Latest proposal has worse coverage, but better frequency

As expected, phase 3 of the East Link Connections restructure proposal is out. It was developed using feedback from phase 2, when the first proposed network was released. In the first network, a clear trend was a dramatic increase in coverage throughout the eastside, with bus service on many corridors that never had any service before. However, a common sentiment in the comments is that Metro is focusing on expanding coverage instead of increasing frequency on core routes. Commenters also wanted to see better weekend and evening frequency.

Coverage service is reduced

Evidently, it wasn’t just STB readers who thought this, as the latest proposal represents a fairly dramatic pullback on expanded coverage. The two local routes straddling I-90 to Issaquah are cut back to one, Woodridge and Somerset lose all bus service, and the 249 no longer provides local coverage on the south side of SR 520 (directing riders to walk to Link or the 226). In many cases, people who have an infrequent coverage route today would lose all bus service when East Link opens, ironically leaving them less connected to East Link than they would be today. Reduced coverage in Overlake is partly compensated for by adding new Overlake flexible service.

Frequency is boosted on some routes

On the flip side, we see more solid service in the corridors that remain. New coverage route 203, which is mostly the same as the Issaquah tail of today’s route 271, would have had significant frequency reductions from today’s service (on route 271) in phase 2 (with midday service every 45 minutes down from 30, and weekend service every 60 minutes, down from 30). With coverage cut elsewhere, route 203 is able to be brought back to today’s service levels. Another example is route 240, which is getting all-day frequent service on weekdays, compared to half-hourly service both today and in the phase 2 network (new route 220, which replaces both the 240 and 271 from Bellevue TC to Eastgate, is also getting the same service). However, that is pretty much it in terms of dramatic frequency improvements. There are some 30 minute headways going to 20 minutes, and the rest are minor adjustments. The 270 still runs every half hour on weekends, and hourly service is still fairly common throughout the eastside, especially on weekends.

Span service is stretched

Some of the service hours saved from cutting coverage routes went into making some of the new all-day routes start earlier and end later. Routes 111 (which is converted to all-day service) and 215 will have a larger span of service on weekends, with the 111 running until 8pm all weekend, and the 215 running until 8 on Saturday and 7 on Sunday. Like with the frequency changes, there aren’t dramatic changes here, but this is mostly because the phase 2 proposal already had generally pretty good span of service already on most routes.

Route pathways are improved

Many routes are improved in terms of speed and directness, especially east of Bellevue where it’s difficult to cover the land with connections to transit hubs without lots of turns and circuitous routing.

Route 240 proposal in phase 2 (left) and phase 3 (right)

Riders of route 240 are the big winners in this revision. Not only is their midday frequency doubling, but they are getting a much more direct connection to both Bellevue and East Link via S. Bellevue Station by combining with route 241. Though it involves a lot of opposite direction travel to get to Eastgate P&R, the situation is far preferable to phase 2, where riders to Seattle (some coming off deleted route 114) would face either a 3-seat ride through Eastgate, or getting on Link after riding the 240 all the way to Bellevue.

Route 269 proposal in phase 2 (left) and phase 3 (right)

Route 269 is getting more direct service from Issaquah Highlands P&R to Mercer Island. Though minor in isolation, the less direct service in combination with routes 215 and 218 would create lopsided headways due to differing trip times. With the routing of the 269 now matching the 215 and 218, combined service will now provide true 15 minute (and 5 minute during peak) headways from Issaquah Highlands to Link.

Phase 3 proposal for route 4 (left) and route 8 (right)

In Seattle, the proposal for route 8 is adjusted slightly to keep route 8 on MLK down to Jackson St, move to 23rd Ave E to serve East Link, then switch back to MLK at S. Massachusetts St. In phase 2, route 8 switched to 23rd at Yesler Way as it does today, but stay on 23rd and Rainier all the way to Mt. Baker (like the 48 does). This new change results in preservation of some service on MLK, with service to Mt. Baker TC equally as indirect as today. Route 4 is also brought into scope for phase 3, with the only change to stay on 23rd and Rainier to its terminus, rather than its current route through the Judkins Park neighborhood. Though route 4 changes wouldn’t take place until electrification work for route 48, which won’t be finished until 2025 at the earliest (trolley wire somehow often opens after light rail lines).

Peak-only service is about the same

The proposed network of peak-only routes is nearly unchanged from phase 2. I found two of those changes to be odd and counterproductive:

  1. Deleting route 237, despite connecting directly to East Link, and despite the fact that almost this exact route will be back when Stride opens in 2027 (…or 2028…) as an ST Express route. It doesn’t make sense to sever this connection to Bellevue (and East Link), when it is intended to be a major peak service corridor when Stride opens later. Route 237 (if preserved) would get more useful in 2026, when the NE 85th St station opens to freeway buses before the rest of Stride. At the very least, it would be a consolation to Woodinville and Kirkland riders who were expecting Stride to be an “early win,” now watching their bus lines slip even beyond the realignment schedule.
  2. Deleting route 167 in exchange for reverse-peak service on route 342. This will take fast and useful trips from Renton to the U-District and SR 520 freeway stations, and replace them with longer trips to Bellevue, Bothell, and Shoreline. While the ride to Bellevue will probably be useful if it is timed in between route 560 trips, there is very little ridership demand for trips to Bothell and Shoreline from Renton and Bellevue in the reverse-peak direction. Since these trips are also much longer than the current route 167, these additional service hour (if not diverted to cheaper off-peak service) could at least be used instead to extend route 167 south to Kent, where additional ridership potential should be fairly robust.

Details on phasing

Since East Link is opening in two phases (to Bellevue and Overlake in 2023, and downtown and SE Redmond in 2024), bus changes will necessarily be done in two increments as well. Phase 3 elaborates on which changes would happen when, though they’re mostly what you’d expect. One notable example includes route 269, which will get its northern terminus moved to Bear Creek P&R in 2023, then to SE Redmond Station in 2024, with similar phased changes happening on the B Line and route 250. Another one is route 256, which won’t start until 2024 when the direct ramp from SR 520 to the I-5 express lanes opens. This delay is unrelated to East Link, and is required for the bus to be able to exit at Mercer Street so soon after getting on I-5 due to the left-side 520 on-ramp to I-5.

The survey for this phase is open until March 7. Additionally, there are virtual information sessions happening on February 17th at 6pm, and February 26th at 10am.

98 Replies to “East Link Connections process moves into phase 3”

  1. 269 change is a massive improvement for the Highlands. The 218 was crush-loaded pre-COVID, and the Highlands should be a robust transit market as it continues to build good density on both sides of Highland drive. Interlining routes to create 5-minute frequency during peak will be awesome.

    But I’m still concerned by the lack of good Link connection to the Costco campus. In theory that should be a major jobs center, but the routing prioritizing the TC and the neighborhoods south of I90. The 203 is a great local route (lots of new development going up along Newport Way on both sides of SR900), but Costco is either a long 203 ride or a 2-seat ride to Link. I wonder if Metro just thought Costco’s ridership would be too peak oriented, or if they just expect Costco to run employee shuttles to a Link station? The latter would be a bummer, because as a global retailer Costco has lots of vendors & suppliers traveling to the HQ for regular work meetings.

    Between the Highlands, Costco, and Gillman (aka Issaquah south of 90), I guess I would put Costco last, but I wish there was a way to provide better service.

    1. In theory, it should be doable. They even have a peak-only route 217 that runs to north Issaquah in the morning and Seattle, in the evening, presumably almost exclusively for Costco commuters.

      One thing they could do is extend some trips of the 215 or 218 that end at Issaquah Highlands to wrap around north Issaquah and Costco to Issaquah TC. It’s basically one of the branches I suggested in a previous post, in this image (I called it route 210):×421.png

      There is some out-of-direction travel, but it’s definitely doable and much faster than the 203. If they make the extension reverse-peak only and skip Issaquah TC, they can run it back to Issaquah Highlands and save some service hours, but having some coverage service in that area is probably warranted.

      1. 217 is going away, which I think is the missing piece in the new proposal. Since KCM is offering the 203 as the replacement, maybe the best is simply to ask for better frequency on the 203 (which also helps Factoria’s most direct connection to Link).

        Extending the 218 to North Issaquah is intriguing, though I think there is value in having one of the Highland’s express routes to not have a long tail, so that during peak the bus can shuttle back & forth along I90 rapidly.

      2. “One thing they could do is extend some trips of the 215 or 218 that end at Issaquah Highlands to wrap around north Issaquah and Costco to Issaquah TC. It’s basically one of the branches I suggested in a previous post, in this image (I called it route 210)”

        That looks like Vancouver’s Millenium Line when it went from downtown to New Westminster to Commercial Drive (aka Broadway).

    2. The 269 extension to Mercer Island in one direction and termination at Redmond Link station in the other should be a great improvement for Sammamish residents and one can only hope that the wealthy multi-car per household community is persuaded make use of their transit service. However, this will affect Sammamish residents who work at Microsoft. Despite the Microsoft Connection service which runs to Sammamish, many Microsoft employees prefer to take the 269 which used to run a 20 minute headway to Microsoft in the morning peak and a similar headway from Microsoft in the evening. These were cut to 30 minute headways by COVID reductions. At one time Microsoft used to make a substantial grant to help cover the cost of the 269. Will Microsoft employees (nearly all of whom have cars) be prepared to ride the 269 to Redmond Link and then transfer to light rail? They might be better served by peak hour 269 continuing from Redmond onto Overlake as at present.

      1. yes. if ST provides short headway and waits, many riders will use Link and bus. today, ST could consolidate Route 545 hours into Route 542 and provide very short waits on a reliable service between Bear Creek and the UW Link via Redmond and Overlake.

      2. Honestly, during rush hour Link to to SE Redmond station and then 269 is probably faster than catch a 269 at Msft HQ, even with a transfer penalty, given on the congestion on SR520. Probably more depends on if your office is closer to the Link station or one of the 269 bus stops.

  2. I think the 256 is a good improvement over the 237. Did the 256 exist in the prior iteration?

    If a Woodinville rider wants to go Bellevue, they can do a same platform transfer at Totem Lake. With 405 Stride, the 256 complements while the 237 duplicates. The only reason to run 237 is at peak, when transfers to Bellevue bound buses will presumably be difficult due to crowding … which is why ST will run that STX route at peak but otherwise expect riders to transfer in Bothell (or Kirkland, if they catch the 256 rather than the ST shuttle)

    1. I don’t think the rationale for the new ST Express bus to Bellevue is that Stride will be full. They looked at it without the Bellevue part and more midday frequency, but opted for Bellevue. I think it’s meant to be both a Bellevue commuter route and a connection to East Link. To be honest, I didn’t think the Bellevue ST Express route with Stride made a ton of sense (the 237 is duplicative now, but it would be even more so after Stride since there will be even more service after then). But since that’s happening anyway, I think it makes sense to keep the 237 just to keep the ridership base and service pattern that will be there anyway, in just a few years.

      Or ST could just start running the future ST Express early. After all, they did at one point plan on starting to operate Stride in 2024 (remember that?). With Stride being under budget, I would hope that they would be willing to consider putting in some more service to ST Express in between the time Stride was promised and the time Stride is actually delivered.

      1. That ST Express route likely cannot run early because it’s also dependent on the new 405/522 interchange. The interchange rebuild is the critical path to 405 North Stride service, so I expect both Stride service and KCM/ST’s Woodinville express routes to change at the same time.

      2. There’s no reason it *can’t* run (it runs today, it’s just a Metro route). The only reason the transfer hub would be needed (for that route at least) is to transfer to the Stride S3 line. That’s not essential until Stride opens because route 522 runs most trips to Woodinville still.

      3. The 535 is also getting a frequency boost and Sunday service any year now, so that prefigures Stride 2.

        And Stride is not ST Express. Stride is full-time frequent (if you don’t look too closely at 20-minute periods) and has enhanced stations and street improvements, similar to RapidRide. ST Express has less than that.

  3. RE route 167 – what’s proposed for the 560 and 566, I don’t see them listed even though they connect to East Link? I don’t see either as a listed route in the restructure. Perhaps Metro is content to let STX provide the express Renton-Bellevue peak service?

    1. “what’s proposed for the 560 and 566, I don’t see them listed even though they connect to East Link?”
      ST 560 and 566 is not part of this process, despite connecting to East Link. They will operate like they do today.

      “Perhaps Metro is content to let STX provide the express Renton-Bellevue peak service?”
      Well, the 342 goes to Bellevue as well. I think that is the point of Metro adding reverse-peak service, because it will add peak-direction service from Renton to Bellevue. What doesn’t make sense is continuing it to Shoreline. A million things would make more sense than that, including adding a Bellevue stop to the 167, or making a separate short route from Renton to Bellevue. But the killer feature of the 167 is arguably that it’s fast, and connects the south eastside not just to UW, but to Kirkland on the 255 (via the 520 freeway stations) and north Seattle via Link. Adding a Bellevue stop would change its purpose.

      I bring up the 560 because the reverse 342 only makes sense if it runs every 30 minutes in between route 560 trips (which also run every 30 minutes) to make 15 minute frequency. If it’s not, and the 342 comes 5 minutes after a 560, then there really is almost no point. Also, the proposed 342 is weird because it enters and exist Bellevue at NE 6th, which means that it needs to turn around either before or after servicing Bellevue TC. That’s another thing that could mess with schedule coordination, because turning around would add a few minutes.

    2. AJ: sadly, ST is not including routes 560 and 566 in the East Link project. Route 566 would duplicate East Link between BTC and Overlake.

      1. Even ignoring the business of finite service hours, the mere presence of the 566 coming from Microsoft makes the southbound arrival time unpredictable for everyone boarding the bus at Bellevue. To make the arrival time reliable, you need lots of padding in the schedule, to the point where the Overlake extension isn’t actually saving riders any time over just taking Link.

        Of course, there are some riders out there who value the one seat ride above all else, even if it’s slower, but serving them should be the job of Microsoft’s private shuttle services, not public transit.

  4. In general, I was hoping that there would be better improvement in frequencies on more routes and routes would become more direct. The number of frequent routes appears unchanged, which is particularly weird considering that many areas are losing coverage. I’m personally a fan of trading off coverage for frequency, but it looks like we’re getting the worst of both worlds: less coverage and basically the same frequencies (I don’t think that going from 30min -> 20min is a significant enough change to modify people’s behaviors).

    In terms of directness if you look at the 240 path it’s not very effective as a link feeder. It takes exact out-of-direction detour to Eastgate Park and Ride before it connects to South Bellevue. It’s reasonable to connect Eastgate and Factoria, but the tail of the 245 did that just fine previously at 15 minute frequency.

    Or take the new 223 – it bounces back and forth between 148th ave several times. I’m sure you can justify any individual deviation, but in sum you end up with a bunch of milk runs that don’t provide fast, high-quality service.

    1. One easy way to improve the 240 without really giving up any coverage is to have it serve Eastgate only at the Freeway Station, without going into the Eastgate Transit Center bus bays. Still not as direct as skipping the area entirely, but it does provide coverage to a lot of jobs and educational opportunities in return, while still being faster than the proposed routing.

      1. That’s a good suggestion, though that’s a long walk for transfers for the less abled. That prioritizes faster connection to Link over a better connection Bellevue College, in addition to the Eastgate TC itself.

        Also keep in mind the 203 provides an excellent connection from Factoria Blvd to S Bellevue Link station, though given the frequency, I would imagine riders on the 240 south of Coal Creek would stay on the 240 rather than attempt a transfer.

      2. The elevation level of Bellevue College is much closer to the freeway station than the transit center bus bays, so a 240 that serves only the freeway station already offers a shorter walk to the college than today’s 240.

        Technically, a 240 that does the detour would serve the bus stop at 142nd/SE 32nd along the way, which is slightly closer to Bellevue College, but the emphasis is slight. According to Google Earth, it’s a distance of about 850 feet, along a paved sidewalk with only modest incline. You don’t detour buses over 850 feet of walking distance. If someone wants to make a connection to another bus at the TC, itself, the vertical gap is larger, but there’s an elevator available in the Eastgate parking garage, so they still don’t need the bus to detour. This would be the exact same connection that people have been making off of the 554 for years, and it’s worked out just fine.

        “Also keep in mind the 203 provides an excellent connection from Factoria Blvd to S Bellevue Link station…”

        Unfortunately, the 203 is only scheduled to run every 30 minutes, which means, unless you get incredibly lucky, getting off and transferring to it is still going to be slower than sitting through the detour. In a fantasy world where the 203 ran every 2 minutes, such a transfer would be viable.

    2. The 240 could be fairly easily fixed by skipping Eastgate, and going straight from Factoria to S. Bellevue on I-90, then bring the 245 back to Factoria. Bellevue College-bound passengers will get a frequent bus to frequent bus transfer in Factoria (just like most passengers will probably have to transfer). Seems like for some reason Metro is totally determined to get the 245 out of Factoria, even when it might be more useful there.

      1. I considered that, but then there is no service on SE 36th. Given the incline, the density along the corridor, and proximity to Eastgate TC & freeway station, there should be an all day route along that segment, and right now it’s only the 240.

      2. It’s been a few years since I’ve done this, but perhaps others will have a more recent experience: on the current 245, if one wants to ride, say, Factoria-Crossroads, my recollection is that once the 245 pulls into Eastgate, it goes out of service and one must get off. Then, after waiting (potentially several minutes?), a 245 (probably a different coach) will turn on and pull up to Bay 2 to begin its route northward.

        I’ve had a similar route-tail experience with the 221 in Redmond; that one was more frustrating given the route’s lower frequency. East Link Connections restructures that tail out of existence as well.

        Did 245s lay over along SE 41st Pl in Factoria at some point in the past? That’s also a distant recollection. If so, the layover point might have been changed to Eastgate so drivers have a bathroom at hand at their layover point.

      3. The layover changed because the old one didn’t have a restroom and, apparently, just setting up a porta-potty was deemed unacceptable to the bus driver’s union. It has to be a full, indoor restroom, or it doesn’t count.

        Of course, bus riders switching buses at Eastgate still have nowhere to pee ,(the restroom requires a key, which is available only to bus drivers), which is another issue.

      4. The proposed alignment also has frequent service along Eastgate Way. I’m not sure if that matters though. You would still have infrequent service along there (via the 226).

        I wonder if the solution is to simply not worry about a two-seat ride from Factoria to Eastgate. The 245 could be sent to South Bellevue Station via SE 36th. This would give some riders north of Eastgate a one-seat ride to South Bellevue, for a quicker connection to Seattle. If service along Eastgate Way is inadequate, you could extend the 223 to South Bellevue, opposite the 226. That is pretty close to service neutral from what I can tell.

        From the south end of Factoria to Eastgate, you could still transfer to a bus running every fifteen minutes for a direct trip to Eastgate. The bus would get you closer to BCC than what is planned. You could also transfer by South Bellevue, which would involve more time on the bus, but less waiting. But there would be six to eight buses an hour from South Bellevue to Eastgate, and twelve if you assume the 554 stops there (it isn’t clear that it does — the documentation for the ST routes is terrible). Either way, the transfer looks relatively painless if you simply treat South Bellevue station as a hub. It would be a detour, but it seems like asking people to detour between the south end of the 240 to Eastgate is better than asking people to detour the sound end of the 240 to Link and downtown Bellevue.

      5. Current proposal is for the 245 to terminate at Eastgate TC. So if the 240 skips Eastgate, something needs to backfill.

        Ross suggests extending the 226 or 245 to S Bellevue via 36th, which I think is a great idea. The route should skip the Eastgate TC, instead serving the bus stops on 142nd Pl; whatever is lost by a more difficult transfer to buses down in the TC bus loop should be offset by better transfers to the multiple express routes on I90 stopping at the freeway station.

        There are several route that can be extended from Eastgate to S Bellevue (223, 226, 245, 220?). I’d run at least one on Eastgate Way (currently 226) and then another on 36th, as those are separate transit corridors that both merit all-day service. Additional routes could provide more frequency on 36th (or Eastgate Way, but 36th seems to have much more density and a better transfer to the 240 now skipping Eastgate).

        South Bellevue station has an off-street bus loop, so it should have all the layover/recovery/driver change functionality of Eastgate TC. If a route is approaching Eastgate TC from the north or east, there’s really no reason for the route to not continue to South Bellevue station.

  5. I’m really happy with the Route 8 changes. It sacrifices the Library stop so it may get pushed back to Yesler.

    I am thrilled that Route 4 is also planned to move to Judkins Park station. Not only does this tie Cherry Hill to Link, it almost ties Cherry Hill to Rainier’s 7 and 106. By waiting until 2025 for electrification, I suspect that other CD route changes will be made soon so it could change again with Madison RapidRide opening.

    1. The timing on the 4 is less than ideal. I think we will find that very few people ride the tail of the 4, and that we should get rid of it. It would be nice to have that data before a Madison BRT restructure. It is even worse that they are going to spend money moving wire for what is likely to become an abandoned segment.

      It is worth noting that the 4 runs every half hour, day and night. Who rides a bus that runs every half hour? Those that have no other choice. Oh, I suppose they do have other choices, but those aren’t great either. You can take a bus up to Jackson or down to Rainier and catch a more frequent bus downtown. But none of the buses are super frequent. The 48 ran every 10, and the 8 every 12. The 7 ran every 10, and the 14 ran every 15. Thus the combined frequency wasn’t great either, which means waiting for that half hour bus as your one-seat ride to downtown is probably your best option.

      But guess what? Their world changes with East Link. All of those riders who are headed downtown will simply walk to the station, and ride Link to downtown.

      There are other trip combinations, but they aren’t needed. If you are on 23rd, waiting for the new 4 to take you to Cherry or First Hill, you are going to take the 48 more often than not, simply because it will arrive first. It would be stupid to let it go by, while you wait for the 4, since the 3 runs three times as often. Riders from the East Side headed to First or Cherry Hill will ignore this part of the route as well. They will instead transfer downtown to far more frequent buses, running every 6 minutes (to First Hill) or 7.5 minutes (to Cherry Hill).

      The tail of the 4 was designed to give riders in that part of the city a one-seat ride to downtown. It is a coverage bus that is no longer needed.

      1. But a Route 4 that had shorter headway and waits and served Judkins Link would be much more useful. Route 8 is the extra line; it is too close to Route 48.

      2. The 8 may be too close to the 48, but the 4 is literally on top of it! Instead of putting money into the tail of the 4, we should run the 48 more often. Right now the 4 provides a one seat to downtown for people who live next to the tail. That becomes obsolete with East Link. The 4 merely becomes a one-seat connection to Cherry and First Hill. Even to First Hill a lot of riders will just take East Link to downtown, and take the Madison BRT back up the hill. The 4 only makes sense for the part of First Hill that is close to that line. Even then, a lot of riders will ride East Link to downtown and take the 3/4 back up the hill. At worst they ride the 48 and then transfer. Given the frequency of the 3/4 to 23rd (7.5 minutes) it is a fairly harmless transfer.

        It just doesn’t make sense to increase frequency on one small part of 23rd instead of increasing frequency on all of it. Furthermore, you wouldn’t be able to time the two. Assume that we get the 48 back to 10 minute frequency. Now what? Run the 4 every 15 minutes? OK, but for folks trying to get from Bellevue to Garfield you really haven’t improved things. You would be better off running the 48 every 7.5 minutes.

        Or run the 27 every 15 minutes, instead of every half hour. Better yet, branch it at MLK, and send it Madison on MLK. This would replace part of the 8 on MLK (the part that would otherwise have the biggest service hole). Riders on MLK would have coverage frequency (similar to riders in Madrona on the 3) while most of Yesler would have 15 minute frequency (a major improvement). Basically this:

      3. No Ross. Madison RapidRide does not serve the Jefferson St corridor. Swedish Cherry Hill is about 1/2 mile away and Harborview’s main entrance is over 1/4 mile away.

      4. No Ross. Madison RapidRide does not serve the Jefferson St corridor.

        I never said it did. I was simply pointing out (for those that aren’t familiar with the geography) that there are other buses that go to First Hill. Furthermore, the dynamic will change dramatically. Right now if you are trying to get to a lot of places on First Hill, the 3/4 is your best bet, because it is a lot more frequent than the 12 (7.5 minutes instead of 15). When RapidRide G gets here, it will be the opposite. Thus people who are in between Jefferson and Madison will switch to the G.

        The main point is that there are alternatives to get to these areas, including taking the 3/4 from downtown. Never mind the G — just consider getting to Harborview from the east. For example, imagine you live on MLK and Elmwood Place, and are headed to Harborview. You have several choices with this new alignment:

        1) Walk to the 4, which will get you directly there.
        2) Walk to the same bus stop, but take either the 4 or 48 (whichever comes first) and then transfer to the 3/4.
        3) Take the 8, and transfer to the 3/4.
        4) Take the train and transfer to the 3/4 from downtown.

        The fourth option is by far the fastest. It involves the least amount of waiting, unless they decide to dramatically increase the frequency of the 4. The main advantage of the first option is that it only involves one transfer.

        Now consider someone from the East Side headed to Harborview. Their choices are:

        1) Get off at Judkins Park and take the 4.
        2) Get off in Mercer Island, and take the 630, which runs only during peak, and only every half hour.
        3) Ride the train to Pioneer Square, and take the 3/4.

        Again, the fastest route is transfer downtown (the third option). It also involves the least amount of waiting. The 630 only makes sense if you start in Mercer Island and can time it just right. The first option — the one that is dependent on keeping the tail of the 4 — is never the best choice.

        The tail of the 4 will likely see a *decrease* in ridership with East Link. Riders who used to take it to get downtown will instead walk to Judkins Park Station. Riders who come from the East Side will just stay on the train unless they are going to Cherry Hill. Even those riders will likely end up catching the 48 and 3/4, simply because those buses come more often.

        The Central Area tail of the 4 used to be a coverage route for those heading downtown. Now it is a fringe route which benefits a handful of people who are transfer averse. We shouldn’t be keeping routes (or sections of routes) like this. It makes way more sense to put service hours into core routes that have no fast alternative.

      5. Let me give you an example of a trip wholly inside Seattle to explain the service gap, Ross. A rider wants to g from somewhere near Seward Park (say 50th and Genesee) to the closet hospital just theee miles away (Cherry Hill). How long does that take? It’s a double transfer to go three miles. All the routes are pretty slow. A rider would be lucky to make that short trip in 45 minutes! .

        I don’t understand why you think it’s so outrageous for some people to walk another two or three blocks but have this blind spot with Cherry Hill. The entrance is 1/3 of a mile or more from any all day route but the 3 and 4, both of which currently turn around in residential areas. The only routes going from SE Seattle north of Mt Baker are 7 and 106, both of which don’t cross town (8 and 48 stop at Mt Baker). Now 12th/Jackson has emerged as an area very dangerous to wait for buses.

        Even if a rider gets actually on a bus on Rainier, it’s a huge hassle to get to Cherry Hill — transfers + long walks or ride the 3/4 from Downtown.

      6. Let me give you an example of a trip wholly inside Seattle to explain the service gap, Ross. A rider wants to go from somewhere near Seward Park (say 50th and Genesee) to the closet hospital just three miles away (Cherry Hill). How long does that take? It’s a double transfer to go three miles. All the routes are pretty slow. A rider would be lucky to make that short trip in 45 minutes! .

        Well that’s life in Seward Park. Even with the tail of the 4 it is a three-seat ride. You can take the 50, then the 7, then the 4. Basically you want to preserve this, in all its glory:

        It takes a long time, and will take a long time with this proposal as well. Sure, you save a couple minutes by staying on 23rd, but not much. That’s because much of the time is spent waiting. Partly it is because we waste too much money on one-off routes (like the tail of the 4). It would take a long time even if the 4 ran every 15 minutes. Holy cow, the 50 runs every half hour, and you think the folks in Seward Park are concerned about the tail of the 4?

        The first thing to do with trips like that is run the 50 more often. But 3-seat rides from Seward Park are inevitable, unless we restructure things dramatically. The 4 really has nothing to do with this issue. It is a three seat ride from Seward Park to everywhere in the Central Area (e. g. to get from Seward Park to Garfield requires taking the 50, 7 and 48). There are solutions to that, but most require big trade-offs. Seward Park is a low density area. Swedish First Hill is not a major destination (nor is Garfield). Both — like a lot of places in the Central Area — are mid-level destinations (above a residential neighborhood, but below an area like First Hill). It is quite reasonable that riders have a three seat trip from Seward Park to these destinations that aren’t especially close — we should just minimize the transfer time by running the buses more often.

        Oh, and this isn’t a 3 mile trip, it is over 4 miles. Hospitals on First Hill are roughly the same distance as Cherry Hill (and bigger), and those are a two-seat ride away (50 and 60). There is no natural connection to Swedish Hill from Seward Park the way there is with say, Bitter Lake and Northwest Hospital.

        The large gap in north-south bus routes in the greater Central Area is not a blind spot. I’m well aware of it, but the 4 is no magic solution. Consider a trip from Swedish Cherry Hill to Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser isn’t located in some low density, poorly served place like Seward Park; this is really the heart of our transit system. This part of Capitol Hill is served by frequent buses that pretty much connect you everywhere. And yet it doesn’t connect you to the affiliated hospital that is practically due south of you, about a mile away! In the middle of the day this can take over a half hour ( You are better off walking, even though it is over a mile. This is clearly a weakness in the system, and yet running the tail of the 4 more often wouldn’t help in the least.

        Or how about getting from Kaiser to the Langston Hughes Center — The fastest option is to walk 11 minutes. Unfortunately, this will get a little bit worse as the 8 stays on MLK longer. It will get a lot worse if the 8 is sent to Madison Park (as most people expect). You are looking at a three seat ride or a really long walk.

        The best solution to serving this area is to run a north-south bus between Broadway and 23rd — the big gap that is the source of all of these issues. Unfortunately, this costs money, and it is unlikely we can afford anything like that now (unless we ran it every half hour, in which case it would get hardly anyone). That is why I put it on my “ideal map” —

        The only routes going from SE Seattle north of Mt Baker are 7 and 106, both of which don’t cross town (8 and 48 stop at Mt Baker).

        So fix that problem by running the 106 on Boren across to South Lake Union.

        Even if a rider gets actually on a bus on Rainier, it’s a huge hassle to get to Cherry Hill — transfers + long walks or ride the 3/4 from Downtown.

        So what? It is a huge hassle to get to the middle of Yesler, or the middle of Union. Cherry Hill is not special. It is just one of the many places that lie in between the big north-south corridors (Broadway and 23rd). The solution is not to run a bunch of buses that split, with inevitably low ridership and inevitably poor frequency as a result. It is to create a real network. A north-south bus would do it, but if we can’t afford that, then running a bus on Boren would improve those trips while also improving lots of other, far more common trips.

        Look — I get it. The 4 reduces transfers. I understand the value of that. But here is the thing: No one will ever watch a different bus go by, just to wait for the 4. They do now, because the 4 runs on MLK a bit (they will let an 8 go by). But if you are standing on 23rd, waiting for your 4 to take you to Cherry Hill, First Hill or downtown, you are going to catch the 48, just because it got there first. You would be foolish not to. Likewise if you are downtown, on First or Cherry Hill, you would take whatever bus comes first, even if it means a transfer at 23rd. This only becomes convenient if you can time the bus, which is a small subset of riders. The rest will inevitably transfer.

        This is in contrast with other buses, which also reduce transfers. If I’m trying to get from Franklin to Garfield, I’m going to let the 7 and 107 sail by — they do me no good. I *have* to take the 48; it is the only reasonable choice. We shouldn’t tailor our system for a handful of riders who have alternatives, especially since many of them will inevitably use them.

  6. Assuming one considers Phase 3’s “frequent routes” to be 542, 554, B Line, 220, 240, 250, 255, and 270, here’s a list of several destinations on the Eastside ordered by number of frequent routes available (as of full Link rollout to downtown Redmond in 2024).

    (7) DT Bellevue Station and Bellevue TC [Link, 554, B Line, 220, 240, 250, 270]
    (5) Eastgate P&R and Freeway Station [554, 215/269 couplet, 220, 240, 245]
    (4) DT Redmond Station [Link, 542, B Line, 250]
    (4) Redmond Technology Station [Link, 542, B Line, 245]
    (4) Kirkland Transit Center [245, 250, 255, 230/231 couplet]

    (3) South Bellevue Station [Link, 554, 240]
    (3) Wilburton Station [Link, B Line, 250]
    (3) Redmond TC [B Line, 250, 542]
    (3) Evergreen Point FS, Yarrow Point FS [542, 255, 270]

    (2) Mercer Island Station [Link, 215/269 couplet]
    (2) East Main Station [Link, 220]
    (2) Issaquah Highlands P&R [554, 215/269 couplet]
    (2) Crossroads [B Line, 245]
    (2) South Kirkland P&R [250, 255]
    (2) 98th NE & NE 116th (Juanita) [255, 230/231 couplet]
    (2) Bellevue College (central stops on Kelsey Creek Rd) [220, 245]
    (2) Bear Creek P&R [542, 250]
    (2) SR 520 at NE 51st [542, 245]

    (1+) Overlake Village Station [Link, 223/225 pseudo-couplet*]
    (1) All other Link stations east of Seattle [Link]
    (1) DT Issaquah, Issaquah TC** [554]
    (1) Totem Lake Transit Center [255]
    (1) Bellevue College South Entrance (not counting Eastgate Freeway Station) [240]
    (1) Factoria, Newport Hills, Newcastle [240]
    (1) Kelsey Creek Center [245]
    (1) Avondale Rd at NE 116th St [250]

    (0) 140th NE from Bel-Red Rd to NE 24th
    (0) 148th NE & NE 20th
    (0) Costco Headquarters
    (0) Crossroads Park
    (0) Interlake High School
    (0) Northup Way from 120th NE to 130th NE

    * The survey notes that a 223/225 couplet corridor is intended; however, the peak frequencies, at 20 min (223) and 30 min (225), are incompatible for producing scheduled 15-minute headway throughout peak (unless 223s were irregularly timed during peak, which in my opinion ought not to be attempted).

    ** The list above also assumes 554 continues to serve Issaquah Transit Center; the survey text suggests this even though the maps are less clear.

    1. But the depressing thing is that all of those locations are already served by frequent busses because there are no new frequent routes. The only notable improvement is I think I-90 service is now better coordinated with the 215/269 couplet, but that only impacts 3 of the locations above.

      The 220 is just a segment of the already frequent 270 (and to be honest, it isn’t clear to me why the 271 is broken into the 270 and 220 both of which have similar frequencies, why not just have the 270 go to Eastgate?). And agreed that the 223/225 “couplet” doesn’t count.

      1. Maybe the 270 and 220 will through-run (would avoid needing to do a turnaround in Bellevue TC), but Metro wants them as separate routes because they won’t through-run 100% of the time?

      2. The 240 is non-frequent now (30-minute headway) but “frequent” in the proposal. Otherwise I agree: the map of proposed frequent corridors looks a whole lot like the map of current frequent corridors.

        I keep being tempted to put “frequent” in quotes because for these Eastside routes, even the proposal documentation defines this as “The bus comes every 15 minutes or less during peak periods and every 30 minutes or less during off-peak periods” – yet weekend night service seems to be overlooked when evaluating this criterion. The 245 even lists ’30-60′ as the weekend daytime headway yet the proposal documentation calls it ‘frequent’. Is glossing over this detail an unspoken convention elsewhere in Metro’s network, I wonder (in Seattle or otherwise)?

      3. The proposed 220 will be useful to me, but I would rather not have a through-routing with the 270. I used to ride the 271 between Bellevue Transit Center and Eastgate quite a bit, and during afternoon peak the 271s from UW would often get majorly delayed. One could have a forty-minute wait followed by a bus that ends up crush-crowded, then followed by a bus that ends up near-empty.

        For one wishing to travel between the apartments on 145th Pl SE and UW, an alternative to a 220-270 transfer would be a 220-Link transfer at East Main Station.

      4. “I hadn’t realized that they hadn’t fully restored it since then… but I don’t think getting back to 2019 service levels should count as much of a win here.”

        Agreed — thanks for this clarification.

      5. @Stephen
        From Metro’s planning team, Pre-Covid 240 was actually only 15 to 30 minutes at peak, and 20 to 30 midday. Bumping that up to 15 minutes all day, as proposed, actually IS a pretty big win that shouldn’t be discounted.

    2. John: please add Route 245 at 15/15; please add routes 230-231 and 255 of Kirkland. Note that the former Route 271 segments between the UW and Eastgate will have longer headways and waits, going to 15 from 10 in the peak periods. Budget wise, could not ST afford shorter headway and waits on Link and routes 554 and 542?

      1. Good point; I neglected to double-check the list of routes at the top of my post. I left 245 and couplets out of that list, but 245, 230/231, 215/269 do appear in the route listings next to the destinations.

  7. Anyone find it strange that route 226 comes semi close to Overlake Station but doesn’t serve it? This means customers along 164th Ave and parts of Bel-Red will have to take two buses to connect with Link.

    Also, the very nature of route 226 seems too circuitous. The Bel-red portion should be connected with route 222 and the 164th Ave portion should terminate at Overlake.

    1. I can see why they changed the routing on the 226. The stretch of 156th that it cuts back on has become all dense multi-story multi-family over the last couple of years. 226 riders. Catching Link at Overlake would be a long walk up/down a steep hill. But the transfer at Bel-Red isn’t too bad. Sort of sucks if you are trying to get to Redmond in which case you might be better off transferring to RR-B. That might even be true if you’re going to DT Bellevue even thought the 226 goes there… eventually. The 226 is a coverage route which by definition on the eastside means it wanders all over the place to pick up areas where regular through routing can’t be achieved.

    2. Jordan: yes. Could not Route 226 serve Overlake Village, 130th, and the Spring District stations? The project name is East Link Connections.

    3. The 226 drops the coverage area I grew up in, near that easternmost point where Northup crosses 8th. It would be replaced with a flexible service area (=on-demand taxi). When I was 12-17 I took the bus to Bellevue High School (my junior high was also there), and to the U-District, downtown, Broadway, and Queen Anne. Under this proposal I’d either take the taxi or walk nine more blocks uphill to 164th to catch the 226. I sometimes did walk up to 164th because the U-District bus was there, but I’m not sure I’d want to do it several times a week.

      On the 226 I’d probably ride to Bel-Red Station for Link because Overlake Village station is 3/4 miles away. That would bother me for three seconds but it’s not that big a deal; it’s not that much further and those streets are reasonably fast. It would be worse if I had to take the bus all the way to116th or Bellevue TC. And it’s not all of Overlake the 226 misses; it’s still just four blocks from the Safeway shopping area.

      Overlake Village station is so far out of the way I’m now leaning toward not having buses detour to it. Maybe eastern Bellevuers can write it off as a lost station and use Bel-Red (226) or Redmond Tech (B) instead. Both of those routes get near the Safeway, and that’s good enough for shopping at least.

  8. One place where some of the service hours might be going that prevents more routes from running with frequent service is the long stretch of 405 served by the 111. There is also probably a lot of traffic padding in the schedule, which means Metro is essentially paying the service hour cost equivalent to a traffic jam on the freeway for every single trip, even on trips where the bus faces no congestion (no congestion means more layover time, but the service hours are still paid, regardless).

    I do agree with Metro that a quick glance at map shows a 4th St. that should be worthy of all-day service every half hour, not peak-only service. However, I’m somewhat skeptical that it’s going to have enough riders to justify the express down 405, in parallel to the STRIDE bus, which will already be going down 405.

    We’ll see if it gets enough ridership in the end to pan out…

    1. This is something they should be transparent about. E.g. they should show a table of Route, Old service hours, New service hours to show where the service hours are coming from and going too. Because if you’re right … e.g. most of the service hours are being reallocated to an all-day 111, that seems like not the best ROI.

    2. 111 should truncate at the 44th interchange, perhaps running to Bellevue only during peak. The new interchange has roundabouts, so it will be a very easy turnaround, and with Stride having good all-day frequency, the 111 can time itself to catch every-other Stride bus to provide non-peak 30 minute frequency. I really like the 111 as a Stride feeder route.

      Also, 111 serves the wrong Link station. By serving Newport Hills freeway station and then S Bellevue, the 111 is running in the GP lanes, while Stride will run in the HOT lanes and connect the DT Bellevue.

      Once the HOT lanes are open and Stride is running, the Newport Hills freeway station arguably should not longer be served by a freeway bus. That bus stop is no longer “on the way” and the P&R lot should be surplused. The problem here may be that KCM feels it needs to continue to provide service to NHFS? All the ST Express routes on 405 will switch to the HOT lanes and therefore skip NHFS, so 111 is left carrying the burden.

      1. 111 should truncate at the 44th interchange, perhaps running to Bellevue only during peak

        So you are saying that a half hour bus should terminate in the middle of nowhere, so that it can feed another half hour bus? All so that it can save roughly five minutes of service time? Sorry, but that sounds like a disaster.

        I understand that the South Bellevue Transit Center is also in the middle of nowhere. But at least it has very frequent service to downtown Bellevue, downtown Seattle, Eastgate and Issaquah. Maybe the 111 will be a failure, but creating 3-seat rides for people will guarantee it.

        I get your concern about traffic. Sending a bus to South Bellevue seems like a weird decision. During rush-hour it is probably better to just go to downtown Bellevue. But this isn’t a peak-oriented bus (anymore). Most of the day, it won’t matter, while it enables less backtracking. For example, getting from Renton Technical College to Bellevue College will be dramatically faster after this change. In an ideal world this has an express overlay that goes straight to downtown Bellevue, but I doubt this has enough peak riders to justify that.

        If we were to do anything to the 111 route it would be to make it a variation of the 105, and send it to downtown Renton. The 105 performs quite well for a suburban bus, and could use a frequency increase. You could run the 111 every half hour, opposite the 105, providing 15 minute service for most of the riders along that corridor.

      2. Truncate only after 405 South Stride is in operation. 44th becomes a key transit node once it becomes a Stride station.

        I don’t mind running the 111 as proposed in the period after East Link opens but before Stride operates, though it is consuming a ton of operating hours.

      3. I’m more concerned about the 111 being overservice and sucking up a lot of hours from other routes. Why should smallish neighborhoods in northeast Renton and Newcastle get an all-day express when no other neighborhood does? It doesn’t serve anything comparable to downtown Renton or the Issaquah Highlands (representing all of Issaquah) that would justify an express. I understand they’re in an isolated location and need something better than the 240, but is this a step too far? I’m debating whether to bring this up in my feedback and what to say about it.

      4. “Why should smallish neighborhoods in northeast Renton and Newcastle get an all-day express when no other neighborhood does? ”

        I’m guessing it’s the “equity” stuff; Metro believes they’re higher priority because a higher percentage of the people there are BIPOC. A race-blind restructure that focuses only on maximizing ridership given budget constraints might feel differently.

      5. Why should smallish neighborhoods in northeast Renton and Newcastle get an all-day express when no other neighborhood does? It doesn’t serve anything comparable to downtown Renton or the Issaquah Highlands?

        Uh, yeah it does. This has higher population density than both places (although not quite as high as west Renton) — Downtown Renton is a significant destination, but the Highlands are not. This goes by Renton Technical College (which has 4,000 students) and I can’t think of anything close in the Highlands.

        It is an express because it sits relatively close to South Bellevue and there is so little in between. It is much closer from this part of Renton (where much of Renton lives) to South Bellevue than downtown Seattle. Buses like the 101 and 150 will spend way more time on the freeway. Furthermore, this bus will simply get off the freeway, drive a few blocks, and then end. It is a cheap express, not a long distance one.

        If it doesn’t perform well it says more about Bellevue and the surrounding region than it does about this part of Renton. Maybe people just aren’t that interested in taking a two seat ride to downtown Bellevue, Eastgate or Issaquah. Maybe if they are headed to Seattle they would rather take the 105 and then the 101 instead of this bus and Link. But given the density in the area, the time it would actually spend on the freeway, and the fact that it is a half-hour bus, this is hardly excessive.

        I don’t understand why people are OK with buses running through Coal Creek Parkway and Avalon every 15 minutes, but aren’t OK with a bus connecting much of Renton with East Link every half hour.

      6. Oops, I didn’t close the italics after that first paragraph. Hopefully I’ll do better this time:

        Truncate only after 405 South Stride is in operation. 44th becomes a key transit node once it becomes a Stride station.

        That is still less than ideal. For trips to Seattle this take a lot longer, and require an extra transfer. Riders would go from a 30 minute bus, to a 15 minute bus to a 10 minute train — people just won’t do that. Trips to Eastgate (BCC) and Issaquah would involve just one transfer, but those would take longer, as riders go back and forth through Bellevue. Even trips to Downtown Bellevue would be worse (the train runs every 10 minutes, while the bus runs every 15). Overall ridership would plummet, while you’ve only saved a tiny portion of the service time. Outside of rush hour, this takes a mere six minutes to get from the freeway ramp to South Bellevue. It just isn’t worth it to lose all of those riders for such a small amount of service savings.

      7. “Why should smallish neighborhoods in northeast Renton and Newcastle get an all-day express when no other neighborhood does? ”

        I’m guessing it’s the “equity” stuff; Metro believes they’re higher priority because a higher percentage of the people there are BIPOC.

        Right, that explains the northern tail of the 150. Avondale and the Bear Creek Park and Ride are getting 15 minute service (twice the headway of this route) because of all the low income people of color up there. Come on, get real.

        The only reason this gets on the freeway there is because it might as well. It is short, and there is little in between there. It saves service time, instead of costing it.

    3. asdf2: yes, Metro hours on I-405 seem to duplicate ST routes 560 and 566, do not provide coverage, and there is severe congestion on the east to south ramp to I-405. Why is ST Route 566 not part of the project? Will it not duplicate Link between BTC and Overlake?

      1. I would guess it’s a Metro project. Sound Transit will decide what to do with the 566. I would be surprised if they don’t terminate it at Bellevue Transit Center once East Link opens.

      2. The 556 is deleted. Click on 556 in the “Central” section to see the map. I don’t know offhand what alternative there is for Kent-Bellevue trips other than 160+560.

        The 560 will go away with Stride 1 so it’s probably in a holding pattern until then. ST still hasn’t said what will replace the 560’s Westwood Village-SeaTac segment; it has suggested extending the 574 but never said definitively it would. So it may be reluctant to delete the 560 until there’s a replacement for that.

        You can ask about these in the open house or state your preference there.

    4. One place where some of the service hours might be going that prevents more routes from running with frequent service is the long stretch of 405 served by the 111.

      Long stretch? It is six minutes midday according to Google.

      There is also probably a lot of traffic padding in the schedule

      How do you know that? If anything, it seems like the only time they will pad the schedule is during rush hour. In the middle of the day, it seems like an average bus, if not a relatively short and reliable one.

      However, I’m somewhat skeptical that it’s going to have enough riders to justify the express down 405, in parallel to the STRIDE bus, which will already be going down 405.

      Stride doesn’t get here until later, and they are really two different things. Stride will go to downtown Bellevue, while this will end at South Bellevue. If you are transferring to downtown Seattle, Issaquah or Eastgate/BCC, then this bus will save you a considerable amount of time, as well as a transfer. If anything, Stride should help ridership, not hurt it. If you are heading to Lynnwood or Totem Lake, then you can make a transfer at 44th and be there in no time. Likewise, for some this is the best way to get to Renton, Tukwila or Burien.

      Having feeder buses for I-405 Stride makes sense for long distance trips, but not for the relatively short distance between 30th and South Bellevue. It is quite common to have express buses that do this all day long (Metro used to, with the 41 and 71/72/73).

      I get your skepticism about this route, but it seems odd to call out a bus that runs every half hour, appears to cover relatively popular areas (Renton Technical College, plenty of apartments and shops etc.) and will make a dramatic improvement in speed for plenty of destinations. Maybe there just isn’t the ridership there to justify much service, but you could say that about most of the East Side. Holy Cow, Avondale Road gets 15 minute all-day service, along with a detour to a park and ride. Avondale!

      1. Good point about S Bellevue providing different connections (notably the 554 to get to Eastgate & Issaquah), I had not considered that. On the map it looks like the 111 and Stride ‘overlap’ and therefore appear superfluous, but really they share only a single stop (44th), so it’s more accurate to say they ‘intersect,’ even if the route is parallel for several miles.

  9. It’s frustrating that there is no bus that goes from downtown Bothell to any of the Redmond-area link stations. The closest alternatives involve taking the 342 and either transferring to the 245 at Houghton or to Link at Bellevue Transit Station (or various 3-legged trips, which are required outside of peak hours). But the frequency of the 342 is 30-45 minutes, peak only (cutting off earlier than I ever want to head to work).

    This really isn’t much of an upgrade over current service, which is so bad that riding a bike (and showering after) is faster for me. Fortunately work will be hybrid so commuting will be less of a concern than a couple of years ago.

    1. If the 251 extended to Bothell, replacing the Sound Transit Bothell-Woodinville shuttle, that would help a lot.

    2. Wouldn’t it make sense to take the 535 to downtown Bellevue, and then take Link to those stops? The 535 isn’t frequent, but Link will be.

      Eventually I-405 Stride replaces the 535. At that point you will probably need to take a bus to the 405 station (or ride your bike) although both that bus and the 405-BRT will be frequent. That is a three-seat ride, but given the distance (speed and frequency) a fairly reasonable one.

      In both cases there is a bit of backtracking with the train, but not bad given the frequency and travel times. For example, it will take ten minutes to get from downtown Bellevue to the initial end of the line (Microsoft). It probably only makes sense to get off earlier and take a different bus if you are heading somewhere besides a Link station. Eventually the 85th overpass station opens, and you will be able to take the 250 (or something similar) directly east to downtown Redmond, which might save you time if you are headed there.

      1. The 405 station is something like 2 miles from my house compared to the downtown Bothell P&R which is just under a mile. So you have to add another 15-20 minutes of walking. Or add yet another bus and connection. Or, get on the bike. But if it’s good enough to bike 2 miles, it’s better to point the bike in the other direction and do 12 and after comparing with the various walking and transfers still end up ahead. The hope was that there would be a decent alternative on days when biking isn’t feasible (bad weather, bike in the shop, feeling under the weather, etc.) that doesn’t rely on driving. I’m hoping that in practice some of these options will work better than they pencil out. Surely, 405 BRT will be frequent enough to make the trip to UWB/405 worth it. I hope anyway.

      2. I think of downtown Bothell as being roughly 101st and Main, making the existing 535 stop about a four minute walk (

        Once 405 Stride gets there, it is a much longer walk: roughly a 20 minute walk from downtown, and further if you are to the north or east. There may be other connections by then, but my guess is you are looking at taking the 522 Stride (or maybe another bus) plus the 405 Stride plus Link.

  10. One thing to watch for is whether the B’s evening frequency is reduced. Currently the B is minimum 15 minutes until 10pm like all RapidRide lines. The proposal says “30 minutes” 7pm-5am weekdays and Saturdays and “15-30 minutes” Sundays. That may be a mistake; there were several mistakes in the phase 2 proposal. But it’s worth asking Metro whether it intends to reduce the B’s evening frequency, and if so, reminding it that that would be inconsistent with RapidRide’s promise.

    1. I’m think the existing service on the B is every 30 minutes after 10 PM, so I’m hoping that’s all it is. A core route like the B should not be running every half hour at 7 PM.

    2. Part of the problems is Metro’s time periods in these tables; they don’t correspond to when frequency changes. It works for 7pm because that’s when many routes lose their peak frequency, but there’s also a dropoff at 10pm. And then Metro keeps changing its mind on what “Evening” and “Night” mean. Night owl used to start at 2am and now it’s midnight, and 7pm-9pm (or 10 or 12) was “Evening” but now it’s “Night” in this table and evening and night are combined into one column. Passengers don’t think of 7pm as “night”.

    3. There’s no plan to reduce night frequency on RapidRide B Line. That’s a mistake on the route sheet which is being updated (should say 15 to 30 min on weekdays, not 30).

  11. Thinking some more about the 240, I wonder if Metro is trying to do much with one route, and if splitting it into two overlapping 30-minute routes, rather than 1 15-minute route would be an improvement.

    For example, maybe both routes connect Newcastle to Factoria, but only one covers the area west of Coal Creek Parkway, between Newcastle Way and Factoria, and only one serves Eastgate.

    The two routes could also diverge on the south end, with one of them connecting to the 111 without a detour west.

    The bulk of the multifamily housing in Newcastle is right around the intersection of Coal Creek Parkway and Newcastle Way, so Link access for them should be the trip with the most ridership potential. The 240 does that, but with so many detours, you’re paying a large time penalty of riding the bus to Link vs. driving and parking.

    Considering how reliable Link is, I don’t think 30 minute service is that awful. You can work the schedule backwards and figure out when you need to get on, all the way in downtown or even the U district to keep the wait time at South Bellevue to around 5 minutes. With a bus running the Link route, this would be impossible, but a grade separated transit line is actually reliable enough to making tight connections to infrequent buses actually possible.

    1. asdf2: yes, it appears the Metro planners may be attempting to do too much with Route 240; the back tracking looks bad on the map; going to South Bellevue via Eastgate takes more minutes than a transfer would take. The network should pick one market and allow ST Route 554 to serve the other with 10-minute headway and a transfer.

    2. Maybe both routes connect Newcastle to Factoria, but only one covers the area west of Coal Creek Parkway, between Newcastle Way and Factoria, and only one serves Eastgate.

      Interesting idea. So call these routes the 240 and 241 (since Metro now wants to eliminate the current 241). That means:

      240 — As proposed
      241 — Newcastle, Factoria, South Bellevue, Downtown Bellevue

      Both run every half hour. Along Eastgate Way, synchronize the 226 with the 240 (both directions) for 15 minute frequency. You do lose frequency from Factoria to Eastgate, but riders of the 241 can stay on the bus until South Bellevue Station, and catch the 240, 226 and maybe the 554 back to Eastgate.

      I think the big issue is where to synchronize the 240 and 241. There are two corridors they share — Bellevue Way and Newcastle to Factoria. You can’t synchronize both unless the Eastgate detour took exactly a half hour. Thus the frequency on one of the corridors will not be every 15 minutes, even though there will be four buses an hour. If the delay takes ten minutes, it would be like so: 12:00, 12:25, 12:30, 12:55, 1:00, etc. The only way the timing will work out is if the detour is very quick — but if that is the case, then every bus should do it.

      Another alternative would be to just end the 240 at Eastgate. Then take the 223 (a half hour bus) and extend it to downtown Bellevue via 36th and Bellevue Way. You can then synchronize this bus with the 240 on 36th (giving you 15 minute frequency on 36th) and the 241 (giving you 15 minute frequency on Bellevue Way). The 226 would be synchronized with the 240 along Eastgate Way, while the 240 and 241 would be synchronized with on the southern tail.

      There are several tradeoffs. The biggest is that your one-seat ride to downtown Bellevue (and Link) will only run every half hour. You have half hour frequency on the southern tail, but that might be appropriate. It will be harder to get to Eastgate from the south end of Factoria (or Newcastle). If you miss the 240, I think you want to ride the 241 to South Bellevue and transfer there.

      However, this does look like it would save money. You save money on the tail, and you save a little money up by Eastgate.

  12. A lot of you are talking about where routes should go like it’s still the olden days. None of you are talking about equity. Metro doesn’t think of the 240 as making a “detour” to Eastgate. Eastgate wins the equity battle between it skipping Eastgate and going straight to South Bellevue Station vs it going to Eastgate first, then going to South Bellevue Station. Near the P&R along Eastgate Way, there will be a new homeless shelter in 2023, there’s a college with large BIPOC student body, and a public health center. Having the 240 pick up millionaires in Newcastle and chauffeuring them straight to the Link station isn’t going work anymore. BTW, this Tuesday, 2:22 2/22 22 will happen! Isn’t that exciting? 2nd BTW, on the top map, it’s spelled Northup, not Northrup. And it’s called Bellevue Downtown Station, not Downtown Bellevue Station.

    1. Newcastle isn’t all millionaires living in mansions. If you actually ride the 240 over there, you can see so for yourself. Here are few apartment complexes in the heart of Newcastle, all of which are right along today’s 240 route:

      While I’m sure the rents on all of them are high compared to Kent/Auburn, most of them are probably not occupied by millionaires.

      The homeless shelter does not need a route 240 detour for bus service. The shelter is a half-mile way from Eastgate Freeway Station, plus a half-mile walk the other direction from the I-90/Factoria Blvd. freeway station. Whether a 240 route is chosen which serves Eastgate only at the freeway station, or one that skips Eastgate altogether, either way, residents of the homeless shelter can still get to that bus with a half-mile walk. Granted, there is a missing sidewalk along Eastgate Way, but there’s a simple solution to that – build the missing sidewalk – a better solution for both shelter residents and other riders on the 240, alike.

      A bus detour should never be viewed as a substitute for basic pedestrian infrastructure. A distance of half a mile, you should be able to walk. You should not be at the mercy of a bus for covering distances that short – even a bus that is making a special detour, just for you.

  13. “Millionaires in Newcastle”? Millionaires being “shuttled” on the 240 to transfer to East Link? To where?

    Balducci spoke via Zoom from her kitchen to the Mercer Island Council last Tuesday. Absolutely terrifying she is chair of ST. She couldn’t even load her power point and her computer couldn’t populate a single email address for MI staff or council so they could load her PowerPoint. Meanwhile the natives were enraged at plans to eliminate their SFH zones (the same natives paying for this transit orgy).

    She spoke glowingly about “transit equity”. Those who rode transit during Covid are the chosen few. I thought about Ross’s comment that anyone who rides transit is the equity “chosen few”.

    Balducci didn’t discuss the realignment, and she didn’t discuss the fact the “chosen few” don’t pay fares, and the loss of the commuter means farebox recovery rates are unobtainable. I got the idea she didn’t know what farebox recovery was.

    Of course run transit to where the shelters and poor are. Especially post pandemic. Just make sure they pay full fare, plus the fare of the missing commuter.

    Although the Eastside transit restructure is infinitely more realistic than ST’s estimates, it still isn’t affordable without a large transit levy. How did the last two Metro levies do when eastsiders who pay taxes — including all those Newcastle millionaires on the 240 — we’re actually riding transit?

    This restructure makes transit sense, I guess, but it isn’t remotely affordable.

    1. We need to stop the business of treating transit riders as if they are special breed of people that has different needs and visits different types of places from everybody else. Of course, a transit should serve places where poor people are for the same reason that roads serve places where poor people are. But, a transit system should not bend over backwards to run buses to destinations where government officials imagine that poor people want to go, at the expense of everywhere else.

      Because, it turns out that, just like everybody else, the places that poor people want to go are scattered – they all have different jobs, different social groups, different hobbies. And only a tiny percentage of trips made even by poor people go to places offering government services for poor people. Most poor people are not destitute enough to be living in a shelter or eating their daily meals at food banks.

      A few years ago, when the downtown ride free area ended, Solid Ground created a special downtown shuttle for poor people that would be free, in response to the regular Metro buses charging a fare. I saw a picture of the Solid Ground shuttle route map, and it looked awful. A one-way loop around downtown, so if one direction is a short trip, the other direction requires riding the thing all the way around. 30-minute frequency with not even a schedule, let alone real-time arrival information. The entire route not exceeding a radius of about one mile, leaving virtually every trip supposedly served by this bus, faster, in practice, simply by walking. And, to top it off, the buses had big print saying “fighting community to end poverty” so every single person who rode it had to advertise to the whole wide world that they were a poor person in order to do so. But, the Solid Ground shuttles did make a very careful point to serve the front doors of destinations that well-to-do advocates imagine poor people wanting to go.

      Turning Metro into a bunch of Solid Ground shuttles would be a disaster, but for ridership, and for the agency’s political support. Government programs that are supposed to be for poor people are always underfunded, while government services that are seen as used by the middle class (e.g. roads, schools, airports, etc.) are usually well-funded, even if such services are also used by poor people as well. In the New York City’s mayor’s race last year, even the Republican candidate did not propose big budget cuts to the city’s subway system. Why? Because the New York Subway is widely used by the middle class. If it were just a service for poor people, he would have.

      In the long run, a transit system best serves poor people by also being useful to the middle class and being seen by the public as a service for the middle class. While a transit system that is oriented around what public officials imagine to be the specific needs of the poor is always going to be crap, and will always be underfunded. Even in areas with a supposedly very liberal electorate.

    2. Asdf2, your analysis makes sense if funding is not an issue. If coverage and frequency have no limits.

      The determination of “equity” based on who rode transit during Covid has its flaws. Ross makes an excellent point that anyone taking transit — including the secretary commuting to Seattle because she can’t afford the parking the partners write off — is an equitable rider, even if white. Equity is about money not color. Equity is a function of ridership.

      But, post pandemic that isn’t true with WFH. The secretary suddenly doesn’t need to ride transit.

      The real problem is transit funding — capital and operations — is going to be much less than in 2019. The commuter was 50% of transit riders, but much more when it actually came to farebox recovery because they had a 100% payment rate.

      We have to be realistic. The Eastside voter is usually the swing voter for county wide or ST levies. They are just not going to vote for transit levies if transit is not part of their lives, and they remove over 50% of farebox recovery

      I read the interesting posts about the DEIS, or the Eastside transit restructure that to my amateur eye makes sense, but both assume a level of ridership (and farebox recovery) and future capital levies (ST4) that are highly unlikely.

      If you were designing a WSBLE or Eastside restructure and you had to assume the commuter is mostly gone, and no ST4 or county wide Metro levy, where would you allocate service? Newcastle (which is not an upper wealth Eastside community), Mercer Island (that already has no transit for good reasons) or Crossroads, Overlake, or shelters?

      The tighter transit budgets get the more critical equity becomes. I think ST and transit advocates are having a hard time accepting the gilded age of transit in this region is over because the commuter and future levies are gone.

      Rather than debate about tunnels through Ballard — which I have said for a long time Ballard would demand except ST 3 can’t afford — ask where the first dollar of transit funding should go, then the second, and so on. Equity makes sense then, rather than tunnels through Ballard or West Seattle (and let’s hope Issaquah to S. Kirkland). I think Rogoff is trying very hard to message this reality, and it got him fired. Yes, he was part of the deceit, but that doesn’t mean his clarion calls on capital and operations shortfalls are not real.

      I think a concept that has corrupted this discussion is “induced demand”. Transit riders ride transit mostly because that is what they can afford. Frequency will not attract riders who don’t need to ride transit. Whether using transit ridership to determine those who must ride transit, at the risk of death, is the best method I don’t know, but I get the idea transit “equity” is politicians being in front of transit advocates that funding will require these hard decisions.

      1. “Frequency will not attract riders who don’t need to ride transit.”

        Yes it will. Every level up, from 60 minutes to 30, 30 to 15, and 15 to 10, attracts people who won’t take the previous level. If there’s a route that goes where you want to go and is reasonably reliable and safe, frequency is the #1 factor in whether people use it. People hate longer waits more than they hate longer rides because it’s so boring. They don’t like uncertainty: not knowing whether they might have to wait 25 minutes. They want to go to a stop anytime and know a bus or train will come in 5 or 10 minutes. They don’t want to schedule their lives around 30-minute or 60-minute pulses, or wait at home or in a cafe 25 minutes to avoid waiting at a bus stop. Transfers compound it because you have no control over the intermediate gaps. Unreliability makes it worse, when nominal 15-minute service can stretch to 40 minutes and you never know what today will be like. A past roommate drove everywhere because he said he couldn’t fit everything he needed to do every day on transit.

        There has been extensive research on this, and other industrialized countries have 5- or 10-minute service because of it, and consider 15 minutes to be a bare minimum. Metro’s goal of 10-minute service on the 554 and 15-minute service on the 240 is what other countries would do — and on all comparable routes.

      2. Mike, I agree poor frequency can drive away a transit rider like your former roommate but I have my doubts better frequency will move people from their cars to transit. This just isn’t Europe and the land use — residential and commercial — is different, as is the culture including personal safety.

        But my real point was if budgets are tight — much tighter I believe than many believe — you must balance coverage with frequency.

        I am not sure the 554 (or 240) are what equity advocates have in mind. The 554 is about peak work commuters going from a park and ride in Issaquah to Bellevue Way because they don’t want to transfer to Link, and East Link doesn’t go to Bellevue Way. I don’t know many who will not drive from Issaquah to Bellevue during non peak hours but the all day frequency of the 554 probably has to do with Issaquah’s political clout. It can’t be actual ridership.

        I don’t know how busy the 554 will be during peak hours, or peak commuting from Issaquah’s park and rides to downtown Seattle, but if peak ridership does return to Seattle expect a 554 to Seattle because … drum roll … those riders don’t want to transfer, and Link does not go to SLU.

        The ultimate question is if ridership and more importantly farebox recovery do not recover, and the voters reject transit levies, where — and “what” between coverage and frequency — do you cut?

        I agree with those who feel you first cut coverage because what is the point of greater coverage if frequency is so poor even transit riders find a different mode (your point) but where to cut that coverage is a tough question.

        I agree you allocate limited coverage to where folks must take transit, mostly due to income (although these riders have poorer farebox recovery) but how you determine that I don’t know. Some think based on who rode transit during Covid, some believe based on skin color, some just on the overall income demographic like Mercer Island (although MI has a much greater income spread than day Clyde Hill or Laurelhurst).

        I suppose the first cuts will be to frequency in “non-equity zones (like the 40 although Metro will run express buses from Lake City to downtown Seattle).

        The irony I suppose is wealthy areas don’t give up coverage or mode willingly. How quickly the debate on STB has morphed into where to put tunnels in Ballard and West Seattle — because suddenly tunnels cost the same — or all day 10 minute frequency on the 554 for the few who will ride it, but not the shelter.

        Few things are less equitable than Link. Just look at who got tunnels and underground stations in Seattle and who got surface lines, and stations that look like a rural bus stop. But that was when people thought transit ridership would go up and up and voters would pass ST 4, 5 and 6.

        Transit equity will be tough work because who doesn’t like Link bling and tunnels, but I think transit budgets in the future wil require cuts, to frequency or coverage. I just don’t know where.

      3. “I have my doubts better frequency will move people from their cars to transit.”

        It moves people who are on the verge of going either way, and people who need only a little incentive to switch. That’s enough to increase ridership and mode share. It won’t move dedicated drivers — nothing will.

        “if budgets are tight … you must balance coverage with frequency”

        That’s why I’m not harder on Metro. Metro doesn’t want this either. It has a list of underserved corridors and it wants to fulfill all of them but it has limited resources. That’s what Metro Connects is: what Metro considers ideal. King County has talked about a Metro Connects levy for six years but it still hasn’t happened. First it kicked the can down the road for five years, then it planned it for November 2020, then Covid hit and sucked all the county’s attention, then it wanted Harborview alone on the November levy to maximize its changes, and now it says vaguely it might happen in the next couple years but nothing specific. People criticize Link’s expensive designs and multibillion-dollar escalating costs, but Metro has none of that. The Metro issues we’re arguing about — whether the 111 is overservice, whether somewhere else is underservice — are minor in comparison.

        “I am not sure the 554 (or 240) are what equity advocates have in mind.”

        I’m not an equity advocate. It’s the agencies and governments and progressive activists that are advocating that. I’m with asdf2: we need the right levels of service everywhere, then the equity gaps will automatically be solved. What I said about the 554 and 240 (10 minutes and 15 minutes) is based on transit best practices, not on equity. I’m not saying that’s necessarily the perfect level, but it’s a good short-term step, and a model for the rest of the Eastside.

        “The 554 is about peak work commuters”

        No, it’s about all-day connectivity between Issaquah and the region (Bellevue/Seattle/beyond). Sound Transit was created to provide these all-day expresses because the county-based agencies were persistently unable to. If it were all about peak, the 554 would be a peak-only route, and there would be no all-day express, much less 10 minutes midday. The 554 has been 30 minutes daytime, 60 minutes evenings and Sundays or such, for all of its time, and that’s grossly underservice. You can’t expect Issaquahites to get out of their cars en mass when there’s such a large transit overhead to get anywhere else.

        Metro/King County’s definition of equity has some surprises and controversial choices. It’s well known that Crossroads has the largest concentration of lower-income people in Bellevue. But Metro also thinks Overlake Village, Lake Hills, Issaquah, and Newport Hills are equity-emphasis areas. Really, Lake Hills? Are they including 145th Place SE in Lake Hills? That’s the only way I could see it possibly lower-income.

        “How quickly the debate on STB has morphed into where to put tunnels in Ballard and West Seattle — because suddenly tunnels cost the same”

        That estimate is brand-new and I’m not sure I fully accept it yet. But if the costs are the same, by all means build a tunnel. The reason not to tunnel is to save a substantial amount of money, but if you’re not going to save much, then go with the high-quality solution. Tunnels avoid distrupting walksheds and buildable land and ugly concrete stancheons. As to your argument that it’s unaffordable, that’s about the amount of cost, and applies equally to any mode. If Ballard at $X is unaffortable, it won’t be built, tunnel or no tunnel.

        “or all day 10 minute frequency on the 554”

        I expected 15 minutes, and was surprised at 10. I wonder if 10 minutes is overservice for Issaquah currently. Especially when the B, future K, 245, 255, etc, aren’t 10 minutes — to say nothing of the C, E, 48, 49, 67, 550, etc. But after decades of underservice, it’s nice to err on overservice sometimes.

        “for the few who will ride it”

        They don’t ride it because it’s infrequent. And because it’s Issaquah — the suburbs attract a lot of dedicated drivers. But it’s an entire city of 38,000 people, with businesses that people from the rest of the region go to, or would go to on transit if transit were better. It has a planned urban growth center.

        “but not the shelter.”

        You mean a homeless shelter? I don’t know where the shelter is, and I’ve heard it’s in an isolated location. That’s one shelter of, what, 100 or 500 people, compared to a city of 38,000 with industrial/corporate centers and a major medical center. And if the shelter is in the middle of nowhere, it could be in a better location, or the city could give it a shuttle van.

        “Few things are less equitable than Link.”

        Non sequitur. East Link was decided in the 1990s and 2008. The equity bandwagon started in 2020. We need ST2 Link for other reasons: overall mobility. That’s a basic need of a metro area that’s spread over 30 miles (the ST2 extent, and also serving people beyond it). If we’d built the metro area more compactly we wouldn’t need so much transit.

        And equity fans should concentrate on getting below-market housing to the planned Link, Stride, and RapidRide stations so that equity-deserving residents can fully use the transit network. That’s not a Sound Transit or Metro issue; that’s a King County and its cities issue.

      4. Oh, now I see why the 554 is 10 minutes. it’s to pseudo extend Link’s reach to Issaquah. Issaquah is an ST3 Link target, so this is a way to virtually bring it in until the full Link is built. It’s the same thing with the 512, which is now 10 minutes too. (Although several 512 midday runs have been cancelled due to driver shortages, which I fear may leave 20-minute gaps.)

        It could also be due to the City of Issaquah’s clout, but then why wasn’t it 10 minutes in the first proposal?

  14. OK, how about this idea for Renton/Factoria. Have a northbound 111 get off the freeway at Coal Creek Parkway, and drive through Factoria and head straight to South Bellevue. Have the 240 take the same direct path to South Bellevue as well. Cut the 240 to every half hour, and run the 111 and 240 opposite each other in Factoria. Extend the 245 to South Bellevue via 36th. Extend the 223 to South Bellevue, opposite the 226.

    Riders in south Factoria have a faster connection to Link. Riders along 36th or Eastgate Way still have 15 minute service. This service extends closer to the college, and extends to other neighborhoods (giving more people a two-seat ride to Seattle, instead of three-seat). Riders of the 111 have a slower connection to South Bellevue, but they have a one seat ride to Factoria, and a faster connection to Eastgate and Bellevue College.

    The big losers are those that live south of Factoria on the 240. They get half hour service instead of 15 minute service. I don’t that section needs it though. Overall I think this saves money.

    1. Yes, this last RossB concept for Route 111 is excellent; I came up with it as well. The proposed route 1111 faces severe pm traffic congestion on the ramp between eastbound I-90 and southbound I-405; using the arterials skips much of it and serves Factoria for more riders. It would complement several variations of Route 240.

    2. I think this is a great approach. Huge improvements for Factoria, and leverages S Bellevue Station rather than Eastgate TC as a major transit node (and bus terminus) while not taking away service from Eastgate.

      And if I’m a 111 rider that just wants to get to Link quickly, once Stride exists I can just catch the Stride at 44th for a nonstop ride to Bellevue TC.

      Only downside is all these changes probably consume service hours; trimming frequency on the 240 might not be enough to offset?

      1. Only downside is all these changes probably consume service hours; trimming frequency on the 240 might not be enough to offset?

        Let me make some estimates. I’ll break it down into sections, using amount of time saved per hour (one way):

        240, from Renton to 36th and Factoria Blvd.: 40 minutes * 2 = 80 minutes savings.

        Extend the 223 to South Bellevue via Eastlake: This is a swap, from 15 minute service (on the 240) to half hour service on the 223, so 7 minutes * 2 = 15 minute savings (rounded up).

        36th, from Factoria Blvd. to Eastgate: Same level of service (245 replaces 240).

        Factoria Blvd. to South Bellevue: Increase of 8 buses an hour with the (half hour) 240, (half hour) 111 and (15 minute 245). 8 * 5 = 40 minutes of cost.

        Coal Creek Parkway off ramp to Factoria Blvd. and 36th: 5 minutes * 2 = 10 minutes cost.

        Total: 95 – 50 = 45 minutes of savings every hour. This looks like a substantial amount of savings (enough so that if my numbers are a bit off it doesn’t matter). The big savings come from not running the 240 every every 15 minutes. This is a degradation, but plenty of other trips come out ahead, and the extra savings could be put into more important routes, like the 271.

      2. 271 is going away, did you mean a different route?

        All in a good approach. Midday, where there is currently no 114 and 240 is at 30 minute frequency, I think you have a strong approach to leave the 240 at 30 minutes to unlock the changes you have detailed. With the 240 providing a more direct midday connection to Link, Newport & Newcastle still come out ahead of status quo in the restructure

        There are a few nodes of multifamily that will only be served by the 240; it would be a bummer to see their service take a step back with the 114 going away AND 240 peak frequency curtailed, so I think I’d still like to see 15 minute peak frequency on the new 240.

      3. I should mention that is for midday. At rush hour we would keep running the 240 every 15 minutes (since that is what it runs today). The 111 runs every 15 minutes as well. I’ll approach this in a similar manner, but slightly differently:

        Shortcut for 240: 10 minutes savings * 4 = 40 minute savings.

        Extend the 223 to South Bellevue via Eastlake: 7 minutes * 2 = 15 minute cost (rounded up).

        Extend the 245 to South Bellevue via 36th: 8 minutes * 2 = 15 minute cost (rounded down).

        Detour of the 111 via Factoria: Hard to say because of traffic, but I’ll estimate 10 minutes. So 4 * 10 = 40 minute cost.

        So that is a 30 minute cost peak direction. Except, of course, the 111 doesn’t have to detour to Factoria. Eight buses an hour from Factoria to South Bellevue would be great, but seems like overkill, even during rush hour. If the 111 stays on the freeway (as planned) during rush hour, then once again, you save money. This is pretty common. A regular route that goes on the surface streets all day, and a rush hour route (e. g. the 112) that stays on the freeway longer.

        Even if you pay for the extra service, it is more than made up for the big savings that occur all day.

      4. 271 is going away, did you mean a different route?

        Sorry, I meant the 270 (which replaces the 271). It should run more often than proposed.

  15. Another 240 thought – why does it turn at Newcastle Way and then go up 123rd? Now that Newcastle Commons is a thing that exists, should the 240 just keep going up Coal Creek to have a stop at Coal Creek & Newcastle Commons Dr, and then turn at SE 60th? The current routing made sense when there was literally nothing but trees on that section of Coal Creek, but now there’s much more density than along 123rd.

    (looking closer, I think the current routing is actually Coal Creek to 133rd to Newcastle Way, so maybe staff would want Coal Creek Pkwy to 133rd to Newcastle Commons Dr and then back to Coal Creek Pkwy, which would perhaps better serve the current multifamily density, but seems like staying on Coal Creek is most straightforward)

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