King County Metro RapidRide 2013 New Flyer DE60LFR 6082

SDOT’s plan for replacing 4,800 cars per hour that used the West Seattle Bridge at peak includes 1,280 more people per hour riding buses in the peak direction. Once Covid has receded to the point that most people are returning to work, how feasible is this?

That’s a little under 11 full articulated buses over what was running the bridge in 2019, or a 42% increase in people. The July 2020 draft SDOT framework comes up with a bunch of ideas:

Routes from Admiral, Fauntleroy, and/or Delridge directly to SLU, presumably via the SR99 tunnel and peak-only

The current bus network is focused on connecting to downtown. And with good reason: a single transfer hub maximizes the number of reachable destinations with the minimum transfer delay.

On the other hand, the document cites the low transit mode share of these trip pairs, presumably because of delays moving through downtown. A peak-oriented express may not be efficient, or contribute to the robustness of the entire network, but it does address the low-hanging fruit in a putative emergency.

“Capital improvements to ensure reliable transit pathways continue through midday time period providing available capacity and travel time savings… focused initially on improvements leading to the Lower Spokane Bridge”

No argument here!

“New/revised all-day east-west connections from West Seattle to Southeast Seattle, ” potentially including “vanpool and carpool matching;”

This is 9% of car trips from West Seattle. Metro doesn’t really serve this market today. While the 50 technically travels from Seward Park to Alki Beach, a time-consuming detour through Sodo makes it a last resort for traveling end to end. With everything using the low bridge, it ought to be fairly straightforward to set up new stops on Spokane St. for easy transfers up North. This would be a significant step towards a gridded network in one of the few corridors with a relatively straight East/West pathway.

Better pathways (routes and stops) to serve Harbor Island, Sodo, and the stadiums

This is another spot where almost everyone drives to work. Part of it is abundant parking and historically mild traffic. Plenty of bus routes run through here, so this is mostly about tweaking things to better serve job centers when there is no SOV alternative.

“Commuter rail service, like Sounder, across the Duwamish waterway”

Well, that would be plenty of new capacity… there’s track and suitable makeshift parking lots west of the bridge. Although it seems outlandish, if they are able to borrow some rolling stock and throw some money at BNSF, it might be feasible.

The real question is if the inevitably long headways would be attractive at all with such a short trip, especially with a bus going by on Spokane Street every few seconds. I doubt such a train would reach the speeds that make South Sounder such an appealing proposition.

***

The bus capital projects are a slam dunk. Tweaking routes and stops in Sodo is at worst harmless. The new bus routes may not pass the usual cost-benefit test, but may make sense if the City is paying over the odds to remove car trips from West Seattle. The SLU routes would do little for the network, but a straightened route 50 definitely would. They’re going to study commuter rail but I can’t believe this will pencil out, unless the lower bridge is so thoroughly mismanaged (or closed!) that the bus options are unattractive.

34 Replies to “Buses and Reconnect West Seattle”

  1. Daily commute volumes to and from West Seattle will not return to pre-lockdown levels, let alone skyrocket over the next four decades as the transit demand models Metro and Sound Transit use purport to show. Remote working will both flatten and reduce the transit demand curve for the foreseeable future. The regional transit planning around here still doesn’t account for this developing, growing facet of what a jobs entail for the people who live in West Seattle, and those who will be able to afford to live there going forward. And no, the zoning for “affordable” units where the light rail stations are planned will not increase either the transit demand curve there over the next four decades or the rush hour peaks of that curve. You transit buffs need updated transit demand forecasts — the pre-Covid ones are totally overblown.

    1. It’s difficult to take your comments seriously because your assertions about work/commute habits aren’t based in fact. You’re guessing.

      1. Jack: Employers and business owners in the end are humans too, and they’re also guessing at this point. None of them have been through a 100 year pandemic and economic depression in the age of the internet. During an election year, in which people’s opinions are more likely to reflect their political views than an objective assessment. Let’s wait until after the storm to assess the damage and the aftermath–despite rumors to the contrary, the Covid pandemic is NOT over!

    2. West Seattle is one of the few places where I could see this, simply because transit is poor. I’ve worked in software, where working from home has been common for years. Generally speaking, those that worked from home had an otherwise bad commute. If you work downtown and live in Capitol Hill, you aren’t going to fight hard to work at home. But if you live in Marysville, you would.

      I don’t think that working from home will be as wide-spread as some (like Anon) have predicted. But it stands to reason that people who have bad commutes will fight harder to work from home, while those that have good commutes won’t. Thus it is quite possible that people who work in say, South Lake Union or Bellevue, but live in West Seattle will just continue to work from home.

    3. I don’t know where everyone is getting the idea that there will be masses of people working from home after the pandemic is over. That’s just not feasible. Most companies are going to want us back in the office.

      I know this is anecdotal, but I’m sure it at least indicates something. I’ve been applying for office jobs since before COVID-19. Some of them are temporarily remote, some were never remote. Some are talking about going back to the office soon. Some say they’ll probably go back at the first of next year, or if the governor declares we’re in a different phase. There are very few that are permanently remote, and they probably always were.

  2. Excited to see they are considering bus routes from WS to places other than downtown! My advice would be to run a “C-line or 120 express” that skips the downtown stops and goes directly to SLU. These routes run so frequently in peak that there would be little harm in mixing a couple express buses in and seeing if people ride them.

    1. These routes run so frequently in peak that there would be little harm in mixing a couple express buses in and seeing if people ride them.

      That’s really the key. If the 120 is crowded, and runs every 3 minutes, then running an express to South Lake Union could perform almost as well as the 120. It isn’t much different than the SR 522 corridor. The 312 (along with the 522) run constantly during rush hour. The 309 goes to South Lake Union and First Hill. The 312 performs better, but not a lot better (32 riders per service hour versus 26).

  3. This is good. The plan could work on some long-standing issues but I’d like to see the plan address some other problems too.

    1. Better, more efficient movement within West Seattle itself. This might be changes to make the tail of the C make more sense and sever denser areas; dramatic streamlining of the 22 to make it an even-slightly-useful local route connecting the half-dozen semi-linear neighborhood centers; finding ways to make the 128 move better through deeply congested corridors. The plan should also recognize poor travel patterns within some of the core transfer sites too, most notably Alaska Junction and Westwood Village.

    2. Lean further in to the concept that peak-only expresses are needed in a (yes!!) “putative emergency”. Peak expresses are needed not only for SLU, but also for the Eastside and potentially the North End (SR99 to Northgate?). If ever there was a time to try an “anything goes, see what sticks” approach, this is probably it.

    3. Put a priority on connecting passengers to Link. This doesn’t necessary mean “get them downtown”, though. Is SODO station potentially useful here?

  4. There seems to be a car centric reasoning here. It would be perfectly reasonable to improve transit in West Seattle to deal with increased transit demand. That might include implementing some of these suggestions.

    But if the goal is to get people out of their cars — a laudable one — then why focus on West Seattle? If anything, West Seattle won’t need an improvement in transit for riders to switch from driving. The implicit suggestion here is that because driving is now very difficult (for West Seattle residents) we should improve transit there, to make that switch as comfortable as possible.

    That is nuts. Transit spending should be focused on ridership *system wide*. Dealing with crowding should also be *system wide*. If West Seattle is at the top for both, then so be it. But if not, those service hours (and investments) should go somewhere else.

    1. The purpose is to mitigate the closure of the West Seattle Bridge. That necessarily focuses on people living in West Seattle or going to West Seattle. Systemwide ridership is a much larger issue, and it’s being addressed by Metro Connects and the various Link and RapidRiide restructures.

      Metro Connects has no 99 tunnel route until West Seattle Link opens, at which time a Fauntleroy express would go from the ferry terminal to the stops on south Faunterloy Way, Alaska Junction, and SLU. The opportunity for express routes from the south and southwest to SLU is the one good thing about the 99 tunnel, so SDOT/Metro should take advantage of it sooner with more routes to SLU. Redirecting some of the C and 120 peak runs would be a good place to start. And make sure they have a good connection to the 40, 62, and 70 for going further north.

      1. This makes great sense; a few runs from Burien would be in order as well. I especially like the idea of extending to Fairview for connection to the 70. The section of the 70’s run along Eastlake is pretty quick, so such a routing becomes a quick way from Southwest Seattle or Burien to the west side of U-District which will not be well-served by Link.

      2. The purpose is to mitigate the closure of the West Seattle Bridge.

        Yes, but my point is that doing so should not take priority over any of the other SDOT projects. This includes funding for the next transit levy.

        There are some good projects here. They should certainly be considered. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a better value than transit projects elsewhere.

        Consider that express route to South Lake Union. What if you do the math, and find that improving service on, say, the 27 gets you more ridership per dollar of service? What if it turns out that it also saves those riders more time? Why then should we give West Seattle this special bus route, while the 27 is a better value.

        The simple answer is we shouldn’t. We should give West Seattle the same thing we give other areas. We should focus on what are the best overall values, not feel sorry for an area because the people who used to drive to work now have a longer trip. The region is full of such trips — West Seattle is not special.

      3. @RossB

        “Yes, but my point is that doing so should not take priority over any of the other SDOT projects.”

        This assumes that the current situation is a status quo — that the bridge is open and we are simply debating network improvements for a hard-to-access part of town. At the risk of stating the obvious, we are not in a status quo: the closure of the WS Bridge is, officially speaking, a local civic emergency. In the eyes of city officials, that absolutely means that other priorities are subordinated.

        A part of town with a specific mode-share prior to the bridge closure cannot maintain that mode-share after the bridge closure regardless of COVID’s effect on overall demand; the capacity reduction for all modes is simply too great and would put large parts of the overall transportation ecosystem at risk of functional failure. Implementing changes can’t wait for business as usual and cannot be judged against the entire citywide backlog in that light.

      4. I disagree with the premise that a West Seattle/South Lake Union bus needs to wait until West Seattle Link opens. If anything, they have it backwards. The slow slog getting through downtown on a bus is why a bypass route through the highway 99 tunnel saves so much time. If the regular route (Link) can get people through downtown quickly, without traffic, the need for the bypass mostly goes away.

        When the West Seattle-SLU bus is most needed is before West Seattle Link opens, not after.

        All that said, until some of the large SLU employers start bringing people back to the office, the demand for a new bus route probably isn’t there, so COVID probably needs to end first.

      5. This assumes that the current situation is a status quo — that the bridge is open and we are simply debating network improvements for a hard-to-access part of town.

        No it doesn’t. I’m not dismissing the effect that closing the big bridge will have. I’m saying that we shouldn’t focus on the inconvenience of drivers. Yet this appears to be doing just that.

        This report is focused on improving the transit mode share for West Seattle. Wonderful. But there is no reason to focus on increasing West Seattle ridership at the expense of other areas, just because things got worse. The focus should be on the expected increase in ridership.

        Quite possibly, this will be minimal. The people who drove will still drive. There are people who sit in abysmal traffic all day long and continue to do just that. There are people who adjust their schedule, and drive later in the day. I expect an increase in ridership, but we can’t assume a huge one, nor we should we focus our ridership goals at just one (small) segment of the city.

        Put it this way. Assume the following: They run a bunch of buses on the main corridors to reduce crowding. They run some of these express buses to South Lake Union and they are half full. They still haven’t reached the arbitrary transit levels they set. Should they run more buses to West Seattle, or run more buses elsewhere?

        If the goal is to reach the levels specified in this report, then you run the buses to West Seattle. But if the goal is more overall use of transit, then we should consider options. Our goal is to provide the most good for the greatest number, we means that focusing on only one area is a poor use of funds.

      6. “a few runs from Burien would be in order as well.”

        I’ve been thinking that too. When I was in college in the 80s I sometimes visited a friend in Burien, and it had two all-day routes like the 131 and 132 (but extended to Des Moines) and peak-express routes on 509/99. At the time I wished the express routes ran midday, and Burien was low on my list of places to live because the 131/132 or whatever they were called were so slow. Then when the 99 tunnel opened recently and there was talk about West Seatte – SLU routes, I thought, “Why not also routes from other parts of the south and southwest like Burien and South Park?” I almost mentioned it here but I wasn’t sure if it would get many riders and in any case the powers that be aren’t willing to consider things like that now. Whereas West Seattle – SLU has already gotten some thought in the community and politicians and Metro, and maybe a little nudging could get it realized.

      7. PS. The 120 didn’t exist until the RapidRide C restructure ca. 2012. Before that the 20 terminated at White Center. So it was not a choice for Seattle-Burien trips. There were four routes to Burien, two like the 131 and 132, another on Airport Way, one on 4th Ave SW I think, and one of them on Des Moines Memorial Drive. All of them took as long as the 131 and 132.

    2. Good point! Seems a bit silly to focus so much on West Seattle while the 7 too often has had to display “Bus Full” and bypass people standing in AQI 200 air.

      1. It was? I recall it being part of a larger change, and no change was as large as the RapidRide C reorganization. Was it when the 15 and 18 were split to the 54 and 56? Were they all part of a larger change I don’t remember?

      2. @Mike Orr
        Eddiew is correct. At that time I lived in Wallingford and worked at the small office park at the north end of Delridge next to Nucor. I took the 26 to downtown and transferred to the 120 (and its predecessor….the 20?) to Delridge. I think you may be thinking of the upgrades that were made along the 120 route as those began in 2012 I believe.

  5. Anon, let me put it this way. As a credit union member, which in the financial world gives me a lot more authority over my institution than a bank customer, my standing orders to the management I employ are to never loan a cent to anybody claiming the power to make that kind of prediction.

    But since my last change of residence degraded my authority over Sound Transit’s elected officials from employer-employee to strictly advisory, my contribution is limited to things like identifying assets like existing right of way with transit potential. Especially both railroad tracks and, more important “road-bed”, which requires “close-air” and artillery to destroy once in place.

    Also to call attention to facts like how similarly trains and bicycles look experience gradient. West Seattle-Downtown, “Cross Kirkland Connector”, Fremont-Ballard via Leary way…just sayin’. Remember, being “Light Rail”, Link trains can still be streetcars when they have to. And be coupled with bike-rack trailers.

    DMU for “Diesel Motor Unit” can see to it that not every train needs a locomotive. Though since this morning’s weather forecast proves Jay Inslee right on emissions more or less worldwide, a few miles of catenary might read “credit” on the balance sheet.

    But for our own good, as the last monorail project proves, don’t cut buffs any slack. From what the world’s top public sculptors told me while DSTT was being built, for this branch of art, Value Engineering is life and death.

    Mark Dublin

    1. Are DMUs more efficient when trains are short? (Less than 15 cars, which covers commuter rail and Amtrak.) What about 100-car freight trains? Is there a technical reason why both short and long trains usually have locomitives, or is it just historical preference?

      I’ve heard that DMUs, with the relaxed FRA restrictions that allow passenger rail like other countries, now gives the opportunity for much lower-cost commuter rail, making corridors viable that weren’t previously. Could that be used to add commuter rail lines in Seattle and the inner-ring burbs? There’s been talk of an Auburn-Maple Valley line, an Orting line, an Everett-Bellingham line, and of course Olympia. Those have all stalled because the relevant cities don’t want to pay for them. But what corridors would the existing tracks allow in Seattle and the inner-ring burbs? Sounder South would be the most obvious beneficiary, but it’s held back by the sunk cost of its existing fleet which still has several years of life.

  6. And dead-on On Topic for those tracks to west Seattle:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC5Y5x2A7k0

    From, say, the Victoria Clipper Terminal and Colman Dock to West Seattle Junction, those cog-wheels’ ability to handle gradient could make “The Junction” a lot cheaper and easier “reach” than anything either elevated or underground.

    Project chief Marshal Foster did once tell me he’d ordered some utility adjustments to make the Waterfront more streetcar-friendly. Being a German firm, it wouldn’t surprise me very much if our ST’s present Siemens order could couple this one onto our present new fleet as easy as…

    Well, a bike trailer! All yours, Anon.

    Mark Dublin

  7. I’m finding the report too simplistic.

    It sets broad numbers on mode share use. However, most transit trips also involve another mode at some point. For example, getting more water taxi riders depends on access strategies at both ends in addition to the boats themselves. A vehicle shuttle on the eastern end of the bridge that picks up bicyclists and drops them at some targeted locations could induce more bicycle use — and parking for cars with bicycle racks in West Seattle could give additional incentive to shift to bicycling.

    Given the implied measure that the measuring point is the bridge, I’m pretty skeptical that getting 500 more trips shifted to walking is possible. There really isn’t much to walk to! Is it to be park-and-ride users at a lot on the West Seattle side walking to a bus on the eastern side?

    Finally, the discussion needs to be different for different times of day. Traffic congestion is not an issue at 9 pm. Congestion points near the West Seattle bridge are likely not there like they were before the bridge closure.

    Finally, the draft report came about four months after the bridge closed — in July. It’s been two months since its preparation. I think SDOT is shamefully slow in responding comprehensively to this challenge. It does not bode well for SDOT’s response in emergencies.

    1. In this awful set of years that included both the Dupont derailment and the 2016 Presidential outcome, as prelude to the pandemic followed by today’s nationwide weather forecast, here’s my “take.”

      Whether it’s a report, a Department, an app, an Agency, or an adjustment on two previously excellent jet airliners in a row, the result could be either shamefully slow or horribly fast in arriving. But either way, a response that will not bode anything but awful for whatever happens next.

      But for counterbalance, in my run of daily-downers, literally every time a system screws up, somebody young saves either my wi-fi or my bank account or both, like from her keyboard in Kingston Jamaica.

      My Burien-Beacon Hill multimodal drive and ride a few days ago gave me one insight. Sound Transit could start to shine if somebody, and I’m deliberately not saying “The Agency”, would simply start training the fine and well-intended first-line operating people they’ve got.

      Reason I’d be willing to give somebody with a career in commercial diesel a chance managing Operations. From the looks of him, his instincts outweigh his Time In Grade.

      Though could somebody tell me if Paul Denison is still On ST’s payroll or not? With his knowledge and temperament, detail him to just ride the trains and deliver concentrated common sense. He’ll save The Agency and its every Subarea and sub-interest so much $ they can start ordering coaches from Rolls Royce. Dual mode, hybrid, or battery, their choice.

      Mark Dublin

  8. Only 1,720 eastbound bus trips at peak A.M. commute hour? No way.

    These numbers seem way too low for baseline, 2019 transit use. I’ve seen widely cited numbers of 30,000 to 40,000 transit trips per day on the West Seattle Bridge. Even conservatively taking 30,000, halving to get just 15,000 eastbound, there’s no way that works out to only 1,720 eastbound bus trips per hour at peak hour in the olden days.

    Can STB back this up?

    My back of the napkin math, using the most recent data i could find (2018 system evaluation, for 2017 data) on daily weekday rides:

    To start with: peak-only service, which is easiest to model because it literally can only be ridden eastbound for 2, in some cases 3, hours in the morning, and if anything in my experience is less crowded in the afternoon, so even 50% eastbound is a conservative lower bound on this one.
    37/55/56/57: 2,400

    That’s 1,200 eastbound from these measly peak-only North Admiral routes alone, at least 40% of which happens in the peak hour (7 to 8am). So that’s 480 eastbound peak hour rides already.

    All day service:
    C Line: 12,100
    120: 8,600
    125: 1,700
    21: 4,900
    Altogether: 27,300, or 13,650 eastbound rides.

    I think a ludicrously conservative assumption would be that 70% of eastbound rides happen between 6am and noon, and a further ludicrously conservative assumption would be that they are evenly distributed, with as many people riding eastbound on the C at 11:30 am as 7:30 am. That would put 1592 people going eastbound in the morning peak hour on the all-day routes.

    Put all these very conservative estimates together, using pre-service expansion 2017 numbers, and we still get over 2,072 eastbound bus rides at peak A.M. hour, or 20% higher than the baseline assumed by SDOT here. What is going on?

    1. Another way of cutting it, there were by my count 30 coaches going eastbound between 7am and 8am on the C, 120, 125, and 21 Express lines (forgot to note earlier that the 21 local took 1st Ave).

      So, again after counting the 480 eastbound express riders from north admiral and alki, you’d have to assume there were only 1240 riders on these 30 other buses crossing the high bridge at peak morning hour, or 41 per bus.

      There is simply no way that those routes averaged a mere 41 passengers at peak hour of the morning commute on a regular weekday in 2019 when they climbed up the West Seattle Bridge.

  9. Am I reading this right, they are assuming there will be the same number of trips into/out of West Seattle as there was in 2019? This seems like a classic reduced demand example. It’s harder to leave West Seattle, so people will take fewer trips naturally. On top of that, many people are working from home, and many schools are online now, so there will be fewer commuting trips anyway.

    The idea of using the freight rail right of way and creating a temporary station near Jack Block Park is fun, but it suffers from the main problem of the water taxi: it’s in a pretty horrible location for 90% of West Seattle.

    I lived near the Morgan Junction in West Seattle for three years and I think I used the water taxi once, and that was just for fun. There needs to be some feeder buses, traveling along California, 35th, and Delridge to deliver passengers to the water taxi or a potential train. But again, it would be faster to just keep going and go straight to downtown (and beyond) on the bus on the lower bridge.

    Even with all of that, my guess is that most trips from West Seattle aren’t going downtown. Unless the lower bridge closes, buses seem like a better option than a train or the water taxi. However I will be happy to read any feasibility study that comes out about the train option :)

  10. I see several potential problems with the South Lake Union express idea. Start with the C, the route that is most likely to have decent ridership. The first thing to figure out is where it goes. The fastest route is probably something like this: https://goo.gl/maps/YLpsh5mV4n9b48AT7. That would require adding bus stops on Republican. The bus would also be stuck in traffic, as there are no bus lanes there. In the evening, the bus would go on Harrison (https://goo.gl/maps/XmuV8W4M2D5JSVnG6) which means more bus stops and more traffic. The problem with a route like that is frequency. If you run an express every 15 minutes, a lot of people would just take the regular C, let alone a limited stop express. If you run the bus every 5 minutes, then it would be largely empty. There just aren’t enough people going to that part of South Lake Union, which means that it would be a bad value. A lot of money would be spent and it would do little to address the main problem: crowding.

    There is another alternative, which would involve using SR 99, and then looping around: https://goo.gl/maps/bdX1SUD6T1qXPdCk6 (it would keep going, and then layover where the D or E lays over — I can’t get Google to show that). This would serve almost all the same stops as the regular C, just in reverse order (ironically, the only stops it wouldn’t serve are in South Lake Union). Some riders would prefer that, some wouldn’t. Many wouldn’t care. Thus you could run the bus opposite the regular C, and likely get about as much ridership (i. e. reduce crowding just as well). The problem is, running that bus is more expensive than running the regular C. You’ve served many of the same stops, driven further, and you still have to deal with streets that don’t have bus lanes. Unlike running an express or a short version of the route, it is not a cost effective way to deal with crowding.

    You’ve also made it worse for folks who hop on a C downtown to get to South Lake Union. There are other buses, but overall frequency through downtown is worse.

    It is worth noting that many of the downtown improvements to the C were not implemented when they did the surveys. West Seattle transitioned quickly from the SR 99 delays to the pandemic. It may be that South Lake Union drivers would be willing to use transit now, since it will be faster, and a lot faster than driving.

    As to the other routes, express buses to South Lake Union have the same issue. What they could use is an extension to South Lake Union (assuming layover space can be found). Not every bus would have to go to South Lake Union — they could alternate. I could also see the express versions (or the truncated versions) going to South Lake Union, especially if there are issues with filling those buses. They wouldn’t necessarily help with crowding, but they would give some riders a one-seat ride. It would also improve the downtown to South Lake Union connection.

  11. It is worth noting that the buses will be just about as fast during rush hour as they were before. They lose a little time by not getting on the high bridge, but my guess is that there will be a lot less traffic getting to downtown (that way) until that bridge is fixed. In 2018, the worst backup was on the cloverleaf connecting the freeway to SR 99 north. There was no bus lane there, and the road was congested. But now there are no cars making that turn — only trucks and buses (that have crossed the lower bridge). It should be relatively smooth sailing.

    Which means that there will be no reason for people to flock towards the boat. The boat isn’t a good value unless it is full, and I doubt it has ever been full; adding more sailing would make it less full. Likewise with the train. We are better off just running more buses to deal with crowding as folks transition to taking transit.

    The tricky part is guessing how much crowding there will be. I would start with an assumption — say 25% increase in demand — and work from there. Adding more buses also improves service. But that levels off, when frequency reaches about four minutes. The C is the only one at that frequency, while the 120 and 20 are not too far off. Other than just increasing the number of rush hour buses (to deal with crowding) I would do the following:

    120 — Add a truncated version of this route, starting at Westwood Village. That would be the cheapest way to deal with crowding. Another alternative would be an express version. I would have to look at stop data to see which makes the most sense.

    C — This is where a previously planned “C Express” could come in handy. To quote from this old post (https://seattletransitblog.com/2015/12/21/rapidride-the-corridors/), “peak trips that would stop only at the ferry, Morgan Junction, Alaska Junction and Downtown”. Like the 120, the most cost effective solution could be to run a bus from Alaska Junction to downtown (if there is enough ridership). That is by far the cheapest way to handle crowding.

    The 21 already has an express route. Like all the other buses, it could just use more frequency to deal with crowding.

    As I wrote up above, I don’t think you can make the case for a South Lake Union express. But I do think an extension (of the 21 and 120) is quite reasonable.

  12. The biggest issue for folks trapped in West Seattle is getting across the Duwamish. Everyone has a pet route they’d like to see added–West Seattle to UW! West Seattle to Bellevue! West Seattle through SR99 tunnel!–but the fixation on a single-seat ride to is a horrible value proposition. All those routes would chew up service hours that would be better used to increase Duwamish crossings.

    I think Metro should:

    * Increase frequencies of the already popular routes like the C and 120
    * Make the 55 an all-day route.
    * Create some sort of frequent shuttle route that goes from Alaksa Junction to Link

    Folks in West Seattle have an unreasonable expectation of a single-seat ride. More frequent service of existing routes and some new shuttle service means less time waiting for the bus and more capacity across the Duwamish.

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