regarding the lawsuit, since it is pending litigation.
50 Replies to “Mercer Island sues Sound Transit, this time over buses”
If you want a comment from the City, you should reach out to the City Manager, Jessi Bon, or the Communications Manager, Ross Freeman.
Thanks! I reached out to Ross. The City website doesn’t do the best of jobs pointing media folks to the Communications Manager.
[not really on today’s topic]
Can ST play hardball and threaten to have Link just skip the Mercer Island station altogether if they don’t be reasonable?
I doubt it. First, the station is almost complete. Second, the station is part of the voter-approved ST2 plan. ST isn’t going to not use a multi-million $$ piece of infrastructure over this.
“ST isn’t going to not use a multi-million $$ piece of infrastructure over this.
Mercer Island isn’t going to let anyone else use a multi-billion $$$ part of
the Link system over this.
Mercer Island isn’t going to let anyone else use a multi-billion $$$ part of the Link system over this.
That’s if they can convince the judge that Sound Transit violated the Settlement. I don’t see that they really have a case, from what they’re claiming and what the Settlement actually says.
I suspect they know they don’t have a case. But they do potentially have the ability to drag out the court case, and thereby extort more from Sound Transit to end the litigation. The fact that they are planning to raise taxes for the next couple years tips their hand that that is what they are counting on.
And so, Sound Transit may have to resort to obtaining a temporary restraining order to allow street reconstruction to proceed. I think they have a good chance of getting it. Then, the council will have to decide how much it is worth it to them to risk being found in contempt of court over keeping a few buses and the riders thereon off the island.
What? A TRO? On what grounds?
The harm caused by delaying the project vs. the relative lack of harm if the bus pullouts have to be turned into something raised to sidewalk level. And the unlikelihood ST will lose at the higher court levels.
That was understood. Firstly, a standard PI would be more applicable in the legal maneuver you’ve proposed. Secondly, it’s still not clear to me what exact injunctive relief would be sought in such a motion. Thirdly, in any event, the agency would still need to demonstrate to the court what irreparable harm they would incur. General declarations of harm related to tangential matters that are not imminent is not sufficient for such a motion to be granted. In the federal court system at least*, the 9th Circuit has affirmed this principle recently in cases like Amylin Pharm., Inc. v. Eli Lilly & Co. (2011) and Rubin ex rel. NLRB v. Vista Del Sol Health Servs., Inc. (2015).
*Most likely in this instance the PI and/or TRO motion would be filed in King County Superior Court.
Hardball would probably max out at ST not opening the MI station the same time as the rest of East Link, and blaming the city for the delay. The agency cannot simply say we are going to board up this station and not use it no more.
The issue is really about buses, not the station itself.
I don’t usually point out typos, but Mercer Island would be a lot cooler if it did have a ‘goth ave SE’ for teens to hang out on.
More substantively, the 80th configuration was the best, it boggles my mind why the city wants to spread the impacts out across more blocks and intersections when you could’ve had an in-and-out arrangement on one block face!
Of course consulting with the city governments is a good idea, but I don’t really understand why Sound Transit should be required to negotiate with them at all. The interests of the people of Mercer Island are already represented via their county executive’s appointments to the Sound Transit board.
The Tukwila Compromise….
Yes, the cities have partial veto power over ST projects since they issue the building permits. But not completely. ST can eminent-domain them because it’s a regional transit project larger than a city. But it really doesn’t want to. That would just create long-term grudges and opposition from the cities, and the cities wouldn’t support ST’s future tax levies.
ST can’t eminent-domain UW land because it’s an “essentail state educational mission”. That’s why ST had to put UW Station where the university dicated and couldn’t build a bus-transit center or TOD at the Mt Baker laundry site. (The site which UW is now vacating, eleven years after the station was built.)
“ST can eminent-domain them because it’s a regional transit project larger than a city. ”
That’s not correct. The RTA is on the same level as a city of the first class when it comes to eminent domain authority.
Note the illogic of having the state, cities, and voters agree that a regional transit asset is needed, and then giving individual cities partial veto and delay power over it. Other countries don’t do this. A high-level authority decides the project is needed, and then the transit agency has full authority and funding to implement it and follow transit best practices.
That said, I really think Mercer Island has a lot of stereotypes about public transit that are just plain… off. It’s important they realize a need to be part of a region and not their own little island.
Amen. Bus riders don’t care to terrorize your little sterile and bland-as-table-salt island. Get over yourselves and envision the ‘why’ behind the bigger picture that is regional transit.
Mercer Island is doing this for the wrong reasons, but if the outcome is that busses terminate at S. Bellevue instead of Mercer Island — that’s actually likely to be a win for riders.
I always thought that S. Bellevue is a much better termination location because it minimizes the amount of busses running parallel to the train. If busses exit I-90 and go to S.Bellevue, that’s only 0.5 miles paralleling link (basically, just the offramp from I-90), but if they go to Mercer Island, it’s 2.5 miles. That means that from a pure service hours point-of-view you can serve more riders by terminating at the S. Bellevue station.
This would mean a *slightly* longer ride for Issaquah->Downtown passengers, but a much shorter ride for Issaquah->Bellevue/Redmond passengers. And yes, more passengers are going Downtown than to Bellevue/Redmond, but it is a 5x difference in wasted time between the two options.
The problem with South Bellevue is that there is no HOV off-ramp and on-ramp to and from the east like Mercer Island. It’s literally a five minute trip from Mercer Island to Eastgate.
The ramp is only really an issue during peak hours. If the peak hour buses mostly go to Mercer Island, while the all day buses go to South Bellevue, I don’t think that’s a terrible outcome. The Issaquah->South Bellevue bus could even continue on northward, replacing the Bellevue Way portion of the 550.
And all the Seattle bound commuters will know to take the MI buses, so there won’t be much of a need to boost frequency during peak. The future 554 can be 15 minutes all day, and the a wave of 21X buses to Mercer Island to handle the waves of office commuters going in and out of Seattle during peak.
It’s more than a peak hour issue. It’s an issue any time there is even low traffic.
The Eastgate stop is in the median and the merge with the HOV lane is such that there is less than a half-mile westbound to cross three lanes of traffic to get to the South Bellevue off ramp. There is maybe 3/4 of a mile eastbound but it’s the same problem in reverse.
Note that buses from/to Eastgate rely on the median ramp. If buses have to get to a side ramp, the houses will have several turns to make as well as go out of direction.
While detailed planning has yet to take place (or is taking place at the staff level only), the general concept for bus connections to East Link has been kicked around for years and involves I-405 express routes going to South Bellevue, and I-90 express routes going to Mercer Island. The main reasons were bus capacity and layover space at the stations, and the ramp configuration at the I-90/I-405, I-90/Eastgate, and I-90/Bellevue Way interchanges. Within that general framework there would be some variation; for example the (all-day) 554 is likely going to South Bellevue (and likely Bellevue TC), while the 566/567 would probably proceed directly to Bellevue TC instead of deviating over to South Bellevue (with the Overlake TC/Redmond Tech Center tail dropped).
We’ll know more in about a year when Metro (and ST) start the public East Link restructure process.
Consider ST Express 554. Right now, Mercer Islanders have an all-day two-seat ride to the Bellevue College area and Issaquah (with route 204 being the other seat). Moving the terminus of route 554 to S. Bellevue Station turns these trips into three-seat rides for M. islanders. It is a net loss in transit connectivity for the island.
Why are buses demonized? Downtown MI has many commercial delivery vehicles and allows construction vehicles all the time. The ST 550 and 554 buses are even going away. Metro has committed to a carbon neutral fleet so it can’t be diesel fumes. The riders are comining from Eastgate and Issaquah — two areas not known for harboring someone who even the most bigoted MI citizen would consider “undesirable”.
It seems to me there is some sort of generalized fear-driven frustration about Metro going on here. I realize that ST isn’t great — but Metro is often very cooperative. This lawsuit seems highly irrational.
I have a suspicion that it is bigoted concerns motivating this, only the people doing it aren’t thinking about where the buses are coming from. They’re just thinking bus=people who don’t look like them=bad.
It could be that I’m just primed to be suspicious of bigotry after reading some of yesterday’s News Roundup articles, but that’s sure what this big stink smells like.
Only the 550 is going away. The 554 will be truncated at either Mercer Island or South Bellevue.
As I said at the time back in 2017 when the settlement was agreed to, it was a serious mistake not bringing Metro along and making them a party to the accord. Sorry, but ST effed this up in that respect.
I think the mistake was ST’s willingness to commit to limiting buses on the island at all. As bad as the rest of the settlement was, limiting a core capability of the station like that because Mercer Island complained is silly. Does the Mercer Island city council realize that Sound Transit operates buses on the island already? Do the people advocating against the bus intercept think that the freeway district of Mercer Island is a hellhole right now because of the buses? The absolute most ST should have agreed to is to allow bus volumes on the island to be as much as it currently is with the 550 and 554.
Much has been said about the financial precedent, but it says something that ST will limit bus volumes at a light rail station if the city the station is says they really don’t want it and are willing to sue over it. What if Federal Way decides they don’t want bus transfers at their light rail station? Sure, Federal Way TC has Sound Transit buses, but so did Mercer Island, and they agreed to reduce bus volumes for them. Fighting the precedent they set like this would be at least pretty awkward.
I acknowledge your concern that other cities might copycat, but Federal Way really wants Link and bus transfers. It’s essential to Federal Way’s plans for prosperity, to attract companies, workers, and residents to its downtown. Federal Way is not in the Eastside where people will flock to it because it’s affluent. It’s in the industrial side of the region, twenty miles away from Seattle, even further from Bellevue, and not exactly near Tacoma either. It needs a shiny new light rail so that it can attract the kind of tax base that Bellevue has, and so that people won’t shun it because it takes an hour and a half to get there on I-5 on a bad traffic day.
Issquah is in the same situation, except it’s not in a strategic location. Federal Way is in the middle between Seattle, Tacoma, and Auburn as viewed from I-5. Issaquah is the last outpost before the urban growth boundary ends.
Mercer Island is lucky to be on the way between Seattle and the Eastside, otherwise it wouldn’t be getting Link at all. But it sees itself as privileged, and of course the region should build Link for the convenience of Mercer Island residents and keep non-island buses off the island, because it’s Mercer Island, a place where people like us live.
Cities I see that might use MI as a template could be Renton, which has already moved the Stride transit center to have less impact on its downtown, and Bothell which is very excited about Stride but has been particular with where & how Stride navigates it’s streets; UW Bothell has also been unhelpful when it comes to transit layover space, which is probably a contributing factor on why ST is now proposing a standalone transfer & layover facility as a part of Stride.
Bellevue is interesting. Ignore Bellevue’s painful path on the East Link alignment; I see little risk of Bellevue blocking buses on their downtown street-grid, and with another 20,000 jobs to be added over the next decade, Bellevue is now fully dependent on good transit to function. However, its downtown transit center has minimal layover space, so I could see the city get particular with how buses layover elsewhere downtown. Not wanting a 60′ diesel bus idling on the curb immediately in front of your street level retail is very comparable to what MI has done by limiting layover space to north of I90 (blocking layover space on the north side of Mercer Way is just stupid, but blocking non-local buses from looping through 27th is defensible). Bellevue will have a similar problem as Seattle, where you don’t want buses idling in the CBD, but you don’t want to burn service hours moving them elsewhere; most local routes will pass through downtown and terminate elsewhere like Eastgate, S Bellevue, or Bothell that have good layover facilities, but for the long haul express routes that will terminate in Bellevue I think this will be a tricky problem to resolve, and the city could play a productive or counterproductive role.
Federal Way and Lynnwood are pro-growth and see transit as a keystone of their future success, so I agree with Mike they aren’t a major risk. Most other cities getting key transfer nodes – Redmond, Kent, Shoreline – have already shown to be good faith partners, so unless there is a big shift in their local politics, the risk is minimal.
It’s not surprising they listed “adversely impact traffic patterns and public safety” in that order. Mercer Island is afraid of Mercer Islanders (taking transit) causing delays to other Mercer Islanders (driving). “Concerns […] including […] [a] high volume of bicycles and pedestrians that will be expected to mix with cars and buses.” Yes, there will be pedestrians near a train station.
As an aside, I had never looked at Mercer Island’s zoning before, but it’s (not surprisingly at all) pretty perverse: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=f4464290a9b24d6496b43b39dea42a84
Their multifamily zoning is either 26 or 38 units per acre. For reference, the last few apartment buildings I lived in in Seattle were, it turns out, 187 units per acre (built 2014), 143 per acre (built 1928), and 134 units per acre (built 1930). Apparently my SFH is 7.15 units per acre. So near a light rail station on MI you are only able to build 3.5-5.5x as dense as single family zoning in Seattle. And most of the land near Mercer Island Station is zoned for SFH.
Unless I am mistaken, most of the MF housing on MI is in the downtown area, which seems to be marked as “Zoning: TC. Description: Town Center. No minimum lot size. Unified Land Development Code 19.11” in the webpage you linked. But yes, the outskirts of that area have MF-2 (38 units/acre) and MF-3 (26 units/acre) zoning, as you indicated. I am guessing that those are primarily older condo buildings, from what I remember of the area. Most of the rentals and new MF buildings are in the downtown core, though.
I am not a big fan of imposing bus infrastructure on Mercer Island. The culture there is not receptive to it, and I would rather see the transit infrastructure where it’s welcome to prevent years of harmful lawfare.
Harmful? Well one there’s the issue of bad feelings carrying over to future ballot measures both pro and anti public transit. Second, lawfare costs money & political capital – two things public transit needs to persevere.
Mercer Island is already getting a train station. They already have buses stopping on North Mercer Way at the Park & Ride, all day, seven days a week. Oh, and they have a Park & Ride. They are still steaming that they couldn’t check residences at the entrance to the Park & Ride. That extremely unreasonable request may be one of the things not being spoken about out loud. Of course, that would slow down traffic, but whatever. And they are still welcome to build their own islanders-only parking garage, at their own expense. They have the money if they want to do it.
They have (or at least had, until the pandamic) a specialty First Hill express bus. If they don’t want that bus, all they have to do is stick to the settlement. If they want to keep that bus, they will probably need to be flexible, and change their agreements from what is in the settlement.
They can CONTINUE to have an express bus to Bellevue College, all day, seven days a week. All they have to do is remove the pointless ban on off-peak layovers and the fictitious ban on layover spaces that they say is in the settlement, but is not really there. The issue is really whether MERCER ISLAND BUS RIDERS will get all-day access to Bellevue College and Issaquah without a 3-seat ride. It is not about other bus riders coming to Mercer Island. I just want the City Council to realize it is MERCER ISLAND BUS RIDERS who are being thrown under the SOV.
Some of this may be leftover hard feelings at ST itself over SOV drivers losing their express entrance to the I-90 HOV lanes. That was a WSDOT decision.
They are also getting a traffic roundabout. But concerned over pedestrian and bicycle safety. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I remember some guy saying Mercer Islanders are the “Dakota Access Pipeline Tribe”. I’m sure most of the people in the room immediately realized how tone-deaf and ahistorical that was and how it totally got the comparison backward. After all, if you want to follow the comparison, the oil in the pipeline is all the SOVs and the CO2 they are emitting. The tribe? Well, the actual tribe appear to have been chased off the island over a century ago (just like happened in Seattle, to be fair). And don’t seem to be welcome back.
Yeah, it was a lot of overheated rhetoric over losing a unique piece of entitlement that only Mercer Island SOV drivers had. But that was 2017’s battle. Now, it is just over whether there will be a dozenish more peak-hour buses on the island, bringing CHOICE BUS RIDERS WITH MONEY to the island, and transferring to the train to get to their white-collar jobs in Seattle. Those are the riders they are trying to keep away… riders who might spend money on Mercer Island shopping or dining on the way home at night. What’s not to love about that?
If they don’t want that, Metro can just move all the transferring choice riders to South Bellevue Station, and let a local economy spring up around that station. And road reconstruction can proceed. But something tells me there is something else, not spoken about out loud, that the city council really wants, and are trying to hold the buses hostage to get it, as if they have leverage. But since non-Mercer-Islanders don’t really need the bus intercept on Mercer Island, the MI City Council doesn’t really have leverage.
Metro can take the hint and proceed to plan for the bus intercept at South Bellevue. And off-island buses can stop coming to Mercer Island starting the day Mercer Island Station opens for service. There you go. You don’t even need that dangerous traffic roundabout. Since ST seems to be on the hook to help pay for that, getting buses off the island and sticking to signalized crossings can be a win-win-win.
I admit my sense of topicality has gotten just plain worn through by thirty years of watching a locality prosperous and well-enough educated to know better exert their every possible effort to block and hinder the only measure that can ensure they will not spend the next three decades as traffic-trapped as the last ones.
But I think I deserve a little bit of credit for at least trying to understand that what I consider a delay as debilitating as it is avoidable, a lifelong resident might actually consider a chance to sit still, listen to a symphony on their car’s sound system, and be at peace with an unparalleled piece of nature.
And this very search for understanding is the reason I keep asking for demographic information on the average age of the electorate. It’s because if the years themselves are eventually going to cure the disaffection, message to me is to just relax and for any car travel on that stretch of highway, keep something in my disc-deck worthy of Rainier at its heavenly best.
Though what makes those ground-effect electric aircraft so squared-away-dead-on-target is the likelihood they’ll make it unnecessary to adjust the Island to a single additional bus-tire.
Meantime, however, it might be extremely budget-friendly to have some community college students make it a class project look over the project design, on site and in person. See it as civil engineering rather than an issue, and mutually acceptable solution really could follow.
What’s anybody there or in the rest of the much-affected region got to lose? However, if the Topic really is the bad blood, no worry of mine. Anything I need in Bellevue or Kirkland, in the litigatory time-frame, back roads including SR 162 will still get me far enough east that north will be a cinch.
How’s this for an idea: Sound Transit board imposes a $1 per boarding fare surcharge on the Mercer Island station that lasts until they have recouped the legal fees they’ve incurred in the process of building the station.
Or just charge for parking at the garage. If Mercer Islanders want it to be MI-only, they can ask ST to charge much more to park there than at other park&rides, and have the City buy passes for the islanders.
Both ideas have merit. The surcharge would depend on the ORCA readers having that feature. Since they don’t even have the capability of automatic pass conversion or a maximum daily fare, and any change requires costly contractor time, and the system is to be replaced Real Soon Now, this is unlikely. You’d also have the complications of tapoff. When you say “boarding” do you mean one-way or two-way? Charging if they exit at Mercer Island is easy. Charging if they enter at Mercer Island would require all non-Mercer Island readers to charge a different tapOUT fare if they tapped IN at Mercer island.
BART/SFO and JFK/Airtrain have a similar setup. Regular BART cards charge a surcharge at SFO (I’m not sure if it’s one-way or two-way, but it’s a tapin-tapout system), although airport workers can get special BART cards that don’t charge the surcharge. At JFK the airtrain goes from the airport to the subway. It’s free for intra-airport trips but if you enter the subway you’re charged a surcharge.
And one complication I found was that there are two different cards in the station TVMs. One is a Metrocard+Airtrain that does the above; the other is an Airtrain-only card. The signs are unclear; I thought I had to get the Airtrain card to get to the subway, but then I ended up with a 10-ride Aitrain-only card and had to buy an additional Metrocard. I ended up using four trips on the Airtrain card because my luggage was lost, and I gave the rest of the card to somebody local who said he’d uses the Airtrain regularly.
What if East Link were to have zone fares? … and put Mercer Island either in the east zone or its own zone? That would be a financial disincentive for Seattleites to take the train there (and they should be seen as a much larger and scarier group to M. Islanders than any of the bus riders using the proposed intercept).
The Link already charges per mile, and MI is closer to Bellevue than Seattle.
Did ST err in signing a bi-lateral agreement with the city? Does not Metro operate both Link and bus? Would not the transfer walks be minimized it the buses served stops on 77th and 80th avenues SE? If the bus transfer is optimized, will not off island demand for parking on the island be minimized? So, the city acted against its own interest. What do they have against transit riders from Sammamish, Issaquah, and Eastgate?
The state should step in and allow ST to permit like WSDOT does – city governments have limited ability to control WSDOT on the automotive portions of highways – so, generally freeways have no city permits, not even for stormwater (WSDOT has their own rules and are governed only be ecology)
ST is quite similar to WSDOT in that they have long projects crossing multiple jurisdiction boundaries. If WSDOT had to permit thru cities like ST does, you would see this same crap in highway construction too.
I could see a scenario where MI wanting to prevent layovers will result in those buses instead through-routed into SE Seattle to lay over. There’s a loop ramp at I-90 /Rainier that’s already in redesign discussions and that seems like a viable layover spot, for example.
I don’t think the transit-rider-hating bigots in MI realize that banning layovers could result in improving access to riders that they most dread. It would be curious if Metro or ST points this out in an off-the-record meeting.
Oh the laws of unintended consequences!
Possible but unlikely. That’s a lot of driving for a layover. If they need to layover a bus midday, more likely it heads to S Bellevue station or simply to East Base before driving into Seattle. During peak, I think they’d live loop and use the other end of the route for recovery time before they’d drive across Lake Washington in all that traffic. Even if they layover buses in Seattle (perhaps a better spot to switch drivers, or another operational need), I doubt there would be revenue service west of MI. I could see a bus going in or out of service driving from MI to a SoDo base, but again highly unlikely there would be any revenue service in Seattle.
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