We have until this Friday, March 10th to comment on the Metro Bus Restructure for Lynnwood Link. I’ve written about the initial plan, made suggestions and explored ideas on the subject. Here are my recommendations, in order of priority:
- Run a bus on Lake City Way to make up for the loss of the 522. This is important from both a ridership and coverage standpoint. The simplest and cheapest way to do this is with a live loop through the Roosevelt neighborhood.
- Send the 348 to the UW, not Northgate. This eliminates the need for the 67, saving money. Riders lose their one-seat ride to Northgate, but gain a one-seat ride to the UW. The station at Roosevelt replaces Northgate for riders heading south.
- As a way to save money, eliminate the proposed 324 and cover the area between Kenmore and Bothell with an extension of the proposed 334.
- Extend the 72 to Shoreline Community College, and truncate the 333 there. This improves connectivity. This is also a more natural fit in terms of frequency, as the rest of the 333 is a coverage route (while the 72 is not).
- Straighten out routes to avoid long delays caused by turning.
- Avoid running infrequent routes that overlap or compete with frequent transit.
- Put the savings from the various cost saving changes mentioned above into better frequency, especially on east-west routes that run on the main transit corridors.
- Explore extending the 61 to 15th NW, with a live loop like so. The bus would then intersect every north-south bus north of the ship canal. This would be especially handy for trips to Ballard from Northgate and Lake City.
To visualize these changes. I came up with two maps, the first of which is oriented towards ridership:
While geared towards ridership, it actually provides better coverage in many places. From a baseline standpoint, most of the buses would run every fifteen minutes or better. The 75, 333, 334 and 336 would run every half hour. But since this has a lot less overlap, and a lot fewer turns, the buses could run a lot more often. East-west service (on buses like the 61, 72, 348, etc.) could be bumped up to 12 or 10 minutes. Some of the half-hour buses buses could run more often. For example, the 334 could run every 15 to 20 minutes to give Northwest Hospital more frequent service, while the 75 could be restored to its current service level (15 minutes).
The second map is geared towards coverage:
This is similar to the other map, but with a few changes. The 336 provides a lot of additional coverage. Service is restored in the Hillwood neighborhood (west of Aurora Village). The bus loops through the Briarcrest neighborhood, passing by a high school, middle school and several elementary schools. The 333 is extended to serve Four Freedoms House. Despite the extra coverage — more than the Metro proposal — it would still have better frequency, as there is less overlap and more efficient routing.