This is a followup to my proposed bus restructure after RapidRide G. In that proposal, I struggled with the 12. The existing 12 overlaps the future G more than any other route; the only unique coverage area is on 19th Ave East, north of Madison.
I came up with several options for the route, each of which has its own map. As with previous maps, you can see a full size map by clicking on the corner. Once in its own window, you can select the route number on the sidebar, or the line itself to highlight the route.
The goals for each proposal remain the same. The expected frequencies are based on pre-pandemic levels, although most of these proposals would require a small increase in funding. The exception is the last proposal, which would be able to retain or increase frequency on each route, while also adding the new 106 extension.
The following are some of the options I came up with, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each:
The Previous Proposal
The biggest advantage of the previous proposal is that it keeps the 12 much like it is today (it is identical east of 16th). One advantage of the proposal is that it forms a fairly good split, or branch. Bus frequency west of 14th would be double that of each route, which seems quite reasonable. Madrona and Miller Park have far fewer people than Pike/Pine. Giving riders at the tail ends of the route 15 minute service while the combined sections get 7.5 minute frequency seems appropriate, and a nice improvement.
One disadvantage is that the 12 overlaps the G. This is less than ideal, as riders of the 12 may take longer to board than those on the G. This could cause the G to occasionally be delayed. I see this as a minor problem (and one that will occur also with the 8) but it is worth mentioning.
The 2/10 Split
This proposal is similar to the previous one, except that the 10 heads south and joins the 2. The 12 then takes over some of the work of the 10. This eliminates the problem mentioned earlier (there is no overlap with the G). There are also fewer turns overall.
This would come with a service shift. The 12 would have ten minute frequency, while the 10 gets fifteen minute headways. That creates the same 7.5 minute frequency on Pike/Pine (east of 14th) as the default proposal.
The 10/12 Split
This creates a branch on 15th and Thomas. As with the previous proposal, service would shift. The 2 would get ten minute frequency, while the 10 and 12 would have fifteen minute headways. Frequency west of 15th and Thomas would therefore improve (to 7.5 minutes).
Send the 10 to Jackson
This is most radical of the various proposals, and the most like a grid. The 12 is sent to downtown (via the current path of the 10) while the new 10 is sent south. It would skirt both Seattle University, and Cherry Hill, filling the biggest north-south service hole in the area. It would still provide a one-seat ride to downtown, largely because once the bus reaches Jackson, downtown is the nearest layover location (it would layover where the 106 currently lays over). One and two seat rides would replace awkward three-seat rides, including fairly natural ones (like Swedish Cherry Hill to Kaiser Permanente). As with most of these variations, there would be a shift in service. The 10 would run less often (every fifteen minutes) while the 12 would run every ten minutes.
There would be no increase in service anywhere, unlike every other proposal (which comes with increases due to branching, if nothing else). I consider this to be the biggest drawback with this version.
Eliminate the 12
This proposal eliminates the 12 altogether. It also eliminates service on MLK, north of McClellan. It is a simplified network, requiring some riders to walk farther to a bus. But coverage is still fairly good, and the benefit is more frequent service. According to my estimates, this network would be significantly cheaper to operate, even with the additional frequency of the G (6 minute headways in the middle of the day) and the new 106 to Uptown. These savings could easily pay for running the 2 every ten minutes, using pre-pandemic levels of funding. If funding improves, other improvements could follow (e. g. increasing frequency on Yesler).
There are other variations, of course, but those are the ones I would consider ideal. I have my preferences, and will add that to the comments. Please share your thoughts there as well.