This is another in a series of posts about the Lynnwood Link bus restructure. This covers the area north of Seattle. I have two maps, but neither should be considered a full-fledged proposal. They are a set of ideas, and I doubt either would be adopted in its entirety. The first one is austere — a bare-bones system that is intended to provide coverage where it is needed most. The second covers more of the region, while providing an important corridor with very good frequency. It is unlikely we can afford the latter, or have to settle for the former. We would likely get something in between.

Common Themes

Despite the differences, there are some common themes:

  1. Straighter routes. Turning takes extra time, especially at major intersections. Traffic signals favor cars going straight, which means a turn may take several light cycles.
  2. Avoids roads that are congested, but have few riders. 145th and 175th, for example, don’t have many apartments, but lots of traffic.
  3. Infrequent routes should exist for coverage, not connectivity. An infrequent bus that runs along the same pathway as a frequent bus will not get many riders, even if it saves some people a transfer.
  4. Coverage routes should save riders a considerable amount of walking. The routes should be spread out whenever possible.

Austere Proposal

It is easier to read the map if you expand it to full size (it will open in its own window), providing a legend on the left side, listing each route. Selecting a route brings it to the foreground. The 333, 334 and 336 on this map would be infrequent (30 minute headways in the middle of the day). This proposal saves service hours by following the general guidelines mentioned above as well as cutting back coverage, frequency and direct connections, such as:

  1. No service along the county line between Aurora Village and Mountlake Terrace. Very few riders use those stops.
  2. No service along 145th, west of the Link Station. This is more than made up for with service along all of Meridian. The service hole that the proposed 46 creates along Meridian between 130th and 145th has a fair number of riders.
  3. No service along 175th. There won’t be many riders either way, but at least going north-south is very fast.
  4. No coverage for parts of the proposed 336 (NE 150th, 30th Avenue NE). These areas are close enough to more frequent buses.
  5. The 334 (replacing the 331) is extended east to Bothell, to cover a service hole mentioned in this post. If Sound Transit added a bus stop for the S3 at 83rd Place NE (where there is a crossing and existing bus stops) you wouldn’t need this extension. That would save Metro a considerable amount of money, while giving riders in the area better bus service.
  6. No 324, which means no direct connection between Lake City and Kenmore/Bothell. I don’t believe this is necessary, nor do I think the 324 would perform well. Relatively few people are taking this trip. Those that are going this way will likely take a more frequent bus simply because it will arrive first.
  7. No direct connection between Aurora Village and Mountlake Terrace. Riders can take the 130 or a Link/Swift Blue combination. Some of the riders who make this trip right now are transferring to Swift, in which case it would be the same number of transfers, while also saving them wait and travel time (Link is fast and frequent).
  8. No direct connection from Aurora Village or the northern part of Aurora to Shoreline Community College. The RapidRide E is very frequent, running every 7.5 minutes in the middle of the day. Riders can easily hop on the E, then take the bus directly across 160th, instead of waiting for a bus that winds back and forth to get to the college.
  9. No direct connection between parts of Aurora and Link. The proposed 46 and 334 run along a corridor served by the very fast and frequent E. Very few riders will bother waiting for their direct connection, and instead just take the E and transfer. In both cases the buses are going the opposite direction most people want to go, further hurting ridership. People generally don’t like going the wrong direction, especially if it would take a while (e. g. north up to 175th, east along 175th, then north up to 185th to the station before heading south).

Overall, with the exception of the first item, coverage is largely a wash. Some people have a longer walk to a bus stop, others are closer. Frequency is reduced, but in areas with relatively few riders. A few direct connections go away, but the extension of the 72 makes up for it. Not only does this give a lot more people a direct connection to the college, but it gives those same riders a connection to the RapidRide E. While there are drawbacks to this proposal, they are largely worth the cost savings, and it would mean better service elsewhere.

Robust Proposal

This proposal provides additional coverage, direct connections and frequency. Specifically, it:

  1. Covers the greater Hamlin Park/Briarcrest area (east of 15th NE) with the 335.
  2. Restores coverage for the Hillwood neighborhood (west of Aurora Village) with the 336.
  3. Covers 205th (south of Lake Ballinger) after all. The 333 could be timed with the 130 to provide good combined headway between Aurora Village and Mountlake Terrace.
  4. Extends the 334 (from Ballinger/North City) to Aurora and Shoreline Community College. This adds a direct connection to an important destination, while also giving lots of people a good connection to the RapidRide E.
  5. Individual routes are as infrequent as with the austere proposal, but the combined headways along 185th would be excellent. If timed properly, you would have 7.5 frequency connecting Aurora with North City (and the station). Some of the trips would still involve two transfers, but with fast and very frequent service along 185th and Aurora, this would make up for it.

There are a range of options here, and I would like to know what people think in the comments.

49 Replies to “North End Modifications to the Lynnwood Link Connections Plan”

  1. Some thoughts on your Austere plan:

    * Your “expand it to full size” link shows a PNG rather than actually linking to the map in its own window.
    * I seriously doubt many riders would be riding the 334 “around the horn” past Mountlake Terrace. Can you break it up there, and attach the west leg from Montlake Terrace – 185th to some other route – like, maybe, one leg or another of the 336?
    * I approve your idea to cut the Aurora Village – Mountlake Terrace connection back to the 130.
    * I also strongly approve of your 72 extension.

    On your Robust Proposal:
    * I’m iffy on covering 205th between Aurora Village and Mountlake Terrace, but I do like the idea of connecting the 333 to Link at the north end. I’m concerned about getting stuck in freeway traffic, though.

    1. Your “expand it to full size” link shows a PNG rather than actually linking to the map in its own window.

      Yes, that is to show you how to expand the map to full size. It is an instructional picture. Using the same technique you can expand the other map. (Kinda funny that I added that to avoid confusion and now I’ve confused people. Oops.)

      I seriously doubt many riders would be riding the 334 “around the horn” past Mountlake Terrace.

      Maybe not, but you never know. I connected it for the same reason Metro connected it (why not?). Which leads me to the rest of the paragraph:

      Can you break it up there, and attach the west leg from Montlake Terrace – 185th to some other route – like, maybe, one leg or another of the 336?

      I think I had that in one of the earlier maps I made. I didn’t split it, but had it going all the way across (like the Robust proposal). But the reason I didn’t do that with the Austere plan is because it left me with a tiny stub from 185th to 145th along 5th. There was no way to fix that without overlapping other routes, defeating the purpose of an austere plan.

      Another alternative is to have the bus go from Mountlake Terrace to 145th. That leaves the other bus (the 336) ending at the station. I could see that, but it seems like a wash. It might be a little better, but not a lot. In general I erred on the side of retaining what Metro came up with, which was through-routing through Mountlake Terrace. With any proposal though, if we need to break up the 334, it should be broken up at Mountlake Terrace.

      I’m iffy on covering 205th between Aurora Village and Mountlake Terrace, but I do like the idea of connecting the 333 to Link at the north end. I’m concerned about getting stuck in freeway traffic, though.

      A valid concern. I’m iffy too. I mostly want to dismiss the idea that the bus should run every 15 minutes. If it runs every half hour — and runs opposite the 130 — you have equivalent headways for the vast majority of riders (who are skipping everything in between the station and Aurora Village). Unfortunately, the only good way to get between those two stops is to follow the path of the 130 (which goes way up and around) or go towards the freeway. There is no equivalent of 185th — a road that is easily accessed and does not have freeway traffic. That is why ultimately I think it probably just makes sense to punt, and not cover it with a Metro bus, and let CT do the work with the 130.

  2. I understand the motivations for cutting service along congested roads flanked by low-density development, but perhaps there’s room for consideration as to why those east-west streets are busy – people do be wanting to go east and west, and there are few realistic options today except by car! Currently, in the portion of the restructure covered by this post (145th to Shoreline Transit Center), Metro only runs buses across I-5 at 155th and 185th. The current proposed restructure puts an all-day bus on all 5 available crossings of I-5 between 130th and Mountlake Terrace.

    Both of these proposals does close to nothing to improve east-west connectivity for folks starting west of 99 to get east of I-5. (The proposed jog of the 333 cross I-5 at 130th is weak).

    I get that it seems that east-west ridership is weak, but it’s hard to ride a bus that doesn’t exist, and it seems to me that the point of the Link “spine” is to open more opportunities for new service crossing the spine, not just running parallel to it.

    1. perhaps there’s room for consideration as to why those east-west streets are busy

      Yes, absolutely. They are going along those very congested roads to get on the freeway. That’s it. Close those freeway ramps and the congestion goes away. Put it another way: Add ramps at 185th and 155th and suddenly those roads are very congested. Horribly congested. The best way to get to a station is along 155th or 185th, while the best way to get the freeway is along 145th and 175th.

      The current proposed restructure puts an all-day bus on all 5 available crossings of I-5 between 130th and Mountlake Terrace.

      Yes, and the buses run so infrequently that they will largely be ignored. What is the use case for these buses? Seriously, I don’t see it. Someone at 175th and Aurora will take the 334 up to Link so they can get to the UW or downtown? Hardly. They will continue to take the E and transfer. Someone will take the bus to get to North City? No way. They will take the E and transfer to the 348. Someone in an apartment at 145th and Aurora will take the 46 because it is mostly a straight shot to the station. Maybe, except why wait so long to catch that bus when you can just walk over and catch the 65? Yes, it loops around, but it runs way more often. The only significant benefit is for those who live along 145th and 175th. There aren’t that many people there. The vast majority of people will simply use a different option.

      Both of these proposals does close to nothing to improve east-west connectivity for folks starting west of 99 to get east of I-5.

      Nonsense. Both of these proposals swap out the 333 for the 72. This means that folks in Shoreline Community College — by far the most popular destination east of 99 — can get to Lake City and various other Seattle locations. There are other buses as well:

      Austere 336 — Serves the college as well as coverage areas west of 99 and east of I-5. The are no other buses serving the areas west of Aurora because other than the college and Richmond Beach, those areas are very low density, low ridership places (and this is an austere proposal).

      Robust 334 — Goes all the way from Bothell to Shoreline Community College. This is a significantly faster way to go across as well.

      Robust 336 — Covers an area west of 99 that the Metro plan does not and connects those riders to areas east of I-5.

      I get that it seems that east-west ridership is weak, but it’s hard to ride a bus that doesn’t exist, and it seems to me that the point of the Link “spine” is to open more opportunities for new service crossing the spine, not just running parallel to it.

      I agree completely. No one is arguing otherwise. But these proposals do provide east-west service. They do it better than the Metro proposal because they converge service along the major corridors. In the Robust proposal we would have 7.5 minute headways from Fremont (west of Aurora) to 5th NE. That is a huge increase in frequency. Hell, I could easily be convinced to send the 336 on a little jog to North City (which is what the Metro proposal has) since that would extend the high frequency (7.5 minute) east-west corridor from Fremont to 15th NE. Now that I look at it, I kinda regret I didn’t. (I can easily change the map, but that gets confusing to people).

      I’m all for east-west service. If I could get ST to continue their bus to Shoreline Community College I would. But that is unrealistic. It won’t happen for years, if ever. Otherwise I am very much in favor of frequent east-west service.

      What doesn’t work is to have infrequent coverage buses making oodles of turns and eventually meandering their way across the freeway at the most congested spots. That just won’t work. Not when there are better options for the vast majority of potential riders. Not when the unique areas they cover will have very few riders.

      1. To be clear, we don’t have a really good grid, since the gaps between stations are too large. That is the problem some of these routes are trying to solve. The problem is they do it in a clumsy manner. The buses take too many turns and serve congested corridors (with few people). The frequency gets watered down because these buses are too slow and there aren’t that many riders. Worse yet, the buses are often going the wrong direction (north to Link, when most people will take Link south). There will be some that go that direction (Lynnwood Transit Center to 175th and Aurora) but very few. Far more will just transfer from Swift to the E. We don’t need an upside down “L” — I’m not sure if we even need an “L”.

        Too be clear, there is merit for an “L” route, like this: But if you run it every 15 minutes, it is expensive. If you run it every half hour, few will use it. Partly it is because it runs along an extremely frequent corridor (the RapidRide E). Very few will wait for a half hour bus, but even a 15 minute bus won’t get many riders if the competition is a 7.5 minute bus. Ten minutes is a long time to wait. If I see the E coming, I probably take it, then transfer at 130th. I might end up taking the same bus I would have if I would have waited, but this is common. People hate waiting.

        But there are other issues. Because ST didn’t extend the S3 all the way across, this doesn’t connect to the bus going to Lake Forest Park/Kenmore/Bothell. It is almost like you need a second bus to do that, further adding to the cost, and watering down the system.

        Finally, the hole really isn’t that big. The east west corridors (185th, 160th/155th, 130th) are not ideally spaced, but they don’t leave huge gaps. Consider the RapidRide E stops that aren’t within a five minute walk of an east-west transit corridor:

        * 192nd — Seven minute walk. It would be nice if Swift went this way and stopped there (or even if the 101 went this way and extended to 185th).
        * 175th — Ten minute walk.
        * 170th — Ten minute walk.
        * 145th — Ten minute walk at worse. Many of the riders can walk to the 65, since there is a lot more development west of Aurora there (on Linden) then east of it.

        I get the problem that Metro is trying to solve, I just don’t think it is worth solving. That really isn’t that many riders. Those riders have a cumbersome connection to Link, but one that involves the most frequent bus in our entire system — a bus that currently runs more often than our light rail line. You could probably pull it off with 15 minute service, but we just don’t have that kind of money (and it probably still wouldn’t get that many riders). Metro tries to also have those routes do double duty, as coverage routes, and that is where it fails. You end up leaving really big coverage gaps, while running slow buses (constantly stuck making a turn or stuck in traffic) while not actually serving those gaps along Aurora very well.

      2. I appreciate that it’s a complicated problem. I think what irks me about your proposal(s) is the appart focus on providing good service to all the north-south corridors (which is “easy” since there’s only a handful), while not doing the same for the east-west roads (which are not well-developed between the major N-S arterials). I get that it’s the pattern and inertia of history, but for a close-to-home example: I would love it if there were any sort of transit that ran along 65th from Sunset Hill to Phinney Ridge and beyond. I get that the west slope of Phinney Ridge is probably too steep for anything but a trolleybus, but the three-seat ride to go a mile due east is really lame. I bike it fairly often, but there isn’t a safe-feeling direct route, either.

        Metro’s proposal looks like they tossed a bunch of spaghetti on the map to make a bunch of weird coverage routes. I agree they ought to be straightened out, but focusing all service to two E-W corridors seems like overkill.

        In these proposals (and, indeed, in Metro’s proposal as well), a trip that jumps out at me as being particularly poorly served is from the blocks around N 165th & Aurora to the blocks around N 175th & 15th NE.

        I don’t have the ridership numbers for the current system memorized, but I would love to have access to something like to see if E-W demand is real like I’d think it is, or if current congestion really is mainly focused on folks funneling to I-5.

        But sure, you’re probably right that it’s better to stack routes on the same corridor to boost overall frequencies, and those corridors would become “High Capacity Transit” corridors that would justify subsequent densification and improvements to walkability. I’m probably just projecting my own selfishness at wanting more coverage on east-west corridors since it’s somewhat lacking in my neck of the woods.

      3. There are issues with going east-west along 145th and 175th:

        1) You leave coverage holes. The 46, for example, manages to skip one of the higher ridership areas along Meridian (Roosevelt).

        2) It is expensive. North-South travel is very fast. It is why Link probably should have gone west long before Lynnwood, or why the UW to Ballard line makes so much sense. It is much faster than what a bus can do. Buses along 175th and 145th are bound to be slow. Not only because of traffic, but because of the turns they are forced to make.

        3) Relatively few people live along those corridors (outside areas covered by other buses). That is a key piece of this. Buses like the 46 and 346 are coverage buses. Much of the 333 is coverage. It doesn’t make sense to spend a huge amount of service hours on coverage buses when you aren’t actually adding coverage. Infrequent connectivity buses just won’t work. It is like the 73 — completely absent, by the way. It died despite saving people a very nasty transfer, or a detour out of the way. For people in Pinehurst (like me) headed to Roosevelt or the UW on the 73 is much faster. But it is so infrequent that I end up taking the (barely frequent enough) 347/348 and Link.

        I really think the problem with the routes is that they are trying to do too much. These are conflicting goals. With enough money, you straighten the routes, and create good east-west travel along each corridor. It is easy to be critical of the Metro planners, but they are trying to square a circle. There isn’t enough money to run frequent buses east-west along 145th and 175th, or even run them infrequently while providing current levels of coverage. So they end up with this mess.

        Then there is the value in consolidating along the major east-west corridors. In the case of the austere map, the savings are enormous. It is quite likely this would pay for say, running the 65 or 348 every ten minutes. This would represent a huge improvement in east-west travel — much more than the infrequent crossing buses like the 46 and 334. The robust map has 7.5 minute frequency along 185th. That’s as good as the RapidRide E! That is better than Link right now. Anyone who is a fan of good east-west service for north Shoreline should be salivating over that. That is way better than buses like the 46 and 334. The number of people who will benefit with the unique coverage areas along the way (e. g. 145th & Meridian, 175th & Meridian) are tiny (see point 3).

        I think what irks me about your proposal(s) is the apart focus on providing good service to all the north-south corridors (which is “easy” since there’s only a handful), while not doing the same for the east-west roads (which are not well-developed between the major N-S arterials). I get that it’s the pattern and inertia of history.

        Inertia has nothing to do with it. I always start with a blank slate. I actually ponder over this quite a bit, running through numerous options. It is a hobby of mine, if you will. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss things, or that someone else won’t come up with a better idea. But the only thing that is inertial is the layovers. I’m even pushing to change that (I would love to see a layover by 145th & Lake City Way).

        I quibble with your wording for north-south corridors. This does not provide good service. It provides coverage service. Barely adequate service. A half hour bus is a bus of desperation. It is a bus you take when you have no other choice — or you just don’t want to walk to a more frequent bus. The Metro plan does not provide good east-west service on 145th or 175th. It only provides the same coverage-level service, but going a different direction, while managing to cover fewer stops.

        for a close-to-home example: I would love it if there were any sort of transit that ran along 65th from Sunset Hill to Phinney Ridge and beyond. I get that the west slope of Phinney Ridge is probably too steep for anything but a trolleybus, but the three-seat ride to go a mile due east is really lame.

        I agree. I think it is a big missing hole in our system. At the very least I would run a bus that goes from 8th NW to 32nd NW along 65th. It gets increasingly more difficult the farther you go east. Narrow, steep streets and all that. Maybe a small bus could pull it off — I would certainly like to try. I also don’t think the steepness is a big deal. Diesel electrics can climb way better than buses of old. Pretty soon they will all run on batteries anyway. An electric 40 footer running from Roosevelt Station to 65th & 32nd NW would be fantastic.

      4. Just to clarify what I meant by inertia; I was referring to development patterns, not transit patterns. Bus routes can always change – it’s a lot harder to convince folks to let go of restrictive zoning to allow density to increase organically like it did in the early 20th century.

        “Good” is always relative. I guess I’m still getting the hang of the idea that “no bus” is sometimes better than “some bus” when the “some bus” could be allocated to sustain usable frequencies elsewhere. Having grown up in a land of 30 to 60 to even 120-minute bus routes, a bus that runs more than twice an hour feels luxurious.

      5. Would a bus traveling E/W along 175th be that slow? We go to the Shoreline library with some regularity to pick up books and have the choice of a variety of winding buses from Northgate TC, or taking the E and walking a mile down 175th. If anything, traffic on 175th is uncomfortably fast, and I never have seen anything approaching stop&go. There’s also a good number of destinations anchoring both ends of 175th (Trader Joe’s, Safeway, various restaurants) along with the middle of the route (Meridian Park School, Ronald Bog Park, the library). I definitely get that resources are limited and there’s technical challenges to it, but selfishly I can say that we would benefit from that hypothetical route. :)

      6. Would a bus traveling E/W along 175th be that slow?

        Most of the day it will be fine. But during rush hour — the one time you would expect a considerable number of people — it is slow. Furthermore, there is no station at 175th, so a bus has to turn east of I-5 to connect to the station. West of I-5 you reach Aurora very quickly, and then are forced to turn once again, at Fremont (if not sooner). That is why the proposed 334 makes all of those turns. It is easy to say “straighten it out” but you can’t, really. Not without adding another station at 175th. That is a lot of turns for relatively little coverage.

        In contrast, a bus along Meridian can cover 200th to 130th without making any turns. That covers everything in King County between Aurora and I-5 north of 130th. That is much, much faster. In terms of coverage per service hour it is much more cost effective.

        From a transit standpoint, one of the fundamental problems with the area (aside from the low density) is that you can’t create a good grid. It is easy to imagine it. Without the freeway, you could have east-west service every ten blocks, like 145th, 155th, 165th, 175th, 185th. That works out quite nicely, really. But the freeway blocks *most* of those streets. It just won’t work. You can’t build a grid.

        Then you have the problem of density. This is a coverage area. By that I mean, there simply aren’t enough potential riders to justify good transit. This is like the neighborhoods where riders have to walk a mile to the nearest bus stop ( Or the apartment complexes that have a 15 minute walk to the bus ( This is that kind of neighborhood. The only way you can justify any transit anywhere nearby is if you can cover it efficiently. There are two ways to cover the area between Aurora and I-5, north of 130th:

        1) Go east-west, back and forth, leaving big gaps because our street grid doesn’t go across on streets like 137th, 165th or 195th.
        2) Just go north-south on Meridian.

        Obviously the second choice is better. It is much faster and it covers more places. Riders still get a fast connection to Link, as well as a direct connection to Northgate. Northgate is a bigger destination than North City, but that misses the point. This is a coverage area, and the more efficiently we can cover the area, the more people can have bus service of any kind within walking distance. It also means that we increase ridership because those routes can run more frequently.

        I know I’m probably repeating myself but I think Metro planners tried to do three things with this pattern:

        1) Cover areas.
        2) Connect riders in relatively high density areas (e. g. Aurora) directly to Link.
        3) Provide more east-west oriented service (which is what people asked for).

        The problem is, they spread themselves too thin, and failed on each goal. Coverage is worse than before. The buses are infrequent (which is fine for coverage) but terrible for the other two goals. Riders in high density areas will largely ignore the half hour bus. If you are on Aurora trying to get to Link, you aren’t going to wait for a half-hour bus (not when the E comes every 7.5 minutes). Even if you are trying to get across — to say, North City — you will just take the E up to 185th and then transfer to the 348. Half hour buses just can’t compete. This is why the 73 died. It can’t compete with a 15 minute bus — the 334 and 46 have to compete with a 7.5 minute bus. Even if some people wait, a lot of people won’t. A bus that would never perform great without competition doesn’t stand a chance if there is an alternative. Ridership will be very low, while it provides less coverage. That’s just not good.

    2. I still think that it would make sense to connect Bitter Lake and Lake City with the 130th Link station at the same frequency as Link. That way the station could massively increase its 15min or at least 20min walkshed. If running buses at that frequency gets too expensive, then Metro or even the city should consider a gondola or APM. That way every time a train arrives, people could transfer and reach one of the highest density and affordable neighborhoods and make up for the fact that STRide won’t serve Lake City. At Bitter Lake it could also provide a transfer opportunity for RR-E riders who want to go to UW for example.

      1. The 130th corridor will be covered with another proposal. I agree that the 130th corridor should have higher frequency than every 15 minutes. I’m probably going to come up with a “robust” proposal that combines routes to provide service every 7.5 minutes. Another alternative would be to just run the 65 every ten minutes. That would be as often as the south and east end of Link, but not as often as the north end (nor as often as the E).

  3. Where can I find Sound Transit’s version of the restructure plan? Or have they published one yet?

    1. I don’t think they have published anything. I think it is fair to say they will truncate the buses in Lynnwood (and send the 522/S3 to 148th, which is listed on this plan). What they do with the service hours remains to be seen. That means that is likely to be more of a Community Transit/Sound Transit thing, rather than a Metro/Sound Transit thing.

    2. Link restructures are are a joint proposal by Metro and ST, with Metro taking the lead in presenting proposals and collecting feedback. ST tells Metro its intentions and Metro included them in the proposals. Any feedback on ST routes will go back to ST. ST is unlikely to change its intentions because it has fewer routes and they’re longer and more expensive than Metro routes, so there are fewer choices and they have larger budget implications.

      For Metro’s Lynnwood Link restructure, the only relevant ST route is the 522/S3. For Community Transit’s Lynnwood Link restructure in Snohomish County, the only relevant ST route is the 510, because all the other 51x were already truncated at Northgate and will be truncated at Lynnwood. Link’s speed in the Westlake-Lynnwood and Westlake-Everett corridor is in the midrange of ST Express: faster than peak hours but slower than Sunday morning. That’s robust enough that ST won’t consider not truncating the north-south routes. CT intends to truncate all its 4xx express routes at Lynnwood.

      ST will also release annual operating plans for 2024 and 2025, and those will also show what it intends and give an opportunity to provide feedback on it.

      1. It is worth noting that the Community Transit related restructure doesn’t list the ST Express buses. Not every bus is obvious. The 511, for example, goes from Northgate to Ash Way. Truncate it at Lynnwood and you have a bus that is the same as the 201/202. Get rid of it and you wonder where the extra savings go. Same with the truncations in general. Will they run the bus(es) from Everett more often, or run buses towards different places (e. g. Paine Field, since that is a big part of future Everett Link)? There are still things to decide, and ST (facing various financial problems) may not want to answer them for a while.

  4. Ross, can you estimate the difference in cost between the austere proposal and the robust proposal, and how the cost of each compares to what is currently being considered?

    I think you have raised a good point in the past, and that is Link took the easy route: north/south, in many cases along I-5 (which of course means it competes directly with I-5), but has left Metro the heavy lifting: east– west-east which has always been challenging in Seattle, from West Seattle to Beacon Hill to Madison Park to downtown Seattle to UW to Ballard to east/west on 85th, let alone getting to Shilshole.

    The neighborhood patterns are based on I-5. People want to access and use I-5 but not live next to it. So housing fanned out west and east from I-5, but in increasingly tight roads for buses the farther east or west you get, and housing values increase the farther you get from I-5. You are correct the car congestion on those west-east-west roads are cars going to I-5, because where else would they be going. How many are going from Blue Ridge to LCW?

    I have always thought this east-west-east first/last mile access would be the most critical part of Link (although ST didn’t think that). I don’t think very many folks will want to live in TOD within walking distance of Link and I-5. Probably with tight budgets, and much of this area of north Seattle being equity but not qualified as an equity zone, this will be one of the most difficult first/last mile access areas for Metro. CT is so poor that is a whole different east-west-east first/last mile access issue. The reality is virtually all of SnoCo is an equity zone.

    The “austere” vs. “robust” plans depend obviously on funding which is reflected in your titles. My guess is future conditions absent some new revenue source suggest the austere plan, or something more austere, which is why the right planning per dollar for this difficult east-west-east first/last mile access will be very difficult, and I think your posts on this issue reflect that which I respect.

    1. Ross, I like how you propose routes that don’t end at 148th or 185th Link but just pass by. Northgate still makes sense as a transfer hub (albeit it isn’t on an east-west street) because many routes converge there and there are many attractions to walk from the station to.

      I also like how you suggest that buses stay on the street at 148th rather than make riders endure the merry-go-round bus transit stops there. Spinning on a bus makes me queasy!

      Generally, I can’t say much more. I really feel that Shoreline residents should have a bigger say in their destination needs.

      One area where we have differed in the past is that I feel that far north Aurora could have some overlay buses rather than just RapidRide E. There are many retail and community destinations on the corridor that Shoreline and far north Seattle residents would seem to want to reach directly rather than be forced to transfer.

    2. Daniel, CT is not “poor”. In fact, they run one of the best commuter operations west of the Mississippi River. They think outside the box regularly.

      The double-deck buses get the capacity of an artic with the footprint and stability of a forty-footer. And they’re fast! Yes, CT does have an “east-west first/last mile access” issue, simply because the portion of SnoCo within ten miles of the King County line has outgrown its road system. But they are already saving dozens of bus hours per day by not going south of Northgate with U-District routes. When Link gets to Lynnwood, they won’t have any express service south of there at all. Nada. They’ll be putting hundreds of hours per week in the bank. They’ll be able to pay for expanded east-west service.

      1. I wouldn’t call CT “poor” either, but they definitely struggle with funding. They have a very challenging area to cover, and because most of it is low density, fare revenue is poor. Half hour bus service is the norm, with plenty of places with hourly service, and some with peak-only service. The plans for after the Link restructure look pretty good, but it still doesn’t look great. The Everett Transit mess doesn’t help.

    3. Ross, can you estimate the difference in cost between the austere proposal and the robust proposal, and how the cost of each compares to what is currently being considered?

      Great question. In the past I’ve tried to estimate whether a proposal is revenue neutral or not and it gets a bit tedious. I don’t know of any special tools that could help. I just look at schedules (or Google Map directions) and connect pieces (do the math, so to speak). This particular restructure is tricky, since Metro is making a lot of routes that never existed before. For example, how long does it take for a bus to turn from 145th to southbound Aurora, and then take another left from Aurora to 130th (the 46)? What about similar turns for the 334? Hard to say. I guess I can look at driving directions. I can start by subtracting the pieces that are the same. For example, the swap of service with the 72 and 333 costs nothing. For this map I can ignore the area in Seattle south of 130th. For the Metro plan that means:

      46 from 148th Station to Haller Lake — 8 minutes (
      324 from Lake City to Kenmore — 9 minutes (
      333 from SCC to Mountlake Terrace — 17 minutes (
      334 from 185th Station to SCC — 9 minutes (
      336 — 21 minutes (

      All times are without traffic. The north part of the 333 (from SCC to Mountlake Terrace also runs twice as often, so double that time). That works out 81 minutes. Now compare that with the Austere plan:

      333 from Aurora Village to Haller Lake — 11 minutes (
      336 — 14 minutes (

      So 81 minutes compared to 25. That is obviously a huge amount of savings. It is also worth pointing out that this is without traffic. One of the key pieces of this approach is to avoid busy traffic corridors whenever possible. Traffic not only adds to overall travel time, but it means Metro needs to add in “float” or the extra time it spends on occasion to get from one place to another. All of this adds up.

      To be fair, this is car time (no stops) not bus time, but I would assume the ratio would be similar. The ratio is huge, but when you look at the overall service it isn’t. Still, this would likely pay for plenty of additional coverage, or running the key buses (like the 65) more often (or both).

      I will leave the calculations for the robust plan for the reader :)

    4. I don’t think very many folks will want to live in TOD within walking distance of Link and I-5.

      It depends. I think the Mountlake Terrace area has promise. (Here is an aerial view: The part they expect to grow is east of 58th. There is a park between the neighborhood and the station, with the freeway on the other side. This means a bit longer walk to the station, but the park serves as a buffer for freeway noise. I think that neighborhood will definitely grow.

      But there is a limit. To me, that’s the bigger issue. The freeway itself takes up a fair amount of land. The other side doesn’t look too good either. You have to get over the freeway, and the only section that can be developed is the northern part. That is a common them for these stations. Freeways and adjacent parks (or green belts).

      As much as it seems people don’t want to live in the shadow of the freeway, they keep building there. You can see an apartment building there, south of the station. It doesn’t look great. It will be about a ten minute walk to the station, and that doesn’t look pleasant (although maybe they will add enough trees). There will be bus service, but then you might as well live farther away. Because it is so close to the freeway, and because there is little else to walk to, I don’t think you’ll get much ridership from those apartments. People there will drive. On the other hand, the area I mentioned earlier could evolve to be a nice tiny village, where people get along OK without a car, and routinely take Link for when they leave their neighborhood.

      I’m not sure about 185th, but I think North City will definitely grow. It is already one of the bigger neighborhoods in Shoreline. It is well away from the freeway, but a straight shot to it (kind of like Lake City and 130th). Still, that isn’t walk-up ridership. I think every station north of Northgate will have more bus-to-rail riders than walk-to-rail riders. That doesn’t mean people won’t walk to the train, just that more will take the bus.

      1. “I don’t think very many folks will want to live in TOD within walking distance of Link and I-5.”

        Some people don’t have a choice because they can’t afford to live in Wallingford or Ballard, so they choose the most walkable area they can. That may be some isolated apartments next to a freeway P&R in Mountlake Terrace or Ash Way. At least you have a train or regional bus, which is more than most locations in Snohomish County have. Others will live only in Snohomish County because they grew up there or have family there or work there or something.

    5. The “austere” vs. “robust” plans depend obviously on funding which is reflected in your titles.

      Yes, but I think it also represents a different philosophy. I could easily see the “austere” plan lead to more frequent service on the popular corridors. From what I can tell, the austere plan has better coverage than what Metro is proposing, but at a much lower cost. That savings could be put into running the 65 or 348 every ten minutes for example. In my opinion that would be a much better system. Better ridership and better coverage, at the cost of an occasional transfer (that most people won’t avoid anyway).

  5. Metro frequent routes seem to be a pretty high standard. While I want to see better connectivity from the north end of Aurora to Link, I’m not sure their proposed 333 between Montlake Terrace and Shoreline CC is justified. Eg, the campus seems pretty dead on the few weekends I’ve been in the area.

    The 342 has no proposed changes in the Metro restructure.

    It seems like the Renton-Bothell segment could be deleted and replaced by I-405 Stride.

    It then might be extended to Shoreline Community College and Montlake Terrace, and replace a segment of the Metro proposed 333, allowing Ross proposed 333 to provide better service as shown on these maps.

    1. the 342 has no proposed changes in the Metro restructure.

      It’s a weird bus. It has so few runs that I don’t bother mentioning it (for the same reason I don’t mention the 322 in the post — although we definitely talked about it in the comments). I would probably get rid of the 342, but the savings wouldn’t add up to much. In contrast, as you can see with my previous comment, the savings from the austere plan is huge. I’m guessing that would pay for running the 65 every ten minutes all day and adding some coverage for the north end.

    2. Glenn: Route 342 was given to the East Link project. The Lynnwood Link project is not touching it. The ELC project is too timid. It has attracted very low ridership, especially between Bellevue and Renton, and duplicates ST routes and Link. It should be deleted; deletion need not await Stride; we have routes 532, 535, 560, and 566 and low ridership.

  6. I get what the planners are trying to do but I think that what we’re seeing in this proposal is Metro trying to please to many constituencies and the end result being a confusing mess of new routes rather than a coherent useful system. I’ve been a metro operator for almost 10 years so I bring a perspective of working in the organization and serving the public.

    I like your austere map and the idea of simplification to maximize frequency and coverage on transit corridors. I think Metro should mostly eliminate low frequency and express routes. Metro has a horribly complicated system and the Lynnwood proposal only makes it even more confusing. The practice interlining of routes further complicates things for the riders. Missing from the maps that are geared towards the public are the impact of operational issues like the planning of layover space at terminals, and the impact that interlining routes may have on the proposed new routes. Another huge issue is the lack of planning for comfort stations at new layovers like Sound Transit stations, but that’s a whole other issue.

    The artificial boundary between Seattle and Shoreline seems to really come into play with the Lynnwood proposal. I think its a huge mistake to not bring into play all of the routes North of the ship canal. The interlined 65 & 67 etc should be removed in favor of single routes. For the most part I think Seattle routes should continue into Shoreline. Here’s a few thoughts I have:

    Extend the D line to Northgate
    Change the 40 via 85th to Northgate; Lake City (proposed 61)
    Extend the 28 to Northgate; College Way; Meridian Ave; AVTC; and 185th Link (proposed 46 and further North)
    Extend the 65 from Bitter Lake to Shoreline CC, AVTC; and Montlake Terrace or 185th Link (most of proposed 333)
    Extend the 67 further North (proposed 348)
    Extend the 72 to Shoreline CC (in the austere proposal)
    Extend the proposed 324 to 145th Link.

    1. Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate input from drivers (or other people at Metro). Some of you comments jump out at me:

      Missing from the maps that are geared towards the public are the impact of operational issues like the planning of layover space at terminals, and the impact that interlining routes may have on the proposed new routes.

      Great point. I’ve been looking at changing the routes for some time now. I know someone at Metro and with some of my early ideas he basically told me “that won’t work”. You can’t put a layover there, or you can’t turn a bus around. I am always on the lookout for new layovers (with comfort stations) but in this case, I just went with everything that exists already. I would love to see a new layover by the 130th Station (I think commuter buses layover there right now). Turning around might be tricky — I don’t know. Likewise I would like to see a layover close to 145th & Lake City Way. There are others I would like as well. That might make a nice post (“Layovers We Would Like to See”).

      As far as interlining, it is a big deal, in my opinion. Our street map is very messy — it is impossible to make a simple grid. Buses will inevitably combine and then separate. Done right, and you can have great combined headways along worthy corridors. Done wrong and it is just redundant coverage. Two 20-minute buses running opposite each other is great. A 15-minute and 20-minute bus on the same corridor doesn’t get you much. But that brings up another big issue with interlining. There is a co-dependency. In software circles they call this “brittle”. You can’t change the frequency of one bus without screwing up the other.

      The 345/346/347/348 were all tied to each other. Some by branching, some by through-routing. You couldn’t change one without changing all of them (or mucking things up for a lot of riders). Another example was the old 65 and 75. These are interesting buses because they share a corridor in places, but even when the don’t, they go to the same places. They both serve U-District, UW Campus, U-Village and Lake City. From a bus stop in Lake City, you can take either bus to the U-Village (whatever comes first). If they both ran every 15 minutes and were synchronized, that would mean 7.5 minute headways between those areas (which is great). But the buses don’t have similar demands. The 65 (35th NE) just picks up a lot more riders along the way. They increased the frequency on that route (because it is more productive) but that broke the pattern, and combined headways vary (and aren’t as good). Ideally you should be able to increase or decrease frequency on a route without having to do so with a bunch of other routes (or worse yet, restructure the system) but that is one of the trade-offs with interlining.

      The “robust” map tends to be more brittle than the “austere” one. For example, the 334 looks better than the other coverage maps. I could see it getting 20 minute frequency. But that then breaks the combined 7.5 minute headway along 185th. In contrast, the “austere” map is a lot more flexible. It basically begs for really good headways in exchange for simplicity. For the same amount of money as the Metro proposal, the 348 or 72 (or both) could run every ten minutes. That’s huge, in my opinion.

      Another issues is through-routing. Right now the 45 becomes the 75, for example. But that won’t work with the proposal. There are no plans to reduce frequency on the 45 (that would be nuts, in my opinion) so we are left wondering how that is supposed to work.

      I’ll comment on your specific route ideas on another thread.

      1. Some MAX stations (eg Foster Road/Lents, Clackamas Town Center) were built with bus driver lounge, break room and restroom facilities under the elevated track. With ST spending such vast amounts per station it seems rather stupid to not include layover facilities at stations known they will become bus route terminals.

      2. I agree. I think it may be difficult for ST to know which stations make sense as bus terminals and which don’t though. In general I wouldn’t terminate a bus at 130th, for example. If a bus is cutting across (from Lake City) it should keep going all the way across (to Greenwood Avenue). But if a bus is coming down Meridian, on the other hand, it is quite reasonable for it to just end at the station. Likewise if a bus is coming up 5th. In other words, it makes sense for buses that are mostly north-south to terminate at a station, but not so much for east-west buses. (Northgate is weird because it serves east-west buses but you can’t easily continue going east-west, which is why terminating there is fine. The 61 goes northeast-southwest, the only direction that allows the bus to keep going the same direction the whole time.)

        Given there are so few stations, we should allow for buses to terminate at every new station, even if we end up with a bus not terminating there.

    2. As far as your specific route ideas:

      * Extend the D line to Northgate
      * Change the 40 via 85th to Northgate; Lake City (proposed 61)

      I agree, and I’ve proposed this a few times. One issue is RapidRide. You need new bus stops and buses with different paint. It seems trivial, but it is an issue. After the 40 is made faster, I would like to push for this (since another issue is general congestion).

      * Extend the 28 to Northgate; College Way; Meridian Ave; AVTC; and 185th Link (proposed 46 and further North) — Not sure. The Haller Lake area is very challenging. Every idea I’ve heard (or come up with myself) leaves me feeling unsatisfied.

      * Extend the 65 from Bitter Lake to Shoreline CC, AVTC; and Montlake Terrace or 185th Link (most of proposed 333) — I think extending to Shoreline CC makes a lot of sense. I’m not sure why they didn’t do that. Maybe to keep it a “Seattle only” route so that if Seattle spends money on it, all of it is in Seattle. I think north of SCC you get diminishing returns.

      * Extend the 67 further North (proposed 348) — Yes. Look for that with my “Seattle” proposal. I basically combine the 67 and 348. The arrow shown for the 348 is purposely vague. I want to send that bus to the U-District, not Northgate.

      * Extend the 72 to Shoreline CC (in the austere proposal) — It should be extended in both proposals. Of the various changes, I think this is one that has the most general support.

      * Extend the proposed 324 to 145th Link. — I’m not sure I follow you. Doesn’t that just repeat the S3 (what Metro is still calling the 522 on the map)? I just get rid of the 324.

    3. I used the wrong term — I meant through routing when I said interlining routes should be removed in favor of single routes. I think the public would benefit from simplified routes as opposed to the practice of through routing.

      1. Yeah, I thought you might have. I should have checked first. At least it gave me a chance to write about interlining :)

        I agree though. There is a cost to through-routing. I think the reason it is done so much in the U-District is because of layover space. It also saves service time in some cases. Personally I don’t mind if buses overlap in the U-District. Then you have interlining in key areas, while avoiding long, cumbersome through-routing. For example, if push comes to shove, the 65 can layover at Green Lake Park and Ride, while the 45 lays over at the Montlake triangle, or Campus Parkway. That overlaps service between 65th and Campus Parkway (forming a “spine”). But that’s a good thing, given the huge numbers of people in that area, many of which just want to go a mile down the road.

      2. “I used the wrong term — I meant through routing when I said interlining routes should be removed in favor of single routes. I think the public would benefit from simplified routes as opposed to the practice of through routing.”

        Aren’t they the same thing? The bus continues seamlessly while changing its number. I used to be against these because what’s the chance somebody in Greenwood wants to go to 16 Ave SW rather than elsewhere, or that people in Greenlake want to go to South Park more than people on 8th Ave SW do? It seems to give an extraordinary privilege to arbitrary trip pairs, and to exacerbate delays by projecting them along both routes.

        But as I’ve gotten more experience riding them, I’ve found they’re worthwhile. Going from the northern U-District to Costco, I could take the 48 or 44 to Greenlake or 8th NW and transfer there rather than transferring downtown. It gets tiring transferring at crowded sketchy bus stops all the time.

        And when you can replace a transfer with a one-seat ride, that makes a difference when frequency is 15 minutes or worse and buses are often late. Sometimes you can walk to a through-route. Other times like my example I have to take another bus to it, but I can interpret that as touring North Seattle or stopping over at the transfer point for an errand.

        The fact that the (former 26)/28/131/132 overlap downtown, the 31/32/75 used to overlap, the 45/75 overlap now, the 65/67 overlap, and 7/49 are rejoined some evenings, means that all these routes go completely through downtown or the U-District/U-Village, serving trips to the far end of the area, and riders getting off are gradually replaced by riders getting on, all with less cost than with both routes going through downtown, and without the inconvenience of transferring in the middle.

        It sometimes causes confusion when the number-change occurs before people get off or they decline a bus that appears to have the wrong number but is actually the one they want, but this seems temporary and outweighed by the benefits. I’ve ridden from Rainier to Capitol Hill or from Sand Point to Fremont or from U-Village to Roosevelt and been glad about it.

        An example of the confusion is once recently I was in Sand Point going to the northern U-District, and I took a 75 and intended to transfer to a 45. Since I still had the old routings in my head, I assumed the 75 would continue as the 31/32, and the 45 stop would be on 15th. I didn’t know where the stop was after the U-District Station restructure. So I got to the Ave and asked a fellow passenger where the 45 stop is now. He said, “You’re on it; this is the 45.” I said, “It was the 75 when I got on.”

        As to having a common number for through-routes/interlines, that breaks the association of routes with neighborhoods. It means the Sand Point route and 35th Ave NE route would have been renumbered twice in the past decade. And that the 28 couldn’t be reconnected from the 131 to the 132 or another southern route without renumbering it. That means everybody who memorized “the 75 goes to Sand Point, the 28 goes to 8th Ave NW, the 31/32 are on N 40th Street” would have to learn new numbers every few years.

        There’s also the 2’s activists’ claims whenever Metro suggests splitting it. People in the eastern half say, “The 2 goes everywhere I go, and I don’t want to go anywhere it doesn’t.”

    4. This gets into ideals vs practicalities. At the beginning of the restructure Metro drew up a list of routes it would study and consider changing. The D and 40 weren’t on that list. Ideally I agree the D should continue to Northgate, and I’ve said that in feedback ever since the route was in planning. But it can’t happen this restructure because it would require significant money to buy more red buses and create RapidRide stations, which are both street improvements and stop enhancements. (And deteriorations, since RapidRide benches are smaller and less comfortable than regular stop benches.)

      1. Personally I think Metro should have a system wide restructure every two years. It gets complicated because Link is expanding (or there are various RapidRide improvements, like the G) but otherwise, I think we follow that pattern. That doesn’t mean every bus route would change. Many of them would stay the same. There might be entire regions that we are reasonably happy with, or feel like they’ve changed too recently to change again. But this would hopefully lead to addressing things that we’ve been putting off for a long time (like whether the buses that serve Magnolia are ideal). The D and 40 fall in that second category, although things are made worse because of the differences between RapidRide and regular buses. I would be tempted to hire Jarrett Walker’s firm to give us once over, and then have the regular crew made modifications after that. We still have a ton of legacy routes that should be altered.

        Oh, and weird to think that a RapidRide bus stop is worse than a regular one. That seems backwards.

      2. “weird to think that a RapidRide bus stop is worse than a regular one.”

        It’s based on the premise that RapidRide runs so often you won’t miss the bench. That fails when it runs every 15 minutes, and sometimes it’s late or doesn’t show up,.

        The stations are better in some ways. The sign “C Line Southbound to West Seattle” is informative. The next-arrival display makes waiting less tedious and displays the time. The map shows the entire route. You like the off-board ORCA readers. (I travel off-peak so I rarely see more than 1-2 people get on at a time except at transit centers.) The stations are lighted, and that makes them easy to find at night.

        On the other hand, the benches are too small. Typically there’s a one-person bench in the shelter (the size of a single seat). Sometimes that’s it, or sometimes there’s a two-person bench outside the shelter, but then it gets rained on. The style of the shelters is modernist and a bit sterile.

        But at least it’s frequent every day and evening. That’s a big improvement over most routes, and makes me willing to visit those neighborhoods and shop there more than I did before. All of the routes had 30-minute evenings before RapidRide.

  7. I hope the 334 stays as is on the map as that would be hugely helpful for me and my neighbors. My wife works at UW and having a single bus that can take her to both UW Bothell and UW Seattle would be a boon and our neighbor works at Shoreline Community College. It’s a little bit of a hike for us from 52nd Ave and 244th St SW, but it would be a huge QoL improvement than taking the meandering 347 as it sits now.

    1. I’m not sure I follow you. You’re at 52nd & 244th SW, right? Yeah, I would send a bus from there to Bothell. Mostly this is to cover the hole left by the S3. If S3 plugged that hole, at least it would be a good transfer. You could catch the 334, and then easily catch the S3 (running every ten minutes, very quickly) to UW Bothell. The bus stop would serve both buses.

      But it would be a two-seat ride to the UW Seattle. You would just head up to Mountlake Terrace, and then take the train back to the U-District or UW station. Maybe that is what you meant (it isn’t clear to me).

      For either bus stop you have to walk over to 19th, which isn’t too bad (and like you say, better than the meandering 347).

  8. Are bus drivers encouraged to — and do they– give input to suggestions and recommendations on this site?

    1. Absolutely.

      It’s always good to hear about what is physically possible and the bus drivers have a good perspective.

      Many choose to do so anonymously.

      Mark Dublin had been an operator but he passed away about a year or so ago, but you will find his comments everywhere here. His allegorical writing style wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

      1. Dublin served on an operator committee before and after the DSST implementation. He was passionate about transit. He wrote a great essay about the importance of exclusivity in transit rights of way. The spectrum of the degree of exclusivity is largely determines grades of BRT or distinguishes streetcar from Link. The Bredas turned out to be costly heavy lemons. I expect Dublin would have supported a restructure of the network around much shorter and more frequent DSTT routes rather than spreading long infrequent DSTT routes throughout the county. Yes, he had a colorful writing style.

    2. I personally would love to her bus driver feedback more! Most understand the practical reality of transit and can provide real-world understanding of things others merely speculate about.

      I’m reminded of routing discussions in the past that couldn’t be realistically driven, for example.

      Oh.. train driver input is valuable too!

  9. I was an architect for the 331 routing west of Aurora Village. It served numerous purposes. First, when it was an entire route (the 345 and 331 used to be a single route), it was obvious that most riders from the south alighted at Shoreline CC, whereas a new tranche of riders boarded there going northbound. Second, the idea was to serve Shoreline High School, as there were students not only in after-school activities in need of a bus ride (both parents working), but also those students in advanced studies at SCC. Third, the large private school at St. Luke’s School received service. Fourth, Einstein Middle School received service for its students to be able to participate in after-school programs and where both parents worked. Finally, there were many riders from Kenmore/Bothell going from there to/from Shoreline CC and many going to the eastside from the Aurora Village area. Remember, not all service is for commuters to the central business district, and not all riders are abled-bodied. Transferring may be relatively easy for the abled-bodied, but is not so for those who are not. Oh, and one more thing: a lot of riders go to/from Meridian south of 145th as well, and using College Way instead of 1st NE saved Metro a lot of time and money in the form of fuel and driver salaries, which is why I suggested that – plus to serve North Seattle (then) CC and with drivers harder to come by these days, time is even more of the essence.

    1. transit rider: yes, it seems odd that the conceptual network fails to serve the northwest part of Shoreline; free youth transit should make serving Einstein more important. Route 331 serves Shorewood; Shoreline is closed, but served by Route 348. This restructure seems like the time to add a route on 25th Avenue NE for Shorecrest. The current Route 346 serves Ingraham High and the Evergreen School.

    2. It is worth noting that Saint Luke’s is not served by either Metro’s proposals nor my maps. At first glance it seems to get pretty close, but since 175th doesn’t go through (even for pedestrians) it is a longer walk than it should be: You do pick up a church by using Fremont, but mostly you just save time.

      I serve Einstein Middle School with my “robust” map, but not with the “austere” one. The “robust” map should maybe even be called “coverage”, although with my focus on combining routes along corridors to get better headways, it is a bit more complicated.

      As far as getting to Shoreline Community College, it is a major part of my thinking. The difference is I expect people to use Link or the E for part of their journey, instead of waiting for an infrequent or indirect bus. There are exceptions (Shoreline High School to SCC remains directly connected) but people along most of Aurora would be expected to transfer.

      Your point about ridership patterns at SCC (everyone getting off, while a whole new group gets on) is a good one, which is why I think you might as well break up the route there. Looking at the ridership data, the destinations you mentioned weren’t big draws. Mostly it is just tiny groups of riders from each bus stop, with most of them heading to the college. For an inbound bus (heading south) the 331 pickup up around 90 riders and dropped off less than 38 riders between Aurora Village and SCC. I don’t see this as the end of the world, but it shows that this is definitely a coverage bus. The only combination that could result in a considerable number of riders is Aurora Village to SCC, and for that, there is the E, followed by an east-west bus. It is also likely that many of these riders arrived from the north, on Swift, or came from the rest of the route to the east. Riders from Swift may just stay on the bus, ride Link to 148th, and then go across. Likewise, riders who pass through Mountlake Terrace will be much better off getting off there, taking Link, and then taking that same bus. It is an extra transfer, but it is very fast (even when you consider the transfer).

  10. [Off Topic. Hopefully you have moved this to an open thread. If you want to avoid retyping the whole thing, let me know in the comments, and I’ll forward it to you. ]

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