Over 10 years ago (!) I wrote that rebuilding a short road near Bellevue College to support buses would straighten multiple Bellevue trunk routes and save millions in annual operating expenses. I’m pleased to announce that the project has now reached the municipal hype video stage:
Today, the 221, 226, 245, and 271 all travel in this corridor. The project page suggests that these trips could save about 6 minutes by taking a more direct route that avoids multiple turns.
The City of Bellevue, Bellevue College, and Metro contributed $270,000 to complete 30% design on this project, wrapping in Spring 2022. The City will pursue grants from all levels to complete the design and build the project. The cost was estimated at $4.4m back in ancient times, but the project manager says it is now up to $13-15m, partially thanks to better multimodal support than the old concept.
If I’ve counted correctly, there are 2,282 bus trips a week through this corridor. As the rule of thumb is that service costs $175 per hour, that comes out to about $2m per year in savings, or a yield of about 15%. If grants aren’t forthcoming, bonds would absolutely pencil out.