Metro is considering transit options for this area of Skyway between Rainier Beach and Renton (image: King County Metro)

If you live in or near the Skyway neighborhood, King County Metro is seeking feedback on the future of transit in the area. Some of the services Metro is considering in the area include “van services, on-demand programs, greater access to reduced fares, or infrastructure improvements that will make it safer and easier to travel to transit stops,” and is due by Friday, April 9th, 2021.

Aside from Skyway itself, the study area extends north to Rainier Beach Station, and south to Renton Transit Center and south Renton. Any future transit project in the area will very likely involve connections to Rainier Beach Station or Renton Transit Center.

For background, Skyway is served mainly by three routes:

  • 106, which runs along Renton Ave and 51st Ave S to Rainier Beach Station (then continuing to International District/Chinatown Station)
  • 107, which zigzags north and south of route 106 for coverage, connecting at Rainier Beach Station (then continuing to Beacon Hill Station)
  • 101, which runs along Sunset Blvd and MLK Jr Way S serving regular stops, then express to downtown Seattle after S. 129th St

Coverage is decent for the area, with focus mostly being on connecting riders to Rainier Beach Station and Renton Transit Center. Route 106 in particular has frequent service 7 days/week, runs from 5am to after midnight, so this would be a good route for a potential on-demand service to make connections to.

82 Replies to “Metro wants feedback on transit in Skyway”

  1. I wouldn’t say that “coverage is decent”. The map is deceiving because the area is larger than people think. It’s also quite hilly. There are many sections of this map where there is no bus stop within a half-mile walk.

    The area also has lots of people that depend on the bus. Even though there are lots of single family homes, many residents live in extended family or non-traditional situations there where someone doesn’t have a car. It’s not View Ridge or Mercer Island.

  2. I rode the 106 once from Rainier Beach Station to Kubota Gardens and was appalled a how long it took. The detour to Rainier/Henderson doesn’t look like a lot on the map, but it’s a lot of extra stoplights that everybody has to sit through on every trip in or out of the neighborhood.

    I understand the importance of having the 106 also connect to the 7, but it seems like, with a little bit of thought, the 7 can be tweaked at Rainier Beach so that the 106 can take the direct route and still connect to it.

    1. That’s another advantage of adding another coverage bus as I proposed below. The 7 would end at the Rainier Beach Station, and the 106 could just stay on Renton Avenue until Henderson.

      However, I’m not sure if you want to. There is very little on that part of Renton Avenue. In contrast, the current goes by lots of shops, the high school, and not that far from the community center.

      I’m also surprised it took that long. Google says it takes 5 minutes. Maybe it was just unusually slow that day.

      1. Route 106 is very busy all day. There is activity at almost every stop for a bus on the route. And at a 5 mile distance between Rainier Beach Link and Renton TC, the only way for a 106 driver to make that trip in 5 minutes is to not stop and go 35 mph over the speed limit while running red lights.

      2. “There is very little on that part of Renton Avenue”

        True, but we’re talking about less than a mile. It’s ok for a bus to go 3/4 mile while (most of the time) not stopping if it saves time for lots of people getting on the bus further back.

        This is similar to why the 101 serves MLK. Serving the people on MLK is really just a minor secondary purpose. The primary purpose is to get people from Renton to downtown in less time than the 106.

        The 107 can still do the slow jog to Rainier/Henderson for people that want that.

        Totally agree with eliminating the Prentice St. loop and moving the 7 to Rainier Beach. It would address the primary reason for the 106’s detour (connecting to the 7) while also making it easier to reach Link to go south for people living along the #7 route (but not near a Link station).

      3. It’s ok if it saves time for lots of people getting on the bus further back.

        Yeah, but there aren’t lots of people doing that. Between 51st/Renton Avenue and downtown Renton there is practically nothing. There are hardly any apartments or shops. There is a Grocery Outlet and some surrounding shops around 68th; there is the Skyway Library and a few shops around 76th, and that is about it. The area around Rainier Beach, therefore, is a major destination. It is probably why a lot of people ride the bus. That, and to connect to the 7. If you are in Renton, it is why you took this bus, and not the 101.

        If the 7 ends at RBS, then it is definitely worth considering — although I’m still not sure it would be worth it. It would just be one of the many issues around a restructure there. For example, the current tail of the 7 elegantly covers a robust area. By looping around to Rainier Avenue, you go by more shops and apartments than the 106 does on its entire Renton Avenue stretch (https://goo.gl/maps/s3ZJ1iq6trTtSbxM6). I would still try and get the 7 to Link, but finding a good substitute for that loop won’t be easy.

        Yeah, in general you can just ask people to walk, but walks like this: https://goo.gl/maps/qXwF4F9oBzcckLGE7 tend to lose people.

      4. I doubt many people are transferring between the 106 and the 7. It’s one slow route to another slow route. The 106 goes all the way through the valley so if your destination is on Rainier you might as well stay on the 106 and walk.

      5. The 50 might be a candidate to cover the Prentice loop. Instead of terminating at Othello Station, the 50’s route path could be modified at Othello and MLK to run MLK>Rainier Beach Station>Henderson St.>Rainier Ave.>Prentice loop. There is a need for regular service on Rainier Avenue around the big bend section near Safeway.

      6. I think extending the 50 to do the Prentice tail could be viable. It keeps the route inside the City Limits and solves the awkward layover loop in Holly Park.

        Speaking of layovers, where are driver restrooms in Rainier Beach? That’s got to figure in somehow.

      7. There are restrooms by the athletic field at Rainier Beach HS and there may be facilities in the building on the platform at Rainier Beach Station. There aren’t any restrooms on the Prentice St. loop.

    2. We once made the mistake of taking the 106 from IDS to Kubota Gardens. That trip definitely takes forever, basically hitting every stop, getting bogged down by drivers turning right, and you get to watch Link flying by half a dozen times on the way. It ends up being faster just walking from RBS to Kubota, especially since the Chief Sealth trail is reasonably direct and quiet.

      1. Re: “It ends up being faster just walking from RBS to Kubota, especially since the Chief Sealth trail is reasonably direct and quiet.”

        The best and most direct route to Kubota Gardens from the Rainier Beach Link station would be along Renton Avenue South. Renton Avenue is more of an even grade whereas the Chief Sealth trail has several steep slopes. And way-finding on the trail in that area is sometimes confusing in that area where parts of the trail are city streets. Finally, the entrance to the park is on 55th Avenue S, but the trail ends at 51st Ave S with no nearby through route to the park. (You need to backtrack down to Renton Avenue in any case.

        Also, anyone who leaves the Rainier Beach Station bus stop on Henderson along the Chief Sealth Trail (leaving at the same time as a bus) will no way beat either the 107 (at Gazelle) or the 106 (at Roxbury). A minimum 3/4 mile walk uphill.

      2. That’s true, Question Mark, though specifically I said “reasonably direct and quiet”. :) Renton Ave might be more direct, but substantially less quiet. :)

    3. The 106 has never been busy when I’ve ridden it. It takes a while to get to Kubota Gardens but I don’t think that’s a flaw; it’s just doing its coverage. It takes forever to get from Rainier Beach to Intl Dist but that’s why we have Link. The 7 takes a long time too. But late night and at 6am it can get from Intl Dist to Rainier Beach in a blazingly fast twenty minutes.

      1. “It takes a while to get to Kubota Gardens but I don’t think that’s a flaw; it’s just doing its coverage.”

        Not really. The “coverage” in the detour is already served by the 107. While Kubota Gardens is just one destination, it’s a useful proxy for all of the homes south of it. Anyone who lives further up the 106 and passes by the Kubota Gardens on the bus endures the same time-sucking detour. If anything, the direct route adds “coverage” to slightly more bus stops, even if they would be lightly used.

        This is a general theme that if you want people to make a regular commute that involves accessing Link with a bus transfer, a minimum bar to making this viable is that the bus route needs to be direct. It’s ok if there’s stops along the way, but there really shouldn’t be detours. The bus should simply follow the route that you would take if driving to the Link station in a car. The same problem exists on the Eastside, with 240 riders having to zig and zag multiple times before they can get to Link, for the sake of squeezing in more coverage. I have a family member in suburban Washington D.C. who told me that the bus that went by his house took an indirect route to a further away Metro station, so he responded by driving the direct route to the closer Metro station. If you want people to ride the bus, you have to stop treating riders like a captive audience and make the service not suck.

      2. This is a general theme that if you want people to make a regular commute that involves accessing Link with a bus transfer, a minimum bar to making this viable is that the bus route needs to be direct.

        But that is not the purpose of the route. Accessing Link is simply a “nice to have”. Look at the numbers: https://seattletransitblog.com/2021/04/05/metro-wants-feedback-on-transit-in-skyway/#comment-871705. Now consider the section between MBS and Renton (inclusive of all stops). A significant number of people board in that “detour” section (over 20%). About 25% of the people get off there — way more than get off at MBS. And the MBS numbers include people taking the bus from along that section. MBS just doesn’t get that many riders.

        You can claim that it is because it is slow, but it really isn’t that slow. Not enough to hurt ridership. There are lots and lots of slow trips that are extremely popular. Basically it is relatively slow because it is picking up and dropping off lots and lots of people — which is the whole point. In terms of ridership per hour of service, the section you want to skip is likely the best performing south of Othello. It doesn’t make sense to get rid of the most cost productive section.

      3. “While Kubota Gardens is just one destination, it’s a useful proxy for all of the homes south of it.”

        More people go to Kubota Gardens than go to all the houses in the couple blocks around the stop. Kubota is to the houses what a bus is to cars. And the people going to those houses are repeatedly the same ones, while at Kubota Gardens it’s different people each time so the total number of people served in a year is larger.

      4. Skyway’s major business area (such as it is) is along Renton Avenue South in Skyway. Rainier Beach’s major business area is along Rainier Avenue South. The only advantage to continue the 106 along Renton Ave to Henderson and the Rainier Beach Station would be for those passengers who want to bypass Rainer Beach entirely.

      5. Only a handful of people use the stops around Kubota Gardens. On average less than 20 people a day. The most popular stops on Renton Avenue are 72nd and 68th (or around the area Question Mark mentioned), with about 125 combined. Way more people use the stop around the Safeway (Rainier and Fletcher). It gets around 250 riders a day. Rainier and Henderson gets 210. Renton and Henderson gets 65, while MLK and Henderson (MBS) gets 190.

        All numbers are for riders both directions.

      6. Of course the commercial areas get more on/offs than Kubota Gardens, but it gets more than the houses. Kubota Gardens brings people from outside the neighborhood, thus providing two-way ridership. People come from everywhere to the garden, and there are more people in the garden than in the equivalent number of house lots.

      7. Another issue is frequency. The 106 is frequent every day now (though not in the evenings), but it wasn’t always and has been going up and down, so I didn’t even remember it was frequent Sundays. Many people can only go to the garden on weekends, and if they don’t think the bus is frequent they may skip going, to avoid waiting possibly 25 minutes for a bus from when they want to go, or the unavoidable waiting in transfering. That could be depressing the garden ridership, and it takes several years after a route becomes every day frequent to build up all its potential ridership.

  3. A challenge for this area is its remarkable lack of direct service to many of the region’s major non-residential destinations. Really, only Renton’s Fred Meyer is the only major discount retailer. Walmart will be nearby when the transit moves to South Renton. Getting to Southcenter from here is a major ordeal even though it’s two miles from the study area as the crow flies. There are no hospitals directly served by these routes.

    Good transit service is not just about coverage, which frankly isn’t great here. It’s also about directness to destinations — few which aren’t really served directly.

    I also think it needs to be mentioned that the distance between Rainier Beach Link (note its awful transfer design) and the Renton TC is 18 minutes on Route 106 and 29 minutes on Route 107. Even getting to a connecting bus takes a long time.

    1. A challenge for this area is its remarkable lack of direct service to many of the region’s major non-residential destinations.

      That is understandable, given the lack of density and destinations in the area. Despite its urban nature and history, Renton is still a ways from Seattle (about as far from downtown as Shoreline). Renton Avenue South doesn’t have that many people, nor does Rainier Avenue once it gets close to the water. Otherwise, the 7 would be extended south to Renton (and have about as many riders as the E).

      The only mid-size destination in the area is downtown Renton. Every bus serves it. For that matter, the two most frequent buses run to downtown (the 101 and 106). Even the minor attractions are covered well; buses run to the Rainier Beach area, as well as the retail cluster around 68th and Renton Avenue.

      The connections are pretty good. You can access the 7 (for Columbia City) or Link (to other parts of Rainier Valley, Beacon Hill or downtown). Oh, and the 107 connects to Georgetown and Beacon Hill. From Renton you can get to Valley Medical via the 160. You can get to Southcenter (at least part of it) via the F. The F is not especially fast, but a big reason is that it is trying to connect to hard-to-reach areas like Southcenter. There are ways to speed things up, but these aren’t really primary destinations. They are well below places like downtown Bellevue or the UW, let alone downtown Seattle (or any of the surrounding neighborhoods, like First Hill). South Center is roughly the same type of destination as downtown Renton — maybe a little bit below it.

      I think the basic network is appropriate for the area, it could just use more money. It could use another coverage bus, and the buses that do exist could run more frequently. But like most of the area, I don’t know where they will get the money.

    2. There was a discount supermarket on Henderson Street for many years. It was called Saar’s for a while but has changed names many times. Safeway is a few blocks south.

      I think there is or was a supermarket on Renton Avenue about halfway down. It may be a casino now.

      1. Saars (formerly QFC) closed, and is now a Planet Fitness. There were once 3 grocery stores in Skyway and a drug store. One indeed is now a casino. This is good for King County because of the high gambling tax rate. (11 cents of every dollar put on the table.) I’m not so sure it is particularly good for the neighborhood,

  4. Both View Ridge and Mercer Island are hilly. The entire Puget Sound basin is hilly; it was glaciated. Yes, there is latent demand for transit. Coverage is probably decent; note there are green belts as well; could Al place a one-half band around the three routes are find much housing? It is sound to spend service funds in Skyway. The question is how they should be spent. Note the Department of Local Services survey does not ask about fixed route service; it only asked about flexible service. Alex provides the transit map; DLS and Metro did not. That seems a major flaw in approach. A democratic process would ask about both improvements to fixed route and flexible service and give the community a broad range of choice. Routes 101, 106, and 107 are reasonable productive. All three serve the Renton transit center and downtown Renton. Routes 106 and 107 both serve the Rainier Beach business district and Link station. Route 107 has 30-minute off-peak headway; shorter waits seem like an obvious margin to improve. The recent Via project cost more than $10 per ride attracted. Routes 101, 106, and 107 are about twice as cost effective. The survey does not ask how the fixed routes might be improved. Perhaps the pathway of Route 107 could be adjusted in addition to improving its frequency. But the survey does not prompt such discussion. The flexible service discussion is about taking riders to and from the existing hubs, Link and Renton, that are served by routes 101, 106, and 107; so, the flexible service would be duplicative.

    1. Flexible service only? Wow I missed that. That makes this work rather silly. Consider these things:

      – Data show that this area is about 1/3 foreign born. That often means that they culturally don’t expect to participate generally. I could also see a mistrust of being the only rider besides a driver as a cultural safety issue.

      – The high foreign-born and ethnic demographic also means that desired destinations are different that a typical no-Hispanic white person who is more inclined to respond to surveys. I hope Metro puts lots more weight on community contacts rather than this survey.

      – A good Via-type service requires a central point from which to base the service and a district within 1-2 miles of that point. Rainier Beach Link is the obvious point but shopping at Rainier Beach Safeway is 1/2 mile away. Consider too that it is five miles between Rainier Beach Station and the Renton TC.

      This source doesn’t cover the full study area but it illustrates the general demographics:

      https://www.kingcounty.gov/~/media/depts/local-services/permits/community-service-areas/swh-demographic-data-2017.ashx?la=en

      What really needs to be on the table is a fixed crosstown route connecting Rainier Beach with Southcenter. If the service hours on a truncated Route 7 (not on the map here, by the way) were the basis for new route that goes from Prentice further south to Southcenter, it would seem to be a vast improvement for residents than Via would be.

    2. I put it in the comments to consider fixed-route service first because it’s twice as cost-effective. Increasing frequency on the 107 is low-hanging fruit. If you live just beyond walking distance of the two anchors, then waiting a half hour or walking a half hour are both bad options. And after riding for five minutes you have to wait again for Link.

    3. To compare Skyway to View Ridge and Mercer Island is apples to oranges, really, save for the Lake Washington waterfront along Rainier Avenue perhaps.

      Skyway usually gets ignored. Which, as I read many of the comments to this blog entry, seems to be continuing somewhat in this discussion.

      But the entire point of this outreach by King County DLS, on behalf of Metro, is planning future transit in Skyway. DLS is King County’s unincorporated government municipal manager for Skyway and other unincorporated areas.

      Elsewhere in these comments I also read that Skyway apparently needs to annex to Renton or Seattle. How nice to hear; that has also been King County’s excuse for disinvesting in the community literally for decades. (That property tax revenue from those expensive waterfront property apparently looked better spent to benefit other communities when you can get away with it.)

      The point of this survey is to begin investing more appropriately in Skyway. Maybe you don’t want to go there, but maybe Skyway residents don’t want to go to your neighborhood either.

      1. https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/executive/performance-strategy-budget/regional-planning/CPPs.aspx

        https://www.kingcounty.gov/~/media/depts/executive/performance-strategy-budget/regional-planning/CPPs/2021-CPP-Update/2021-UGC/2021_King_County_Urban_Growth_Capacity_Report_-_Preliminary_Draft_Appdx.ashx?la=en

        Draft 2021 Countywide Planning Policies

        Draft 2021 Urban Growth Capacity Report

        Since housing and job density are common themes on this blog I thought I would post the county’s draft planning and growth reports that will be effective through 2044.

      2. Daniel, in particular with respect to this blog, Skyway is included in the High Capacity Transit Communities section of the growth plan.

        The current King County Planning Policies were revised in 2012 and amended in 2016. This version, when passed, is intended primarily to guide comprehensive planning by the constituents of King County over the next decade or so. It will certainly undergo another major revision prior to 2044.

      3. King County never intended to provide urban services but only rural services. Then suburban development spread to those areas and the county added one service and then another and eventually it had backed into supporting suburbs. It has been trying to jettison these responsibilities for decades, telling areas to either incorporate or join cities or they’d lose most of their services. That’s why Shoreline and Sammamish incporporated and Kirkland, Bellevue, Burien, Tukwila, and Renton expanded. There are still two strips adjacent to Seattle that are deciding what to do, Skyway and White Center.

      4. Re: “King County never intended to provide urban services but only rural services. Then suburban development spread to those areas and the county added one service and then another and eventually it had backed into supporting suburbs.”

        This is such a tired chestnut, particularly with respect to places like Skyway and White Center, hardly suburbs.

        King County had a knee on Skyway’s neck for decades, under the above rhetorical reasoning. And Skyway residents pay 50% more in property taxes for the “privilege.”

        The unincorporated municipal area of King County is the second largest municipality in the county by population (currently right around 250,000). This is not the sort of population for which pretending that “rural services” are appropriate even makes any sense.

        Now, let’s look at the facts. Renton is the *only* city to which King County’s policies will allow its citizens to petition for annexation and the policies of the King County Boundary Review Board, despite the fact that under state law a group of property owners is otherwise allowed for any neighborhood which borders a city. Neighborhoods in Skyway border Seattle and Tukwila in addition to Renton. And it’s clear that small annexations make more sense to nearby cities historically than big chunks like Skyway. And, in fact for years even Renton declined to accept Skyway as even a potential annexation area. And, despite the fact that Renton consented to add Skyway as a potential annexation area in its 2005 twenty year comprehensive plan, it will certainly miss the 2025 deadline implied by that commitment. That city believes that Skyway would cost far too much to serve in terms of infrastructure costs due to the county’s pattern of disinvestment. Whose fault might that be, pray tell?

        And what of Metro services to Skyway if Skyway were annexed to Seattle or Renton? Would the fiction that such a local government arrangement is the only way to acknowledge Skyway and White Center as urban communities somehow magically make transit planning in these communities OK? In truth, Skyway is a crossroads. Does it make sense to route transit around the crossroads because it somehow fails some sort of purity test for transit planning? King County paying attention only to “rural level” services isn’t going to solve any of these issues.

  5. Before fall 2009, Route 39 had a variant extending to Southcenter. The F Line connects Renton and Southcenter. There are many areas of the county with too little service. What is the best marginal service investment in Skyway? Is direct service to other centers really needed? Suppose those direct routes had very long waits? Or rather short waits so that the connections with Link, Route 7, and Renton TC can be more useful?

    1. More frequency is the most critical thing. Southcenter is a long-term need. The 39 tail wasn’t very well used but it’s important for coverage. But not as important as enabling more people to get to Link and downtown renton.

    2. Not connecting to RapidRide F except at Renton TC a mile or two east of Skyway is part of the bigger issue. It’s time consuming to get anywhere on a bus from Skyway.

      This demand responsive concept is fine for low ridership areas or short-distance last-mile services. That’s not the situations here. If Metro wants to add service hours here, add it to fixed route service because there will be more riders per hour even on a mediocre route.!

      My suggestion would be to add wire and extend Route 7 to Rainier Beach Link. The have a new route from Rainier beach Link to replace the lost Route 7 tail at Prentice St and extend it further south to ultimately reach Southcenter with common stops for Routes 107, 106 and 101 (and Route 150 and RapidRide F closer to Southcenter) along the way.. That way, transfers to all sorts of other routes become possible. The number of single bus transfer destinations for Skyway and Rainier Beach residents would grow significantly.

      Perhaps extending RapidRide I to Skyway could also be on the table. It seems so illogical to have a RapidRide I from Downtown Renton south but not east to connect to Link.

      1. @Al. S: We don’t need to string right away, the 7 can just run off-wire on that section to Rainer Beach Link.

        As for the Southcenter connection, just truncate have the 150 do it. Reroute the the 150 to Rainer Valley. And compensate Kent by rerouting the 578 to serve it.

      2. It’s time consuming to get anywhere on a bus from Skyway.

        Probably because there is nothing in Skyway. OK, that’s not fair. But Bryn Mawr-Skyway (the official name for the census designated area) simply doesn’t have that many people or attractions. To quote the Wikipedia page:

        It is frequently along the shortest route of travel for commuters using local streets to enter Seattle from the southeast.

        Skyway’s main business districts lie along Renton Avenue South, with one center between 68th Avenue South and 74th Avenue South, including a small casino, bowling alley, and a grocery outlet, and another district between 75th Avenue South and 78th Avenue South, including a bank branch, the fire station, multiple churches, a 7-11, some auto shops, and the public library (a branch of the King County Library System). There is also a small business district centered at Martin Luther King Way South (State Route 900) around South 129th Street. Skyway Park, with baseball fields, a creek and wetlands, and picnic areas, is located near the center of Skyway.

        When a 7-11 deserves mention in your list of businesses (along with “some auto shops”, a fire station and the library) you are small. Density is poor (https://arcg.is/19GDyW). But, as the Wikipedia article pointed out, you happen to be “on the way”. You get frequent transit on the 106, connecting to Link as well as providing a one-seat ride to downtown. You get the 101, which is also frequent, and extremely fast. Overall, I think this low density area comes out way ahead. Yes, it requires a transfer to get to South Center, or Valley Medical, or (eventually) downtown Bellevue or Burien. That’s because the transfer occurs in a place that is big (Renton), and Bryn Mawr-Skyway is small. There are only so many people who want to go bowling, which, as far as I can tell, is the cultural center of the area.

        I don’t mean to sound like a dick (I can’t help it) but we have to keep things in perspective. Renton is a major destination — certainly as big as South Center. Skyway is not. Skyway, at best, is a low density, low income area that is lucky enough to be on the way between Seattle and Renton. If we have money it should be put into running the buses more often, and running more coverage routes, not worrying about whether you have to transfer to go to the mall.

      3. The Bryn Mawr section of Skyway is very low density and wealthy, but there are plenty of apartment buildings around Skyway Park. Skyway is a neighborhood that could be developed into a very transit-oriented community. It’s 10 minutes from downtown Renton and 10 minutes from Link. It does have a Grocery Outlet and there is plenty of room for small scale mixed commercial/residential development.

        Skyway needs to be annexed by either Seattle or Renton if commercial development is going to happen. I believe it’s currently an unincorporated chunk of land that is controlled by the King County Council.

      4. I think you are overlooking a few things Ross:

        1. The study area includes notable sections inside the Seattle and Renton city limits. It’s not just the census designated place called Bryn Mawr – Skyway.

        2. 26% of the units in Bryn Mawr – Skyway are multi-family and another 5% are mobile homes. See my data link in an earlier post.

        3. I highly doubt that the lack off commercial and employment activity there is a result of NIMBY forces. It’s more than likely a result of corporate America avoiding putting destinations in the area. It’s another example of non-residential “redlining” and it creates an urban food desert and lack of nearby work opportunities for poorer residents without a car. For this reason, good transit access is more deserving and not less.

      5. @Al — I’m not overlooking anything.

        1) I’m fully aware of the study area. You are the one that mentioned Skyway.

        2) Most of the area is very low density. The areas that are a little better already have frequent transit (in the form of the 101 or 106). There is only one census block that manages to get over 10K per square mile (and just barely https://arcg.is/1HrbHn).

        3) It doesn’t matter why there is so little there. Much of the study area is in Seattle. You can see on this map that most of it is zoned single family (https://www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=f822b2c6498c4163b0cf908e2241e9c2). The unincorporated area of King County (officially known as Bryn Mawr-Skyway), is a little better, but still not great: https://i1.wp.com/www.theurbanist.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Screenshot-2017-04-26-at-3.54.37-PM.png?w=774&ssl=1. Pretty much all of the areas that are zoned for more growth already have good transit. There are some apartments, just not a lot, which explains the general low density.

        What you seem to be overlooking is that relative to the density there, they do have good transit. There is an express bus to downtown (in the form of the 101). There is a frequent bus that goes right through the heart of the area, connects seamlessly to Link, and also goes right downtown. Those buses also connect well to the biggest destination in the other direction: Renton.

        Now you want a more direct bus to Southcenter? Come on man, a bus like that would perform very poorly. Where would you get the money? By running the 101 or 106 less often? The reason downtown Renton is a hub is because there is only so much money, and it is by far the biggest thing in the area. It means we can’t afford a more grid like system in that part of town, simply because there isn’t enough demand, nor enough money. There are areas where you would get much better ridership with that kind of investment. For example, consider the 105. In the middle of the day, it has better ridership per hour of service (i. t. better ridership per dollar) than the 107 and about the same as the 101, even though it doesn’t go to downtown. It is one of the higher performing buses in the “suburban” category (which means it doesn’t go to the UW or downtown Seattle). Yet it only runs every half hour. It covers an area that is higher in density than anything in the study area (https://arcg.is/jyPWm). It connects to downtown Renton, as well as a college, a medical center, several grocery stores and of course a bunch of apartments (that explain the relatively high density). Clearly that area is underserved compared to Skyway. It is just that Skyway happens to be on the way.

        Before we imagine new routes for Skyway, lets run the 105 every 15 minutes, all day long. We would benefit way more people for the same amount of money.

      6. Yesterday I went down to the Cedar River Trail on the 101 and came back on the 106.

        1. Detour on 51st: it’s still not that long, goes through the center of the commercial district, and has been the bus street since at least the 1970s. Everyone I know who lives down there drives on 51st to get home. It will be hard to get Metro to bypass the center of the neighborhood because that’s the major destination (Safeway, library, other stores, high school, community center, beachfront park). The problem is the location of the Link station; it would ideally have been at Rainier & Henderson.

        2. The houses are large lot. They look like 1960s construction, both in the lot size and house size.

        3. The distance between Renton and Rainier Beach isn’t very far and the bus makes good speed on Renton Ave. I think I saw some transit-priority lanes on parts of it.

        4. The gap between the Renton and Seattle city limits is only a handful of blocks, judging from the styles of the street signs. Some people may be including in Skyway parts that are actually in Seattle.

        5. The Grocery Outlet in the middle is still there. The casino is a block or so away. There are other underused commercial spaces around them. National chains clearly think the area is not affluent enough to be worth their while.

        6. The discount supermarket on Henderson now appears to be a Planet Fitness, although I could only see the last few letters from the bus so it may be something else ending in -et -ness. So that may be a hole in food options in the area if the Safeway is too expensive.

        7. There should probably be a Rainier Beach-Southcenter route. However, when the 39 did this it was lightly used. In the 80s I had some friends who moved to Rainier Beach as missionaries, and they said the neighbor kids had never heard of Southcenter. That indicates either their parents couldn’t get to Southcenter by bus or it didn’t have what they needed.

        8. It’s not “Which bus would you run less often to have a route to Southcenter?” We need to distinguish between ideals and politically-viable next steps. The Southcenter service shouldn’t divert service hours, it should be in addition. If that’s not politically feasible at the moment it will have to wait. But the question of whether there’s a transit hole is independent of whether that hole is filled. The fact remains that you can’t get from Skyway to a neighboring large activity center without a 3-seat ride. Ideally there should be routes to all surrounding activity centers.

        9. ” they do have good transit. There is an express bus to downtown (in the form of the 101).” The 107 and Renton Avenue areas are too far away from the 101 to use it, so “they” do not have an express to downtown, only the very southern part of the area does. All three routes are separate transit markets.

        10. Service on MLK/Sunset Way is necessary even if the 101 is restructured, because it’s too far and steep to get to any other bus route. MLK doesn’t even have cross streets north of it in many places, just a cliff edge. And several large apartment buildings are there.

      7. BTW, there are several blocks of street construction near the Renton Transit Center north and east of it. One east-west street is closed and there’s a walkway along the south side. At intersections the construction swells so you have to a half block further south to get around it.

      8. “ There is an express bus to downtown (in the form of the 101).” This is a very stupid statement, and Mike has politely pointed that out.

        This study area is 2 miles by 5 miles in size, Ross. It’s physically a tad smaller than many Seattle Council districts. It appears to have about 40K population (Seattle council districts each have 100k population). It appears to have a population density similar to many city areas outside of Seattle’s core.

        Plus, it is inhabited by people with different cultural housing expectations so the norms of non-Hispanic white folk living in tiny apartments and childless white couples or nuclear families living in big houses by themselves doesn’t apply well here. It’s very common from people from other countries and even other ethnicities to live in single-family houses together in much bigger numbers. Your statement reflects your own cultural bias about housing situations and it comes off as intellectually offensive.

        Consider this: If every homeowner was required to house an adult worker in 50 percent of the vacant bedrooms around, we probably wouldn’t need to build any new housing and could accommodate everyone. We don’t as a community do that — but we do need to appreciate homeowners of color and other cultures that do do that. We instead create a societal housing shortage because we keep applying the “live alone or with a partner” paradigm that stems from our upbringing biases. You don’t expect to share housing with your first cousin, but in other cultures it’s expected. And we are often even unaware that it’s even a bias because it’s such a pervasive white American value not shared in other parts of the world.

        So we should look at population density rather than zoning maps to negate this bias. Zoning maps carry this cultural bias.

      9. The F-Line connects Renton with Southcenter and I can’t think of any way to create a new route between Skyway and Southcenter that doesn’t duplicate the F.

        Several years ago I suggested re-establishing a bus connection between Rainier Beach and Southcenter. I think I suggested extending the 156 to RBS. My proposal was met mostly with ridicule. Maybe you will get a better reaction.

      10. “I believe it’s currently an unincorporated chunk of land that is controlled by the King County Council.”

        That’s correct. The county has actually incorporated a subarea planning strategy for this area as part of its comp plan update, last done in full in 2016 I believe and amended last year. This resulted in adoption of ordinance #19146 (passed in 2020) which included the following attachment F:
        “Skyway-West Hill Land Use Strategy, Phase 1 of the Skyway-West Hill Community Service Area Subarea Plan, June 5, 2020”

        It’s very informative and I would encourage anyone interested in the various issues facing this particular community to read the above document.

        Here are a couple of excerpts related to transportation and transit in the area:
        (from page 14)…

        “Limited Transportation Choices.
        Past infrastructure improvements along major streets within Skyway-West Hill have focused mainly on automobile movement. In addition, the relatively low-density land use pattern does not lend itself well to high transit ridership. The lack of transportation options is apparent by the travel characteristics of Skyway-West Hill commuters, where 82.3% of residents commute by automobile, compared to 71.7% countywide. Residents also identified a need for sidewalks, crosswalks, lighting, and
        other pedestrian facilities in residential neighborhoods and business districts.”

        (from the “Transit” section beginning on page 20)….

        “METRO CONNECTS, King County Metro’s long-range plan, envisions increased transit service along the major corridors currently used for transit service in Skyway-West Hill. The plan includes consideration for frequent service along existing Route 107, express
        service along Martin Luther King Jr. Way S (existing Route 101 and Route 102), a
        RapidRide line traveling along Renton Ave S through the middle of the Skyway-West Hill, and new local service along Rainier Ave S.”

        The complete document can be found here as attachment F to the aforementioned ordinance:
        https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/local-services/permits/planning-regulations/subarea-plans/skyway-west-hill.aspx

      11. The problem is the location of the Link station; it would ideally have been at Rainier & Henderson.

        Yes, absolutely. The main activity center hasn’t shifted. It is still well to the west (where the high school and community center is).

        The houses are large lot. They look like 1960s construction, both in the lot size and house size.

        It depends on where you are talking about. For the Seattle part of this, there are plenty of places with typical Seattle lot sizes (around 5,000 square feet). This goes about as far south as Bangor. As you get further south, the lots sizes get bigger. In Renton the lots get smaller again. But even in the Seattle part of this study area, there isn’t much density. Very few old ADUs (unlike the Central Area), very few old apartments (like Wallingford) or new apartments (like Northgate) to complement the houses in terms of density.

        The fact remains that you can’t get from Skyway to a neighboring large activity center without a 3-seat ride.

        What? You have the 106 and 107 that both go to Renton. The 106 goes to downtown Seattle. SeaTac is two seat. So is downtown Bellevue. So is Southcenter and Valley Medical (although I’m not sure if I would call either large).

        only the very southern part of the area [has an express to downtown Seattle]

        Yes, because that is the only area with a significant amount of people and activity. Look at the census map, the employment map, or just an aerial map. That is where the people are. When you consider Skyway, and look at the ridership numbers or the geography, there is only one obvious conclusion: They are lucky to be “on the way”. Otherwise there is no way they would have the frequency of the 106. Skyway benefits from the fact that Renton Avenue is fast, but mostly it benefits from a lot of riders in Renton, and lots of Riders in Seattle (north of Roxbury).

        Put it this way. On the 106, there are less than 700 people that board on Renton Avenue. This includes all of Skyway (and then some). This is for a bus that provides a one seat ride to downtown Seattle, as well as relatively fast ride to Renton (and a ride along the main corridor). Oh, and this is for a bus that runs every 15 minutes. Do you really think that a bus from there to South Center is going to get many riders? Of course not.

        It’s not “Which bus would you run less often to have a route to Southcenter?” We need to distinguish between ideals and politically-viable next steps. The Southcenter service shouldn’t divert service hours, it should be in addition.

        But why add a new bus when we can just run the 107 more often?

      12. So we should look at population density rather than zoning maps to negate this bias.

        I am looking at population density! Holy shit, many, how many times do I have to reference the population density map: https://arcg.is/1vfmi4

        You can see that the only place with significant density is the area served by the 101. I really don’t need a lecture about cultural biases. If you know my history you would know how absurd that is. You do realize that many families not only crowd themselves into a house, but crowd themselves into a small two bedroom apartment. I know, shocking. Three generations — a half dozen people — living in a two bedroom apartment. Gramma sleeps on the couch, the parents in one bedroom, and the three kids in another. I’ve been there man.

        You can also just look at the ridership numbers. There just aren’t that many people that board the 106 on Renton Avenue (either direction). That’s because there just aren’t that many people who live there.

        We have to keep things in perspective. There are lots of people in the county — let alone the state, who would love to have a frequent bus running through the center of their community, directly connecting them to the biggest destinations in the area (Renton, Rainier Beach, downtown Seattle). Take Highland Park, for example. It is a similar neighborhood — similar demographics, similar density. It actually has just a little *more* density (since the houses that people share are on smaller lots). What does it have for transit? The 131, which runs half as often as the 106. That means that when the 106 is running every 15 minutes (during the day, evening and weekends) the 131 is running every half hour. At night, when the 106 is running every half hour, the 131 runs every hour. It connects them to Burien and downtown Seattle, while managing to skirt, but not quite enter the cultural centers nearest them (White Center and Georgetown) let alone connect well with The Junction, Alki, or any other part of West Seattle. I think most people would say that Highland Park has it much worse than Skyway, even though the area has higher density. That’s because the rest of the route can’t carry it along.

        Of course I want better transit for Skyway. But join the club! Most of Seattle, most of King County, most of this country has very poor transit. But relative to its potential for ridership, Skyway is not suffering any more than any other community. We simply don’t have the money to spend on low ridership routes while giving high ridership routes decent frequency. The balance between coverage and ridership in that area is quite reasonable, if not a tad bit generous, relative to the rest of the county.

    3. You are probably correct Question Mark. The targets are for 2044, but there should be another PSRC Vision Statement around 2030, and of course changes in population or population estimates could require revisiting the targets. So could work and commuter patterns post pandemic.

      Some of us believe the PSRC future population growth estimates based on 2018-19 data are probably high, unless the region continues to grow like 2010 to 2019 which was historical growth. There of course will also be revisits based on transit in the future, and its levels of service since housing targets are heavily influenced by transit. For example, if West Seattle or Ballard don’t get rail their housing targets would presumably get reduced, if that is what the community wants.

      Future job targets strike me as difficult for cities to influence, since job location is heavily determined by the private businesses. For example Mercer Island has effectively created no jobs in 12 years, mainly because Farmers Ins. moved their location east, eliminating 600 jobs on Mercer Island. It wasn’t as if Mercer Island wanted to lose those jobs, and the economic activity they created.

      Looking through the report, and talking to folks who follow the overall growth targets closely, the report basically allocates housing growth mostly towards those cities that want more growth, or feel they need more growth. For example, Shoreline wants more growth, some cities on the eastside don’t, and that is how the growth targets seem to have been allocated.

      I think there was some concern that housing targets that could require unpopular rezones in cities could lead to legal fights over the report and targets, so the first consideration was which cities want more growth, and which don’t, which makes sense to me.

  6. This is a challenging area to cover. It is easy to assume that it really doesn’t need it, since most of the area is single family housing. But the houses tend to be on smaller lots, and there are plenty of low income people who depend on transit.

    A big part of the problem is the street grid and the natural geography. It is a mix. You can find a traditional NSEW grid (which is where a lot of the more efficient housing is) along with some curvy streets. Overlaid on top are major throughways, with the occasional apartment complex.

    The first thing I would do is get rid of the 7 tail, and send that bus to Rainier Beach Station instead. Then I would replace that tail with a coverage bus. I don’t see any great way to serve the area (even if I moved the 107 around). I thought about just hugging the shoreline (Rainier Avenue) but that looks like a bad idea. The best I came up with is this: https://goo.gl/maps/cvddT4Bxh8H8BQAp6. It’s not great. It twists and turns too much for my taste, but this is a coverage bus. It does run by a few apartments (on the straighter southern section). It connects to Link, 106, 107 and even the 101 (you would probably want to add a bus stop and crosswalk for the shared section). It also connects to the activity centers in the area, like Rainier Beach High School, and the Skyway Park Bowl area (68th/Renton Avenue). I think at that point the biggest coverage gap is in Lakeridge, but I think we can live with that. My guess is that folks there are a bit wealthier than average (similar to Seward Park) and can thus do an unofficial “park and ride” to get to a bus.

    1. For adding coverage with fixed-route service, this is probably about as good as is practical. It makes both the important connections. It wouldn’t be frequent, but I think infrequent coverage routes have their place. I’d tweak it by taking Langston road instead of Renton Ave to fill in another gap on the way. I’d also probably look at distributing the east/west parts of each route differently, but it’s not clear which way would work best.

    2. The problem with moving the 7 is that I’m pretty sure Henderson street isn’t electrified. This would of course be one of the most ideal short sections of road to electrify, and should be pretty quick if we decided to do it, but my guess is it would take 10 years for SDOT to actually get the job done considering the pace of work on the 48 and RR G.

      1. Yet another example of how trolley wire decisions from over 50 years ago determine bus routes today.

      2. Wire has been moved before. It also isn’t clear if they even need to. It is a short distance, flat, and buses can go that far without wire. There has been talk about moving the line for a while now, but that isn’t the big issue. It is more the controversy over coverage and bus stop spacing. It is like moving the 3/4 — the city is read to do it, Metro wants to, but too many complained about losing coverage (so Metro bailed). They also want to convert the 7 to RapidRide which means extra money for readers, new bus stops and red and yellow buses.

        RapidRide G is a different (bigger) beast, as it required buying up property, along with moving utilities so the bus could run in its own lane much of the way. That’s what’s taking so long.

    3. The houses are on large lots. South of Henderson Street is not like Mt Baker, Highland Park, or N 80th Street.

      Metro has talked repeatedly about moving the 7’s terminus to Rainier Beach Station and dropping the Prentice tail. It proposed it in one of the restructures between 2009 and 2013 but it got some opposition and decided to wait until more improvements came. It’s still on Metro’s long-range plan.

      Recent trolleybuses have off-wire capability but Metro has been reluctant to use it except in an emergency. So it will probably add wire on Henderson Street.

      1. I kind of wished Metro had asked a more substantive question: Where should we install a transit transfer center in far Southeast Seattle? Both Othello and Rainier Beach stations have some favorable aspects as well as layout awkwardness for terminating buses. I could also suggest the BAR station but that’s probably 20 years away at this point.

      2. There are really two tails to the 7, both visible on this map (https://seattletransitmap.com/app/). The first one is frequent (thick line) that goes as far as Rainier Avenue (as Rainier heads towards the water). The second is infrequent (thin line) the one that goes as far as Prentice. The first goes by a lot of people, the second one doesn’t. It seems like the first one is no big deal, but it adds up to a significant walk for people who work at the far corner (https://goo.gl/maps/qXwF4F9oBzcckLGE7). The second involves more walking, but for far fewer people.

        This looks like a worthy area for a coverage route (as worthy as the 107). The tricky part is connecting it up. You could move the 107 like so: https://goo.gl/maps/tffuiUsFUafthxVS7, but that makes it even loopier, and would create a new hole (on 51st, between Bangor and Renton Avenue). There wouldn’t be that many people hurt, but it is always tough to lose coverage. That is probably the cheapest option, but it would still cost money. Adding another coverage route (as I suggested) would be more expensive. Meanwhile, those folks at the frequent part of the 7 tail lose out (since the 107 isn’t anywhere near as frequent or useful).

        The only potential savings I’ve come up with in the area involves first finding a layover spot in Georgetown. Then the 107 can just end there (instead of Beacon Hill Station). The savings would be significant, but not huge. About 1/4 of the time is spent going from Georgetown to Beacon Hill Station. There are relatively few people between Rainier Beach Station and Albro (which likely explains the detour — the bus is desperately trying to find riders, so it ventures out to Georgetown), so it wouldn’t be a big loss. Those folks would still have a two-seat ride to downtown, either by backtracking to Rainier Beach Station (unlikely) or transferring to the 124. That would likely pay for the extra detour of the 107, but without any added frequency (or at best, 30 to 20). But again, the detour creates its own coverage hole.

        One option would be to split the 107. Given the new political reality — where Seattle is willing to spend a lot more for transit than the rest of the county — there is value in splitting up routes close to the county line. But the big advantage of splitting is that it allows Metro to use the wonderful tail of the 7. Run a 15-20 minute bus from Georgetown to Prentice Street. That keeps the peace, with a bit of a subsidy. That may seem like a stretch in terms of frequency, but it serves as a connector. Not only would it directly connect Georgetown with Rainier Beach, but it would connect to all the frequent transit routes in the area (7, 36, 60, and of course Link). Buses like that should run a bit more often, simply because they are transfer-dependent. It is only a matter of time before the Seattle city council propose extra money for Metro, and the voters approve it (overwhelmingly). A bit extra for a route like that is money well spent (for the overall network and especially for those who are transit dependent).

        The 107 would simply end at Rainier Beach. That is a bit short, but the bus could easily be extended on the other end. The other bus I proposed (Prentice to Georgetown) would be really short, but that’s OK. It means it could probably live loop around Georgetown. You would probably go keeper into Georgetown (looping around Ellis and Corson), to serve the front door of the college (always a good ridership generator).

        Yep, that seems like the best option. It is better than the coverage route I proposed, because it is realistic. There simply isn’t the money to add a new coverage route in the area, even though it is a much better use of funds than some microtransit bullshit.

        This is yet another example of why the big thing that transit needs in this country is money to run the buses more often. It is crazy to me that people are talking about spending billions to run light rail to Fife, or many more billions to run high speed rail to Portland, but we can’t create a decent network for Rainier Valley because it is too expensive. Seattle needs more money for the buses. Renton needs more money for the buses. All of those census designated places in between need more money for the buses. Transit has efficiencies of scale. Spend a little more and the transfer becomes a lot less painful. New, more efficient, straightforward routes emerge. It just needs a bit more cash.

      3. Regarding the proposal to terminate the 107 in Seattle, and the question about substantive transit center in Seattle both really miss the point of Metro’s outreach.

        Which, primarily, is investigating possible transit changes to make transit more available to Skyway residents.

      4. Regarding the proposal to terminate the 107 in Seattle, and the question about substantive transit center in Seattle both really miss the point of Metro’s outreach.

        Which, primarily, is investigating possible transit changes to make transit more available to Skyway residents.

        Not really. The questionnaire is about a bigger region than SkyWay (as the map shows). Restructuring the 107 is in line with that idea. Buses would be altered to better serve the entire area, including Skyway.

        Unfortunately, the outreach is about microtransit, which means that in that sense you are correct. This is all largely a mental exercise. Instead of spending money improving the transit system (and possibly changing the routes) they will waste it on microtransit.

  7. Before 1996, routes 106 and 107 were DSTT routes with Bredas and had residential tails north of the Renton TC. Route 107 did serve Rainier Avenue South on the lake shore. that had the service in the first half of the 20th century. In fall 1996, they were truncated at Renton. They accessed I-5 via Othello, Beacon Hill, and Swift. With Link in 2009, Route 107 became a shuttle and Route 106 was revised to serve south Beacon Hill and Georgetown. in fall 2016, they were changed to their current alignments.

  8. The R Line is suspended. It was the most recent budget vehicle for trolley overhead on South Henderson Street. Such overhead was considered in the aughts, but Seattle and Metro could not agree as the layover and the bike trail crossing conflicted. Seattle and Metro considered it again in the teens when the Rainier Beach community suggested it. That effort was also stillborn. Per RossB, if the overhead was provided, a Route 7 Prentice could be a shuttle oriented to the Link station and use the same turnaround loop as the route serving Rainier Avenue South. in the aughts, Seattle and Metro did agree to extend routes 14 and 36 to Link stations.

  9. I think we should do what was suggested for route 169 with the current 160 and future I-Line, and get rid of the 101 in its current form. That wouldn’t fix the lack of a connection to Tukwila, but it would free up a lot of resources to add a new route making the connection. It would also address the issue brought up separately here about the trip from RBS to RTC taking too long on the 106, as the 160/I Line would be essentially an express bus from RBS in this case.

    1. Truncating South King routes is perhaps the biggest benefit to having the proposed BAR station. If ST defers the station, then a suitable transit center is needed at Rainier Beach. (The subarea line makes this a problem because the BAR station comes out of South King’s funding.)

      I could see a transit center combined with a connection (At-grade crossing of MLK? Stairs and elevators to an elevated bus transit center next to MLK?) at the south end of the Rainier Beach platform. Some way to turn back buses and cross Link tracks without having to go up to Henderson would be needed — unless the Henderson intersection is also heavily rethought.

      All of this costs time and money to build but would save money in bus operations. Perhaps a concept study should be done?

      1. RossB the original idea is to extend the 169 to Rainier Beach Station along Sunset/MLK, so there is an express from Renton to Link instead of downtown. Using the 169 would have also connected East Hill to Link nicely too, and be more efficient than a standalone route. Of course this would now apply to the 160/I-Line, and would make the route quite long. But the end result would be a very popular route that would justify good frequency.

      2. OK, thanks Alex. Yeah, that would be a tough sell. You would give some riders a faster trip from Rainier Beach Station to Renton but I doubt very many. The 106 is pretty fast, and doesn’t have that many people transferring at RBS. If you extended the bus to the area around the high school you would pick up some additional riders, but it wouldn’t be that much better than the 106. You double up frequency, but not at the same stop. You do get one stop riders to parts of MLK and Sunset, along with the old 169.

        But at the same time, the riders who head downtown — which is a lot more people — would get a much slower ride to downtown. As Question Mark mentioned, you also lose rides on the busway. These are significant (around 250 people). The big selling point is not the new connections, but the savings. That could be put into other routes, but I’m not sure which ones. I think it makes sense in general, I just think you would upset plenty of people.

        I think Al is right. In the long run it makes sense to have a freeway station/connection to Link. The 101 wouldn’t change, but it would also connect to riders headed to Rainier Valley or the airport (via Link). The same is true for the 150, and whatever other express buses they decide to run from the south end. That’s the whole point of that station.

    2. We’ve asked Metro for years to truncate the 101 but it has doubled down on it. The argument is it’s too far east of Link to be truncated with reasonable travel time. it remains in all of Metro’s long-term plans. The 150 is truncated when BAR opens (although a Seattle-Kent-Auburn express partly replaces it), but the 101 remains (called the 2614 and extended to Smith Cove). So there’s little point in knocking our heads against the wall any more trying to get Metro to change its mind, when there are other things it’s easier to convince Metro of that would also be beneficial.

      Also, any restructuring of the 101 must keep coverage on MLK/Sunset Way, as it’s too far and hilly to get to any other bus route, and there are several large apartment buildings along it.

      1. The 101 serves the densest part of Skyway, and the area will only continue to grow denser. Most importantly it provides direct service to Seattle’s industrial area (i.e. jobs) as well as downtown for those people who live in central Renton and Skyway’s west side.

        Not important to people who don’t live in Skyway? Probably. But I don’t think those riders are the point of King County’s survey.

      2. If they are willing to truncate the 150 when BAR opens, then they might as well send it to Rainier Beach right now. To me, the great advantage of BAR is not that you save 5 minutes driving from the freeway to Rainier Beach, it is that you can keep going to downtown. The bus keeps going downtown, like it does now, but all those riders get a connection to Rainier Valley, via Link. It is like the 62 once Link gets to Northgate. The bus just keeps doing its thing, except now riders get a very fast connection to Northgate, UW, Capitol Hill and downtown (via Roosevelt Station).

      3. Re: “The 150 is truncated when BAR opens”

        As it now appears, Seattle is placing much higher priority on the N 130th St station rather than the S Graham St station, I’m not sensing that any opening of a Boeing Access Road station is likely, even within the current event horizon of all of Sound Transit’s plans. And given the far-too-little local walking infrastructure now at that location transit around that area will absolutely need to be rerouted in order to rationalize the location as a destination other than the presumed park-and-ride that will be located there.

        The current dearth of east-west routes at that latitude might make that station, when and if it finally is constructed, an appropriate center-point for a new east-west line, perhaps connecting Renton and White Center.

  10. There are some stops that feels like its unnecessary for it to be there. But they should add likr a few more stops for some buses.

  11. OK, so I got some stop data for the 106. Here it is, lumped by area (as I choose to lump it). This is northbound (starting from Renton):

    On Off
    537 7 Before Renton Avenue (in Renton)
    477 199 Renton Avenue
    290 240 Between Renton Avenue and RBS
    40 152 Rainier Beach Station
    900 837 Between RBS and MBS
    74 199 Mount Baker Station
    472 1147 After MBS

    (Hopefully that formatted OK). The first group of riders are in downtown Renton. The second group includes everything on Renton Avenue (which means all of Skyway, and a good chunk of Renton and South Seattle). The third group is the area around Rainier Beach, but not the station itself, etc.

    So, a few things worth noting:

    1) Renton Avenue does not have that many riders going either direction.
    2) More people get off the bus around the Rainier Beach neighborhood than get off by Rainier Beach Station. Lots of people get on there as well. Staying on Renton Avenue might be a bit faster, but you would probably lose a lot of riders.
    3) Most of the ridership is within Seattle itself.
    4) There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of “shuttling” (not that many people appear to be taking the bus to take the train). There is probably some, but it doesn’t dominate the route in terms of ridership. (I can explore this more if people want).
    5) A lot of people take the bus where it overlaps with the 7. My guess is they just take the first one that arrives.
    6) Downtown is the biggest destination, but it doesn’t dominate. More than half the riders get off well before downtown.

    1. Argg. Well the formatting didn’t work out at all. I tried putting it in a “pre” block, but it didn’t take. Let me try and format using symbols to separate the columns with dashes and padding with leading zeros:

      On —- Off
      537 — 007 — Before Renton Avenue (in Renton)
      477 — 199 — Renton Avenue
      290 — 240 — Between Renton Avenue and RBS
      040 — 152 — RBS
      900 — 837 — Between RBS and MBS
      074 — 199 — MBS
      472 — 1147 — Between MBS and downtown

  12. The map of stops in Skyway and Rainier View in the article is incomplete. Northbound, the 107 takes a different route than shown. Prior to Link, this was a loop at the south end of the 42.

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