I’ve come up with a few suggestions based on the latest proposal for Metro’s network following Lynnwood Link (P3). My goal was to improve the proposal while retaining as much of it as possible. As has been the case in the past, I’ve made a map to make it easier to understand the suggestions:

As with the previous maps, you can make it full page (in its own window) by selecting the little rectangle in the corner. Selecting individual routes highlights them, making them easier to see (with a short explanation as necessary). There are different “layers”, visible on the legend (to the left). For example, you can hide or display the routes that haven’t changed. Feel free to ask questions in the comments if there is any confusion.

I would not expect every suggestion to be implemented. I’ve listed each one in the order of importance, starting with the most important first:

65 and 77

The 65 is back to what was suggested in P2. The 125th/130th corridor is one of the most important in the area. Not only is it the fastest way for someone to get from Lake City to Link, but also the fastest way to get to Aurora and Greenwood Avenue. There are several reasons why making this corridor part of the 65 is better than the proposed 77:

  1. Avoids the awkward turn in Lake City mentioned previously.
  2. More bus stops in Lake City. The stops on the 65 manage to be within walking distance of almost all of the apartments in Lake City. In contrast, the proposed 77 only covers a subset of the area, before heading south on Lake City Way, leaving a significant gap in coverage. For example, this versus this. The 65 would provide a much shorter walk for a lot of people looking for the fastest way to Link (or Bitter Lake, Ingraham High School, Aurora, Greenwood, etc.).
  3. More one-seat connections. Both the P2 version of the 65 and the P3 version of the 77 serve Bitter Lake and Ingraham High. Connecting those areas to Nathan Hale High School, Wedgwood, Children’s Hospital, the U-Village and the east part of the UW adds a lot of value. In contrast, south of Lake City, the main destinations on the 77 are Roosevelt and the UW — areas served by Link. I don’t see too many people sitting through the hairpin set of turns to get from Roosevelt to Bitter Lake — they will simply take Link and transfer. The P3 version of the 77 appears to be two buses awkwardly glued together, whereas the P2 version of the 65 works for a lot more trips.
  4. Good match of frequency. The proposed 65 is not as frequent as the 72, but is still a lot more frequent than the 77 . While I feel that Lake City Way should have good frequency between Northgate Way and Roosevelt, it isn’t as important as the critical 125th/130th corridor. The frequency on the P2 version of the 65 is much better than the P3 version of the 77.

With the 65 being sent to Bitter Lake, the 77 can cover the area between Lake City and the station (30th, 25th, etc.). Northbound, the bus would turn left on 127th, then right on 30th. If 127th turns doesn’t work, then 130th might. Either way, it wouldn’t make a detour, like the proposed 77; there would be fewer turns, with the bus always headed the same basic direction. Going the other way, it is even faster, as it simply stays on 30th until it merges with Lake City Way.

348 Replacing 67

Most of the suggestions here are revenue neutral (or close to it). In this case though, the changes would save service hours. That is why I think it is so important. Most of the routes in the P3 proposal have very poor frequency. This change allows the buses to run more often, with no additional funding. This is critical if we are going to have a good transit system.

This comes with trade-offs, but rather minor ones. Some riders along the 15th NE corridor lose their one-seat ride to Northgate, but they gain a one-seat ride to Roosevelt and the U-District. The route complements buses like the 61 and 75 (which go to Northgate). It is a bit faster to get to Northgate Station instead of Roosevelt Station, but a large portion of the riders heading to Link will take crossing buses to 130th or 145th station anyway (or the 61 to Northgate). For those in between the major cross-streets, this still provides a fairly fast connection to Link (via Roosevelt) while providing a new one-seat connection for everyone along the corridor. The only significant loss is for people along 5th Avenue NE (between Northgate Way and 103rd). They lose their one-seat wrap-around ride to Maple Leaf, Roosevelt and the U-District. The alternative for those riders is to take a different bus and transfer or walk about five minutes and catch the same bus.

This change could be justified without the time savings. With the time savings, I believe it is critical.

72 and 333

This is a relatively minor change that could have very positive benefits. As of right now, Lake City is directly connected to Shoreline Community College (SCC) via the 330. While the bus does not run often, it performs quite well — in the top 25% of routes in rides per platform hour and passenger miles per platform hour, which is striking given its low frequency. This restores that one-seat connection, while providing other benefits.

The current 330 pathway is a faster connection between SCC and Link, while also getting lots of riders along the way. It is also the fastest way to get from Aurora to SCC. Someone from either end of Aurora (transferring via the RapidRide E) could get to the college much faster. Combining this section with the 72 is a better balance of frequencies. The 72 runs often (for good reason). In contrast, the 333 is not slated to run as often, and this looks to be the strongest section. By having the 72 operate this vital section, headways should be better (now, and in the future).

Under the current proposal, riders from the east can stay on the bus as it goes through SCC. My guess is very few would do that though. It simply takes too long for the bus to weave its way so far west, only to have it turn around and weave its way east. Shoreline Community College is a much better terminus.

345 and 365

Extending the 345 to SCC gives it a stronger anchor. The college is the second most popular stop for that line (second only to Northgate Transit Center). About 40% of the people who board at Four Freedoms head west (to get to SCC) not east (to get to the hospital and Northgate). This restores that connection.

With the 365, service is restored to most of Meridian. The section on 5th is basically an add-on (I don’t expect many riders to “round the horn” and take a bus from Meridian to 5th). Overall, the changes to the 345 and 365 would provide better coverage (and probably significantly more ridership) at little additional cost.

U-District Routing

I’ve largely ignored the subject of through-routing in the U-District. This is a tricky subject, with a lot of trade-offs. I don’t have access to the information (such as reliability data) that would allow me to make a more informed decision. In terms of frequency and total travel time, the 77-75 or 45-72 seem like possibilities. I don’t think the 348 could be through-routed with another bus, simply because it is long. Speaking of which, I also accept that there will be service on Roosevelt Way through the U-District, even though I could make a strong argument for consolidating service on The Ave (University Way). I don’t feel as strongly about that issue as I do the suggestions made on the map.

Deadline for comments is August 27. Please let Metro know what you think.

59 Replies to “Bus Restructure for Lynnwood Link”

  1. I wish the restructure had been done in phases. Right now, without waiting for Lynnwood to open, a Bitter Lake diagonal route that then heads south on 5th Ave NE to Northgate makes a lot of sense. Then keep it that way only until 130th St Station opens.

    There will be need of more restructures when STX 522 / STRide 3 moves to NE 145th St, and then when 130 St Station opens.

    1. I agree. I think they decided to basically have the 77 handle the various phases, which is why the network is flawed. When Lynnwood Link opens, I don’t expect the 77 to exist. When the 522 moves to 145th (which is expected to occur before 130th Station) the 77 will be added. It may initially just go from the UW to Lake City or it may go all the way to Bitter Lake. When 130th Station is added, it will certainly go all the way across.

      I can definitely see the advantage from a public relations standpoint. The restructure due to both the 522 moving and the 130th Station only involves one bus. The problem is, the resulting network just isn’t that good. Pairing those two sections is merely coincidental — it doesn’t make sense from a network standpoint.

    2. Metro did make some preparations with U-Link. It routed the 75 to 125th/5th to prepare for going west to Aurora with Lynnwood Link. I don’t know why it gave up on that.

      The push for a Lake City-Roosevelt route was mostly our doing. It wasn’t in Metro’s previous plans, and I didn’t hear anyone besides us make such a loud noise for it. Metro has responded with various route proposals that are clearly afterthoughts — meaning after Metro’s other priorities are satisfied. I don’t know why it doesn’t do the sensible thing and route the 65 or 75 to 130th & Aurora (and ideally Shoreline CC), and put some other route on Roosevelt-Lake City. Maybe it will after it has exhausted all other possibilities. :)

      1. >> It routed the 75 to 125th/5th to prepare for going west to Aurora with Lynnwood Link. I don’t know why it gave up on that.

        It is possible that they felt like the rest of the 75 was too weak. I get that. I originally was a big fan of sending the 75 to Bitter Lake. This minimizes the number of turns. Sand Point Way actually becomes 125th, which means that a bus wouldn’t make an actual turn from the U-Village until it looped around and go to Greenwood Avenue (west of Bitter Lake). That has a lot of advantages. The problem is, there just aren’t enough riders on Sand Point Way, especially as many riders have switched to taking the 62 (to get to Link). In contrast, the 65 is a better pairing. It picks up more riders, while still covering the Lake City neighborhood quite well. It does make an extra tune, but that is a small price to pay for the better mix of ridership and frequency (that goes along with it).

        >> The push for a Lake City-Roosevelt route was mostly our doing.

        Yes, I noticed that. The initial plans had no way to even comment on the area. They added that a little while later (you could comment on the 522 going away). I think the Metro planners just didn’t realize that moving the 522 left a significant coverage hole. There are a lot more people who now live in that area (on Lake City Way between the 372 and 67). The 372 also takes the slow route to Link, whereas the 522 gets their fairly quickly. The 20 (to Northgate) isn’t too bad, but anywhere south of there, and you really want a bus that heads to Roosevelt.

        In the long run, the city also needs to make improvements. Crossing Lake City Way is much more difficult than it should be. If you are west of the street, you can often just walk south along 20th, if you are headed to Roosevelt, the UW or a Link destination. But from the other side of the street, you are forced onto the 372. Likewise, if you are on the west side and want to take the 372 to Ravenna or the U-Village, you might have a long walk (https://goo.gl/maps/H7jgr7sgw9ue38qK9). The problem is that there is no safe crossing between 95th and 20th. You can try and run across (I have) but it isn’t a great option. At a minimum there should be a signalized crosswalk at 92nd. Eventually I would add one at 89th as well.

    3. This brings up a very important issue that I didn’t deal with in this essay. It isn’t clear how this would be implemented (only that eventually the network would look like this). There are three phases (Lynnwood Link; 522 to 148th; 130th Station). There are different options for each phase. If I was trying to minimize churn, I would do the following:

      Phase 1 (Lynnwood Link; 522 still goes to Roosevelt Station):

      65 and 330 remain the same as they are now. No 77. All other buses are changed as displayed on the map.

      Phase 2 (522 goes to 148th Station):

      65 remains the same as it is now. 77 fully implemented. 330 goes away.

      Phase 3:

      65 is sent to Bitter Lake. Network looks like that portrayed on the map.

      You have a bit of redundancy with the 330, but it is not that expensive to run, and the period between Phase 1 and 2 may be fairly short. It costs more to continue to send the 65. If that is a problem, then it could be truncated in Phase 2, when the 77 runs on 30th.

      There are all sorts of variations, and it depends on how much churn you want to deal with, as well as costs and the timing between these phases. In this case, you don’t have much in the way of changes. There is only one new bus (the 77) and only one bus that is eventually altered (the 65). That isn’t much different than adding the 77 (especially if it is implemented in two phases). Other variations wouldn’t involve much else, either. I understand why you want to minimize churn, but it shouldn’t dictate what the final network looks like.

      1. I wonder if it doesn’t make sense to truncate the 522 at 148th station in phase 1, in 2024 when Lynnwood Link opens. Why make riders pass two (and eventually three) stations — 148th, 130th and Northgate — to get to Link at Roosevelt? Especially for a ST express bus funded by the eastside subarea.

      2. I wonder if it doesn’t make sense to truncate the 522 at 148th station in phase 1, in 2024 when Lynnwood Link opens.

        That is what I would do. I think the decision by Sound Transit to continue to send the 522 to Roosevelt was rather surprising. Even more surprising was the timing. It is not based on the Stride (BRT) being ready, but East Link. This is a strange decision that means a lot more churn than necessary. If they sent the 522 to 148th with Lynnwood Link (the way everyone expected) there are only two phases. It becomes very simple:

        Phase 1 (Lynnwood Link without 130th Station):

        65 remains the same as it is now. Otherwise it the same as the map.

        Phase 2: (130th Station):

        65 is sent to Bitter Lake. Network looks like that portrayed on the map.

        If they held off until Stride was ready, then we are back to three phases, with things being a little more complicated as a result. So yeah, if ST wanted to keep things simple, they would just send the 522 to 148th the day Lynnwood Link opens.

      3. By the way, I still don’t know why ST is waiting to send the 522 to 148th until East Link goes across the water. There has been much speculation, but I don’t know if anyone has contacted a representative about it. I wish I could find the comment thread (with the various theories) as I don’t remember them all. Off the top of my head, I believe it could be:

        1) They are worried about crowding on Link. Roosevelt is a much bigger destination than 148th, so some riders just get off the bus and walk. The buses are pretty good from there to the UW, so some riders just stay on the surface if they are headed a little bit south. I suppose this is all true, but I doubt it would make that much difference in terms of crowding. Retaining the 510 would likely have a bigger impact.

        2) Less of a transfer penalty once Link runs twice as often. Same basic idea as above. From Roosevelt you can often walk or take a bus to your destination, whereas at 148th you are almost completely dependent on Link. This seems like a stretch in my opinion, and suggests that Stride 3 was poorly designed.

        3) Issues surrounding the BRT construction on 145th. I don’t see this as an issue, and besides, this has nothing to do with East Link and the number of trains on the main line.

        4) Not enough buses. When fully implemented, East Link will free up some ST buses. However, I believe it is faster to go from Lake City Way to 148th Station than it is to go to Roosevelt Station. So if anything, this would be the opposite.

        5) Too many buses. I suppose it is possible that they planned all this with a certain fleet in mind. Just the right amount of buses done up in ST Express colors. Make this cost saving change, and you end up with buses sitting around, that Metro can’t use (even though they operate and maintain the buses). This seems like a big stretch.

        6) They want to do one big restructure (East Link + 522) instead of two separate ones. This would make sense if ST was an isolated agency, but in terms of bus restructures, it is the opposite. East Link will alter many important Sound Transit buses, but the website for feedback is run by Metro. They obviously coordinate with these restructures, and ST delaying the move to 148th just complicates things.

        I really can’t think of a good reason for why ST will continue to send the 522 to Roosevelt. I think it is a mistake, and we should try and get them to reconsider. If they do, then the 77 gets implemented as soon as Lynnwood Link opens, and there is little reason to tie it to service for 130th.

    4. ST is planning to open 130th (2026) before Stride3 (2027).

      That’s opposite of what was initially expected, I think. It’s important to identify this sequence .

      With the two openings close together and the messiness of learning new bus route structures, I would suggest doing it in two phases — with the second one occurring the latter of both 130th and S3 openings. Keep in mind that Stride3 does include some road work on 145th.

      The other advantage of two phases is that any tweaks needed from Phase 1 can occur at the final phase.

      1. Wouldn’t it make sense to truncate the 522 at 148th when 148th opens? Then when Stride 3 opens the route is the same. No confusion. The station at 130th has nothing to do with the 522 or Stride 3.

        It doesn’t make sense to use an eastside express bus like the 522 to serve Lake City Way down to Roosevelt Link, or ask those eastside and N. Seattle riders to wait until Roosevelt to get to Link whether they are going north or south on Link. I thought the point of Link was to truncate these duplicative bus routes and get riders to Link as fast as possible and reduce bus costs by truncation.

        If Metro is going to have to figure out a way to serve Lake City Way then it should do that now without the 522, not spend a fortune running the 522 to Roosevelt until 2027 at a great inconvenience of the riders trying to get to Link.

      2. I’m with Daniel on this one. It seems to me that you just send the 522 to 148th at the same time you are restructuring almost all of the buses in the area. Basically you just have three simple phases:

        Phase 1: Lynnwood Link:

        Most of the routes look like they do on this map. The only exception is the 65.

        Phase 2: 130th Station:

        The 65 is altered to go to Bitter Lake, via the 130th Station.

        Phase 3: Stride 3:

        Stride 3 replaces the 522. This means off-board payment, and maybe some bus stop changes, but is mainly just a change in the route number. It is similar to the 120 become Rapid Ride H. It is such a simple — but good — change, it doesn’t need to be grouped with other changes.

      3. DT: Generically you make a good point about moving ST Express 522 when 148th opens. However, 145th is getting both Stride road work as well as a brand new interchange layout at I-5 which won’t be close to finished (construction starts early 2024) when Lynnwood Link opens (scheduled July 2024 in the most recent progress report). .


        It seems reasonable to wait until the 145th disruption is done.

      4. 145th is getting both Stride road work as well as a brand new interchange layout at I-5 which won’t be close to finished (construction starts early 2024) when Lynnwood Link opens (scheduled July 2024 in the most recent progress report).

        Right, although the BRT work along 145th is minimal compared to that along Bothell Way. Bothell Way is being widened — 145th is not. Plus, let’s get real here. If Stride 3 was ready, it would be implemented with Lynnwood Link. It wouldn’t matter what WSDOT is planning at the interchange — they would send the buses that way. Then you have the fact that Metro has no qualms with sending buses to that station (so why would ST)?

        Then you have the official ST statements. They are tying this to East Link, and haven’t even mentioned the construction. Thus if East Link is done, but the construction at that interchange isn’t, the buses will be sent there. Ultimately, it is just a very weird situation that makes things way more complicated than they should be.

      5. Two roundabouts? Look at how much space the interchange takes up with automobile infrastructure compared to the size of the two Link tracks. And the design forces pedestrians to go sideways around the roundabout to get to the intersection, like the deep round intersection curb cuts in some more car-oriented cities.

  2. Is anyone here not dumbfounded that Metro insists on keeping Routes 67 and 348 going to Northgate instead of being through-routed with each other, for a smoother and faster connection to Roosevelt Station?

    1. It’s tradition. And I can see an argument that Northgate still has more retail concentrated than anywhere in far north Seattle, and jobs and medical clinics and the college, and is an urban growth center. So a lot of people are going there. I doubt Metro even thought of through-routing the 67 and 348. There have long been suggestions for a 73/347 and it was in Metro Connects, but when that died I suspect the whole concept of a north-south grid route went down with it.

      1. Yes, it is tradition. Northgate is a transit center, and at one point, by far the fastest way to get downtown from the north end. The 41 would leave the transit center and within seconds be in the express lanes (in an HOV lane) heading towards the downtown transit tunnel. It was also very frequent. So if you came from another bus (like the 348) you could transfer and get downtown with a minimum of waiting. Link is great, but for folks heading downtown, the 41 was usually much faster.

        But times change. Now this connection is no better than any of those in the north end. In many cases, it is worse. If you are close to 125th & 15th in Pinehurst, going across (to the 130th station) is much faster. If you are on 145th & 15th, it is the same story. At one point, wrapping around from Maple Leaf to get to downtown (via the 41) was quite reasonable. Now it just seems silly. Roosevelt is a very good station, and “on the way”, as it were, to a major destination (the UW). There are plenty of people headed to Northgate, but way more are headed to the U-District*.

        If the 348 continues to be sent to Northgate, it won’t get that many riders. The problem is too much competition. For trips to Link, there are faster options. If you are close to 145th, you take a frequent bus headed to the 148th station. If you are close to 125th, you take the bus headed to 130th. If you are close to Northgate Way, you might take the 348, but you might end taking the more frequent 61. It is only those close to 185th — or those in between the major crossing streets — that will end up taking this bus to Link. Even if your destination is Northgate, you have competition. The 75 from 125th, and the 61 from Northgate Way both go to the same places; both serve 5th NE.

        In contrast, if the bus heads to Maple Leaf/Roosevelt/UW, riders along that entire corridor have different one-seat destinations. It is not only a much bigger set of destinations, but unique.

        * The U-District is a major league destination, and Metro treats it that way when it comes to analyzing routes. Buses that go to the UW or downtown Seattle are considered “urban”. Buses that don’t are considered “suburban”. This is a seemingly arbitrary designation, but not when it comes to rating routes (and potentially getting rid of them). Suburban buses (i. e. buses that don’t go to the UW or downtown Seattle) are allowed much worse numbers (they are in the minor leagues, as it were). Northgate has plenty of destinations (apartments, restaurants, clinics, a college) it is just that the U-District has a lot more of all of those. A lot more.

      2. Then there is another aspect to this. Link is very fast, but it takes a while to get to the platform and back to the surface. This is why, for example, my wife and I much prefer taking the 73 from Pinehurst to Roosevelt. We can take the 347/348 and then transfer to Link, but it takes longer. So it isn’t just the transfer, but the time it takes to get to and from the platform.

        Now consider that the biggest destination in Northgate is North Seattle Community College. To get to the college from the transit center, you have to go up the escalators (or stairs) to get to the bridge which connects to the college. It is actually easier to get to the college from Link then it is on the surface (at least on that side). Thus it is quite possible that even for the sort of short trips that normally favor a one-seat bus ride, the train will be faster. If I’m at 145th, there will be two sets of buses (both frequent) that can quickly get me to the station. With Link running more frequently (every five minutes instead of ten) it is quite likely that even if both buses arrive at the exact same time, the transfer to Link will be quicker. It is annoying to go up to the platform, but I have to do that anyway, even if I take the bus. Even from 130th, I expect people to head that way instead of taking the 348. If they stand at an east-west bus stop, it also means that they head to their destination either way. It is similar to my ride to the U-District. I prefer the 73, but most of the time I take the 347/348 to Link and transfer (just because it runs more often). In this case, riders could take the 75 to Northgate, or ride to 130th, and take the train to the bridge to the college. Thus the 348 simply won’t get that many riders if it is sent to Northgate.

  3. The 522 (both directions) and the 72 (northbound) will not serve the major intersection of 145th street and Lake City Way. This forces people who live east of Lake City Way, such as myself, to walk to 30th Ave to catch a westbound 72/522 or a northbound 522. It’s also a lousy transfer experience involving multiple turns for anyone connecting between the 522 and 72.

    Also, Metro confirmed that the 72 will NOT be implemented until East Link so that the 522 and 72 will be changed together.

    1. The 522 (both directions) and the 72 (northbound) will not serve the major intersection of 145th street and Lake City Way. This forces people who live east of Lake City Way, such as myself, to walk to 30th Ave to catch a westbound 72/522 or a northbound 522.

      I don’t think it is quite that bad. This is why I imagine will happen:

      The 522 will serve the existing bus stop on Bothell Way, just a bit north of 145th (next to the Northwest Kidney Center). So if you are coming from Link, or heading to Kenmore, that is the stop you would use. Going the other direction (westbound, towards Link) the 522 and the 72 will use the stop on 145th, just a little ways west of Bothell Way (next to Northwest Mechanic Inc.). If you are headed to Lake City, you will catch the 72 on Lake City Way, just south of 145th (next to the Teriyaki strip mall). Coming from Lake City is where things are a bit worse. You have to take the 72 and wait for it to turn, and serve that stop on 145th, just a little ways west of Bothell Way (next to Northwest Mechanic Inc.).

      >> It’s also a lousy transfer experience involving multiple turns for anyone connecting between the 522 and 72.

      Yes, definitely. Southbound you will wait for the bus to turn onto 145th. You can cross 145th there, and pick up the 72. You can also stay on the bus until it gets to 30th, and cross there. That way you can pick up either the 72 or 65. Doing that requires some walking though (https://goo.gl/maps/Cq5spLR3X6bUtWdY6). You could wait until the bus gets to 27th, except there is no crossing there.

      Northbound trips are fairly messy as well. If you came from the 72, you have a couple choices. You can get off the bus as soon as it takes that left and walk back across Bothell Way (https://goo.gl/maps/Cq5spLR3X6bUtWdY6) or you can stay on the bus until 30th, and cross 145th (https://goo.gl/maps/df9bUZeFbaCCpNB5A). That is a shorter walk, but you probably have a greater chance of missing your connection, although frankly, neither look very good. If you came from the 65, you can make that second walk. If traffic is heavy though, you could get off on 30th, and walk to the bus stop on 145th (https://goo.gl/maps/nx2cZ5DYAzLBMNHNA).

      This was bound to be an awkward transfer, although Seattle and Shoreline could probably move the bus stops a little bit (and/or add pedestrian crossings) to make it better. I also think that Metro should consolidate service on Lake City Way/30th. I prefer going northbound on 30th, and southbound on Lake City Way, as that avoids the big gap in service along Lake City that occurs with a northbound bus that turns left. The only problem is that 30th is often congested in the evening (northbound).

      Same direction transfers are often awkward, unless the buses overlap. The only way to do that would be to send the 72 (or a similar bus) to the north. The problem is, there is no good turnaround until you get to Lake Forest Park Town Center. That means doubling up service along a stretch of road that gets very few riders. Even then, while it seems possible for a bus to turn around there, it isn’t an existing terminus. It looks like you could end a bus there, but work would have to be done to make it possible. It would have made way more sense for the overlap to occur between 145th and 125th, but unfortunately, that ship has sailed.

    2. >> Also, Metro confirmed that the 72 will NOT be implemented until East Link so that the 522 and 72 will be changed together.

      Are you sure you don’t mean 522 and 77? If Metro holds off on changing the (3)72, it would mean that 145th between 25th NE and 5th NE wouldn’t have any service at all, once the station opened. It means that the only way to get to the nearest station would be to take the 65, as it loops around. That seems very odd.

      1. @Ross I’ve been following this closely and have spoken with both Sound Transit and Metro. I wish you were right, but alas you’re not.

        145th street lanes will be redesigned. Between Bothell Way and 32nd Ave, 1 of the westbound lanes will be turned into a bus-only eastbound left turn lane (to northbound Bothell Way). According to the transit agencies “Since June 2020, Metro and Sound Transit agreed to close Stop #82110 and it is currently expected to close when the project is in construction at this location. This is with the expectation that riders would use the stop on 30th Ave NE. Were Stop #82110 to be maintained, all traffic (general purpose and buses) would have to stop behind the proposed Route 72 at this stop.”

        That same lane change knocks out the bus stop on northbound Bothell Way at the kidney center. The 522 bus can’t turn left from the leftmost of 3 left turn lanes, and make it all the way over to the right side of Bothell Way in time to stop.

        Metro staff recently presented to the Lake Forest Park city council. Here’s a link to their presentation. It explicitly states that the 72 won’t change until the 522 changes, which is when Link opens. See slides 7 and 8. https://mccmeetingspublic.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/lkfrstpkwa-meet-e9a9c628a8714b50966098f3d6499044/ITEM-Attachment-001-0aa4edde1875495bb62210b7afd36419.pdf

      2. Thanks Larry. The information about the 72 is new. There was no mention of that before, nor does is say anything about that on the webpage for the 72 itself (https://kingcounty.gov/~/media/depts/metro/programs-projects/link-connections/lynnwood-link/pdf/routes/route72.pdf). In contrast, the delay of the 522 is clearly marked on its web page (https://kingcounty.gov/~/media/depts/metro/programs-projects/link-connections/lynnwood-link/pdf/routes/route-brt522.pdf). This is very peculiar, and is yet another reason why Sound Transit should just send the 522 to 148th the day that Lynnwood Link opens. Now you have several buses (72, 77, 522) that will be rerouted after East Link, even though East Link is nowhere near there. It is just odd.

        Stop #82110 and it is currently expected to close when the project is in construction at this location

        Yuck. I get their reasoning, but it just shows what a mess this project is. Shoreline doesn’t want to delay general-purpose traffic, so they are making it worse for the buses. I feel like Shoreline played bait-and-switch with Sound Transit. They promised (or at least suggested) that they would make things much better for buses along 145th, thus making the route for ST very easy. Turns out there are no such plans. Buses will be in general purpose traffic, or in some cases, in bus stops outside of traffic, forced to reenter it after stopping. Yet somehow they didn’t even want to do that here, and riders are forced to walk longer to their bus stop.

        That same lane change knocks out the bus stop on northbound Bothell Way at the kidney center. The 522 bus can’t turn left from the leftmost of 3 left turn lanes, and make it all the way over to the right side of Bothell Way in time to stop.

        OK, that part doesn’t make sense. The whole project is designed to make it easy for a bus to turn north from 145th to Bothell Way. The bus will use the lane for going straight, while two lanes turn left. If you look at the last page of this document, you can see that: https://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/documents/stride-s3-preliminary-design-seattle-shoreline-2021-02-english.pdf. Notice that on 145th, there are four lanes going east, and one lane going west. There are two turn lanes for those turning left (north). There is also a lane for going straight, and a lane for going right. There is a little caption though, that reads “Eastbound general-purpose through lane will also a left turn bus lane for buses only”. Thus buses will be able to make a left turn from the lane second from the right. A bus need only change one lane to get into that lane, and turn left. At that point, the bus is in the bus lane heading north on Bothell Way. The whole point of that change (four lanes heading eastbound) is to enable the bus to make that turn and be in the bus lane, ready to make a stop.

        Even without that change, it should be easy. Right now 145th is two lanes eastbound, which then turn into three lanes at Bothell Way. The bus simply stays in that lane, and turns left from the middle lane. After the turn, the bus simply move over one lane (to the bus lane) and stops.

        Even with all that, it doesn’t look great. It looks OK coming back from Link. Catch the 522 or 72 and you are close. But getting to Link looks very difficult. You have to walk to the stop at the other side of 30th. You could just take a bus southbound on Lake City Way, except that bus won’t run a by a bus station until it gets to UW Station. Going to Lake City is fairly easy (via the 72). Coming back isn’t. Same with going to Bothell (again, assuming there really is a bus stop by the Kidney center). Then you have the fact that buses are running on 30th and Lake City Way. You could make the argument that it expands coverage, except that around 145th, it really doesn’t, as again, the 72 can’t stop anywhere near there going northbound.

        Yep, it is definitely a mess. There doesn’t seem to be much they can do to fix the 522/S3. Metro could make things better with the loop I suggested (northbound on 30th, southbound on Lake City Way) but that takes more effort (and would still make a few trips fairly difficult).

  4. DT asked an excellent question. Why not shift Route 522 to South Shoreline in fall 2024? Why delay it and make integration more difficult.

    Earlier, RossB made another excellent point. The network and CT would be better off if the Swift Blue line served Aurora Avenue North and not Meridian Avenue North. The Aurora pathway could connect the Shoreline parking with Link; it would serve the business district; it would be faster due to the BAT lanes; it would attract more riders. If common stop transfers are needed between Swift and Route 130, add a stop pair to Swift between North 200th and 205th streets.

      1. Yes, it is a bad routing, and that includes a lot of existing riders. If you are trying to go along SR 99, you are out of luck. If Swift Blue made even one stop on Aurora, the transfer would be trivial. A same stop transfer to a bus going the same way. Nothing could be easier or faster.

        Instead, riders will be forced to sit as their bus makes the time consuming detour to the mall. Worth noting, this is the only detour that Swift Blue makes. It doesn’t detour to a college, or a hospital, but to one end of a mall. Imagine you just finished your shift at Swedish Edmonds. You walk and catch Swift. It navigates through traffic fairly well until it gets into Seattle. Then it moves out of the fast lane, into general traffic, and then the left turn lane. As you sit there, waiting for the arrow, you see a bus to your left. Sure enough, that is your E Line. It is waiting too. It really doesn’t matter what happens next. You missed your connection, knowing full well that if the bus went straight — which is actually the faster route to Link — you would have made it. Oh well.

        This is a routing failure that favors the status quo over a sensible design. Oh well.

    1. The complexity of allowing CT to pick up riders on King County has to be resolved. Can Swift take riders that stay in King County?

      If not, the routing of Swift Blue is not that consequential. If they can, it is.

      I think when we looked into this issue that some routes do not allow intra-King trips on CT buses. I don’t think we resolved whether or not it is a mere policy or if it’s a legal rule. I can’t seem to find any reference about this quickly. I believe that a bus can carry riders outside of a service area but there is a fixed distance on how close to the service area it must be.

      1. Is that actually a policy? Back when CT’s 8xx series buses went to UW (and before the 45), they were the only buses that ran between central campus and 45th street. It was never a problem to get off along 45th even though that was an intra-King trip.

      2. I think that is a different issue, and irrelevant when it comes to the routing.

        For the trip I described, it doesn’t matter. Either way, someone heading north (to Snohomish County) would board in King County (just like they do today). Either they board at the Aurora Village Transit Center (which is entirely in King County) or they board on 200th, down the street (there are even existing bus stops — https://goo.gl/maps/bfj2s7MxJwh5Az4E6). For riders walking to their destination, it makes little difference. For those that want to continue on the highway, it is huge.

        It really is funny. Larry brought up the issue of same-direction transfers at 145th and Lake City Way. It is very awkward, because there is no overlap. Just today I did the same thing with the 67 and 347/348. You have to cross the street, and you have to wait as both buses turn. This not only means more time spent on the bus, but an increase in the chance that you will just miss your connection. Again, we are talking about people that just want to continue on the main highway (SR 99) which is likely the vast majority of riders that would use the stop at Aurora Village. The crazy part is that there is overlap anyway. Thus they have a rare opportunity to get this right, and make the transfer as painless as possible (same stop). This would also mean that riders along that section never experience the bus making a turn. Riders would stay in the BAT lane the entire time. Swift would get to Link faster. It is a ridiculous unforced error.

        Oh, and I haven’t even addressed the details of that transfer. How will Swift serve Aurora Village? Right now it is the terminus of both the E and Swift Blue. But with Swift Blue heading to Link, there are two choices. It could go into the transit center and loop around when it picks up and drops off riders. Or it could drop off riders along 200th. The former means additional delay for those headed to and from Link. The latter means that riders have to cross 200th after they build a brand new (fancy) bus stop on the street. Oh goody.

        Anyway, as to your other concern, it is possible that CT will try and discourage King County riders from taking the bus from the transit center to Link. That would be hard to do though. What are they gonna do — ask for ID? A southbound bus could refuse to pick up riders, but that would hurt those that transfer from CT buses, let alone those that went from Lynnwood to Aurora Village via Link/Swift (backtracking a bit). I just don’t see it.

      3. To Larry’s point, I believe that CT buses indeed used to pick up on campus (and allow drop-off on 45th), as it was impossible to determine whether the destination was SnoCo or local. However, I distinctly recall the 800 buses refusing to pick up people along 45th, as they were in a “drop off only area” or the like. I’m sure that some drivers were stricter than others about this, though.

  5. A tweak to the RossB network: merge routes 75 and 61 or extend Route 75 to Greenwood; Route 75 served NE Northgate Way for decades; it only shifted to NE 125th Street in 2021. Before fall 2012, Route 75 extended to Ballard. Such a consolidation would save minutes and hours as the Route 348.67 might.

    Should Shorecrest have service? Before 2003, it was served by the hourly Route 314, a transitvan. In 2024, its route could connect with Link.

    1. My proposed 75 is the same as the P3 75. It covers 5th Avenue NE. If it was shifted to Northgate Way, that would leave that part of 5th (between Northgate Way and 125th) with no service. I don’t think that would be the end of the world, but I also don’t feel like fighting against coverage. In contrast, merging the 348/67 saves service hours without reducing any coverage. You lose some one-seat rides (while gaining others) but you don’t close bus stops.

      There are other ways of serving 5th NE, some of which could save service hours. However, those start looking dramatically different. For example, a bus serving 5th could go west (past the 130th Station) and then up into Shoreline (via Meridian, for example). This sets off a number of other changes, and I didn’t want to propose anything that different (as I have in the past).

      I’m trying to pick my battles, and focus on what I consider to be low-hanging fruit. If I was looking more long term, I would reconsider service on 5th, but I would also look at the area between Lake City and 148th Station. Metro proposes covering this area with the 72 and 65. I suggest the 72 and 77. Either way, these buses cover an important area of Lake City — basically the area between the Fred Meyer and 145th. I will call this area “North Lake City”.

      The 72 and 65 both have flaws. They manage to duplicate service, while not increasing effective headways. For example, they both connect (north and south) Lake City with 145th (and the 522). This is good if you are going from Kenmore to Lake City. Yes, the transfer is awkward — riders have a three minute walk between bus stops on top of all of the turns (https://goo.gl/maps/8VRBx5FS7nqGPJK4A) — but at least riders have two buses going south (thus combining headways).

      However, that isn’t the case if you are going the other direction. Even though these buses are very close to each other, they don’t share a bus stop south of 145th. That is another advantage of my proposed 77. The 77 and 72 would share bus stops in (south) Lake City, which means riders could take either bus if they were far enough south. It wouldn’t be ideal by any means, but it would mean that getting from (at least part of) Lake City to the northern suburbs would be much better. You would have a shared bus stop on both ends, which reduces waiting (much as the 65/75 combination makes it easy to get from Lake City to U-Village).

      But to make that work, you would want the headways to the same. Right now, it doesn’t work either direction. The 72 is scheduled to run every 10 minutes, while the 65 (or pretty much any bus sent up there) will run every 15. Thus they can’t possibly combine for good headways. (In contrast, the 45 and 61 have identical headways, so riders along 85th will have great combined headways). So even going south, where you can go to a bus stop that serves both, you still might have to wait ten minutes.

      But even if they sent the 77 north, and synchronized it with the 72, issues remain. Between 130th and 145th, the buses run on completely different corridors in North Lake City, even though they are very close to each other. Worse yet, the northbound 72 is forced to skip stops along Lake City Way because it has to make that left turn. There will be no stops between 137th & Lake City Way and 145th & 30th (https://goo.gl/maps/hELowGB5hZqX4bFZA). That is actually a pretty big coverage hole. It largely eliminates the value of having two routes. You might as well run both on 30th, since riders often have to walk there anyway. Or, as I’ve suggested, you run northbound on 30th, and southbound on Lake City Way. The bus can make all the stops on Lake City Way if it is going south. Most of the people in North Lake City actually live between 30th and Lake City Way. You would want to add more pedestrian crossings of Lake City Way, but that is true anyway.

      At that point, you have saved a little money by running the 72 less often, while increasing effective headways in north Lake City. But there are other issues. The 72 does overlap the 522. This gives North Lake City a one-seat connection to Link. There are alternatives. For example, my proposed 77 does that. Instead of riders going north to 148th, they would go south, to Roosevelt Station.

      If the 72 goes to the station, it should be extended, all the way across to Shoreline Community College. This give North Lake City a connection to Aurora and Greenwood buses, along with a one-seat ride to Shoreline Community College.

      Then there is the 65 (or my 77). Getting to your point, the area by Shorecrest gets very poor ridership on the 330. This section (https://goo.gl/maps/jL5cK5YvJ8NeaAec8) gets about 30 riders a day. High schools usually do a lot better, but there are various issues in Shoreline. The overall network isn’t that good (unlike Seattle). Then there are the school boundaries. Students east of I-5 (in Shoreline) are assigned to Shorecrest. Yet the bus spends very little time in Shoreline itself. There are some two-seat possibilities with the 348 and 522, but my guess if those kids will just walk (avoiding the transfer). I could see people walking to Link from around the 185th Station, taking Link to 148th and then taking the 65, but again, I think many would be fine just walking north from 145th. I guess time will tell.

      I think the plan is an experiment of sorts. How many riders will take Link from the south end of Lake City up to 148th Station? Will they prefer 30th over Lake City Way? Will the increased frequency of the 72 result in a lot more riders? How many riders will ride to the Shorecrest area (and when)?

      Overall, there is a very weak case for two routes from Lake City to 148th. We should settle on one. Information from this restructure should help us settle. If the area close to Shorecrest does well, then the 72 can take that route to the station (and continue to Shoreline CC). If it doesn’t, then the 77 can simply be truncated at Lake City Fred Meyer. Either way I would have the 72 go north on 30th, and south on Lake City Way.

      If we can live without service on the Shorecrest area, there is another possibility. The 77 could run up 30th and south on Lake City Way, making a live loop. This means more transfers for North Lake City, but they would still have a good one-seat connection to Link (at Roosevelt) and the 522.

    1. I would probably get rid of them, but I also don’t care that much. There are only a handful of runs planned every day. They don’t cost that much. I see the general trend as moving away from these express buses, and I expect that to continue until they are finally eliminated completely.

  6. Random idea about the 61…I wonder how feasible it would be to extend the route in a southwesterly direction towards Ballard. The bus could continue south on Greenwood, west on 65th, south on 24th, and west on Market, sharing the #44’s layover point next to the Ballard locks.

    Yes, I get that this would cost some extra money to run and may not be at the top of the priority list right now, with so many existing routes lacking good all-day frequency. But, it would plug home some huge holes in the northwest Seattle bus network. Anybody who lives near 65th now has a bus going east/west, rather than only north/south. Greenwood and Phinney Ridge get connected to Ballard in a one-seat ride that currently requires a very awkward transfer to cover a very short distance, requiring 45-60 minutes (including wait time) to travel just 2-3 miles. This extension would also connect Phinney Ridge to everywhere the proposed 61 would go, including Northgate Station, Lake City, and North Seattle Community College.

    Another variant of this idea that could also be considered is to swap tails with the 45. That is, from Greenwood, have the 45 do the Phinney Ridge/65th/Ballard jog, while the 61 continues west down 85th to Golden Gardens, replacing the 45 in that stretch. (Whether the tail swap is better or worse than above would depend on local trip patterns in ways I’m not super familiar with).

    One related theme here is that I strongly believe that in order for a place to be considered to have good transit access, simply having one frequent bus that comes close to it is not good enough. You have to have buses traveling in all four cardinal directions – both north/south and east/west. If every east/west trip via transit requires either riding a north/south and transferring or walking over a mile to get to the nearest east/west bus, sorry, but that is not good transit, even if the north/south bus, itself, runs at decent frequency.

    I’ll also mention that, with the 45 and 61 doubling up on 85th St., these buses badly need a queue jump at Aurora. Buses should not have to sit in line with the cars for 3-4 lights cycles to cross the street.

    1. If there were a bus that went took 24th to 65th to Phinney up through Greenwood… I would ride it very often. Ballard HS would benefit greatly from that route, too.

      My guess is that the grade on 65th between 3rd and Phinney is too great for anything other than a trolleybus, and there is no wire.

      1. I would be less concerned about a bus making it up the hill, and more concerned about it making the turns. Regular buses run up all the hills on the weekends. Hybrid electric buses are just a lot more powerful than the old days.

        If the bus could make that turn, then I would go even further. I would run a bus from the Roosevelt Station around the north end of Green Lake, then along Winona/Linden to 65th and up and over. With Linden covered, I would then move the Rapid Ride E bus stops to Aurora (both directions). You could still make that transfer (at 75th, by the PCC) which means you could ride the E and then head west to Phinney Ridge and Ballard via 65th. Again, the challenge is those narrow streets.

      2. I looked it up – the steepest grade on 65th NW is ~12%; the steepest grade on Queen Anne Ave N is ~14%. So, I guess if buses can reliably climb up QA off-wire, then we’re good to go.

        The comment on tight corners is interesting. The tightest corners are the right-hand turns from 24th to 65th and Phinney to 65th.

        I think a 40’er could make the turns. I’d be curious what the tightest curves in the system are.

      3. I’d be curious what the tightest curves in the system are.

        Me too. If the bus ran from Green Lake up and over Phinney Ridge to Ballard, the turns wouldn’t even that tight. It is more about just squeezing through there. The lanes are really narrow. I remember hearing that the articulated are just as mobile as the 40 footers. Basically the back end just gets taken along for the ride. That may be the case for navigating a turn, but I imagine going through streets like that would require a bit more skill with a bigger bus. Either way it would be interesting to see if is at all possible, because the results would be huge. This would transform transit in that neck of the woods. You would get good ridership as soon as you opened. All the other buses in the area do well, and this would really have no competition — it would complement the other buses, adding ridership to them (not taking away anything). I just wonder if it is at all possible.

      4. You’d probably have to take away street parking along one side or both sides of the route.

        I think SDOT/Metro might be brave enough to try it a few years – especially if next year’s comprehensive plan sees Ballard upgraded to an Urban Hub.

      5. For the area I’m thinking about, there is no street parking. It is just really narrow. This: https://goo.gl/maps/EzoW6RVnPmgFhdfB9 and this: https://goo.gl/maps/gwvXZKgvgzBe3sscA. There is a bit of a dogleg as well. Maybe that isn’t an issue. It looks narrow to me, but there is no warning for trucks to go around. From what I can tell, it seems to widen on both ends from there. If a bus can get through that intersection (essentially this: https://goo.gl/maps/gwvXZKgvgzBe3sscA) then I think it is smooth sailing. That’s a big “if” though.

      6. I agree, that’s the single (and significant) choke point. The lanes are 9′. Streets Illustrated wants 11′ for bus operations. https://streetsillustrated.seattle.gov/design-standards/roadway-construction/roadway-width/

        Assuming the route is Greenwood to Phinney to 65th NW, they could wrench away one side of parking along Greenwood Ave N between 67th and 65th, and send the southbound buses along there, turning right onto 65th, and squeeze the northbound buses onto the eastbound lane of 65th, then make the wide turn left onto Phinney. Although, that would probably be an operational stretch, and a liability nightmare if the bus were riding the centerline (or had a mirror overhanging the sidewalk).

        Are there any places where a bus uses a 9′ lane? Seems unlikely. It’s unfortunately that this 18′ wide segment of 65th is probably why we don’t have a bus on 65th.

      7. Not currently in use, but the 72 used to run through this area which I think has 9ft lanes? https://goo.gl/maps/4b6zZR3wHU3vZyJS7

        As I recall, it was kind of a bear to get through there. I did not ride it often but always enjoyed the experience because it felt so incongruous.

      8. Assuming the route is Greenwood to Phinney to 65th NW

        But I wouldn’t do that. Doing that makes thing more difficult (because you have a 90 degree turn) while adding less value. Just go all the way across to the lake, and then the station (https://goo.gl/maps/fgPNwwtRMj9NXDYa7). Now you’ve transformed transit everywhere west of I-5. You’ve connected to almost all of the north-south buses (and the train).

        To be clear, you can’t end the line there, by the station. No matter. Like the 45, you just keep going, to the U-District. You can park yourself by Campus Parkway (if nowhere else). Would folks in Phinney Ridge and various parts of Ballard (north of Market) like a one-seat ride to Roosevelt and the U-District? Of course. But mostly you’ve enabled a real grid in the area. You can get practically anywhere with one transfer. Of course the gap between 65th and 85th is way too big, but it is a lot better than the gap between 45th/Market and 85th that exists now. Absent ST adding UW-to-Ballard Link (which seems less and less likely as time goes on) this would be the biggest improvement in transit for the area that is even remotely possible.

        The only real question is whether it is possible.

    2. The bus could continue south on Greenwood, west on 65th, south on 24th, and west on Market, sharing the #44’s layover point next to the Ballard locks.

      I had a very similar idea in the past. It might be hard to make that turn from Phinney to 65th though. 65th is very narrow through there. If you could pull that off, then great. Otherwise, the bus could turn on 8th and do the same thing.

      Another variant of this idea that could also be considered is to swap tails with the 45. That is, from Greenwood, have the 45 do the Phinney Ridge/65th/Ballard jog, while the 61 continues west down 85th to Golden Gardens, replacing the 45 in that stretch.

      Yeah, I’ve considered that as well. One potential advantage is that the 45 would then be shorter, which would be nice if you want to pair it with another bus (e. g. the 72) and are concerned that the route is too long.

      I’ll also mention that, with the 45 and 61 doubling up on 85th St., these buses badly need a queue jump at Aurora.

      They need a lot of red paint on 85th. I would add BAT lanes all along there (both directions). I would eliminate left turns that don’t have turn lanes as well. I’m excited to have both buses on 85th, as I think it will get SDOT to do more work there.

      Eventually I would have the D take over the northern tail of the 40. Instead of stopping at Holman Road, just keep going, and end at Northgate. I would have the 40 take over the 61. Just keep going straight on 85th (until you have to head north to the 92nd bridge). That is a bit long, so they would have to do some more work on the streets, and make the bus a RapidRide (with off-board payment). The work they are planning on the 40 is a great first step. Just fix 85th (and the rest of the 61) and you would be good to go.

      I’m still not sure the best way to run a bus on 65th in Ballard. I would like to combine that with a bus along 32nd, but I don’t think there is a great solution. All these ideas are long term though. I’m not suggesting we change that for this restructure.

  7. If route 72 is not created until STX 522 moves to 145th, then will route 372 stick around until then?

    Metro isn’t seriously considering 6 months or more of no service on 25th Ave NE, are they?

    1. If route 72 is not created until STX 522 moves to 145th, then will route 372 stick around until then?

      Yes. See the document Larry referenced. “Route 72 replaces Route 372” is the title. “Change would not happen until Route 522 revised to serve 148th Station” means that the 372 stays the same until then.

  8. Why does 25th get the most frequency in Metro’s latest proposal? In 2016 it chose 35th (the 65) for 10-minute service, and it became the route four new night owl service to Lake City. That was debatable because 35th is not particularly high density and has little retail. It seemed to be a bet that ridership and development would grow substantially in the future. And it supplemented frequency in the entire U-Village/Laurelhurst/Children’s built-up corridor. The 65 was reduced to 15-minute service in the covid cuts, but it still seemed to be positioned as the primary route in northeast Seattle. Now Metro is passing that baton to 25th? Does that mean it has given up on 35th’s potential? Why?

    25th seems unsuited to be the most frequent route. It’s low density between 95th and 55th. Even 102nd to 95th there’s little to write home about. It travels and turns on unusually narrow arterials, so that limits its speed. It serves the western edge of U-Village but not the rest of the U-Village/Laurelhurst/Children’s built-up area. It’s a slow way to the U-District because of the U-shaped campus crawl. It won’t go to UW Bothell or Kenmore anymore. So what advantage does it have over the 65 or a Roosevelt-Lake City route, that it should have 10-minute frequency when the others don’t? That seems like a slap in the face to passengers in denser areas on other routes or who want a faster Lake CIty-Roosevelt-UDistrict connection.

    It seems like it might be one squeaky wheel on 25th asking for more service, and Metro doing it even though that corridor is weaker than neighboring ones. Or does 25th have a hidden strength that’s not immediately clear?

    1. A few reasons I can think of:

      1. There are a lot of students living near 25th from around 60th Southward; this is true on both sides of 25th, not just to the East.

      2. The area around 25th and 65th is more “active” than 35th and 65th.

      3. 35th is actually a narrower street; anecdotally, it felt easier to get stuck on the 65 than on the 372, when I was taking both semi-regularly.

      4. The 65 also gets stuck in the crawl around U Village up to Children’s, and it backtracks a fair bit to do that loop. For anyone trying to go North of, say, 75th up towards the Lake City corridor, taking 25th is a significant speed increase. One reason we never seriously considered living in Wedgwood or Sand Point when going to UW was that the 65 and 75 were just a slog and a half going through the U Village area.

      None of which is to say that the 35th corridor shouldn’t have good traffic – but if you’re looking for reliable bus routes heading up towards the far NE corner of the city, 25th seems like the better bet.

    2. This is anecdotal. But I’ve never been on a crush loaded 65 that had to skip multiple stops. In contrast, it’s decently common for the southbound 372 to skip 55th – 47th in the morning, and the northbound 372 to skip the last 2-3 campus stops in the afternoon.

      1. I’ve been on crushloaded 65s in the Northbound direction, but it’s probably much more rare than on the 372, yeah. This could also change with the new multistory buildings coming up East of the U Village though.

        There’s an argument to be made for a very short route that just does a loop around U Village and up to campus (and back) – the problem is that everyone would still crushload the 372 (and 65) if those came first.

  9. but go back to Mike’s first question; in the summer LL network, Route 72 will not serve the Kenmore P&R; is that where much of the peak period peak direction load come from? Note only is Route 72 proposed for 10/10 weekday headway, routes 65, 67, and 75 are proposed to have longer weekend headways.

  10. While I do like the 348 to UW proposal, I feel like that would make the route too long and unreliable, as it is already quite a long route,. And with it mostly running 35ft buses, it would probably have some overcrowding problems.

    Maybe a split at 185th could help?

    1. “with it mostly running 35ft buses”

      That’s not set in stone. It’s a 35′ bus either because its current ridership is low, there’s no articulated bus available, or it goes on tight streets or steep hills.

      – Ridership: There are no large activity centers besides Northgate, and Shoreline is relatively low density. That won’t be the case as it gets closer to Roosevelt and the U-District. Routes 8, 11, and 62 are articulated and have relatively light eastern/southern ends, then get heavy in the western half.

      – Availability: All articulated buses may be assigned to higher-load routes. However, 40% of the bus fleet is currently unavailable due to supply-chain bottlenecks or a lack of maintenance staff, but this is temporary.

      – Narrow streets/steep hills: Metro doesn’t use articulated buses on Queen Anne because the sharp angle of the hill crests wears down the articulation joint. A few blocks in Seattle have ultra-narrow streets. Are there any of those on the 348? If so they must be west of Aurora, where I’ve only been a couple times, but I don’t think it’s that narrow/steep there.

      1. The 302 also runs to Richmond Beach, and it runs 60 foot buses. I think you are definitely right about the ridership though.

    2. Yeah, as Mike mentioned, you would simply run bigger buses. The bus basically replaces the 67, so you run whatever buses they run for that route. I don’t think crowding will be an issue. Consider a southbound bus. At Richmond Beach it is empty. As it heads towards the station, it gets more and more riders. When it gets to the station, most of those riders get off. A fair number get on, but not as many. As the bus heads south, a lot of the folks who got on the bus at the station get off at North City. At 145th and 130th you have people getting on and off (transferring to crossing buses). So for that whole section (Richmond Beach to roughly 130th) the load shouldn’t be that high. People getting on and people getting off. As it continues south of Northgate Way, it will get more and more riders, just like the 67 of today. I see it as being remarkably similar to the 67 in terms of load (a bus that is not particularly crowded).

      The dynamic is a lot different than today’s 348, where the load just keeps getting bigger until you get to Northgate Way. The same thing happened with the old 522; it just kept getting more and more crowded until it got on the freeway. This is different. With buses like the old 522, almost everyone was headed downtown. With the 348, those headed to Link will either get off sooner (in the case of Richmond Beach), take it the other way (North City) or take different buses (if you are close to 145th, 130th or Northgate Way).

      Ultimately, I’m less worried about crowding, and more worried about ridership. I feel that if they continue to run the bus to Northgate, ridership will dry up. It will work for North City and Richmond Beach, but for a lot of other riders, there is too much competition. Unlike today, you have other (much faster, more frequent) ways to get to Link at 145th and 130th. It would also compete with the (more frequent) 61 along Northgate Way (and 5th). Even in getting to Northgate it has competition (from the 75 and 61). Northgate itself just isn’t that big of a draw. Before the pandemic, 75 people got off the bus between the turn at Roosevelt and the transit center. 135 got off at the transit center itself. This was before the bridge across the freeway — meaning there was really nothing there, but the transfer to the 41 (the main way to get downtown). The same thing happens today. The bus does OK in large part because it is the *only* way to get on Link for most of that corridor. That will change dramatically as Link is extended. It needs a stronger one-seat destination (i. e. the UW) for it to get decent ridership.

      If not, I fear it will go back to running every half hour. Ultimately, a bus can’t sustain good headways unless it carries a lot of people, or is heavily subsidized. Seattle subsidizes its buses (and they generally carry a lot of riders). Unless Shoreline does the same, I feel like the bus will end up running every half hour, which would be unfortunate for everyone.

Comments are closed.