Metro has several bus route changes starting next Saturday, March 18.
- RapidRide H launches, replacing route 120 on Delridge Way in West Seattle and Ambaum Blvd in Burien. Here’s the H timetable and map.
- Routes 11 and 49 eastbound will take on the 10’s routing, remaining on Pike Street until Bellevue Avenue, and then switching to Pine Street..
- Route 73 will start earlier in the morning and run until late night. It will run half-hourly from 6 am to 11:30 pm every day.
- Routes C, D, E, 3, 4, 28, 33, 36, 40, 44, 48, 50, 65, 67, 70, 106, 107, and 331 add more trips.
- Route 245 will no longer serve the Houghton P&R, which is closing.
- The Seattle additions are funded by Seattle’s Transit Benefit District.
The reroute on routes 11 and 49 is part of Seattle’s Pike-Pine rechannelization, which is optimizing the corridor for pedestrians, bicycles, and transit, while still allowing cars. The city is currently widening the sidewalks at 1st & Pine. It recently added traffic lights or stop signs to several blocks between Melrose Avenue and Broadway, so pedestrians can cross the street easier. And it’s making Melrose Avenue into a neighborhood greenway.
Community Transit on Sunday, March 19 will suspend some weekday trips on routes 101, 105, 115, 116, 119, 196, 201, 202, and 412. These reductions will increase reliability and reduce the number of last-minute cancellations. Many routes have schedule adjustments, so check the timetable for your route. (The reductions are presumably due to the nationwide bus driver shortage, affecting all local agencies.)
Sound Transit has a few ST Express changes Saturday, March 18. Route 511 is replaced by additional trips on the 512. Route 513 loses four trips. Route 532 adds two trips. Twelve routes have schedule adjustments to reflect current travel times. Route 586 northound trips at the Federal Way Transit Center move to Bay 2. Sounder South has schedule adjustments on two trips. Sounder North riders have two newly-restored Amtrak Cascade runs they can use with a Rail Plus ticket.
Pierce Transit on Sunday, March 19 will add Saturday trips to routes 1, 4, and 212. It will add Sunday trips trips to routes 10, 11, 16, 28, 41, 42, 45, 48, 52, 53, 54, 55, 57, 100, 202, 206, 214, 402, 409, and 501. And it will add weekday trips to route 497. Schedule adjustment are made to routes 11 and 212.
Everett Transit appears to have no changes until June 18, when it will have an expansion.
68 Replies to “Spring Service Changes”
Route 4 appears to add night owl service between 1 and 4 am. It’s not mentioned in the summary but is in the new schedule PDF. The number of new night runs appears to exceed the total number of new runs in the summary. There may be other interesting schedule surprises among the other routes; I couldn’t compare all the old and new schedules run-by-run since there were so many.
There is a typo. It is route 245, not 345, that will no longer be serving Houghton Park and Ride.
Route 50 is still 15 minutes west of SODO yet 30 minutes east of SODO. Wasn’t the west of SODO segment getting higher service because of the West Seattle bridge closure?
Given how much of the east of SODO segment has much more frequent north-south routes, it really looks like Metro doesn’t actually want riders on the Route 50 segment. I was expecting Metro to put the full route on a 20 minute frequency.
As a 50 rider it’s frustrating.
The Rainier valley microtransit diverts money from the 50, while also poaching some of the riders. If you want the frequency upgraded, the microtransit needs to go.
Agreed. I also don’t get how they can hire microtransit riders, but not bus drivers. Do they pay them less? Do the same rules apply in terms of hiring?
Route 50 doesn’t go further south than Othello and — unlike the blocks further north — Othello has just 600 feet between Rainier and Seward Park Ave. It’s not a fair trade unless Columbia City is added to the microtransit coverage.
The 50 covers the area east of Rainier Avenue. As you get to Othello, there is very little to the east of Rainier. Your reach water within a few feet. As you move further south, there are only a handful of people a significant distance east of the 7. We don’t need coverage there. Saying there should be microtransit there is like saying there should be microtransit for Perkins Lane. Sorry, no. Other than an Access Bus, folks there can walk (or ride their bike) to a bus stop, even if it is a ways.
Agreed Ross. It’s non-sensical except it’s a bit of a walk to Link from there. That whole area from Othello south could probably be served better if Route 9 was simply restored to decent all-day service as Route 9 ends at Rainier Beach Link station. The current 5-6 one-direction Route 9 trips today seem like a silly service. Keep in mind that Rainier now has bus only lanes in that area, making and need for only a few express services like Route 9 each day particularly minor.
That goes back to the prior discussion of Route 9 restoration to running all day in the prior posts. It just seems like Metro will throw everything else they can to address connecting Link in SE Seattle rather than revisit Route 9 — especially in light of new Rainier bus lanes and Judkins Park opening soon. Route 9 has such a fundamentally perfect routing but gets no love.
I think the microtransit drivers are non-union.
It’s a 45-minute walk from Seward Park to Link, so either the 50 or something is needed. A 15-minute 50 would reduce the need for Metro Flex. I don’t know whether any house in the in the east Rainier area is an excessive walk from the 50. The Metro Flex area also covers Rainier View and Skyway to Renton Transit Center, which is more of an equity-emphasis area. The routes there are the 15-minute 106 and the 30-minute 107.
That’s right about Seward Park Mike. The rub however is that Orcas is the furthest north that Metro Flex goes. If you look at the Othello coverage map, you’ll see how the area is a funnel with Orcas Street at the widest point. Thus there is a greater distance (greater need) for something like Flex just north of Orcas St then at the south end of the Othello coverage area — with frequent 106 or 7 buses frequently available in addition to a closer Link station.
It just seems more equitable to me to cancel Flex for Othello and instead operate Route 50 every 15 or 20 minutes.
It just seems more equitable to me to cancel Flex for Othello and instead operate Route 50 every 15 or 20 minutes.
That is pretty much what asdf2 said. I’m glad we are all in agreement. The combination of buses actually do a very good job of covering the area. The biggest weakness is that the 50 is not frequent. Run it more often, and you effectively cover everything, making the existence of micro-transit in that area a huge waste.
I see, Mike. So Route 50 frequency was cut to go for services that got quickly eliminated.
It may be indirect, but it’s still reneging. Besides Route 50 runs nowhere near Mt Baker Station and Route 42 only overlapped with Route 50 for a few blocks.
It’s like saying it’s ok to cut Route 44 frequency so LCW can have more service.
The east segment of Route 50 serves some equity areas and the VAMC. I expect SDOT and Metro made the emphasis on the west part together.
RossB: the micro drivers are in the gig economy (like Uber and Lyft) and not in-house.
I remember visiting Seward Park about 10 years ago from my friend’s place in Magnolia by taking the 33 straight through downtown Seattle, where it turned into a 20-something that follows the route of today’s 50 by the park.
What did the 50 do before it does what it does now?
It used to be the #39 Seward Park. Its north terminal was at Hunter Blvd and South Handford which was also the south terminal of the old #10. From the terminal the #39 would go south for a few blocks on Hunter Blvd before turning right and go to Rainier Avenue before making a left on Genesee.
Most passenger would transfer to and from the #39 to the #7 at that location with some also transferring to and from the #10 at the South Hanford terminal.
From Genesee the #39 would follow the current #50 route except it would stay on Seward Park Avenue to Rainier Avenue. It would go south to its south terminal. It would make a right turn and layover just off Rainier Avenue on top of a small incline. I don’t remember the street but if you drive down Rainier Avenue you can see it as it just past the Seattle city limits. From the incline it would reverse its route via Seward Park Avenue back to its north terminal.
I don’t remember but I believe later on the #39 did go downtown and may have been interlined with the #33.
The #39 was replaced by the #50 which was a new route from West Seattle to the Link Station at Othello via Seward Park.
It uses to be the 39. The 39 went through downtown and SODO, then followed the path of the current #50 from SODO to Seward Park. I also vaguely recall the 39 also had an express variant that skipped some stops and ran only during rush hour. And also that it just ended near Seward Park and didn’t double back to Othello Station.
The 39 was restructured because it was largely redundant with Link. Truth is, the 50’s connection between Rainier Valley and SODO is still redundant with Link, while the connection between West Seattle Junction and SODO is largely redundant with the C line line, since it’s purpose is to go downtown as hardly anybody actually goes to SODO as their final destination.
I don’t particularly like the 50, largely because so much of the route is still redundant with other routes, and the connection between West Seattle and the Rainier Valley it does provide is so circuitous, it saves only minimal time over simply riding the C downtown and transferring to Link, both of which run much more frequently than the 50 does.
Route 39 used the SODO busway, ans well ran east on the current Route 50 path. It turned at Royal Brougham Way to get to 4th Ave S and downtown. There was also a peak bus route called Route 34, which went down Rainier to Dearborn (limited stops) to also get downtown. I can’t remember which used 3rd and which used 2nd and 4th.
It was cancelled about a year after I moved to SE Seattle so I can’t describe the routing before that.
I’m not sure what route ran west of SODO.
Route 50 serves the Services for the Blind, the VA hospital and Mercer Middle. They can be reached on other routes but it’s rather circuitous to use them.
Thanks to all.
That’s right! I remember now the bus going through the VA hospital and it being a busy stop, but also time consuming because there wasn’t a good way for it to get through the parking lot.
This was the route map for Metro’s route 39 in the early aught years.
Nice work. I’ve not been able to coax KCM schedules from the Wayback Machine.
The bus should not be going into the VA hospital parking lot as a detour. The bus should either stop on the street next to the hospital (the walk is only a few hundred feet, flat, and with good sidewalks), or simply end at the VA and use the hospital parking lot for turnaround/layover purposes.
Considering that Link is already connecting Columbia City to SODO, I think you could actually make a good case for just ending the route at the VA to save some service hours, and reinvesting those saved hours by running the bus more often.
The catch is that, to do that, you do need to figure out what to do with Alki, as you can’t just leave it without service. That could be done by adjusting the tail of the 128 to take over the 50’s role, at the expense of leaving a tiny coverage hole on California Ave. north of Admiral. Only 0.8 miles of California Ave. would lose service, and it’s low density, so simply asking these people to walk to Admiral for service might be good enough. If it’s not, water taxi shuttle route 775 could be modified to run Alki->Seacrest Park ->Alaska Junction via California Ave, and run in both directions. This extra service could come from eliminating route 773, whose connection between the water taxi and West Seattle Junction would now be redundant. I don’t think it’s necessary to connect the water taxi to the parking lot under the west Seattle bridge. You can just catch a bus directly to downtown from there instead.
Splitting the 50 would mean no longer having a one seat ride between Rainier Valley and west Seattle, but as I said, that one seat ride offered today is so circuitous, it’s not really an improvement over just transferring downtown.
The other tradeoff would be the lack of a one seat ride between Alaska Junction and SODO, but so few people actually have reason to go to SODO, I doubt this matters much. You ride the C and either switch to the 21 at 35th or backtrack from Jackson.
Route 50, as it stands today, I think, would make more sense if SODO were a major destination. But, it simply isn’t.
probably routes 33-39.
The current Route 50 began in 2012 to complement the C Line. The east part served part of former Route 39. When the West Seattle bridge was out, SDOT and Metro reduced headway on the part west of SODO and increased headway on the part east of SODO.
Tlsgwm: nice link to aught Route 39 map. When the DSTT was closed for Link retrofit in fall 2005, all Seattle routes were focused on 3rd Avenue.
“ Route 50, as it stands today, I think, would make more sense if SODO were a major destination. But, it simply isn’t.”
That gets at the problem with Route 50: There are “niche” important destinations but not large destinations for the general public. Instead its other function is as a bus to transfer to Link. Of course, 30 minute headways on its eastern half make it almost useless as a transfer route. It really needs to be more frequent.
I’ll mention that the route was first proposed at 15 or 20 minute frequency. I understand that the neighbors were told that by losing direct Downtown service that the buses would become more frequent. Then Metro reneged once the routing was adopted and schedules were developed.
It is tough at this point to change the routing. The niche riders rely on the current routing, and trying to restructure this route by mixing and matching segments with segments of other routes to get higher frequency would be more confusing and likely take just as many service hours as just adding buses to Route 50 would.
It’s too bad that there aren’t land use changes in the works to make it more popular as a direct destination. For example, the former grocery store at Rainier and Genesee is closed and will become a mostly residential spot. I guess some creative developer could create something wonderful at SODO station but it would take lots of risks to happen.
“I’ll mention that the route was first proposed at 15 or 20 minute frequency. I understand that the neighbors were told that by losing direct Downtown service that the buses would become more frequent. Then Metro reneged once the routing was adopted and schedules were developed.”
It was community demand to keep the 42 and to have a McClellen Street route between Mt Baker station and Beacon Hill station. Those came out of the 50’s hours.
“… and to have a McClellen Street route between Mt Baker station and Beacon Hill station. ”
Huh? There is no bus route between Mt Baker and Beacon Hill!
There was for the first few years of Link. The Mt Baker Station-Beacon Hill Station route got hardly any riders so it was deleted. Metro probably knew that at the beginning, but it wanted to show it was responding to community demand and equity and prove the route wouldn’t be ridden, and it wasn’t, so it was later deleted. The same with the 42 resurrection. The casualty was a more frequent 50.
I don’t see a simple fix for the 50, mainly because the 50 does a lot of different things:
1) Provides unique coverage in West Seattle and Rainier Valley.
2) Connects those two areas.
3) Connects those areas with Link.
4) Connects those areas with the SoDo busway.
It is easy to forget that last part. If not for that, the simple answer is to just stay on the Alaska Way Viaduct, dramatically speeding up the bus. But you lose a lot of connections.
I could definitely see it being split, as asdf2 suggests. I could see it working like so:
Have only three buses from West Seattle go on the West Seattle Freeway: The C, the H and the 21. The 21 makes the connection to SoDo (for Link and the busway). Bump that bus up to every 10 minutes (I could see it being RapidRide as well). Connect the 125 to the West Seattle part of the 50, and run it every 15 minutes. The 128 avoids the out-and-back to South Seattle College.
At that point, I’m not sure what to do with the eastern part of the 50. One option would be to send it to Beacon Hill Station after serving the VA. That has a bit too much overlap for my taste. You could potentially layover inside the VA. Unfortunately, that means a five minute walk to the 60. I can’t see a good way to avoid overlap without missing connections (although laying over inside the 60 comes awfully close). Riders who transfer on the busway right now (e. g. 101/50 to get from Renton to the VA) would have an extra transfer (via Link) but that wouldn’t be too bad.
There are probably other options, but those likely set off a cascade of modifications. The same is true with the West Seattle change. That is why I don’t think it would be simple.
“At that point, I’m not sure what to do with the eastern part of the 50. ”
It’s roughly an hour to go from SODO to Holly Park/ Othello and back to SODO.
The inctemrntsl choices apperar to be:
1. Rather than run the western half at 15 minutes and the eastern half at 40 minutes, run the full route at 20 minutes.
2. Find the extra two buses needed to run the full route at 15 minutes.
3. Split Route 50 into two routes at SODO — with the western part staying at 15 minutes and the eastern part getting an additional bus to run at 20 minutes.
The funds for additional service hours can somewhat come from cancelling the Othello part of Flex.
Canceling Othello Flex isn’t going to happen. It’s one of the highest-used Flex districts. Metro just announced a new commitment to Flex and a new app. Just as there are people who prefer Uber to buses, there are people who prefer microtransit to transit, regardless of whether bus routes are more cost-effective or could provide full coverage. They’ve been pressuring Metro for years to expand microtransit, and that’s one of the major factors if not the biggest factor in why microtransit exists in Othello, Kenmore, etc. That pressure isn’t going away, and the electeds are supporting it, so Flex won’t go away in the foreseeable future.
I wish PT would amp frequency on route 1 to 15 minutes, rather than add a few runs to the weekends.
Though maybe adding weekends is more feasible, with the driver shortage.
I just wish Pierce Transit would actually publish the new schedules ahead of time. They claim that they are in the Trip Planner, but they still haven’t been loaded. To get a feel for the changes, it would be a lot easier to just be able to glance at the entire day’s schedule.
I’m glad RapidRide H finally is in place! I’ll be interested to see how its ridership compares to RapidRide C as it serves a more car dependent corridor.
But a lower-income corridor, so more people don’t have cars.
Yeah, I walked the route from Seattle city limits to Burien, last month, and can confirm it is pretty low income. There are some really interesting restaurants popping up along it, however.
As an aside, it was kind of sad that the safest, most pleasant walking route was directly inside the construction zone. I have hopes the pedestrian experience is now improved.
The reason Metro extended night owl to Burien was that a significant number of people were getting off the night owl (85, 20, or 120 then) at the city limits and walking 1 1/2 miles to Burien. They wouldn’t do that at 3 am if they had a car alternative.
Just checked on my local CT route changes (#119). Looks like they eliminated one mid-afternoon route, taking the total number of daily runs from 17 to 16. The length of daily service remains basically the same as before, which is pretty sad tbh. This is our connection to the STX buses at Ash Way P&R, which means if I’m at my office in dt Seattle (I mostly work remotely and have done so prior to the pandemic) or I’m out with friends and will be getting back after 8:30 pm then I have to drive to the transit center instead and just leave my vehicle there. During the day it works out ok as long as I time it right coming back north. The local CT route only runs hourly.
The Route 73 adds were probably funded by Seattle. Note that the Lynnwood Link P2 network correctly deletes Route 73; its spacing is too close to the more frequent Route 67 south of NE Northgate Way and routes 347 and 348 north of NE Northgate Way. So, Seattle seems to be improving Route 73 just before it is killed.
The Pike Pine Renaissance program is not designed to help transit. It will probably degrade transit flow and retain long transfer walks with Link. Please see description of waterfront group. It will widen sidewalks and install one-way PBL on Pike and Pine streets west of Minor Avenue. The traffic studies estimate eastbound transit will be slower than it is today. When routes 11 and 49 were shifted to Pine Street, they were faster. The hidden issue is the transfer walk between Link under Pine Street and eastbound transit on Pike Street; the distance is 400 feet. The Capitol Hill pattern is two-way transit on Pine Street and two one-way PBL on Pike Street. I wish PPR had matched that pattern in the downtown segment; with two-way transit on Pine Street, the transfer walk to eastbound bus transit would have minimized. With PPR, the long transfer walk will be imposed for the coming decades. With the PPR configuration, westbound cyclists will have to transition between Pike and Pine streets via Melrose; that transition would not have been necessary if Pike had two one-way PBL downtown.
In the 1980s, when the DSTT was being designed, Councilmember Benson suggested two-way transit only on Pine Street. The Roosevelt Hotel objected. Too bad they had not yet dreamed up the SDOT method now used on 3rd Avenue. In 1990, when Pine Street was reopened at Westlake, Benson got a transit-only opening ordinance adopted, but Mayor Rice vetoed it; the opening came with general purpose traffic and a city subsidy of the Pacific Place garage.
My memory is Rice vetoed transit only (or pedestrian only) on Pine because Nordstrom said it would not buy and renovate the old Fredrick & Nelson building (and also demanded a sky bridge and I think $2 parking in the garage the city built). Since was Rice was desperate to revitalize Westlake as part of the Convention Center he couldn’t lose Nordstrom.
Westlake for a while was quite vibrant and Rice did a good job. Conventions and tourism are cash cows and boomed. Now Harrell has inherited the same problem without Macy’s and some anchor tenants like Nike, plus WFH.
I think the downtown Chamber is heavily influencing the design of DSTT2. Since Seattle and Harrell are in a difficult retail situation — again — my guess is they will have significant input like 1990. If Nordstrom left Seattle Westlake would truly die.
DT: yes, the business interests were convincing for Rice and Drago. It had been pedestrian only; the Benson compromise was transit and pedestrian; after the Rice veto, it was all vehicles, including transit. Westbound electric trolleybus routes had been shifted to Union Street when Pine Street was closed.
Nordstrom went downhill when they CAPITALIZED.
It’s just Kohl’s now, but more expensive.
And there have been shocking instances of their employees mispronouncing the name! (Horror of Horrors!)
The only way to rescue nordstrom is to bring back NOL product.
For some reason every non—management person I knew who worked at Boeing called it Boeings, with an S. I don’t know if they meant plural or possessive.
If nordy’s got back to their roots, they could be a part of the downtown revitalization that isn’t totally dependent on the office crowd (Store 1’s biggest customers… come to think of it, it was mostly their employees!).
btw, that’s the only permissible use of the s.
What I found amusing at the time was whether to open Pine St. to all traffic after Westlake Station was complete, and nordstrom’s argument was “People need to be able to access parking (the multi-story parking garage on 3rd and Stewart), which… had a skybridge to …. (wait for it…)
The Bon Marche !
Nordstrom was always about suburban shoppers. When they were expanding to the east, they always scoped out suburban malls. Notice there are no nordstrom stores in New York City. (Rack’s don’t count)
The San Francisco Center store is the only one they opened in a downtown location.
“Notice there are no nordstrom stores in New York City.”
They’ve had a flagship store there for a few years now on 5th and Broadway next to Columbus Circle. It’s not that Nordstrom is allergic to opening stores in Downtown areas as they’ve expanded east. But it’s more of that a lot of urban downtoen areas don’t really work for Nordstrom for one reason or another. Either from local competitors, lack of proper retail space for their size needs, or the pedestrian traffic just isn’t there.
Like before Macy’s gobbled up all the regional department stores, many regions had their own local department store people would visit. Twin Cities had Daytons (the same company that created Target), Chicago had Marshall Fields, Portland had Meier & Frank, etc. When Macy’s bought them up, a sense of local pride was lost. As you see in Seattle, when people who are a long-time natives talk about Bon Marche in a much more positive light than they ever did about Macy’s when it was bought out. People remember that jingle about “one day only at the Bon Marche” for good reason.
Which is proving my point about what made nordstrom successful back when they were growing, vs.
what they’ve become,
Just another department store.
The way the 3rd generation + Jack were running the operation was unique, since they gave a lot of authority to the sales force and the store managers.
When they were expanding to the east coast, they decided where to open new stores by the feel of the area, and there was decidedly a suburban slant to their choices.
When you went to work for nordstrom (at least when I was there back in the 90’s,) even if you were a high level manager, you weren’t hired directly into that position, you worked the sales floor. (of course, those of us in IT weren’t made to do that, they needed technical expertise, but we all understood the culture, and it worked)
Once you could show that you understood what the corporate culture was about then you could move up the ladder.
I don’t know how it works now, but I rarely see NOL merchandise in their stores any more, and I don’t know if they still have their buyers sell on the floor for half their shift. They essentially offer nothing different.
I think they could do well being part the current vision that the downtown associations have for making downtowns a place to live, as well as a place to shop, if they just returned to their original philosophy, Customer Service (of course being a Fashion Retailer helps, with its healthy profit margin)
Also, Where Am I Going To Return My Tires?
Jim, if you go to YouTube, and put “Bellevue Square Beatdown Hunts Point Films” into the search box, you’ll see a video called Bellevue Square Beatdown, and another called Streets of Bellevue. The Super 8 films are both only about a minute long, and were made by a pair of very young Jim and John Nordstrom, one film was made in 1976, the other in 1981. I think Street Fight was also theirs.
All the Seattle additions are funded by Seattle’s Transit Benefit District; it says in the route summaries. This includes partly suburban routes like the 106, so I don’t know how the suburban portion is being funded.
The Pine Street situation is two different occasions. Daniel is talking about the initial configuration in the 1980s when DSTT, Westlake Center, and Pacific Place were built and the monorail terminus was moved. Some people wanted to close 5th & Pine to cars but the department stores objected.
The other occasion was later, a few years ago. SDOT was considering adding an eastbound bus lane on Pine Street. The Roosevelt Hotel objected because the transit lane would hinder its delivery access. The Roosevelt had just been renovated and the city wanted it to succeed and be a city moneymaker, so the city didn’t pursue the two-way Pine Street bus concept.
The Convention Center expansion also contributed to the Pike/Pine overhaul for its mitigation. I think that was for the earlier phase the past few years, where the city added transit lanes on a few blocks, that parklet at 3rd, etc. Now it’s doing kind of a second phase.
DT is correct about Rice and 1990. His first election was 1989. The DSTT opened in fall 1990.
One Roosevelt Hotel story is from the late 80s when the DSTT was being designed; Benson had proposed two-way transit on Pine Street atop Westlake station. That is what the Roosevelt objected to.
Pine Street was closed to traffic atop Westlake for a few years in the 80s; there was a debate about how to reopen it.
If the discussion was held in recent years, it is too bad Seattle did not do it; it would have been better than the pattern chosen by the PPR. SDOT could have allowed general purpose traffic on the two blocks with hotels in a manner to the 3rd Avenue restrictions. The transfer walk between Link and eastbound transit could have been 400 feet shorter.
“Seattle seems to be improving Route 73 just before it is killed.”
That puzzled me too. Is there some logic between the two, that it needs to be boosted now because something else isn’t in place yet? Or are the TBD and Metro contradicting each other? The TBD may be pursuing an old idea, because there has been a push to boost the 73 ever since the U-Link restructure reduced it, and it has been increased multiple times. This is restoring pre-pandemic service. Meanwhile the restructure is pursing a totally different concept.
Route 73 was also proposed to be deleted during the first 2015 outreach for U Link, implemented in March 2016. The Lynnwood Link concept seems sound. It recognizes appropriate route spacing and land use.
The historic service pattern on Mapleleaf was a bit backward; there was frequent service on both 5th (routes 66, 67, 242) and 15th (routes 73, 77, 78) avenues NE and infrequent service on Roosevelt Way NE (68) with is business district and more multifamily housing. It was partly due to easier access to NTC from 5th Avenue NE and the the SR-522/I-5 reversible lanes from 15th Avenue NE.
Before Metro, there was a Municipal route on Roosevelt; it may have been 22; it may have cost a dime a zone.
I think it is just a coincidence. The 73 is neither here nor there. It operates somewhat like a coverage bus in Maple Leaf. But it is so close to the far more frequent 67, that it doesn’t provide much coverage. It connects those in the north to Link, but so does the 347/348, which run a lot more often. It makes a unique connection from Pinehurst (and places to the north) to Maple Leaf and the UW. But it runs so infrequently, it is often not worth it. At the same time, the transfer from the 347/348 to the 67 is very poor. It can save you a fair amount of time if you can time it, but often you can’t. It runs along a decent corridor, with OK ridership, but is losing out to more frequent routes.
Out of all the routes on the Eastside, there isn’t even one added or deleted trip?
Looking at the rider dashboard for major routes (240, 250, 255, 271), the Eastside has some pretty significant ridership gains, where on a percentage basis they’re outpacing even Seattle. The 271, for instance, went from 1400 daily weekday riders in Feb 2022 to 2500 in Feb 2023. Since Metro hasn’t made big cuts, those new riders are filling in the excess capacity, so there’s not really a need to add or remove trips.
I wasn’t suggesting that there’s a need to add or remove trips. I was just expressing surprise there wasn’t any on the eastside this service change. It seems to me that during every service change, it’s fairly common to add or remove some trips on some routes. No trip adds or removals seems very unusual. I could be wrong about that, though.
Sam, there was an Eastside transit restructure last year, and it is scheduled to be revisited. However East Link is now opening in 2025, maybe, and Balducci is suggesting a limited segment starter line so there is a lot of uncertainty on the Eastside. Based on history Metro has to at least consider East Link may have limited capacity across the bridge, and major cities and employers will want more one seat buses like the 554 that serve park and rides which would affect Metro routes.
Plus WFH and many employers opening Eastside offices, and major players like Microsoft and Google changing their office needs, have left a lot of uncertainty on the future transit and transportation needs on the Eastside in the future
It could be Metro wants to see how Metro flex works in Issaquah and Sammamish as well which could be a fundamental shift in how transit is provided on the Eastside.
“there was an Eastside transit restructure last year”
Not there was, That was the second of a three-part proposal cycle. Each round is several months apart, and the third round hasn’t happened yet. So that wasn’t a final proposal; it was an intermediate one to refine the design and gather more public input. The Lynnwood Link restructure is now at the same stage. The next step will either be a last proposal and another round of input, or skipping that, submitting the final legislation to the county council for a vote, which would trigger a public hearing. Then it would be implemented, and then we could say there “was” a restructure. Right now there’s only planning for a restructure, which is still ongoing. And with East Link’s opening date slipping and uncertain, and the restructure depending on it, the rest of the restructure planning is probably being postponed too. Because there’s no point in making final decisions too early, when the situation or public attitudes or officeholders might change in the meantime, necessitating a further change.
It could be that they are just waiting for the restructure that will happen with East Link. Maybe they feel things are OK until then.
Excellent rundown, Mike! You have my vote for new Lord Commander of the STB Watch!
Thank you, Metro, for my birthday present! (the H Line, that I’ve been complaining for years should have come before the C Line)
And you, too, Sound Transit! (finally making the the ST Express 512 an all-day both-way thing) This comes just in time for me to start advocating for its elimination when Lynnwood Link opens, as there will be a pile of connectivity between Lynnwood Station and Ash Way P&R, including the Orange Swift Line running every 10 minutes. Ash Way will have ample all-day connectivity to Everett Station via Community Transit routes 201 and 202, with one or the other coming every 15 minutes.
While I will welcome ST Express 510 becoming the all-day route for Lynnwood to Everett, I’ve been pondering how it could be extended to essentially take over the path of the future Gold Swift Line, serving basically those stops up to Everett Community (still called that) College and Marysville. The ridership of the future Gold Line is real, and would be better served by being the local tail of ST Express 510 or a Community Transit route replacing it, to have a less milk-runny one-seat ride to Lynnwood Station. Then roll out the Gold Line when Link reaches Everett Station.
Community Transit is proposing an hourly all-day express route that would bypass Everett on the way to Marysville, and continue north and east from there. If ST/CT/ET can put their heads together, there ought to be something better than that.
After Northgate Link, ST decided to truncate the 512, but not the 510. Then they decided to add the Mountlake Terrace stop to the 510. The thinking was that if you wanted to get to Link from Everett, you could always transfer in Mountlake Terrace. The 511 and 513 (also peak-only buses) would connect to Northgate, and run fairly often.
Running the 512 at the same time (and the same direction) as the 510 seems like overkill. Folks heading from Everett to Ash Way or Lynnwood have the 201/202. The 510 already serves Mountlake Terrace. The 511 ran from Ash Way to Northgate. They are getting rid of the 511; in essence just extending it to Everett. So this is mainly a way to get people from Everett to Northgate without a transfer. That is fine, except folks from Everett are also getting an express to downtown Seattle. Given the relatively weak ridership of the 510 (before the pandemic) that just seems like overkill. It is like ST is awash in service dollars, and doesn’t know what to do with them. In the midst of a driver shortage, they not only continue to run buses like the 586 (Tacoma to UW) but they run the 512 from Everett at the same time as they are running the 510.
You make a very good point though — this all goes away after Lynnwood Link. The weird part is, I have yet to hear anything about what ST plans to do after that. Way back when I had some ideas about that: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1jSsFs-bi6avJgCRGRRQBzbqIKfMHUiwv&usp=sharing. Not sure it makes sense anymore (if it made sense then). Maybe, as you suggest, you just let the 201/202 do all the heavy lifting. Or maybe the 510 (truncated at Lynnwood) only runs during rush hour (while the 201/202 is unchanged). The 201/202 leave the HOV lanes to get to Ash Way, but outside of rush hour, this isn’t that big of a deal. In general, CT already has their plans (https://wppo.blob.core.windows.net/ct-transtit2024/2022/04/System-Map-T2024-complete.pdf) so it is hard to see them changing them if ST runs additional routes. The 514 I have on the map could easily be modified to run on the freeway between Ash Way and Lynnwood. It actually complements the CT and Everett transit routes reasonably well.
Anyone for an inaugural RapidRide H ride like we’ve done with other openings? On Saturday, March 18 at 10:40am, I’ll be at 3rd & Virginia, the guy in the flat cap. We’ll take the 10:48 bus, arriving in Burien at 11:37. There we can walk around downtown Burien. We had a transit hike there once, and there was a bakery with excellent sandwiches, maybe Grand Central.
After that we can choose how to get back, or split up if people want to go different ways. Potential options:
* Back on the H.
* H to Westwood Village, 60 to Beacon Hill Station or Broadway.
* 132 to South Park and downtown.
* F to TIB, 128 to west Seattle Junction, C to downtown.
* F to TIB, Link to downtown.
The most interesting to me are the 60, 128, or 132, but be forewarned they’re all half-hourly and slow.
Grand Central Bakery would be a great choice for lunch. Love their bread and other goodies as well as the company’s guiding philosophies. It’s too far for me but I hope you do get some takers for this long-awaited inaugural run. It’s great to finally see the RR H finally come to fruition. As a former old route 20 daily rider, I’m sure that these service improvements along this corridor will be greatly appreciated.
How did the H get built so quickly when the G started years earlier and is still not close to finished?
Just speculating, the H was basically just a route rename with some stop and street upgrades, while G is basically a new route with completely distinct fleet. The H also doesn’t have bus lanes for its entire route, while the G will have them for most of its route, which requires a lot more construction.
We took the H line from the downtown to Burien yesterday, and were (mostly) pleasantly surprised with how well everything went. The southbound H was a bit late and also accidentally had its 120 sign up for a little bit, but the driver fixed that by the second stop. I’m also not sure if the intent was to be providing completely free rides on the first day, but all of the ORCA readers onboard were offline, though there were still people who were paying cash at the front.
We had never the old 120 south of Holden so didn’t have a baseline of the entire route for comparison, but we didn’t lose anymore time by the time we got to Burien. By far the heaviest ridership of the route was between Westwood and Burien, which I’m guessing tracks with the 120 ridership patterns too.
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